Category Archives: Quadcopters

The “smartest rocket” pictured by the “coolest hexacopter”

SpaceX is doing amazing things! Their “Grasshopper” is a Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) rocket vehicle to test a new concept of rocket that is capable of returning back to Earth intact. Sounds like rocket science recycling?

In this video you can see something amazing. I call it the Greatest Combination of Aerospace Tech: the smartest rocket on Earth being observed by an Hexacopter! How much better can you get?

Configure Xbee with a mac

So far I haven’t found any software to configure the XBees like the X-CTU software (that only runs on Windows). That doesn’t mean we can’t configure the XBees using a mac or Linux. So, these are just a few notes to help me configure my XBEEs when I’m using my Mac. I thought it may be useful to you as well.

Follow these steps and you’ll get your XBee configured in a minute:

  • Connect your XBee to the USB port of your computer using the XBee Explorer USB from Sparkfun.
  • Open a terminal window and search for the serial device
    >> ls /dev/tty.*
  • This will show a list of the available tty. devices connected. Example
  • In this case we are interested in the /dev/tty.usbserial-A8003WbK (your’s will be similar)
  • I am assuming that the baud rate of the XBees is 38400.
    So to configure the XBee #1 type in the terminal

    >> screen /dev/tty.usbserial-A8003WbK 38400
    >> +++
    >> OK
    >> ATBD5        (baudrate = 5, or  38400 baud)
    >> ATID1111   (ID = 1111)
    >> ATDL11      (DL = 11)
    >> ATMY10    (MY = 10)
    >> ATWR        (write changes in memory)
  • This configures the XBee #2

    >> screen /dev/tty.usbserial-A7006vC8 38400
    >> +++
    >> OK
    >> ATBD5
    >> ATID1111
    >> ATDL10
    >> ATMY11
    >> ATWR
To close ‘screen’ press “control-A then control-\” and then “Y” . This closes the session.
  • Baud rates
    1 = 2400bps
    2 = 4800bps
    3 = 9600bps
    4 = 19200bps
    5 = 38400bps
    6 = 57600 bps
    7 = 115200 bps