Spitfire76

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Spitfire76 last won the day on July 3

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About Spitfire76

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  1. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hi, Jeff. Its important not to drain a Lipo battery below 3.0v per cell. Also don't over charge. The optimum voltage per cell is 3.7v and fully charged 4.2v. Use a "balanced" charger which will automatically stop charging when all cells are balanced to 4.2v. Its also good to have some sort of low battery alarm like this... https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbykingtm-lipoly-low-voltage-alarm-2s-4s.html It will produce a loud beep when a cell drops below 3.3v. Its a wise move to invest in a decent transmitter. I have a FrSky Taranis X9D and paid around $200 which included their X8R receiver about 4 years ago but it was well worth it. Their recently released QX7 is only about $100 I believe and has received some good reviews. Richard
  2. N3 gimbal for FLIR Duo

    Awhile ago I purchased the Tarot T4-3D 3 axis gimbal for the GoPro Hero 4. https://hobbyking.com/en_us/tarot-gopro-t4-3d-3-axis-brushless-camera-gimbal.html I currently use a Pixhawk 1 running the latest version of Arducopter but I don't see why you could not use it on the Pixhawk 2.1 as it has both a PWM and S.Bus interface to control the tilt and pan axis. Initially I had the tilt and pan controlled directly from my FrSky Taranis transmitter but now have it connected to the Pixhawk. This allows me to program the tilt and pan angles from a mission planner script or the drone kit SDK. Control can be switched back to the TX for manual operation from MP. I can provide you more details of the configuration if this is what you are looking for. This of course only controls the gimbal, controlling the camera is another story. PS - Looks like Tarot has a gimbal now for the GoPro 5 http://www.hobby-wing.com/tarot-gorpo-5-brushless-gimbal-tl3t05.html I believe the GoPro 6 is the same dimensions as the 5 so I guess it should fit too!
  3. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    @Av8Chuck - interesting, thanks. Have you ever looked into hydrogen cells at all ?. I guess they would solve some of the downside issues like noise and vibration while still keeping the upside of a rapid refueling.
  4. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    @DroneZoom - Hi Jeff, you mentioned in your last post that your are trying to perform the ESC calibration from Mission Planner while that should be possible I would suggest that you do it without MP and the APM. This way you will check that that the transmitter, receiver, ESCs, motors and battery are good. To do this you need to plug the first ESC cable into the throttle channel of the receiver instead of the APM. Keep the +5 center wire as the BEC will provide power to the RX. Also remove the prop from the motor that's connected to that ESC. Power up your transmitter and push the throttle stick to maximum. Plug in the battery so that ESC gets power. The motor should beep. Wait a few seconds and then move the throttle to minimum. The motor should beep again. Unplug the battery and plug it back in but this time with the throttle on the TX at minimum. As you move the throttle up the motor should start and increase in speed. If this works repeat for all other ESCs. The purpose of this calibration is to set the min and max end points on the ESC with what the TX is sending. Richard (sir is a bit formal)
  5. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    Maybe not diesel but a non-electric motor, maybe "Nitro" is the correct term. I just thought that with a generator your are performing an additional energy conversion resulting in some loss in efficiency. On the other hand maybe there are some other benefits I am not aware of.
  6. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    Is having a diesel generator on a multi rotor that efficient or any less cost when compared with a diesel driven helicopter with a single lifting rotor ?.
  7. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    @Av8Chuck - Amazing!. Even has a small radiator so it must be water cooled.
  8. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    Very cool!. Does the diesel generator produce much additional vibration ?
  9. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    I also use a cheap laptop with a pair of telemetry 915Mhz radios but mainly for configuration indoors on the bench as the screen is really difficult to see outside even with a sun screen. When flying I move the ground station side of the radio from the laptop to the Raspberry PI. Its setup as Wifi access point and operates as a bridge between the wifi and telemetry radio. I simple access the wifi access point from my iPhone. I would like to find a reasonably priced android tablet with out door viewable screen and simply plug the telemetry radio in it but it does require the tablet's USB to support host mode and not all do. I believe that your battery will be just fine. I use a 3S, 5000mAh, 15C and that works. I just wanted to make sure that the ESCs and Motors support a 4S battery and it looks like they do. It does take a bit of time and effort to get everything calibrated but that's half the fun.
  10. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Yes, just remove the red wire from the APM end of each of the ESC control cables. Use a thin blade hobby knife or razor blade to gently lift the retaining catch and pull out the pin. Wrap electrically tape around the exposed pins or use another connector housing to keep the pins isolated. Did the battery come with the kit ?. The reason for asking is that the ESCs and motors should be able to support that battery voltage and some only support up to 3 cells. For a ground station you really need a laptop or tablet that you can see in daylight and I have yet to find a relatively cheap one. At the moment I am using my iPhone running QGroundControl but I have to connect via a Raspberry PI running Mavproxy bridge. Here is my setup. The idea is that the monitor on the tripod is used as a console for the raspberry pi and will eventually display live video from the camera.
  11. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hello Jeff @DroneZoom. The advantage of using the power module over an ESC/BEC is that it provides both voltage and current monitoring which can be used to setup a failsafe action to land the drone before it completely runs out of power and falls out of the sky. What are your battery specs ? (number of cells, "C" value and mAh rating). The solder joints need to be solid as there will be a lot of current going through them but adding a bit of hot glue to insulate them is not a bad idea.
  12. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hi @DroneZoom those photo's and link to the kit helped. I do have the same hex frame although I purchased it separately and not part of a kit. I also use the bottom PCB as the power distribution to the 6 ESCs so, unless there is an issue with the frame PCB, you don't really need that PCB from Amazon. I could not really see it in the photos but you said that you were using the power module. One side goes to the battery and the other to the bottom PCB of the frame. The small connector should plug into the "PM" socket on the APM. Is that how you have it connected ? The power module does not reduced the battery voltage to the PCB so you should be getting the full battery voltage (over 12v with a fully charged 3 cell lipo battery) to each of the ESCs. The PM monitors the battery voltage and current and provides that information to the APM via the small connector in addition to providing it with +5v. This can be used to setup low battery alarms or failsafe actions but more on that later. If you have the PM providing the +5v power to the APM then there is no need for the ESCs to provide it. I see that your ESCs do have internal BECs so I would suggest eventually removing the middle red wire of each ESC to avoid power conflicts but hold off on that until you have performed the ESC calibration as the BEC can power the receiver during that procedure. What is that white stuff on the end of the wires attached to the PCB as it does not look like solder ?
  13. Drone Radio Show, Interview with 3DR CEO Chris Anderson

    @Alan Perlman, it was sad to hear Chris say "We love DJI". Of course now that 3DR are no longer a drone manufacture but an application provider they did not have much choice but to work with what was once was their competitor. I also found this interesting:- "if they touch the sticks then we have failed". He was referring to the construction worker that operates the drone using 3DR's site scan software. Although they are part 107 certified they are not referred to as pilots but drone "operators" and have "one button" control from the iPad. My thoughts - I don't believe being just a "drone pilot" can be a career anymore unless its with the military as the trend will be to train a company's existing staff to operate the drone and applications similar to a PC or it will eventually operate on its own. Maybe drone maintenance is the business to get into.....
  14. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    @DroneZoom you will need the transmitter to perform the ESC calibration. Actually as you will see in the 2nd video there are a couple of ways to do it, one is with the APM flight controller and one without. It takes a bit longer without the APM as you have to calibrate each ESC at a time instead of all at once but I would suggest that you use this method. You typically only have to do it once so its not a big deal. Since you have to wait for your replacement transmitter lets check all the wiring. Can you tell me if your ESCs have internal BECs or are they OPTO ESCs. One way to tell is that ESCs with BECs will have 3 wires, GND, +5V and Signal and OPTO will only have 2 wires, GND and Signal in the cable that connects to the APM. Also how is your APM powered ?. Do you have the Power Module or are you powering from a BEC, either from an ESC or a separate BEC ?. This is a typical power module for the APM. Also I see that the power distribution board that you now use has a built in BEC that provides 5V so maybe you are now using that. Its important that you only have 1 BEC supplying the +5 v to the APM, which in turn will power the receiver and telemetry module (if you have it). If you can upload some photos that will help.
  15. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    @DroneZoom I have a similar build so maybe able to help you. Awhile back I upgraded the flight controller from an APM 2.6 to a Pixhawk 2.4.8. As you may know the APM hardware is 8 bit and is no longer supported on the later releases of Arducopter. I believe the most recent release that will work is 3.2.1. If that's what you are running we can start the trouble shooting. I would start with ESC calibration. Is that something that you are familiar with or have done ?. It can be done without the APM and so will make sure your radio, ESCs, power and motors are working. Also this series of videos should help you.