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Quadcopter Builds

Things

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I decided to give multirotors a shot, and bought some stuff a few weeks ago to put one together, using the X230 quadcopter combo:

X230 Mini Quadcopter Combo (w/Motors, ESCs, Propellers)

And Turnigy 9x TX/RX:

Turnigy 9X 9Ch Transmitter w/ Module & 8ch Receiver (Mode 2) (v2 Firmware)

And MultiWii Pro flight controller:

MultiWii PRO Flight Controller w/MTK GPS Module

And put together:



I flashed the flight controller board with MegapirateNG firmware so I can use the Arducopter mission planner software, however the latest 3.0.1 version doesn't currently support the gyro on this board, so I'm stuck with the older 2.8 firmware :(

I did a bunch of PID tuning, as the default values caused it to oscillate wildly as it lifted off the ground, which is to be expected for such a small copter.

So I spent basically an entire day PID tuning it, and managed to get it pretty stable and responsive while tied to some string, took it outside, flipped it a few times, and finally got it off the ground ... and it flew backwards into a tree and wrecked my prop :(



So while I'm waiting for new props, I decided to rebuild it to be a little more "crash resistant", by moving the antennas and GPS module.

I also think vibrations are a major issue causing the copter to veer off instead of staying stable, so I cut off the mounting tabs from the flight controller board and double side taped it to the receiver, hoping it gives a bit of vibration resistance. Unfortunately though I've reached the point where I can't file the board any further without damaging traces, and it's still contacting the support standoffs, so I don't know how vibration resistant it'll really be :(



It does look a lot neater though. I also attached the 915Mhz wireless telemetry module (the black antenna at the front between the motor arms), and also the bluetooth module so I can view stats from my phone, which is awesome.

I can't really think of anywhere else I can put the flight controller without it being exposed in crashes, however I've kinda been eyeing off the proper APM2.5 controller, as it officially supports the Arducopter firmware, and is smaller and uses better sensors, but it's a bit up there in price at around $200 shipped.

Hopefully my new props arrive and I can resume testing, but the first few "tests" have been valuable in learning at least :)
 
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will manners

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Very nice :) this isn't going to be another one of your crazy projects like the electric scooter that took months :p good luck with it :beer:
 

Things

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Nope, had it for 2 days and I've already broken it, I think it's going to be a very painful, expensive and time consuming project if anything :( .. Actually, that sounds like most of my projects.
 
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Fiddy

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

nice man! im getting jelly of your projects lately :D
 

Things

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

:D I decided to lasercut some proper landing legs last night:



They're solvent welded together, so they should be quite strong, but I'd expect they'd snap off with a landing horizontal speed anything more than a couple km/h.
 

Pilgor

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Make sure to balance your props if you already didn't. That could help with vibration issues.
 

Fiddy

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

my landing gear are spring loaded :D

 

Things

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Yeah, that'd be ideal. I'm thinking about adding some foam or something to the legs just to give it a bit of bounce.
 

Gryphon

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Thats a great little kit you got there, real shame about having to wait for new props, i know what thats like.

my landing gear are spring loaded

Mine are wooden drawer handles, very un-shock absorbant :p
 

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Speedy78

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Please, mine are blocks of foam and zip ties at the moment. Had some bad ass fabricated legs made out of brass with some 1/10 scale RC shock absorbers. They just don't work when the battery vibrates lose at 30 feet and it takes all 6 pounds of copter on one leg.
 
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Things

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Well, unfortunately I was never able to get this little quad reliably off the ground :(

I just couldn't seem to find a point in the PID tuning where it wouldn't oscillate, yet wasn't mushy to control. I have a feeling the cheap control board might have had a part in this :(

So I now have a 3DR quad kit with the APM 2.6 and external compass/GPS on the way :D



https://store.3drobotics.com/products/3dr-quad-frame-kit-electronics

Should be a lot of fun.

In the mean time I picked up one of these: http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=GT3895

Actually flies surprisingly well, and can lift a decent payload too. Also basically indestructible in crashes :D

Of course I promptly installed some LED strip:



And here's a vid with a gopro knockoff attached:

Only complaint is it is pretty noisy.
 
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Things

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

That's awesome :D

And yeah, the foam is awesome, I've crashed it a bunch and still haven't even damaged a prop. Can fall right out of the sky onto the foam and it's fine.
 

kilter

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Nice! I really like the leds for night flying awesomeness! That looks like a nice quadcopter! I am also into rc'ing :)
 

Things

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

I ordered a sonar/ultrasonic distance sensor for it too, the alt hold performance at low heights looks amazing with it, and terrain tracking is pretty neat too.

I'm going to swap the stock 10x4.7 props with 10x4.5 props once I break the originals, as 10x4.7 seems to be a really uncommon size, but I can get plenty of 10x4.5's from Hobbyking AU and in all different colours, even glow in the dark :D
 

Things

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Re: Mini Quadcopter

Well, got my 3DR quad kit, assembly went nicely. Took a good 6 hours or so to get it to a nearly flyable state, the had to do a bit of software/transmitter setup stuff.

I didn't get it flying that night as I had work, so I told my brother not to touch it while I was at work. So of course while I was at work, he managed to plug the battery in backwards (hadn't soldered the proper connectors on them yet), and it blew the ass out of the power monitoring module. Completely destroyed a tantalum cap and blew almost all the traces off the back side. Luckily that was the extent of the damage, everything else survived. It wasn't too critical as I have a transmitter mounted battery telemetry unit. So I removed the power module and wired it all up again ...

And amazingly, it took off and flew straight away! No PID tuning or anything, and it flies awesomely.

Progressed through Stabilize, Alt Hold, Loiter mode and all worked well :D

In fact, I'm still waiting on my sonar sensor, but in loiter mode, it's positioning is within 30cm, which is awesome.

And some pics, still gotta tidy it up a bit:

The vapourized tantalum capacitor:



And more carnage:





And in loiter mode, I trusted it enough to put the transmitter down and grab a pic



All in all, extremely happy :D
 
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