Anakin- maiden flight

I fed 14.8v battery at Anakin drone. I’d used 3s and this was my first experience of 4s. It was so powerful and it was easy to quick maneuvering.
Let’s look at my maden flight of her.

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Anakin frame kit

Sky hero which is European racing drone manufacture released beautiful frame named Anakin. As you know, Anakin skyworker is so famous on Star wars movie.
Most racing drone looks like Frankenstein when she is built up. But this frame is elegant and beautiful at its design.
Here is the frame kit.
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White canopy is light weight material, it covers frame and protects parts like FC, receiver and FPV gears. Main frame and arms are carbon fiber material. Arms are pipe type, so mini ESCs can be hided into those.
Here are the parts list to put into her:

  • FC : CC3d mini
  • Motor : Multistar Elite 2306-2150KV mini Monster
  • ESC : ZTW Mini 18A BLHeli firmware
  • FPV : Aomway Mini 200mW VTX and 600TVL Camera
  • Receiver : Walkera 7CH receiver

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I attached 4 motors at each motor mount of arms, take out the motor wires trough arm pipe and connected to each ESC.
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It was hard to make position the 4 arms onto under frame. There was zig to support this. But I struggle more than 2 hours to made this.
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After fix the position, check the balance of 4 arms, then attached upper frame.
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Next, I soldered power wires of ESCS, FPV gears, battery cable and 5v power connector for FC onto power distribution board.
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This is the camera mounting.
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I attached video TX onto frame tail.
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Here is the result. I put some decals onto canopy.
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Let’s look at the size comparison to 450 class and 180 class which I made before.
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Conclusion : Anakin is so beautiful and most electricity parts like ESCS, FC, power distribution board, receiver and FPV gears are abled to be protected by light weight canopy. But the frame is expansive and not easy to assemble. But she is worth to purchase in the point view of design, I think.

XJ470 APM copter – flight video

Spring is just started, but it’s still cold out there. After I tuned XJ470 APM copter, I took a video at the airfield near my house.
This is my final tuned PID parameters. I tested with both 1038 and 1238 propeller, and finally decided to go 1238 propeller:
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This is the video what I took:

The overall flight time was more than 16 minutes and hovering time was 22 minutes with carrying camera gimbal using 4s 5200mah 10c lipo. It was outstanding.

XJ470 Folderable drone – APM based quad

I’ve lifted up Quanum venture of 450 class drone. She was beautiful and nice looking drone. But it hasn’t enough power to load gimbal and camera, and not enough flight time which was around 10 mins without gimbal&camera. It maybe solution attach a big battery like 10,000mah. But there wasn’t enough room to carry this in the bay.
So I decided to build a new drone which is light weight, more powerful, able to carry more payload and easy portable.

Here is the part lists:

  1. Frame : XJ470 carbon folderable frame kit
  2. Motor : Sunnysky X-3108S 720KV
  3. ESC : RCtimer 20A SimonK firmware opto.
  4. FC : APM 2.6 flight controller
  5. Receiver : Devo 701 7CH RX
  6. Telemetry : 3DR radio telemetry v2
  7. GPS : Ublox Neo-7M
  8. Power distribution board : Quanum power board with 5v/12v BEC
  9. LED : KK260 LED module (5V)
  10. Video Tx : Boscam 5.8Ghz 200mw Video transmitter
  11. APM power module 2.6
  12. Gimbal : Walkera 2axis gimbal
  13. Camera : Xiomi Yi
  14. Propeller : APC 1238 propeller
  15. Battery : Multistar 4s 5200mah 10C

This is Frame kit. I think this body wasn’t big enough to put those parts. Actually, I spent some hours to layout and placed the parts in small space. But the arm length is enough long to attach 12inch prop. Overall frame weight was over 400grams.
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Here were the part lists what I built. The motor size was big what I expected. The frame were  composed to 3k carbon fiber and aluminum, no cheap plastic parts. This was so cool.
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At fist I assembled the hinge spacer parts onto under plate.
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This is landing skid assembly. I think this is a little bit short. I may need to order longer compatible bar.
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And I attached these under the under plate.
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This is arm assemblies. Back arms are a little bit longer than front arms.
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Then I attached 4 motors onto each motor mount of the each arm, take out the motor cables through hollow arm, soldered banana connectors at the signal cables, attached wires for 5V/12V power onto power distribution board and prepared LEDs where will be placed under the motor mount.
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I struggled find out a space to put 4 ESCs for several hours. It should be thin or mini ESCs so that could insert these into each hollow arm. Anyway this is the solution what I found that placed two ESCs onto front side, another two ESCs onto back side and tighten these up using cable tie, and then placed power distribution board onto back side ESCs, and soldered power wires of ESCs.
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Next was put upper plate hinge spacer and take out the wires.
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And I put the APM FC board onto center of gravity, and connected RC receiver and 433Mhz radio telemetry.
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Final extra things were attaching LEDs, mounting gimbal, connect 5V power & video signal cables into Xiaomi action CAM, attaching GPS and Video TX. I drained 5V power for action CAM from APM FC.

Here is the result:
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And this is the figure when she was folded.
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Total weight including CAM gimbal set and 5200mah battery was over 1.7KG. I’m afraid that she can hover for 20mins with 12inch props. It will be under 15 mins in my guessing.
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CC3D mount sideways for sidepin

My cc3D board has side pins. This isn’t good for micro drone because these stick out to right side. This brings air-drag when pitch up.
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The other cons is connecting usb port. This is at behind and is uncomfortable to put the cable in there.
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Openpilot provides virtual attitude when rotate the board from origin direction. I placed the board 90 degree rotation so that side pins placed to front side. After relocate this, it is needed to set the yaw degree to 90 at Openpilot GCS.
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To edit the yaw rotation value, I connected the drone to my laptop using usb cable. It was very comfortable that usb port was at right side.
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Open the GCS–>go to Attitude–>set the value 90 of Yaw –>Save–>click Level to re-calibrate the accelerometer–> and Save again.
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CC3D openpilot setup and testing flight

I introduced micro drone building using cc3d board at last posting. As you know, it’s peace of cake to assemble the drone hardware for hobby enthusiast. Now I introduce how to setup the openpilot software onto cc3d board. Openpilot is very easy and provides intuitive GUI. Every setup process was wizard driven so that there was just clicking efforts. I download R15.02.02 at here. After installation and double click the shortcut, initial screen as below was displayed.
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The first thing to do is connect the cc3d board into a computer using mini usb cable.
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And click the Vehicle setup wizard of the openpilot software. Configuration progress were these steps: firmware update –> select RC input type –> select vehicle type –> select ESC type –> accelometer calibration –> ESC calibration –> motor ouput calibration –> transmitter configuration –> Flight mode setup. When update the newest firmware, there was one thing should consider that don’t connect usb cable into the labtop before click the ‘Upgrade’ icon.
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All the steps are wizard driven, so I think anybody can do this just following the instruction as described onto setup wizard. For flight mode setting, I could select 3 types which are attitude, rattitude and rate mode. Attitude mode is that both Gyro and accelerometer are engaged to control the copter stabilization so that make more easy control. Rate mode is that only Gyro is engaged. Most racing drone enthusiast using this mode. Rattitude mode is mixture of attitude and rate mode.
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The last thing for setting is PID_tuning. This is the hardest job for beginner. But the steps are not complicate. There is so great guide for this at diydrone forum. I switched the flight mode to rate and gained pitch rate on Inner Loop. And then, switched the flight mode to attitude and gained pitch rate on Outer Loop. Here is the result I tuned.
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Here is the testing flight. She flew 7 mins with 1000mah 3s lipo.

My overall rate of cc3d FC and openpilot is 5 starts. There was no autonomous features like APM, but setup was so easy and default PID setting was so stable so that don’t need to edit or tuning the PID value.

Micro racing drone based CC3D flight controller

I think it’s been more than 4 months since my latest post of this blog. Now, I just started build 160 size micro racing drone with CC3d FC which is very cheap and nice.
Here is the parts list what I built:

  1. FC : CC3D Acro
  2. ESC : DYS 10A Opto (no BEC)
  3. Motor : DYS BE1806 2300KV brushless motor
  4. Frame : Diatone grasshopper G160
  5. RC receiver : Walkera 7CH receiver
  6. Propeller : DAL 4045 prop

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This carbon fibre frame is so light weight and strong. There is very narrow spaces to put power distribution board, FC and other stuffs. I will use openpilot firmware and the motor number as like below pictures. M1 and M3 are clockwise, M2 and M4 are anti-clockwise.
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This is my first time to use cc3d board. This don’t have autonomous feature as like APM, but this provides very easy setup using GUI based openpilot software. I purchased copycat under $15.
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The first thing to build was mount four motors on each arms and then attached power distribution board which provides 12V&5V out. This board was bundled into frame kit.
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I soldered power cable with TX60 connector and fed 11.1V power, and then verified 11.1v was out normally.
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And also made sure that 5V was out to feed power into cc3D board. (There no 5V BEC in my esc, so I needed to add on power source for FC board. I would connect this power into the 5th pin of RC output on the board.
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Next, I attached 10A ESCs onto each arm and soldered onto power distribution board(12V out). And also soldered 5V power cable with dupont pin for cc3d board powering.
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Next, I mounted cc3d board onto power distribution board using nylon spacer and  connected ESC cables into RC output of FC board, and then connected 5V power cable into the 5th RC output.
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The final job of hardware building was connect the Receiver into RC input. Black is GND, red is VCC, white is pitch, blue is roll, yellow is throttle, green is yaw, orange is flight mode where I assigned this aux2 of the receiver and brown is actually nothing.
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This is the result. This was very light weight. It weighted only 307grams with 1000mah battery.
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At first, I considered to attach 5″ props on that, but that was too long. 4″ was just fit on that. I will explain how to set up the software at next posting.

250 Class FPV Racing Drone using mini APM

Drone racing game has been popularity and 250 class has set position as FPV racing drone. This is very portable in a backpack, cost effective, easy to assemble and maintain.
To build up this, I prepared below parts:

  1. Frame : 270mm Variant insect carbon fiber frame kit
  2. Motor : DYS 1806 2300KV brushless motor *4
  3. ESC : Emax simonK 12A ESC *4
  4. Propeller : 5030 propeller *4
  5. Power distributor : APM power distributor board with 5V output
  6. Flight controller : Mini APM 3.1
  7. Radio receiver : Walkera RX701 2.4G 7CH receiver
  8. Video TX with CMOS camera : Eachine 700TVL Cmos camera with 32CH Video TX
  9. OSD : minim OSD
  10. Battery : 11.1v 2200mah LiPo battery
  11. GPS : Ublox Neo 6M

Here is the carbon fiber frame kit which was very harden and light weight.
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Here are the parts where put into the frame :
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I pre assembled the frame kit at first. Overall shape was good and arm is able to be folded enough to put into small backpack.
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I adopted mini APM for the 250 class frame. This provides same feature of APM FC, but the size is tiny as 35mm*35mm and very light weight as only 20g.
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The first thing I I did to set the FC was uploading the arducopter firmware. mini APM has micro USB port and I connected this to my computer using USB cable and flashed the firmware through Mission Planner.
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I prepared some wires to be connected into the APM as below picture.
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And then, connected into the APM as like as below picture.
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After I done this, I soldered power cable, four ESCs onto power distribution board as below picture.
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I mounted four motors onto each arm.
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And attached power distribution board assembly under the frame and connected to the motors.
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APM power distribution board has 5V power output for the APM. Here is pin map of this.
APM Power distribution

And here is the power connection diagram between Power distribution and mini APM.
APM Power connection

To FPV enabled, I needed to add on CMOS camera with Video TX and connect to minim OSD to display parameters onto video screen. Here is the connection diagram among CMOS camera, Video TX and minim OSD.
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After wiring of those, I watched video capture with onscreen parameters on my DIY goggle successfully.
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Here is the final result.
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Quanum DIY goggle set v2 for FPV

FPV goggles is must item you do not miss if you want to exciting experience. The best well known brand of these are Fatshark and Skyzone. But this cool gear is out of budget to me. The pricing range is about $300~$500. It is pie in the sky for poor RC maniac like me. But Hobbyking bring me good new they released DIY FPV Goggle set. This is only $56. Additional lipo battery ($12) and Video RX ($30) are needed. But it will be very reasonable choice to get this under $100.
Here are parts of Hobbyking’s Quanum DIY Goggle V2 :

  • IMG_42165″ TFT monitor with curved 3 X-magnifying lenses
  • Lightweight EPP foam goggle case
  • Neoprene light seal
  • Multi-purpose Neoprene google glove

This was very easy to assemble which only take under 10 minutes. After assembly was done, I connected video cable from Video RX to TFT monitor and fed 11.1v power to both of them.
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Here is the result after I clean up the wires and put components into pockets.
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When I turn on the CMOS camera which I build up at previous post, this TFT monitor displayed what camera had captured.
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My first impressions are it’s not bad with it’s cost. But I entirely recommend to go Fatshark or Skyzone when you can afford to adopt those. The reasons are it’s too big, heavy and fat.
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