Wednesday, April 30, 2014

3. Assembly

Stuffs all here.

Started with the frame, then built out from there.

I had to stack the frame and metal plates like a terrible sandwich before drilling through the entire group, this ensured that the holes would all line up.

All-thread, carbon fiber hollow dowel I cut to length to hold the MW Flight Controller Unit (FCU)

Solder all your parts together.

So I forgot to take pics while I was soldering. I just sat down one evening and started, and didn't get up from my spot until I was finished. Thanks to the GF for bringing me hot chocolate during this time.

My wire harness was 8-10ga. wire, soldered bullet connectors to esc-motor connections. It is actually 2 wire harness', one red and one black for the battery connections, the main wire from the battery was 8ga. and it went to four 10ga wires that I soldered directly to the ESC's. It did occur to me to use bullet connectors, but I skipped it, for a solid connection and reliability.

Double check all connections with a light tug on the joint to assure a good fit (thanks Dad for that tip).

Test fit and start final assembly. 

Starting with the harness and connecting the motors to the booms is very exciting as the metal starts to take on a practical shape that resembles something capable of flight.

Zip ties are your friend.

Once everything was connected and double n' triple checked I was finally confident with adding the battery pack to the equation and seeing if I had built a very unique blender or a QuadRax. I also ordered a battery alarm with lights and sound mounted on the bottom next to the battery to let me know before the charge on the Li-Po got too low.

Velcro-zip ties to keep the battery in place.
A word on safety. These batteries are not like a watch battery, they have very real dangers because of the extremely powerful discharge rates that they can perform. My battery can give a serious electrical burn if I were to touch both terminals. I know that when I first powered it up the *SPARK* startled me, I thought I had a short somewhere. It was just a simple warning of how much juice it wanted to give!

Lastly was the plumbing, or routing and re-routing all the wires from the Orange RX receiver to the FCU board and from the FCU board to the ESC's. I did some basic power up tests to set min & max throttle positions for each ESC and everything seemed ok. Big plus, I didnt burn the house down.

With good preparation, the build went smoothly, I was very happy with my final assembly, zip tied everything down and checked clearances.

So now I have QuadRax built, and its time to Program and Fly. That adventure is were the frustration begins.