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Dec 20, 2017, 09:49 PM
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Build Log

PhoDrone 1 - Long Flight Time, Aerial Photography Quad, 770mm 17"


Hi,

I'd like to share the journey of my build here.

Have fun.

Design (Done)
Build (Done)
Test (Done)
Improvements

Edit: please find updates and new versions here.
Last edited by Msonst; Aug 17, 2019 at 03:14 PM.
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Dec 20, 2017, 09:49 PM
Registered User
Thread OP

Design


The design has been done with Autodesk Fusion 360, which is free until you earn $100k which is unlikely in this case. :-)

Guideline
  • Keep the weight down
  • Keep as compact as possible. Everything needs to fold away or can be detached with quick release
  • Use strengths of both, additive and subtractive manufacturing


Components: (Complete BOM with links here)
  • rctimer 5010 360kv 4x100g
  • Multistar High Capacity 16000mAh 4S 10C Multi-Rotor Lipo Pack XT90 1x1285g
  • Flyduino KISS 30A 2-6s 4x5g
  • 1760 Folding Props 4xTODOg
  • HKPilot32 + Flight Controller Power Module 1x55,1g
  • Ublox Neo-M8N GPS with Compass 1x32g
  • X8R Receiver 1x16,8g
  • Damping Balls 4x2g
  • Folding GPS Antenna Base/Black 1x14g
  • Lipo Voltage Checker (2S~8S) 1x9g
  • RunCam Eagle 2 FPV Camera - 16:9 1x15g
  • Fatshark FT48X incl. Pigtail 1x12g
  • HKPilot Transceiver Telemetry Radio Set V2 (915Mhz) 1x11,5g
  • Skyfpv Video Switch 1x4g
  • Micro MinimOSD 1x1,3g
  • LC Filter 1x9g
  • FPV 3 Axis CNC Metal Brushless Gimbal With Controller For DJI Phantom GoPro 3 4 1x180g
  • Gopro Hero 4 Silver 1x88g
  • SMA male to SMA female right angle jack pigtail 1x9g
  • 16AWG Silicone Wire 4x21g (replaced with 18AWG)
  • TBS Triumph 5.8GHz RHCP FPV Antenna Set (SMA) 1x11.5g


Ground
  • Taranis X9D Plus Transmitter 1x
  • FatShark Dominator HD3 Core 1x
  • FatShark Goggles Power Supply Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh 2x


Frame:
  • Sandwich Top 1x98g
  • Sandwich Bottom 1x145g
  • Side 2x5g
  • Cover1x20g
  • Beam Lock 4x1g
  • Motormount inc screws 4x7g
  • Beams 4x32g
  • Spacer TODOg
  • Screws TODOg
CFK 1mm, 3k plain weave carbon, orientation parallel (0/90) to centerline
Fill +/-45

Battery
Ranking=[@[Density:Cap /Weight]]*[@[Value:Cap /Price]]
Last edited by Msonst; Aug 23, 2019 at 09:45 PM.
Dec 20, 2017, 09:50 PM
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Build


Centerboard
The center board has been glued with HK CA glue (HC-50-175). A small frame with screws through the four beam holder holes kept the sandwich layers aligned.
Note: Better do large areas with this glue outside as it generates a fume that is biting in the eyes. I assume it's not healthy as well :-)
Using nylon spacers and screws, the top and bottom sandwich were assembled.

Beams
The beams were machined with a 1/32" flat end mill and cut to length in the last run.
M3 nylon screws lock the beams and act as breaking point when crashing.

Electronics
To attach the electronics to the center board, I chose two different approaches. Components which will not be used in every flight have been attached using Velcro. The other components were glued directly to capton tape I put to the center board. The ESCs were wrapped in capton tape to prevent short circuits. I hope the heat dissipation is reasonably low with the 30A ESCs.
Last edited by Msonst; Jul 03, 2018 at 11:55 PM.
Dec 20, 2017, 09:50 PM
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Test


To verify
  • VTX influences GPS?

Sandwich Glue
  • HK CA glue (HC-50-175)
  • Loctite Vinyl, Fabric & Plastic Flexible Adhesive
  • HK 30min Slow Cure Epoxy
  • 3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive

Sandwich Bend Test
  • 100x10mm x 1mm CFK, 3mm Fill, 1mm CFK
CFK 1mm, 3k plain weave carbon, orientation parallel (0/90) to centerline
Fill +/-45

Bend test showed best adhesion and no separation up to 6kg for HK CA glue (HC-50-175). All other separated well below this (usually at around 3-4kg). However glueing is tricky for large areas such as the center board.

Endurance
During the first flights, the flight time was reasonably high at a bit over one hour with 1555 props.


Crashing
Arms folded away during the first crash (I'd love to call it unplanned rapid decent though :-)) and the M3 nylon screws broke as planned, preventing damages to the rest of the drone.
Last edited by Msonst; Jul 03, 2018 at 11:56 PM.
Dec 20, 2017, 09:51 PM
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Improvements


To be incorporated in V2:
  • Telemety and VTX point down
  • GPS cable hole
  • Power connector through center board
  • Gimbal cable hole
  • MicroUSB accessible from top
Last edited by Msonst; Sep 03, 2018 at 01:21 PM.
Dec 20, 2017, 10:04 PM
Wisconsin
Your transmit antennas for fpv etc look too close the GPS antenna. Likely with "desense" the GPS receiver and interfere with each other. Unfortunately you need to keep them all as far away from each other as possible. The FPV video transmit can be underneath pointing down.
Latest blog entry: UC4H: Gimbal flight test
Dec 20, 2017, 10:12 PM
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Hi Mike,

thanks for your reply.
I'll give it a try this way as the carbon is already cut =) and add your feedback to improvements for V2, as I completely see your point :-)

Thanks
Michael
Feb 06, 2018, 04:08 AM
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How is progress coming along Msonst? Been a while since you last updated the build log. Quick query, can I have a .stl of your motor mount? Been looking for something similar but my 3d design skills are rather poor.
Feb 19, 2018, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for reaching out.

The center is finished, all components are on the table. However I still need some holes and cutouts in the square beams. I tried with my limited toolset I have at hand (hand tools, rest is in storage overseas) with limited success =]. So I decided to build a CNC and a soundproof enclosure (...neighbours) first. This is around 90% done.

Give me some time and I'll upload the stls to thingiverse.

Thanks Michael
Last edited by Msonst; May 12, 2018 at 11:34 PM.
Mar 01, 2018, 06:56 AM
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Appreciate that! Looking forward to your progress and some flight videos hopefully
May 27, 2018, 05:11 PM
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CNC Done... back to drone work.

CFK beams are cut and motors mounted.

Next up, electronics.

Cheers Michael
Jun 21, 2018, 07:40 AM
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First flight was successful. Flight time is at a bit over one hour with HK 15x5.5 CFK props. Take off weight 2385g.

Videos follow

Michael

Ps: Does anyone know a source for 1755 CFK folding props?
Last edited by Msonst; Jun 24, 2018 at 01:36 PM.
Jun 22, 2018, 12:45 AM
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mlebret's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Msonst
First flight was successful. Flight time is at a bit over one hour with 15x5.5 props. Take off weight 2385g.

Videos follow

Michael

Ps: Does anyone know a source for 1755 CFK folding props?
Hello,

Nice work,

Have a look at 18.5 foldable KDE Direct or 18.2 T-Motor. If your motor is suitable for them, it could be a good (but expensive) choice.

Marc
Jun 23, 2018, 06:18 PM
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As a response to your earlier query:

Reckon anything over 17 inches is way too much for this particular little motor - check the following :

16 inch T-motor folding propellers


18 inch T-motor folding propellers


Mind you both of these are rather costly.

1760 Dji folding propellers

Reasonably priced.

(Originals were made of plastic for the E1200 Motor systems, but discontinued as the fairly recent DJI Matrice 200 uses the same props albeit not in a folding capacity)

Plastic clones of the folding variety are still available and apparently cause considerably less vibration than their CF counterparts,.

From what I have been told/read, fixed propellers generally perform a little better, but one tends to lose on portability.

Also keep in mind the option of Propeller Quick Detach accessories - could give you access to the whole range of props for a slight weight penalty - and an additional minute installing and securing them before flight.
Last edited by morgenstar; Jun 23, 2018 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Typo.
Aug 17, 2018, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morgenstar
How is progress coming along Msonst? Been a while since you last updated the build log. Quick query, can I have a .stl of your motor mount? Been looking for something similar but my 3d design skills are rather poor.
Hi,

sorry for the long delay.
I've uploaded the motor mount to Thingiverse.


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