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Unmanned Systems News

As of late, I have been developing an unhealthy interest in DIY drones.  What?  You didn’t know there was such a thing?   Neither did I.  But I do now.


Technology has reached a point where it’s possible for hobbyists to build their own autonomous aircraft, capable of flying a pre-programmed course of, say, 20 miles under electric power, and return to its launch point.  Or it could be flown via what’s called First Person View (FPV) by wearing virtual reality goggles and observing the flight live from a video camera in the plane’s cockpit.   It leaves ordinary regular radio controlled aircraft in the dust as a hobby. Expensive?  Not terribly, and less so than many hobbies. Well, yes, but it depends on how often you crash.

In terms of obsessions, this could be a perfect storm for me.  It combines flying, radio, data links, video, electronics, coding, mapping and building weird and strange shit.  It would provide the ability to image remote and obscure places I might have an interest in (And for the record, I have no interest in snooping at THAT one!).


The Drone Census

Behind the headline grabbing drone news there is a complex ecosystem of users, industry, legislation, and research. Filter by the stakeholders driving the drone movement and zoom in on what’s happening in your neighborhood.

For further information on our data sources and background on each map layer, click here.


Here are some of the things I’ve been up to. This is a very new hobby, and it’s at a point where it has yet to be fully commercialized with everyone trying out new things. If you want some of these things, you have to make them yourself. Build, crash, open checkbook, rebuild. Oh yeah, and lots of soldering. I’ve tried to include enough detail so someone who has a clue as to what they’re doing might find some ideas here. I’ve certainly stole my share of ideas from others.

Links I find useful and/or entertaining:

Los Angeles/Orange County Drone User Group: Remember the 1990′s (eh, probably not). Remember IBM PC user groups? Well guess what, that’s the stage of evolution hobbyist drones are at. If you want something interesting you have to build it yourself. And that’s what this group is about. Building, flying, crashing, rebuilding…the cycle of drone life.

San Diego Drone User Group (SD DUG) – Drone User

The San Diego Drone User Group hosts local meetups and fly-ins for drone enthusiasts, and aims to promote the use of civilian drone technology

Multicopters, Quadcopters, UAVs, MAVs, Drones

Tue, May 6
Fab Lab San Diego 4685 …
Sun, May 11
Canyon Crest Academy North …
Nov 7, 2017
Fab Lab San Diego 4685
1018, San Diego Drone User Group, DIY Drones Groups (global), San Diego, ….. FT Carson, CO, FAA Certificate of Authorization Applicants

DIY Drones:  Everything about setting up your own fully autonomous aircraft

FPVLab:  Building, flying and crashing aircraft using FPV





A remotely actuated intervalometer for aerial mapping using


First fully autonomous quadcopter flight tests