Let's Make Robots!

Quadcopter begins

 

Well i finally went through with it and started on a quadcopter. I will probably just stick to doing RC with it but who knows, maybe one day i will make a quadcopter UAV.

 


 

12.24.10

Well i am just at the beginning stages of the everything. I have mostly been researching. I am copying the first setup on this webpage http://warthox.bplaced.net/?page_id=76. I am ordering those exact parts, but will be using the multiwiicopter electronic setup and code. 

I like this guys qaud in the fact that he uses wood for the arms. It does not seem like that bad of an idea, its cheap, he says it is very strong, if it does break it is an easy fix. The aluminum that other people use is not that easy to find in light weight and can be expensive with shipping.

I should be able to put those wood arms on this frame

So that is the basics of what i have in mind. Here are some pictures of what i have so far. I plan on ordering most of the rest of the stuff soon.

 

Motors and Prop savers:

 

Wii motion plus circuit board: (3 axis gyros)

 

Wii nunchuck: (3 axis accelerometers)

 

Now those wii products have those pesky triwing screws. I delicately used a dremel to get the wii motion plus circuit board out. I do not want to have to dremel out the wii nunchuck so i bought a triwing screw driver on ebay for $2. That should arrive soon.

As you can tell i still have a lot to get:

  • Props
  • ESCs
  • 6 channel receiver (already have the transmitter)
  • Arduino of some kind
  • lipo battery 
  • lipo alarm
  • frame stuff
  • etc...
  • etc...

But it shouldnt cost too much...

 

 


 

Update 12.28.10

Well i have all my parts ordered. So pretty soon i should have packages flooding in. 

I went to the hardwar store yesterday and picked up some 1/2" square hardwood. I do not have an accurate scale but with the one i do have, i estimate it at 1.8 grams an inch. I also picked up some hardware for mounting the motors and 8ft of aluminum U channel (its the shortest they had).

 

My triwing screw driver arrived today in the mail so i was able to take the nunchuck apart.

 

You can cut the joystick part off because i just need the accelerometer so that is what i did with my dremel.

 

Then i had to wire it to the wii motion plus that i already removed.

 

It is all mounted on some perfboard using double sided foam. This board will be mounted to the frame using some different foam to help prevent vibrations. 

 

I tested it on the GUI and it looks fine. Remember all this wiring you can find here http://radio-commande.com/international/triwiicopter-design/

So like i said i have all the parts on the way. I need to get started on the frame but i am waiting on my frame plates to arrive before i get too much accomplished. I can probably start on the arms and mount the motors on them though. 

 

 


 

Update 12.30.10

Packages, packages, and more packages. 

Yes i received 3 packages today in the mail.

 

Here are my plates that i ordered for my frame. The 1/2" wood should make a good substitute for the aluminum.

The bigger two are the "main plates" and the smaller 2 are the "electronic carrier plates"

Main plates ($5 a piece):

 

Electronic carrier plates ($4 a piece):

 

I also received my 8" counter-clockwise and clockwise propellers (EPP0845).

 

I received my lipo alarm yesterday. This gets plugged into the lipo battery charging cable and will beep loudly when the battery is low so i know to land and recharge. 

 

Unrelated to this (ok some what related in the fact i might use them to help me build the thing) are my digital calipers that i decided to buy from ebay. 

 

Looks like i am ready to start building...

 

 


 

Update 12.30.10 #2

Well i have been busy today. Above you can see my parts came and so i started building. (oh and the calipers came in handy!)

 

So i cut and painted the arms (they are 10 inches long)

 

Pretty straight forward. Drill some holes in the wood and bolted the plates together.

 

Motors are also bolted on:

 

And there you have it. I still need to mount the electronic carrier plates, but i saved that for another day. 

 

Weighing it:

 

 


 

Update 1.1.11

 

Yesterday some more packages arrived.

The first one is from the red box company (Sparkfun). Just an Arduino mini and some random headers.

 

The second was my receiver for my transmitter.

I havent showed you my transmitter yet so here it is:

 

Ok time for the building i got done. I added the electronic carrier boards on it. One is on top for some of the actual electronics and one is on the bottom for holding the battery and maybe to serve as a surface to land on.

 

I mounted the receiver on it and plan on running the 2 antenna down the front and back arms when the other parts arrived.

 

In case you are wondering, that red tape marks the front of the quadcopter.

 

If it was not new years day, the rest of my parts would have arrived today, but i will have to wait till monday. So it looks like I will be giving it a test fly next week if all goes well. I have to run to RadioShack today to get a prototyping board so i can make my quadcopter board this weekend. 

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What are you using to stabilize the aircraft? 

 

are you going to use gyros (piezo) or buy an IMU chip?

 

Autoilot maybe?

Did you see the wii motion plus and wii nunchuck? That is the IMU. 

now i saw it, congrats, it is going to be awesome to see it fly.....

 

Great project,can't wait to see it flies. Nice motors and setup, very exciting. Keep up the good work :)

I recommend you practice a bit on a simulator before taking it out in the open :) I found that to be very helpful when i wanted to fly my hexacopter.

Looking forward to seeing this fly :) If you haven't flown anything Pro RC before, Get ready to have the joy of your life ! Breaking it many times is related to the training process  :P

At first, try to fly it with the front part (red) facing away from you at all times. once it starts to swivel, you will get mixed up really fast. taking baby steps is the best thing to avoid an expensive catastrophe :)

Exciting project.. and looking good.

Do you plan to put some aluminum wire (or similar) around the perimeter of the blades to protect from horizontal collisions?  Definitely a good idea if you want to be able to use inside.

I think the Arduino Pro Mini at sparkfun would be a good fit for this project, which are lightweight, small, and inexpensive :-)

What you see is what you get. No protective wire as I do not intend to fly it inside. Trust me, i will be as careful as i can when flying :). 

Looks great Patrick!

How safe are those prop-savers? If one of the rubber bands break then those props can be pretty dangerous. My father had his finger sliced to the bone once from a 4" prop.

4 8" spinning props are definitely not safe to be near no matter if there are prop savers or not. Yeah i have seen injuries similar to your father's due to quad accidents. If something goes wrong i just need to remember not to grab it until the motors are unarmed. Im sure it would have no problem cutting through flesh. 

That is looking great!  Are you planning on putting prop shrouds on it?  I see the props held on with ruber bands, that is a great breakaway idea, so shrouds may not be necessary.