TCJ is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Tyler Johnson
Member since: 2008-07-15 15:13:45
Last Login: 2008-11-04 19:13:02

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I am currently in my last year of Electronic Technology studies. As a final project for the program, I am implementing an embedded control system for an RC aircraft. The goal is to have the aircraft fly itself according to a pre-programmed flight path.


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It's been a while since my last post... so here goes.

Our project goals have been transformed somewhat. We've shifted our initial specialized focus of controlling the flight of an RC aircraft, to a more general focus of a data collector.

New components added to the project include a Trimble GPS unit, an absolute pressure sensor used in an altimeter circuit and possible components used for a tachometer circuit.

Our goal now is to make a GPS enabled data collector, which will log GPS data, along with altimeter readings, accelerometer readings and (potentially) tachometer readings. The collector will have two modes of function:

1) Collect data and stream it LIVE to a portable laptop via a serial connection. 2) Collect data and store locally, to be downloaded to a computer at a later time.

I am currently working on a VB program to both stream and download data from the collector. I am also working on the integration of the GPS unit with the rabbit board.

The project is in full swing now. Accelerometers should soon be in the mail. I have decided on a nice little package from Dimension Engineering. The Buffered ±5g accelerometer seems like it will work fine for our needs. It comes in a handy 14-pin DIP form factor... Plug & Play! The ease of through-hole components rather then surface mount makes my heart sing!

I also have a new member to the team, Dalton. He is also completing his final year of school, and is a welcome addition to the team!

We still need to interface the rabbit board with the servos and figure out how to handle the multiple inputs from the RF receiver. The next couple weeks should be devoted to that task.


16 Jul 2008 (updated 22 Jul 2008 at 15:36 UTC) »

Upon further testing, I've found that the frequency of the signal generated by the RX unit is well within the operating frequency of the rabbit, and should not be a problem to duplicate. This is good news, and will save me from purchasing a new development platform.
Initial testing of servos and RX unit
Initial testing of the servos and RX unit

This weekend should provide time to develop PWM code to test on the rabbit.

15 Jul 2008 (updated 16 Jul 2008 at 04:48 UTC) »

My first post of many detailing the progress of my final project for school. Have not come up with a catchy name for the project, but will work on it!

The embedded micro used for this endeavor will be the Rabbit 2000.

So far, I've connected the RX unit from the plane up to an oscilliscope and captured the control signal. I should be able to reproduce the signal using PWM from the rabbit. My only concern is that the rabbit won't be able to output at the same frequency as the RX unit.


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