Mike Ziwisky's Place to Write Stuff
Electronics. Software. Helicopters. etc.

Archive for the ‘HeliPOV’ Category

“Very puzzling problems” solved, almost accidentally

February 27, 2011

This weekend was the big Marquette Engineering Open House; a time for the new prospects to come check out the facilities and compete with each other for a chunk of scholarship money. I was asked by the one and only Prof. Jacoby if I’d be willing to consume a laboratory for demoing my flashing lights […]

HeliPOV source files posted

November 13, 2010

I’d just like to point out that I have created a page with links to the HeliPOV source files. The page is possibly linked at the right side of this post, but is definitely linked by these words. Is it redundant to add a post to ones blog simply to inform the readers that a […]

HeliPOV update (with videos!)

November 10, 2010

This post discusses the current status of the HeliPOV. Much progress has been made, but there are some very puzzling problems that I’m dealing with. Once I got the blades balanced and the heli in the air, I got to work on the microcontroller firmware. After spending a long evening trying to get the whole […]

It Flies!!

November 10, 2010

Thanks to the help and expertise of the veteran fliers at ABC Flying Field in Concord, I was able to precisely balance the weight and the span-wise center of gravity of the blades to within 0.01g and less than a millimeter, and the vibrations are almost completely eliminated! Turns out the small imbalance between the […]

Heli Problems

October 24, 2010

It doesn’t fly. I finished fabricating the second blade at around midnight. After that, it was time to balance them. With some slightly crude instruments, I got the blades to within about 0.1 – 0.2g of each other, and the difference in their length-wise center of gravity was within about 1-2 millimeters. I thought this […]

Blade Fabrication

October 24, 2010

The next step in the project was fabricating the blades. It wasn’t until now that I noticed a problem with my PCB design. Knowing that I would have to somehow determine the angular position and angular velocity of the blades in flight in order to properly time the flashing of the LEDs, I had incorporated […]

PCB Design

October 24, 2010

Now that I had an idea of how the hardware needed to be connected, it was time to design a PCB. For this task I used the free version of Cadsoft Eagle. I hadn’t ever used Eagle before, so it was a bit of a learning curve. But after several hours and a few online […]

A POV Prototype

October 24, 2010

The best way to start a new project is to just jump into it. So for the heli lights, my first step was to prototype a POV display. I wanted to use an AVR microcontroller because I already had a programmer and some chips that I bought for other projects that I never got around […]

Idea: A POV Display for Helicopter Blades

October 17, 2010

I’ve had a fascination with R/C helicopters for many years. I’ve owned two helicopters previously, and I recently purchased my third after going about three years without one. I showed the helicopter to my adviser at school and he loved it so much that he wanted to promote it as something of a “mascot” for […]

An Introduction: Heli Lights

October 17, 2010

I’d like for this site to serve as a place to document the projects I’m working on. At the time of writing this post, I am about 75% of the way through the project I am about to describe, but I’ve decided to back up and write this up step by step in a series […]