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Old Oct 28, 2014, 07:42 PM
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Semi-custom F550 (650 class) E600 Prop sys - Pixhawk FC

This is a quick narrative of a recent build I completed. If you have questions on any components and their performance, just reply.

Components:

DJI F550 Top and Bottom Plates,
DJI E600 Propulsion System (415kV / 3508 motors), 12" props, 30A ESCs,
Aeroxcraft X55 (extended) aluminum arms (9grams each more than stock DJI arms),
Aeroxcraft Landing Gear system,
Pixhawk Flight Controller,
Futaba R7003SB (sbus Rx),
Pulse 4S 4500mAh batteries,
Pulse 6S 16000mAh battery.
3DR MinimOSD
3DR Bluetooth DataLink (works with Android phone DroidPlanner)
Castle Creations 5V/10A BEC

The Aeroxcraft X55 Arms are awesome and super sturdy! They are finished all black in my case, and it makes this bird look super cool at 650mm. The only thing I notice when flying is sometimes you lose perspective, more so than with a quad.

The Pixhawk FC was a bit of a challenge to setup at first (lot's of Wiki reading), and it would have been MUCH more difficult without the learning curve and experience I had with the DJI Naza V2 (on my first F450 quad) and the Futaba T14SG.

Presently, I have six flight modes programmed into the Pix, two of which are DRIFT-mode (flies a bit like a plane where roll and yaw are mixed onto one stick), and AUTO-mode where autonomous flights can be uploaded into the FC via an Android Phone running "DroidPlanner" via simple bluetooth connection. The AUTO-mode is really slick, and it's pretty crazy to see your bird fly completely automatically with Waypoints, elevation changes, yaw-rotations, and fixed-point focus during fly-bys.

I'm using Pulse 4S 4500mAh batteries and getting about 15 minutes of flight time with mixed-mode flying (Stabilize and Loiter modes). I have a Pulse 6S 16000mAh battery that I will soon incorporate - just waiting on support parts such as AttoPilot V/I monitor and Castle Creations BEC. However, just flying on the 4S batteries I'm finding the system voltage is very stable with the Pixhawk Inline Power Module.

The one thing I really like about this bird is how quiet the propulsion system is compared to my DJI F450 e300 setup.

ecalc was pretty close on the Amp Draw and times:
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Last edited by nvpowerdoc; Nov 23, 2014 at 12:53 PM.
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 09:49 PM
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Flight Time Update:

14-1/2 mins mixed flying time: 4S - 5200mAh Luminier 35C , 77% mAh consumption (59.5 Watt-Hour), stopped at 3.5V/cell per telemetry (AUW 1930g + 500g, or 5.35lbs).

21-1/2 mins mixed flying time: Parallel 4S - 4500mAh (9000mAh total) Pulse 25C, 84% mAh consumption (111 Watt-Hour), stopped at 3.5V/cell per telemetry (AUW 1930g + 1000g, or 6.45lbs).

40-1/2 mins mixed flying time: 6S - 16000mAh Pulse 15C, 96% mAh consumption (342 Watt-Hour), stopped at 3.55V/cell per telemetry (AUW 1930g +1932g, or 8.5lbs)

Video snippet with parallel 4S batteries:
Modified DJI F550 Frame (0 min 7 sec)
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Last edited by nvpowerdoc; Nov 25, 2014 at 03:52 PM.
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Old Nov 24, 2014, 09:45 AM
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Great Flight Times...

Hi Joe - I was looking at your xcopterCalc report. It is far off from what you are reporting by almost 50%. I haven't used this calculator much and I don't know where you got all your variables for motor, controller, etc. However, if they are correct, this Calculator is not accurate. My F550 "All-up Weight" was nearly double yours and my calculations, Flight Time, etc. were very close to yours. I used a lot of your settings because I couldn't find them in the motor, propeller, etc. information. My main difference is my battery and Model Weight. everything else is the same, except for other electronics like iOSD, FPV Transmitter, FC.
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Old Nov 25, 2014, 03:38 PM
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I concur with your statement about ecalc being about 50% off on the flight time for the above example on my 16000mAh battery. What ecalc doesn't tell you is to what capacity does it run the battery out to (like to 80%).

If that's the case, I would then get 32 minutes flight time with an 80% assumption on my 6S-16000 battery. Also, the motor data values were a rough estimate entry, and looking at my Pixhawk logs, I show hover at 27.9A, and ecalc at 26.6A ( so pretty "close").

In the above flight with the 6S-16000mAh, it turns out that I ran it out to 15445mAh according to the charger (almost 96% vs. the 90% I originally stated, the charger wasn't done at the time of the posting).

Attached are my other two battery examples - they seem really close if you base the battery usage on an 80% runout. Also, the hover percentages are off considerably. On the 4S1P, hover is at 47%, and on the 4S2P, hover is at 64%, but that's also after I have tuned the throttle stick endpoints and midpoint in the Pixhawk.

Guess I'm glad with the returns either way!
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