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Month: October 2014

NeoPixel Ring Mod – Part 3

NeoPixel Ring Mod – Part 3

In my last installment I explained how I got the firmware working for a 12x LED NeoPixel Ring. In the first installment, I explained my experiments and how I determined what NeoPixel Ring to use. In this entry, I’ll explain how I mounted the ring to the Crazyflie. I thought the mount would be hard but, using simple double-stick mounting tape (like the kind used to mount the battery), it was extremely easy. After many flights (and a few crashes on hardwood floors), the mount is still holding very tightly. This is how I did it.

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NeoPixel Ring Mod – Part 2

NeoPixel Ring Mod – Part 2

In my previous entry on the NeoPixel ring mod, I detailed my experimentation on finding a good mix between LED “bling” and Crazyflie performance. I’d arrived at Adafruit’s 12x LED NeoPixel Ring as the sweet spot. Before making the mount permanent with double-stick tape and solder, I wanted to make sure I could actually get the ring to light up! I figured that wouldn’t be too hard, since Bitcraze had already added the code to run it in a neopixel_dev branch in their crazyflie-firmware Github repository. The main thing I’d need to attend to was re-purposing the code for 12x LEDs (it was originally written for 16x LEDs) and then building and flashing custom firmware using the new code. Since I’d already set up a mini development environment for the firmware on my Mac, building and flashing should be easy. Retooling the NeoPixel firmware code hopefully would be as well, and then I could do a proper smoke test to see it light up (and hopefully not smoke)!

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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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