A whole lot of stuff arrived!

Tricopter-build post #2. Since today everything has arrived except the KK, some booms/arms and working motor mounts… I figured I will start to post a few bits of where I’m at currently in the build. I will try to post often and provide a few pictures along the way. So first post will be about an upcoming sub-project: “power distribution” – I thought I would start with this now since I have all the pieces… But I haven’t got the length of the arms (since I haven’t bought the wooden arms yet) and distances thereof are vague to say the least… I will not be able to finish the hxt-to-6mm-bullet-adapter until I have some idea on how the wiring should be. I’m also not sure about if I need to extend any leads out to the motors along the arms. It’s at least easiest if I just build the frame first. I can however prepare the motors with new bearings and 4mm-bullet-connectors. So that will be the first project I will post about. Later on. Here is a layout of the parts though!


And as a bonus picture check out the size of the propellers! They’re HUUUUUUUUGE 😉 !


Tricopter Bat Bone AX-2810Q

flitetest.com - Rotorbones Bat BoneThe shopping list

I figured I would present the list of items I have bought first, and then let you read my thoughts on why i chose what to perhaps answer a few questions about that.
So without further ado here it is: http://goo.gl/F7D1sQ

Why Tricopter and Batbone

I’m a noob in the hobby of RC flying. I began to fly V911 helicopters a couple of month ago and pretty soon after I bought a small Nine-eagle Xtra-300 airplane then V929/949 miniquad and also a Blade Nano CPx. I then got enough interested to start putting even some more money into it and am now going to build a multicopter. I was (and am currently) heavily influenced by David Windestål and his Tricopters, made known to me by the guys at Flitetest.com. I decided that I wanted the “swoosh” and “the glide” more than the “robotic movements” of a X-quad (badly flown?). I also wanted a challanging project to be proud of (if I get it flying) and something different than what my friends had built. I set my mind on using Davids and Flitetests foldable tricopter base. But later turned over to their Batbone base instead. The plans to use wooden booms bought locally. And custom landing gears using plastic or wood as “stilt” or “legs”. And zip-ties as much as possible for mounting stuff including motors. They all made me come to the conclusion that some component must be of really good looking design to counterbalance this otherwise “budget looking” vessel. And hey, the only reason that’s really needed: It’s a bat.

I will buy and cut my own booms since I want them longer than 25cm for more stability. I’m not sure how long yet, but I’m thinking somewhere between 35cm and 45cm (having the tailboom abit longer ofcourse). The 25cm booms can be bought from Flitetest shop but if you want another size or come to the conclusion as I did that I probably will break them a few times and want to have replacements within easy reach.

Flitetest Tricopter Tilt-mechanizm using the BMS-385 digital servo.
I found the servo-parts on a local hobby-fair and bough them for about 70kr so now I need to use them. The alternative would have been to construct something similar myself or to buy the 13-370 tilt mount from Flitetest i guess, but I don’t want those possibly fragile and “harder to get” landinggears and motormounts. The servo is on backorder on HK worldwide =(. But can be ordered locally in sweden from rcflight.com (they had 18 pcs in stock) for about ca 280kr + posting. So I paid a hard 331kr for mine =( ouch… There are alternatives but I didn’t find any post about an as good as this one at the same price. Although that was comparing the HK price of $20 though. But I had already locked in on this when I found out about the stock issues.

AX-2810Q motors and propellers
I will start with SF 11×4.7 propellers. Beause someone on some random forumthread made it sound like a sensible size for this motor. SF=Slow fly. 11×4.7 (inch) or 279x119mm, could also be named 1147 and R1147 (for RH/CCW). Tricopters can allegedly fly with all 3 standard rotating propellers but at a small tilted angle (unleveled). If the left and back propellers turn standard and the rightmost propeller turn RH the copter should stay leveled instead. Which is preferred if you use it for shooting videos.

Green 11×4.7 SF propellers
Standard rotation in stock at HK “EU warehouse” and right hand (RH/CCW) rotation on HK “International warehouse”. I really do hope both orders come through without issues.
And yeah, I’ll buy a few blacks too as soon as I have tested that these work.

Tip: To find the propellers, search for 11×4.7 on HK.

FC1147 propellers
I also found some interesting ones at Goodluckbuy i might buy later on: http://goo.gl/jpY8Gm.

Some excerpts from my research about propellers and these motors
“Perfect on a Tri. Heaps of power with 4S and 10×4.7, or better still 11×4.7. “

“I have bought several pieces of this motor. I have found some quality issues. 4 of 10 motors was missing the main shaft screw and two motors came with loose bottom bearing. The motor itself is high quality. Just look for missing screws or loose bearing.”

“If you are planning to use over 1.3kg multi rotor and 10″ props, use 4s battery, or change for 12″ propeller. With a 1.6kg quad/3s/10×4.5 props it hovers in 60-65pcnt. In a hex a/2kg/10×4.5/3s it hovers with a little bit over 55pcnt, but its power hungry (10min with 5000mhA 3s) and is a little bit sluggish. So, in my opinion, 4s is mandatory with 10″ propeller and multirotor over 1.3kg, or just try to use 12” props. All tests I did motors came down pretty cool. Highly recommended.”

Bad bearings on AX-2810Q
“Just ordered genuine EZO bearings as the original bearings are poor. For less than £3 per motor its a worthwhile upgrade” 

Q: “What are the sizes of the bearings for these engines, anyboby knows ?”
A: “11mm x 4mm x 4mm – Size code is 694zz. EZO bearings are the best and less than £1.50 each”
– http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1733937&page=3

So i ordered bearings from a local webshop that delivers high quality ones. Not cheap. At least that’s a good sign that could translate into quality. I hade to “bite the bullet”: 6 * 45kr + 49kr administrative charge (whatever that’s for?). Shipping was free though! Or was it?

I considered buying them at Ebay, but how can I then be sure about quality? I want my engines at their best. Maybe next time I will go for sunnysky or another quality brand of quad motors. After all. I did opt-out of buying DT750 for the reason not wanting to rework the motors. I do not want to exchange bearings more than once. And most bearings on Ebay either look like poor-quality or show too few guarantees.

More research on the motor
Here’s some info that might come in handy when I do a proper eCalc multicopter calculation at http://ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc.htm:
“…. engine resistance, its, as stated somewhere else in this thread, 0.108 Ohm. Power limit is more like 370 W at 14,8V not 400W…”

Motor mounts and landing gear
The AX-2810Q has 16/19mm M3 screws for motor mounts. I really would like a motormount based on zip-ties holding the motors. But theese motors aren’t as easy to mount using zip-ties as the DT750:s with their “foot”. These motors are meant to be fastened using screws from beneath. I will have to get creative and create some adapter or similar. For now I bought some sort of brackets that I hope to be able to utilize for this task. I’m not really sure how for now. For landing gears I will cut some plastic squares or such. Plain and simple. If and when I do Go-Pro I will need to upgrade them, but for now I will use my 808#16 that don’t need so much clearence.

Specs say the motor will maxout at 35A so I will go 40A on the ESC:s. Sizing the powersystem for 40A gives plenty of headroom and also gives me the possibility to upgrade motors later on if I want to. I’m going to use a Turnigy nano-tech 4S 25-50C 4000mah Lipo. My basic calculations are that at maximum 35A, multiplied with 3 motors gives 105Amps of power needed. At 25C the Lipo can give 4.0 * 25 = 100A. So with this battery I should be OK unless I actually manage to draw 35A or more per engine constantly. But I figure that if that happens something else is wrong. About the connectors. I found the breakout-cable I wanted to use, a 5.5mm bullet-connector pair to 4x4mm bullet-connectors. There was no version for tricopters but that’s an easy fix. However I then learned that the nano-tech Turnigys use HXT connectors. And there was no such adapter. I will consequently build my own HXT to 5.5mm 10AWG adapter cable. It feels like the right thing todo, following the HXT standards and with also having good possibilities of changing connectors later on without changing my breakout wiring. I also bought extension bullet-connected wires for the possibly extra lengthy arms while also minimizing the need to solder extended wires.

Too be continued…

Buying locks for my new bike

I am currently looking for bicycle locks to my new bike

Since I have nice looking snowflake wheels, I need to lock them as securely as possible.
Surely I will only lock it outside if I absolutely have to. Most of the time I will take it with me and store it safely somewhere inside. But I would like to be able to use my café racer as it was intended, cruising around town and stopping for coffee and drinks.

What I am looking for

1. Two locks. One U-lock as primary/main lock for locking the back-wheel, frame and a solid fixed object together. The secondary is for locking front-wheel with frame.
2. I must secure my wheels to the frame and frame.
3. I’d like to secure the saddle to frame.
4. I prefer mounting the locks onto the bike while riding.
5. At least one lock must very look good and be mounted on bike while riding.

I have educated myself in how to properly use bike locks.
If you haven’t, this is a good start (guide from kryptonite.com).

After I had read that I couldn’t believe what I saw when looking at “locked up” bikes in my neighborhood. One thing hit me thought. With a lot of loosely locked bikes thieves might target other bikes before trying to steal my properly locked bike. But hey! – Let’s make their business a little tougher and lock all of our bikes securely!

Locks of interest

Here’s possibly the best independent summary on different secure locks available.

This is a list of Sold Secure’s highest rating, “Bicycles Gold”-approved locks.

Of course you should always check any terms with your insurance company.
In my case for Swedish TryggHansa they use recommendations from http://www.stoldskyddsforeningen.se/ that in turn use certifications from this database http://www.sbsc.se/certificate/searchcertificate.aspx. And since many of the locks I am interested is nowhere to be found in there, I will have to contact them and investigate further. I believe however, in the worst case, I will be able to buy a secondary lock that is tested of the SSF/SBSC and still stick with the Kryptonite “NY Fahg.” as a primary lock. This lock isn’t really represented in the Swedish market and I guess thats why it’s left out.
I have recieved answer from SSF. They say that since noone have applied for the mentioned Kryptonite locks to be certified, they aren’t certified. Normally it’s either the manufacturer or the importer that starts and funds the process. Naturally it seems quite expensive to do the certification. So unless someone are set on making some money of selling theese locks in Sweden, they won’t be approved by insurance companies. 🙁

Primary locks

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini


As said many times. The best. I will use it for primary lock.It’s small. It’s heavy. It’s not beutiful but it has a brilliant name. It’s quite hard to come by. At least in Sweden. I will probably order it online. 

Xena Bullet XUL

I have looked closely at the Xena Bullett XUL 102, but found it was about 1cm to small to secure my front wheel to the frame (102mm < 112mm). Thats too bad, since it’s a good lock and also features an alarm! There are however disc-locks and other types of alarmed locks from Xena that still might be of interest. But that would mean I need to bring three locks with me. The next size of models in Xena Bullet XUL series is the 210, with 210mm opening. But using that as a secondary lock seems overkill for me, when I only need 112mm to lock my front wheel. At the same time they are so well designed that it might be worth the extra weight. But will this extra space open up for larger tools to be used in an attack? Does anyone care these days about alarms going off or even a thief in action?

Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500


It’s MASSIVE, SOLID, LARGE and has a SMALL FOOTPRINT at the same time! This is it! That is if you can live with the bulky look. It just doesn’t look OK on my bike and I don’t carry a backpack on every ride.

Secondary locks

Kryptonite Evolution Mini 5

These are very popular amongst bike messengers and other riders that have the need for a highly portable yet quite solid U-lock. It actually fits in your back pocket. It is rated by Kryptonite them selfs as a 7 out of 15 on their security level scale. And they can be fitted with replacement skins of different colors.
Edit: I actually bought this lock and a white skin. Still looking though as this lock is not approved in Sweden.

Knog Strongman


Knog makes highly designed, awesome looking, soft rubbery touch, solid U-locks and more. However I’m not entirely sold on the looks of their bikemounts.


Abus Bordo Granit 6050

The 6050 surely looks better in all white, but is way less secure than Abus Bordo 6500.

Additional / Extra

Xena Bullett XUL 102 (very very small)

I so wished this beauty would fit as my frontwheel-to-frame lock. But this lock is unfortunately too small for my bike. It packs a motion and tampering triggered, 110dB alarm system!! Check out all of the XUL models before settling for anything else.

Knog Bouncer (very small)


This lock is very small and could be a 3rd alternative for extra locking. I’m not sure if it is solid enough to be used as  a secondary lock. But I haven’t done any deep research on that.    

Axle / Skewer Locks


A good set of locking skewers are said to be an excellent complement to your already properly secured wheels. I’ll consider them a deterrent tool for now until I get my hands on some. Although they are interesting when it comes to locking handlebars, saddle and other parts.


This task was harder than I expected. I will continue to look for a good sollution for my explicit needs. There will be no conclusion in this post. But I will update (and I already have regarding the Evo Mini 5), when and why I decide to buy a product.

Got any suggestions? Please leave a comment!

Some useful OSX hints

Edit: I just found this draft laying around. Forgot I wrote it.
The hints are solid so I am publishing them as is.

Make Terminal useful, as in more a Linux one.

Combine Safari’s URL and Search Bars with Safari Omnibar

Open Finder using a global shortcut

⌘-Option-Space bar

source and alternatives: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=422337

Fix the switch terminal windows shortcut on Swedish OSX Lion

I just found the way to switch focus between active terminal windows in OSX Lion on Swedish locale.
Why didn’t I find this when I searched for it every other time?

In Swedish:
Jag hittade nyss hur man växlar fokus mellan aktiva terminal-fönster i OSX Lion med Svenska språkinstaällningar.

I “Keyboard Preferences -> Shortcuts” så ändrar du (dubbelklick)
 “Move focus to the next window” till “cmd-<".

Detta sätter också automatiskt cmd-> eller cmd-shift-< till växla till föregående fönster. Standardinställningen för mig var innan “cmd-.” och det fungerade inte alls utan skickade istället en ^C till terminalen…

source: http://superuser.com/questions/299241/in-mac-os-what-is-the-keyboard-shortcut-to-switch-between-instances-of-the-samev

Stream audio using Airplay to Android Phone

While searching for a way to stream music from my Android phone to an Airplay server I found an Android app that does the opposite. 
I tried It and it really works. At least until the phone goes to sleep…

Stream audio using Airplay to Android phone with vavi-apps-shairport:
If anyone find out a way of doing the opposite please let me know.
That is tapping into the audio-system of the Android and sending all audio to an Airplay server. Like Airport Express or Apple TV or the shairport software that I use.

Restoring Backslash, Pipe and Curly Brackets to where it belong on Macbook with Swedish keyboard layout

I have managed to restore Backslash and Pipe to where they belong, on my Macbook Pro running Swedish keyboard layout.

—- Updates:
Update 1: It also works fine on my Macbook Air
Update 2: Karabiner is the new name of the product used here.
Update 3: Karabiner-Elements is the next available product, but it is still lacking required features.
Update 4: This sollution does not work anymore in OS X Sierra / 10.12.x. But I solved the same problem using a keyboard layout shipped with Ukelele. It’s called “Logitech – Swedish”. I might write a new post on that later on but basically you put the file in ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ and select it in keyboard preferences.

Update 5: Today on OS X 10.13.4 I hade to use Karabiner-Elements in combination with the “Logitech – Swedish” keyboard layout. In the following screenshot.




—– Original post follows:
My interpretation of where they belong is as on standard PC (Windows/Linux) keyboard layout.

And I’m so happy about this so I feel the need to share my findings.

Essentially what it does is the following:
– Puts the | “Pipe” to the < “Less than” key with option/alt modifier.
– Puts the \ “Backslash” to the + “Plus” key with option/alt modifier.
– Restores the replaced mappings to be reached where those keys used to.
Update 130817:
– Added curly brackets { } 
– Added todo (please comment if you implement these)

I did this using KeyRemap4MacBook and custom remap settings.

Here is how:
Download and install KeyRemap4MacBook.
– Reboot (it uses some kernel extension…)
– Notice that you have a new icon in Finder statusbar.
There is a shortcut to preferences if you click it. A square key?
– Set up a new named layout profile under the MenuBar tab It is nice to have during tests, and to fallback on.
– Activate the new layout profile it from the statusbar icon
– Go to preferences again and -> Misc & Uninstall -> Open private.xml
– Open the private.xml in a texteditor of choice
– Replace the content it with the following text:

<!--?xml version="1.0"?-->
Fix PC-like Pipe and Backslash on Swedish keyboard
<!-- PC-Like Backslash :: Move ± to \ position :: ALT-MINUS to OPTION+SHIFT-7 -->
__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::MINUS, VK_OPTION, KeyCode::KEY_7, VK_SHIFT | VK_OPTION
<!-- PC-Like Backslash :: Move \ to ± position :: OPTION+SHIFT-7 to ALT-MINUS -->
__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::KEY_7, VK_SHIFT | VK_OPTION, KeyCode::MINUS, VK_OPTION
<!-- PC-Like Pipe :: Move | to ≤ position :: ALT+LESS_THAN to OPTION-7 -->
<!-- PC-Like Curly Brackets :: Move | to { position :: OPTION_R-7 to SHIFT+OPTION_R-8 -->
__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::KEY_7, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R, KeyCode::KEY_8, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_R
<!-- PC-Like Curly Brackets :: Move { to | position :: SHIFT+OPTION_R-8 to OPTION_R-7 -->
__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::KEY_8, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_R, KeyCode::KEY_7, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R
<!-- PC-Like Curly Brackets :: Move ≈ to } position :: OPTION_R-0 to SHIFT+OPTION_R-9 -->
__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::KEY_0, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R, KeyCode::KEY_9, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_R
<!-- PC-Like Curly Brackets :: Move } to ≈ position :: SHIFT+OPTION_R-9 to OPTION_R+0 -->
__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::KEY_9, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_R, KeyCode::KEY_0, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R
<!-- todo opt 1 ->
upsidedown !
opt 5 -> euro
opt 6 -> yen
shift paragraph -> 1/2 sign
convert to karabiner-elements config
submit config to karabiner official site

– Now chose “Reload XML” in the preferences “Change key” tab.
– In the top a new option should appear: “Fix PC-like Pipe and Backslash…” (see name in private.xml)
– Click it.
– DONE! No need to save. Test it out.

If you need to customize yourself, refer to the documentation.

Some tips:

– set US keyboard in System preferences, switch to it using the flag-icon in statusbar, then use the Eventviewer to find the keys you are interested in remapping.
The keycodes are in hex and need to be translated into decimal before you can map them to the corresponding Keyname in keycode.data (see links below).
– Use the | char to allow multiple combination keys.
– Oddly the combination-keys go after the standard key, not before.

Introduction and documentation:
(scroll around, this page shows where the private.xml is found)

Private.xml reference manual:
(at least check out this one if you want to fix something else)

iPhone internet sharing with Ubuntu

Internet sharing using a mobile phone as network accesspoint, also known as tethering is a good thing. I’ve got it easily up and running on my HTC Desire (over wifi), my Nokia E71 (over adhoc-wifi) and now I’ve got it working on my gf’s iPhone. This post is about that.

Thank’s to this url I could easily get it up and running in a few steps summarized as follows:
– Be sure that your other network connections (ex Wifi) are disabled
– pair the devices (I used the ubuntu standard bluetooth icon in the panel). Setup new devices or whatever…
– follow the guide (paste the apt commands to add repository and install blueman)
– run command blueman-manager
– find the iPhone in the list, choose Network – connect, or setup and then choos network connection.
– You should get a success message or get some indication of that you are connected to the device and using “network…”.
– in a terminal run ifconfig
– you should se an interface named bnep0 probably
– get an ip from the iPhone by running the command: dhclient -i bnep0
You are now connected. At least I was =)
If not proceed with normal network troubleshooting using bnep0 as your external network interface.

I used Ubuntu 10.04.

The howto on the link above also describes how to tether Ubuntu and an iPhone over USB instead of bluetooth. That I haven’t tried… yet.

Good Luck!

Ubuntu Timemachine-server for Snow Leopard

I got Timemachine to work against my Ubuntu fileserver using this guide.
And here’s a swedish article that seems to apply.
That one also includes a script for making the sparse file.

I haven’t tried any restores yet as the initial full-backup is still in progress.
Maybe I’ll post an update about it.

Update: It stopped working. After some more research I’ve found that there’s some command 78 or other extra apple-features added to the “netatalk” protocol. Having something todo with reclaiming space within the sparse-file or something… Without these commands, the backup-image self-destructs. Some sort of patch exists, but I haven’t the time to pursue… Also some third party “Drobo add-on project” seems to have sorted out this problem. If the code is available someone should implement and test that on Ubuntu. And if you do find a sollution please leave me a note. 😉
– 100919

Update: I’m at it again, since I’ve found some articles that the issues should be fixed. It seems to work occasionally. I have setup my dhcp for mac address fixed IP:s and proper DNS records (maybe not needed, but useful). The afp “shares” or “disks” are only accessible by the macbook from it’s wireless or wired IP:s. It seems to work on and off, and I do full backups pretty often (like 2 every month at least) when Timemachine says the backup failed verification. I don’t know why this is happening. But my money is on either glitching automounting of netatalk afp:s or packets go missing when on wireless.
Next up is to remove the WIFI from the equation.