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Quad-copters for beginners

I have been brain storming on doing a series on quad-copters (drones)

some of the things i will cover:

what copter to start with:

Syma X1 and the Dromida easy to learn – rugged – cheap


Syma  X5SW FPV with camera and wifi

Intermediate – Advanced

fcc registration

how to fly

getting started in fpv

how to track your crashes



Rover with Robotic Arm – 3d printed – Raspberry Pi – Wiimote controlled

I have been working on this project as a way to get my kids thinking about robotics/ programming and 3D printing. plus who doesn’t want a little rover to drive around and pick stuff up from the couch!

Goals of the project:

Wireless rover that can be controlled remotely and eventually off site via web camera.

The robot:

The rover is a print of donboy’s Autonomous-Webserved-Tanktrack-Robot on

The code:

Coding and set up found in these tutorials on

WiiMote Controlled Servos with RaspberryPi by CyprienA

Raspberry Pi and Wiimote controlled Robot Arm by Boardmaster

and Make OWI Robotic Arm self propelled on tracks controlled wirelessly by the Wii controller and Raspberry Pi by Gerald Strope


Step 1 – Printing
the parts were printed in orange and light blue PLA.
Step 2 – Hardware
the servos were old servos that were gathering dust in my fathers basement.
Step 3 – Mounting/Assembly
i did everything i could to avoid screws, most everything was put together using filament rivets


the brain – deciding how to run and control this rover has taken a decent amount of planning. i started with an arduino nano, but when it came time to control it i struggled to find a ideal/cheap configuration. i came to the realization that a raspberry pi would be a better approach.

Programming – as i am not really a programmer it has been difficult to get things working. i had a basic loop running on the arduino originally but for now once i switched to the pi he has been dead.

I have been working on getting pwm working with the raspberry pi here is my progress as of Febuary 4th 2016

I will continue to update on my progress as things progress.


Live stream of my 3d printer

Check out the live stream of the printing here.
Warning! (this is a live stream of my printer it might not always be printing depending on supplies and my time)


InMoov – January 2016 Update.

Happy new year! I ended the year with the parts for the left arm printed and dry fitted together.

Goals and progress for January:

I have received some old Futaba servos I will be using till I can get some high torque ones to replace, also I got the fishing line for the hands. I ordered cranberry red TPU filament and have decided to reprint the fingers so that they will grab and bend better. initial tests have been successful. I am thinking about printing all of the non structural parts in the TPU.

As of right now I am mounting the servos and reprinting the fingers in TPU, and stringing up the fishing line.

I will continue working on the left side of the robot. Working up from the arm to the bicep, and solder. Maybe February will be the month of the right arm??

Now that I have the left arm mostly complete I have to really dive into my robot lab. I have played around with it but have not been overly successful getting things to work. also i have not yet been successful in installing my robot lab on the raspberry pi, as this is going to be the brain this is an important dilemma. I guess I have to learn something. frown face.

Some other thoughts:

I have learned a little about conductive filaments and got the bug to experiment with integrating it with the inmoov. In the same way Robyn now has touch sensitive arm I could do up some dual extruded conductive arm pieces to create a more integrated touch system. these are just some ideas, first I have to get my printers dual extruder working and order some conductive filament.


InMoov Humanoid Robot – Build Project

Now I finally have that 3d printer, i was bragging to my buddy Jimmy. He seemed jelly and said, “well can you print other things than McDonald toys?”  The birth of the project.

I had to find a better project than printing out desk toys so to the www I went.  Eventually finding myself looking at the open source inmoov robot project. problem solved!

The next decision was what would he look like? Now im not really a modeler so shape wise it would be the same as the regular inmoov but color, I had some options. pink and purple? rainbow? Sparkle glitter? Umm…

So I went with black and translucent Red. I ordered me some PLA and ABS. (Unintentionally, I originally wanted to do only PLA but my lack of attention landed me with a roll of black ABS.)

Here is what i got:
Black ABS HATCHBOX 1.75mm Black ABS 3D Printer Filament – 1kg Spool (2.2 lbs) – Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.05mm

and translucent red pla HATCHBOX 1.75mm Transparent Red PLA 3D Printer Filament – 1kg Spool (2.2 lbs) – Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.05mm

Here are some pics of it dry fitted together.


I tried plastic welding the pieces together and ended up messing up the seam. I tried sanding, reheating and acetone, and more sanding. Its looking better but still lacks the luster I would prefer. I’m going to epoxy coat it when I’m ready to gloss the pieces back up.

sIMG_7879 sIMG_7880

(Ashton) My 7 year old giving him a high five.

As of right now, I am giving my printer a break to print some Christmas gifts.

ordered one Arduino nano to control one hand. I have connected the nano to a breadboard to make connections easier. I even got it working a couple RC servos I have. 

On my purchase list is hk servos. fishing line for the tenants, screws and other hardware.

I was thinking of getting some TPU for more cosmetic pieces to give my robot a softer more approachable exterior.

I’m looking into running my robot lab on a raspberry pi board to control the robot.
I picked up a pi zero to be the brain. (How cool would it be to say the brain is a $5 computer) … REALLY COOL!



Borlee dual head 3d printer – unboxing, assembly and review.

I Just got my borlee dual head 3d printer. This is a walk though of the unboxing, assembly, wiring, setup, and printing.

What it came with:

Package include: 60D 3D Printer+1kg PLA filament+4GB SD Card+a set of Tools+Sample Filament(about 2 meters) to test
It is a full kit and need to assembly by yourself. Don’t worry, we offer a SD card in the package and you can follow the SD card file to install it.
Please Note:The printer default 220V-230V, if you adjust votlage,Please contact us.
How to contact us? Please Choose “Contact Seller–I have a question about using my item or I want to sent the seller a message” and sent us a message.

**Dual 3D DIY kit, support two different color mix printing.
**Our extruder support 6 different material such as: PLA,Luminous PLA,ABS.
**Free 1KG filaments
**Injection model for X axis base and printing set, high accurate print support (0.05mm)
Product Parameter
Dual extruder
Build size:170*180*200mm
Layer thickness:0.05-0.4mm
LED screen:Yes
Printing speed:20-80mm/s
Standard extruder diameter:0.4mm
Max extruder temperature:255
Max hot bed temperature:80
Hot bed material: Aluminum,PCB
XY axis positioning accuracy:0.01mm
Recomment print material :PLA
Printing material diameter:1.75mm
Software language:Multi-language
Date import format:STL, G-Code
Machine size:430*405*385mm
Machine weight:11KG
Packing size:430*470*230mm
Packing weight:12kg
Power supply:110V – 220V; 230W
Operating system:Win7,XP,MAC,Linux
Printing software:Repetier-Host ,Cura

The first step:

Building the vertical supports
Time ~30 minutes


RoboCat 270mm Build Project – FPV racer

I ordered my RoboCat 270mm quad online. This is a walk though of the unboxing, assembly, wiring, setup, and maiden flight.

If you are going to order please support my channel buy ordering though my amazon affiliate links below.  Thanks to everyone who has made orders though my affiliate page.

Also if you are looking for more content please consider supporting my projects on Patreon

(products listed are close equivalents to what came in my kit)

It came with: 
The frame Hobbypower Tarot Robocat TL250H Carbon Glass Fiber Mixed Mini 250 FPV Quadcopter Frame Kit

cc3d flight controller IEIK CC3D Openpilot Flight Controller Staight Pin STM32 32bit for Qav250 X-copter Multirotor Fixed Wing

4- 12a simonk speed controllers Cheerwing® 4x Emax SimonK 12A Brushless ESC Speed Controller For FPV QAV250 200 Multi-rotor

4 – emax mt1806-2280kv motors 2 Pairs EMAX MT1806 KV2280 Brushless Motor for RC 250 Racing Quad (2 CW + 2 CCW, totally 4PCS) w/ Free Gifts

6 – 5 in props Andoer 2 Pairs 5030 5×3 Propeller 5*3 2-Blade Props CW/CCW Black for QAV250 C250 H250 Quadcopter Multi-rotor

Power lead wires
Small power distribution board CC3D Flight Controller Mini Power Distribution Board PCB

Large power distribution board (didn’t use in the build)

I already have:
Turnigy 30-40c 2200mah 3 cell Venom 20C 3S 2200mAh 11.1v LiPO Battery with XT60 plug for DJI Phantom 1 & FC40

Spectrum dx7 Radio
XT-60 connector

Video transmitter


Nylon Spacers/Screws

Still need to order:

Low battery alarm
onboard fpv recorder

I received the package fairly quickly everything seems in order.


I got the frame together with little issues. there was a bad thread with one of the aluminum risers. But I made it work.


API_RoboCat_270_FPV_1975607816 (1)-1200x800

Soldiered up the power distribution board and speed controllers, motors, and ran the configuration wizard in OpenPilot. now we are ready to mount everything.

Installed the electronics mounted the motors and cc3d flight controller. Just about ready to fly.

the maiden flight was a success! Very peppy.

By request here are some close up pictures of where I stuck everything.

Flying outside.

Please leave your questions or comments via the youtube videos.

here are my pid settings currently. I’m using position 1 and three.

I will be doing another video with some mods and eventually some fpv.

Thanks, Matt Davis