Pelican Case for my UAV

I live in an apartment. I need to store my UAV easily, I need to transport it easily, and I need to keep everything together. This is what I bought in an attempt to solve those three problems with my primary platform.I ordered a Pelican STORM IM2700 case in bright yellow. It’s got three layers of pluck and place pre-scored foam that I’ll be removing to fit my quad, the transmitter, batteries blades, and hopefully a new battery charger as well. 

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Pelican Case with Quad and Transmitter

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Pelican Case Top

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Pelican Case Upright

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Pelican Case Side

There are three layers of foam in this case. I’ll probably write more after I rebuild my copter and cut the foam to fit.

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Samsung UD590 working with Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660

In a previous post I mentioned that I was having problems making my new Samsung 4k UHD monitor work at full resolution.

Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660

Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660

I ordered a new Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660 video card from newegg, removed the old video card, and now have three monitors plugged directly into this video card.

ScreenResolution

 

My center monitor is the new Samsung display running at 3840×2160 on the display port, and the left and right monitors are each HP Pavillion 22bw monitors running 1920×1080 using the DVI ports. The one strange thing is that Windows recognizes the dot pitch on the Samsung monitor and attempts to make things larger than I’d like. It is a configuration option to make text larger or smaller by following the link on the screen resolution dialog and I have moved the slider one notch smaller from the center.

Display

File a flight plan before takeoff

Always think through what you are going to do before you take off.

Broken XHeli

Broken Quadcopter

I had decided that I wanted to try the Follow-Me option in AndroPilot. Turned on my Taranis transmitter, but then left it sitting on the bench with the throttle down, and all the switches in default positions. I connected the 3DR radio to my Google Nexus 7 running AndoPilot. I hit the button on the tablet to arm the drone, and took it off entirely from the tablet. I was flying using the virtual sticks on the screen of the tablet, which was not extremely intuitive because there’s no tactile feedback on the tablet. I’d raised the drone up to about 40 feet, and was trying to find the button to attempt follow me.  It didn’t appear to be moving towards me, or doing anything very predictable. My friend near the bench asked what it took to take control from the RC transmitter, and I said just start flipping switches.  I continued to fly for about another 30 seconds when I asked him to flip return to launch. (I’ve got that set on a switch of it’s own, using channel 7 of the transmitter.)  He was getting concerned because I’d drifted halfway to the trees, and putting the copter in the trees 40 feet up was likely to be a total loss. He flipped the flight mode switch going to loiter. The copter stopped and tumbled out of the sky.

Afterwards he pointed out that before a flight we really needed to discuss what was supposed to happen, and what he could do to recover before the flight begins.

The reason the copter fell out of the sky was that he changed the flight mode without moving the throttle from zero, so when the copter took over it dropped the throttle and fell out of the sky. If he’d just changed the RTL switch things probably would have been just fine. My transmitter is set differently from his. I’ve got all 8 channels configured, with channel 7 being it’s own switch that only deals with the RTL command. He’s got an older firmware and uses RTL as one of his flight modes.

I asked for one thing to happen, and he did something else. He didn’t know exactly what I wanted, and by the time I needed it I wasn’t in a position to explain it quickly. The broken parts can be replaced for $15 from the original place I bought my X, or I can use another supplier and get other parts. I’ve bought an entirely second frame already with nothing mounted on it for only $12 so I might go that route instead of ordering more parts, or I may move parts to run on my new BumbleBee platform.

Media Center Content Protection Error

I’ve noticed that I sometimes get errors in windows media center reporting that programs could not be recorded. This generally happens when I’ve left media center running full screen on one of my monitors overnight…

MediaCenterErrorThe strange thing is that if the media center application is not running, or is running in a window, the recording of the programs seems to work properly. I only get these errors coming up when the application is full screen on one of my monitors.

 

Hobbylord Bumblebee-S

I bought a new drone platform this weekend. I was in a hobby shop and there was a Bumblebee that had been left on consignment for sale. I liked the look of it, but hoped to do more flying of my existing drone during the day so left it there. While sitting at the flying field waiting for the rain to clear I did some more research on the unit and decided I wanted to get it. I called back, made and offer, and it was accepted.

I picked up a BumbleBee that included the motors and ESCs but no control board or power distribution board. It’s a nice design that folds to a much smaller space for transport. The power connectors to the ESCs seem to be red shrouded connectors that I’ve heard commonly referred to as JST connectors. A little research points out that JST is the likely manufacturer of  the connector, but that it’s simply one of a range of connectors they sell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JST_connector.

I’ve got my APM board that I retired from my primary UAV when I decided to buy the Pixhawk, so hopefully with the simple addition of a power distribution cable and my other existing hardware I should be able to have a second flying drone.

Samsung UD590 Monitor

I bought a Samsung UD590 monitor from Amazon and it arrived Saturday May 3rd. It’s native resolution is 3840×2160, which is twice 1920×1080 in each direction. It came with a single HDMI cable and a display-port cable.

Samsung UD590

I bought this for it’s resolution and price. It sells for $699. It claims to be able to run at 60hz input at full resolution, where some of the other monitors in this price range only run 30hz. The box advertises 1ms fast response time, but I’m not certain how that translates.

My previous monitor setup has had an HP Pavilion 22bw as a center monitor, the same as a right monitor, and an old Samsung SyncMaster 205BW monitor in portrait mode as a left monitor.

ASUS SabreToothMy machine is based on an Asus Sabretooth Z87 TUF motherboard. I’ve got an Intel® Core™ i7-4771 Processor running with 32GB ram. I’ve been running the center monitor from the embedded GPU using the HDMI output on the motherboard. I’ve got an old NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT based graphics card driving the left and right monitors via DVI ports. It is an ASUS EN8600 GT Silent card. I’m running windows 8.1.ASUS EN8600GT

I haven’t decided if I want to switch to just using this new monitor, or if I want to keep using the two HP monitors as left and right flanks. My initial test had me plugging the new monitor into the display port on the motherboard and having the HP monitors plugged in via DVI on the card.

When I booted the machine initially, I saw the EUFI screen from the motherboard correctly on the new monitor, the opening screens of windows booting on the new monitor, and then the monitor went blank and only the pretty backgrounds were visible on my monitors on the sides. Through a bunch of trial and error, I figured out that if I reduced the resolution on the Samsung in windows from 3840×2160 to 2560×1440 things worked without going blank. I went so far as to remove the NVIDIA card entirely to see if it was some sort of interaction, but that didn’t seem to help.

By total chance I found out that if I have a large amount of constant white space on the screen I can run the monitor at full resolution. If I’ve got an empty copy of Notepad filling the screen, then the screen runs fine at its native resolution. But if I load an app that throws any level of color complexity on the screen, it shows the image, then goes all black, and blinks the image up approximately one second out of ten.

I don’t understand if this problem is related to the monitor, or related to the motherboard output, or possibly even the cable. I’m using the cable that came with the monitor, so I’ve been discounting that. I’m assuming the problem has to do with the bandwidth of driving 3840×2160 at 32 bit color.

I don’t mind going out and buying a new display card to drive the monitor, but I’m not a gamer so don’t want to spend money for a top of the line gaming card when all that I want to do is drive high resolution and have a reasonable refresh rate for displaying video. Ideally a video card would be able to drive three monitors. I expect I’d drive the big monitor via display-port, and the secondary monitors via a display-port to DVI cable.

Any suggestions as to what exactly my problem is are useful.