Japanes Ball Drone. - Page 12 - RC Groups
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Sep 12, 2011, 03:27 PM
Registered User

Balancing the Sphere:

Hi Sam,

Attached are photos and drawings to indicate how to perform the lateral balance to your sphere. I want to emphasize the importance of this balancing. The more accurately you balance it the more accurately it will hover. This has a huge effect upon the overall performance of your sphere.

I made the balancer out of a bull's-eye spirit level, and a paint stir stick, mount the spirit level to the stick with double stick tape, balance it on a pencil, mark the center gravity and drill a hole.

The prop nut can be made out of plastic, or wood. If you don't have the correct tap, you can drill the hole slightly undersized, and just a thread it onto the shaft of the electric motor, make sure the hole for the string is exactly in the center of the prop not, aligned with the electric motor shaft.

You have to suspend the sphere from the motor shaft, make sure you remove both of your propellers, install the paint stir stick with the spirit level attached, screw on the prop nut and pass the thread through an opening between your carbon rods. The string MUST NOT, repeat, MUST NOT touch the carbon rods during this test.

You cannot support the sphere from the carbon rods to perform the level test. It has to be supported from the motor shaft by the string, and the string must be completely free, not touching any surface of the device.

You want to perform this test as the very last operation before you test fly. You need to add weight to the Meridian or you can say, Equator, to balance the ship.

I think that just about covers everything you need to know, at least that's all I have on my mind until we see some test flying. I'm looking forward to your feedback.

Have fun today,

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Sep 13, 2011, 05:54 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
good info again, I'll balabce out the sphere accordingly.
I used 2 servos on top instead of one because the fuse.
I'll test fly tomorow AM.
keep in touch.
have a nice day.
Sep 13, 2011, 12:56 PM
Registered User

Odds and ends:

Good morning Sam,

Two servos on top will work great.

I thought I would mention that I've had excellent results using exponential rate control set up on my transmitter. I usually set up dual rates and switch back and forth until I find which setting works the best. I have found that over controlling the craft has been a major problem, by setting up exponential rates you have very low sensitivity on the sticks where they center making it much easier to hover. I'm sure you've already used it in the past but I thought I'd mention the idea.

Regarding balancing the sphere, if you can't make a hole at the top of the sphere to feed the string through you can always attach the string to a stick that his held just below the inside surface of the carbon rods. Then you can clamp the stick to a table or maybe a ladder. If you need a sketch of that let me know.

For anyone who's interested in balancing a Crazy Ball Type of setup where the electric motor is installed backwards using a pusher propeller I have a simple method for balancing this configuration too. Please let me know and I can sketch that also.

Sam I have a request, tomorrow if you are successful in your flight testing and decide to make a video for us, would you please hold the sphere up to the camera quite close, rotated it around for all three axis so that we can see how you have configured the device. Then while you're hovering would you please bring it up close to the camera so that I can observe the control surface deflections, this would help me a great deal.

I'm quite excited to see your test results.

Best of luck,

Last edited by corocopter; Sep 13, 2011 at 03:57 PM.
Sep 14, 2011, 06:36 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
tested flight the sphere early this morning,it hovers & no big problem when
tested on pitch/roll functions,however I must say it was not good enough,
the performances were pretty much like the vid of my old Model 1,there still have minor hovering stability & sprint/horizontal mode minor "swing" phenomenons,frankly to say........this was not what I wanted.
I re-read your postings carefully again regarding to the canards configuration you have mentioned,and my sixth sense told me "this is it"
so I have spent another 4 hours today to convert the drone to the canard configuration,and tested flight again,and believe or not, everythings turned out just awesomewow,wow,wow...
now I feel like standing on top of the world,thanks to the canard configuration.
here are the setups:
4 vanes with 2 servos on top control surfaces for pitch/roll functions,the vanes were connected by 2 CF sheets
4 vanes with 4 servos on lower control surfaces for YAW,but also for
pitch & roll and mixed by mixers.
both top & low surfaces were connected for pitch/roll functions with gyros.
the YAW on lower surfaces is equipped with a headlock gyro.
here's a vid which may better explained how the vanes work...
I'm working on another video and will be back in any minute.....
a new motor scheduled to come tomorow,I'll test on single motor concept on the sphere and put spoilers on it as next testing stage.
pls advise & comment ....
best regards
PICT0321 (0 min 47 sec)
Sep 14, 2011, 08:12 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
and now my "Taiwaness ball one" is easy to control on hover,pitch & roll,thanks again to the canard configuration learned from you,it's a big breakthrough...
pls advise how do I offset the sphere on upper vanes as well as the lower ones,how many degree to set up on both surfaces in advance for single motor ball drone with spoilers on board scheduled for upcoming flight test.
have a nice day
here's a very short vid I just made....
PICT0325 (0 min 29 sec)
Sep 14, 2011, 11:16 AM
Registered User

Congratulations on the Taiwanese Ball 1

Good morning Sam,

Congratulations! You did it, I'm extremely happy you used your 6th sense and went back and gave the canard configuration a second try. It looks like the power steering (canard) configuration is the secret.

I got up a little extra early this morning, and the first thing I did was turn on the computer to see your new videos. I was so excited to hear and see that it works so well in the canard configuration!

Regarding setting the offset for your new motor propeller combination, it looks to me it's just a simple offset trim setting at your transmitter. Just offset the Yaw control about 12 so that all 4 lower vanes try to turn the craft in a counterclockwise direction.

Look at the sketches I sent to you again and you will be able to determine the correct direction to offset the vanes. Here's a way to look at it in your mind, viewing the sphere from the top looking downwards, the propeller turns counter-clockwise, and the fuselage wants to turn clockwise do to the torque of the motor, your Yaw control needs to be set to overcome this counter torque of the motor, thus the vanes must be set to make the fuselage turn in a counter-clockwise direction, the same as the propeller.

I would test fly with just the lower vanes offset first, if you're unhappy with that then you could do the same thing on the upper set of vanes also.


When you decide to add the spoilers make sure you make them out of the lightest material possible, carbon fiber sheet would be the best. The spoilers need to be installed slightly below the plane of the propeller tips, after watching the videos of the sphere in Japan it looks like the spoilers are approximately 5 mm below the propeller tips.

The length of the spoilers, IE the distance from the tip of the propellers to the tip of the spoilers will have to be adjusted after you have installed the spoilers and test run the motor, you're going to have to find out which propeller works the best first, install the spoilers and trim them to length. You want to start with them extra long making sure they don't strike the propeller and trim them off so that when the craft tilts slightly to the left or the right they will drop down on the appropriate side, if they're too long they will not deploy or drop-down, if they are to short they won't pull up into the horizontal position fast enough, you may have to make several sets of spoilers until you get it just right.

I have to go into town today and will be away from the computer until later this afternoon. I hope to make a video of smoke flowing into the side of the propeller when I return. If I get some good footage I'll post it today. I think this may help you visualize where to place the spoilers in relation to the propeller.

Once again Sam, congratulations, it looks like it flies very nicely, and thank you for the kind words, I'm delighted to be able to have helped in some way.

Last edited by corocopter; Sep 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM.
Sep 14, 2011, 12:11 PM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
a bit crazy,but is it possible for you to ask Gary to build a canard configuration ball drone with his open-pilot Coptercontrol,and name it
I'm not good in Quadcopter control board.
best regards.
Sep 14, 2011, 12:19 PM
Registered User

UK Ball #1

Gary, we have a challenge for you................

How about a bit of that British Craftsmanship?

Best Regards,

Sep 14, 2011, 12:21 PM
Registered User



Can you please move the CG upward, and downward and give us some flight test results.


More feedback later today from me.
Sep 14, 2011, 01:06 PM
Registered User



Take a look at this page:


This single copter is what your looking for and it is easy to program!

The OpenPilot is looks like a great device, but will not make it to your games in time.

Gary, can you please comment on what controller would work well.

Did you take the plywood off your windows yet?

Sep 14, 2011, 08:21 PM
Registered User

wiring diagram


Would you please look at the sketch I made and tell me if this represents your current wiring configuration.

Thank you,

Last edited by corocopter; Sep 14, 2011 at 08:26 PM.
Sep 15, 2011, 02:08 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
Originally Posted by corocopter

Would you please look at the sketch I made and tell me if this represents your current wiring configuration.

Thank you,

Bingo.....should call you professor VTOL,Yeah....nothing could ever
hide from you.
KK open-pilot control boards are quite popular in Taiwan,especially the cheap
HK ones,however,I'm not interested in it because I just like to do "DIY",as such,let Gary take over the challenge if he have no objection.
I'll be busy on the single motor sphere testing,keep in touch.
have a nice day
Sep 15, 2011, 02:54 PM
Registered User

Propeller smoke:


Here is a quick movie of smoke entering the side of the propeller, as you can see the smoke prefers to enter the propeller from slightly above the tips of the propeller. When placing your spoilers, you want to have the spoilers in the horizontal position slightly below the tips of the propeller approximately 5 mm. Having the spoiler slightly below the propeller creates a lifting force that will hold the spoilers up into the neutral or horizontal position.

The distance of 5 mm is just an estimate I made from looking at various photos of the craft in flight, actually stop action video was the best place to see this placement of the spoilers.


Propeller Smoke. (0 min 25 sec)
Sep 15, 2011, 04:02 PM
Registered User

Schematic #2


Attached is a schematic that I think represents the configuration of the Japanese ball drone.

With the addition of two more servos in this wiring arrangement you would be able to roll around on the ground much like the original craft, I think this would be very impressionable at your RC games.

I'm excited to see your next video and read your feedback,

Sep 16, 2011, 02:10 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan

now I do understood the best way to setup soilers,thanks to the detailed description & vid again.
I have converted the sphere to single motor today,but I have to align & balance the drone all over again,it takes a bit of time.
I'll test CG with diffrent batteries,1200gram,900gram and 600gram to see any
diffrences in flight when the sphere ready to go.
I'll put spoilers on when things go right.....
have a nice day

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