<![CDATA[Unmanned Tech Drone, Ardupilot, UAV supplies - Blog]]>Tue, 23 Feb 2016 14:46:06 +0000EditMySite<![CDATA[Firmware for the RTF Pixel Programmable Motor RGB LED Ring (WS2812)]]>Tue, 23 Feb 2016 14:32:58 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/firmware-for-the-rtf-pixel-programmable-motor-rgb-led-ring-ws2812
This is the RTF Pixel Programmable LED Ring that has an Arduino-compatible Atmel chip included which lets you run your own custom FastLED scripts for cool LED effects via the Arduino IDE. Below is an example Arduino firmware file that will change the colours of the LEDs based on the PWM inputs to your motor. 

​Note: You will need a FTDI basic board to program this. 
File Size: 5 kb
File Type: ino
Download File

<![CDATA[SPracing F3 Mini and other FPV racing gear]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 16:34:47 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/spracing-f3-mini-and-other-fpv-racing-gear
Anyone else getting excited for the longer days? I've been looking forward to spring/summer for a good 3 months now and it's slowly approaching... so why not prepare yourself for those extra hours of sunlight with some of our new FPV related items? We have many new products for you to investigate including the SPRacing F3 Mini flight controller, the new Emax Nighthawk kits and an impressive MR series of racing motors from DYS. Interested? Well please read on...

SP Racing F3 Mini

Buy SPracing F3 Mini
The latest flight controller from the creator of Cleanflight, the SP racing F3 mini features new MPU9050 sensors, and also includes a race timing transponder system built in.  If you want the best flight controller for Cleanflight, the SP racing F3 mini it the one for you.

Transport your Racing Quadcopter in Style

Buy DroneGuard CS300
We have some premium backpacks from LowePro, called the Droneguard CS300, which is designed to carry your 250 size FPV quadcopter (and related equipment).  This is no ordinary backpack that someone has simply redesigned. Oh no, LowePro designed this premium backpack from scratch to be the most practical carry case available.

MR series race motors - MR2205, MR2304, MR2204

The new MR racer edition motors from DYS have arrived. These premium motors use only the highest quality magnets, with hand-wound single strand coils bearings to give you high efficiency and performance.  We currently sell the MR2205-2300Kv, MR2304-2150Kv, and the MR2204-2300Kv motors

Emax NightHawk 170 and 200 FPV Kits

The popular Nighthawk FPV quadcopter series from Emax has two new additions of the smaller 170 and 200 size quadcopter kits.  We sell FPV racing ready kits as they include all you need from the FPV camera to the transmitter and LEDs. Find out more about the Nighthawk 170, and Nighthawk 200 kits.

Improve your Reception with Spironet Antennas

Antennas are among the most important aspect in your FPV system as they dictate the range and quality of the signal you receive. We have therefore included the new spironet patch antennas in two flavours; the 8dBi mini patch antennas which are great to mount onto your FPV goggles, and the larger 13dBi antennas which provide more range but are a bit more bulky.

New Lower Price for Nighthawk 250 kits - now £99

Buy Emax Nighthawk 250 II
We are happy to say that the price for the super popular nighthawk 250 II kits has been lowered to £99! The price is now no longer a barrier to you building your own FPV racing quadcopter!

Speedy F250 APM powered racing drone kit

Buy Speedy F250 Kit
The APM2.6 powered FPV racing drone kit is a totally ready to fly kit that includes everything you need to get into FPV flying. It includes the impressive Flysight Spexman 1 diversity FPV goggles and a neat carry backpack that fits everything.  The APM powered F250 quadcopter is aimed more at beginners with its altitude hold and self level features, but once you are confident at flying you can easily upgrade to something more advanced such as the SPracing F3 mini.
<![CDATA[New Grove Products such as the Smart Plant Care Kit etc.]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:43:13 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/new-grove-products-such-as-the-smart-plant-care-kit-etc
Take a look at our Grove range
We have been working hard on our Grove range over the last few months to provide a wide choice of products and so why not take a look and decide what your next project will be? Read on for some information...
Buy the Grove Smart Plant Care Kit
This is the Grove Smart Plant Care Kit for Arduino that helps monitor and care for plant growth. This is the perfect kit for those electronic beginners who are getting started with Arduino and fancy a project that has a real aim; to nurture and grow a plant! This is a one-stop solution to building your own plant care system! 

Or what about the Grove - Gas Sensor (O2)? As you may have guessed, this Grove sensor detects the oxygen concentration in the air. This device outputs a voltage value that directly corresponds to the oxygen concentration.

This is the Grove - Mini Track Ball. If you need a mini controller for your robot, then this is the perfect product for you. As you can see on the picture, this device has a small track ball installed on which you can control 5 axes; up, down, left, right and pressing down. As you move the ball, the values will change according to the direction and speed you move the ball. Neat! 

And this is not by far the end of our Grove range. Take a look at our Grove category for loads more products and be inspired for your next Grove project! 
<![CDATA[New flight controllers, Navio2, Naze 32 rev6 and DoDo F3]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 16:10:49 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/new-flight-controllers-navio2-naze-32-rev6-and-dodo-f3Navio2 - an autopilot for your raspberry pi
We love the pixhawk autopilot (and its derivatives), so we got excited when the Navio 2 auotpilot arrived.  The Navio 2 is a Raspberry Pi hat that turns your raspberry Pi into a Pixhawk-based autopilot but with serious processing power.  It runs the ardupilot, and arducopter code so you know its packed with great features and robust code.  But since you have all that extra processing power you can mod your drone to include things such as streaming HD FPV video (over wifi or 4G), or install OpenCV to run some object detection tasks. 

Naze 32 Rev6 Flight Controllers

Our naze 32 flight controllers are now back in stock, and we are happy to say they are the latest revision 6 versions of the boards.  
Whats new in Rev6?
  • USB port has been moved to the right of the board so you dont need to mount the board sideways anymore!
  • IMU sensors upgraded to MPU 6500 (Rev 5 uses older MPU 6050)
  • Receiver connectors are no longer solder pads but common pin hole headers style. This means that you no longer need to directly solder your receiver wires to the flight controller. Also older revisions had issues of pads delaminating when board got too hot.
  • Fully pin compatible with Rev 5 boards for accesories such as OSD.
  • Integrated SBUS inverter, now you can connect your FRsky SBUS receivers directly with no extra inverter!
  • Dedicated Spectrum Satellite port.
  • Additional Flash memory so you can use blackbox recording directly. With the Acro version you get 2Mb (16Mbit) and with naze 32 full you get 128Mbit of storage.
If you want to learn more about the rev 6 board, check out our naze 32 rev 6 getting started guide, and also our naze32 versions guide.

Seriously DoDo F3

If you are looking for a miniquad flight controller with the latest and greatest STM F3 processors then the seriously dodo F3 is the ideal choice.  We prefer this board to the seriously pro f3 because the dodo has pin hole headers along with the extra hardware UART port make life much easier when connecting all your peripherals to your flight controller.

Vortex 250 Pro spare parts

Although unfortunate, crashes do happen, especially when pushing your vortex 250 pro racing quad hard to get the tightest lines possible.  So if you do end up having a serious crash we now stock the full selection of vortex 250 pro spare parts so you can easily repair your quadcopter and get it back in the air.
<![CDATA[PixHack - is it just another pixhawk alternative?]]>Mon, 05 Oct 2015 09:35:16 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/pixhack-is-it-just-another-pixhawk-alternative
You might of noticed that we recently added a new autopilot to our shop, called the PixHack, and no its not a typo.  

We obviously think its a good autopilot but not everyone may agree one might think its just another alternative, or clone of the pixhawk.  Since this is an autopilot board we decided to stock I will obviously have a slight bias to why it is so great, but read more and then decide for yourself, as you cant always judge a book by its cover.

Some important design improvements

Thanks to the open source nature of the ardupilot hardware, anyone can get the files and clone, or modify the designs to come up with something innovative.  Lets start by pointing out that this is not a direct clone of the pixhawk.  During design, the goal was to produce a new autopilot that took all the great things from pixhawk, and fixed all the bad things.  As a result the two most notable features of the PixHack are the floating vibration isolated IMU mount, and the EMF shielding.
Floating IMU
The IMU sensors are located on a separate PCB, which is mounted to the PixHack via a solf silicone rubber mount.  This means that the sensors are more immune to vibrations, resulting in more accurate sensor readings to control your drone more effectively
EMF Shield
A copper EMF shield covers the IMU sensors to block unwanted electromagnetic interference from messing with the sensors.  This is particularly useful for the magnetic compass sensor which is prone to interference on the regular Pixhawk board.
New Connectors
If you own a Pixhawk autopilot, you will undoubly agree that although the DF13 connectors do make for a secure method of attaching cables, they are a real pain to pull out.  We have been told by countless customers who have ended up breaking a cable, or connector when trying to remove a DF13 plug.  Fortunately the PixHack uses some new connectors which are super secure, but have a nice clipping mechanism that allow you to easily remote them if needed.

Value for your money

This is not always something you want to read when looking for a mission critical device, but the truth is that the overall cost of the PixHack kit makes it a much more affordable autopilot kit.  Notable included modules include the Ublox Neo M8N GPS module which is capable of receiving both GPS, and GLONASS satellites for notable improvements in accuracy and reliability.  However a bunch of other modules are included such as telemetry modules, minimOSD, PPM encoder to allow you to get the most out of your drone autopiot.

Support for Unmanned Tech

Buy PixHack Autopilot Kit
Something that is not always considered, but unless you are an expert any autopilot can be confusing to use and setup.  The PixHack autopilot kits come with a full 90 day manufacturer warranty, so if something is not working as it should we will replace the autopilot for you assuming its not been damaged due to misuse (something that can easily be found out from the data logs).  However at Unmanned Tech we strive to help all out customers get the most out of what the buy from us, so if you ever have any issue, just send us an email and we will be happy to help you solve your problem.

If you have any questions or comments just add them below:
<![CDATA[FY G4 - QD the gopro gimbal just got an upgrade]]>Mon, 28 Sep 2015 10:50:35 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/fy-g4-qd-the-gopro-gimbal-just-got-an-upgrade
The Fy G4 gimbal has offered an affordable way to produce rock solid stabilised footage from your gopro camera.  However one of the annoyances was the fact that its was tricky to remove/attach the gopro camera to the gimbal with the thumb screws.

The new QD (quick dismantling) version aims so solve the problem.  The new quick release gopro mounting system allows you to easily and very quickly detach and attach the gopro camera to the gimbal, giving you greater flexibility when trying to capture your video.
Other notable feature improvements include improve camera compatibility, allowing you to use any gopro hero 4, 3, and 3+ including the GoPro LCB BacPac.  However you can also use other cameras such as the Xiaomi Mi Cam.  Read more for full details.
<![CDATA[How to make a FPV mini quadcopter]]>Mon, 28 Sep 2015 10:38:51 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/how-to-make-a-fpv-mini-quadcopter
If you are new to building your own drone, using a started guide is a great way to learn the basics of making a drone.  We have written an illustrated guide that will walk your through the entire process from the frame assembly, to wiring the FPV equipment.   The guide is based on the silver blade FPV miniquad, but the principles discussed in the build guide can be transferred to just about any other mini FPV quadcopter.
Read the full guide here
<![CDATA[Headplay HD FPV headset - no more blue screen]]>Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:48:02 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/headplay-hd-fpv-headset-no-more-blue-screenA number of you have asked us about if our Headplay goggles have the blue screen problem.  The good news is that if you have purchased a headplay headset from us since August 2015, then you already have the new firmware that was introduced to solve this issue.  A demonstration on how the firmware works is shown in the video below.  
Buy headplay HD with latest no blue screen firmware
If you purchased one of the early versions of the Headplay HD goggles from us before, or during July 2015, chances are you have the old firmware.  Fortunately it is possible to upgrade the firmware to solve this issue.  You can find a great guide on how to upgrade headplay HD firmware over on dronetrest, but if you have any issues just contact us and we will be happy to help.
<![CDATA[DJI Go - New autopilot features explained for Phantom 3 and Inspire 1]]>Wed, 09 Sep 2015 14:45:02 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/dji-go-new-autopilot-features-explained-for-phantom-3-and-inspire-1
A few days ago, DJI released a new firmware version for both the Phantom 3 series and Inspire 1 series of drones.  The firmware update turns them into actual autonomous drones enabling features such as waypoint flight, follow me or point of interest.  Read more to find out full details of the flight modes including videos.

If you have flown other arducopter powered drones such as the IRIS or SOLO, you will already be familiar with these flight modes but its still great to see these features finally being included with the phantom quadcopters, which can now officially be called drones.

Follow Me

The follow me mode will use the GPS position from your smartphone/tablet to keep your DJI drone following at a certain distance.  A demonstration video of the follow me flight mode is shown below.


The waypoint ability means that the phantom and inspire are now officially drones since they can fly places on their own.  Waypoints can be set on your mobile device and your drone will fly to them.  This is great for aerial filming as you can set a path for your drone to fly along, and you can focus on controlling the camera.

Course Lock and Home Lock

The course lock mode and home lock modes are more of a manual flight mode.  In these modes your drone will keep track of its heading.  So if you press forwards on the stick it will always go forwards relative to the heading you were in when you entered course lock mode.  Its explained abit better in the video below.

Point of Intrest

In this mode you can set an object, building or any location as the point of interest and your dji drone will orbit around that point at a set radius and altitude keeping it in view of the camera, allowing you to create some dramatic video effects.  Something that used to require some practice to get right when flying manually

Intelligent flight modes require firmware 1.4+

If you already have a DJI Phantom 3, or Inpsire 1 then go ahead and download the latest firmware update to enable these features.  If you have been considering which drone to get for aerial photography, these new features make the DJI phantom or inspire one the ideal options.
Buy a Phantom 3
<![CDATA[How to invert the FY G3 gimbal for use on an FPV plane]]>Wed, 09 Sep 2015 14:16:53 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/how-to-invert-the-fy-g3-gimbal-to-use-on-an-fpv-plane
If you want to record stabilized video with your gopro camera onboard your FPV plane, using a 3 axis brushless gimbal will get the job done.  However in order to keep it safe during landings and takeoff you dont want to hang it underneath your aircraft so you will need to invert the gimbal to mount it on the top of your plane.  For details on how to do that head over to our guide over on dronetrest.   
Read More
<![CDATA[Introducing the DJI MATRICE 100, the first consumer drone that can see and avoid obstacles]]>Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:23:52 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/introducing-the-dji-matrice-100-the-first-consumer-drone-that-can-see-and-avoid-obstacles
Read more at dronetrest.com
So it seems that DJI are expanding their customer base to now include more developers with the release of the new MATRICE 100 quadcopter which will be interesting to see how this is used. Currently the most popular drone development platform is the ardupilot/dronecode project supporting both fixed wing and multirotor platforms with the current flagship autopilot being the Pixhawk (and its variants). Once current major advantage of the pixhawk system is that both the hardware and software are fully open source but you can still use the dronekit SDK if you dont want to mess arround with the low level things, wheras DJI only provide an SDK. The SDK route is a great idea since it usualy stops you from coding something that will mess up the core flight control software. Either way I like to direction DJI are going with this and I am sure we will see some cool applications with the first set of sensors including automated obstacle sense and avoid. DJI's first guidance system is a combination of ultrasonic sensors and stereo cameras that allow the drone to detect objects up to 65 feet (20 meters) away and keep your aircraft at a preconfigured distance. There is also speculation that 3DR are working on Lidar integration on their Solo drone so heopfuly 3DR will also open that up to developers!
Read more at dronetrest.com
<![CDATA[SimonK and Quattro ESC's back in stock!]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:08:36 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/simonk-and-quattro-escs-back-in-stockOur SimonK ESC's have been out of stock for about 1 month now due to some supply issues with our manufacturing partner, but fortunately they have now all been resolved and are back in stock.
We also have more stock of our 20A, and 30A quattro ESC which is great if you are looking to build a quadcopter and dont want to mess around with soldering a PDB together.  Other advantages of a 4in1 esc is that it includes only 1 BEC (voltage regulator to ouput 5V to power your flight controller or RC gear), the 4in1 ESC also inlcude a large single heatsync to keep the ESC's running cooler than individual ones especialy when its buried deep inside your quadcopter.  The other nifty feature of the 4in1 quattro ESC is they are compatible with the USBlink device to change settings easily via USB on your PC.
Lastly I can also suggest you add our new 8 way ESC hub to make calibrating your ESC's much easier
<![CDATA[BG250 almost ready to fly miniquad]]>Thu, 28 May 2015 12:55:17 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/bg250-almost-ready-to-fly-miniquad
If you are looking for a new 250 size mini quadcopter for FPV racing then the BG250 is a great option as it arrives fully assembled, an integrated CC3D, ESC's and LED lights.
  • Frame size: 225mm*204mm*65mmH
  • Frame Weight: 130g
  • Total Weight: 291g
  • Motor: BE1806 2300kv
  • ESC: mini 20A with BLHeli firmware
  • Flight Controller: CC3D
  • Prop: 5030 Prop
Attaching and disconnecting your battery is easy, simple and safe thanks to the integrated XT60 battery connector.  No more pulling wires out by accident when unplugging your battery!
The bottom plate has all the circuitry built-in, so there are no messy wires between the CC3D flight controller and your ESCs. The BG250 frame also includes a built-in voltage-regulated power supply. This outputs both a 5V and 12V output, allowing you to power your FPV gear.
The BG250 quadcopter frame includes both red and greed LEDs to help you see your quadcopter when flying in low light, and also to easily distinguish the orientation.
<![CDATA[What happens when you have a motor failure on your drone?]]>Wed, 13 May 2015 18:00:28 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/what-happens-when-you-have-a-motor-failure-on-your-drone
I just posted a quick article over on dronrtrest about the best multirotor configurations to have if you ever encounter a motor failure with your drone.
<![CDATA[New Hexacopter Frames!]]>Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:18:58 GMThttp://www.unmannedtech.co.uk/blog/new-hexacopter-frames
There are two exciting new hexacopter frames to have a look at this week that offer a great alternative to the classic quadcopter model; the HMF S680 and the HMF S550. But why would you want to replace your quad frame in the first place? There are in fact several advantages of a hexacopter frame over the quad, a few of which I will outline now. 

Why a Hexacopter?

The most obvious difference between the hexacopter model and the quad is the number of motors. The intuitive advantage of more motors on your copter is that you can achieve more thrust, and therefore more power. This increase in power means that you can carry more weight than a frame just using four motors, which is always a bonus. 
The increase number of motors also offers the hexacopter frame more stability than the quad. If, god forbid, you lose power in one or two motors on a quadcopter, you're doomed to crash. With the hexacopter though, you are perfectly able to continue flying with one, or even two, motors down. The video below illustrated this point. You can see this extra stability as an in-built guarantee on your purchase. 
In conclusion, the hexacopter has all the good things that quadcopters have, plus more power and lifting capacity; pretty ideal really.  

The New Frames

Hopefully you are now convinced that a hexacopter is the way to go, and so let me introduce you to the new frames that we now have in stock. 
The HMF S680 Hexacopter Frame
This is a nice carbon fibre and light weight frame with an integrated power distribution board, making connecting your battery and ESCs a breeze. The recommended flight weight is 3kg, making this hexacopter suitable for GoPro gimbals and with the feature of foldable arms, storing and transporting this copter is no trouble at all.
The HMF S550 Hexacopter Frame
This is the slightly cheaper option, made from a tough plastic but still light weight and this also has the in-built distribution board. If you wish to upgrade from the DJI F550, this is the one for you.