|Jun 16, 2009, 03:05 PM|
The MB-6C [UAV helicopter]
This is it: the MB-6C/UAV model is now complete and flight tested. First flight was recorded on camera and it will be available shortly. It was really fun. Now I'll have to re-learn how to fly the thing from the camera view.
Video camera arrived yesterday with the wide angle lens and today all the A/V equipment is installed and tested OK. At this point, the heli only needs to be put back together for a maiden UAV flight, most likely this afternoon. The entire video system added roughly 90 grams which will probably reduce the flight time by a bit, but not worried about it.
Which OSD to go with is still in the air, or at least, for now, that is. I have to say that I am quite happy to have working video/audio links on the heli. I can't wait to see the area from the air!
Well, its almost done. I didn't get the camera yet but the video is all installed and all cables and gear is in, awaiting for the camera I just need to solder a couple more cables and this should be good to go! Audio is already hooked up and tested, I just need the video to complete the job.
After almost 1 month on vacation, I am back into it. The UAV project should be coming together real soon. The camera its been ordered already, so it should arrive in the mail any day now. The MB-6C is completely apart right now, awaiting for all the video equipment to go in. I might have the 1st UAV video this weekend... should prove like an interesting new experience. OSD to come soon, I am having serious doubts about which one to get. However, with that said, the helicopter will have an operational video/audio system by the end of the week.
While waiting for the OSD/camera, I added two white strobes to the tips of the weapon pylons and reworked the orange beacons to use neat LED holders instead of some red colored silicone. I also changed how the navigation lights are assembled so they require little work to change or removal in case the landing gear pipes are bent/broken. Replaced most of the internal wiring with AWG 30 wire to save some weight, like 5 grams total. I'll be adding the missing white strobe to the T tail center as well. Some misc scale details will be added here and there, like grilles and some fake small stuff.
Good news. After some tweaking and final checks, the MB-6B is back in one piece, this time vibration free and all 5 blades tracking like on rails. I hope the eLogger OSD pro is available for shipment (currently backordered) soon, probably mid July, that way I can finish hooking the camera to the OSD/eLogger and get the UAV project going. I've purchased the eLogger GPS module as I'll be needing this to know where I am flying.
Rotorhead is now fitted and vibrations are all gone. I got the airframe ready to be put back onto the fuselage and I'll finish the job tonight.
Received the rotorhead today. Will install it tonight and do some preliminary tests. So far, it looks a lot better.
New rotor head is in customs, should clear today and arrive home by the end of the week. With hope I'll have it for the long 4th of July weekend, but I am not holding my breath for that!!
Nothing new to report. I am currently awaiting for the HA rotorhead to arrive and proceed with the installation. It should get here sometime next week. (perhaps earlier?)
I finally installed the INOLabs tail servo. Seems to be working nicely and is 5 grams lighter than the Futaba 9257. It is noticeable faster as I had to lower the gain on the tail gyro.
Flew it at the airfield this weekend and overall it performed well. I had some unexpected issues with vibrations caused by the main rotor head. I managed to isolate those vibrations later in the day. It is more of an oscillation than a vibration and it is due to the fact the headblock is poorly machined. Each hole where the feathering bolts screw into the headblock, is drilled at an angle (instead of being perpendicular to the main shaft). Both LH 5 blade head blocks that I have suffer from this issue so I'll be replacing the LH head in favor of the Heli Artist 5 blade head in hopes that it is actually drilled straight.
This is the 2nd LH head I am using as the previous one also had vibration issues but with the added bonus of blade grips shooting out of the headblock (tapped wrong?). I've definitvely given LH heads an honest shot but they are simply put, not drilled straight. (at least not the 2 ones I got)
So, before I go and stick any camera inside the heli, all vibrations need to be worked out to a minimum, as I don't want to have periodic epileptic episodes while I am flying the heli.
The time has come, the time to start working on the UAV part of the MB-6 project, especially after playing with it for a couple of weeks without running into any issues. (it has been flown 3 packs every day, or about 50 minutes)
I'll be changing some of the electronics again, hopefully this time is the last time. In particular the tail servo as I am replacing the Futaba 9257 with a brand new INO-Labs HG-D261HB.
For video TX I'll be using a 500mW RangeVideo 900mhz transmitter that I purchased a while ago. This unit should provide very good range and decent image quality.
I'll also be using the newly released EagleTree OSD Pro coupled with my eLogger V3 for flight information. I am still debating what camera to use as I need something small that has good resolution to provide decent imagery. Suggestions welcome, of course.
Externally, both the MB-6B and C will be basically identical with the exception of an additional external SMA connector on the C version for the 900 mhz video TX.
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