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Review and Expand ExpressLRS User Documentation - expresslrs.org

About the organisation

ExpressLRS (ELRS) is an open source project focusing on developing a radio control (RC) link. The link is primarly designed for first-person view (FPV) crafts (e.g Multicopters, Planes). ELRS aims to provide the best completely open source, high refresh radio control link, minimising latency while maximising range. A vast range of hardware in both 900 Mhz and 2.4 GHz frequencies is available.

FPV is a community built on top of open source projects such as flight controller firmware Betaflight and RC handset firmware EdgeTX. ELRS fills a void for an open source and high performance RC link with an active development team of about 20 volunteers.

github.com/ExpressLRS was created nearly 4 years ago and in the past 12 months has experienced significant growth. Not only in code contributions, but also users and commercial manufacturers releasing ELRS compatible hardware.

About the project

The project’s problem

During early ELRS development users were required to Do It Yourself (DIY) and build their own hardware. This tended to attract tech savvy users. However, in the past 12 months a number of commercial manufacturers have released ELRS compatible hardware. A much wider user group now exists of varying knowledge and initial setup of ELRS can be troublesome. More so for users who are also new to FPV.

A review of the existing user documentation by a technical writer, who has not previously been exposed to FPV, will bring a fresh pair of eyes to the project and help identify knowledge gaps.

The project’s scope

The ExpressLRS GSoD project will:

  • Introduce the Technical Writer to the FPV community and teach them about flying a FPV multicopter… Lets try and have some fun first 😃
  • Introduce the Technical Writer to our troubleshooting procedures.
  • This experience will help to identify any knowledge gaps in existing user ELRS documentation.
  • Devs and Advanced Users will provide information on general user queries from project volunteers and assist with documentation on recurring issues.
  • Review documentation used to assist manufacturers where English may not be their first language.
  • Hopefully assist in a major release (ELRS V3) and release notes.

We estimate that this work will take 4-6 months to complete.

Work that is out-of-scope of ELRS project: - In-depth PID Tuning of RC vehicles (Multicopter, Fixed - Wing, Boat, Rover). - Auxiliary function of RC vehicles (Mapping, Package Delivery, Pest Control Drone, Weaponry).

Measuring project’s success

The ELRS project runs a Facebook group (8.4k users at time of application) and Discord Server (8.1k users at time of application) to help users troubleshoot setup issues. A milestone of this work will be to see the number of users posting setup issues reduced, and to have documentation for all common issues presented in a user first perspective and mindset.

The project would be a success if we could provide a link to users for 90% of new user questions.

ELRS Developers also volunteer a lot of time communicating with commercial manufacturers. For a majority of the manufacturers English is not their native language and current ELRS documentation may be confusing. A long term goal of the project is to minimise design errors in commercial hardware releases.

Timeline

The documentation project will take approximately four to six months. It is expected the initial learning about FPV, Multicopters and ELRS may take 4 - 8 weeks. During which time the existing documentation can be used and reviewed. The remaining time will be used updating and expanding existing user, manufacturer, and developer documentation. ELRS has set its next major release goal before November to include release notes coordinated from this project.

Dates Action Items
May - June Learning FPV and ELRS from scratch
July - August Updating and expanding current User and Manufacturer documentation
September - October ELRS V3 release notes and new feature documents
November Project Completion

Proposed Budget

Budget Item Amount Running Total Notes
Technical Writer 10,000 10,000 26 wk, 6 hrs/wk
Technical Writer Hardware 2,000 12,000 FPV Hardware
Volunteer stipends 500 14,500 2 ELRS Devs + 3 Adv User
Total 14,500

Additional information

The ELRS development team includes a range of expertise, from software professionals, academics, researchers, scientists, and university students. And we love nothing more than nerding out on all things FPV in our free time 😃