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Posted by Mr.Jagger | May 05, 2018 @ 10:53 AM | 2,838 Views
Yep.I thought I'd give the venerable T-Motors a shot with their new Air Gear 450 set.I was thinking of them as an upgrade motor for one of my Solos.So imagine my surprise when it turned out that they are identical in every way to the stock 3DR Solo motors and props.They've got a set of dinky 20A ESCs thrown in to make up the set.And it will make a nice set for a 450 copter too.The Solo can fly @ 2Kg easily (normally 1780g with gimbal) with plenty of performance to spare.It can top 50mph for instance.

So Philip Rowse's information that the Solo motors were made by T-Motor is confirmed in the metal.Although they could have been made in the SunnySky half o f the factory.They still have the weird imperial bearing and shaft sizes.But it's not a bad all around set of motors and the Solo props are also excellent.

Here's where they sell them.

Having said all that,all that the stock motors usually need is a set of bearings to restore performance and that costs pennies unless you go for high value Japanese bearings.If you can find them in imperial sizes.But if you've bent up the stock motors or are wanting a set for a 450 class copter then these look good valueand I'm expecting exactly ythe same performance as stock motors on a Solo.
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Apr 12, 2018 @ 04:32 AM | 3,572 Views
I'll start at the end.

This is a Multistar 8000mAh 4S battery using the battery management system from a stock pack.

From the calculations to date,gimbal and gopro,AUW 2008g + props, this will deliver 18 minutes flight time with a bit of reserve.It has flown to near depletion and consumed 7800mAh, and survived for 22 minutes,Just.

Just about any battery that will fit can be used.A multistar 5200 mAh 4S fits snugly and delivers exactly the same performance as a good stock battery with a 15 minute flight time.It should be noted that these times are flown to 15% remaining battery.The percentage counter on Solo is of available battery not full capacity,so you can go to 0 if you want more time.A very cheap alternative to the stock battery without the sleek looks and no messing about with parameters.

So there are just two options.The choices are many.A nice Tattu 5200mAh pack has been used (got one on the way) as well as others.

A caveat with the big battery is that logging is getting knocked out,possibly by the LVA.More work to do on that.

Why would you do this ?

The newest stock Solo battery was made at the end of 2015 and the cells are starting to degrade.They are losing capacity and therefore flight time.There are currently no new ones planned and if any are made they will be expensive.A cheaper and easier way would be nice which also works right here,right now using just a soldering iron and a couple of connectors.Once converted,when the pack...Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Oct 18, 2017 @ 08:22 AM | 3,848 Views
Meet Slinky.

A perfectly good tarot X6 which flew fine on AC3.5.1.Using a Taranis it had great control range.And 5.8GHz video transmission.I got a Solo and it spoiled me for 720p video feed.So,with the help of some enthusiastic others,I've stuck the Sololink part of the Solo (an iMX6 co-computer) and now use a Solo controller and pad for FPVness.

I'm using a carrier board from Nicolas Chaslot which communicates with the Pixhack V3 by MAVlink over the telemetry channel.The radio control is sent to the Pixhack through the DSM port.The whole rig should have a similar range to the Taranis but with more visual HUD real time telemetry.I'll hopefully get the Solo gimbal on there soon for full camera control and it will take another full sized gimbal for the BMMCC with it's own radio and video link to the operator.

When you've got to bodge it.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Nov 13, 2016 @ 10:46 AM | 5,229 Views
I have a lot of batteries and some of them are big.Twenty Amp 6S is the size of a housebrick and weighs in at over 2 kilos.So I needed a big charger to deal with a pair of those and I plumped for the well regarded iCharger 4010 Duo.Once I got it i realised that I needed to actually put quite a lot of power in to get the power out so I needed a power supply.The quickest and easiest way to do that is with a couple of leisure/deep discharge batteries in series giving 24+ volts and a whole lot of amps.So that's what I did to start with.

Then I got fed up with lugging a lot of different seperates around to do charging.So I went looking for a solution that would give me mains and battery power sources and and a way of carrying it all to the field easily.I came across Ian at Cooliced on this forum where I read about his computer server power bricks and then his all inclusive case that contains the power supplies (x2) and the charger.So I dropped him a line.

He's just up the road from me in Northampton,England so I went ahead with an order for a case compatible with my 4010.I gave him a free reign and no time pressure and he gave me a few possibilities and choices so with that I committed to buy and sat back and waited paitiently.I've got plenty of builds on the go and plenty of tweaking to do as well so wasn't in a rush for it.I got busy in the workshop........

And now it's here.I had to send off the iCharger for final fitting as this was the first iCharger 4010 he's fitted and...Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | May 17, 2016 @ 11:46 AM | 12,680 Views
It arrived.The new Quanum Nova Pro.So I ripped it apart.

Well,carefully disassembled it then.Apart from one really bad screw it came apart as easy as the old Nova.And inside it looks a lot like my Nova does after a year of modding.A full APM 2.6 (2.7 actually I think - I'll find out for sure later ).Upgraded motors,all new ESCs with real solder,and generally a far better layout than before.The new PDB is handling a lot more this time around and the output breakout looks a fair bit better too and now uses connectors instead of dodgy and fragile soldering.Micro USB output instead of Mini.Telemetry output is new and gimbal control output as before just not enough channels on the RX to use a 3 axis one.That's another thing I'll be looking into.

As this is a PNF it comes with an RX which looks very much like a standard twin tail 7 channel one as supplied as a spare for the old Nova.The bottom half of the body is physically deeper by a few mm to take the 5200mAh Multistar batteries which would be ok except for the shark's teeth at the front end of the PDB.After a quick bit of dentistry with my smallest wire cutters the battery now fits all the way to the front wothout getting bitten.A bit of duct tape over the stumps will add a bit of protection if needed.The top half is unchanged.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Mar 28, 2016 @ 06:07 PM | 7,326 Views
About time I had a sit down and threw some pics and words together about the new hexacopter.Bought as a stopgap between the Quanum Novas I've been flying and the Tarot X6 (960) hexa frame that I researched and purchased a while back.When it got here I realised just how big it is and thought I'd need a stepping stone.So I got the Tarot 680 Pro frame and gathered a few bits and bobs and set to it.It won't be too detailed as I've now started on the big Tarot but here's a summary.

First off I decided to use the top plate as the base to give me a nice stable place for the FC to sit on the carbon fibre bottom plate (now going on the top).I've seen this done elswhere and it fitted in with my decision to go with inboard ESC placement under the copter rather than out on the arms.The upturned top plate is also the PDB so made it easier to wire in the power for the ESCs.I didn't take any pics when doing the motors but all I had to do was feed the two foot long wires through the arms and shorten them to fit.Then I fitted the arms and flipped it over for the FC install.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Dec 26, 2015 @ 11:39 AM | 8,929 Views
I've been following ScottFlys' Teensy mods for a while now and as I have a Taranis I've put the mods into action.I now have a decent telemetry readout on the Taranis and some spanking flashing lights.Having modded one Nova with the Adafruit NeoPixel sticks this time I went for the NeoPixel 60 led/metre strip.This spaces the LEDs out a fair bit and it was a bit of a squeeze fitting them on the arm of the Nova.

Cut down to the required 8 LEDs they are fitted using stock strip fixing clamps.The metal screws will be replaced with nylon at some point to save a touch of weight.

So to the inside job.The Teensy itself is a cinch to wire up using Scotts useful diagrams and a temperature controlled soldering station.I used jumper leads with male and female ends so I can remove anything that needs attention without desoldering.I used a small buck regulator to power the strips at the required 4.2 volts.The buck boards are tiny.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Dec 08, 2015 @ 06:26 AM | 7,805 Views
I'll be doing a full write up of my next build showing the stages needed to get this up and running but this is what it looks like when it's finished.For Frsky Taranis telemtry mod.

FrSky Telemetry Teensy Lighting Extension (OpenTX 2.1 only) 2.1.12a (1 min 23 sec)

I'll add to this at the weekend after the bits all get here.
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Nov 20, 2015 @ 06:09 AM | 8,174 Views
Finally finished the big battery conversion for the Nova PNF.It's also got a full APM 2.6 and a GPS/compass module conversion.Here's some detail.

I had to lift the PDB to fit the fat battery.I cut some alloy standoffs down using a small pipe cutter so they were 9.5mm.I then stuck a half inch piece of stainless bicycle spoke into the body pillars using superglue.I had to sleeve these so they were a tight fit in the standoffs and I cut these from the tube of a cotton bud which just happened to be the exact size I needed.These were stuck on the stainless spokes also using superglue and I then threaded the standoffs over them.This gave me a lift of 10mm.Here's the result.

To allow the battery to be slid into the shell I had to remove some plastic from the battery runners and foam padding.I used whatever I had to hand to do this including a Leatherman saw,small files,and a craft knife.I just kept going until the battery fitted through the door at an angle.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Aug 10, 2015 @ 04:14 PM | 8,368 Views
A bit of a gap in here I noticed so I thought I'd stick up the latest mission I put together with the two Novae.A lot of hard thinking went into this stuff but the results are just what I was looking for when I bought into this quadcopter lark.Hope you enjoy it and get a bit of inspriration from it.Plenty more work to do to perfect things but any landing that doesn't involve broken smoking plastic is a good one.

Lead craft is a PNF Nova with an X8R Frsky RX and Taranis combo carrying my old Gorpro Hero 1 and is a lovely stable paltform.Follower is my original RTF with simonk ESCs to replace the fried ones.It is carrying a Xiaomi Yi camera with a focus fix already done.Slight zoom to remove the landing gear.No gimbals yet but........

I used the same base mission in Mission Planner and altered the take off (home) for the two quads about 5 metres apart.The follower was given an extra 2 metres at each waypoint to keep them seperate.I ticked "verify height" on the lead but missed it on the follower which led to a bit of variation in altitude throughout the flight but I had enough seperation built in to overcome that little cock up.A couple of other differences in parameters need to be rectified but here you go,Val n Kyrie's flight at the Ol' Common Field.

Val n Kyrie's Ride (7 min 7 sec)

Posted by Mr.Jagger | May 11, 2015 @ 03:03 AM | 8,930 Views
So I decided I'd try lighting things up a bit with some junk I had laying around and I came up with this.The little Syma X5C-1 with an LED lightboard from a workshop torch powered by a dual lead 750mAh Turnigy Nanotech.I think it went quite well but didn't last too long and struggled to stay in the air with the camera running.

Fun though.Expecting a lot of UFO sightings in the loacl area.......

Just had a check on the full video and I got around 5 minutes flight with that lot on.Not too shabby.I can feel a fiddle coming on.......

early evening Syma X5C-1 with lights. (2 min 9 sec)

Posted by Mr.Jagger | May 04, 2015 @ 02:14 AM | 8,944 Views
As my Nova is currently a tricopter and because withdrawal symptoms were starting to show I took the little Syma to the common field in a 20 mph wind.This little thing continues to impress with it's ability to take abuse.I might even have to upgrade it to FPV at some point.

Once I'd moved away from the trees it handled whatever I threw at it although I did keep it as near the ground as possible.I recommend having one of these just for a giggle.

Still waiting on the postman........

Syma X5C-1 in a 20 mph wind. (0 min 57 sec)

Posted by Mr.Jagger | May 01, 2015 @ 04:58 PM | 8,757 Views
Not uncommon I hear but I killed an ESC on my Nova.It really went with a pop as soon as I plugged the battery in.A strange orange glow in the rear right arm and some magic smoke.So I've pulled it apart and ordered a new ESC and thanks to guidance from the CX20 thread I've been able to check out the motors to make sure nothing else died in the fire.

So it may be damage from a flip over crash or just another substandard part dying but I'm now intimately involved with my new hobby.I like ripping stuff apart and learning how to break it properly.

I've taken photos so I know how to put it back together and a few more of the tests I ran on some of the workings.I've had to use the hot glue gnu too i n places.

Now waiting on the postman....Continue Reading
Posted by Mr.Jagger | Apr 27, 2015 @ 05:52 PM | 9,460 Views
Out in the wild for the first time and I didn't bother to calibrate the compass.Lesson learned,hot glue gun used.

First crash (1 min 10 sec)

A bit of added info this is a 2015 model Quanum Nova.