Tag: MultiWii

A bunch of new Quadcopters from Hobbyking

A bunch of new Quadcopters from Hobbyking

February 21, 2014 17:10 | By | Add a Comment

HK has updated their growing catalogue with several interesting new multirotor offerings:

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The Micro-X is a tiny MultiWii Quadcopter with a lightweight frame that has the flight controller integrated into it. You may be wondering why this is new given that they already have several versions of this available – well  this model comes with two batteries, and the DSM2-Receiver is integrated on the PCB. It’s about USD $50.- which is a pretty good price.

47075(4)The FPV250 frame is a one-piece frame for mini-sized FPV quadcopters. You can fit any 50×50 standard flight controller like the Crius AIO or the KK 2.0/2.1 boards, and it has tabs and mounts for small fpv cameras and video transmitters. Being a one-piece frame means that while it’s very rigid and certainly repairable with epoxy, severe crashes mean you’ll have to buy a whole new frame. However, it’s $10 a piece so we can’t complain!

47013-1(2)The SK450 is a ready-to-fly quadcopter featuring a KK 2.0 flight controller, 20A ESCs, four 2213 motors and a full set of 8×4.5 as well as a set of 10×4.5 props. This is an interesting package because not only is the KK flight controller absolutely excellent (even more so with RC911’s amazing “++” firmware), but you get props for both heavier payload (battery, camera) as well as for aerobatic flying. Also included is a Turnigy 5x radio system, so this is really a complete RTF package. The KK 2.0 looks a bit strange, given that they’ve phased out this model in favor of the KK 2.1 recently, but from our tests you should not let that deter you as the 2.0 board flies just as well.
Sadly though the Turnigy 5x, although functional, is pretty much a throwaway radio and brings the package price to USD $190.0,-
If you already have a radio and/or you want a better radio, you should consider building our $120 Quadcopter instead. You can get a really nice computer radio for the $70 you save. That said, the idea is a good one and maybe HK will release a version without TX, or with a Turnigy 9x lateron.

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AfroFlight Naze32 Flight Controller Review

AfroFlight Naze32 Flight Controller Review

December 19, 2013 15:59 | By | 5 Comments

8/16bit flight controllers are outmoded, at least that’s what the folks at AbuseMark are telling us. But are 32 bits really making a difference? Let’s find out in our Naze32 review.

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New Version of MultiWii 3D based on MW2.3 released

New Version of MultiWii 3D based on MW2.3 released

November 27, 2013 14:50 | By | Add a Comment

Do you know MultiWii? If you are into multicopters and do more than just buy DJI, you are probably aware of that project. MultiWii 3D however is an altogether different beast.

Their aim? Nothing other than inverted multirotor flight by reversing the ESC direction in-flight. All you need for joining this still very experimental playfield is a quadcopter with symmetric-pitch propellers, ESCs with SimonK’s reversable ESC firmware, and the latest MultiWii3D code on your flight controller.

Wild video of the result in action after the break.

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Two cheap turnkey Multicopters with camera-gimbal

Two cheap turnkey Multicopters with camera-gimbal

October 13, 2013 11:17 | By | 1 Comment

Goodluckbuy has a lot of cool stuff, and a lot of crappy stuff. This is definitely in the cool category:

An ARTF package for a F550 based Hexacopter, or a F450 based Quadcopter, both including aluminium brushless gimbal for a GoPro, complete with motors, ESCs and flight controller. The real kicker is the price: Just $210 for the quadcopter, or $270 for the hexacopter. GPS is a $24 addon. As far as one can see there’s only two downsides here: The frame comes with the MultiWii-based flight controller… because it’s integrated. So if you break the frame’s PCB you will have to get a new flight controller. The second downside is that it’s unclear whether the more capable MegaPirate or other firmwares will run on this flight controller. Our guess is, it won’t.

But other than that… frankly this is an amazing deal even if you just ditch the integrated flight controller, buy some F550/F450 baseplates without the integrated flight controller and stick a Crius AIO onto it. This is as cheap as it gets. Compare this with the less-capable DJI Phantom where the base model costs more than twice as much and doesn’t even include a gimbal, much less a high quality one as this.  In fact, depending on where you buy, the DJI gimbal costs more than this entire set.

 

MultiWii 2.2 vs. MegaPirate 2.9 Beta

MultiWii 2.2 vs. MegaPirate 2.9 Beta

June 22, 2013 11:47 | By | 6 Comments

When you buy a new open source flight controller with decent power you usually get the choice between “MWC” and “MP” for your software. MWC in this case stands for MultiWii (why they put the extra C for Controller at the end is a mystery), and MP stands for MegaPirate. Both are flight controller software capable of controlling your multicopter, though they are radically different under the hood. But which one should you flash onto your controller? Find out more after the break.

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Micro Mini Quadcopter rocks MultiWii, MPU6050 for 55 bucks

Micro Mini Quadcopter rocks MultiWii, MPU6050 for 55 bucks

April 3, 2013 20:04 | By | Add a Comment

This is really rather cool: The “Micro Mini Quadcopter” out now for $55 on GLB rocks a puny Atmega328p, but also the excellent MPU6050 gyro/accelerometer. The board comes pre-programmed with an unknown version of multiwii (probably 2.1-ish) but there’s FTDI connectors for easy flashing. A 1S 350mAh LiPo supplies power, the even connector works fine for the default Walkera plug. You bring your own receiver, and probably solder on the individual channels too.

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GPS, although not supported officially, is probably possible. However, with a total weight of 17 grams sans battery you’ll have to find a damn small GPS module, fiddle with the board layout/processor pins, and use the latest SVN head of MultiWii 2.2 to cram all that into the little Atmega328p. What you definitely can do is slap a Bluetooth module on this, and heck, even enable Bluetooth remote control.

The little quadcopter that could was already on sale some time ago, however this time it comes with a better sensor, nice machined landing skids and a new price.

So yeah, this is a toy. You can do worse than spending $55 on this upgradeable little quadcopter though.

Crius All In One Pro GPS Howto – Updated for MW2.2

Crius All In One Pro GPS Howto – Updated for MW2.2

March 17, 2013 0:38 | By | 8 Comments

The Crius AIO promises loads of functionality with its many ports. But how do you hook up that GPS module anyway? We’ll show you how in this updated MultiWii 2.2 tutorial. Things are substantially easier with the new version, read on after the break.

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MultiWii 2.2 Released

MultiWii 2.2 Released

March 16, 2013 14:52 | By | Add a Comment

MultiWii 2.2 is now available for download from the project’s Google Code site. This is a major update that boasts greatly improved GPS support (incl. native ublox GPS support, no more manually setting baud rate and GPS update speed!) , new flight modes, improved stability, as well as a redesigned ground station software. Want to do waypoint-navigation via google maps on your mobile phone? This is the way to get there without breaking the bank.

Full changelog after the break.

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F550 Hexa Frame with integrated flight controller

F550 Hexa Frame with integrated flight controller

December 19, 2012 13:17 | By | 19 Comments

This is a sturdy nylon hexacopter frame with an integrated flight controller. And when we say integrated, we mean integrated.

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The specs so far:

  • HJ F550 Quadcopter Frame
  • MWC 2012 flight control board with 2.1 firmware
  • 6 x 20A ESC
  • 6 x XXD 2212 Motor
  • 6 pairs x 9047 Propellers CW&CCW
  • GPS Module

So for $230 you get an okay ARTF hexacopter kit – but you better never ever crash it. If you so much as crack the upper PCB during a crash or a rough landing, you have to replace the whole board with the flight controller. Not exactly a smart design.

Crius MultiWii Lite Review

Crius MultiWii Lite Review

June 15, 2012 0:16 | By | 8 Comments

MultiWii is perhaps one of the most well known Open Source multicopter projects. All its hardware and software is open source. Originally based on sensors taken from gutted Nintendo Wii controllers, this project has come a long way – and these days you don’t need to cannibalize a WiiMote or Nunchuk controller anymore. You get a board like the Crius in this review, and you’re set. But how well does it work and how difficult is it to set up? That’s what we’re looking into in this review.

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IFly4 Quadcopter and Rabbit Flight Controller ARF Set Review

IFly4 Quadcopter and Rabbit Flight Controller ARF Set Review

May 9, 2012 7:32 | By | 16 Comments

A complete, receiver-ready quadcopter for 240 bucks? That’s what GoodLuckBuy is offering, but can this ready-to-fly package really satisfy, or is it a useless china gadget? Find out in our review!

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2012: The year of the multicopter controller flood

2012: The year of the multicopter controller flood

January 11, 2012 14:19 | By | 14 Comments

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all the multirotor controller boards and units out there. While the level of sophistication is increasing with most of these offerings, some are just open-source projects rebranded and sold under a different name. Here are some of the more interesting offerings at the moment which are either extremely sophisticated, or come at a price that makes it easy to get into this hobby.

 

 

DJI Wookong

http://www.dji-innovations.com/minisite/index_en.html

Source: $1099 at Goodluckbuy

The DJI Wookong is probably the most expensive, and the most complete package out there. This is not only a mere multicopter controller with three gyros. It also incorporates S-Bus compatibility, GPS for position-hold, return home and other nifty functions. At a price of just over $1000 it does not come cheap. However, by adding a data downlink transmitter (=another 300-400 bucks) and using the supplied PC based flight control software you essentially get a turnkey drone system. A quad or tricopter can be built or bought for under $100 these days, and a sub-2000 dollar pricetag for a drone system that is easy to set up and lets you place waypoints on a screen is pretty damn good. Yes there’s the open source Paparazzi project, but that’s far from easy to get to work.

 

 

DJI NAZA

http://www.dji-hobby.com/naza/index_en.html

Source: $238 at Goodluckbuy

The DJI Naza is the low-cost alternative for those of us who don’t need PC control, GPS and all that. At a price of over $200 it is more expensive than the open source counterparts, but it does offer S-Bus compatibility as well as a 2-axis gimbal output for stabilizing camera mounts, and comes with documentation, software and upgrade capabilities.

 

 

Bumblebee

Source: $186 at Goodluckbuy

The Bumblebee controller looks very much like the NAZA, and for a good reason: It’s essentially a stripped down OEM version without S-Bus support and gimbal output. It also only supports quadcopters.

 

 

XAircraft FC1212-S

http://www.xaircraft.com

Source: $150 at Goodluckbuy

The FC1212-S from XAircraft is part of a modular system similar to DJI. In addition to support for an external GPS module and other features, the FC1212 features a 3-axis camera gimbal stabilization output AND a camera shutter output. It should be noted that a high-quality 3-axis gimbal mount will cost you another $300 dollars, but for that you get the best possible camera stabilization.

 

 

Rabbit Flight Controller

Source: $90 at Goodluckbuy

The back says “Love it” and it sounds rather unconvincing. The board features 3-axis accelerometers in addition to the 3-axis gyros, and supports 4, 6 and 8 rotor craft. It supposedly also supports return-home via a GPS addon, but there’s only a flimsy pdf manual, and the included software is not fully translated to english.

The Rabbit software, note the weird button labels...

We have tested the Rabbit flight controller, check our Review for more information!

 

 

FF Free Flight Controller

Source: $50 at Goodluckbuy

The cheapest offering is also one of the best: 3 axis gyro + 3 axis accelerometer, 2 axis camera stabilization, solid PC software, firmware upgrades, and manuals in english and french language. Only drawback: It only supports quadcopters.

On the other hand, you can get the IFLY-4 folding quadcopter kit including this controller for under $200 right here, including the quadcopter frame, 4x 1200kv motors, 4x 12A ESCs, the FF controller and a no-soldering ESC connector board. Even the props are already included.

 

In conclusion, all of these controllers are suitable for FPV flight, and most boards offer stabilization output for creating smooth and stabilized action footage with your DSLR or GoPro HD. Note that it’s not advisable to mount the FPV camera itself onto the gimbal, unless you’re used to flying with a stabilized camera – it’s very difficult to judge your relative motion if you don’t “see” what angle the craft is at.

While a self-made quadcopter was a novelty in 2009, it’s safe to say that the sky will be buzzing with the little buggers in 2012.