In the beginning it all started with a visit to CCC's 23C3 Congress end of last year where we saw a Microdrone in action. I wrote about that visit and our exceitment about the advances in closed-loop control in this blog entry.
Later on we discovered the UAV Community on the network. Several Open Source projects have been very successful in creating their own version of a Universal Aerial Video Platform. Most notable are Wolfgang's UAVP , Holger's MikroKopter and last but not least the Paparazzi Project.
After long forum inquest and even longer discussions with my brother we decided to join the fun.
At first, we did not have any parts to build something, so we started simple by playing with the main processor of the UAVP Board. The board implements the flight stablilization closed-loop control using a PIC microprocessor, which I put on my experimental board to play with:
Over time all the other parts except for the frames were finally delivered and we started the construction of our own UAVPs.
It seems that the frame producer has big troubles delivering in time, so we decided to build our own frames. We still hope to receive the ordered frames sometime in the future. This makes sense, since we want to build several UAVPs and for that we need more than one frame...
But who would have belived it?
One of the boards worked perfectly immediatley, the second one we got to work after finding one badly soldered pin. This is near perfection!
Normally such SMD boards get made with a method called reflow soldering, which is something we can't do easily at home. I have to mention that this is not a complicated SMD board to solder for an experienced person, but to us doing this for the first time it was a real challange!
The small green plates you see at horizontal and vertical angles on the board are the sensor breakout boards used by the flight-controller to stabilize the horizontal position of the flying UAVP.
So we finally got two working flight controller boards for our future UAVPs.
There's still the question of a frame to use and how to build it... ... but I will tell you more of our Quest in my next blog entry soon to follow!