Gyro demo works!

Hi Everyone,

I got the mpu6050’s inbuilt digital motion processor (dmp) to work, outputing stable yaw/pitch/roll (ypr) values. In the end it was easy.  Jeff Rowberg’s github code has been updated so you don’t have to play with the pin to start the dmp. I just followed the instructions here:

Download Jeff’s libraries (including examples), uncomment one #define, upload it to Arduino Uno, wire it up as shown in the Instructable (or photos below), then start the serial monitor at 115200. Type any key, hit return, and off you go.

If you have trouble, here is a working sketchbook folder:

It appears very stable. See the video:


Have fun!


Hacking Drone Controller: Another Problem, SERIOUSLY???

Hi Everyone, With the drone controller that has been working well for a while, there has been a problem, again!!! I was fiddling with it the other day and I resoldered some the cables that had come loose and it was working perfectly straight after when I tested it (flying the drone). I came back after that and plugged the power source for it in (carefully making sure the polarity was correct) and it didn’t power on. As soon as this problem occurred the troubleshooting side of me kicked. First I did a continuity test on each of the components on the transmitter PCB. Each of results I compared to the other controller of the H8 Mini that I lost in a gust of wind since that is perfect apart from the missing buzzer. After that, I then did a resistance test on all of the components and compared them results as well. Everything was identical. Going of this I am guessing that it is either a wiring problem or a problem with the chip on the controller. If my dodgy way of troubleshooting is correct then we should be able to take off the chip of the lost H8 and replace it with our current one. So with the hassle that it is not all hope is lost (mabye).

Even if the problem is different we have that other board for parts it should be alright!

I hope we can solve it though!!!



Hi Everyone, Sorry to bring bad news on such a successful streak (great drone hacking success).  There is a way to hook up this thing called “vbat” on my drone and all I needed to do it was some wires, which of course as a electronics nerd, I have. “vbat” is, in other words, “voltage monitoring” for your flight controller. The joints on my quad’s PBD are very large (very big quantities of solder). The point is that I had to reflow some of those big joints (the battery terminals) to add the wires. I was using a 25-watt soldering iron, since that was all I had at the time (my new 40-watt one hasn’t turned up). Becuase the iron was quite underpowered, to reflow it I had it hold the iron to it for quite a while to even get it even close to melted. Anyway, once the “vbat” wires were added I was all happy about the new wires added and I plugged it into the computer and none of the lights turned on and there was no response from the board. I am guessing this big problem was caused by me overheating the board and now the chip is fried. This is not the final diagnosis, this is just an educated guess. There may even be a way to fix it, I do not know. Maybe Makerbob could take the flight controller to hackerspace, That would be good.

So that is how it happened, the ruin of my drone. If worse comes to worse I’ll have to buy a new FC.




Hacking Drone Controller: Further Progress!

Hi Everyone

I have done a few further modifications to the H8 Mini Drone Transmitter. On Saturday I mentioned that there was a cable that de-attached from it (that was the ground wire we added to the joystick pot), it turns out that if you are powering the transmitter through its battery cables we didn’t need it in the first place. The further progress that has been made is that I cut the trace for each of the joystick potentiometer’s signal pins, exposed the copper and attached cables to all four of the copper pads. Here is what it looks like:

I then covered the joints with hot glue to give them some more strength. But a ended up adding another some more wires (I’ll explain In a little bit) so I had to pull some off:

As mentioned before I added some other wires. These were some female ended wires were to the joystick pot pins this is so when we are finished flying autonomously we can connect the added wire so we can fly normally again.

I have also have been working on some code:

const int throttle = A0;
const int yaw = A1;
const int pitch = A2;
const int roll = A3;
const int dDelay = 100;
const int threshold = 99;
int lowerMinus = 255;
int low = 0;
int mid = 115/*find the hovering point and replace with that value*/;
int high = 225;
int pitchMid = (133/*find middle point of pitch */);
int ctr = 0;

void setup() {
pinMode(throttle, OUTPUT); //Set pin A0, A1, A2, A3 to an OUTPUT.
pinMode(yaw, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pitch, OUTPUT);
pinMode(roll, OUTPUT);
analogWrite(throttle, low); //Arm the Quad
analogWrite(throttle, high);
analogWrite(throttle, low);

void loop() {
analogWrite(throttle, high); //
digitalWrite(throttle, low);

void forward(int forwardTime) {
analogWrite(throttle, mid);
analogWrite(pitch, high);
analogWrite(pitch, low);
analogWrite(pitch, pitchMid);
analogWrite(throttle, lower/*ADD A LOWERING function*/);

void lower(int lowerRate) {
if (ctr > lowerRate) {
ctr = 0;

So that is what I have done so far

I can’t wait until we get it flying around properly








Export Sketchup for CNC mill

Hi everyone,

In order to cut out an airframe using the CamBam sofware and the CNC mill we need a design file in the dxf format. Here are some instructions on how to install the plugins you  need to export from Sketchup to DXF:

Have fun!


Folder to place the plugins:

“C:\Users\bob\AppData\Roaming\SketchUp\SketchUp 2017\SketchUp\Plugins”

Changed editor roles

Hi everyone,

I have changed the contributor roles slightly. The posts still need to be approved, but you should be able to upload photos, embed videos, and edit your published posts.

Let me know if there are any problems.


Embedding video

Hi Everyone,

Based on EJBuilder’s suggestion I investigated how to embed Vimeo videos in the WordPress post. It is very simple. Just copy and paste the URL. Don’t put the URL into a hyperlink. If you just paste the plain URL, then WordPress will recognize it and embed the video.  More instructions can be found here, including a table of websites and the types of content automatically recognized.

Have fun!



Hacking Drone Controller: Success!

Hi Everyone,

EJBuilder was successful at hacking the drone controller.  I am sure he will tell us more about it. Here are some pictures and videos.

Well done!

Here is the drone after JDBuilder turned down the voltage:

Hacking drone controller

Here is the drone controller from an echines H8 min drone. I measured the resistance across one of the joysticks: 500 ohms total; 50 ohms low, 450 ohms high.

Are there any resistors between the controller and the chip? Have a look?

That predicts the voltages we need to use to control the drone, if was assume 5 volts.