WINGED RPAS - RO1-OPEN C2 /3Dmapping/PPK ready !WORK LOG!

So here we go again. Another nutty project from me. Not sure if its ever gonna fly or come down in one piece.
But one thing is for sure, its going to be one of the cheapest, lightest, advanced and most awesome stuffed airplane in my neigborhood, and world wide of course :crazy_face:

One of my beloved airplane need some TLC… Uhm or retire. It has given hours of airtime with camera rigged so it would barely stay airborn with the throttle at max. Burned a dozen ESC and puffed bunch of the Lipos.
It has the famous bottle facelift. Aerodynamic as hell with optional camera mount in the front.
It was here i started the search for return to home gps, and discovered Reach for the first time and ended up walking in a entirely different way with this hobby. So here i am again, same plane but different mission.

Some nostalgic pictures of the past.

Work log - Intro
I write this as a log, posting updates as i progress or crash&burn.

Here are som facts and info about my project:

  1. RO1 qualified. Meaning its max 2,5kg ( MTOM=MaxTakeOfMass) and some other limitations.
  2. Cheap. I crash alot so i cant afford expensive stuff wrecked every other day. Some of the gear may survive, like the controller, hopefully the camera and RTK stuff. But, who knows.
  3. Cheap, light weight and quality doesnt always go hand in hand, so keeping it under 2,5 kg is a must. I think i need to lower the quality on the camera &lense for this to work. I may swap this for better stuff as time goes.
  4. Its a fixed wing frame i am going for. Those quads gain to much weight just to stay airborn. Anybody can get a bunch of gear flying, but keeping it below 2,5 kg and with all these features is hard. Winged aircraft has so much more capacity and need less engine to fly.
  5. If it wasnt clear, i am aiming for 3D aerial mapping. and as accurate as it can be with GNSS gear fitted for PPK to work.
  6. Its planned to be autopiloted with Rasperry and navio on board, along with some other stuff.

Gear so far:

  1. Airplane 1400mm wide, about 900gram RTF ( i will reveal the plane later).
  2. Navio2 (around 50gram with wire harness) on Raspberry Pi3 ModelB (43gram). I need to weight this in total when it arrives
  3. Reach GNSS modul (30gram)
  4. Camera 20MP (about 200gram) and 20mm optics (90gram) I will reveal camera type later
  5. Also need some radio link, around 100gram. Possible with Emlid Edge some day…
  6. I also need a better battery, dont think 2200 lipo would last that long.

When summed all grams, i have spare weight. I have a second plane, a bit larger, and also second camera to choose from, to get the optimal setup, right upon the 2,5kg limit.
Right now the status is to weight all parts and see if the the plane would take off with the extra weight and for how long etc. Lots of testing.

Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated

Thats it for now. Cheers


Bixlers are great. Its amazing what people use them for. Here in SA, people have been using them for years to track wildlife like wild dogs and leopards by fixing a repeater yagi antenna to the wings. So simple, so cheap!

My tiny computer has arrived early. Raspberry Pi3 model B. I then can start installing operating system, while i waiting for the other componentes to arrive. I think i will try NOOBS for beginner -
Its easy and user friendly.

Edit: For those who dont want to mess around with features and so on with the Raspberry and is only aimed for the Navio extension, they could load preconfigured Raspbian from Emlid here -

Some unpacking pictures


Got plane candidate nr 1 today. And it has wheels and is excellent :grimacing:


I’m going to enjoy reading about your project.

This is some hollywood type plastic surgery :joy:


Yeah… i am not that happy with the design. Should have used a Cola bottle, not a pepsi! :thinking:

Plane candidate #1 is Volantex Ranger -
Link to spec & reviews

I weighted it to 980gram RTF with two 3cell 2,2amp lipo.
With the load right at CG it is still tail heavy i think, as you can see from the clip below.

Some repair pictures of the landing gear. ( I live up to my nickname, ToreCrash :grimacing: )
I swapped plywood with quality lego and glued it all together. Much stronger now

This is how ca 500gram looks like

So far, it can handle the extra weight easy and still have capacity to handle more weight. Short takeoff and it flies steady around halv stick.
Need to swap reciver for more channel, as i need to add flaps to reduce speed and landing area.


Navio2 arrived the other day. Got it hooked up with Pi and started configuration for Arduplane, but run into a issue. I put some cell foam and rebooted and problem solved. Not sure if the reboot or the foam did the trick

Spent a entire day trying to get my Frsky taranis set up with 6 mode switch, Opentx 2.2 doesnt work the same way previous version does, but finally found this Youtube clip - How to assign 6 flight modes which got me going.
Also programmed flaperon and set up PI to connect to local wifi.

The ranger has been modified here and there.

Gotta love Lego :heart_eyes:

The antenna cable for Reach is a bit long, not sure if its good idea to stuff it all inside the plane…?


Some pictures


Man I wish I understood the Navio2/Raspi/etc and the programming to go along with with. I so badly want to build a fixed wing mapping drone.

Essential reading for the Ranger. Crusing speed at 13m/s :thinking:

1 Like

Tried webodm, this is from first run. Bunch of pictures from random location around the object. No adjustmens, out of the box result


Nice. You beat me to opendronemap. I’ve had my eyes on it for a couple of years and it looks like it’s getting simpler to use. I was just looking the other day. Is it worth spending the bucks on the installer? or just go free?

I did the manual way. It wasnt that difficult and i am no Unix dude.
The cool think is use of nodes, you could spread the load on to mutiple computer for really fast processing.
This clip got me out of few hickups.


@TB_RTK Congratulation for the constant quality and enthusiastic posts you drop here. Man, you are really passionate about Emlid techs. :+1:




Just dropping a bunch of pictures here, they speak for them selfs i think.
But so far i hooked up 3dr radios and succesfully connected to mission planer and done the mandatory things for the radio and the calibration.

The next big reveal is the camera. I got a couple of the Samsung NX100 cheap from ebay along with the prime 30mm lense which is the better one in that production line. This camera had all i was looking for and it was cheap (90$) on Ebay.
It had jackplug for triggering and hotshoe to log presice timestamp on Reach.
Well, it all turned out well almost, made trigger cable out of TRRS or TRS jack plug and hooked it to the navio2 with the settings used as you can see from the screenshot down below.
To trigger camera i used GND and IO18 on the uart.
Now, for the hotshoe sync part, Samsung nx100 stops syncing and out this signal to the hotshoe X-aync terminals with shutterspeed faster then 1/180. Above this Reach will NOT record any events with THIS camera, so i have two options,

1.Roll over and give up NX and get a different camera
2.Investigate other options with the NX100.

Now, i could still trigger camera in air with missionplanner and map the old fashion style with a bunch of GCP and make the orthomap accurate that way without Reach, but for now this is plan B or C… Maybe D :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Since 1/180 shutterspeed is way to slow for 15-20 m/s air speed (the pictures gets to blurry etc), the plane would move 11cm with 1/180 shutter and a speed of 20 m/s. I need a least 1/500 or faster to freeze the image enough i think. 1/500 (2 millisecond) shutter would move the scene 4cm or the plane move 4cm in this time.

So, going for option nr.2 and digg into what options remain left for me and this plane.
I got the triggering thing working and was thinking if i got the offset dead on (the time when the trigger is pushed to picture is taken) i could apply time offset and ad a delay when signal is to trigger event on Reach.

@emlid, i call on you to see if this is a doable feature?
Is it possible to add a millisecond +/- offsett to WHEN an event is triggered in Reach, base on incomming puls on the GND and Time Mark pin?
If so, there would be alot easier for those camerea without hotshoe and a part less in the whole setup.
It would depend on the camera, it need somewhat stabel shutter lag (respons time). But i do think most mirrorless cameras with focus hold has fairly good spec in this area.

Anyways and i am propably missing something, so please speak out you know of any hickups i might run into about this offset.

Next, how to determined shutterlag down to a millisecond??? I have few ideas, but i need to open a new thread for that. Update this post with link.

Well, i think thats it for now. Enjoy


Yeh,i forgot. If you buy the 3dr 433mhz, go for the V2, not the V1.
V1 doesnt have usb on the air modul, and if you mess up the config like i did, you need a FTDI USB-Serial adapter, like this one to reset it



So did you manage to trigg the Samsung with shutter speeds faster than 1/180?

I have a NX1000 and have the same problem.