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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] DiyDrones: discussion about Paparazzi and Linux

From: David Conger
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] DiyDrones: discussion about Paparazzi and Linux
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 14:04:42 -0700

Hi Cory,

I qualify as a "regular" person. I'm not a professor or student and simply found Paparazzi by searching for ways to auto-stabilize a Heli for AP work. It soon became an obsession to first get PCB then to have autopilots assembled (first for myself only).

I started from ground zero with UAV with just some RC experience and good programing basic skills. I'm 43 years old and work as a DBA for a large company as my primary income.

So, it all was new to me at first. Skills I found most useful for my ability to keep moving forward:
1. The desire to make it work. I just don't quit easily
2. A faith that it truly does work. At first I wondered if it was truly a hoax or real working hardware/software 3. Willingness to ask for help and find new ways to ask (IRC, email list, BBS postings) 4. The desire to give back to the project by helping others or adding to the Wiki as I learned

Now I'm curious about why AttoPilot or ArduPilot are considered any less complicated or difficult to setup as a paparazzi autopilot? They all need to be programmed and configured and tuned. AttoPilot to my understanding is not even sold yet. has been selling fully assembled paparazzi autopilots since early this year. Designs for Tiny1.x have been out for more than a year. Just in my research the Paparazzi is the only DIY autopilot that's complete and available now not promised in the future. I think that alone is a good reason for someone to chose the Paparazzi one. :)

I have had the recent thought that the non Paparazzi autopilots will have a very challenging future once they are made more available. The challenge: Support! Paparazzi has so many ways to get support and so many people willing to offer it. There is not a toll-free number to call (yet) but if you need answers they are available. I will really want to see how well these others handle this very critical need once people start using them. Flying a UAV autonomously is not easy and I really don't believe anyone should think any of those available will be a "no brainer" to setup and fly. I sure hope they are not advertised that way.

Just some thoughts ... I have many but I don't want to write a book for a quick answer :)

David Conger

On Oct 27, 2008, at 1:52 PM, cory barton wrote:

Chris Anderson(DIY Drones founder) has asked me to write a short
article for them about Paparazzi. I am adding his request to me below.
Please give me any suggestions you may have for the article



Chris says:

Cory, thanks for the note. I think what's missing is "dummy's guide"
to Paparazzi, starting with the question "Is Paparazzi right for you?"
The official wiki is incredibly intimidating for most people and
doesn't even say that it's Linux-only until you get a few scary levels

What would be really useful would be sense of why "regular people"
(ie, our audience, who are typically not university students or pros)
might want to choose Paparazzi over commerical autopilots like
AttoPilot or very simply open source DIY ones like ArduPilot. What are
the Paparazzi features that these amateurs might value that aren't in
these alternatives?

Then, a really short FAQ:

What are the technical requirements? (Linux, etc)
How long does it typically take to get it working?
What are the real costs, all included?
Where's the best place to get started?
What's the best place to turn to for help? Hopefully not this thread
(, which is

Make sense!

Thanks for the help---I'm aware that Paparazzi is grossly
underrepresented here, and I'd like to rectify that.

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 4:32 PM,  <address@hidden> wrote:
My boot-CD-howto has started a discussion about Paparazzi and Linux, see

What do you think?

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