Well Some good news i have been lucky enough to be given a free MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform worth £38 for free no strings attached from Instructables.com in partnership with MediaTek. I know i said no strings but they would like me to post a few instructables showing how good the Dev Board is which is only fair but thats not all for every instructable i post i will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card (about £32) so i am planning on working hard on this one which i hope will lead to a lot more offers to review more great product like this one.
Ok what is it and what can it do? Well from what i have read so far it seams to be aimed at the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables market and they have done a great job packing a ton of feature into the one board. For starters you get wireless technology coming out of the wazzoo with onboard Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wifi, GSM QuadBand and GPRS Class 12 not to mention you also have GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou, SD Card (upto 32Gb), 16Mb of onboard flash (10Mb user accessable) and 4Mb of ram (upto 2Mb for program execution) all tied together with a MT2502A (Aster) ARM7 EJ-S™ 260MHz processor which is not bad plus from what i can tell you also get a rechargeable battery in the box to power this little power house.
As soon as i get the board i will post an unboxing video and a quick run though of all the cool things that this great board comes with but for now you can read more here. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a long line of products company’s will send me to review and road test because i love playing with these great toys and i hope to share my adventures with you all.
Until next post Keep on hacking the world and if you have any ideas on what to build with this great board please let me know in the comments and i will see what i can do.
As soon as i seen a video of people racing a couple of quadcopters using First Person View (FPV) kits which allow the to fly the quad as if they where sat inside it i knew i needed to get me one. But there was no way i could afford £500-£1000 for a ready made one and where is the fun in getting something ready made.
So i first set out to find what the minimum amount of parts i would need to get started, the main bones of a quad are Frame, 4x Brushless Motors, 4x Propellers, 4x Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC) , Flight Controller, Transmitter/Recevier and battery’s. At first i thought this lot would cost a small fortune until i hit ebay and found i could get
F450 Quad-copter Frame Kit ,£7.09
4x A2212 1000Kv Motors + 4x 10×45 Propellers ,£20.29
4x Brushless speed controller ESC 30A 40A Burst ,£14.19
CC3D Openpilot Open Source Flight Controller 32 Bit ,£9.24
Turnigy 6X FHSS 2.4ghz Transmitter and Receiver ,£19.14 from hobby king
11.1V 2200mAh Lipo Battery ,£8.46
Which is very cheap but still a bit much for me and the cheapest transmitter/receiver kit was a bit limited for what i wanted to do. I worked out i could build a frame from bits i have laying about also i could use old laptop battery’s while i getting it working and i am currently working on something that is using a transceiver that has a line of sight range of up to 15KM so why not build my own transmitter/receiver using them with a couple of arduino pro mini`s and a couple of RC joysticks i have laid about from a joblot i bought on ebay a few years ago. So now the cost of getting started is down to £43.72 + a bit more work but once again thats part of the fun
Now i had a few hours spare this weekend and i just wanted to get motors turning so i sat down with some blu-tack and PVC tape and stuck everything to the side of my pc that has been off so i could clean inside it and this is what i ended up with below.
The CC3D Flight Controller is open source and come with some excellent software to help you configure it
The open pilot software is also a full ground control station with many features which i will discuse later
The is my basic Transmitter/Receiver emulator set up wired direct to the flight controller to allow me to test the motors
I used a full size arduino to allow easy connection to the flight controller and choose to use PWM to control the motors
The CC3D controller is an excellent bit of kit, the reason i choose it over the KK and APM was that it is running a 32bit microcontroller and it was a lot cheaper than the APM.
The Blue LED flashes at different speeds and patterns to indicate what it is doing.
For testing i set up 2x 5A buck/boost convertors powered by a 24v 10A PSU to power the motors which also allows me so see what kind of power the quad will require.
This is the cheapest ESC i could find on ebay and i am currently using it with the stock firmware but because almost all the cheap ESC`s use a ATmega328 to control them i should be able to upgrade the firmware to the ubiquitous Simon K firmware.
This is the test of the controls
and a quick test of the Gyro, Accelerometer and Compass