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3d - Printworx

Printing 3d Forum

Another noob, first crash imminent!

Started by KK1W, Sunday,December 30, 2012, 20:32:09

Previous topic - Next topic

KK1W

Looks like this is the first place a noob should stop by to post!

Quick background. Lots of R/C experience for more years than I care to admit (I didn';t put my birthday in my profile for a reason  :smiley:. Gas, electric, planes, heli';s, cars and now - quadcopters! Also an amateur (ham) radio operator among other hobbies.

Received my APM2.5 board, GPS and 900MHz telemetry unit from RCTimer along with a 450 clone kit. I';ve got the APM up and talking with Mission Planner. Now to build the frame and start to figure out how to make all these things play well together and actually fly. This forum looks like a great place to find help, and hopefully in the future to be able return the favor. More to come once we get through the holidays and I';ve a few extra minutes to actually get this stuff done!

Thanks to the forum sysops and members for an interesting landing pad here on the web!

Jim/KK1W

Smeagol

Welcome to the forum OM, interested to see how you get on, i';m having a few diffs getting up and running, so I guess you';ll beat me to the first crash  :rofl:

Guys here are great and very helpful, I wouldn';t have got this far without them (wheres that hankie)

teslahed

Hello and welcome to the forum.

If you have a ham radio license then there are a bunch of interesting options open to you in terms of FPV (once you get everything else working) that the rest of us can';t legally persue - which may come in handy. If you have that much experience with helis and everything else i doubt it will take you long to get up to speed.
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

Gaza07

Hi KK1W and welcome to the forum sounds like your already making a good start, I have also just bought the APM2.5 and will be setting mine up soon  ~~  :beer2:

mickyt

Hi KK1W  welcome to the forum lots of good guy';s on here, i am also a licenced Ham  my call is M6MWT im on QRZ.COM not been on the bands in a long while due to my QTH no antennas allowed.
If someone throw's a stone at you throw a flower at them just remember to throw the pot with it.

KK1W

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone, much appreciated.

R/C experience? I started in the late 1960';s. So lots of experience but I';m a lot slower than I used to be. Planes no problem, helis - I can hover and fly around. 3D is for people better than I';ll ever be. I';m excited about the technology of the drones and am also looking to try some aerial photography too. Time will tell...

I got most of the quad frame together today, waiting on some 3.5mm bullet connectors to finish up the wiring. Besides assembling the rest of the quad I still have to solder the headers on the APM 2.5 board, should be getting to that later this evening.

I do have a few questions for anyone with more experience than I (that';s everyone at this point).

1. Mounting the APM. I';m thinking of ordering the case from 3DR and either double stick foam or velcro to the copter. Is this a good idea or should I do something different?

2. DJI NAZA seems to really want to put the GPS up on a stalk, is this really necessary? I see they also have you measure the offset from the center of the copter so should I try and center the GPS (I didn';t see an offset in Arducopter but could have missed it).

3. I assume the APM should be located on the centerline of the copter, right?

4. Powering the APM, 3DR has a neat UBEC with meter shunts for $25. I have a UBEC or two myself, is the 3DR a better solution? (I guess with it my telemetry will show volts and amps if I use the 3DR one?). My ESC';s have a BEC but I would think a separate UBEC would provide cleaner power (maybe, probably should put a scope on it to see for sure).

That';s about it for now, I';ll leave you guys alone for a day or two!

Thanks,

Jim/KK1W

bunnygirl80

Hi KK1W,  :smiley:

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of multi rotors. You';ve definitely come to the right place for lots of useful people with lots of useful gen who are genuinely interested in helping. I have been flying aero since my dad taught me and my bro at the age of eleven, but no experience at all of multis until now. Six weeks ago I had a pile of bits on the dining room table and yesterday I hovered my quad copter for the first time. It was a challenging build as you can see from my thread with lots of problems. One thing is sure, it is different to aero and will take some getting used to! I think my advice to you at this stage would be to keep your multi basic. Don';t add the expensive bits like GPS and telemetry until you can at least hover it and fly around a couple of circuits. I';ve now removed my GPS etc until I feel confident in flying. Good luck with the build!   

Stef
Always smile because you never know who could be falling in love with it. :) Drone Operator in North Wales. www.aerialworx.co.uk

teslahed

Monday,December 31, 2012, 08:29:50 #7 Last Edit: Monday,December 31, 2012, 09:16:27 by teslahed
Quote from: KK1W on Monday,December 31, 2012, 00:42:58 1. Mounting the APM. I';m thinking of ordering the case from 3DR and either double stick foam or velcro to the copter. Is this a good idea or should I do something different?


Double sided foam sticky tape is the better option as it will be a lot more secure - using it with the case is ideal because you wont mess up the bottom of the circuit board and you should be able to open the case when you want to remove the APM. The foam also adds a little shock absorption without making things too ';mushy'; which does the sensors on the APM a bit of good and keeps everything running a bit smoother.

Quote2. DJI NAZA seems to really want to put the GPS up on a stalk, is this really necessary? I see they also have you measure the offset from the center of the copter so should I try and center the GPS (I didn';t see an offset in Arducopter but could have missed it).


I think the GPS can experience interference if it';s too close to other electrical components or wires carrying current. I';ll let someone with more GPS experience than me come back with more info here.

Quote3. I assume the APM should be located on the centerline of the copter, right?


Yeah you want your APM as close to the Centre of Gravity as posible, which should be dead centre on a quadcopter, unless you';ve gone with one of the more unusual shapes.

Quote4. Powering the APM, 3DR has a neat UBEC with meter shunts for $25. I have a UBEC or two myself, is the 3DR a better solution? (I guess with it my telemetry will show volts and amps if I use the 3DR one?). My ESC';s have a BEC but I would think a separate UBEC would provide cleaner power (maybe, probably should put a scope on it to see for sure).


When Jumpy (craig) is about you';ll get better advise here as he uses one, but i am pretty sure it';s exactly as you say. You can use any UBEC (that';s good enough spec) without issue, but the special APM UBEC will give telemetry on power which can be very useful if you';ve got everything else you need for telemetry to work. If you use the BEC built in to the speed controller you may find the extra stuff like GPS and other advanced features either don';t get power, or don';t get quite enough power. More basic flight controllers are fine using the BEC on the speed controller, the APM probably does better with a separate one.

One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

Jumpy07

Quote from: KK1W on Monday,December 31, 2012, 00:42:58
4. Powering the APM, 3DR has a neat UBEC with meter shunts for $25. I have a UBEC or two myself, is the 3DR a better solution? (I guess with it my telemetry will show volts and amps if I use the 3DR one?). My ESC';s have a BEC but I would think a separate UBEC would provide cleaner power (maybe, probably should put a scope on it to see for sure).


Yes UBEC is better option, there is a jumper (Jp1) that links he 5v from the ESC rail to the other rails.. so if using UBEC remove the jumper and connect the UBEC to the input rail.

You can use an Attopilot or 3DR power module to measure voltage and amps, have tried both... the 3DR power module is the easier option and also includes a built in UBEC..

Welcome to the forum, the APM 2.5 is a great FC..  cant wait for Arducopter 2.9 Alpha to be released..  will hopefully put the APM on par with the Naza..
BNUC-S Pilot with PfCo /PFAW.
UAQ / CAA PfCo Instructor / Flight Assessor

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

KK1W

Quote from: teslahed on Monday,December 31, 2012, 08:29:50
Double sided foam sticky tape is the better option as it will be a lot more secure - using it with the case is ideal because you wont mess up the bottom of the circuit board and you should be able to open the case when you want to remove the APM. The foam also adds a little shock absorption without making things too ';mushy'; which does the sensors on the APM a bit of good and keeps everything running a bit smoother.


Makes sense  - case and power module on order from 3DR. Thanks to you and Craig for the advice.
Jim/KK1W

KK1W

Quote from: bunnygirl80 on Monday,December 31, 2012, 06:38:29
Hi KK1W,  :smiley:

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of multi rotors. You';ve definitely come to the right place for lots of useful people with lots of useful gen who are genuinely interested in helping. I have been flying aero since my dad taught me and my bro at the age of eleven, but no experience at all of multis until now. Six weeks ago I had a pile of bits on the dining room table and yesterday I hovered my quad copter for the first time. It was a challenging build as you can see from my thread with lots of problems. One thing is sure, it is different to aero and will take some getting used to! I think my advice to you at this stage would be to keep your multi basic. Don';t add the expensive bits like GPS and telemetry until you can at least hover it and fly around a couple of circuits. I';ve now removed my GPS etc until I feel confident in flying. Good luck with the build!   

Stef


Very good advice Stef. My plan is to make sure all that stuff works, then leave it off for the first cras.. err test flights. I';ve a pretty big garage if I put the cars out, trying to figure out what kind of soft stuff I can put on the floor. Since Christmas we';ve about 8" of snow and below freezing temps, not a lot of soft stuff to fly over for awhile.

Glad you guy yours sorted out and hovering. Nice job working out the option in the code. :bravo:
Jim/KK1W

KK1W

Brief update but no test flight yet. Soldered all the headers on the APM board New Years Day, hooked up my 7 ch Spektrum RX and calibrated the TX. Everything looks OK in Mission Planner so I think I';m over that hurdle. The 3.5mm bullet connectors came in today so I wired up the motors.

Did the manual ESC calibration routine, corrected two motors that were going in the wrong direction (the odds were 50/50, right?) then plugged everything into the APM. Everything worked as expected, they arm correctly, all start at the same time and in the correct direction. I don';t have the APM mounted yet but tilting it in my hand makes some of the motors change speed so at least something is working. Whether or not it';s correct will remain to be seen.

I took a hint from one of Stef';s videos and labeled each arm with motor number and direction. Well worth the few minutes to label them - it will help throughout the rest of the build. Thanks Stef!

I saw another video where it was suggested to put a little tape ';flag'; on the motor shafts to help identify the direction of rotation. I did that and it helped , don';t know where I saw it but thought I would mention it here, might help someone else out.

Still waiting on the case and power module from 3DR. In the meantime I';ll balance the props, keep reading and hope for better weather than we';ve had for the last week. Since Christmas we';ve had two snow storms, winds in the 25 - 40 MPH range and temps below zero C. Brrrr.

I';ll try to take a video of the first hover attempt but no guarantees, I';m not very skilled at video and only have an old Canon point & shoot or my smartphone to do it with. We will see.

Thanks everyone for the help so far...
Jim/KK1W

Gaza07

I';m pleased its going well for you, I';m still waiting on mr postman the funy thing is I have the 3dr case and power module  :rolleyes:  ~~

KK1W

I ordered the APM and the 450 clone kit from RCTimer on the 14th, it arrived on the 24th. I ';think'; I paid extra for shipping (like $10 more) but there didn';t seem to be an option not too. :hmm: I was pleased with the speed of delivery. The packaging was OK, nothing arrived broken or damaged.

3DR was closed for the holiday week, I hope they';ll get the orders out soon. It should only take a day or two to get here once they ship it. I can';t finish the wiring until I receive the power module. I read on another forum the plug fits very snugly in the RCTimer APM board - guess we';ll find out for ourselves pretty soon.

Jim/KK1W

Gaza07

Im pretty sure Jump07 has already tested his APM clone with the power module with no problems  ~~

KK1W

Well, the holidays are over and most of my parts have arrived. Time to get this thing done and in the air (at least for a second or two). So, time for a few noob questions, if I may. You folks have been really helpful so far.

1. I bought the 450 clone from RCTimer. My original thought was to put the APM on top of the top plate, utilize the top of the bottom plate for the RX and other stuff and mount the battery underneath. The battery is deeper than the little supports under the motor so maybe that';s not such a good idea?

My latest thought is to put the APM, RX and power module on top of the bottom plate and mount the battery on top of the top plate as it is shown in most of the DJI photos. The biggest problems I can see with this are it will be difficult to see the status LED';s and more of a pain to plug into the USB port on the APM board. Any other suggestions that make more sense?

2. GPS module. Actually two questions:

    A. I have the uBolx CN06, V2 that I bought with the APM from RCTimer. I';ve read a lot of posts, especially on the RCGroups APM thread, that the firmware needs to be flashed on the GPS for this to work with APM 2.5. I plugged mine in and it locks up quickly and shows the correct location in Mission Planner. Am I OK with that? If I reflash the GPS what, if anything, would I gain?
    B. I plan to mount the GPS on one of the arms near the center of the quad. Any issues with that? I see NAZA software requires you enter an x,y offset. I don';t see anything like that with Arducopter. Is the reason for the NAZA requirement because the compass is also in the GPS? I can';t see where a few inches will make much difference when the GPS EPE will be quite a few feet - am I missing somethings?

3. I have the case for the APM from 3DR. It would appear that I';m OK with just using the case and the foam that came with it to keep the barometer from going whacky? Or will I still need another enclosure around the APM when I';m actually flying (crashing)?

So, to make this short (too late, eh?). What';s the best place to mount the battery and the APM on a DJI 450 clone?

Thanks folks, now I';m off to mount my APM in the cool case I got from 3DR - looks great! I';ll post up some pictures later today if my wife doesn';t find too many other things for me to do today :smiley:

Jim/KK1W


Gav

Hi KK1W   

Quads and FPV is an amazing extension to the RC World.  Enjoy!

Cheers
Gav

Gaza07

Hi KK1W ive just put a APM2.5 together and used the 3dr case, I used the supplied foam and it seems to work just fine  ~~
As for flashing the ublox all the info needed is in Jumpy07';s guide which can be found here
http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=676.0

Once you have flashed the config file to your gps, change the baud rate in the ucentre to 38400 and try the flash again it will complete the second time with no errors, the 3dr config file sets the gps to a higher spped than the default 9600 and makes it more efficient by removing unwanted data  ~~

KK1W

Getting close now ::)

Prop balancing and mounting, then another final review of all the settings in Mission Planner. Everything seems good so far. Motors start and run up correctly and in the right direction. When they';re running tilting the frame causes some to slow down, others to speed up. I guess that';s what I would expect.

I won';t finish tomorrow but maybe Monday we';ll take it out to the garage and see if it actually lifts off and hovers. Weather has been warm the last couple of days but still snow and frozen ground underneath that -  a long way until spring I';m afraid.

Jim/KK1W