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May 24, 2011 / ygramulqc

Very simple and basic use of an Arduino on a remote plane.

To start developing something with an arduino you may as yourself “what can I build, which is easy at start and a lot of fun, too”.
If you like (remote) planes, maybe the follwing is something for you. I changed the electronic controlling unit from a plane
which has no rudder to controll it but two diffenrent prop speeds on each side. Famous product groups of these kind of planes
are X-Twin or AirAce. The nice thing is, you only need a small arduino, a small receiver and 8 other electronic parts. Two mos-fet, two dioden, some capacitor and a power regulation like the 7805. That’s all, simple to build and also cheap stuff.

arduino for a remote plane

On the arduino site you need two of the PWM output channels to control the speed of the motors via the mos-fet.

analogWrite(motorPin, motorValue);

Two digital input pins on the arduino are needet to read the two controlling channels of the receiver. To read a channel you basically measure the time between a low/high change on the pin and get the value of your rc. You can try something like pulseIn() or
for better results use an existing code like the one who is used in the MultiWiiCopter.

The only thing left is to mix the rc values to your motors, but this is easy. Something like

motor_left = power + (direction - direction_center)
motor_right = power - (direction - direction_center)

will do the work, but keep in mind that your PWM output only can handle values between 0 to 255.

Now you can control the direction and the altitude of your plane. So you can also extend this vehicle with some other sensors to
stabilize it, or give your “robot” more autonomously behaviour. 🙂

Or you can just enjoy your plane with a light fpv cam+video tx combination, like me on this video.

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