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Old Jul 23, 2012, 12:20 AM
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Jump in MultiRotor, my last month journey

Hi guys,

I'm an old (ok not that much 42 years old man. French is my native language, I advise you, this post contains bad english syntax, bad translation of french to english expressions and you'll get LOL reading me. But "if you don't worth big laughs, you worth nothing" (this is a french expression translate to english...

A couple of years ago, I flew rc helicopter as a business doing aerial photography and cinematography, flying big electric chopper like MaxiJoker with all the bells and whistles to grab the perfect image (Carvec system for those that know what it is ). In 2007, I have started a new business (not related to AP/AV) and didn't fly any of my machines anymore. They are there, taking dust, waiting after me. Each time I see them, I hear them telling me: "hey we are ready for action man!". But I didn't listen to them for many reasons, til, one day (1 month ago to be honest), one of my friend put in my hands his small blade helicopter radio and tell me, hey Mart, fly it for me, I don't know how. Heuuu, ok, I didn't touch any radio in the last 5 years. My godness, flying heli is like riding bicycle! I had a blast! Totally hooked... again!

To make a long story short, I have decided to fly again but this time, for fun, not for the aerial business and also why not give a try in FPV!? My Jokers are big, too big and heavy to bring them in camping or with me all the time (almost). So, I was looking for something smaller and cheaper to fly. After reading a lot of post on many forums about multi rotor, electronics, setup, problems, have decided to build one... to see, for fun.

First: A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU GUYS! So much information, that I didn't need to post a single question on forums. Everything is there... Priceless! I just feel the needs to share what I did and my experience if that could help others too.

Then, here it is, made of plywood and woods stick and a lot of tie raps. Yeah, I love tie raps. 8 bolts on my frame and the rest is lot of tie raps. Did I said that I love tie raps hahahaha

My setup:
- motor: SunnySky X2212-13 980kv
- ESC: Mystery 30A BEC
- Props: GemFan 9x4.7
- FC: NAZA with GPS, gains: 135,135,115,100:80,80 (still adjustments needs there)
- Batt: lipo 2650ma: 6-7 min flight time for 75% of pack capacity (25% security buffer. I don't use the NAZA volt monitoring)
- Gopro HD2
- vTX: 5.8Ghz, 600mW with BlueBeam antenna
- Using Dominator FatShark with integrated RX using a bluebeam antenna on it

Some pictures of the progression of the build:
6"x6" main plate with 13" arms in a X pattern. 8 bolts.


No plugs! I prefer soldering all wires.
Motor are directly mount on the arm with... tie raps! They will broke first in a crash absorbing all the impact before the motor.




Using velcro to fix electronics. Velcro is good too to absord high frequency.


At this point, I was ready for a first trial of the thing in my basement (yeah I'm crazy) at 2h00am (family was sleeping but they didn't heard anything).

First inside test flight with custom quadrocopter (2 min 33 sec)


The final result:
- add the NAZA GPS module
- the cover is a ZipLock pot paint in black
- the gopro gimbal is fixed with grommet bolt and the camera is suspend between 2 foam maintain by rubber band.



And because in this word, nothing is easy as it seem's to be, it took me a couple of fligths, adjustements, trial, to pass from this:
Test Fligth #5 (3 min 59 sec)


to that (and it still not perfect, but a lot better):
Test flight with 9-4.7 propa (5 min 7 sec)


In conclusion:
I'm pretty happy with the setup. Took me around 25 hours to build, test, adjust including 20 tests flights. Some problems I had to solved in this journey:
- TBE (Toilet Bowl Effect) in RTH (GPS mode)
- Altitude drift when Yawing in GPS mode
- jello effect
- high freq vibration

All solutions, and a lot of ideas and experiences found on this forum. Thank you again for all of you for the invaluable information you gave me thru this forum.
I will be happy to answer questions about my build experience if some of you have some. I just can't write everything in a single post...

Next step now: FPV. Start tomorrow in a field near me Will let you know how it goes and if that could interest some of you, will post some vids too.

That's it, thank you for time you took to read my post.

Cheers,

Mart
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Old Jul 24, 2012, 10:57 AM
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United States, SD, Rapid City
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isnt 980kv a bit low for 9in props? maybe 10in would be better?
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Old Jul 24, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Canada, QC, Joliette
Joined Sep 2005
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I was flying 10x45 props since the beginning but live with certain problems that have been solved using 9x47 props. I was "over prop" for the weight of my machine (1450g).

- instability of the quad descending. I partially have solved the issue with a mix on my radio to slightly increase the naza FC gains when throttle is reduce but I was not able to completely eliminate it. I then decided to try smaller props. With the 9x47 props, they, for sure, turn faster. The NAZA board seem's to like faster rotor. No more instability in descent. Overall, smaller props gave me more stability in hover even in forward flight, better control response, better stabilization in slight wind, less vibration and the motors seem more efficient (no scientific verification here, just my feeling, I should calculate it to be sure). I obtain the same flight time for the same current charged back in the battery. Temperature of the motors are a little bit higher at touch (just warmer than with the 10" props) and the battery doesn't seem to cry for pain

- altitude drop when yawing with GPS on has been solved using smaller props for the same reasons as above I imagine.

Do you think I'm off track with 9" props and should reconsider the 10" ones? I was thinking that 10" props should be the right choice (that's the reasons I installed them first) for less than 1000kv motors. I have seen a couple of person with 9" props with 800kv motors. Everything depends of the weight of the overall setup, the pitch of the blades and motor specifications. With an heavier setup, the 10" props should probably be a better choice.

Cheers,

Mart
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Old Jul 25, 2012, 12:01 AM
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First FPV

Ok, here it is. My first FPV try. First time putting these FatShark immersion video lens... for at least 4 minutes. God, they are not confortable! Gusty morning too. Was not evident to fly against the wind...

The video is boring, sorry for that. For this first try, I need a big field, then not so much stuff to look at, but my goal was to give me a first feeling of the FPV. It's pretty strange to look at your body when your "spirit" is in the air... I like that!!! And I will continue to pratice at this field for a while til I feel totally confident with what I'm doing.

First goal: try to go as far as I can, very slowly at low altitude, to test range the radio and video and familiarize myself with flying inside the machine I was trying to figure my altitude ans speed thru the wide video deformation. Not so evident. That's the reason the displacement is not "fluid". Pratice will help to evaluated that...

After approximativaly 200meters, I have lost my video signal. I flipped the GPS ON, turn back then the video signal came back. I have changed the antenna position tonight on my machine and will do another try tomorrow. The antenna was installed in front of the machine and horizontally. Now it's installed vertically on top of my cover (ziplock pot).

I love this thing. I now have big respect for people that fly FPV close to objects (between trees in a forest)... Damn, I'm not there yet!

Flight #20 - First "real" FPV (3 min 37 sec)


Cheers,

Mart
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Last edited by phover; Jul 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM.
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Old Jul 25, 2012, 06:11 AM
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i love this great work and great documentation.

a suggestion is to use a better on board antenna and a better video receiver antenna . http://www.multiwiicopter.com/produc...-leaf-3-bladed

an upgrade to a 2.4ghz remote controle and receiver will also help. something like frsky is easy to buy and setup.

also the rc and also video reception can be boosted easily with larger antenna's
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 01:00 AM
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Hi dogz85,

Thanks for your comment. I use my old JR 9303 72Mhz radio and took a look a the frsky 2.4ghz transmitter module for this radio. Interesting. That would help to avoid the find of a good position for the long 72Mhz antenna. I'm using a 5.8Ghz TX and RX, I suppose that a 2.4ghz radio could probably interfere with it on some harmonic. Do you know if any filter has to be used over the 2.4Ghz with a 5.8Ghz system? I should start to read about that.

Cheers

Martin
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 01:18 AM
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Inspired by a couple of guys here, I have installed on my quadro some lights. I just completed the installation (2h00am) at this instant. I wonder if I go outside at this hour and start to fly the quadro illuminated if my neighbor will call the police thinking that it could be an UFO hehehe.

I took a small photo camera and shot this vid with all the ligths turned on (I did it for a friend, then I speak to him in the vid, but just don't bother with what I'm saying (french)).
Quadro Lighting circuit (0 min 48 sec)


In summary:
- Front: 2 strips of 3 white leds;
- Read: 4 strips of 6 red leds each: 2 strips inside the rear arms and 2 strips under rear arms;
- Under: 1 green 3x3 leds;
- 1 flashing led (flashing all three RGB colors randomly) per arm
Total: 43 leds

I plan to use a separate battery for the lighting circuit. A small 3S 1000ma lipo. That should give me more than enough power for the lights. Will mesure the current draw by them tomorrow.

Look forward for tomorrow night

Cheers,

Martin
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Old Aug 01, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Hi Martin!

Thanks for putting together this very good work-log thread. I'll be keeping a close eye on it.
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Old Aug 01, 2012, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroRoo View Post
Hi Martin!

Thanks for putting together this very good work-log thread. I'll be keeping a close eye on it.
Thanks for watching. My thread is not very informative, but at least it keeps track of my progress flying these things If that could inspired some of you

Finally a nice evening tonight to fly with all theses leds on. Wow, it's was so cool. My kids were so excited to see the "spaceship" flying over them. That's not something I do normally. I did it in the past with actors for some aerial shooting with my big helicam. They signed agreements accepting me to fly over them. But I assume the risk for my kids. I know my machine, my kids, and they respect the rules I gave them tonight: "listen to me for my instructions". Anyway, the result is nice. I like the low light response of the Gopro. A little bit noisy but no blurry in movement. I like that.

At the end of the vid, I climb over 500' and to go down, I have drop my throttle stick at around 20%. Was also a nice opportunity for my custom tilt gimbal to put it 90 degrees down from horizon. The descent was fast but not as much as doing it manually. It seem's the naza control the speed of the descent and limit it to a certain value. At the end, putting back some throttle to slow the descent induced some shaking of the quad. Many forces in action!

Enjoy:
Par Pur Plaisir (3 min 55 sec)


Mart
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Old Aug 03, 2012, 05:19 AM
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Would you be able to post more detailed photos of your electronic setup? I'm most interested in seeing how you connected your ESCs to the battery pack and the general setup of your wiring.
I'm not well versed in electronics and would love to see how you've done yours.
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Old Aug 03, 2012, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phover View Post
Hi dogz85,

Thanks for your comment. I use my old JR 9303 72Mhz radio and took a look a the frsky 2.4ghz transmitter module for this radio. Interesting. That would help to avoid the find of a good position for the long 72Mhz antenna. I'm using a 5.8Ghz TX and RX, I suppose that a 2.4ghz radio could probably interfere with it on some harmonic. Do you know if any filter has to be used over the 2.4Ghz with a 5.8Ghz system? I should start to read about that.

Cheers

Martin
HI, I am very impressed with your latest vid, your fpv skills are excellent.

in regards to 2.4 and 5.8 operating together i have not noticed any difference to the video signal. also in my "extensive reading" (5 years of trawling this forum) i have not seen any mention of a need for a filter.

what i have noticed is that i no longer get any signal problems with the remote control. EDIT: read the thread linked below

also some of the frsky receivers have a pin to output ppm sum signal, this makes connecting to flight controllers that support this a one cable job.

EDIT: I remembered reading something about NAZA and 72mhz radio, so did some looking and here it is, scary....
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1702739
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Old Aug 03, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Thanks for your comment, but in the last vid, I wasn't flying in FPV

I didn't experience any problem so far with 72Mhz and the NAZA. But I must admit that I'm not so sure right now if I'll keep flying at 72Mhz after reading the thread you linked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dogz85 View Post
HI, I am very impressed with your latest vid, your fpv skills are excellent.

in regards to 2.4 and 5.8 operating together i have not noticed any difference to the video signal. also in my "extensive reading" (5 years of trawling this forum) i have not seen any mention of a need for a filter.

what i have noticed is that i no longer get any signal problems with the remote control. EDIT: read the thread linked below

also some of the frsky receivers have a pin to output ppm sum signal, this makes connecting to flight controllers that support this a one cable job.

EDIT: I remembered reading something about NAZA and 72mhz radio, so did some looking and here it is, scary....
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1702739
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Old Aug 05, 2012, 11:30 PM
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Hi AeroRoo,

I realize that I don't have pictures of my "under the hood" wiring.

But it's relatively easy to connect the ESC to the motor. I did a star layout configuration: each +/- ESC is connected to a central point (some people use a power distribution board, I just used a big solder. This is connected to a first deans male connector. The receiver, fc and video TX are connected to an individual connector made of one male and one femele deans connector solded back a back with a pair of wire insert between them. This way I can connected the battery only to power the electronics without connecting the ESC (easier to program the FC and test the radio and no need to worry for an hazardous motor start, can also use another pack to power the electronics if needed to isolate the power systems). Another connector to power the leds if I need them (I can connect the leds to the main battery pack or to another battery too). All these connectors plug in each other with the battery.

I could have use swithes instead of plugs, but a switch can "bounce" with vibration. You need high quality ones. I prefer to use plugs cause that gives me more flexibility.

See pics.

Mart


Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroRoo View Post
Would you be able to post more detailed photos of your electronic setup? I'm most interested in seeing how you connected your ESCs to the battery pack and the general setup of your wiring.
I'm not well versed in electronics and would love to see how you've done yours.
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Last edited by phover; Aug 05, 2012 at 11:40 PM.
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Old Aug 06, 2012, 12:19 AM
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New quad layout

I have decided tonight to modify the quad to clear the props from my Gopro field of view when shooting at 170degres of FOV. I wanted to clear the props for any tilt angle I want to cover (from +45up to -90down, 0 degre is horizontal).

Modifying the frame was something easy to do. My concern was more about the NAZA FC. The symetrical X frame is a no brainer for the FC, but now, my frame layout looks like a deformed X (see pic, sorry for my poor english ).

The HoverThings FPV frame hasn't a symetrical X layout. I have seen a lot of HT FPV layout flying with the NAZA. Their layout present the same distance between the two front motors and between the two rear motors. The distance from a front and rear motor on the same side is smaller than the other distance. My layout hasn't the same distance between front and rear motors. I could move the motors easily to make this distance equal, but, I'm curious to see how the NAZA will react, then... a good reason for a small test flight. I'm not the first one I'm sure to test this kind of layout, but didn't took the time to search for it. Will do after. I'll have my answer on the spot doing a test

It's late, it's raining outside. My basement isn't the ideal place to test (not really wide), but here is the video:

NewLayoutTest (1 min 59 sec)


Difficult to fly in this close area. A lot of air is moved everywhere, bouncing on the walls and push back to the ground by the ceiling. The consequence is that the machine always want to kiss the ground and attracted the walls. Difficult to maintain an hover for a long time. A simple move of the quadro change the air flow in the room considerably. It's like flying outside in a high wind coming from random direction...

But the test was concluant. The naza seems to react well to non symetrical X layout. It feels smoother (my observation). I need to adjust my gains cause now, they seem a little bit too high. Will do another test tomorrow outside. Will see how it feels in forward flight.

Cool, now I don't see the props anymore

Mart
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Old Aug 06, 2012, 12:40 AM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
Joined Nov 2011
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nice! dont get your quad sucked to the ceiling
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