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Author: johnreed

Programmable Headlights on an RC Car

Programmable Headlights on an RC Car

Experimenting with smart LEDs on an RC Car… These are Adafruit Pixie Chainable Smart LEDs and an Arduino Uno.  On the car I replaced both channel’s servo cables with Y-harnesses.   Plugging one end of each harness back in to the servo/ESC, the other end is used to connect to Arduino PWM input pins.  Reading those values and using that information to  control the LEDs.  Adafruit Pixie LEDs are chained together but individually assignable to any color by the program.  This…

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Autonomous Long Distance Test

Autonomous Long Distance Test

  Took Bitzero out today on the UC Davis campus during the early morning hours for a long distance autonomous test drive.  It was a success.  A total of 1.1 miles driven.     The most valuable observation was around waypoint resolution.  The further away a GPS waypoint was, the more likely it would brush against the sidewalk on the way.  I believe this is happening because the calculated heading angle is much smaller at longer distance, and the less…

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Problem Connecting DJI Drone to Android

Problem Connecting DJI Drone to Android

Connecting my DJI Phantom 3 Standard to my Android(v7) phone has always been painful.  You connect to the drone’s Wi-Fi, and nothing happens.  You load up your DJI app and still nothing happens, you don’t get the usual Camera mode. I’ve finally figured out how to do it reliably, and I’m writing it down because I did not find the answer online.  And right now, you’re standing in a field somewhere, looking for this information. The key is to forget…

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Open Water Test Three – Final Conclusion

Open Water Test Three – Final Conclusion

  Today marks the conclusion of testing the airboat platform.  And the result is:  I will stop prototyping with it. The wind was a little higher today and the boat was unable to steer autonomously at the speed I intend to build a rover.   The rudders attempted to steer the craft, but the wind kept it from making the turn.  It appeared to be incorrectly sailing the wrong GPS point, but really it was in a state of balance with…

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Open Water Test Results – 1/20/18

Open Water Test Results – 1/20/18

Today I took AquaBitsTwo out for its second test in open water.  These are the results, notes, and lessons I learned… Wind.  I was unaffected by this during the first test and didn’t need to deal with it.  Today there was some wind.  Not very much, just a few miles per hour.  But my motor mount and rudder acted like sails and the boat wanted to align with the wind.  Boat bottom is flat.  I guess that’s what fins and…

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Project Update: AquaBitsTwo

Project Update: AquaBitsTwo

After the lessons learned building and launching AquaBitsOne, I’ve begun to scope out ideas for the next version, hereby named AquaBitsTwo.  Rather than custom build something out of foam or wood, I ended up deciding to just try out a body board.  Found this at Leslie’s Pool Supply:  a Big Lizard 24/26 Inch Small.   It was only nine dollars. Size comparison photo shows it’s a near identical replacement. Except that it will lack one critical flaw of the previous…

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Lessons on the First Open Water Test

Lessons on the First Open Water Test

Just returned from Lake Berryessa for my first ever autonomous boat test on open water.  Some notes so I don’t forget the lessons learned. I managed to get three test runs in for trimming and adjusting the turn rates.  Unfortunately,  it turned out the boat leaks and that was all I could do.  I did test it in a tub and in a creek, but I should have let it soak for a long time to determine if any issues…

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How to use a Spektrum DX4C’s Switches in Arduino

How to use a Spektrum DX4C’s Switches in Arduino

These are my notes on how to use a remote control’s switches to control extra features of a robot.  In my case, I have an autonomous rover and would like to build a switch to press on the remote control to stop the rover and take manual control over it. I used a Spektrum DX4C transceiver. First, I configured the Spektrum  DX4C profile model in memory so that Channel 3 will be used as a switch.  To do this: Press the…

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Lessons Learned Making My First Boat

Lessons Learned Making My First Boat

Just got the boat on the water for the first time and I wanted to jot down my thoughts while they’re still fresh.  This was the first time I’ve ever made a boat, or an RC model of any kind.   When I realized I could make them from Dollar Store foam and hot glue I was very impressed and happy to do so since I could get on the water for free, essentially.  As the build progressed though, I started…

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New Project Announcement: AquaBitsOne

New Project Announcement: AquaBitsOne

We here at remotebits.com(aka, me), are excited to announce our next phase in rover robotics: AquaBitsOne.  This will be a prototype vessel that shifts us from terrestrial exploration to aquatic.   Over the years I have begun to fine tune my own personal development methodology, which involves setting up one big annual goal divided up in to steps that I map out as monthly goals.   You could say it is Agile Methodology applied on a personal level.  One Epic of…

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