Quadcopter update

I’ve been a bit slack on my updates, so here’s a couple in a row.
I got some time to fly the quad copter on the Melbourne Cup weekend, while I was at Apollo Bay. There wasn’t much of a window between the weather to fly the quad. I’d been playing with the settings on the controller and I had calibrated the ESCs. The result was a cascading build-up of oscillation. It was messy. At one point I tried to keep it flying hoping it would calm down. It was not a good plan, the quad completely inverted and smashed into the grass. I managed to land it two out of three times, but by then there were a few people coming over to look. I wasn’t comfortable flying around without adequate control of the quad, so back into the box it went.

I’ve been doing some research, and it looks like I’ve set the ‘I’ values to high in the PID loop. I’ll set them lower for the next run, which will be tethered to the ground to reduce the risk of damage. I’m going through too many propellers.

Quadcopter Update

Well, I’ve learnt the difference between ‘Acro’ mode and ‘Self Level’, and it only cost me one propeller.

This afternoon after work, the kids and I took the quadcopter to the local oval. It started out as a lot of fun, but I hadn’t realised that you can change the mode by stick input on the controller. Somehow I managed to knock it from Self Level mode (I need all the help I can get at the moment – I’m up to almost 6 minutes of flight time), into ‘Acro’ mode. I’m assuming ‘Acro’ is an abbreviation for Acrobatic, because it got very exciting after that. If you are expecting the quad to self level when you center the sticks, it takes a moment to realise that it isn’t happening. You don’t have a lot of moments available.

Here is how the construction has progressed. I’ve completed a bunch, and learnt that I have more to go. It’s flyable now (or it was before this afternoon’s adventure), but there is lots of room for improvement.

Successes:

Failures:

  • Install video cam
  • Install video TX

i’m not 100% sure what has gone wrong here. I wired the camera and the TX together using the supplied wiring harness and powered it up. The video TX blew and managed to ignite the heatshrink. I suspect its taken out the camera too. My best guesses are faulty wiring or faulty board. Without better diagnostic equipment, there isn’t much I can do about it. I’ll have to order replacements when funds allow.

To do:

  • Replace the rear props with some red ones. Its hard to maintain orientation with the yellow front and white rear. There isnt enough contrast. Also, I broke the white one. 🙂
  • Re-mount the KK2 and re-level it. It tore off two of four pieces of mounting tape in the impact.
  • ESC Calibration (electronic speed controllers)
  • Instal SimonK firmware on ESCs, I’m leaving this until I have a rainy day
  • build (anti)vibration isolation platform

Quadcopter update

Ohkay…

I had a lovely sunday watching the Bathurst 1000 and building the quadcopter, with the assistance of my daughter.

As it stands so far we have:

Still to go:

Quadcopter

Hobby King should come with a drug warning. It starts out safely enough, a couple of servos for an arduino project, a drive motor for something else. Next thing you know you’ve found out that you can fly aeroplanes and strange copters with video goggles on, seeing what’s in front of the plane. It’s like crack for geeks.

After watching one of Flite test’s youtube clips, I really wanted to have a go. But I have glasses, due to astigmatism, so buying the headset would also require custom lens inserts. It starts to look pretty expensive about then. That’s when I found this video, which shows how to setup a usable (not pretty) home made system. It looks cheap enough to try without breaking the bank, and it can be made to fit over my glasses. If I decide to go further with the hobby then its possible to hook up multiple goggles. So, this could become the guest headset.

I’ve managed to get hold of the lens and the screen, but you can’t buy the nice hotwire cut EPO foam mount anymore [edit: its back in stock!].