I got the need, the need for whoop!

final product

While at defcon 24, I saw Viss whooping around a little bit.  I didn’t pay it much mind at the time, another fpv drone no big deal.  But after defcon he posted this vid and then a few people on twitter asked what was his setup.  After looking at his setup I started looking into this tiny whoop thing.  It’s actually real cool and very reasonably priced, since you’re essentially beefing up a crappy toy drone into fpv.  Between that and the vid had to build one myself.

I have a few quads, parrot ar drone 2 which is kinda boring.  A tiny cheerson which has no guards so it likes to break every 5 min, a syma that flies pretty good but isn’t tiny… and a 3d printed tri-copter that I’ve never finished assembling (I don’t appear to have posted any info about this one… I’ll have to post it up).

Anywhoo, so this isn’t my first quad, but the idea of fpv’ing around and being able to take it with me on trips is really cool idea… My only other fpv is that tri-copter and I haven’t even flown it yet, and it’s pretty big so I wouldn’t think of dragging that along, but something this small… So I’m building one.

Started out with the RTF version inductrix blade.


The RTF comes with a pretty decent controller, however it would have been nice to use my much nicer controller the Taranis x9d.  But those radios aren’t compatible (for now… lol).   We need it to be light, so we’re removing the ‘cover’.

A tiny all-in-1 5 ghz camera


I used the FX798t, but the 797t will work, any of these tiny cameras will work really as long as the voltage is worked out.  The idea is to be light as possible so we’re going to strip the case off of this too.

Now I didn’t try to put the camera on the stock frame with the stock motors, but people say the stock motors need to be upgraded to lift the camera well.  So you can find upgraded motors. 6×15 I got mine from amazon by 65drones…  actually I got most of the build from amazon.

newmotorsNow I don’t think it’s really a requirement, and honestly this is kind of expensive compared to the rest of the build, but the Rakon CNC frame is recommended as people say the plastic frame cracks after a good number of bashing stuff around the house, I went ahead and bought that too.

rakoncnccrameAdd some batteries of higher capacity… 1S 205mah (You need a bunch of these) flight time is pretty bad with the camera strapped, I get about 2-3 minutes with the 205mah.

205mahA ganged charger for your existing lipo charger, or a few extra single usb chargers like the one that comes with the RTF.

singlechargermultiportAnd the last part of the puzzle is a FPV head set.  I have a Quanum V2 from my tricopter setup from hobbyking.  But I decided to go ahead and purchase the new Cyclops.  Fatshark’s would probably be better for travel, but a) when I use them I don’t feel I can see as well… and b) they are quite expensive.  On the downside the cyclops is pretty big for travel.   Maybe I’ll grab a smaller pair for travel.  For now I’m rolling cyclops.

cyclopsSo, here’s the final product all put together.

final productI havn’t figured out the best way to mount the camera, for now I’m doing the stickytape+rubber band approach, which is very sub optimal but it works.

Whoop Whoop.

Fake J-Link JTAG pod torn down

I’m always looking to expand my tool bench.  Having a previous segger product (er, sold by Atmel SAM-ICE) I looked at getting a J-Link because the SAM-ICE is cool but only works with the Atmel SAM line of products.  I can’t deny, I love eBay for electronic junk, plus there might be a used one someone is selling or one nobody used and is clearing out electronic surplus.  Well — what I found was a bunch of clones.  So I decided to go ahead and grab one, at < 20$ why not.

So here’s what you get.  Pod, 20 pin cable, usb cable, and a cd.

seggerjlinkPlugging it in.

jlink-usbOn the CD, not sure how much good it does you unless you understand what it means.

jlink-disc-screenshotOpening it up you can see a couple of parts:

AT91SAM764 – main arm processor

18.432mhz – crystal

AMS1117 – regulator

ALVC164245 x 2 – Level shifter + buffer

Also you see what a pretty ugly mess it is inside, there’s some left over flux or schmutz all over the board around the cpu.

Now I need to dig around my desk and find something to poke at, and see if it works. It enumerates, so that’s a start.

New YM Synth board


So I respun the YM Synth, I didn’t try to cram in the layout this time so its quite larger.  I moved to a larger pic, and added some leds…. The new pic doesn’t require a crystal for USB so we dropped the crystal.  Unfortunately now I have to port over all the code.


Gameboy Color Pi Emu

Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time was make a handheld Gameboy emu.  It’s been done many times before.  For whatever reason recently I stumbled on XodusTech’s build, and felt really inspired by his set up so I started making one.  <grin>Oddly close to how they did theirs</grin>.  Here’s some pics.  So far some differences are I’m using a Gameboy color (instead of pocket).  It was what was cheap and broken on eBay.  Also I’m using a Pi model A instead of B.   I don’t need 2 USB ports or ethernet, and rather have the lower current consumption.  Also while I have plenty of Teensy’s around, I think I’m going to try using GPIO for my buttons instead of using the Teensy, shaves a few bucks off the BOM and lowers the current consumption even more.

It’s not quite done yet, I’m pretty close to finishing it.

Anyhoo, here’s some pics.

Wow long time since an update

So many things have happened I just had not had the time to post updates.  Well… look forward to me catching up some updates to things I’ve made.

And a printing we will go…

2013-09-02-03.48.06Still playing catch-up with the updates. But here we go.  First up, got the VIKI LCD working, after scouring the web on how to get this wired up with the azteeg x3 + marlin.  The buttons all seem to do the same thing, but the encoder works, and the display works. It appears the support in marlin is minimal so this isn’t so bad.



2013-09-01-20.19.25Next I got the Helios heated bed mounted.  The parts from panucatt shipped with some good insulation to stick underneath of it.  So did that part.





Then I cut some glass, I found a glass cutter and a sheet of replacement glass for picture frame.  Cut it down to about 8×8.  This was my first time cutting glass so I’ll most likely buy another one and do it again, as I cut it a little too short.  After I was done cutting I sanded the edges with sandpaper just to keep myself from bleeding all over the place.




I know everyone loves binder clips, but this is all I had, so I’m using these clips for now until I get some binder clips.  The binder clips don’t stick out as much so I do want to do that.  Here’s the board mounted.


At this point I mounted all the limit switches and wired them up.  It appears to me most people building these mount the z home switch towards the bed.  I feel like that is an odd thing to do, because you will constantly have to tweak that so people make a mount with a screw so they can finely dial it in.  I remember using the Makerbot Thing-O-Matic and it homed it’s z on the limit then in software knew its height and could be set via software.  So I went that route.  I mounted the Z on the limit, then I set the height via repeteir and it knows where 0 is based off of that.  This way I can tune it into fractions to get the z where I want without physically tweaking something.

2013-09-02-03.47.43From there it’s just twist more wires, and fire it up.  I’m actually amazed at how long the bed takes to heat up.  I have the thermistor snugly against the glass in the center so I’m reading the glass temp.  But it takes quite awhile to warm up.  I think I’m going to throw down some transistor grease between the glass and the bed to see if that improves.  For now we will go with it.





There it is folks.  The first print.   Obviously I didn’t set my extrusion rate properly.  So cancel that.  And lets try again.





And boom.  Now that’s a pretty print.  Yeah I know it’s lopsided.  That was because I actually didn’t tighten the belts before I started.  So I was tightening them while it was printing.  Otherwise it’s a great looking print for #2.

Now that everything is working properly, it’s time to fix the wires, and then I can go back to dialing in that picture perfect print.

Ok, I give up on the QU-BD extruder’s …

2013-08-30 17.54.08So in an effort to actually get my ord bot up and running I’ve been putting in some hours in the garage.  I’ve been just twisting wires and taping them and trying to get things running, then when I know how everything will function I’ll tidy up.

In this effort I was previously attempting to run a dual QU-BD setup.  Someone asked me why I chose to go QU-BD despite all the terrible reviews.  Well I had a chance to think about it.  The QU-BD was built off of a Makerbot reference design, and the version I bought was version 9.  My theory was that a) they’ve probably worked out the bugs by now.  and b) people on the internet like to complain.

Well I was wrong.  After spending countless hours fiddling with it, I just can’t seem to get it to extrude consistently (I’m not even trying to print with it at this point, just extrude right).  I’ve spent so many hours tweaking this thing that I just need to throw it out of the window.  Now I have read tons of fixes for it, people making parts like spring loaded tensioners, etc.  I’m just going to scrap it for parts and get something that works.

2013-08-30 15.29.27So what to get ?  First off, I’ve heard so much good praise about the J-Head hot end.  So I went to order a one from hotends.com but he was out of stock.  So I ordered one off of ebay only to read a review afterwards about sub-par quality of the chinese J-Head clones.  So while I was waiting on my J-Head to ship from china, I checked hotends.com again and they were in stock!  So I ordered one from hotends.com and it actually arrived before the one from china.


2013-08-30 15.41.022013-08-30 15.56.39

For an extruder I bought the EZStruder from seemecnc.com.  Again I’ve heard good things about it.
Looking a the quality of the EZStruder, the molded plastic parts looked like the were going to work perfectly.  Everything was just the right fit and tolerance.s, and it fits perfectly to a J-Head nozzle.  I stole the stepper off of one of my QU-BD extruders instead of buying a new one.  Also I decided to just focus on a single head design and when everything is happy I’ll order another EZStruder and see about getting the chinese J-Head working with it in a dual design.  For now I want to just get the ball rolling.

So now the J-Head shipped with a power resistor to heat it.  I actually have a heater cartridge I got off ebay that I think looks nicer, plus it means I don’t need to find any high temp wire to hook up to it.  So I went with the heater cartridge.


2013-08-30 15.29.53 2013-08-30 15.33.21

The only issue I had with the heater cartridge is it doesn’t seem to fit real snug.  The QU-BD design had a screw tensioner you could put on the cartridge to make it a nice snug fit.  The J-Head site recommends using some compound for like muffler holes.  I decided to improvise by pulling tiny strands of stranded wire through with it to give it a nice snug fit.

2013-08-30 16.06.362013-08-30 16.33.26To mount it, I found a bracket made by bwevans on the ord-bot forums (link here).  I printed it out on an old thing-o-matic at my hackerspace.  The bracket fit nice, it uses holes already there for the belt attachment and I just had to find some screws that fit.


Some other pics are posted below.  So far I can tell you this setup works perfectly.  Everything fits together real nice, the filament is nice and sturdy and it seems to be able to extrude really fast and hasn’t slipped once.