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Posted by Oldrunk | Feb 08, 2009 @ 10:08 PM | 2,211 Views
well got my first test flight in and not too bad other then I found a bug going to have to go back and rework the glitch checking I had the lights go out mid flight in dark room, well I made a video and and got a better camera so if you watch you'll see the glitch, when it happened the stats LED on the board started to blink to show an error, you can't see it in the video but I saw it glow though the Comanche body.


Posted by Oldrunk | Feb 08, 2009 @ 02:12 AM | 2,030 Views
Well I got the comanche back together with the finished prototype installed, had to change out all the wire I had used for the LED's for somthing more flexible.But she's ready for a test flight and see how dose with this extra weigh on.
Posted by Oldrunk | Feb 07, 2009 @ 05:24 PM | 1,722 Views
Well got back early but have to leave Monday for another few days. I did get some work in on the prototype and it all works, just need to do some tweaks and it will be ready, the next step is to put the Comanche back together and test fly it with the Nav light controller on.
Even got a chance to toss a little video together, its not great and my 3megapixel camera only records video 15seconds at a time but it works.


Posted by Oldrunk | Feb 03, 2009 @ 06:13 PM | 2,286 Views
I have every thing assembled now and ready to go, just need to program in the lighting patterns and see how it looks on the finished product. I'm still far from done, I'm going to have to rework the circuit and board to try to get it smaller I guess that will be my version 0.2 . Don't have the materials to do printed circuit boards other wise even with the current design it could be a little smaller.With the circuit board that is just going to lead me to my next build a CNC router to mill out boards for me.
Any way all this will have to be put on hold till Monday, being called away out of town for work so here will every thing sit on my desk until I'm back. ...Continue Reading
Posted by Oldrunk | Feb 02, 2009 @ 11:32 PM | 2,099 Views
Started mounting the LEDs on the Comanche's body. Once again, I'm only using what I have on hand, the wire I'm using is from cat6 cable, it works but I know there is lighter wire I could use.
Posted by Oldrunk | Feb 02, 2009 @ 04:57 PM | 2,192 Views
Well here it is the first beta of my project. The circuit it fully complete and the software is mostly complete just need to program in the different lighting patterns and then its all ready to go.
Some details about the controller are it supports 6 light channels, of the six channels it supports the following 3 Nav position lights(two forward, one tail end, one mid tail) 1 Strobe light , Landing Lights(two outputs) and Search lights(two outputs).
I built every thing with parts I had on hand so the microcontroller is a PIC16f627, the transistors for switching the output are BC547B(or 2N3904) they can handle up to 100mA of current, most designs I've seen online use a 2N2222 which can handle double the current but don't feel that the 2N2222 is needed since the average LED is 20 to 25mA , there will be at most 60mA of current running though the collector with 2 LEDs connected. If higher power LED's are needed/wanted the transistors can be replaced for 2N2222 or better.
Posted by Oldrunk | Feb 01, 2009 @ 01:50 PM | 2,059 Views
Did a test on breadboard of the individual parts of the final circuit and made a couple of changes to the schematic and its all well on its way now, with a fresh start this morning I have finally began the assembly of the first prototype, once I'm happy with the layout and can get it as small as I can then I'll solder and connect all the components.
Last thing left to do is mount the LEDs on the Co-Comanche body.
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 31, 2009 @ 06:06 PM | 2,115 Views
Just a quick update, I have the circuit designed and getting it ready for transfer to protoboard. Should have my first working prototype by the end of the weekend, hopefully!
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 30, 2009 @ 04:41 PM | 2,085 Views
Just a update on my work. When I started this project I just wanted to make a simple "RC switch" to turn lights on/off but have found that much more can be done. So I have it worked out and working so that the lighting can be fully controlled and set off the free fifth channel on the modded Esky 404 TX....Continue Reading
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 22, 2009 @ 08:25 PM | 2,108 Views
After some final testing and tweaking and recording of values I now started phase two my nav light build and was fairly easy to set up , I "rewrote" the PWM sensing routine and just set it up to output based on the value that is read from channel five, right now I have 4 triggers setup but I can have 5 to 6 triggering events programmed don't need that many right now but for future use maybe if I wanted to add options
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 21, 2009 @ 03:12 PM | 3,273 Views
After some tweaking and moving some bits around it works , reads out values to where ever I move the pot and reproduce the same values over and over on the same positions, well almost on the high end I'll get 80~82 but 81 seems to come up most and same for the low end I'll get 33 or 32 but that could be just the trimmer pot on channel 5 of TX and getting some variation because of it, not a big deal and won't affect me any way so now with phase one complete I can move on to phase two and work on my nav light control.
BTW I did this all in flowcode and did not type a single line of program code, my PC mouse and my brain did most of the work. Can you believe it?
Pics attached show it works.
Just ignore the notes written on paper its from early code trials and trying to map it
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:57 AM | 2,159 Views
Well after some hardship getting the LCD screen to work and finding out I had a bad setting keeping it from working I finally got to test my servo pulse input code and with some success. The LCD is spitting out values when I move the pot for channel 5 to different positions and getting repeating values at the same positions only problem is its slow to read whats coming off the channel and won't return any value at some positions, so back to drawing board to rethink and rework the code.
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 19, 2009 @ 04:29 PM | 3,105 Views
So now that I have a 5th free channel on my TX/RX got to do somthing with them so back to my other hobby of electronics and I have been interested in microcontrollers for some time but never had a goal with them so never got past blinking some LEDs, now I want to blink LEDs remotely via the free channel. Now I have seen already made controllers that do this for sell but whats the fun in that if I already have the parts and resources to do it my self and learn something in the processes.
I don't have much experience in writing code and all I know is some C code but never really used it but can read it and generally get the gist of whats going on and whats it doing. Did a lot of reading and most sources point to PICbasic as easy to learn but already familiar with C( found C easier to learn then basic) so didn't want to go that way.Tried some demos of different C compilers for PICmicro, and later found Flowcode3 which has become my first choice because its stupid easy with just a datasheet on your device and Flowcode and little/no programing knowledge/experience you can get a lot done without typing a single line of code. If you where ever intimidated by microcontrollers try FlowCode you'll be surprised how easy it is to make working software for a microcontroller and it will spit out your flow chart code as readable C code, its great for learning to program. Now just to figure out how the PIC controller functions work like interrupts and timers so I can get I want done.
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 16, 2009 @ 02:06 AM | 2,521 Views
Well modded my TX and RX for a 5th channel to used for nav lights and other projects figure I'd post some pics of the 5th channel mod as well modded the throttle by putting some tubing over the metal ratchet to get some smoother control. The 5th channel is being controlled with a 5K Pot and the knob head is a OKW part# A1320260 , you can get this and other knob heads as FREE samples from their site www.okwenclosures.com as well they have project boxes and battery holders that they freely sample you can order what ever you want as long as its under a $100USD and not more then once evey 4 or 5 months or you'll get black listed.
Been working on programming a PIC to take the servo input from the 5th channel, still new programming PICmicros so its a challange trying to get it to work.
Press ahead!
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 15, 2009 @ 05:54 PM | 2,298 Views
Well still working on my Comanche and I think I got it this time, I took off the extended inner shaft and changed it for the stock length that came with the kit and got the most stable flight yet, still had some vibration and found it to be the tracking on the lower blades so changed it for another pair and flies really nice but now I have to live with more blade strikes so going to have to stock up on more blades. Even harden blades take a good gash with a blade strike.
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 15, 2009 @ 01:48 AM | 2,188 Views
Found this over at Helifreak , I wondered what the dips under the batterys do in my Esky TX and now I know.

As per the pic of the battery compartment

Quote:
A - aileron & rudder. Up = AIL left, RUD right. Down = AIL right, RUD left.
B - pitch & elevator. Up = PIT right, ELE left. Down = PIT left, ELE right.

Mode 1 is A down, B up.
Mode 2 is both switches down.

1 - Pitch mixing. On = FP mode (90 deg swash), Off = pitch mixing enabled.
2 - Mixing mode. On = Belt style mixing, Off = CP2 style mixing.


Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 14, 2009 @ 09:59 PM | 2,105 Views
Well since I'm not using my metal grips from 3DPro metal upgrade kit they are perfect for blade balancing so I've now made full use of a cheap metal parts and can better deal with TBE.
Basically I just prop the grip in between two objects of same size and on a level surface. See if blades are balanced and add some electrical tape to correct if there is an imbalance. Pics added to show.
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 14, 2009 @ 06:16 PM | 2,134 Views
I bought the 3DPro CNC metal upgrade pack for $30CND from RC711.com and all I can say is you get what you play for, they are not totally bad but not good either and not recommended for any one that is not willing to twiddle with things. The first thing is the swashplate the brass balls for the links to the lower rotor blades had to be sanded and buffed till I can get them to fit and move smoothly and same for the servo ball links the servos where straining to move. So for the 3DPro swashplate its quite a bit of work to make it fit right but not that bad for the price, I'm 50/50 on it because it dose work after twiddling with it.
The kit came with two inner shafts one extended and one stock length I thought this was nice and gave me some flexibility to experiment and of course the head for the fly bar with a set screw to hold it on the inner shaft and a set screw collar for if you use the extended inner shaft, these parts where no problem at all and the main reason I got the kit since the stock plastic head my'n broke after a crash and the fly bar kept coming off mid flight. So far this has been the only worth while part of the kit with no problems.
The kit came with metal blade grips but when I installed them I had a bad case of TBE and seemed to be to much wight for the heli with stock motors and could not get much lift as well the harden blades don't fit well at all so I removed the metal grips and put back the stock plastic grips with my harden blades and flies better...Continue Reading
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 14, 2009 @ 05:17 PM | 2,034 Views
Can't remember where or who but thanks goes out to ya who ever you are I found this while ago when I first got my Co-Comanche ( Lama 4V guts ) and was setting it up, this a great pic tut who ever made it.
Posted by Oldrunk | Jan 13, 2009 @ 04:58 PM | 3,557 Views
Cool I got a Blog so I better make the best of this.

So I like DIY as much as the next guy, Why because it can be done for cheaper most of the time. So here is a little DIY on the cheap Mod for a Co-Comanche / Lama.
I noticed the stock motors heat up quite a bit after a run and I'm in no rush to change them any time soon and want to make the most of them and seen motor heat sinks online and they are a good idea but nothing I'm going to spend on right away and seen some post some one made a motor sink out of tin foil. This got me thinking I had a ton of old PC junk kicking around and found a old RAM heat sink and a tube of "thermal glue" ( not paste or grease there is a difference we want GLUE or thermal TAPE the sink, it must stick to the motor and stay there!)
Even old CPU blocks off old 3/486's will work fine just cut the aluminum to shape so it fits on the motor sides where it won't interfere with anything like servo links, with thermal glue once you stick it you will not be able to pull it off, thermal tape is more forgiving.
Thermal Tape can be found some computer shops for cheap or depends on the store I've even gotten small patches for free just for asking nicely.
Thermal glue can found online for $5 or less
Heat sinks can be found for free from any old computer just take a walk on garbage day and see how many you'll find!

Any way here are some pics of my simple motor heat sink mod , sorry I don't have a better camera it don't do well up close...Continue Reading