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Old Dec 24, 2014, 03:56 PM
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UAV Aviation's Avatar
The Netherlands, OV, Holten
Joined Sep 2013
20 Posts
Build Log
Building the Skywalker X-8

After building the X5 FPV plane I was really getting excited by FPV / UAV flying and building . Hence the plan of building the X8 UAV platform. Since I used a lot of information present on the RC Groups site for building the X5 I decided to post the building of mine X8 on RC Groups.

I ordered the X8 as a kit from Hobby King http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...132&aff=638812 and decided to select the other equipment carefully. The setup I most likely go for is a SK3 500Kv engine with a 70A SBEC. The Immersion 600mW EzUHF transmitter & 8 channel diversity receiver. A Gopro 3 Black edition camera and a 1,2Ghz Lawmate 1000mW TX/Rx system. Some of the equipment I have purchased already .

The modifications I am going to implement are: A fuselage hatch mod, no magnets but nylon bolds to hold the hatch in place. Wooden spars to connect the wings to the fuselage (was standard on the earlier version of the X8). And I am going to stiffen the wings by putting glass fiber clothing around them. The large wings are reasonable flexible which is (I think) the reason, that the X8 is prone to wing flutter at high gross weight and high speed. I hope that the glass fiber mod will stiffen the wing enough to get rid of the wing flutter phenomenon at high gross weights

I am going to use the Immersion EzUHF diversity system http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...204&aff=638812 and will place the dipoles on both wing tips. Today I drilled the holes (for the RG-316 coax) in the leading edge of both wings, from root to tip.

Continued the build today with soldering the two dipoles for the EzUHF. The up facing dipole will be placed in the winglet.

Jig sawed my own wing root ribs today. I am not sure that the trailing edge of the wing will nicely align with the original ones since they not run all the way to the trailing edge. The new ones go all the way, this prevents the trailing edge from bending up or downward....I hope

The Lawmate 1,2Ghz 1000mWatt AV transmitter arrived last week from HK, http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...327&aff=638812 nice little piece of equipment. They are using ceramic plates to disperse the heat. The older versions were not equipped with these plates and suffering / breaking down from overheating.

Today worked on the motor and motor mount. Made my own motor mount back plate so I was able to install the engine without glueing the fuselage parts together. I don’t want to glue them together before I am happy with the location of all the equipment and CG

The 1,2Ghz antennas arrived which I am going to place in the wing to make sure they have a free line off sight with the receiver. I also binded the UHF receiver and tested it, all worked fine and the UHF dipole antennas are installed in the wing let. When the GPS antenna is installed in the left wing I will strengthen the wings with glass fiber clothing. Furthermore I solder the correct wiring on the Sony 600TVL Super HAD cameras, I am going to use 3 cams all with a different lens, by using a remote cam switching unit I can select between the different lenses.

Finished the wings today all the cables are inside, the antennas and servos are installed and the wooden wing root rib is glued on. The only thing left is the glass fiber clothing, this I will do after the functional test of the whole system. I am now starting with installing the equipment in the fuselage and routing the cables. I am not sure yet if I am going for the three cam option or for the pan/tilt system, I think initially for the pan/tilt.

As HD recorder I am going to use the Mobius HD camera. I probably install it underneath the nose, something to figure out in the next few days to make sure it will fit.

Last but not least I ordered a nice little gadget to make sure I can track the X-8 in case of, the GPS Tracker TK102B .

Last couple of weeks I have been working on the various fuselage stations, the aft deck will house the UBEC, SBEC and the utility power packs. The mid section will house the Hornet OSD, The FY-31 auto pilot, the Lawemate tx and the engine power pack. In the nose I install the Immersion UHF receiver, GPS tracker and the pan/tilt system.

Before putting on the glass fiber clothing I am going to test all the equipment, a task for the coming week

Been busy with other projects, as upgrading my ANX FPV aircraft with a bigger motor and upgrading my X-5 FPV craft with a pan system and a Sony 600TVL cam instead of the Fatshark cam. One week ago I continued with the X-8 by installing the Mobius HD cam and the FPV fly cam pan/tilt system. Finally the long servo arms arrived so I could bring the elevon control rods topside of the wing. I removed the elevons and will use hinges to reinstall them properly. Furthermore I reinforced the elevons by putting glass clothing on them. I will reinforce the entire wing next week

Operation glass cloth was success full, I was a little worried how to get it around the wing lets but it worked out OK. Wings are nice and smooth now and a lot stiffer. Continue now for tye final assembly of the fuselage and testing of the systems :-)

X-8 is almost finished now. I was not happy with the fixed position of the Mobius, so after ordering a FPV/Mobius Pan/Tilt assembly from CNC parts I did a little nose job still working on it but it will be nice in the end
Ailerons are secured with little sate sticks, after a little adventure with mine X-5…lose aileron during flight. So it is up to the final assembly now
All electronic equipment is also installed and after flying a lot with the FY-31 / Hornet combo in the X-5 I installed an extra switch to make it possible to switch on all the electronics in sequence this prevents misalignment of the FY-31. In total I have installed 3 switches to power up the X-8, one to power up the BEC which provides power to diversity EzUHF receiver, the EzUHF powers up the FY-31 and the servos. The second switch powers up the Hornet, I have discovered (on the X-5) that sometimes (if you provide power to all the systems at once) the FY-31 will not initialize correctly, giving erroneous attitude (horizon) information. By powering up the Hornet after the FY-31 is initialized this problem will not occur. The third switch, which I have placed externally is to power up the Lawemate 1000mWatt 1,2Ghz transmitter. The reason for this switch is that I want to power up the Lawemate at the last moment to prevent overheating. I have installed a little connector next to the switch which serves as an AV aux port. I can connect the FPV monitor to it and check the FY-31 performance and alignment and the video signal without using the Lawemate AV TX.
Last couple of days worked on some minor changes of the X-8Mk2. Installed a leading edge alignment pin and trailing edge alignment plates to create a smooth alignment with the X-8 fuselage. Furthermore I installed hooks underneath the fuselage to secure the fuselage to the launcher to prevent positive rotation during the launch phase. Next I took of all the FPV equipment for the maiden flight and installed 150grams lead in the nose to compensate.
Up to launch day!

See also my blog for the latest news and videos
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Last edited by UAV Aviation; Dec 24, 2014 at 04:13 PM.
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