Smallest possible multicopter controller? - Page 6 - RC Groups
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Dec 02, 2012, 03:51 PM
Registered User
Freakazoid's Avatar
Heehee, eager much?

Firs the specs of this little bugger:
Frame diagonal size is 125mm, arm width 15mm, all up weight 38 grams,
lift capacity atleast 80 grams (test results in motor review varied greatly).
Flight times should be around 10 minutes oon 2.5x1" props and 14 minutes on 3x2" ones.
Note that you can double the lift capacity if you made the frame 10mm bigger (3x2" props instead of 2.5x1")
Motors are originally specced for 3x2 but I wanted SMALL so great sacrifices were made.

Here's the bag-o-crud needed for a microquad:
Controller: Timecops sekrit stash of awesome Afromini's.
RX: Stripped Assan 6ch in PPM mode, same size as afromini!
Batt: Any 400mAh 1s 30C cell you can find.

Before anyone says it, yes there are smaller/lighter ESCs but I chose these because they have onboard 5v BECs.
This makes feeding the receiver and FC board a lot easier. Im just gonna strip the headers off and shrinktube em straight to the arms.

Motors pull 1.6A full throttle on 3x2 props.

Im still waiting on hobbyking to bring me my stuff, but you can expect videos of me picking it off the ceiling soon enough.

I'm hoping it will be atleast as fun to fly as these cheap little brushed motor toy quaddies.
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Dec 02, 2012, 04:02 PM
WiseDuck's Avatar
Alright, so I found roughly what is needed then. I'm tempted to go with the supermicro ESCs, they're in stock and weigh almost nothing. I know my receivers work on 1S, so that shouldn't be a problem. Unless the voltage sags too much if you push it and you get a brownout that is.

You think the 300x100 plate will be big enough to make frames out of? Is that 125mm from edge to edge, or motor to motor? A 100x100 square is about 135mm when measured from one corner to another, diagonally.

Assan huh? Darn, might have to check those out then.

EDIT: I actually have two small brushed quads, one "mini pet" (Which I broke after 6-7 crashes..) and another one. They're fun but very limited in what they can do. Brushless and complete freedom of movement is where it's at!
Dec 02, 2012, 04:08 PM
g0t rabb1t?
ABLomas's Avatar
Originally Posted by WiseDuck
Also need a smaller receiver, but FrSky doesn't have any micro receivers that can do PPM. Only the 4ch one with the full range antennas, hmmm...
D4FR is less than 2g without case. I would call this "micro"....
RX+micro-naze32 combined:
Dec 02, 2012, 04:15 PM
WiseDuck's Avatar
Yeah, altho the one I have is the D4R-2. Which is similar to that one, but it has telemetry and two full-length antennas for diversity and 1.5km range. A bit overkill for this quad. Ahem! I'm gonna have to look for the old version.

EDIT: Discontinued! Maybe someone still has it in stock, google time.

EDIT: Wait, is that the one with telemetry? I see an empty antenna slot there, did you simply unplug it?
Last edited by WiseDuck; Dec 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM.
Dec 02, 2012, 04:47 PM
Registered User
Freakazoid's Avatar
Yank those headers, solder PPMsum straight to the board, get rid of that .6g
My stripped assan receiver + naze32 board will be creeping near the 3 gram mark.
Hey, on a 40 gram quad every gram counts!

If I can get it all humming along nicely electronics wise,
im gonna start thinking of a carbonfiber version with triangle cutouts on the arms to reduce weight even more.

I'm still on the fence a bit about sacrificing 50% of its performance for being 10mm smaller though..
Once I get my stuff im gonna see how it flies, if its too soggy ill just bump it up a size and go 3x2 props.
I wanna atleast yank a loop in my livingroom or its not worth it.
Dec 02, 2012, 05:13 PM
WiseDuck's Avatar
In case my own cut frame won't uh, cut it. Maybe I can buy one from you anyway?

And yes I want to yank out the headers, altho it's a bit of a pain to do that since they've all been soldered into place already. I might just buy another Afro Mini. (Oh, AND on the receiver? Well alrighty then!) So my shopping list looks like this right now:

OK HK030 - 2.4Ghz SuperMicro Systems - Brushless ES.. $24.44 32
OK CFWFS3x1x1 - Woven Carbon Fiber Sheet 300x100 (1.0MM .. $10.79 80
OK D1000-7700 - hexTronik 2 gram Brushless Outrunner 770.. $31.40 156
OK HKP2510C - 2.5x1 Combo (2.5x1 & 2.5x1) (3 Standard .. $11.96 28
OK HCB-03 - 3x2 Propellers (Standard and Counter Rot.. $3.78 60
OK Z4001S-30C - ZIPPY 400mAh 30C Single Cell $6.84 32
OK N350.1S.65 - Turnigy nano-tech 350mah 1S 65~130C Lipo.. $4.10 35
OK 009000003 - FTDI Adapter USB Controller - 5V $4.75 5
OK 9171000034 - Tie-D-Wires Cable & Wire Holders (10pc) $1.69 12
OK BU24A80-06 - Turnigy Pure-Silicone Wire 24AWG (1mtr) .. $1.18 38
OK WH-2MM-BLACK - Turnigy 2mm Heat Shrink Tube - BLACK (1m.. $0.25 19
Dec 02, 2012, 05:33 PM
Registered User
Freakazoid's Avatar
If you cant manage a frame from CF (use a mouthcap, CF dust is NASTY!!) I can help with a basic fiberglas one.

What I did to kill those pesky headers is take some claw pliers and squeeze the heck out of the plastic surrounding them.
They usually tend to be brittle for easy cutting at the assembly line, so they just shatter like shrapnel (keep in mind bits will go flying).
Then all you have are individual pins you can heat and yank one by one.
Push em in before yanking out, to let em soak up the solder and leave a tidy hole for later.

Im not familiar with your receiver, but can it deal with low voltages well?
And I haven't checked but I think the board might also want 5 volts.
So without some sort of BEC you might be going up chocolate creek with those supermicro ESCs.
Thats why I picked the somewhat oversized turnigy ones with the 5v 500mAh BECs.

I wonder what you are up to with those tie-D-wire things though,
not sure if there's even room left on the quaddy for those.
Landing skips?
Dec 02, 2012, 05:41 PM
WiseDuck's Avatar
The Turnigy ones are out of stock tho. And I hate waiting, I'm impatient like that! Maybe the 65c 1S Nanotech won't sag under load, so that might work. I have one here which is charged to about 4.1 and it'll power the FC and receiver without a problem. I think the receiver also worked when it was at storage charge, somewhere around 3.7v

I'll take my chances, if this fails I'll simply order the Turnigy ESCs when the're back in stock.

As for the tie-D thingies, I wanted those for something else but theyn decided to remove them.

Anyhow, I want to buy a frame from you, no matter what happens. :P So give me a price.
Dec 02, 2012, 05:58 PM
WiseDuck's Avatar
Alright, I added two different voltage boosters just in case. So if I get brownouts I can add a booster as a last resort. The Supermicro ESCs weigh less than the turnigy ones, but you'll lose that weight advantage if you have to use the booster. Ah well, we'll see what happens!
Dec 02, 2012, 06:12 PM
Registered User
Freakazoid's Avatar
Oop, no stock? That might have been me, stock was just "OK" when I ordered mine. Sorry.
If you can, try powering your RX with 2 AA batteries, that should give you roughly 3 volts.
Some RXes are fine with even 2.8v (built to run on 2.5v minimum apparently).

The booster is gonna be a gamble, but if it runs fine on 1 cell you're the winner.

Im also thinking about using the BECs to power 4 big fat LEDs for orientation.
Lets just hope I wont crash it into my Christmas tree,
its as big as an ornament and has lights as camouflage!
Dec 03, 2012, 02:31 AM
WiseDuck's Avatar
The booster weighs 4 grams and is made for 1S, people say in the discussion tab that it works down to 3.1v, at which point the ESCs would cut out anyways. I won't fly any model down to that level. I should be able to shave off some weight by removing the shrinkwrap and servo connector.

I have lots of led strips at home, although they aren't particularly bright on anything but 3S/4S. But I guess they don't have to be since this thing is supposed to be short-range only. Now, about your frame, I think you'll need some holes near the center of it so you can feed the ESC wires through that to the FC.

About your CNC machine, what code have you fed it to make this frame? The machines I have at work use Mitsubishi M70. Altho I'll most likely have to use some old machine that runs on Dynas PC-III system. That one can only take pure ISO code. If you don't have a program I can make one myself, no problem, altho if you could upload yours that would make things simpler. Unless you intend to sell this or something. :P
Dec 03, 2012, 03:04 AM
SebastianJ's Avatar
Hejsan Wiseduck,

0,6 g 5v booster

And you'll have to reflash the Supermicros with BLheli FW, and that might still not work.

I tried them myself without success, I still have to try the BLheli FW, but I've been either too busy or too lazy.

Check out the Nanoquad V1/V2
Dec 03, 2012, 03:29 AM
WiseDuck's Avatar
Why do I have to do that? Aren't these meant to work with any brushless motor already? I'm not sure how reflash something so small...

Hrm, that's tiny, I'm gonna have to buy that booster. But if the supermicro ESCs don't work, then I might as well wait for the small Turnigy ESCs instead, which come with a 5v BEC.

I see some nano/picoquads on Youtube that use Multiwii and Supermicro ESCs without any problems.
Dec 03, 2012, 03:47 AM
SebastianJ's Avatar
Originally Posted by WiseDuck
I see some nano/picoquads on Youtube that use Multiwii and Supermicro ESCs without any problems.
Not true I'm afraid, you won't see any micro/nano setup with stock Supermicro/tunigy 3A ESC's flying in level mode or doing hard maneuvers.

Those tiny ESC's simply aren't fast enough with stock firmware, trust me.

Sure it'll fly like mine does - docile, but as soon as you add ACC or flick the stick it'll wobble itself to death.

And those f%#ing props! They're the stuff nightmares are made of, most of them will take close to half their own weight in tape to balance.

Here's how I do it.

Both my small quads are tucked away in the drawer, i guess now is the time to pull them out and get them working as they were intended to, winter and all here
Dec 03, 2012, 03:52 AM
WiseDuck's Avatar
Welp, skit. Or damnit.

Anyhow, got any guides for flashing these things? I'd like to read it. I doubt I'll be able to do it though.

EDIT: Alright, been reading up on flashing Silabs ESCs, seems like you only need three pins to do this. I see two free solder pads on the supermicro ESCs. If this is all you need to do, then I can definitely do it. Time to order the Silabs USB thingie.

Like you said, the guy who made the pico-quads only hovers around in his room, I want to do more than that. I mean, hovering around is what I do with the brushed micro-quads I have, that gets old fast.
Last edited by WiseDuck; Dec 03, 2012 at 04:26 AM.

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