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Old Dec 07, 2013, 03:52 PM
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Quadcopter build

Hi guys,
i am not very familiar with quadcopters so i will need your help with building one . Let me start with what i want the quadcoper to do:
1.To be controllable, preferably by phone or computer
2.To be able to transmit real time video signal(don't care much about the quality, but i guess at least 360p)
3.To have a onboard GPS which can be programed (preferably in real time)
I know that this is a lot for a first build but i think i will be able to do it with your help.
The thing is that i want to be able to program it not just assemble it.

I have chosen some parts:
Turnigy D2830-11 1000kv Brushless Motor
HobbyKing(Mystery) Blue series 30A ESC
ZIPPY Flightmax 8000mAh 3S1P 30C
RCT Spider FPV Quadcopter Frame W/ Landing gear
RCTimer ArduFlyer V2.5.2 Kit Flight Controller
or
RCTimer ArduFlyer V2.5 Kit Flight Controller

(don't know the difference )
maybe 10x4.5 propelers


So my questions are:
What else would i need to make all this possible.
Are the parts i chosen good(and compatible) and if not ,what parts would i need and why?
What is telemetry exactly?
Which are the best propellers,and don't need balansing?
...
Everything you know is going to be a big help for me.So tell me everything you think that may be helpful for me.
P.S.The primary goal is long range flying(1,2,5,10 kilometers)as much as possible .Sorry for my bad english.
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Old Dec 07, 2013, 06:08 PM
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Joined Sep 2013
116 Posts
Quadcopter build

Quote:
Originally Posted by stunito0o0 View Post
Hi guys,
i am not very familiar with quadcopters so i will need your help with building one . Let me start with what i want the quadcoper to do:
1.To be controllable, preferably by phone or computer
2.To be able to transmit real time video signal(don't care much about the quality, but i guess at least 360p)
3.To have a onboard GPS which can be programed (preferably in real time)
I know that this is a lot for a first build but i think i will be able to do it with your help.
The thing is that i want to be able to program it not just assemble it.

I have chosen some parts:
Turnigy D2830-11 1000kv Brushless Motor
HobbyKing(Mystery) Blue series 30A ESC
ZIPPY Flightmax 8000mAh 3S1P 30C
RCT Spider FPV Quadcopter Frame W/ Landing gear
RCTimer ArduFlyer V2.5.2 Kit Flight Controller
or
RCTimer ArduFlyer V2.5 Kit Flight Controller

(don't know the difference )
maybe 10x4.5 propelers


So my questions are:
What else would i need to make all this possible.
Are the parts i chosen good(and compatible) and if not ,what parts would i need and why?
What is telemetry exactly?
Which are the best propellers,and don't need balansing?
...
Everything you know is going to be a big help for me.So tell me everything you think that may be helpful for me.
P.S.The primary goal is long range flying(1,2,5,10 kilometers)as much as possible .Sorry for my bad english.
Im a noob as well :P
I would go for slightly lower kV motors because they provide more torque and usually are more efficient (more torque = larger props = more lift and longer flight times because of less throttle use from the strong lift). Something like 750 kv motors would be better, especially when carrying more gear.
For 10" props and 1000kv motors, I'm not sure if an 8000mah is the right choice here, but it would work. If you want a gps, and aren't really under budget, go for a naza/gps package or something by dji for mr's (multi-rotors). You can also go for an APM board with gps and other telemetry. These boards allow for a bit more tweaking and tuning, compared to the naza which is more simple with mainly plug and play.
If you're looking for a cheap, simple quad, a multiwii or kk2 board would be perfect (note the kk boards don't have gps). For fpv, you're gonna want to probably use 5.8ghz, but that depends on where you live. Make sure you get the right frequency, as in countries like the UK, some frequencies are illegal. Unless you already have a transmitter, etc. All you need is 5 servo leads, 3.5 bullet connectors, motors + hardware, esc's, props and flight controller + battery. You might also get things like a prop balancer, battery straps and other small stuff. If you plan on flying fpv, you're gonna want to control your craft with a transmitter, not just computer. With a transmitter you have full control over your craft, yet very rarely things like flyaways or other incidents happen.
As i said, I'm still a noob at this too, but I'm trying to help out. Everyone has their own opponion and I'm just trying to share so i can help you.
Cheers!
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Last edited by JumpTyw00p; Dec 07, 2013 at 06:33 PM.
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Old Dec 07, 2013, 06:15 PM
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116 Posts
Right, fpv:
When flying fpv, you have to have a way to view your live feed from your craft, otherwise its not fpv :P
Well, most pilots fly with goggles, but others also with just a monitor. Most actually use both because of the options. Also, you're not gonna get past your flying field with the stock ducky antennas. You'll have to end up buying or building your own antennas, to extend your range. Before you fly fpv, you want to get comfortable with your craft and learn how to properly use it.
Also, you can choose different props like three bladed ones, but because of their disadvantage try and stay a way from anything else than two blade props.
Cheers!
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Old Dec 08, 2013, 01:08 PM
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I'd forget the phone control. Plan to get a real radio and receiver or I wouldn't bother. Also if this is your first build then I'd really stick with a little less lofty goals. 1KM is pretty easy. 5+ and you are looking at specialty gear. 10+ and you really should be talking about a fixed wing craft. Forget the FPV for now until you get a handle on actually flying the aircraft.

You'll want to flash those ESCs with simonk or buy some that already are. It matters.

That battery is massive and way heavy. I'd stick with 5000mah max personally.
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Old Dec 08, 2013, 02:07 PM
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Ok for what i have read i will be looking for lower kv motors and i will give up from the phone and/or computer controll.But can someone tell me more about the arduflyer flight controller.I mean what software will i need ,how to make the real time video transferring,is there a some kind of telemetry system which can controll the quad and at the same time gives back real time video and battery data ,or something like that.. is it possible to record the video while seeing it in real time and everything else you think might be usefull for me.Oh almost forgot what is SamonK?
Thank you for the answers and please excuse my bad english,and my stupid questions.
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Old Dec 08, 2013, 05:51 PM
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Joined Sep 2013
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Quadcopter build

Quote:
Originally Posted by stunito0o0 View Post
Ok for what i have read i will be looking for lower kv motors and i will give up from the phone and/or computer controll.But can someone tell me more about the arduflyer flight controller.I mean what software will i need ,how to make the real time video transferring,is there a some kind of telemetry system which can controll the quad and at the same time gives back real time video and battery data ,or something like that.. is it possible to record the video while seeing it in real time and everything else you think might be usefull for me.Oh almost forgot what is SamonK?
Thank you for the answers and please excuse my bad english,and my stupid questions.
Remember this: real time video/live feed = FPV (first person view). Don't focus on fpv yet, as you will have to learn how to fly the whole shabang first! You'll get there dont worry, but fpv should not be your priority right now. Anyways, fpv works all the same, no matter what fpv system you have. Basic fpv consists of a few components:
- video transmitter (on your aircraft)
- video receiver (on ground with you)
- goggles/display or other way for viewing the live feed
- camera (on aircraft and plugs into your transmitter)
Now you also need a battery or other power source to power both your transmitter and receiver.
As i said, learn to fly first, then focus on the sweet stuff

As for the apm (the flight controller you are referring to as ardupilot). The apm is nice because of what it offers. Personally i don have any experience with the apm boards (though my friend owns one) but they are good. The apm offers several sensors to be attached which will then give you the telemetry (battery voltage, location, altitude, etc.) also the gps not to forget. The gps has several functions (keeping it in certain positions, waypoints, location, etc.). You don't need to program the apm, as there are programs on the web and i believe it comes pre flashed (already with a program).

Simonk which everyone is referring to is a software. You can download these softwares for esc's for example and it basically gives them better performance (it might be like going from a Toyota to a Mercedes). All it is is a different software that you can install on your hardware to possibly give your aircraft better performance.

Also, to the video recording: the recording depends on your camera.
- Can it record? Then yes!
- It cannot ecord? Then ONCE you know how to fly and want to step up to fpv, you can run a video card recorder between your receiver and your monitor (the video card will record the video coming through).

Now not to forget about the apm. You can download (i think you might have to to be able to use the apm for tuning and adjusting) a program called "mission planner" which allows you to connect to your apm board, see telemetry and more. This is quite useful, as you can do so much with this program (waypoints, adjustments, telemetry, location, etc.).

Yes, this might all sound very nice to have, but its also always good to check out some other products as well, so you can know you're getting the best for what you need.

I hope this helped and sorry if some of this doesn't make sense, its 2am here..

Good luck!
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Old Dec 09, 2013, 02:10 PM
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Ok i will focus on learning to fly for now ,but i am still not sure about the configuration of motors ,escs and battery.Can someone choose it for me( if i am not too impudent ) or at least give me some pointers brands,specs and etc.For instance which is better 3S or 4S battery?Why?As i said before primary goal is long time and long range flying..

Also what is the difference between Arduflyer and ArduPilot i see they use the same firmware(arducopter).Which is better for quadcopters and for fpv(for the updates i will do after i learn how to fly).

P.S. By the way what is APM? And what radio do you recommend(channels ,functions,manifactures)
Thanks for all the answers guys they are really helpfull....
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Old Dec 09, 2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stunito0o0 View Post
But can someone tell me more about the arduflyer flight controller.I mean what software will i need
The RC Timer Arduflyer is a clone of the ArduPilot Mega or APM. The APM is all open source, so there's no problem with RC timer selling clones).

APM accessories such as telemetry radios, voltage sensors, external compasses, GPS and on screen telemetery displays (OSD's) can be purchased and installed on the controller.

Here's just about everything you need to know about the APM -- (I don't know if the Arduflyer is 100% compatible, but most of this should hold true). http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/table-of-contents/

Edit.. Just to add.. There is an Arduflyer section on RCGroups.. You'll probably want to browse that too: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2021896
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Old Dec 09, 2013, 03:03 PM
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Joined Sep 2013
116 Posts
Quadcopter build

Quote:
Originally Posted by stunito0o0 View Post
Ok i will focus on learning to fly for now ,but i am still not sure about the configuration of motors ,escs and battery.Can someone choose it for me( if i am not too impudent ) or at least give me some pointers brands,specs and etc.For instance which is better 3S or 4S battery?Why?As i said before primary goal is long time and long range flying..

Also what is the difference between Arduflyer and ArduPilot i see they use the same firmware(arducopter).Which is better for quadcopters and for fpv(for the updates i will do after i learn how to fly).

P.S. By the way what is APM? And what radio do you recommend(channels ,functions,manifactures)
Thanks for all the answers guys they are really helpfull....
As i stated above, apm = adruflyer.
Adruflyer = adrupilot (same board with same functions but one is officially made by 3DRobotics in California and the other is a clone by RCTimer.com)
Well, this is a difficult question for me to answer because i don't have too much experience with 4s. Anyways, a lipo battery works in cells. Realistically these lipos range from 2s (2 lithium polymer cells in the pack) to 6s (6 lithium polymer cells in a pack) (there are one cell lipos = 1s but there are also some like 8s or 12s or so). The each cell contains approx 4.20volts when fully charged (per pack, example: 3 x 4.20 = 12.6 this will be the total volts your battery has). Then comes the mah = miliampere-hour. Basically what this means is how many total amps your battery has. When each motor draws 20 amps at full throttle, you have to divide (e.g. 3s pack with 4000mah) 4000 by 20 and then multiply by 60:
4000/20 = 200 x 60 = 12000 (12.0 minutes approximate flight time).
Also something to look for on lipos is the "C" rating. This means the discharge rate.

(e.g. 3s pack with 4000mah 30C)
4000mah = 4 amps
4amps x 30 = 120 amps continuous discharge

The difference between a 3s lipo and a 4s is that the 4s offers more volts (therefore more power) but also weights more because of the extra cell. The higher you go with cells on a battery, the less efficient it will get. This is because the higher cell batteries give you higher volts (allowing the motors to spin faster, yet also consume more energy).

Now for radios.
There are many brands out there, just like computers or phones, but the big companies (e.g. Apple or windows, etc.) are companies like Futaba, Spektrum, FRSky, Graupner, and many more. Futaba and Spektrum gear is expensive, yet good quality! Personally i fly with a Turnigy 9xr (the new version of the predecessor 9x) and i cant complain, i love it! I use an frsky djt module and you can get some really good range for that (considering its half and less the price setup compared to furaba or spektrum and gives nearly identical performance!) differences might be customer service and warranty or something.

Anyways, for a beginner, the 9x or newer version 9xr is perfect for a beginner. But if you're not on a budget, then a spektrum dx6i or futaba t8j are awesome radios! Hobbyking also offers some radio stuff, but thats not as good. Cant beat it for the price, but its not as good as the well known brands.

As for choosing a motor/esc setup for you, we cant really do that yet as we don't really know exactly what your looking for.
What you've said:

Long range (requires long flight time)
Fpv
Gps and telemetry

The thing is this:
The more and the larger gear you plan on carrying, the heavier its going to get, but also to keep up the long flight times with the heavy gear, the bigger motors and props you are going to need; the bigger the quad is going to be!

For long flight times, you want a lower kV motor and big props. You don't want to push your props to the limit of your motor, because this can result in the motor being less efficient than it could be.

Instead of getting into the DIY (do it your self) first off, what do you think about simply buying a frame and electronics. DJi offers some nice stuff like for hobbyists and beginners the phantom would be perfect (with the phantom you can get into the air under 700 dollars). You could also look at something a bit more challenging but funner: the flamewheels they offer, like the dji F450. This is a quad, but they also offer frames like the F550 which is a hexacopter. I would have a look at the dji phantom or dji F450 ARF ( ARF = almost ready to fly).

Ive written lots of information here, so read over it carefully to see if i haven't already answered your question.

I hope i could help,
Cheers
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 12:46 PM
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From your questions it sounds like you have no experience with RC stuff and don't know what you're doing? If that's the case, The project to mention, an FPV UAV with waypoints controlled from a computer, is way too complicated for you. Unless you have some background you didn't mention. Or have lots of money to hire someone to build it all for you and rebuild it when you crash. On that note, how much exactly are you willing to spend on this project? Are you sure of your goals?
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 01:37 PM
stunito0o0
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 02:09 PM
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This is not a good first quadcopter / first rc. Someone else should have stressed this point more to you earlier.

You have so much to learn and big motors and a quite technical flight controller are not how you do it safely. What you are suggesting with the experience you have is not safe for yourself or anyone within 1km of your flight zone.

Although others seem to be more willing to help I think you need to do a lot of research on your own first. In the mean time buy one of the little quadcopters off eBay and learn how to fly!
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by thisisglen View Post
This is not a good first quadcopter / first rc. Someone else should have stressed this point more to you earlier.

You have so much to learn and big motors and a quite technical flight controller are not how you do it safely. What you are suggesting with the experience you have is not safe for yourself or anyone within 1km of your flight zone.

Although others seem to be more willing to help I think you need to do a lot of research on your own first. In the mean time buy one of the little quadcopters off eBay and learn how to fly!
This is my research along with a lot of tutorials and other forums.I am aware that i don't have any experience with quadcopters ,but i never said that i will buy the parts and will start flying next week..This is just a place where i collect information about my future first build.
By the way i am no lawyer ,but i don't think you need a driver's licence to drive a quadcopter. I can learn how to fly with the quad without getting it on a long distance from me.And please don't think i am yelling at you , i am just answering your post...I appreciate everyone's understanding and patience.
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Old Dec 12, 2013, 11:12 AM
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"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way."
- Mark Twain
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 02:18 PM
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"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
T. S. Eliot

Anyway thank you all for the support..It was a big help for me
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