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Old Jul 04, 2012, 06:37 PM
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Build Log
X8 wing

AIM: UAV for mapping
Equipment:
  • Turnigy NTM 4238 750w motor
  • Various pitch 13" folding props
  • ESC Trust 70amp
  • 2x Turnigy 6000mah (12000mah)
  • Ardunio APM2 autopilot and all the bits
  • Xbee 900 for telemetry (have the 3DR but apparently only 1km range!)
  • Lawmate 1.2ghz Vtx with bevrc filter
  • Chainlink Dare Long Rang UHF
  • GS-1 gyro servo for autonomous Ortho camera stabilisation (possible hook up to APM2 after tests)
  • Canon Ixus 220HS with CHDK firmware
  • Fly My Dream Auto Antenna tracker
  • DIY BiQuad antenna based on IBCrazy plans
  • OSD fly my dream acting as the audio modem for position tracking, 3DR minimosd for OSD
  • 12v reg
  • 9v reg
  • 6v bec
  • Fpv cam 700TVL Sony CCD Effio-P WDR Color 3D-DNR w OSD
  • 12v 80 relay for killing motor when chute servo opens (switched or accidental) also good when bench testing
  • LC filter on Vtx pwr
  • Di-Noc vinyl covering
  • HK 720 30fps wingcam for later observing flutter and chute operation
  • Full size servos (hitec 303, what I had)
  • numerous homemade plastic vacuum formed parts (available for purchase
  • Fruitychute Iris 60" UAV parachute (typical landing method)
  • Folding 2.5m catapult

WISHLIST:
  • Flir Tau or Quark Thermal camera
  • Image stabilized retractable camera gimbal

I am the obsessive type, like a dog with a bone. So when I start thinking about these things it is a 24/7 head space resident.
I need a dome made for the Multi rotor and saw how easy it was to vacuum mold stuff (so I thought) so I made my own Vac forming machine. And so it began, I have molded so many bits and pieces for the X8 that I have taken 10 wks to actually start making the UAV.
It has begun now however and full steam ahead. I have spent a lot of time nutting out the process to avoid unnecessary holes in the frame etc. Also the step or order of things is important since this will have a parachute landing system. This has required developing an attachment system capable of taking the sudden shock of the chute pulling the plane to a halt without ripping it apart.

With the main aim to take orthographic images suitable for mosaic and DTM's a camera mounting system was necessary. These all have an impact on the Centre of Gravity CG and flying characteristics of the plane. Even though it is a big plane with a large internal volume for equipment, positioning of devices etc becomes tricky with compromises having to be made (and adjustments later no doubt).
With any luck the All Up Weight AUW will be under 4.8kg !!! Too much for my right arm to toss. Therefore a catapult system is going to be made. This will be an aluminium square section rail & cradle using 6 bungees.

23/9/12 Catapult Mk1
(have a better idea already but this will get her high)
The aim was to have a light weight back pack-able unit. therefore I wanted to do avoid a double rail system.
I have basically taken a 20mm round section, welded an "T" beam to it for stiffness. For the cradle I have two CNC table linear bearings (open style C) with a nylon block to stop roll. For the trigger I use a gate latch and a bolt on the back of the cradle.
I am using 6x 1m circumference loops of 8mm bungee. these are stretched to there max (6x relaxed length 500mm) = 3m (1.5mx2 up and back). Four gave me 27kgs so I was surprised when the scales EEE out on me with 6...the scales are rated to 40Kgs. If posters calcs are right we need 5x the mass of the plane to launch successfully. My X8 is a whopping 4.8kgs, lets say 5kgs plus the cradle approx 3kgs sooo...40kgs of pull is just about right. I hope.
The ramp has yet to be cut down in length and from trigger to end stop is only 1.6m so its like a massive spear gun so you would think thats nice and short. BUT the thing is loading these 6 bands is a hairy thing in itself. The ends can flip up pretty quick if you pull in the wrong manner...may lead to a premature firing and I tell ya you don't want to get snagged on the cradle! Best not to walk around the pointy end either.

Had some issues with the MyFlyDream Telefly osd and extension board(only 3s rate!)...osd gets bloody hot! - Charlie from MFD offers excellent service
Im using a Lawmate 1.2Ghz (known issues on the audio/data channel) so I have done the 33 picofarad mod.
APM2.0 is up and running.
Some have advised to not trust the turnigy Trust esc so I will look at the Castle Creations 75amp.
Catapult firing mechanism for the solenoid...works a treat.

Turnigy 9x transmitter mods:
  1. 6 position mode switch for APM : Manual/stabilise/RTL/FBW/Auto/Loiter
  2. catapult firing switch.
  3. Blue LCD
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Last edited by Imagecatcher; Nov 17, 2012 at 04:14 AM. Reason: update
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Joined May 2012
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Great work. I just got my x8 and I am also looking to build my own pieces. What do you use to make the clear plastic?
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 03:44 PM
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NSW Australia
Joined Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wehrwolfzug View Post
Great work. I just got my x8 and I am also looking to build my own pieces. What do you use to make the clear plastic?
Either HIPS or PETG (clear). Petg is more flexible.
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Old Jul 20, 2012, 02:34 AM
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Joined Jul 2012
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Nice build.

Have you tried activating the parachute? I would love to see it in action. Video perhaps. By the way, if you have already flown this, what is the maximum range you get from the video transmission?

I'm gonna use a long range telemetry instead of using UHF/LRS since my groundstation will be a computer.

By the way I can't see the camera in your finished X8.
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Old Jul 20, 2012, 02:58 AM
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Joined Jul 2012
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By the way I'm Delfin III from DIYDRONES, the one asking suggestions for my X8. I've updated my post there, I posted my list of parts. The 1.3Ghz 800mW will be my video transmitter and long range telemetry is RFD900 (40km range as advertised). By the way, is my list complete or am I still missing something? any recommendations you may add? thanks.

Here is my DIYDRONES post.
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Old Jul 20, 2012, 07:39 PM
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Hi Delfin,
It is yet to break the gravity of this world. So I have not tried the chute yet. Rest assured I will have all the cameras rolling to capture the success or failure of it. On the Q of LRS v xbees etc, I have some experience with xbees on my Multirotor and whilst I do have it on the plane I honestly feeel very nervous flying by wire. Things do drop out/lag. I will fly programmed missions but joystick via PC (aahhh therein lies my true concern, the PC. I hate PC as a macman). So far as your list goes it really is personal pref and there is a host of fiddly bits you are constantly ordering. I have limited RC exp so Im not the best to ask since I am sure any enthusiast at a field would LOL at my setups.
Troy
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Old Jul 20, 2012, 11:44 PM
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Thanks. My main reason for asking is because fly-by-wire is not reliable specially when PC suddenly restarts, that's the advantage of LRS, but yet I think i'll stick with telemetry since I want to keep track with the location of my plane.

By the way,someone posted here in the X8 thread his video on chute release with his X8.

X8.wmv (2 min 14 sec)
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Old Jul 21, 2012, 04:27 AM
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Thanks for that, very interesting.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 02:46 PM
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Joined Jul 2012
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Really great work, im after the exact same purpose! Could you please tell me more about the material and the method you used for laminating the plane? Also im a bit concerned about placing the camera, wich needs to be mounted like you did. How well is it protedted with that filter fixed to the outer transparent shell? Are you going to use the parachute as the default landing method or is it for emergencies? Thanks a lot!
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatalisx8 View Post
Really great work, im after the exact same purpose! Could you please tell me more about the material and the method you used for laminating the plane? Also im a bit concerned about placing the camera, wich needs to be mounted like you did. How well is it protedted with that filter fixed to the outer transparent shell? Are you going to use the parachute as the default landing method or is it for emergencies? Thanks a lot!
Yeah the black and grey stuff is the 3M Di-Noc CF look vinyl. It isnt cheap and depending on how you want the bias pattern to look it can have a lot of waste. There is a real art to applying it (hairdryer)...Im no master yet. Not hard doing the wings but the fuse is a B-----. Would I do it again????
The camera I think will be fine. I intend to chute land 90%. The filter is relatively cheap and I doubt I will break many, there would have to be a 30mm rock point right there and if she comes down slightly nose first then it will roll onto any pebbles (theory). Either way the camera will be fine. I have the cam on a roll servo so I needed to get the cam lens low and a large filter so it doesnt vengette(?). How is yours coming along?
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Thanks! Mine is still sitting at the customs for a week already and the more I read the more I get confused with the endless combinations of possible setups. Im new to this world but Im a technical person so I will manage it. Im not really fancy about the looks of pattern, but as I see almost everyone laminates these wings so Im still looking at the options. So far I was thinking of this kevlar/CF mix 165g/m2, and the price is okay, however this is not self adhesive: http://www.novia.hu/downloads/downlo...GRATEX_eng.pdf

Could you please tell me more about the camera roll servo I guess you hooked it up to the APM2? Also are you going to use any failsafe next to the APM2? What kind of battery setup are you using ist is 5s, 6s? Thanks
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 07:33 AM
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NSW Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatalisx8 View Post
Thanks! Mine is still sitting at the customs for a week already and the more I read the more I get confused with the endless combinations of possible setups. Im new to this world but Im a technical person so I will manage it. Im not really fancy about the looks of pattern, but as I see almost everyone laminates these wings so Im still looking at the options. So far I was thinking of this kevlar/CF mix 165g/m2, and the price is okay, however this is not self adhesive: http://www.novia.hu/downloads/downlo...GRATEX_eng.pdf

Could you please tell me more about the camera roll servo I guess you hooked it up to the APM2? Also are you going to use any failsafe next to the APM2? What kind of battery setup are you using ist is 5s, 6s? Thanks
I have just updated the equipment list which may answer Qs. Re Failsafe hmmm I am using a 1 batt system, no dual becs (none I could find for 4S). What did you have in mind???
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 02:52 PM
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Thanks for updating the list! Sorry I think my question regarding failsafe was a bit misleading, I wanted to know if you are using an other return to home solution like fy31ap in case of apm would fail? Thanks for the info also on the camera stabilisation, i have just visited www.kapshop.com they have a wide range of selection gyro stabilized rigs, however those are for kites, ballons and poles.

Its a bit of a bummer that the 3DR had such a poor performance, I was actually considering them for telemetry. As Im in the EU choosing frequencies is an issue, since we cant really use 900mhz due to the still existing older gsm phones, xbee 868 has a 10% duty cicle so its not an option. 1.300 ghz also have restrictions, 2.4 ghz for transmitter and video on the same plane is not feasible, and Im not very keen on 5.8 ghz as the frequency is not for long range. Which 3DR do you own?

Well, Im totally new to this scene but Im learning and reading a lot, so excuse me if Im asking something which may sound stupid. Anyway, its inspiring to communicate with someone like you, who puts a lot of effort to acheive his goals in a professional matter. I would like to bulid mine in the same manner as its going to be a tool used by my company for crop inspection, mapping, documentation etc.
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Last edited by fatalisx8; Jul 29, 2012 at 02:53 PM. Reason: typo
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Old Oct 18, 2012, 11:36 AM
Blackfly
Joined Nov 2008
58 Posts
Just wanted to say thanks, for posting such a great mod thread.

Can you post your performance specs, like flight times etc? I'd like to attempt an X8 build for irrigation mapping, but haven't seen any solid numbers in the forums.

Again, great build, I look forward to more of your updates!!

Patrick
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