Friday, August 12, 2022

backing up...

Three tests in one today (actually 4 because I increased the rover speed to max for the crawler - .7mps to 1.0 mps). Tried out 3 features in the waypoints menu today - pause, reverse, and return to launch. Reverse was pretty tricky to figure out as setting it up was not intuitive at all. Made a mistake in the planning of one test and the rover continued the rest of a mission in reverse (it goes backward just as accurately as it does going forward). Return to launch from the last waypoint got it back to within 18 inches of the starting point. BTW - at "full speed", the rover still makes it around the block no problem. 90,95,75,0,B

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Moonlight sonata

Once the sun goes down, I'm pretty much in for the night. But I really wanted to try a mission around the block after dark and I figured since the rover was going to do all the work, I should go ahead and just put it outside, set up the waypoints, and switch to "auto mode". I watched the mission from the comfort of my bed until the rover returned 20 minutes later. The Wyze Cam V3 does quite well with light from a nearly full moon. The rover just made it past a couple of plants that reached out to grab it. Probably time for some cable management before wires start getting yanked out of their sockets. 91,98,72,0,B

One of my father's favorite limericks:

There once was a young man from Sparta
Who was quite an elegant farta
He could fart anything
From God Save the King
To Beethoven's Moonlight Sonarta

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Spot on...

I had noticed that the stock GPS that came with the Pixhawk kit I ordered from Ebay seemed to be off quite a bit. This made setting waypoint missions rather tricky as I had to try to compensate for the position inaccuracy depending on which direction the rover was set up to travel. Tried out a RadioLink GPS SE100 and out of the box it worked like a charm. Nice to see the rover know where it actually is. The old gps was accurate to within 2 meters and only picked up 11 satellites. The new gps is supposedly accurate to within .2 meters and picks up 20 satellites. As far as I could tell - it was pretty much spot on. 92,98,71,0,B

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Monday, August 8, 2022

Improved turning authority..

Checking my new turning authority parameters. The rover's tracking during turns is pretty accurate now. (FF gain increased from the default setting of 0.2 to the max of 3.0) Once I get everything dialed in, I will be doing a detailed video of all my settings. Just got a new GPS and a lidar sensor for obstacle avoidance for more testing. 94,97,75,0,B

Sunday, August 7, 2022


1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

no crash this time...

Finally tweaked the rover's controller parameters enough to make it all the way around the block (after about 10 tries). In the basic tuning section of mission planner, I adjusted the FF gain in the steering rate from .2 to .8 to give the rover more turning authority. Still having "drifting issues" that I need to figure out. The trip in real time was 22 minutes and 10 seconds. Total distance was 740.2 meters. 93,98,72,0,B

Friday, August 5, 2022

down and back...

Decided to try a round trip to the road and back. Tweaked the steering parameters and the rover seems to be tracking a little better but still meanders a bit. I'm also noticing that when it does an out and back mission, on the way back it tends to hug to the left of the waypoint path. Not sure what that is all about. There are newer GPS units available now, so I ordered one to try out. If the new one doesn't do much different, I can try both of them. The Pixhawk can use two up to 2 GPS units simultaneously and "blend" the readings for more precise positioning. The rover cut it a little close on the way home but managed to plow over and through a couple of obstacles. 97,101,74,0,B

Thursday, August 4, 2022


This test mission to show failsafes working and telemetry data readout in mission planner. Parameters set up to continue in auto mode when RC and/or GSC (ground station control) signal is lost. I was having latency issues with the Wi-Fi FPV camera (Wyze Cam V3) but solved them by changing the live view from HD to 360P. I use Google Drive to get the portions of video that I need off of the Wyze cameras and into my laptop for editing. Made good progress today dialing in the steering trim. Ran numerous short missions out to and around the end of my driveway and successfully got it back home without once having to walk out to it for a rescue and reset. As you can see from the "Dist Traveled" (lower left), the rover had already gone just over 1900 meters before running this mission. 98,103,76,0,B

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

around the block...

Made it around the block...almost. So close! Still having steering trim issues. Was pretty happy to see it make all the turns it was programed to do - especially through my back driveway entrance. Unfortunately, it was hugging the left side of the route a little too close and a stupid desert plant jumped out in front of the rover near the end of the trip. Total distance travelled was 744 meters at an average rate of .65 meters per second. Total mission time was 19 minutes. Wi-Fi and telemetry signals held firm but lost RC connection for a while around the far turn. All failsafes worked as programmed. 100,108,74,0,B

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

trip to mailbox rd...

Trying another driveway mission. Aside from making it to the road and circling around my entrance posts - another part of this mission was to test some failsafe parameters. Finally figured out how to get the rover to continue the mission in case of loss of RC and/or telemetry signal. This will come in handy for long range missions. I still need to adjust the steering trim as the rover doesn't track straight enough to suit me. 98,103,78,0,B

Monday, August 1, 2022

Circle test...

Testing some features in mission planner: auto wp circle and the "DO_JUMP" function to repeat the waypoint mission. The rover was programmed to run the route 5 times and seemed to stay on course fairly well. Ran into a little snag though on the way home (I'm going to need to add some obstacle avoidance eventually...). Wyze Cam V3 onboard running off a 5V power bank. 94,100,73,0,B