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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:30 PM
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined Dec 2004
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newbie first quadrotor build

This is a continuation of my original request for advice.

I hope by at least sharing the really dumb newbie questions I ask myself (and the forum sometimes) and the windy road towards the construction of my aircraft I can help others as fresh and clueless as me to figure out these basics that anyone with some minimal experience - or at least good common sense - can give for granted.

So I received the parts I ordered! Once again, here is my shopping list:

This totalled $151 (about $25 shipping) on HobbyKing which only when I was about to submit my order (and after hours of matching catalog with recommendations) I realized was shipping from Hong Kong. It took about three weeks for the order to arrive from Hong Kong to the shipping destination nearby San Francisco, USA and one more week for a colleague to bring it back home from there when returning from his business trip.

I will also be using a set of 4 Lipo batteries that I already had: 2x EnerLand 11.1V 18C 820mAh and 2x EnerLand 11.1V 18C 800mAh. I also have a Turnigy 11.1V 30C 1000mAh in case the others won't work.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:37 PM
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Canada, ON, Kincardine
Joined Feb 2009
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I can tell you right now that those little batteries are going to be heavily overloaded.

Ecalc is showing about a 60C max draw off of an 850 mah pack. Unless you are using a few in parallel you are going to have a hard time.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:40 PM
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined Dec 2004
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Servo leads

One of the parts I was missing on this shipment was a set of male-to-male Futaba-style servo leads. I couldn't find them available anywhere easy to shop during the timeframe of my colleague's visit to the US.

These leads are necessary to connect each of the radio channels from the receiver to the flight-controller.

What I did find locally was a set of servo lead extension cables, like the attached image.

My thinking was that worst case I could cut each extension cable in half and then connect each pair into one new connector. But I also wanted to try removing that cap on the female end and see if I would find a male connector underneath.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:42 PM
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined Dec 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helno View Post
I can tell you right now that those little batteries are going to be heavily overloaded.

Ecalc is showing about a 60C max draw off of an 850 mah pack. Unless you are using a few in parallel you are going to have a hard time.
Hey! Thanks for the tip! I was thinking about using two or even the four of them during a flight. Is that possible / acceptable? I still haven't even gotten to figuring out how to connect the batteries. I was even wondering if it would be possible to connect one battery per ESC.
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Last edited by n00bfly; Feb 13, 2013 at 09:50 PM. Reason: better English?
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:46 PM
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined Dec 2004
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servo leads - part 2

So after getting my hands in the servo extensions, it looks like indeed it is possible to remove the cap (with some effort), and this is what we find inside (see pic).

It's not exactly a male connector, but it looks like I could use a clipper to remove the trailing part of the copper lead to convert it into a proper male. I'll post with the results of that.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:49 PM
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined Dec 2004
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to-figure-out list

Adding myself reminder of some of the remaining questions I'll have to tackle:
  • How do I lay out the propellers? Which rotation prop goes where?
  • How to connect the batteries? Does it have to be a single battery? Can I use multiple in parallel? Can I use one per ESC or per two ESCs?
  • How to connect the ESC to the motor? Which of the three motor goes with which of the ESC leads? I mean: how do I make sure I don't connect it "backwards"?

Looking forward to more time assembling and researching about all this!
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:52 PM
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The motor rotation is determined by the Flight controller programming. One of the reasons people suggested the KK2.0 is that it shows you the motor rotation and connection position on the screen.

You can use multiple batteries but they must be in parallel or one will die before the other and you will lose a motor which is an immediate crash. You are far better off to use a single battery that can take the entire load.

To connect the ESC to the motor you just connect any three to any three. If the motor spins the wrong way you switch any two of the leads.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:02 PM
we dont NEED roads!
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United States, CA, Rocklin
Joined Aug 2012
3,423 Posts
The multiwii board is going to be alot better overall for performance than the KK2 board. the KK2 is a great board for beginners because you only have to worry about P & I gain, and with the LCD there is zero PC programming needed. However it only has a Gyro & Acc, and no room for expansion.

The multiwii will do everything you could ever ask a quad to do. And it does remarkably well at it. However the learning curve is quite steeper. I suggest you get familiar with http://www.multiwii.com/forum/index.php and prepare yourself with some knowledge of Arduino and the config.h file

also... buy some real batteries. Do not attempt to fly with the batteries you have now. They wont hold up to a quad. And if a battery fails in the air, your entire quad fails. Its not pretty... see my avatar

the rest of your build list looks good though.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:56 AM
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined Dec 2004
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Thanks for the info, guys.

Batteries .... grumble, grumble ... ok, ok, I will research and shop for a new battery specific to this. I trust your judgement on this.
Aside from budget and shipping hurdles, one other reason I disliked the idea of getting a new battery is because I hate the resource waste produced by getting always a new-but-more-specific part for each new build. I have a strong preference for recycling and reusing, particularly for batteries which are so harmful for the environment.

About the ESC to motor connection, and sorry for such incredibly dumb questions but, do you know of any trick for testing what is the right rotation before soldering? It doesn't sound very practical to solder everything in place, then see if the rotation is the right one, then un-solder if it was wrong (times 2 leads times 4 motors)?
I also don't know what is the right direction of rotation for each motor, but I'm guessing I'll get to that once I start looking at the programming of the FC along with the propeller placement ...
Perhaps I could just rely on probabilities: if I solder everything randomly I have highest chance of ending up with two motors rotating one way and two in the opposite way, which may be exactly what I need.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Motor to ESC connection

Actually, I have four identical ESCs, four identical motors, and each of them have well identified leads: A, B, C in the ESC and yellow, black, red on the motor. I could just connect them one way on two of the motors and swap two leads on the other two motors. e.g.: A-yellow, B-black, C-red on two motors and A-yellow, B-red, C-black on the other two.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 09:13 AM
we dont NEED roads!
AcroFPV's Avatar
United States, CA, Rocklin
Joined Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n00bfly View Post
Actually, I have four identical ESCs, four identical motors, and each of them have well identified leads: A, B, C in the ESC and yellow, black, red on the motor. I could just connect them one way on two of the motors and swap two leads on the other two motors. e.g.: A-yellow, B-black, C-red on two motors and A-yellow, B-red, C-black on the other two.
Yes this is what I did when I did my first build.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 09:19 AM
we dont NEED roads!
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United States, CA, Rocklin
Joined Aug 2012
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I cant find your flight controller on HobbyKing anymore.

Is this anything like it:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._GYRO_ACC.html

??
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru4wd View Post
I cant find your flight controller on HobbyKing anymore.

Is this anything like it:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._GYRO_ACC.html

??
I unfortunately don't know enough to be able to tell you :-/ Here goes a picture of mine. Unfortunately I can't access the specs from the HK website anymore and it didn't come with any specs. I'll look around for more information, since I'll probably need it when I get to figuring out how to use it!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru4wd View Post
I cant find your flight controller on HobbyKing anymore.

Is this anything like it:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s..._GYRO_ACC.html

??
Mine looks a lot more like this one: http://www.goodluckbuy.com/mwc-multi...opter-red.html
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 03:32 PM
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For reference, here is a kind soul who blogged about how to configure this FC: http://blog.giuseppeurso.net/how-tom...ion/index.html
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