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Pro tips about Crazyflying.

Mac OS X’s Wireless Diagnostics for a Clear WiFi Channel

Mac OS X’s Wireless Diagnostics for a Clear WiFi Channel

I live in a dense apartment complex in the heart of Silicon Valley. Saying the air around here is saturated with WiFi signals is an understatement. I’d guess that nearly every one of the hundreds of apartments in the multiple buildings in my complex has at least one WiFi station and the surrounding business all have them as well. It can make for an especially noisy atmosphere – at least for things using 2.4GHz (and 5GHz) wave lengths!

I found, particularly in the evenings when everyone is home, the Crazyradio often drops its connection to my Crazyflie. This is particularly frustrating when I’m doing some hardcore flying and the Crazyflie simply drops out of the sky. Once it even made my poor one and a half year old daughter cry because she thought it had died (she loves watching Daddy fly it around).

When trying to find the ideal (and most stable) channel for the Crazypair, I stumbled on a cool tool that does the work for me! Mac OS X has a application called “Wireless Diagnostic” tool. What a valuable thing it is!

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Propeller Removal Tool

Propeller Removal Tool

My wife has really long, thick, black hair. Sometimes, when I crash my crazyflie (rarely of course, I am a superb pilot after all) it lands upside down on the floor and inevitably twists her hair up in a motor or two. It’s annoying. At first I wouldn’t really know what had happened. After I started flying again post-crash, performance would be abysmal. The Crazyflie would pull to the left or right or it would just be generally unstable. When I had the python client running, it was quite clear from the flight data that one or more of the motors were underperforming. Once I brought the Crazyflie back to home base to investigate, I found the problem in a tangled spider of dark black hair!

A couple times I easily remedied the situation by simply pulling the hair out. Other times, it was so tangled the only way to dislodge it was by removing the propeller. When I first assembled the Crazyflie, I made sure to very carefully press fit the propellers so as not to damage the motors’ rotors. I really didn’t want to cause problems by pulling props off again in a less than gentle manner. I can be quite ham-handed and finesse is rarely one of my strong suits. Fortunately, I found the perfect propeller removal tool!

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