A word of warning

The latest code I posted yesterday is much safer than any previous version through having a safe set of default PID gains that have been well tested.  But don’t think for a second that makes it safe for you to just start flying your quad based on them.  Every quad is different, and every quad needs it’s PIDs tuning or else it will behave badly.

“So what?”, you might say.

Propeller blades are sharp.   Mine are made of carbon fibre, and are as sharp as kitchen knives.  They spin when hovering at about 6000 rpm / 100 rotations per second.  In testing yesterday morning, they hit my kids’ sturdy plastic slide (the kid’s were at school – I never fly the quad if they are home) – the slide lost the fight and now has a large deep gash in it.  In contrast, the blade has a tiny nick.  Had it hit my hand, it could easily take a finger off; had it hit a softer area of my body, it would have sliced through anything in its path (arteries, veins, muscle, nerves, kidneys, liver, todger) until it hit bone.

Through months of testing, I’m well aware of the risks.  Every flight I do, I watch the quad without blinking and always with my fingers hovering over ctrl-C and my legs ready to run.

So if you don’t understand what you are doing with your quadcopter, don’t do it until you do.  Don’t just trust what I’m blogging to be right – it may not be – it’s just my best understanding of ‘right’ at the point I write it.  With quadcopters, ignorance is somewhere between dangerous and life-threatening and I’d rather be a killjoy than a killer by proxy.  I’d rather you be alive.

OK, that’s my cautionary tale done.  Back to my normal cheery self tomorrow.

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