Looking for Testers: New App MAVPilot

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We will be releasing in a few weeks the first version of MAVPilot. This is a “Ground Control Station for your Pocket”. Its target audience is iPhone users (iPad version will come later). Pilots often fly unaccompanied and this can make it difficult to use a laptop at the same time. This is more so when a pilot is using a semi-auto mode like Alt-Hold. Using your iPhone instead is a great way to keep focused on the MAV and still have all the useful information in reach. With inbuilt text-to-speech support your iPhone will let you know instantly the status and if anything starts to go wrong.

MAVPilot will incorporate the  FIND MY DRONE feature.

Features Targeted for V1.0 of MAVPilot

  • Telemetry Screen showing flight information e.g
    • Speed
    • Altitude
    • Yaw
    • Rate of Climb
    • Battery Voltage
    • Battery Remaining %
    • GPS accuracy
    • Throttle %
  • Mode Control e.g.
    • Auto
    • Stabilize
    • Alt Hold
    • Land
    • RTL
    • Loiter
  • Map View with Mission outline
  • Mission Waypoint editor
    • includes waypoint parameter editing
  • Configuration
    • Calibration for level
  • Commonly used parameter editing
    • Tuning of common parameters

The app is also compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy link to a long range radio like 3DR 915/433MHz Telemetry Radio. Details to follow soon.

Compatibility: ArduPilot (other MAVLink compatible products will be added at a later date)

To sign-up has a Alpha/Beta tester please use this link

Top Tip: Fly-By-Wire B Mode Altitude Behaviour


A couple months ago I was testing ArduPlane and some of the different flight modes. I was not getting on very well in FBW-B* mode. If you look at the image above you will see the purple track that represent FBW-B (Red is FBW-A and Yellow Manual).

While I was flying I was losing altitude and I couldn’t understand why. You can see just before the path goes red to FBW-A, I’d lost a lot of altitude (50m down to 25m) and was heading for some pesky trees. I switched to FBW-A and pulled up out of this ‘death dive’. 😮

The problem was that FBWB_ELEV_REV was set to default of 0. This means ‘up elevator’ (pulling back in the elev stick) means the plane will go to a lower altitude. Setting this to 1, means that pulling back on the stick will put the plane at a higher elevation. This just makes much more sense to me when you are using pull-back to go up in manual that FBW-B does the same.

see http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/FlightModesFlyByWire (And I will update the doc 😉 )

*I stopped using the airspeed sensor as I thought it was faulty, now looks it was just my interpretation of the the controls

Top Tip: How to Make Throttle Control Less Reactive

If you need to dial down the reactiveness of your quadcopter throttle when you are flying in stabilize mode you can add some Expo to it. Expo makes throttle movements less aggressive at 50% throttle, but as you move further away from centre the rate increases still leaving you with full range of power.

Here’s a short video I shot on how program the Expo feature for your throttle channel on an Open9x programmed Turnigy 9x

Hello World!

Welcome to the Communis Tech blog. Communis Tech Inc is a new company created to host the development of iOS Apps and to contract my services in mobile software development.

I will post here about current iOS projects and things that pique my interest… like my current obsession with Personal Drones especially the ArduPilot platform and hardware supplied by 3D Robotics. Check me out online at DIYdrones.com helping people make their robots fly.

Please comment or click the About page for contact information.