Thomas

Newbie FPV Drone builder hopefully flyer with Fixed wing RC experience

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Hello, 

I would like to fly a drone in my yard which is 1/3 of an acre so I think it is large enough.  I am totally new to this aspect of RC flying so I am hoping to figure out how I can do this by participating in your forum.  I have Futaba 8 Channel 8J 2.4 ghz aircraft radio that I would like to use with the drone.  I have receivers that I use with my fixed wing aircraft.  Is there a receiver ready version, ARF or kit version or plans that are recommended for an entry level beginner pilot.  My only experience is with fixed wing aircraft that are electric and glow powered.  I have built all the planes I own from ARF kits and some from scratch.

Thank you in advance,

Thomas

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Welcome, Thomas. Your radio TX and RX will be fine. You will not need servos but you will need a flight controller and several pertinent brushless outrunner motors, with the correct ESC s and propellers.

For the flight controller, I warmly suggest the KK2 1HC. You can purchase it here:

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbyking-kk2-1hc-multi-rotor-hard-case-flight-control-board-with-remote-programmer.html

It is easy to program and it comes with its own detatchable programmer, so you can even change the programming on the field. It is also very economical and reliable and it allows for almost every multirotor configurfation.

As far as the motors and ESCs  go, I warmly suggest for you to purchase some EMAX CF2822 with 30A SimonK ESCs. It is a failproof combination at a modest price. You can purchase this combination here:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/EMAX-CF2822-1200KV-Brushless-Motor-with-accessories-30A-SIMONK-ESC-for-Xcopter-Multi-free-shipping/1900246685.html

You will need a minimum of 4 motors and ESCs, BUT I SUGGEST FOR YOU TO BUY AT LEAST 6 MOTORS AND ESCs (better if 8). The reason is that quadcopters are NOT REDUNDANT. Loosing one motor or ESC will mean total uncontrtollability and crash, with consequencies which can be sometimes terrible.

 HEXACOPTERS AND OCTOCOPTERS ARE REDUNDANT, because if you loose one motor and/or ESC or even two, you will manage to land them. They are also more stable and controllable.

I am adding a few photos of the multirotors which I designed, built and fly. You will be able to find in Youtube, under my name (Bruno  De Michelis), several videos which will allow you to see my progress, starting from scratch, as you are.

I will be happy to help you, if you wish. My email address is uncle72@optusnet.com.au and my Skype handle is "sigrana". Feel free to contact me.

Cheers from Bruno

 

 

Disassemblable V6 front view.jpg

Gimbal particular.jpg

H hexacopter folded.jpg

H hexacopter unfolded.jpg

Quadcopter final configuration.jpg

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Bruno,

Thank you for all the information!  This is awesome, Your drones look awesome too!!  I will start working with the links you provided and I'm sure I will take you up on your offer for help.  I have limited time to spend on this but it is so exciting to be actually starting to work on it.  I'm really glad I found this forum.

Really appreciate your reply!

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Thanks to you Alan and Bruno for your posts.  

Can you or anyone point me to an area of the site or provide a link where I can find a basic design overview, with an outline of the components required for the building of a drone structurally and electronically.  I would like to start trying to understand what those components are, how they work together and a schematic or wiring diagram of how to connect everything.   I love to build balsa and ply airplanes with carbon fiber for strength.  I've restored some old Tube style radios so I know something about electronics and soldering.  Some things I've seen while reading is that some drones will auto level using a gyro and hover when your return the sticks to the center position.   I also saw something that sounded like they fly back to their original starting location if they lose the connection with the transmitter which seems amazing but maybe I'm not correct on that.  

I understand ESC's,  brush-less motors,  receivers and lipo batteries enough to build a fixed wing electric powered plane but like Bruno said the Drone doesn't have servos and so something has to control the ESC's and translate stick movement to flying.  Bruno sent me a link to a Flight control board with an external programmer that mentions the auto level and gyro but I can't imagine that is all I need??  How does the camera control work if you have a 3 pivot gimbals?  Does anyone put a directional mic and speaker on their drone for audio??  Have you ever heard of someone making a drone that hovers and can transition to a kind of fixed wing flight by rotating the props 90 degrees like a harrier transitions its power from vertical to horizontal propulsion.  I know I'm getting way ahead of myself but these are things I am wondering.  

I just ordered the RealFlight Drone simulator to start working on my pilot skills in the meantime.  I"m seeing DJI phantom 3 drones all over for $400 for the basic package.  I really would like to use my Futaba 8J radio and receivers rather than whatever the package includes so is there a way to buy these drones but utilize your own radio and receiver?  I can't afford the FPV goggles but would like to use my iPhone 6 or my iPad Air 2 for FPV if possible.

Thanks in advance,

Thomas

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Hey Thomas, unfortunately we're pretty light on DIY content at the moment, but some good questions you're bringing up. Yes, you can use your own Futaba transmitter with the DJI Phantom 3 series.

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On 11/22/2016 at 9:22 PM, Thomas said:

Thanks to you Alan and Bruno for your posts.  

Can you or anyone point me to an area of the site or provide a link where I can find a basic design overview, with an outline of the components required for the building of a drone structurally and electronically.  I would like to start trying to understand what those components are, how they work together and a schematic or wiring diagram of how to connect everything.   I love to build balsa and ply airplanes with carbon fiber for strength.  I've restored some old Tube style radios so I know something about electronics and soldering.  Some things I've seen while reading is that some drones will auto level using a gyro and hover when your return the sticks to the center position.   I also saw something that sounded like they fly back to their original starting location if they lose the connection with the transmitter which seems amazing but maybe I'm not correct on that.  

I understand ESC's,  brush-less motors,  receivers and lipo batteries enough to build a fixed wing electric powered plane but like Bruno said the Drone doesn't have servos and so something has to control the ESC's and translate stick movement to flying.  Bruno sent me a link to a Flight control board with an external programmer that mentions the auto level and gyro but I can't imagine that is all I need??  How does the camera control work if you have a 3 pivot gimbals?  Does anyone put a directional mic and speaker on their drone for audio??  Have you ever heard of someone making a drone that hovers and can transition to a kind of fixed wing flight by rotating the props 90 degrees like a harrier transitions its power from vertical to horizontal propulsion.  I know I'm getting way ahead of myself but these are things I am wondering.  

I just ordered the RealFlight Drone simulator to start working on my pilot skills in the meantime.  I"m seeing DJI phantom 3 drones all over for $400 for the basic package.  I really would like to use my Futaba 8J radio and receivers rather than whatever the package includes so is there a way to buy these drones but utilize your own radio and receiver?  I can't afford the FPV goggles but would like to use my iPhone 6 or my iPad Air 2 for FPV if possible.

Thanks in advance,

Thomas

Hello @Thomas.

As you are interested in building you own UAV and already have experience with classic RC aircraft a good place to start is understanding the basics of flight controllers. A FC consists of a processor running a flight stack software which gets input from a number of sensors and provides output to the ESCs which in turn control the speed of the motors or in case of a fixed wing UAV the control surface servos. The 2 basic sensors are a gyro and an accelerometer and these are all thats needed to maintain stable flight. In a classic RC model aircraft the receiver channels would connect directly to servos. in a UAV they connect to the FC which then mixes these inputs with those from the sensors. With the addition of a barometer sensor the FC can maintain altitude and with compass and GPS maintain position. This provides a rich set of "flight modes" as the UAV can now record its position from where it took off and return there in case of a failure or by using one of the switches set up on the transmitter if you don't want to land manually. Some flight controllers allow the connection to a ground station which is simply a laptop, phone or tablet running compatible software that gets realtime telemetry data from the FC. The GS can also send commands to the FC so an entire flight or rather mission can be programmed and executed autonomously. If you are interested in exploring more   I would suggest checking the following site.

http://diydrones.com

It links to the open source flight stack.

http://ardupilot.org

and there are versions for Multi-rotor as well as fixed wing and VTOL aircraft.

Hopefully this helps and feel free to ask questions.

 

 

Edited by Spitfire76
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Exactly the information I was looking for spitfire76, thank you for your thoughts and time.  It sounds like the FC is the ultimate mixer the way I use my radio mixing for elevons on my flying wing glider.  I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've been able to log in to this site but between work and family free time is a challenge.  Thanks again for your help.

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