Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Addicted to quads?

I have another quad in my collection ADS 400Q.  This is a purpose designed FPV bird, in an "H" style to allow for more room on the frame to include FPV goodies.  It also has a forward shelf for a GoPro camera.

Once again, I will be relying on for the flight controller.  I am using the ProEz3.0, and the uBlox 6M GPS module.  Since this one will be for FPV, I will also be using the MinimOSD, which only needs a feed from one of the serial ports on the FC to provide me with all the info I need in a heads up display while flying.

2216-8 1250kv motors and 8" Gemfan full carbon fiber props, with SimonK flashed speedcontrols round out the basic setup for this machine.  I have yet to decide on what FPV gear to go with, though.  The rest of my gear is 1.2, but I am giving serious thought to going 5.8 on the quad, so I can fly tandem with some friends.  Also, if I go 1.2, then I will either need to run low pass filters on the video TX, or use something other than 2.4 for the RC link.

I am seriously considering remodeling the trailer to account for the changes in my hangar.  I still enjoy fixed wing aircraft quite a bit, but something about the multirotors is sucking me in.  I think it is the combination of the challange of setting up the flight controller just right, coupled with the design aspect of the frame, and the power system.  There is a fine line to walk in order to get all these things playing together well, and getting them to function correctly for the style of flying you intend to do with the craft, that I really enjoy.

With winter fast approaching, I do need to pull back a bit from flying and get the shop in order.  I have projects I need to finish, other than multirotors, and it would be nice to be able to get to the various workbenches again...right now they are covered with tools, parts, planes, all kinds of stuff..and I just know that I am going to find all kinds of small parts I have needed all summer when I finally clean up.  Plus, cleaning up would make Brandy happy..and keeping the wife happy is always a good thing!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Almost a month has passed, and allot has happened.  The Hexa went back over to Deaconeye, and has been flown a bit by those guys.  The consensus is it is just about ready to be pushed into service.

I have a couple more multi's in the collection.  My personal OPQ is doing great.  Set up with house reds and 9" props, on 1600mah 3s packs, it truly is an aerobatic monster.  I have the rates set pretty high, and the expo pretty low.  It is set up allot hotter than any of my other quads, and since we have proven you cannot break the frame, I have been using it to practice my aggressive flying.  Luckily, it can stand up to the abuse of my learning curve!

I built another Tricopter to showcase the 32 bit ESC's (ESC32) I got from  These things are amazing...I have never seen anything so smooth.  The switching frequency is pretty high, and as a result, the motors run smoother, and have more resolution..and punch!  The speed controls have their own 32 bit processor, and can run in a closed loop mode, which basically means they interpret a request from the flight controller as a direct RPM request, rather than a generic set point.  They attempt to maintain the requested RPM, within the limits of the settings you program.  This all means that you have even better, more stable control of your multirotor.

Did I mention you can completely program the ESC's?  Basically everything you can set with any other high end ESC you can set with these.  Current limiting, PWM start point, end point, all kinds of stuff..and they are reasonable as well, only 20 bucks.  You do have to solder on the stiffening cap as well as the RX connection, but that is child's play for any electric modeler.

Next up on the list of fun stuff, was a trip to HHAEFI.  It was an epic journey for sure, Nav and I headed down after work on the 16th, and drove all night, pulling in at 3:00am Thursday.  Our buddy PCPhil was kind enough to allow us to crash in his camper, to save us the trouble of putting up our respective tents at that hour.  Matter of fact, PCPhil was a most gracious host for the entire trip...allowing us to take over his campsite, and make ourselves at home.  We traveled light, with only what we could stuff in Nav's Forerunner.  We discussed taking my trailer, but the fuel costs would have doubled, and for that short of a duration, it wasn't deemed worthwhile.

Crash rolled in from Texas about noon on the 17th, and much fun was already underway.  Nav, Phil and I had already been flying quite a bit, as had all of the other ~120 pilots on hand for the event.  We hit up Hodges and looked around, walked the line a couple times, and then flew..and flew..and flew.  Well, I did, anyway.  Of course, I tend to fly allot anyway.  The best part was all the borrowed flights I got.  I got to try out some neat aircraft, get in some FPV flights with some cool equipment, and generally have a great time.  Much night flying, and hangar flying was accomplished, and we got to hang out with some of the listeners as well.  The "virtual campfire" gatherings were a blast!  All we needed was a campfire to make it better, LOL. Anyway, much fun was had, and I had a great time hanging out with old friends, as well as new ones.  

I am already looking forward to the next event, when we can all get together and commit aviation again!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Random news

This is for the CrashCast listeners, pictures of the battery mount for my OPQ.

Its a simple system..I simply drilled out the extra mounting locations and use an 8/32 machine screw and Velcro straps to wrap around the battery.  You take the Velcro, cut to length to hold your battery, and fold it in half.  At the center, you snip the Velcro, and push the screw thru.  Pop that thru the OPQ frame, and throw a matching nut on the other side.  Simply, quick, and cheap...and effective!