• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Brian

  1. HI Donna, Here is one example.
  2. Yep, motors were replaced and it flies great now.
  3. You can, it looks like there are several on the market. So far, I have not felt he need for a GPS tracker as the on screen display `gives me distance, direction, attitude, as well as a visual from the drone. I have intstalled a DJI 2.4 Data Link and Ground Station. That is not only a GPS tracker but allows for programmed flight. I used it once not taking into consideration the tree between it and the waypoint I asked it to go to. After hitting the tree, 3 motors burned up trying to reach that way point. So, I have been waiting for time, good weather, and wide open space to try out this feature again. I also have a Tile (blue tooth) attached to the drone. If it does go down, and I am within 10 meters it will give me a distance and a sound with which to find it.
  4. Here are some photos. Note, the previous photos in this thread was a design I abondonded because it was too unstable. This design works much better.
  5. Hi Lauren, Thank you for asking. The features are hat I can take pictures with this drone. It has a small fixed camera that I use as a first person view (FPV) perspective when I fly it. Then I have a GoPro 4 mounted on a gimble (DJI Zenmuse H4-3D) that I can tilt up and down to capture the best shot. I can switch between the cameras with a switch on my radio. The video is streamed to a monitor (Black Pearl) fixed to the radio by a transmitter on the drone (DJI AVL 58). Then there is an on screen display that superimposes telemetry to the video screen (DJI iOSD Mark II). This tells me lots of information about where the drone is, the status of the battery, how far away it is, etc. it also has folding arms and retracting landing gear that allows me to carry it in a Pelican gun case.
  6. Hi Petey63, Here the gain settings I've been using. They work pretty good for me. Hope this helps. Brian
  7. Thank you Av8Chuck and Ed O'Grady for weighing in on this. I appreciate you perspectives on this issue. I am still very new and naive about this and have a lot to learn.
  8. It sounds like it works like a transponder in an airplane. If someone makes a complaint about a UAV authorities can investigate the code from the drone without the pilot knowledge. If you are flying responsibly, no problem. If not, they have your number. I'm okay with that.
  9. Here is another article about this ID system being proposed. Should drones broadcast their IDs to the world? - Engineers Australia I like the accountability aspect of flying your UAV.
  10. Anyone heard of this? It sound like a good idea. Drone Maker DJI Offers Operator ID Framework - Insurance Journal it sounds like existing components (at least DJI) may be able to transmit an ID identitifying the drone and it's owner, like a transponder.
  11. Hi Spitfire, Thanks for the information about the cable. Is it better to capture video at the receiver end using this cable to transmit the video? I've just been hitting record before takeoff and recording the whole flight in the camera on the SD card the clipping the best parts out. The card is big enough that I can record a couple of flights before it is full.
  12. Hi Spitfire76, I'm using a Zenmuse H4 3D gimbal. It allows only tilt control. I have to move the drone to pan or do anything else. The Zenmuse Z15 does allow full control of the gimbal but it takes two people to fly it. One to do the flying and one to control the camera and do the filming. I'm solo with this UAV. What I did find is that I can use the wireless features of the GoPro to control the camera (start and end video, snap a photo, ect.). This is limited by the wifi range of the GoPro however. But I can take off, and when ready, turn on the video, fly the UAV to get the footage, and when in range again, shut the video off. Some say the wireless signal from the GoPro may interfere with the other transmissions from the UAV. I am still working this out. I have only done one video run. At just over 500 meters I lost video feed from the camera. I don't know if video feed range would be better with wifi turned off on the GoPro. I'm still learning...
  13. What I have learned: 1. Don't give up. Ask around because someone else probably has tried it before and knows the answer. Several times I have been stuck and Ryan or Dave at the Anchorage House of Hobbies knew the answer or could figure it out. 2. It is better to look around for a platform that is tried and true as opposed to trying to invent my own. My idea may have its merits but something that is already out there probably is better. For example, trying to make something bigger of the Flamewheel 450 did not work as well as just going to the Tarot 650 which is a platform that has been around for a while. The Flamewheel has too, and it is a great platform for its size, it just didn't work well to force a 450mm platform and make it 650mm. 3. Read the manuals. I find myself reading these over and over and each time a get a little more out of what they are saying. I could not get it until I had some experience. For example, getting video back to my monitor. I started with a very simple connection to a transmitter on the UAV. Seeing how I could add another video input and upgrading to the recommended transmitter (DJI AVL58) made having two video inputs and switching between the GoPro on a gimbal with tilt control to a fixed, tiny camera on the UAV allows for FPV while flying. It took many reads to fully understand this capability. I am still learning what these components are capable of.
  14. Here is the link to some photos.
  15. After putting this drone together I just didn't like the way it handled and I didn't like the gimbal being at the bottom-too vulnerable in a crash. Another problem was transporting the drone. I really had no way of packaging it up and traveling with it. So, I scraped the build and put the components on a different frame, the Tarot 650 Sport and I like it a lot. the Tarot frame is about the same weight as the Flamewheel 450 frame with the extended arms. There is more space for components and the arms retract. I also like the built in retract, smaller and lighter than the one I tried to adapt to the 450 frame. These are the components: ~ DJI A2 flight controller ~ Tarot 650 Sport frame ~ DJI E800 motors with 1345 quick release carbon fiber rotors ~ DJI E310 420S 20A ESCs ~ DJI 2.4 G Data Link and Ground Station ~ DJI iOSD Mark II ~ DJI AVL58 FPV System ~ DJI Zenmuse H4-3D gimble ~ Hero 4 GoPro Camera ~ Foxeer XAT520 HS1188 520TVL FPV Camera ~ Maxamps LiPo 11,000 mAh 6S 22.2v battery pack With the gear retracted and the arms retracted, the UAV, radio, props, batteries and FPV monitor all fit nicely in a Pelican 1720 case.
  16. Here is another thought. Adding the heavy battery underneath lowered the center of gravity. I did not take this into consideration in programming the location of the flight IMU. I can see how this might contribute to trouble flying as well as the asymmetrical layout. With that said, I am still gong to change the design to be more symetrical (weight centered, camera mounted below he battery) as I think it will result in better flying characteristics. I'm thinking of adding retractable landing gear to give the camera an unobstructed view.
  17. @Brian what's the red thing thats tie wrapped to the landing gear?. I thought it might be a flashing LED to help with orientation. If so I am interesting in installing something similar on mine. Its just a volt meter that monitors total as well as voltage in each cell with an alarm that sounds if any cell gets below 3.5 volts.
  18. Well, I don't like the way it flies. Its too unstable. The camera being so far forward and the heavy battery counter balancing the UAV puts too much work on the flight controller, even an A2 flight controller. This is what I learned. In order to hover without shaking, the pitch gain had to be lowered to 30. Roll and yaw were fine at 60. Those low gains means the UAV does not respond very quickly to commands from the sticks. Now that hover is stable, when I start to fly it, the UAV starts pitching badly. In order to calm it down, I gave it small forward commands, and was able to land safely. It seems as long as it is hovering without wind in GPS mode it can maintain position. Going up high with there is a little wind (maybe 5 mph max) to contend with, it starts pitching and has a hard time maintaining position. decreasing roll and yaw gains further did not seem to help. Even going into advanced modes adjusting V. Damping and Disturbed Gain down made it worse. So, what I'm thinking is that this asymmetry between pitch, roll and yaw due to the weight so far out in front and back makes it too hard to handle. In order to be a nimble flyer, it has to have the weight more centered. Maybe I need to put the batter in the center and the camera underneath. Then it will either need very long legs, or be a catch and release UAV.
  19. Here is the UAV all assembled. Total weight is 3.042 kg (battery alone is 1.2 kg). Camera, gimbal, are counter balanced by the battery. Weight is balanced so as not to put too much strain on the flight controller to keep it level. Here is a photo of the balance jig.
  20. My goal in building this UAV was a quad that would: • fly longer than 40 minutes • take great photos with my GoPro H4 • the ability for programed flight • first person view First flight It flew a maiden flight 4 days ago and without the camera, gimbal or camera positioning rods, fly time was an easy 45 min (lowest cell voltage was 3.9 v, so could have gone more). Motors Max thrust from the tuned E800 motor and 1345 prop is 2100 g/rotor. For a 2:1 thrust to weight ratio, that is 4.2 k. So keeping weight to around 3 k should result in extended fly time. Test flight weight was 3.05K. So even with the weight of camera, gimbal and positioning rods, I should see flight times over 40 min. Flight Controller The A2 flight controller is supposed to have excellent stability and compatibility with the other DJI components (the flight controller, iOSD and 2.4G Datalink came as a package deal from I am using one radio for flight, video and gimbal control, but a different configuration (depends on which CAN port the gimbal control unit is plugged into) allows for two radios, one for flight, and other for video/gimbal control. Getting all the components to squeeze onto the F450 platform was a challenge, particularly since the Aimdroix arms only allow 26 mm between upper and lower deck (without extensions). By stacking components, flipping the soldered connections over so they are on the outside, I was able to get everything to fit. One nice thing about the A2 flight controller is you do not need a separate receiver on the UAV. I have a Spektrum DX9 radio, so I had to add two DSM2 satellite receiver antennas to the flight controller as the antennas on the flight controller don’t work with Spektrum radios. I just folded them to the side with a zip tie so they were out of the way. Binding the radio to the flight controller was seamless. There are seven ports total, the power unit to power the flight controller uses one, another goes to the iOSD (On Screen Display). That leaves 5 more to be used for other things. Another thing I learned was that although the A2 flight controller is hooked up to all components, and though the little light on iOSD comes on indicating power to the component, it needs it’s own power supply to work. So does the Zenmuse Gimbal Control Unit (GCU). That means 3 components need their own power directly from the battery. Instead of daisy chaining the power plugs, I used a separate plug for each and connected them to a different contact points on the base plate where the ESCs get their power. That way each component can be removed without re-soldering, and it is a little cleaner packing components into a small space. Camera and Battery The camera positioning rods are 66 cm long, plenty long enough to get the camera in front of the props. I drilled and counter sunk screw holes in the top plate so I could mount the tube holders directly to the body (instructions suggest you zip tie the plate to the deck). I used a plate as a hole template and spacing come out fine. The big battery counter balances close to the body. I used a piece of foam to act as a spacer to help position the battery. The UAV does need to be properly balanced before flight. To do this, I drilled two small holes at the halfway point on each side of the bottom plate. Then I took 2 metal spikes on a board as a balance. Placing the tapered points of the spikes into the halfway holes on each side of the bottom plate, allows me to shift the battery and/or the camera mounts so that the UAV is perfectly balanced fore and aft. Then with the first flight I had to adjust the pitch gain so the UAV flies well.
  21. Here is my pretty good UAV components: ~ DJI A2 flight controller ~ DJI F450 central board ~ Aimdroix V2 aluminum arms ~ DJI E800 motors with 1345 quick release carbon fiber rotors ~ DJI E310 420S 20A ESCs ~ DJI iOSD Mark II ~ DJI 2.4 G Data Link and Ground Station ~ DJI Zenmuse H4-3D gimble ~ Maxamps LiPo 11,000 mAh 6S 22.2v battery pack More to come on what I learned putting this together.
  22. Brian

    Adjusting Gains

    I just learned this from Ryan at the hobby shop. If your UAV is perfectly symmetrical, adjusting pitch, roll and yaw should work fine. However, it is best to adjust each of these independently if your UAV is not perfectly symmetrical. For example, my UAV has a camera mounted in front of the props (it sticks way out there), and it is counter balanced by the battery in the back. So it makes sense that the roll gain will be different than the pitch gain.
  23. Brian

    Adjusting Gains

    I found this website very helpful. I also found no difference setting pitch, roll and yaw individually or in combination, the results were the same. Over all setting went from 150 to 175. I got wobble at 220, went away at 190, but more stable at 175. Clearly a more responsive UAV at the higher settings. Here is my set up: Frame: F450 Weight with battery: 1700 g Motors: DJI E300 ESC: 420 lite
  24. Brian

    Setting up your Radio

    Hi Romulas, I like that term switchology as it explains the process well. I found all these switches, nobs and sliders intimidating at first. Now I'm able to harness their power in making my UAV do what I want it to do-beyond to sticks. I too am a pilot but had to give it up many years ago because of the expense. Flying UAVs sure does scratch that flying itch for me.