tirsdag den 30. december 2014

Turnigy Talon Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame

Check out the final build of the Turnigy Talon Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame
Turnigy Talon Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame build

Well cold and bad weather has kept me indoors for a while , doing other things of interest, but today i just received the Turnigy Talon Carbon Fiber quadcopter frame from Hobbyking. Thought i would make a short build blog on the frame.

It is neatly packed in the usual Hobbyking brown cardboard and inside the bits and pieces are packed and sealed in plastic bags.
There are not that many bits and pieces once you pack everything out and i began by putting on nice tune Isreal Vibrations - The same song, just to get me going. I initiated the build process without a manual but along the way I had to download it from HK' s web page as the center mount was a tad confusing

I began by assembling the four landing mounts using two small silver screws at the bottom of each set and the silver pipes in between. On the top comes the motor mounts.
There is a threaded side and unthreaded side, make sure to place the threaded side furthest away from the bolt head, use the four longest black screws and don't tight them just yet. 
After assembling all four you move on to the next step
Grab the center plate and mount the mount on the plate on adjacent sides using the medium sized black screws and a nut, don' t tighten it too much just yet.
Put the longest of the  arms through both mounts and tighten the screws so the mounts are firm and fixed on the plate.
Make sure to measure the length of the arms on each side to make sure they are the same length.
Clamp the tube using the top hole with a medium screw, the same applies here, the threaded side must be  furtherest from the head. finish it off with a nut.
Mount the two remaining mounts on the two shorter tubes.
mount the mount on the plate using a black medium screw and the copper screw. Tighten it so it is just a tad loose. You need to align the whole structur after mounting the whole unit.
I forot to mount the medium sized tube clamp screw so had to unscrew both sides, mount the screw and redo the copper screws on the plate.
After mounting the four copper screws you are ready for the bottom plate.
Mount the bottom plate and use a nut to tighten. The bottom section can be firmly tightened, the top must be a bit loose to align the arms left/right and up and down. 
Don' t tighten the nut on the copper screws too hard otherwise this will happen.
Mount the four landing mounts tightening them loosely, but enough so that they stay firm.
Place the frame on a table and align all legs, so that the frame is level on the table and all four legs are on the table.
Tighten the loose screws on the center plate, so the whole frame is tight.
To avoid drift and unstable flying, use your favourite levelling tool :-) was too lazy to get mine so found good use of a smart phone. Align the motor mounts so they are as level as possible then tighten the tube screw, so that the mount is firm.

1 st. impressions is that the build looks ok, but for 29 dollars, i have an expectation that it won't last that long. Mounting ESC' s neatly will be an issue and my favourite past time of mounting cables through the tubes presents a problem. The one tube will require drilling a hole to feed the cables through. The frame looks like it can mount the flight controller in X and + config. The motor mounts look quite weak, could be a cause of massive vibrations and a weak link in an event of a crash. I might have to find an alternative motor mount.
Another issue is the space for the electronics and cabling. There is not much room between the top and bottom plates to make a neat finish. I guess with this frame it' s going to be a simple quad carrying nothing unnecessary. No space for a power distribution board unless mounted on the top plate, will have to make some kind of harness.
The frame is pretty light weight 215 grams, i am guessing that my Turnigy NTM prop drives 1100 kv are pretty oversized on this frame, but not a motor expert so if you have a comment on this issue make sure to mention it.
Just a quick note. The mount holes for the flight controller in X mode, reside under the booms/arms, so if you want to to configure it in x mode make sure to do it as the first before mounting the plate, I had finished assembling the whole unit and had to disassemble it again to prepare for the flight controller. + config is not an issue as the holes can be reached quite easily.
Mount the plastic screws on the top plate if you are running your rig in x config.
remount all the booms/arm as stated previously.
Now you can easily mount your favourite flight controller.

Well after a couple of flights with this frame, I thought I would give my views on it. All in all the frame is very light and stabil frame, flying was very easy and due to the light weight it gave good flight times. It maneuvers nicely and quickly. 

Pros: The motor mounts tend to give way on landings, turning the motor just enough to unbalance it, this means that you have to center the motor once in a while when it starts to yaw. I tightened the bolt holding the mount, but did no good. I noticed that the mount is working its self into the carbon fiber tubing and slowly wearing it away. This will eventually become an issue as it will require a new tube. I have considered ordering a 12mm motor mount off ebay to use instead and moving the landing gear further inwards, loosening them a tad, so that they can give way if they endure a heavy landing, thus not wearing the tube.

fredag den 26. september 2014

Hobbyking KK 2.1.5 flight controller

The Hobbyking KK 2.1.5 flight controller

You might like to take a look at my build with the KK2.1.5 here
Turnigy Talon Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame build

If you are looking for a serious contender to the KK2, you might want to check this article her
CC3D flight controller

Well i will be the first to admit that when  i originally weighed my flight controller purchase options I neglected to look at the KK 2.1.5. My buddy recommended it to me saying it was quite a good controller, but I was looking for GPS, bluetooth, telemetry and plus all the options that megapirates flashed board has to offer and yes i was probably way off due to the fact that this was my first quad build, but don´t get me wrong it has been a fun process learning about how quads work , configuring Bluetooth and getting the GPS to connect, smoking a thing or two,  i would do it again, but if you looking for flight time, easy installation, simple no fuck around controller the KK 2.1.5 is for you.

 Firstly the price is very attractive 24 bucks off Hobbyking, compared to 70 bucks for a Crius or MultiWii pro, the board comes in a foam casing that you can use to mount the controller with on your multi-rotor to protect it from water and light knocks. I believe that you can for a few bucks more purchase a hard case version.

Secondly there are roughly eight or nine wires that you need to get connected and then you are off, all configuration is done on-board the controller using the LCD screen and this is specially handy to making small adjustments to your multi-rotor between flights.

The board has a built-in voltage sensor, once configured the flight controller monitors the battery voltage and gives you a series of warnings  when the battery is close to running out of juice.

The flight characteristics of this board are fantastic, the first flight went well with no adjustments made to the settings, it was simple control and very stabil in flight, it had a slight oscillation, but that could be taken care of by simply dropping the quad and adjusting using the LCD screen and then testing again, much faster that the Crius or MultiWii pro that often require a laptop or telefon.

This board comes with a stabilization or auto-leveling, this can be activated by either flicking an auxillery switch on the radio or using the stick control. Which ever method you choose requires a simple in the menu activation. Auto-level works very nicely on this board, Even though i gradually am learning to navigate a multi-rotor, i still crash with the Crius/MultiWii due to wrong PID settings and so one. They have and still do give me problems setting up. With the K.K i was able to drain several  batteries with out a single crash. You can download newer firmware and a well made manual from this guy http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=367321

Bottom line, i will stick with this board for a while and become more experienced with the sticks, in the mean time I can play around with the telemetry/FTV and all the other fun stuff on my new build. If you are looking for a good simple board that will start you up quick, give you success on your maiden flights and help you gain experience then this is a clear choice compared to the more expensive board that require more additional knowledge...Happy flying

tirsdag den 24. juni 2014

Hobbyking H4 Quadcopter motor mount repair

Just a quick tip on the fixing the weak motor mounts on the Hobbyking H4 quadcopter, i mentioned it in an earlier article, but thought that i would dedicate a small article on this matter.

I purchased a set of aluminium mounts off ebay at hobbycnc for £9 + shipping, he has the original H4 equivelent in alu, but at the time of ordering, his stock was depleted so i opted for another design, this required that i re-drill the mounting holes on the tube.
The package comes with 16 screws for mounting the motors.

I weighed the original mounts as i thought the alu version would be much heavier.

It turns out to weigh exactly the same 10 grams.
I weighed the mounts for the Hobbyking X60F, which were currently mounted on the quad, they weighed in at 33 grams, so a bit of weight saving can be done here.

Mounting required drilling a new hole through the arm.


Mounting the motor was pretty easy compared to the original H4 mounts, the motor aligns nicely and the screws are easily mounted.

Bought some replacement square tubes off ebay, for $8 http://www.ebay.com/itm/300774845368?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 for future needs, in case of bent or broken arms.

Have now had these motor mounts on my quad for about 1 year, they are solid and almost unbreakable, they bent under heavy crashes, but can quickly be straightened with a rubber hammer. They can take a lot of strain from bending and straightning without structure breaching. This is a five star upgrade to your quad.

søndag den 8. juni 2014

Why not to throw away broken things!

Well novices like myself, will often run into broken propellers,  motor mounts, motor arms and so on. Getting replacement parts takes time getting and costs money, as an example just ordered the H4 quad and after 3 flights the motor arm and motor mount broke...so another break from quad fun....no, get your broken stuff and DIY. The previous frame i was using the, Hobbyking X650F Glass Fiber Quadcopter Frame had a broken motor mount so i striped the whole unit and grabbed two motor mounts and arms, i was able to mount them on the H4 despite the fact that the width of the H4 tube is 0,8 mm and the X650F is 13mm. Not sure if the frame will hold but it is worth the try. I didn´t have a drill to drill new holes to mount the front two arms in a H form, so i used the two holes in the front of the frame. Not sure whether this construction will work, will have to just try, if not then i just re-drill the holes and go back to the original design.

torsdag den 5. juni 2014

Hobbyking H4 Quadcopter frame

Hobbyking H4 Copter Multi-Rotor Quadcopter Frame 470mm

You can also check this article Hobbyking H4 Quadcopter frame remodelled
You can also check this article Hobbyking H4 Tuning for better flight and video

Well after a number of crashes the carbon frame on the Hobbyking X650F Glass Fiber Quadcopter Frame, could only take so much of a beating, bits and pieces are now falling off, even after minor crashes. So i decided to purchase a new frame.

The Hobbyking H4 Multi-Rotor Quadcopter Frame is relatively fair priced, $29 + shipping, i was to choose between a cheap ebay multirotor quad frame or the H4, the choice fell on the H4 as i has tubes to get rid of the wiring.

The package comes neatly packed, with the bits and pieces bagged in sealed plastic bags. There is no boxed manual but it can be downloaded off the Hobbyking website and the H4 is pretty simple to construct.

 Note if you going to hide your wiring, construct the frame leaving either the top or the bottom frame  unmounted until your wiring is done and tested, it takes quite a while to get all the nuts undone if things go wrong.
Other things to be aware of on this frame, the flight controller mounting holes on the top plate, are partially covered under the parallel green tubes, this is a slight drawback, screws can be mounted by lifting the tube, but when tightening the whole frame, you will notice a slight uneven crest on the carbon plate, after mounting the whole frame and tightening the screws. So live with it or re-engineer it.
You have to find/buy a special small tool to mount the nut through the motor mount hole, I simply reversed the nut and bolt, so the bolt goes through the bottom, put the bolt and balanced it on an Allan key and then fed it gently through. The nut was tightened from the top, not very neat, but it did work.
The Landing gear is the biggest con on this unit, during flight even smaller rough landings, causes the landing gear to bend or flatten. They can be put back in place relatively easy, but at the cost of wearing the metal out. This is where I see my first breakdown, unless i engineer some way of strengthening it.

 The tubing is pretty tight, so feeding cables through them takes some patience and some relatively stiff wire.
I could not align the holes to mount the motor the way i wanted so i could run the cabling from the as in the picture. I can only fit 3 of the 4 screws, making it vunerable when crashing. I might have to r-drill the last hole.According to some users the motor mounts are susceptible to breaking when hitting the ground, even at low speeds.
Things got messy with all the wiring, but all the more fun to build

Power distribution mounted
Flight controller - With the cabling in place, I had to remove the upper middle plate, the cabling is too high, because of having the power distribution board
Notice the red and black cable to the Power disribution. They are over the edge of the frame, doe not look good, will have to think of how to take care of that.

As a novice, one of the great things about this frame is once the quad is airborne, its stability outclasses the X650F, keeping the quad in the air was much simpler and leveling was achieved almost from the first flight. Due to the reduced weight of the frame compared to the X650F, this frame archieved longer flight times, so to break it down, cool frame, stabil, good for longer flight time, but very easily damaged compared to the X650F, Much of the energy in crashes on the X650 is absorbed in the flexible landing gear, and also the tubes connecting the motor arms to the frame will also give as the outside bolt is designed so that the arm will give, when an arm hits an object, causing it to absorb the energy from a crash. The X650F can take a bit of a beating, before something breaks. The H4 does not have this play, an unfortunate crash on the motor tube will break it.
Be aware that Hobbyking does not seem to stock spare parts for the H4 frame as of yet, a look at the International warehouses website, shows that spare parts for this frame are not available so if something breaks, well either a new frame or get busy engineering.
Took the quad for a flight, while banking at a relatively slow speed, the one motor seem to cut out, dropping the quad from a height of 3-4 meters. It broke the motor mount, so have to re-engineer the prop mount.

Also broke the aluminium tubing, so as mentioned previously this frame is easily damaged/broken

Bent tube.
I decided to strengthen the frame by mounting the old motor mount tubes, this helped in making the quad withstand a bit more. The X650 which i used earlier has stronger tubes and thicker motr mounts. The tubes here are angled because my drill was out of action so just mounted them angled until i found a drill to mount the tubes at a right angle.

 I removed the original landing gear and mounted the landing gear from the X650F, i did it by simply drilling 8 x 3mm holes in the bottom plate for the landing skid mounts, making sure that the holes did not collide with the exsisting holes for tightening the bottom plate. There is a small bulge in the bottom plate, where the screws are tightened. That i can live with.

The mountd Landing gear seen from the bottom

The landing gear has given me enough clearance to mount my gimbal.

The Gimbal was mounted with three screws on to the bottom plate, making sure that i kept the holes for the motor mounts free.

If you are looking for reinforced motor mounts  for the original motor mount arms, you can order these aluminium mounts from Hobbycncoff ebay. The direct link follows below the picture.