Compiling ArduCopter/ArduPilot with the Arduino IDE


Having trouble getting the ArduPilot/ArduCopter source code (it would be rather churlish to call it a sketch) to compile? Here is an account of the issues that I encountered when I gave it a go… Continue reading Compiling ArduCopter/ArduPilot with the Arduino IDE

Random drone history and legal stuff


I was having a last night google session and found these odd snippets. I had been wondering why drones, or rather quadcopters, in particular, are so popular now, when did they start to become so and who made the first one. After all, I only remember seeing toy and semi professional helicopters up until about two or three years ago. I think the first quadcopter that I noticed was in BKK in 2014, in Pantip Plaza, Pratunam market.

The issue that I had was that most articles deal with the drones, as used by the military. However, I was more interested in the history of ‘copters. Continue reading Random drone history and legal stuff

LightWaveRF? More like DarkWaveWTF…


LightWaveRF home automation… A load of cheap rubbish. It was recommended to me by a chap from SouthDownsSolar. I popped into Maplins (first big mistake) to have a look. The Saturday boy knew less about it than me. I ended up educating him, and I had only just read the back of the box..!!!! The units/components seemed reasonably priced though. Having left there, I got in touch with my guru. Continue reading LightWaveRF? More like DarkWaveWTF…

Networks, Relays and remote switching

Make your own cheap charlie Z-Wave type control, minus the RF stuff (so really nothing to do with Z-Wave, more of a remote controlled Home Automation relay), using an Arduino in conjunction with an Ethernet Shield and a Relay shield, with this Instructables guide, Ethernet Switching – with Arduino.



Looking into Z-Wave. I had been labouring under the mis-understanding that Z-Wave was based on Zigbee (XBee), but it is nothing of the sort. From Wikipedia:

Z-Wave technology minimizes power consumption so that it is suitable for battery-operated devices. Z-Wave is designed to provide, reliable, low-latency transmission of small data packets at data rates up to 100kbit/s,[1] unlike Wi-Fi and other IEEE 802.11-based wireless LAN systems that are designed primarily for high data rates. Z-Wave operates in the sub-gigahertz frequency range, around 900 MHz. This band competes with some cordless telephones and other consumer electronics devices, but avoids interference with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other systems that operate on the crowded 2.4 GHz band. Z-Wave is designed to be easily embedded in consumer electronics products, including battery operated devices such as remote controls, smoke alarms and security sensors. Z-Wave was developed by a Danish startup called Zen-Sys that was acquired by Sigma Designs in 2008.

I still was not convinced though. However, a couple of weeks later, whilst is was having a solar PV survey done, the chap recommended LightWaveRF for home automation. A quick google showed that that particular brand’s kit was available in Maplin. I left it at that. Then a few days later, by chance, I passed a Maplin and so popped inside…

After discounting LightWaveRF as a serious option, see LightWaveRF? More like DarkWaveWTF, I once again turned my attention back to Z-Wave.

Continue reading Z-Cars