Building an FPV racing drone Part 3

If you’ve come this far, this means you’re almost done with building your FPV drone.

A quick anecdote before we get started. While doing my initial flight test I burned an ESC. I’ve also decided to pull the power for the FPV transmitter straight from the battery rather than the ESC as I feel this might be the culprit for my ESC burning.

O simply go back to your wiring and create another splice to pull power for the transmitter.

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You might have notice that I’ve added some gears. This is optional. However, it makes take offs and landings a bit more stable.

I’ve uploaded the landing gear assembly to Thingiverse here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:621393

You can print your own. It uses a 3mm aluminum pipe and 2mm screws to hold it in place (M2x12mm Bolt) use a bit of Loctite to prevent wiggling.

 

These are the same screws that are used to hold your motors in place.

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Looks like you’re ready to almost fly now. We’ll have to verify a few things prior to flying.

 

1-Calibrating ESC

2-Calibrating flight controller

3-Calibrating Receiver controls

 

You can start by downloading OpenPilot GCS here: http://wiki.openpilot.org/display/BUILDS/OpenPilot+Software+Downloads

Once you get this installed you’ll notice a usb port on your flight controller time to plug this guy in. At this point make sure you have your props off the quad as this can cause major problems.

You’ll soon be needing the battery to power the ESC’s so make sure you have it charged and ready to go nearby.

Once you launch Openpilot GCS connect your usb and start the “Vehicle Setup Wizard”

step1

Here you’ll first be updating the firmware on your cc3d board so simply go through that process.

-Next, you’ll be talking about choosing and calibrating your ESC’s. Here make sure you choose PWM as the input signal configuration

-Quadcopter as vehicle type.

-Quadcopter X has the quad type

-and 490MHZ for the type of ESC. (rapid ESC)

Next get your battery ready you’ll be calibrating the ESC’ simply follow the steps on screen and go through all the steps.

 

 

Last you’ll move on to the Receiver configuration. This is important. Make sure you have the battery plugged in while doing this.

 

One interesting thing is to make sure you have your controller in Acro mode NOT helicopter mode. Simply follow the prompts on screen to calibrate.

 

 

One thing to take not of is my Flight mode switch didn’t register during calibration so I simply used another switch on the controller for this purpose. I went with a 2-state switch but since I plan on using a single flight mode for now it should be fine.

 

 

After this It make sense to reduce the aggressiveness of some of the stability parameters.

Here are a few screenshots from how my settings look. I suggest starting with the less aggressive and going up from there.

gcs_stabilzation gcs_stabilzation_basic gcs_throttle gcs_idle_throttle

 

Pre – flight check:

  • Make sure all your props are turning the proper way. So you need to have the proper prop on the proper engine. This is a bit confusing but once I had the proper configuration I simply wrote with a sharpie on my ESC and props in case I need to remove them. (which I actually did)
  • Make sure you got your arm setting correct on your transmitter.
  • Make sure all cables and ESC’s are mounted properly and nothing is going to get in the way of the turning props.

 

 

And here is a video of the maiden flight. Be sure to time this flight to understand the endurance of your quad.

Trouble shooting?

Drop your question in the comments area.

Happy Flying!

 

Alp

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Building a FPV racing drone Part 1:

I remember the first time I tried on a pair of FPV goggles and took my drone for a spin. At that moment what I felt was incredible. I true out of body experience. My mind ran wild thinking how I could do this in 3d and increase the quality. I could see this being a game changer in the future of entertainment. So I had to build on for myself. I usually fly dji phantom 1 which is has so many add-ons that it looks like a Frankenstein. Also its flight time is down to merely 6 minutes with all the added weight.  So I decided to build something smaller and a bit more nimble. I’m going to be using off the shelf components and maybe a 3d printed part here or there.

Let’s start with the bill of materials

[Qty. 1] Super Simple Mini H-Quad FPV V3 Frame

[Qty. 1] CC3D Flight Controller

[Qty. 2] APC 5545E Electric Prop {or} 5030 Prop

[Qty. 2] APC 5545EP Electric Prop {or} 5030R Prop

[Qty. 1] 36mm Power Distribution Board

[Qty. 1] 1800mAh 3S 40C LiPo

[Qty. 1] XT60 Connector Pair

[Qty. 12] M2x12mm Bolt

[Qty. 4] Tiger MN-1806 2300KV Motors

[Qty. 4] Afro 12A SimonK ESC

[Qty. 4] M3x6mm+6mm Nylon Spacer

[Qty. 4] M3x8mm Nylon Screw

[Qty. 4] M3 Nylon Nut

[Qty.~] Cable Ties

[Qty.~] 16AWG Red Wire

[Qty.~] 16AWG Black Wire

[Qty. 1] Sony Super HAD CCD 660TVL Camera

From <http://polakiumengineering.org/category/multicopters/>

This is an awesome list from Polakiumengineering so kudos to them. They have a really nice 3d printed acetone treated frame which looks pretty nice. You could of course print one yourself but you would need a pretty large bed 3dprinter.

If you noticed there isn’t a receiver and transmitter in this list. I’ll be looking to get a Spektrum DX6i transmitter with a DXM compatible receiver. I haven’ purchased these yet so look forward to my second post for more details there.

One more note is the FPV goggles. Fatshark is the de facto fpv goggles. Though oculus and other VR alternatives are nice concepts they really don’t play well with FPV thus far. The portability aspect of fatshark and the built in receiver makes them very practice. I own a Predator model which comes with a transmitter (http://fatshark.com/ )

Moving on to construction the first bit was simply attaching the motors to the frame which only took a few minutes.

Be very carefull when doing this! if you screw the screws in too tight they can damage your motors
I recommend using a plier to shorten your screws as I lost 2 motors due to screwing them in too tight. You have been warned.

Now comes the fun part. I’ll be putting on the ESC’s which control the power which flows in each motor. I’m also excited to try out some of my own 3d printed parts for this project. As there might be opportunities to shed weight while affecting performance in the most minimal way.

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Stay tuned.