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Luckily I haven’t repeated burning the IC again and have a working prototype since the last post! That’s the good news, but there is also some sort of bad news which I’ll go into later.

The origin of the project

The original idea for this project was to have a cheap driver for my girlfriend’s companion cube lights, and then of course, my mind started thinking of some of the possibilities, what if it could run from a single AAA battery and power it all (the micro and neopixels), make it customisable so it can be programmed via USB, and the list went on. I floated some of the ideas with my girlfriend and we realised that we might be able to sell the boards. We could also use it for some of our costumes and a costume tail she’s being trying to sell. On one of my long commutes to work, I finally started into some of the ideas and thus this project actually started. One of the main elements of this project was also something of an unknown for me; this would be my first board where I had to handle the power supply and not just by using LDOs (low drop out regulators) as that wouldn’t work in this case.

Summary of Project Idea

After discovering the Turnigy 9X and the development of 3rd party firmware, I got the idea to start creating a new controller board for the Turnigy 9X to enable the controller to directly connect with a computer for logging and control purposes. It is also the intention of this project to allow a second radio transceiver to be installed inside the transmitter to allow a serial/telemetry link with a controller inside the aircraft for my other projects.

As I mentioned in the blog post (Progress Update - 2011-10-17), I'm going to be modifying the plane slightly to make more room in the plane for the control electronics. Although when doing flight testing, I may just end up strapping a box to the undercarriage of the aircraft until I can design a custom control board small enough to fit inside the plane. Either way, the modifications are going to be going ahead once I'm certain I won't cause the plane to have structural issues. This is because I plan to remove sections of foam to make more room for the electronics but I will be also reinforcing the sections that have had foam cut with fibreglass and epoxy.

Summary of Project Idea

This is a continuation of the MEHA (Micro Electric Helicopter with Autopilot) autopilot that enables the autopilot to be tested on a different type of aircraft. This project later will lead onto a bigger plane being developed for the UAV Outback Challenge which has more complex design and task to complete.