Beginners Tips

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Beginners Tips

A collection of stuff that I picked up, from the moment my Tiny V2.11 arrived


Molex Connectors

When crimped, they look like a little L shape. The upright of the L goes towards the bit of the plug with the teeth.

You can get the crimped bits out again, but you need to be very careful and you can't get away with it more than once or twice.

You can cut connectors down to fit - if all you have are tens, use a sharp knife to trim it and it will just fit.


Male JST connectors work well, you probably want at a minimum a 9V battery adapter to female JST and DC jack to female JST. I run my tiny on 9V on the bench, it'll upset the battery warning meter, but it works perfectly and stays fairly cool.


The flashing lights only work when the loaded program uses them, and sometimes not even then.

Serial Connections

Beware - the Tiny 1 and Tiny 2 swapped serial ports (or UARTS). For a Tiny 2, UART1 is connected to the computer and UART0 the GPS. The airframe file needs to be altered to use the right serial ports.


Somewhat sadly, you can't run a Tiny from the USB power bus. Make sure you install the UDEV rules as specified here. The Tiny needs to be connected to USB and then rebooted before you flash it. If it seems to not be behaving properly as a USB device, check power - even if the LEDS are flashing away brightly, the USB seems to be the first thing to start going when the battery is going out.

Flying it

You are going to crash. Repeatedly, and hard. Your tiny needs to be protected. I hollowed out a hunk of blue foam, put the tiny in the middle and taped it all up with a hole for the GPS and some air holes for overheating. It seems to work so far.


XBees need to be at the same baud rate as everything else. To set an xbee, you need a serial terminal and 5 seconds. Both minicom and picocom are popular serial terminal packages. This place here tells you everything you need to know.


First things

Always hit clean before you start anything, or if anything won't seem to build.


You usually want to use the ap build target. However, the default airframe files need to be tweaked for your modem baud rates and tiny model. If you are using a Tiny 1, microjet5.xml will do the trick. If you are on tiny 2, funjet1.xml is the one for you. If you have a LEA-5H GPS (which is a gooood thing) you need to add a configuration flag to the funjet.xml file - see the GPS page for more info.


Stick with basic. For your lat/long, you can either read it straight off the GPS or bookmark this line:


visit google maps, search for your location and click it. It'll give you lat/long to ridiculous accuracy. 6 d.p seems to be the standard for lat/longs in the flightplan file. And that, ladies and gentleman, is as far as I have got...