On ESC Protocols Part II

In the first part of this post series we went over the most common ESC protocols that have been in use up until today. These protocols for the most part still dominate the market. In the second part we are looking at more recent protocols that attempt to tackle issues such as latency, refresh rate and

On ESC Protocols Part I

This is the first post of a two post series that aims to provide a concise but comprehensive overview of current protocols for interfacing Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs), with a focus on protocols for hobbyist UAVs and especially multirotors. As ESCs for brushless controllers are in wide use in UAVs, many of the ESC protocols

Building a DIY sub-500 gram quadcopter

In a previous post I’ve discussed the advantages of a lightweight aircraft: longer flight times, quieter operation, less stress to the components, more responsive control. In addition, having an aircraft below 500 grams (less than around 1.10 pounds) has the advantage that in many countries it does not require registration to fly, except for where

VL53L0X as an Altitude Rangefinder

I recently ordered a VL53L0X sensor carrier from Pololu, with the aim of using it as a lightweight rangefinder for my latest build. VL53L0X is a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor; it measures distance by measuring the time it takes for a pulse of light to travel to a target and back. This is some serious stuff for

On the Road to a Full-CF Aircraft

The main driving force behind my current UAV experiments is lowering aircraft weight and noise. In principle though, this should not come at the expense of other factors, such as flying time, rigidity, responsiveness and crash-worthiness. So with these in mind, and after the eventual success of my last build, I’ve been planning for some

Flash & Burn, ESC edition

Many ESCs produce a high-pitched whining noise while running the motors. This is a result of the current switching that happens at the ESC. In many models, the frequency of switching is in the high audible range, and this translates to whining noise. If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you’d know that one of my

S01E01: The W-500

It always starts with an F-450, or a clone of it. Always. Unless you’re a pro willing to cough up a five digit figure just to get in the air, or you’re going for the RTF stuff, you must have come across an F-450 in your multicopter ventures. I think that DJI should be proud