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KCV6's blog
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 14, 2014 @ 11:53 PM | 6,139 Views
There is a bit of talk going around (has been for a while) about improving video quality by fitting an Neutral Density (ND) polarizing filter to the front of camera lenses when using to record or FPV with that camera.

For a while now I had been using a small tinted plastic Polarizing filter sitting between the GoPro lens and camera housing. I decided to finally use some decent plastic ND polarizing filter that would be fitted to the outside of the plastic GoPro case.

Initially I removed the plastic lens and seal but found I had internal reflections from the plastic case edges. It was acting like a light pipe and even bright light on the back of the case was piped to the edges of the GoPro lens causing a halo effect on the image. I fixed this by simply putting the rubber seal back in.

Picture quality is great and if you can easily get hold of the fiter sheet this is a "well worth the effort" modification.

Mark
Posted by KCV6 | May 04, 2013 @ 03:41 AM | 15,853 Views
A couple of weeks back the big Quad finally crashed. hard to believe but that's the first crash since it was built. Fortunately not much damage was done. Turns out the LC filter board didn't have any RTV or epoxy under the Inductor anchoring it in place so one of the legs finally broke. No Inductor means no power to the controller means uncontrolled meeting with terra firma.

Broke one wooden prop and smashed the dome and that's about it. I got a cheap AQ-600 dome and with a bit of cutting, super gluing and some nylon bolts and nuts managed to graft it modified to the top of the original dome. I repaired the LC board and made sure everything was glued down with a decent helping of 3145,

Took it for a few test flights and all seems good so I'm ready to get back out to the field for some decent flights.

Mark
Posted by KCV6 | Dec 21, 2012 @ 10:13 PM | 24,950 Views
Wishing everyone a safe and prosperous end to the year. Enjoy the season.

Mark
Posted by KCV6 | Dec 04, 2012 @ 01:28 AM | 25,897 Views
Well after years of just dealing with it I finally got the good surgeons who repaired my left knee to have a crack at buying me some more time with my right ankle issues.

It all started back in the 80's with a fairly serious motorcycle accident where my right leg got crushed between a car that turned in front of me and my bike. I was laid up in and out of hospital for about 9 weeks with 3 surgeries. First was to repair a severed nerve bundle and reduce the fractured Tibia and somewhat destroyed ankle joint. a few days later they wired the breaks and did some grafting work. All the wires were removed 8 weeks later and I was sent on my way.

Over the last few years the joint has been constantly painful and swollen due in most part to the cartilage having worn away over the years. This was all expected as the original injury involved the cartilage being broken in a few places and a section missing from the face of the tibular joint.

Anyway these days it's fairly impressive what can be done in a morning (day surgery). Below are some arthroscopic images taken during the procedure showing the sort of build-up of debris that has gone on over the years. I was out for about 3 hours and woken to a nice cup of coffee and some sandwiches and walked out of the hospital. Even swollen from the surgery my ankle is now more mobile and less painful than it has been in a long time and Iím looking forward to getting out to get some flying done this weekend.

Anyway for those that suffer from joint pain due to previous traumatic injury and have hospital cover, get it seen too sooner rather than later. My next step is either fusion of the joint or a replacement ankle. Hopefully now not for a few more years.

Mark
Posted by KCV6 | Nov 20, 2012 @ 07:41 AM | 25,990 Views
Well the second half of 2012 has blown chunks.

I tore my left Quadriceps tendon clean off my left knee cap requiring surgery.

My 11 y/o son had a tumour removed from his Right mid temporal Lobe.

I'm up for a second surgery in another week to delay the inevitable with my Right Ankle (Moderate to severe Osteoarthritis bone on bone).

A lady in Pink and blue PJ's backed into my car at Maccas. She looked surprised when I just smiled and had a chuckle (perspective).

One of my nearest and dearest friends suffered a burst aneurysm in the left temporal lobe on the weekend and is recovering after emergency surgery on Sunday.

The second and the last one make the first third and fourth inconsequential and I would give anything to see them undone.

Mark
Posted by KCV6 | Oct 28, 2012 @ 04:59 AM | 27,038 Views
It was a beautiful calm afternoon so I decided to just sit out the back and hover the quad over the house and take a couple of pics.
Posted by KCV6 | May 14, 2012 @ 10:02 AM | 32,999 Views
I'm finally in a position where both the Octo and the Quad are up and running at the same time. It's cold, the air is heavy and still conditions are rare during the day but I'm still flying at least once a day even if it's just over the house or down the park at the end of the street.

I'm starting to eye off some 22mm booms and some 50 size motors. Bigger is better
Posted by KCV6 | May 03, 2012 @ 08:36 AM | 33,722 Views
After weeks of just enjoying flying the Quad I finally bit the bullet and fitted up the GoPro and Fatshark 5.8 Predator set with the ImmersionRC 600mW Tx.

Big thanks to Multiwiicopter for rapidly supplying the Skew Planar and Clover Leaf antennas and a GoPro mount (To be fitted at a later date once I extend the battery mount landing gear). For now I made a CF tray that uses the standard GoPro mount. As the bulk of the weight is on the lower assy and it's isolated via rubber grommets, the picture quality is great. Just the occasianal Jello on descent. The Hoverfly OSD works fine with this setup. Really nice having a working Artificial horizon without having to add anything else to the setup.

Also a big thanks to John of Mongrel Gear for going out of his way to get me the GoPro Hero 2 Outdoor edition on really short notice.

Now that it's all dialed in I decided to remove the crash cage.

Anyway, everything works and it's a lot of fun to fly. Once I get some more APC props it's time for the Octo to be stripped down and re-built with a few tweeks to the setup.
Posted by KCV6 | Mar 25, 2012 @ 04:50 AM | 35,181 Views
Well after spending a week away for work in Western Australia I got back into the finishing touches on the big Quad.

I had actually finished it before I left to a point where it was flying but it required accelerometer cal and tem compensation along with some final fettling of the frame to get everything square and ready for some full flights.

The frame ended out being 2.6Kg complete without LiPos.

The 14x4.7 APC SF props are definitely the best matched. I tried some 12x4.5 and while they worked and hover position was much the same on the throttle they were making a really loud reverb type noise during flight due to them flexing way too much. The flexing was clearly visible.

I am getting about 10 minutes flight time on 2 x 4000mAh 4S, 15 minutes on 2 x 5000mAh 4S. I have flown with the 8000 4S packs but didn't time it. When I get a chance to do a timed flight I will put the figures here.

edit: 2 x 8000 4S was almost 20 minutes, calm conditions and mostly hovering.

This thing being so heavy is a rock solid flier. Very stable and a bit floaty. It does have a good climb rate, give it full throttle and it goes vertical really fast for it's size. Iím looking forward to getting it out in the open somewhere to see what itís really capable of. At the moment Iím just using it down the street and in and around my front and back yard.
Posted by KCV6 | Mar 08, 2012 @ 03:02 AM | 36,726 Views
Seeing as my 60A Plush speedies are still stuck in Sydney, or somewhere in between there and here, I decided to make a start on wiring up the Hoverfly Pro and RX.

I was going to just cable tie the speedies to the sides of the frame and once the Quad was all up and flying properly, pull it down and trim the center plates and add some holes to lighten the plates up. That plan has now changed.

I stripped the frame down, wet and dry sanded the paint off the center/centre plates and laid out the controller, RX and power filter and marked out some holes to cut out of the plates. Once this was done, I re-assembled with some short 100mm boom offcuts so the plate spacing is what it will be on final assembly.

The one 60A plush I have is unfortunately sitting at work along with a bunch of other stuff I was using on the work Octo, so I made do with a Plush 40A to get a general idea of where holes could go to pass power and control wiring through the frame. When the 60A's turn up all I'll need to do is cut clearance areas out of the sides of the frame centre plates and add some 5mm holes to pass cable ties through.

I had already prepared the RX by removing the case and fitting foam pads to the underside. I cut out a piece of CF plate to mount at the back for the RX aerial to be cable tied to.

Who knows. Perhaps Australia Post will get it's act together by tomorrow

I also ordered some aluminium 35mm socket head M4 bolts and nylocks to get rid of the last few stainless fasteners. these were the bolts that go through the front and the back attaching the battery tray to the underside of the frame. There are now no items containing Iron on the frame, so the GPS board and compass should work with no glitches.

edit: LOL just got a PM saying it looked better black. I'll clarify, it will be painted black again once all the cutting and shaping is finished .
Posted by KCV6 | Mar 07, 2012 @ 06:20 AM | 36,411 Views
Well with half the east coast of Australia being affected by flooding, my packages from various vendors have been delayed in country. I was looking forward to finishing my TT conversion on the 600GT and getting the Quad flying. If they turn up tomorrow there is still a chance I can get the Quad wired up and do some flying. Looks like it's going to be a nice warm weekend as well.

I decided to make up a loom that goes between the RX and the Hoverfly Pro using one 0.1" pitch 24 way header conector (12 x 12). This makes it easier to pull down and re-connect as there is one plug at the HF Pro and all the RX connectors are scribed with which channel they connect to. No need to keep referring to the manual. I also decided to strip the case of the RX and mount it using double sided adhesive neoprene foam. It buys a bit more room at the back.

The early versions of the HF Pro require a voltage conditioning circuit (it's just a 1000 uf LC circuit), The standard one supplied is really only rated to 14Vdc which is driven soley by the 16Vdc rating on the electrolytic cap. I swapped it out for a 30V one so It's all good to go higher than 4S if needed. In fact even at 4S the original is probably going to shorten the life of the cappy. Not really good to loose controller power in flight.
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 29, 2012 @ 06:44 AM | 36,495 Views
I took the lower frame into work and tapped the holes in the rods to M5 rather than M4 and fitted long Nylon Bolts to the lower rods. The whole lower assembly is very strong now, even with the thin G-10 and doesnít need any CF doublers. If I land real hard and break them Iíll just make up some more.

I decided to use nylon bolts and nuts for fixing the dome, rather than using body clips and pins. The R clips can be a bit of a pain to locate so having to use a small flat blade and fingers to hold the bolt isnít inconvenient. The Hoverfly GPS compass doesn't like any thing that contains iron being within a couple of hundred mm so figured I'd dump the R clips. Almost all the frame fasteners are now Aluminum or Nylon. I will swap out the remaining A4 stainless bits when I strip it down to do the final wiring.

All my 4S packs fit the battery holders, 3000, 5000 and 8000. There is enough room to strap 4 packs (two each side with parallel cables) in.

I can already see the order for an extra 4 motors and speedies going in so I can convert this to a Coax X8. We shall see

I started work on a second tray that will simply have slots and allow packs to be fitted flush on in the tray. This can be swapped by simply un-doing 4 bolts, dropping the side mount frame out and fitting the flat tray. I need to get a few more frame parts made up to do this without having to slide the rods out of the grommets every time I want to swap. Obviously this will only work if it stays a Quad or I learn to do very precise bucket landings.

Speedies are in country so I should have them tomorrow or Friday, so fingers crossed it will be all wired up and ready for Maiden early next week.

The packs fitted in the pics are the 3000mAh 4S 40C Turnigy's
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 28, 2012 @ 07:47 AM | 36,894 Views
Finished cleaning up the parts I had cut the other day for the LiPo mounts. Could not find my M4 tap anywhere so went ahead and final assembled the lower tray. 2 of the small rods were already tapped. I will have to do the others at work tomorrow during morning tea break.

I added split rubber strips to the area where the LiPo gets strapped in. I did this on the Octo. This stops the LiPo from slipping around and the holder from denting the pack.

I'm thinking I might make up 4 1mm thk Carbon Fibre doublers to strengthed up the LiPo mount made from 1.5mm G-10. I will use the mount as the landing gear for now until I tune it all up and work out the best prop/LiPo combination. The doublers will be held in place by the bolts holding the small rods which should make it a bit stiffer. I may even CA them as well.
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 27, 2012 @ 06:42 AM | 36,568 Views
Got around to getting some more pieces together today. Droidworx use a really good system to connect the "payload/camera" to the underside of their platforms. It pretty much consists of a couple of carbon rods with threaded inserts and a U shaped base plate and a bunch of thru hole grommets. The grommets act as double vibration isolation and so long as the plate has some weight hanging off it it works very nicely.

I didn't have a spare plate so I got some 1.5mm Aluminum and fabricated my own. I had some grommets and fasteners that would do the job.

I also decided I wanted to mount my LiPo's off to the sides in the same manner Photohigher does with their retractable landing gear.

Below are some pics of the parts I got together and some basic assembly shots. There is an A4 sheet of paper with my first draft of what the 2 battery holder plates will look like. The last picture is a 3D model showing the LiPo Mounting plates and rods and how they mount. These get attached to the sides of the U shaped tray via passing the grommets through both the tray and the plate. I will try to get these cut and prepared over the next couple of days. Once thatís done I can attach the landing gear to these and then get to wiring the Quad up.

This Quad is actually coming together quite quickly. Having a lot of spare parts and some scrap CF laying around of course helps this
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 26, 2012 @ 09:12 AM | 36,576 Views
Didn't get much done on the Quad today, just fiddled and fettled what was already done. Fitted the pins for retaining the dome and bolted everything that is done together properly so I could measure between motors and the center of the frame to make sure it's all square. Good news it's all within millimeters so I'm pretty happy.

I did bend up a lower mounting plate from 1.6mm Aluminum and shaped it up and gave it a coat of flat black etch. I'll explain where this goes later. It's 1:30am so I'll take some pics tomorrow and add them here. This leads into making the LiPo mounts that allow the packs to be strapped either side. I'm copying the same sort of setup that was done on the Octo as it works really well.

This is definitely the most solid, free of any flex frame I have built up yet. I don't know if thatís going to be a good thing or a bad thing. If I have learnt anything from the Octo it would be that a bit of flex seems to be a good thing but then again it's AUW is very high so it's not like it's going to be doing zippy snappy moves. The Quad on the other hand may be a bit more zippy even with some weight on it. Time will tell.
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 25, 2012 @ 01:02 AM | 37,052 Views
I used some time during my breaks at work to model up in 3D the various bits and pieces so I could make up some custom center plates for my Droidworx bitsa.

I will add some 3D images later when I get a chance to save them off my PC at work. If you have access to CAD packages, even if they are only 2D, my advice is use them. It makes custom designing and changing things a whole lot easier.

The main partís I was missing amongst my Droidworx leftovers was the 2 center plates and the flight controller adapter plate. I wanted to incorporate half of the Octo crash cage that wasnít being used into this quad. I decided to change the layout of the center plates so they had four extensions that allowed the crash cage to bolt up to them to make it nice and rigid. This would add an extra set of boom braces to each boom.

I managed to get some 1.6mm thick copper clad (unfortunately) PCB substrate in sheets 600mm x 300mm. These came at the fantastic price of zero dollars (perhaps the copper cladding isn't so unfortunate ). These would be perfect as the crash cage is 300mm across at it's widest point. Best bit is it's woven epoxy glass (G-10) so it's a bit flexible but still nice and strong.

I designed up the 3D (ProE) models of the center plates and also the FC adapter board and confirmed everything fitted together. I then saved them as DXF files. I then used AutoCad to open the DXF files and convert all the holes and lines to 0.5mm thick pollylines and printed all...Continue Reading
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 23, 2012 @ 08:20 AM | 37,250 Views
Decided to split the build into sections:

This section will detail the booms motor mounting and wiring of ESC's so each boom can be unplugged and unbolted as a complete unit. I used this same approach on the Octo. While it means there are a lot of power connectors, wiring from the speedie to the motors is hard wired.

I decided that a motor spacing of 800mm would be a good starting point so I cut 4 spare 500mm 20mm diameter carbon booms back to 400mm being careful to cut from the existing motor end so the through holes used by the inner boom mounts were left.

I drilled and tapped out the motor mounting holes to M4. These are spaced at 25mm. The SK 3548 970Kv motors come with M3 mounting holes standard.

Rather than buy or fabricate round motor mount blocks I decided I would use the spare boom mounts from an un-used crash cage in conjunction with the standard heavylift mounting plates from Droidworx. The hole spacing on the boom clamps is 26mm so I decided to drill them out to 5mm to make for a tight fit. The slotted motor mount plate was then screwed to the base of the motor with 2 x CSK M4 fasteners and longer M4 cap heads would be used to hold the motors and plate to the boom clamps. This worked out quite well and there is no flex at all in the motor clamping to the boom. The Long M4 bolts thread into the motor end by about 1D (4mm) so this should be enough thread to make for reliable mechanical strength.

I will probably purchase some new mounts once I...Continue Reading
Posted by KCV6 | Feb 23, 2012 @ 07:56 AM | 36,813 Views
Decided I'd start a build log on my latest multirotor.

I had a lot of spare Droidworx bits left over from the build of our Droidworx SkyJib 8 last year. The Big Octo is problematic in getting it out regularly to fly for several reasons. When being used for work it's classified as a UAS and requires a certified UAS operator and even when it isnít being used for work it is awkward to transport in one piece.

Anyway I happen to have a bunch of Droidworx bits and pieces spare. The main parts I am missing are the center plates and motor mounts. I figured I would 3D model up my own plates to accept the 20mm diameter booms and boom holders I had and make the mounts out of boom holders and the spare coax plates I had. I could always invest in 4 coax mounts later and convert this frame into a CX4. I also have a full set of fixed extended landing gear spare. I'm not sure if I will use these or make up a new shorter set as this Quad is more for fun and possibly to do some training with for some of the guys I work with.

Anyway I guess the first decision was what motors and props to run. Once I sorted this out I could make a decision on what length to cut the spare 500mm booms back to. I decided to use Turnigy 3548 970Kv motors (I had a couple already) spinning APC 14"x4.7" SF props. This made sense as the Octo was already using these props and I had plenty of 4S LiPos which would power these motors fine.

Next choice was to pick ESCís. I had a spare Plush...Continue Reading