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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How to Arm E-Flight ESC with Arduino and without Guessing

How to Arm E-Flight ESC with Arduino and without Guessing

If you read one of my first posts here at remotebits.com, on arming an ESC, I happened up the solution by accident.  Today I wanted to try to arm an RC airplane ESC and it occurred to me that I didn’t have to guess how to do it. Disclaimer: use this information at your own risk.  I am not responsible for any damage. A more elegant solution was to read the PWM values first while turning on the transceiver and…

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BitZero Upgraded with Servo Shield and GPS

BitZero Upgraded with Servo Shield and GPS

In my last BitZero update, I installed a GPS module and began having a problem where the servos seemed to be glitching every second or so.  This turned out to be a resource contention.   The GPS module communicates to Arduino with interrupts, and this was disrupting the PWM pins from sending proper signal to the servos.  The solution turned out to be using the Adafruit Servo Shield.  The PWM processing is offloaded to the shield and can continue to run…

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Bold Robot Nearly Escapes

Bold Robot Nearly Escapes

Close call today, folks.  Almost lost BitZero.  It’s amazing what a software bug can mean.  Life or death, really.  So I was doing some testing at the local playground.  I had coded in three GPS points, and let the robot go.  Around the park it went.  To all of it’s designated points.  It reached the third and final waypoint, and was supposed to shutdown.  But it suddenly turned eastward, slightly south, and kept on truckin’.  Really going for it too. …

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Announcing: Project BitZero

Announcing: Project BitZero

What is Project BitZero? I’m glad you asked. It’s the beginning of this journey to document all of my side projects.  And the first project is a prototype for small scale autonomous vehicles.  Being the first project, and being a software development blog, counting begins with zero. Each Bit will be a part of this blog, which is of course,  also a play on words for site’s theme: computer programming.  I will also cover many topics on wireless tech.  That’s…

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APRS on Linux

APRS on Linux

So want to track your high-altitude balloon or autonomous rover in the middle of the desert without an Internet connection?  Me too! Here’s my notes how I set it up on Ubuntu 16, using Dire Wolf and YAAC. Dire Wolf is a cleverly named software TNC: Decoded Information from Radio Emissions for Windows Or Linux Fans.   It will decode APRS messages from your radio audio jack connected into a computer’s soundcard.  We then use YAAC, Yet Another APRS Client, to…

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How to Calculate Compass Heading from GPS Points

How to Calculate Compass Heading from GPS Points

So you’re building a robot with an Arduino, GPS, a compass and you want it to know which direction to turn so it goes to a waypoint?  Me too!   Here is my demo sketch on how to calculate the waypoint heading.   It amounts to using the atan2 function to calculate the angle between two points, converting the angle to degrees, then normalizing it to a compass reading. The below values are hardcoded. You can run the sketch yourself to test…

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Rover Build Update: Arduino + GPS + Servo = glitch

Rover Build Update: Arduino + GPS + Servo = glitch

In today’s learn as you go along lesson, hit a problem trying to integrate a GPS module on the Arduino with a servos connected to the board’s PWM pin.  The result was the servos would glitch about every second or so.  Doing some searching and based on some forum posts (here too), it looks like the solution is going to be a Servo Shield.  Offloading the PWM processing to the shield should hopefully alleviate the interrupt contention. Here’s a video…

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