Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2. Part Order

Ordering your parts is pretty easy, just find a website that is carrying the components you need and place an order, make sure the site is reputable and wait. I ordered all my parts from hobby king. I would order anything I cant find at the local RC supply shop. Dont be surprised by the condition your package arrives in, it came across the earth for you, it will not be great shape, would you be? A few things to know;

It will take a long time.
If you think you could use it, then order it.
If you think someone else could use it, then order it!
Order twice as many as you know you need and half as many as you would like.
Look at what is most popular, you will find a few items are invaluable.
Order extra props, they will break, you will need extras.
Measure twice and cut once, so you don't have to order 16 times.

Once all of you parts arrive, take a detailed inventory of everything to make sure it arrived, then check it again to make sure it arrived complete and undamaged. I would visually build everything in my head before I started work on it. I would also do the 5 yr. old child check, and see if there was an easier way to do something by telling my plans to my sister. A few other things, safety is very important, you only have two eyes, so protect them both. Don't cut through battery wires 2 at a time. It is very bad. Dremels are awesome tools to help with small quick work.

1. Design

Quad-copters consist of a frame, motors, FCU or Flight Control Unit, Battery and wiring up of receiver and ESC's. After studying some builds that previous expert flyers had done I had a starting point and went from there. Additionally I found a website that will help you calculate all the variables when designing your Copter:

So I had originally planned to make my own frame from a kit, but that didn't feel right, it felt too cookie cutter. I read a lot of hackaday and had seen some projects that use items in unique and adventurous ways, so I decided I could hack together my own frame from "Microrax". Extruded Aluminum is stronger than wood and cheaper than a carbonfiber frame, so I built my quad around the idea that I could modularize every item off the RAX.

Simple engineering told me I need to add a top and or bottom plate to add rigidity and a place to attach stuff. I figured since I was using aluminum for the frame, the top and bottom plates needed to be of the same. After an evening of sketching and brainstorming other items for the re-purpose of flying, I found some extra ABS plastic to add to the frame to give strength and as an insulation for the FCU and as a perch for the Receiver

The rest of the parts, Motors, FCU, Battery, ESC's, Transmitter (Tx) and Receiver
(Rx) I ordered per the build that worked on the Ecalc

MultiWii 328P Flight Controller
Turnigy 530kv Brushless Motor
Turnigy 4000mah Lipo Pack
OrangeRx T-SIX 2.4GHz DSM2 6CH Transmitter (Mode 2)

The design of a copter really starts at the propelers, large props need a lot of torque and not a lot of RPM's and vice versa. I wanted large props for plenty of lift so I had to go with strong motors. The ESC's or Electronic Speed Controllers convert and adjust the power going from the battery to the motor, they are controlled by the FCU, and it gets the signal from my Rx. So I have a frame for the motors and FCU, I will zip tie the ESC's and wiring to the frame and mount the battery underneath, I mounted the Rx on the top plate above the FCU. Other than a Tx I think that's it for designing a QC. Last thought, there is a lot of other things that are needed to get a Q.C. off the ground, like a battery charger, bullet connectors, a wiring harness, props, and replacement props, and a prop balancer to name a few.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Hello, this is the beginning of my adventure.

So I originally asked my GF if I could start taking Helicopter Pilots lessons, and of course the cost is very high, so I got the expected no. That was that, until I saw a video on RC First Person Videos or FPV for a quadcopter, and I was hooked. I told the GF I wanted to make one, and it would get me out of the house, plus we could goto the park together and have picnics. Lastly, Its hella cheaper than lessons. She said yes! I didn't need an invitation, so I ordered everything immediately, I already had been designing one in my head for a few weeks prior.

Quadcopters in general are awesome, there is alot that goes into design, but having fun is the biggest part. If you are going to build one, I recommend designing and sketching out everything, either in google Sketchup or meatspace. After that, you can price it all out, buy your parts, and start building. I have a few links at the bottom if you want to know more.

So my project breaks down into a few parts

1. Design
2. Part order
3. Assembly
4. Tweak, Program, Modify
5. Fly!

My resources, if you want to know more.

Great Calc, helped me design everything to make sure it would work together

I read through all 5 articles on EPS

A few videos

Original Inspiration

Dino shows you how its done.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Build things

My blog will post a project. So be it. What follows is a personal build log.