Aquaspider (DIY Aquacopter) - RC Groups
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Feb 26, 2013, 12:33 AM
ParagonUAV
MayMayDay's Avatar
Build Log

Aquaspider (DIY Aquacopter)


Ever since I saw the Aquacopter (with whom I have no association) I have wanted one for FPV applications (seems the most logical use of them). However, I didn't like the simple X shape or the lack of clear frames. Hence, I've decided to build one for myself, nice and custom fit for FPV.

There is a local thermoforming company that is willing to form me some pieces that I can work with. However, before I go sending off the blueprints, I'd like some input from those more experienced than I in quad design.

Below is a picture of the drawing from the solid model I created. A sheet of 1/8" acrylic or copolyester would be formed down over this. After two have been formed and trimmed (and various pieces of hardware installed, such as motor mounts), they would be glued together.

Received the formed halves, and they look very nice. Decided to go with black ABS for several reasons (mostly price and durability). Started building the pieces by drilling the motor holes and main hatch. A hole will be cut in the front and a clear piece of acrylic permanently installed so the GoPro/Pixim can see out.

Frame is a bit heavier that I expected, but still manageable at 512g. So, AUW is looking to be around 1600-1700g.

UPDATE

An external heatsink was embedded for each ESC with the plan to thermal tape them on to get the best heat transfer. Initially installed them with an ABS slurry (ABS shavings and ABS solvent), but it didn't stick to the aluminum properly. So re-mounted them with a different cement.

Finished up the distro board, as you can see in the picture below. Quite a bit attached to it. Outer ring is 4S lipo, inner ring is 12V regulated.

Installed LEDs on the four arms to help with orientation and the cool factor. Run into the frame through the motor holes and go to the 12V rail.

Finally got the nerve to glue the thing together. Used ABS primer then ABS solvent. Left it overnight to cure. The two halves went from super flexy separated, to very very sturdy as one piece. Almost no play in the motors, can barely twist the arms. Solvent was a bit messy (a nice yellow color) which kind of marred the outside, but something I can tidy up later.

Then had to mount the ESCs to the heatsinks, which proved to be almost impossible (hindsight is 20-20 right?) so I only mounted 2 to the heatsinks, the other 2 to the sides of the main body. Will have to see what the heat build up is like.

Tidied up the wiring. The CC3D and DL Rx are mounted to the removable hatch and the ESC leads are long enough that you can pull it out far enough to get a lipo in and out.


For the maiden:
Had very little control with the CC3D for some reason. CG was right, but I needed to pull back on ELE for the thing to fly level. Even if the CG was off, the FC should have been able to compensate. Was flying in rate mode, so no issues with autoleveling etc. Was very sluggish on tilt and roll, could barely tip the thing, though I wasn't really trying to. Will have to reconnect it to the GCS and see what I can do.

Aquaspider Maiden (3 min 0 sec)


Setup:
10x3.8 Slowfly APC
iPower 2217Q 880kV
F30 with SimonK
CC3D (will probably change to KK2)
DL with externally mounted turnstile
5V switching BEC
4S 4000mAh

GoPro Hero 2
400mW 1.3 GHz VTx with externally mounted Windmill antenna
Super Simple OSD
12V switching BEC

Some waterproof LED lights mounted externally.
Last edited by MayMayDay; Apr 27, 2013 at 12:51 AM.
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Feb 26, 2013, 12:34 AM
ParagonUAV
MayMayDay's Avatar
May be needed for stuff if this actually works.
Feb 26, 2013, 02:12 AM
Pants first, then shoes
I built a waterproof hexa which is flying really well. Mine is pretty rudimentary as I am using a tupperware type container for my FC and fpv electronics. My esc's have been sealed from water with heat shrink and silicone, they sit outside the container to keep the heat down. The battery sits inside the container but does generate a fair bit of heat.
I fopund with my Aquaquad if I had the esc's inside the frame the heat build up inside was pretty high. If you have a look at my blog you will find a photo of it.
I want to design my own as well.
So a couple of thoughts, if possible in your design have seperate spaces for your esc's so their heat doesnt warm up the FC compartment. Try and make the opening large enough to take a decent sized battery, the Aquaquad cant fit batteries much bigger than 3s 3000mah.

Meola Reef March-HD 720p (6 min 17 sec)
Last edited by Stacky; Mar 25, 2013 at 01:22 PM.
Mar 25, 2013, 01:16 PM
ParagonUAV
MayMayDay's Avatar
Updated.
Mar 28, 2013, 03:44 PM
In Thrust We Trust
I like where you are going with this. I would be interested in a option for a light version too, granted price and durabilty would reflect that.

Maybe a rounded top half or domed cover for more room and GPS
window..

I would also widen the battery area a bit for air cooling and different size batts.

Do like this, so please fly soon so I can get a price from you.
Mar 28, 2013, 04:05 PM
Registered User
Interesting, this one actually has space for the stuff that is needed onboard

I might have gotten a aluminium heatsink and stripped all four ESCs and somehow mounted them so that the FETs on the ESCs were in contact with the heatsink, and mount it so that the heatsink is on the outside of the body and the ESCs are inside...
but I live in Norway, so I think it will have good enough cooling :P
perfect for flying around in the snow and over the lakes
Mar 28, 2013, 07:34 PM
ParagonUAV
MayMayDay's Avatar
Quote:
Interesting, this one actually has space for the stuff that is needed onboard

I might have gotten a aluminium heatsink and stripped all four ESCs and somehow mounted them so that the FETs on the ESCs were in contact with the heatsink, and mount it so that the heatsink is on the outside of the body and the ESCs are inside...
but I live in Norway, so I think it will have good enough cooling :P
perfect for flying around in the snow and over the lakes
I'm currently working on the heatsinks for the ESCs, as that was my plan for keeping them cool. Especially in summer when the black shell is absorbing heat (contrary to popular belief, I do believe you get a couple days of summer in Norway ).

Quote:
I like where you are going with this. I would be interested in a option for a light version too, granted price and durabilty would reflect that.

Maybe a rounded top half or domed cover for more room and GPS
window..

I would also widen the battery area a bit for air cooling and different size batts.

Do like this, so please fly soon so I can get a price from you.
Can you be more specific by 'light version'? Do you just mean the same frame, but make it lighter? Would be hard to do, as it is already 1/8" ABS and quite flexible. Would have to cut down on compartment space perhaps. Or just make a waterproof core with wooden / aluminum booms... Interesting.

A dome would be useful, but that would require more thermoforming, which is more expensive.

Lots of people talk about their lipos heating up, but I've never had that issue on my other quads. Will be interesting to see how big of a role it plays.

If people are interested in maybe purchasing one, I may do a small run of them. Could maybe get an approximate price next week. Would be very rough though.
Apr 13, 2013, 12:57 AM
aka Helidaho
AeroVideoUS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayMayDay
I'm currently working on the heatsinks for the ESCs, as that was my plan for keeping them cool. Especially in summer when the black shell is absorbing heat (contrary to popular belief, I do believe you get a couple days of summer in Norway ).



Can you be more specific by 'light version'? Do you just mean the same frame, but make it lighter? Would be hard to do, as it is already 1/8" ABS and quite flexible. Would have to cut down on compartment space perhaps. Or just make a waterproof core with wooden / aluminum booms... Interesting.

A dome would be useful, but that would require more thermoforming, which is more expensive.

Lots of people talk about their lipos heating up, but I've never had that issue on my other quads. Will be interesting to see how big of a role it plays.

If people are interested in maybe purchasing one, I may do a small run of them. Could maybe get an approximate price next week. Would be very rough though.
WOW, I would be interested, sign me up.

Paul
Apr 13, 2013, 11:22 AM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
Vantasstic's Avatar
I have an Aquaquad. For waterproof FPV this design looks a lot more promising. I hope it works out for you...very interesting.
Apr 13, 2013, 06:52 PM
Registered User
jonkykong's Avatar
MayMayDay, digging your build!

Is the last pic above from a website? Always thought about putting something like that together where the community could post specifics on builds.
Apr 13, 2013, 07:13 PM
ParagonUAV
MayMayDay's Avatar
Thanks everyone. Hell of a lot of fun to build, I'm REALLY hoping it works out. ESCs and CC3D set up, motors spun up, DL calibrated and bound. Will do a powered tilt test this evening. (Put on props, spin 'em up while holding it, and tilt it around to make sure it compensates. Then give it input and make sure it reacts properly. Doing it safely, don't worry!)
If that all goes well, I solvent glue the halves together tomorrow (so nervous about this, it has to be exact) and install the GoPro piece. I'll update the build tomorrow evening at some point.

Quote:
Is the last pic above from a website? Always thought about putting something like that together where the community could post specifics on builds.
That's from ecalc. Really good for correctly specing out a system.
http://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc.htm?ecalc&lang=en
Apr 13, 2013, 07:19 PM
Registered User
id be interested in a price but i have one question, will the baro work while enclosed?
Apr 13, 2013, 07:42 PM
ParagonUAV
MayMayDay's Avatar
Power test done. She's ready to be glued and maidened tomorrow.

Quote:
id be interested in a price but i have one question, will the baro work while enclosed?
Nope. I didn't design it with that in mind as I only fly acro. It would need a special tube (similar to the H2o) or a breathable patch (like the Aquacopter).
Apr 15, 2013, 01:51 AM
TAS Foamies was here!!!!!!!!
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT, it looks sweet
Apr 15, 2013, 02:03 AM
CunningStuntsFPV
figgoat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayMayDay
Power test done. She's ready to be glued and maidened tomorrow.



Nope. I didn't design it with that in mind as I only fly acro. It would need a special tube (similar to the H2o) or a breathable patch (like the Aquacopter).
Love your work.


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