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Old Jul 10, 2012, 06:34 PM
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Floats for multicopter?


Hi,
I want to use one TRI to fly over water, a lake to be precise; so no high waves.
To be on the safe side at least a little more, I want to replace the landing gear with floats. AUW of the copter is about 800 grams, m2m is 60cm.

About the material:
Currently I am in favor of large foam balls.
The foam either will have to be of closed to water structure, so it does not soak,
or it needs some kind of laminating / epoxying the surface. Not sure what is best.

About the shape
spheres are probably easily available and have good in flight characteristics. But is that shape sutable for vertical takeoff or does it stick to the water surface too much during starts? Maybe a downwards oriented cone at the end of cylinder would be better?

Ideas?
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 06:38 PM
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You'll still need to water proof the electronics. The prop wash will splash up quite a bit of water unless you have tall landing gear which will make you easy to tip over.
Old Jul 10, 2012, 06:46 PM
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ok, good point. Will do that. And I want to keep the landing gear low.
Old Jul 10, 2012, 07:32 PM
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pool noodles will keep your tri floating without adding a lot weight..

i tried it on my quad to. the quad weighs approx. 1450 grams..

i wasn't successful for me though..

quadcopter swimming (1 min 29 sec)
Old Jul 10, 2012, 08:58 PM
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You need to tie the floats to the ends of the arms and not the body like a heli.
Old Jul 10, 2012, 10:16 PM
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Pool noodles rock!!

Not that this will save the camera from damage, but it wont sink


Mike
Old Jul 11, 2012, 12:03 AM
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what about 3 or 4 mini 8oz water bottles? You know the ones the size of a can of soda. They wont absorb water like pool noodles do ever time. Pool noodles can eventually become waterlogged.
Old Jul 12, 2012, 05:58 PM
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I will try to aquire some foam spheres and cover with thinned epoxy. Water bottles I do not trust to not get punctured unknowingly.
And yes, I will attach the floats far out.
Noone commented on the neccessary shape for liftoff. While this seems a big issue for floats for waterplanes I take it that is coupled to speed over water which VTOL multicopter has not; so it does not matter too much.
Thanks everybody. I will post results when floats are floating.
Old Jul 12, 2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburger View Post
I will try to aquire some foam spheres and cover with thinned epoxy. Water bottles I do not trust to not get punctured unknowingly.
And yes, I will attach the floats far out.
Noone commented on the neccessary shape for liftoff. While this seems a big issue for floats for waterplanes I take it that is coupled to speed over water which VTOL multicopter has not; so it does not matter too much.
Thanks everybody. I will post results when floats are floating.
You will lose efficiency with the weight and if they get caught up in the prop wash. If they are inside/outside of your props the shape shouldn't matter as much.
Old Jul 15, 2012, 09:15 AM
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You can also add severals 'Waterbuoy" on yours multi, each one can lift up to one kilo and will only pop up once in the water.

It's also equiped with a small red LED witch light for more than 2 days

WATER BUOY



Big + it weight almost nthing (19gramms)
Old Jul 15, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Get a large piece or polystyrene and cut something out of it?
Old Jul 16, 2012, 12:55 AM
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My Tri-float experiment


I tried this a few months ago:

Got a ploystyrene fruit box from the local market.
Chopped the corners off at a 45 degree angle.
Attached them to the existing 'legs' of the tricopter, inboard of the props to ensure that they didn't affect the prop-wash.
Used cable ties, which put holes through the corners - the floats fill up with water, but that drains out soon after lift-off.
I like the pointy tips, which eliminates 'sticktion' to the water on lift-off.
See the video below of the test flights. I intended only to keep the tri-afloat if I ditched it while undertaken FPV ops.

Tricopter on floats test flights (1 min 37 sec)


Roger.
Old Jul 16, 2012, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simiban View Post
You can also add severals 'Waterbuoy" on yours multi, each one can lift up to one kilo and will only pop up once in the water.

It's also equiped with a small red LED witch light for more than 2 days

WATER BUOY



Big + it weight almost nthing (19gramms)
I'm pretty sure that's a one time use thing...



I think pool noodles would be an EXCELLENT option; they support a lot of weight. Plus they're cheap!

I made some little foam floats out of some packaging out of something for my MQx. They worked fine, it just made me nervous as all hell to land on the water, and the extra weight was noticeable...

Old Jul 16, 2012, 02:25 AM
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Yes you are right, it's a one time use only

But I need them to prevent from sinking in case of an unwanted water landing
I do not plan to land on water every time, I'm not in waterworld

It's only to have time to look for a small boat in case my Octo have a problem by hovering a lake or something like that

In Decembre I would like to take my time, and most of all, I wouldn't like to have to jump in the water , so with this systeme, i have plenty of time to surch a small boat and to rescue my half way floating crap machine
Old Jul 16, 2012, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simiban View Post
You can also add severals 'Waterbuoy" on yours multi, each one can lift up to one kilo and will only pop up once in the water.

It's also equiped with a small red LED witch light for more than 2 days

WATER BUOY



Big + it weight almost nthing (19gramms)

i have and do use these as well... i have not needed them, but i tested them and i needed 3 to lift my AP rig... so i have 3 on my rig when i fly over lakes and rivers.
like here:
Aerial Highlight Reel Wyoming 2012 (ATV, Horseback, Fly Fishing, Real Estate, Salt & Snake Rivers) (4 min 36 sec)


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