Ken/Cluso99/ W9GFO/JasonD's QuadCopter Build Log (updated info ELEV-8 + availability)

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  • ratronicratronic Posts: 1,451
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I had soldered everything into a single wire harness so I will step back and let someone else answer that one.
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • BRBR Posts: 91
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    @David: There's a picture in post #578 showing how I did my power harness...basically just as you describe, 4 of the EC3 connectors for the harness-to-ESC connection, and the 5th for the harness-to-batt connection. I debated whether or not to put the 4 connectors in between the ESCs and harness...was glad I did when it came time to program the ESCs. Guess the potential downside might be the additional reliability issues that could arise by having the extra connections. Time will tell whether this is an issue for me or not.

    On the harness configuration, I did it just as is shown in the hoverfly videos (1-to-4 splice). It was reasonably straightforward.

    Fair warning: I found the blue EC3 connectors to be a bit challenging to solder well...especially the harness-to-batt connection. See post 578 for details.

    EDIT: also, you'll need to go buy 8 more of the #4-40 self-locking nuts (kit ships w/ 8, you'll probably need 16).
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 8,935
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I've made a lot more progress on my ELEV-8 kit but I'm currently at the point of soldering the power connectors onto the ESCs. I know that I should use a male bullet connector on the two ESC power leads but I'm not sure which housing to use with the male connectors. Should I use the smaller diameter housing that fits inside of the large diameter housing when the two connectors are joined?
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 8,935
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    I've made a lot more progress on my ELEV-8 kit but I'm currently at the point of soldering the power connectors onto the ESCs. I know that I should use a male bullet connector on the two ESC power leads but I'm not sure which housing to use with the male connectors. Should I use the smaller diameter housing that fits inside of the large diameter housing when the two connectors are joined?
    I looked at some pictures of connectors on the web and it looks like I was wrong. The larger of the blue housings seems to go with the male connector and the smaller goes with the female connector. Can someone verify that for me?
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 8,935
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    I looked at some pictures of connectors on the web and it looks like I was wrong. The larger of the blue housings seems to go with the male connector and the smaller goes with the female connector. Can someone verify that for me?
    I think this link gives me the answer to my question. It seems that the larger shell is used with the male connectors and the smaller shell is used by the female connectors. At least that's the way they are pictured here.

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/328989280/battery_EC3_Connector/showimage.html

    If anyone else knows differently please let me know.

    Thanks,
    David
  • kmc123kmc123 Posts: 33
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hey David,

    Here are a few how to links that may help you:
    http://www.e-fliterc.com/Articles/Article.aspx?ArticleID=1768
    http://www.rcheliresource.com/how-to-soldering-an-ec3-connector/

    For what it's worth, I did not use any connectors on my power harness:
    WP_000505.jpg
    WP_000509.jpg




    I did end up using the 3.5mm bullet connectors between the ESC's and the 2217's (Female on the ESC side, Male on the 2217 side):
    I directly soldered the 13" "Extensions" to the 2217's and then applied heat shrink.
    Then I soldered male 3.5mm ends on to the ends of the 13" extensions.
    And finally soldered female 3.5mm ends on the ESC's.
    WP_000493.jpg
    WP_000504.jpg
    WP_000500.jpg


    I hope that helps!
    -Kevin (Not the Parallax Kevin Cook - The other one :) )
    873 x 768 - 160K
    1024 x 685 - 158K
    771 x 768 - 144K
    1024 x 683 - 177K
    1024 x 756 - 173K
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,666
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    kmc123 wrote: »
    -Kevin (Not the Parallax Kevin Cook - The other one :) )

    Kevin, a real "welcome" to our forums! I noticed that the ELEV-8 was ordered by a "Kevin Cook" so I told our Kevin Cook "hey man, I know you like this place but you can have this stuff for free!". We all had a great laugh over this anomaly.

    Anyway, welcome to the forums. We look forward to seeing more of you. Let us know how the ELEV-8 works out, good and bad.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Gracey
  • kmc123kmc123 Posts: 33
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thanks Ken!
    WOW! What a job perk!!! Free?!?! I'd build all my dream projects! :)
    How on earth do you regulate that? Is it x dollars of parts per month, or something like that?
    That's one hell of a perk - I think I'd rather pay for medical and dental insurance and have free Parallax stuff as a perk :)
    -Kevin
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,666
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    kmc123 wrote: »
    Thanks Ken!
    WOW! What a job perk!!! Free?!?! I'd build all my dream projects! :)
    How on earth do you regulate that? Is it x dollars of parts per month, or something like that?
    That's one hell of a perk - I think I'd rather pay for medical and dental insurance and have free Parallax stuff as a perk :)
    -Kevin

    Well, such a policy has major benefits for Parallax. First, I'll cover the inventory accuracy aspect of such an open policy. When you can have anything you want from Parallax and all you need to do is record what you took on a clipboard for the Inventory Manager (no questions asked, no justification - unless it's a QuadRover) the result is that our inventory accuracy is 99.95%. In prior years, some staff who managed the back half of the business thought the solution was "lock it up - my team will pull the parts you need - with your manager's approval only". The mere thought of such a cruddy idea was enough to open the place up to make it as free as can be. Turns out this worked fine.

    Next, there's no hoarding this way. If everything is accessible then you can get what you need anytime, so what's the point of having ten boards at your desk?

    Sometimes one of us has built a project and wants to re-target the parts for their next project - but we really want to keep their past project alive for some reason - often it is cheaper to get more parts than tear down a project in an afternoon. Their labor can far exceed the cost of the parts.

    And strangely, once you can have your hobby anytime you want it you realize that the thrill was really in the chase!

    But it's not all easy for us. I think the team makes great sacrifices in other ways. Some work long hours to make a difference and others take it home to manage overseas communication on a Sunday night. Others pour their guts into producing the finest result they can, day after day.

    Ken Gracey
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 8,935
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    Well, such a policy has major benefits for Parallax. First, I'll cover the inventory accuracy aspect of such an open policy. When you can have anything you want from Parallax and all you need to do is record what you took on a clipboard for the Inventory Manager (no questions asked, no justification - unless it's a QuadRover) the result is that our inventory accuracy is 99.95%. In prior years, some staff who managed the back half of the business thought the solution was "lock it up - my team will pull the parts you need - with your manager's approval only". The mere thought of such a cruddy idea was enough to open the place up to make it as free as can be. Turns out this worked fine.

    Next, there's no hoarding this way. If everything is accessible then you can get what you need anytime, so what's the point of having ten boards at your desk?

    Sometimes one of us has built a project and wants to re-target the parts for their next project - but we really want to keep their past project alive for some reason - often it is cheaper to get more parts than tear down a project in an afternoon. Their labor can far exceed the cost of the parts.

    And strangely, once you can have your hobby anytime you want it you realize that the thrill was really in the chase!

    But it's not all easy for us. I think the team makes great sacrifices in other ways. Some work long hours to make a difference and others take it home to manage overseas communication on a Sunday night. Others pour their guts into producing the finest result they can, day after day.

    Ken Gracey

    Sounds like Parallax is a great place to work!!
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 13,778
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    Sounds like Parallax is a great place to work!!

    It certainly is! :thumb:
    Chris Savage
    Engineering Tech, Parallax Inc.
    (916) 624-8333 x3005
    Website / Twitter / Google+
  • ratronicratronic Posts: 1,451
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have had some very successful flights thanks to Ken that messeged me back on new years day and sent me the prop adapter that I stripped out. All of the Parallax parts survived all 3 crashes but I broke a prop on the last crash. I already have some replacements ordered from APC but was wondering if you can describe the crash kit/s your going to sell?
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 8,935
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    ratronic wrote: »
    I have had some very successful flights thanks to Ken that messeged me back on new years day and sent me the prop adapter that I stripped out. All of the Parallax parts survived all 3 crashes but I broke a prop on the last crash. I already have some replacements ordered from APC but was wondering if you can describe the crash kit/s your going to sell?
    Yes, they are quite a helpful crew there at Parallax! Also, I'd like to know what's in the crash kit myself. I suspect I'll be needing it once I get to the point where I can try flying my ELEV-8 kit!

    I have one comment on the kit so far. It seems like it might have been better to supply lock nuts and longer screws for the places where the landing gear attach to the frame. Some of those joints seem a little loose on my kit.
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,666
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    It certainly is! :thumb:

    OK, the brainwashing is now complete. Two of you have taken the bait!

    Ken Gracey
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 8,935
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    OK, the brainwashing is now complete. Two of you have taken the bait!

    Ken Gracey
    Hmmm... Did you accomplish this with some subtle flashing of the LEDs on the QuickStart board sending subliminal messages to anyone looking in the right direction? Clever!
  • JasonDorieJasonDorie Posts: 1,040
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    I have one comment on the kit so far. It seems like it might have been better to supply lock nuts and longer screws for the places where the landing gear attach to the frame. Some of those joints seem a little loose on my kit.

    I agree - I had nylon lock nuts on hand, so I used therm where the gear attaches to the frame. The holes on that side were too large and didn't lock-in to the threads like they did on the motor side. I think it would also be good if the docs included the details on the EC3 connectors (as in which side is male / female, where to use the "pins" and "tubes", etc) as it isn't obvious.
  • TigerTiger Posts: 105
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Got an email from Innov8tiveDesigns today that shows an interesting LED placement on their new quad.

    Here is a YouTube video of it flying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6Y3_3X6-xI

    ...Tiger
    800 x 600 - 76K
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,666
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Tiger wrote: »
    Got an email from Innov8tiveDesigns today that shows an interesting LED placement on their new quad.

    Here is a YouTube video of it flying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6Y3_3X6-xI

    ...Tiger

    That's cool, John. I really like the indoor flying space, too. No reason we can't wrap LED tape around the ELEV-8 motor mounts.

    Interesting business snippet in the podcast you sent me recently. The guy from Hobby Lobby was talking about buying LEDs and lighting for his business and explained how it no longer has any margin because it's so widely distributed and readily available over the internet. I have first-hand experience with what he's talking about - I've priced this stuff in the Shenzhen component markets and the Chinese suppliers are now reaching us over eBay at the same price (with free shipping). Great information for quadcopter fliers who want to light their craft.

    Ken Gracey
  • JasonDorieJasonDorie Posts: 1,040
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Tiger- that's cool. I designed my latest frame to have room for LEDs inside the motor pods for the same reason.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,623
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,666
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    W9GFO wrote: »
    Some laser cut ELEV-8 parts

    Wonderful, Rich! Great work, and congrats on making some ELEV-8 kits. As everybody knows, these drawings are free for everybody's use without restriction! We are very happy to see others make ELEV-8s.

    The booms can easily be made on a drill press, too.

    I just don't think I can hold out much longer without getting a laser cutter in my home office. . . watching you and Phil Pilgrim make all kinds of neat parts is starting to cause some serious envy!

    Ken Gracey
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 13,778
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    Hmmm... Did you accomplish this with some subtle flashing of the LEDs on the QuickStart board sending subliminal messages to anyone looking in the right direction? Clever!

    Ken Flashy-Thing'd me...some of you may get that... :innocent:

    I am planning on doing a GPS Navigation Demo for the Expo in April. Perhaps I will have the ELEV-8 Deliver an S2 to a waypoint somewhere autonomously.

    UPDATE: Please see the following post for important updates.
    Chris Savage
    Engineering Tech, Parallax Inc.
    (916) 624-8333 x3005
    Website / Twitter / Google+
  • JasonDorieJasonDorie Posts: 1,040
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    I just don't think I can hold out much longer without getting a laser cutter in my home office. . . watching you and Phil Pilgrim make all kinds of neat parts is starting to cause some serious envy!

    I want a laser too, but a CNC can do pockets (not just holes) and other stuff. This is a relatively simple frame (not curved), but it'd be tricky to do on a laser.

    http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?136787-QuadX-my-latest-Propeller-with-Propellers&p=1064439&viewfull=1#post1064439
  • Roy ElthamRoy Eltham Posts: 1,660
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken Flashy-Thing'd me...some of you may get that... :innocent:

    I've never seen Ken in a black suit. He must keep it hidden? ;)
  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 2,570
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    I just don't think I can hold out much longer without getting a laser cutter in my home office. . . watching you and Phil Pilgrim make all kinds of neat parts is starting to cause some serious envy!

    Agree that a CNC router is a handy tool to also have. I'd probably choose the router first, then the laser, but both are ideal.

    This is a pretty nice router for home or light commercial work, from what I've read. It certainly compares well with my 10 year old router, which is smaller and can't run on anything above Windows 98. I asked Santa for one of these, but he didn't come through for me. Again.

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=19441

    Of course it'll do expanded PVC, HDPE, ABS, acrylic, Delrin, etc.

    -- Gordon
  • ratronicratronic Posts: 1,451
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Now I need something that only Parallax sells - Landing gear - my last crash finally snapped them are you going to sell these soon Ken? Also am I the only one brave enough to admit to crashes? I know the answer to that second question - learn how to fly dummy! But this thing is so fun that it's hard not to play.
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • schillschill Posts: 741
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    ratronic wrote: »
    Also am I the only one brave enough to admit to crashes?

    I will admit that mine is still in the box it came in. Things have been very busy around here.
  • ratronicratronic Posts: 1,451
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    W9GFO I would like to get at least eight if you don't want an arm and a leg for them!
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,623
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hmm, I think in order to make eight more I would need to order more material. I can surely do it, but let's see if Ken has a solution for you. If not then I would be happy to make some.
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