I'm racing in an indoor micro FPV quadrotor (tiny whoop) race this weekend inside

(Jason Coon) #1

I’m racing in an indoor micro FPV quadrotor (tiny whoop) race this weekend inside Nebraska Furniture Mart (a giant furniture store). The race is put on by our local Kansas City Multi-Rotor group. So, of course, I had to build some FastLED-powered race gates!

3/4" white PEX pipe is a pretty decent diffuser, especially with thin strips of white floral styrofoam on top and bottom of the LED strips to keep them centered in the pipes.

They can be built as cheap as ~$15 each. I used some Trinket Pro 5V I had laying around, but I plan to build more using Teensy LCs, Adafruit Metro Minis, cheap Nano clones, etc. Anything small, cheap, and 5V so I don’t need to add level-shifters. Two buttons are included, one to change brightness, the other to change patterns.

I built a few using perma-proto boards, but then designed PCB shields, of course. :slight_smile: I threw together a few new patterns.

Source code, build instructions, pics, video, 3D printed pars, etc: https://www.evilgeniuslabs.org/trinket-pro-rgb-led-micro-quadrotor-race-gate

(Ken White) #2

@Jason_Coon - Awesome!! I love the way you used the PEX pipe.

Thank you for sharing the white floral Styrofoam tip. I had used cotton balls in my recent post with PEX pipe but I like your way of using the foam much better.

Also, you might want to try out some of my chase functions which are based on some of your past code.

(Marc Miller) #3

Looks great! Totally fun!

(Jason Coon) #4

@Ken_White Thanks! Yeah, I have some comparison pics on my site, with and without the foam. It definitely helped. I’ll definitely try them, this one? https://github.com/chemdoc77/CD77_FastLED/blob/master/CD77_Chase_Demo/Chase.h

(Jason Coon) #5

@marmil Thanks! There’s a tiny bit of my terrible flying at the end of this video. I need to practice more before this weekend. I’m much better with my 5" and 3" quads than my 65mm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqDBVKWO1fo

(Marc Miller) #6

@Jason_Coon Oh nice, I was wondering if you were flying with FPV. :smiley:

(Ken White) #7

@Jason_Coon - You might also want to look at:


Just a thought, if you consider each of your gates as a rectangle, then you can create two pixel arrays that start at the bottom middle of the rectangle, i.e. your gate, and go right and left to the top middle of the rectangle. You could probably use those pixel arrays to run Fire2012withPalette on each array at the same time and have flaming gates.

(Marc Miller) #8

Haha, fly through the digital ring of fire! Nice.

(Marc Miller) #9

Btw @Jason_Coon how do you have all the gates synced together?

(Jason Coon) #10

@marmil they’re not synched at all, just all running the same sketch, same patterns, and all powered on at roughly the same time. Could definitely sync them over wifi using esp8266/esp32 instead of Teensy/Nano/Trinket.

(Jason Coon) #11

But then I’d need to add a level shifter. Trying to keep it simple and cheap. :slight_smile:

(Marc Miller) #12

Ok, I was wondering if you just plugged them in all at the same time. :slight_smile: Keep it simple, just like the build!

(Kyle bostick) #13

How do you add a video so it just plays like this?

(Jason Coon) #14

@Kyle_bostick it’s an animated GIF. :slight_smile:

(Jack Keeney) #15

NICE Job! I was curious why not use the UNO or build one with 328p. That way no level shifting needed. That pattern you are running should be no problem for an UNO I would think. I am in KC too. Where can I find more info on this drone racing thing. Thanks

(Marc Miller) #16

@Jack_Keeney Tiny Drone Showcase event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1959347604103088/

(Stefan Petrick) #17

Nice diffusion - great effect!

(Jason Coon) #18

@Jack_Keeney Thanks! I’m using Adafruit Pro Trinket, and cheap Nano clones that are both 328p. Both run at 5V, neither require a level shifter. I’m also thinking about trying the Metro Mini which has the 328p at 5v, and Teensy LC which is much faster and has one 5v GPIO.

I had a friend get me into FPV quadrotors earlier this year. I joined AMA (Acedemy of Model Aeronatics) and KCMR: http://kcmultirotor.com https://www.facebook.com/groups/873336179435330/ . It’s a great group with a lot of good people that can help get you started. You should definitely come by the event at NFM this Saturday if you can!

(Jason Coon) #19

More FPV footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJr3MoR9Ouo

(Marc Miller) #20

That’s awesome. Those 3d printer gates are tricky! :wink: