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Member Since 25 Feb 2012
Offline Last Active Apr 18 2014 12:13 AM

#34752 NiVek GO! QC1

Posted by ByteMaster on 06 September 2012 - 06:45 PM

Here's another update on putting my quad together. In this video, I'm showing the initial test fixture and the methodology I'm using to achieve stable flight. A special thanks to Fabien who "schooled" me on cranking up my SPI clock rate from 166KHz to 667KHz which allowed me to achieve a control loop rate of 5ms or 200 times a second. -twb

#34211 NiVek GO! QC1

Posted by ByteMaster on 25 August 2012 - 07:22 PM

Here's another quick and dirty video of NiVek GO! QC1. In this one, I'm spinning up the four motors on the quad copter although I'm a little timid to try to fly it in the cramped quarters :o . As noted in the video, I'm seeing a lot of noise in the accelerometer when I power up the motors, but the gyro is clean. Using a complementary filter I'm getting decent attitude readings (pitch/roll), but it's still bouncing around a couple of degrees, if anyone has any suggestions on how to isolate and cleanup the problem, I'd love to hear them :) Next up is hook in the pitch/roll or error information into the PID controller and see how it flys. Stay tuned! -twb

#33542 NiVek GO! QC1

Posted by ByteMaster on 13 August 2012 - 07:34 PM

As many of you know- in my spare time (which seems to become a valuable commodity) I've been working on a Netduino GO! based Quad Copter.

I've done a full writeup on my blog The Wolf Bytes and my plan is to do a full series of all the "stuff" H/W and S/W that goes into this as blog posts. When I have some faily major progress I'll update this topic and if anyone has any questions on how this stuff works, please ask them here or send me an email at My plan is eventually to release all the H/W and S/W as open source, but I'm also considering some alternatives to sell kits, at least for the electronics.

Thanks to Steve Bulgin (beter known as Gutworks) I was able to figure out how to post a quick and dirty video (read as: one take and no editing) to the forum.

In addition, I've attached a picture of the piggy-back board for the GO! main board that contains a few STM8S207's that power the sensors and the flight controls.



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#33339 Family Photo

Posted by ByteMaster on 09 August 2012 - 08:24 PM

That's just awesome! Are you considering making a kit of it? I would love to get my hands on such a thing!

Anything is possible :rolleyes:

Once I get it 100% I'll figured out I'll evaluate some options and gauge interest. Unfortunately the parts alone are pretty expensive so it’s not going to be all that cheap.

Of course if you want to build your own from scratch, I'll make sure there's a nice write-up, and will make the firmware available. Hand soldering the NiVek control board might be a bit of a challenge though :o

To wet your appetite, here's a post I did on my progress to-date:
NiVek GO! QC1


#33187 Family Photo

Posted by ByteMaster on 06 August 2012 - 11:23 PM

I guess I can add my little family's pictures to this thread. I'm building a Netduino powered Quad Copter called NiVek GO! QC1. More details on this to come.

As you can see from Gen1.jpg, my family started out with humble beginnings on some home made PC boards, although this was kind of fun, creating 0.25mm pads for the gyro's was a bit of challenge.

Next came Gen2.jpg, these where some boards I ordered from OSH Park. They have an awesome service where you can upload your .BRD files from eagle and it shows you a preview of what they will look like. They are very inexpensive as well. Pictured in Gen2.jpg is my sensor module w/ Gyro/Accelerometer/Magnometer and Pressure sensors, it also has a 32K EEPROM. Also a WiFi board, a GPIO board that takes PWM as input and provides PWM output to control ESCs for the motors and finally a WiFi and GPS board.

Finally in Gen3.jpg, you can see my combinded board with all the above modules with the shape as the GO! main board. This one sits on top and uses a ribon cable to attach the modules to the GO! board. Next one will use female modular connectors on the bottom of the board to "snap" the modules onto the main board. Sort like the shields for the original Netduino.

I'm actually getting faily close to wrapping up V1 of this, once I do so I'll publish all the HW/SW. Until then if anyone is interested in getting involved and looking at some of my code, PM me and we'll work something out. I might even have a few spare blank PCB's laying around I can send out for you to populate.


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  • Attached File  gen1.jpg   123.4KB   78 downloads
  • Attached File  gen2.jpg   139.1KB   114 downloads
  • Attached File  gen3.jpg   134.29KB   89 downloads

#33186 SetSocketPowerState

Posted by ByteMaster on 06 August 2012 - 10:57 PM

Hi Chris -

What scenario(s) would this feature be useful to you? We're working on an update to the mainboard and GoBus any/all feedback and requests are very timely.

Any updates on this? I see the API in place for SetSocketPower and would really love to take advantage of this for failure recovery. Any work around you can think of with the current version? Is the source available for GoBus.dll? Could the update be made there to allow this to work?


#33038 Netduino Go with Xbee module not supported yet?

Posted by ByteMaster on 03 August 2012 - 12:09 AM

Hello Hoquet -

I am trying to communicate with the serial port of my netduino Go shield base. However I've read that the serial ports are not released or working with the Netduino Go. Aside from programming directly the shield base, is there any other work around that I am missing?

Funny you should mention Xbee, I just ordered a few boards to act as an XBee host w/ an STM8S207 processor. These don't use the serial port but are a native GO! module.

I'm not really in a position ot manufacture these, but if you want to have a little fun and assemble your own module, I can get you the .BRD file and you can order some of your own boards. You can get three of them for about $15 and not including the XBee module it's about $10 for parts per board. Nothing too small on this one and is pretty easy to hand solder.


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#31613 GPS & WiFi Module Progress

Posted by ByteMaster on 05 July 2012 - 12:37 PM

Hi Steve -

I have been anxiously waiting on some progress updates and thought I'd check in to see how things were going. You have some amazing projects "on the Go!" and I'm excited to see what other things you have cooking up.

Unfortunately this projects priority got moved down a bit. With the upcoming launch of Windows 8, a very intersting and what I believe once in a life time opportunity came a long that has been sucking up all my free time :unsure:.

Saying that however, I did spend a little time on this yesterday and I'm really not that far away. the NiVek GO! copter consists of four boards:
- Sensor Board: ITG3200 3 Axis Gyro, LSM303 Accelerometer & Magnometer, BMP085 Pressure Gauge and a 32K Data logger. I've combined the Gyro and Accelerometer into something that gives very stable Pitch/Yaw and sends that back to the GO! main board. I need write the code to read the pressure (to determine altitude) as well as figure what I'm going to want to log to EEPROM.

- GPIO Board: A standard 5 channel remote control will be used to fly the copter (originally looked at just using WiFi but there was too much latency). This board currenly monitors the pulse width coming in from the RC receiver, it also has four outputs that send PWM signals to the ESC (electronic speed controls) that control the brushless motors. Final task here is to build the PID controller that combines the output from the sensor board and RC inputs to control the motors to produce stable flight.

-GPS Board: Just used to track location, this is pretty much done, my board design/ground plane was incorrect for the PCB antenna, but I got that sorted out.

-WIFI Board: Used to send telemetry from the GO! copter to a Windows Phone/Win8 (see pix of initial WP7 app) flight controller app. Also will be used to do in-flight calibration of the PID algorithm and sensor calibration. This is working but I'd like to get a little better through-put on it.

I've also ordered and received a bunch of manufactured boards from OSH Park to replace my home made ones that will be a little more reliable. Also note in the pictures, the board between the GO! mainboard and my WiFi board, it lets me connect my logic analyzer and ST-Link to help with development.

Once I get all this figured out I'll probably just create one larger board that has all the modules in place.

Anyway - thanks for asking :rolleyes: about the status, I was seriously hoping to be flying by now, but oh-well. I have a code camp talk scheduled in September to do a demo so I have a hard deadline.

Finally once I get a little further on in the process I'll make all my "stuff" available to include the source code and Eagle files.


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#30172 SetSocketPowerState

Posted by ByteMaster on 04 June 2012 - 12:26 PM

Hello Chris -

What scenario(s) would this feature be useful to you? We're working on an update to the mainboard and GoBus any/all feedback and requests are very timely.

I can think of two scenarios where this might be useful:

1) From a module builders perspective, if my module starts behaving badly it would be nice to toggle power to do a full reset. In some case it would be nice to toggle power to the module to reset peripheral chips in addition to just resetting the uC.
2) From a app perspective, in some cases it might be nice to shut down unused modules to save power


#29614 GPS & WiFi Module Progress

Posted by ByteMaster on 24 May 2012 - 12:28 AM

I'm working on a set of modules that can be used with the GO! platform to build a quad copter controlled by a Windows Phone and/or Windows 8 tablet. I originally had hoped to have this done in time to bring to TechEd in Orlando next month but at the rate of my progress and the amout of time I've had for this, flying by then might seem doubtful. If you're heading to TechEd stop by the Windows Phone booth, I'll bring what I have and probably be able to demo at least a few of its features.

This afternoon, I got to a point where the firmware in a couple of modules was stable enough to do a little testing. So far I've been focusing on a module that can host either an XBee/XBee Pro or Roving Networks RN-VX WiFi module as well as a module based upon the Wi2Wi GPS chip.

So I was all excited to test this out in the driveway. Well the software/hardware worked great. The GPS sent an IRQ to the main board and then the main board pulled the latest GPS data from the module. Then it displayed it on the GO! Touch Screen and sent it over to the WiFi module to send back to my desktop computer. I've attached some pictures.

Only one slight problem to dampen success...the GPS chip couldn't find any satellites. I think my board design isn't correct to host the chip antenna. Hope to report some success this weekend on a new board.

The other modules I have in various states of completion are a sensor board with a gyro, accelerometer, magnetometer and pressure gauge. I also have a fairly simple real time clock and a GPIO board with PWM, ADC and other fun stuff like that.

Thought I'd just share some of the success and fun I'm having with the GO! platform. The more I play with it, the more I really like the direction it's heading!


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#28969 STM8S and SPI to Mini - Help Request

Posted by ByteMaster on 13 May 2012 - 08:53 PM

ByteMaster--now you have me curious, wondering what you're building :) :)

Glad this is up and running for you now. If you need anything else, just holler...there's lots of experience and expertise in the community.


Hi Chris - yeah, I wish I would have posted this question a while ago :unsure: I've learned a lot from just going through the forums and reviewing some of the beginnings of what's in the Wiki. As I get more into this I'll start adding some stuff that I've learned.

Well my master plan [insert evil laugh emoticon] is to build a Quad Copter off of the Netduino GO! platform. I started off with a standard netduino and it seemed like I'd be pushing it too hard for the update rates I was looking for. So next I started building some AVR based modules to hang off of the first generation Netduino. Needless to say once you guys introduced the GO! platform my plans did a 180 and started to fall in love with the STM chips and for a lack of a better term an "object-oriented" way of building embedded apps.

Anyway here's my current effort that my wife is getting jealous of all the attention I'm giving it as I'm trying to stumble through putting it together:
Posted Image

Top right is a a GPS module based upon the Wi2Wi chip, this one is getting close, I just need to finish up the SPI dance between the STM & GO! This also as a 256K serial EEPROM for logging location data.

Then a module for either an XBee or a RN-XV Wifi device using an STM8S100F3 to do the buffering and communications to GO! via SPI. Eventually my plan is to just get the SMD chip version of the RN-VX this.

Third down is an RTC module based on the PCF8523 looks sort of dead without any LEDs but the I2C stuff is working so I just need to tie it back to GO!

Finally the two boards not populated, the one on the top is a simple GPIO board with ADC, PWM, etc.. and the one on the bottom will be my IMU board with a Gyro, Compass/Accelerometer and pressure sensors as well as an EEPROM.

Then of course we have the beautiful LCD Touch Module from NWazet and a few button modules to help with the testing.

I'm on vacation this week so I hope to flush out the hardware and then get some real boards on order from Seeed. Once I do so and if anyone is interested, I'd love to get some help with coding some of this stuff up! I'm not really in a position to do manufacturing of this stuff but I'm certainly going to release these as Open H/W S/W as well as a few blog posts on what I've learned.

Then sometime this summer when the firmware is done, the plan is to build Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps to act as the flight controller. Back in my comfort zone B)

One thing I did find incredibly helpful on when testing this stuff was getting a few of these extenders from GHI, they work really good to tie into the signals to and from the GO! board.
Posted Image


Anyway, once I get a little further I'll look at adding some stuff on the Wiki.


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