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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:24 AM
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United States, IL, Glen Ellyn
Joined Sep 2012
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LG, I've found a ton of building info, tuning info, video, etc. My tricopter (based on rcexplorer.se 2.5) is just about ready to go. Everything seems to be working as expected, thanks to all the forum posts, blogs and youtube videos.

What I haven't found anywhere is actual *flying* tutorials or tips.

I've spent time in simulators (using my TX plugged into my PC), and have also spent a lot of time in MSFT Flight Sim, so think i understand the basics of flying fairly well. Just not sure what to expect as I'll be solo'ing on my first time out.

Figure I'll just work on hovering and trimming for first couple flights, then start to do more race-track ovals around a large open field. Any other tips or sources for info? What are typical n00b mistakes in flying multi-rotor (esp tricopter)? Loss of orientation? Over-controlling?
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:29 AM
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United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Aug 2012
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My first mistake when learning to fly my tricopter, was not setting my rates first and trying to fly at 100%. I now fly at 20% or 40% and its alot easier to control.

Another thing I did was make a custom throttle rate that does not allow me to give 100% throttle. My throttle stick starts at 20% and ends at 70% which makes it easy to hover and descend.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:35 AM
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lovegroove's Avatar
Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
2,540 Posts
You can't go wrong with the Turnigy 9x transmitter. It's got more functions than you can shake a stick at and you can even upgrade the firmware. So many people that fly multicopters are using these: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...976&aff=114030

I don't see any mention of the flight controller, but obviously you will need one of those. This is a really good one for beginners: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...723&aff=114030

The Turnigy 3s 2200mAh lipo should be great for your setup and give you plenty of flight time, buy lots of these: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...636&aff=114030

The RCTimer ESCs that come pre-flashed with the SimonK firmware are great, you'll need 3 of these: http://www.rctimer.com/index.php?gOo...9&productname=
You will also need some sort of power distribution board and a few other bits and pieces like a servo to control the tail motor.

Check out my beginner article on my blog or get back to me here if you have more questions.

http://drone-pilot.blogspot.fr/2012/...at-to-buy.html
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:35 AM
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United Kingdom, England, London
Joined Oct 2012
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Hi lovegroove... thanks for the forum post!

Well... I'm a noob! Lol!

Just ordered a standard (cheap lol ) Bumblebee kit from HK, including:

- Bumblebee Carbon Fiber QuadFrame 550m + tail landing skids + dome ;
- 4 x 35mm brushless motors (930 Kv each) - propellers included ;
- 4 x HobbyKing 30A BlueSeries Brushless Speed Controllers ;
- 1 x HobbyKing Multi-Rotor Control Board V3.0 (Atmega328) ;
- 1 x Hobby King Quadcopter Power Distribution Board ;
- 1 x Turnigy nano-tech 3000mah 3S 25~50C Lipo Pack + charger / balancer ;
- 1 x Camera Gimbal Tilt Mount for Quad Bumblebee ;

Plus of course the 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx ...

I've been waiting for my parcel, and of course reading a lot. Questions:

- is the KK Xkopter v4.7X firmware compatible with the HKing Board V3.0 (Atmega328) ? Just flash and go?

- what's the estimated (or how to calculate that) time of flight in minutes with my equipment assembled? The quad will fly with a Drift HD 1080p camera (139 grams) attached to it's Gimbal Tilt Mount.

- what's the difference between the configurations X and + ?

- any extra tips for a novice (never assembled a quad before, just small planes) ?


Thanks a lot in advance!

Rubens
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:44 AM
http://drone-pilot.blogspot.fr
lovegroove's Avatar
Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
2,540 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacrawf View Post
LG, I've found a ton of building info, tuning info, video, etc. My tricopter (based on rcexplorer.se 2.5) is just about ready to go. Everything seems to be working as expected, thanks to all the forum posts, blogs and youtube videos.

What I haven't found anywhere is actual *flying* tutorials or tips.

I've spent time in simulators (using my TX plugged into my PC), and have also spent a lot of time in MSFT Flight Sim, so think i understand the basics of flying fairly well. Just not sure what to expect as I'll be solo'ing on my first time out.

Figure I'll just work on hovering and trimming for first couple flights, then start to do more race-track ovals around a large open field. Any other tips or sources for info? What are typical n00b mistakes in flying multi-rotor (esp tricopter)? Loss of orientation? Over-controlling?
I don't think you can learn to fly from watching a video or reading an article. You've pretty much just got to get out there and do it.

A few key things help, like making sure that you have enough space and don't try and learn in your front room, because that isn't going to work. Don't fly too high because you stand more risk of losing your copter that way Be gentle on the sticks and get the copter up high enough and out of the groundwash effect otherwise it just washes around on the floor.

To start with, stand behind it with the tail towards you and just practice keeping it in one spot. Then progress to moving away and bringing it back to a hover in the same spot. Progress from this to trying to fly a figure of eight. If you start to lose control just flick it back to tail-in and regain control.

Once you've mastered the figure of 8, just keep flying them over and over trying to be quicker and more precise with regards to where your crossover point is. After that it's pretty much downhill from there and the rest will come naturally.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:48 AM
http://drone-pilot.blogspot.fr
lovegroove's Avatar
Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
2,540 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubenskubc View Post
Hi lovegroove... thanks for the forum post!

Well... I'm a noob! Lol!

Just ordered a standard (cheap lol ) Bumblebee kit from HK, including:

- Bumblebee Carbon Fiber QuadFrame 550m + tail landing skids + dome ;
- 4 x 35mm brushless motors (930 Kv each) - propellers included ;
- 4 x HobbyKing 30A BlueSeries Brushless Speed Controllers ;
- 1 x HobbyKing Multi-Rotor Control Board V3.0 (Atmega328) ;
- 1 x Hobby King Quadcopter Power Distribution Board ;
- 1 x Turnigy nano-tech 3000mah 3S 25~50C Lipo Pack + charger / balancer ;
- 1 x Camera Gimbal Tilt Mount for Quad Bumblebee ;

Plus of course the 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx ...

I've been waiting for my parcel, and of course reading a lot. Questions:

- is the KK Xkopter v4.7X firmware compatible with the HKing Board V3.0 (Atmega328) ? Just flash and go?

- what's the estimated (or how to calculate that) time of flight in minutes with my equipment assembled? The quad will fly with a Drift HD 1080p camera (139 grams) attached to it's Gimbal Tilt Mount.

- what's the difference between the configurations X and + ?

- any extra tips for a novice (never assembled a quad before, just small planes) ?


Thanks a lot in advance!

Rubens
I'm just taking a little break for a bit, but I will try and answer your questions in a couple of hours. In the mean time, you can use the ecalc program here to get an idea of flight times. http://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc_e.htm?ecalc

I would imagine that it will be somewhere in the region of 8-10 minutes, maybe a little more if you're lucky.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 11:11 AM
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United Kingdom, England, London
Joined Oct 2012
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Thanks a lot! I'll be waiting then! The calculator you sent me showed me 10.5 minutes... It's fine, i'll probably invest on a heavier battery if needed in future....
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 01:14 PM
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lovegroove's Avatar
Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
2,540 Posts
I've just added a little video to my blog about adding LED lights to a multicopter.

http://drone-pilot.blogspot.fr/2012/...lticopter.html
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 01:18 PM
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United States, FL, Jacksonville
Joined Sep 2012
14 Posts
Hey!

Great thread! Thank you for posting this, it's cool to have a place to ask questions.

(imanoob2)

I have read about using "Dual Rates and Expo" to help make learning to fly a quad a little easier, but in all my reading I have not come across anyone talking about using "Aileron/Rudder Mixing" (or ANY mixing for that matter) which was one of the things taught when learning to fly a trainer plane to make it easier.

Does "Aileron/Rudder Mixing" work on a quad?
Would it make learning to fly one any easier?

ALL opinions welcome...

Thank you very much!

jj
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 01:29 PM
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lovegroove's Avatar
Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
2,540 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubenskubc View Post
Thanks a lot! I'll be waiting then! The calculator you sent me showed me 10.5 minutes... It's fine, i'll probably invest on a heavier battery if needed in future....
OK, time to answer your questions.

Yes, it will work with 4.7 firmware, there's even a video of it on Hobbyking: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...d2c43b6c5265b4

I think you can flash this board using the lazyzero flash tool, which has a great GUI for flashing kkboards.

The ecalc app should give you your flight time.

The only difference between + and x is that in x it's easier to get the landing gear and frame out of the shot when filming. I find that flying an quad x feels a bit more like a plane than +, but maybe that's me.

tips?? hmmm? I guess my absolute best tip is to remember to cut the throttle when you crash as it saves loads of damage. Other flying tips I just listed above. Also, buy lots of props as you won't believe how many you will break.

One last thing, I noticed that you purchased a camera gimbal, but I'm not sure that the V3.0 board supports gimbal stabilisation, so you may need to just fix it in place.
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Last edited by lovegroove; Oct 10, 2012 at 01:36 PM.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 01:35 PM
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lovegroove's Avatar
Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamminJamey View Post
Hey!

Great thread! Thank you for posting this, it's cool to have a place to ask questions.

(imanoob2)

I have read about using "Dual Rates and Expo" to help make learning to fly a quad a little easier, but in all my reading I have not come across anyone talking about using "Aileron/Rudder Mixing" (or ANY mixing for that matter) which was one of the things taught when learning to fly a trainer plane to make it easier.

Does "Aileron/Rudder Mixing" work on a quad?
Would it make learning to fly one any easier?

ALL opinions welcome...

Thank you very much!

jj
Aileron rudder mixing won't work on a copter because if you want to move left or right you don't want the copter to spin left/right at the same time.

Dual rates and expo are really important and you probably want to start on about 40-50% rates for your first flight, except for rudder where you almost always want 100%. For smooth aerial filming I use a lot of expo and you have to be really gentle on the sticks.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 01:55 PM
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Joined Oct 2012
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I am a n00b too and would love to see some good info on:

Proper Power "Assembly" or Group (Battery to ESC to Motor to Prop):
-Motor Specs and Prop Size (how to read specs in order to know if the motor is the right fit: enough power and enough torque for the application)
-Proper Choice of ESC to go with Given Motor for Given Applicaiton (not too big and not too small...)
-Battery Specs (3s vs 4s... And 20c vs 35c with info above how does one determine what battery to choose)

Size and Weight RANGE of Typical Multicopters:
I know it sounds a little wide but say the typical X Frame with motor to motor dimesions of ___ made at home from Wood Dowels with a Plywood "chasis" in the center, typically ranges in weight from __ to __ depending on individual components. This way we n00bs have an idea of what the completed weight will be around so we can figure out our "proper power group" instead of taking a wild guess at it: Also the typical mount made from plywood for a GoPro will add around ___ to the overall weight.

Cheap Radio:
Only decent choice I have seen is the 9x (again price wise) but then once that is in my hands (again as a n00b) do I flash it to the er9x or other firmware? I would love to see side by side compare of 9x vs er9x and the benefits of the er9x... To see if it is worth the effort for a n00b just learning to fly... I am guessing that it is something that could wait until I advanced enough to get be wanting something NEW and then I could flash my radio for a few dollars worth of parts and have something NEW to play but without spending much.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 02:01 PM
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JamminJamey's Avatar
United States, FL, Jacksonville
Joined Sep 2012
14 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovegroove View Post
Aileron rudder mixing won't work on a copter because if you want to move left or right you don't want the copter to spin left/right at the same time.

Dual rates and expo are really important and you probably want to start on about 40-50% rates for your first flight, except for rudder where you almost always want 100%. For smooth aerial filming I use a lot of expo and you have to be really gentle on the sticks.
Aah, well that makes sense to me, lol.

I knew there must be a good reason I haven't read about it anywhere.

Thank you very much!

jj
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 02:29 PM
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lovegroove's Avatar
Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
2,540 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatN00b View Post
I am a n00b too and would love to see some good info on:

Proper Power "Assembly" or Group (Battery to ESC to Motor to Prop):
-Motor Specs and Prop Size (how to read specs in order to know if the motor is the right fit: enough power and enough torque for the application)
-Proper Choice of ESC to go with Given Motor for Given Applicaiton (not too big and not too small...)
-Battery Specs (3s vs 4s... And 20c vs 35c with info above how does one determine what battery to choose)

Size and Weight RANGE of Typical Multicopters:
I know it sounds a little wide but say the typical X Frame with motor to motor dimesions of ___ made at home from Wood Dowels with a Plywood "chasis" in the center, typically ranges in weight from __ to __ depending on individual components. This way we n00bs have an idea of what the completed weight will be around so we can figure out our "proper power group" instead of taking a wild guess at it: Also the typical mount made from plywood for a GoPro will add around ___ to the overall weight.

Cheap Radio:
Only decent choice I have seen is the 9x (again price wise) but then once that is in my hands (again as a n00b) do I flash it to the er9x or other firmware? I would love to see side by side compare of 9x vs er9x and the benefits of the er9x... To see if it is worth the effort for a n00b just learning to fly... I am guessing that it is something that could wait until I advanced enough to get be wanting something NEW and then I could flash my radio for a few dollars worth of parts and have something NEW to play but without spending much.
That would be one monster article to try and write, but I'll try and break it down into a few different parts and work on them. I can't promise it will be any time soon, because I don't own every motor, so will have to go searching forums to get specs for all the most commonly used motor/prop combinations for multicopters.

General theory is that for maximum hover time with most efficiency is achieved when battery weight is equal to about 50% of the total copter weight.

In theory, using a higher voltage battery should be more efficient, but poses a few problems with trying to source motors/ESCs that will work with the higher voltage Lipos.

The 9x is a great radio and you don't have to flash it with er9x firmware to be able to enjoy it. If you get one you won't be disappointed and you can always upgrade later which will give you access to more advanced mixing tables.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 03:11 PM
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Rhone Alps, France
Joined Aug 2008
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I've just updated my blog with a new mini article about the LANC-Ctrl for Sony cx cameras. Including a little video of it in action.

http://drone-pilot.blogspot.fr/2012/...x-cameras.html
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