ELEV-8 Quadcopter: ordering, design files, assembly and flight!

Introduction to the ELEV-8 Quadcopter
Open-source, Propeller-powered flight that may make your wildest dreams of flight come true!

December 3, 2011: the first posts in this thread is where we will maintain updated information about the ELEV-8. Expect these posts to be populated in the next couple of days! Parallax is now assembling ELEV-8s and we expect the first shipments to go out in one week.Details will be provided here. Until Nick, Kevin and I get the details up all we have is a pretty picture (below, not the guy on the left who appears seven times).

ELEV-8_Sticker.jpg
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Comments

  • 157 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    Assembly Tools, Supplies and Additional Hardware
    Things the customer should provide before attempting an ELEV-8 build

    The following tools are required to build an ELEV-8:
    • 1/4" wrench (box-end or socket)
    • 11/32 wrench or nut driver
    • #1 Phillips screwdriver
    • Soldering iron
    • Wire strippers (12-16 AWG)
    • Wire cutters (12-16 AWG)
    • Needle nose pliers
    • Heat gun or lighter for melting heat-shrink tubing
    • Scissors
    • Safety glasses
    The following supplies are also required and not included in the kit:
    • Solder
    • Velcro (for securing R/C receiver to chassis)
    The following additional hardware is also required and not included in the kit:
    • 6-channel R/C radio. The types of systems we recommend are Spektrum DX6 or Spektrum DX8 2.4 gHz. This is the same frequency as the common 2.4 gHz wireless audio and video links, so you may wish to choose a different frequency.
    • 4000 to 4400 mAh 3-cell 30C discharge rate LiPo battery
    • LiPo battery charger
    • ESC programming card for Turnigy (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=2169 which is available domestically, too) *Not required, but makes programming of the ESC's easier and less time consuming.
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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    Design Files (SolidWorks, eDrawings, DXFs, PDFs)
    Download open-source drawings here to assemble ELEV-8 kit or to build your own

    Parallax's ELEV-8 design is distributed under Creative Commons 3.0 so you are free to share, change or use these drawings for any use (including commercial) - no approval from Parallax is required. We have provided all of the common formats people may wish to use including the native SolidWorks files. Each drawing format has its own benefits.For simple browsing, download the SolidWorks eDrawings viewer http://www.edrawingsviewer.com/. With this tool you can easily navigate through the various sub-assemblies with the ability to zoom, rotate and modify views. All of the parts may be made with a laser cutter, bandsaw and drill press.
    Example of SolidWorks eDrawings

    SolidWorks eDrawing Sample.png
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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    Bill of Materials (BOM)
    Single-level BOM with usage, supplier part numbers, costs and notes in XLS format

    Shown below is an XLS version of the internal Parallax manufacturing BOM for ELEV-8. You may use this BOM to identify replacement parts you wish to order or to assist with your own builds and modifications. Common suppliers are shown (like McMaster) though Parallax may purchase these components elsewhere for cost savings.This BOM includes Parallax cost for raw materials but excludes any labor time, machine fixturing costs and machine run time.

    ELEV-8 BOM.png
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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    YouTube Videos
    First prototype flight inside Parallax, assembly examples and miscellaneous clips


    These are listed in the order in which they were filmed. The most recent videos are at the bottom.



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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    Assembly Instructions
    How to put your ELEV-8 together

    These are the files that you will use for Assembling your ELEV-8 Quadcopter. You will want to open "ELEV-8 ASSEMBLY GUIDE", and "ELEV-8 ASSEMBLY DOCUMENT" below. They were made to be used together. The Guide is just as it says, a Guide for assembly. It is not step by step directions for assembly, as they are not needed with the amount of information and detail combined between all of the documentation. When you open the .pdf, go to the menu and select VIEW> READ MODE. This will put the doc in order so that the pages will correlate with the step number in the Guide.

    The Turnigy ESC Manual had to be split up into two documents due to it's size. You will use the two pages together to program your ESC's using your Transmitter and Receiver, unless you purchased or already have an ESC Programming Card.

    Take a look at the docs, and let me know if you have any questions or comments so that I can make any necessary changes before the Kits are available. I dont want a key piece of information to be left out, so take a look and let me know if you have any questions.

    -Nick
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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    Additional Resources for Hoverfly and Quadcopters
    Reading these links and watching some videos from others will be very helpful

    Content to follow.
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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    Reserved for history
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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 5,649Vote Up0Vote Down
    And one more just in case. . .
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  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Sign me up for at least one!! I gave up on scratch building mine.

    Paul
    Some times my mind seems to wander..... these days I just tag along.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I can't wait to see this in a couple days. :)
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Roy Eltham wrote: »
    I can't wait to see this in a couple days. :)
    Lucky dog.
    Some times my mind seems to wander..... these days I just tag along.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken I know I've told you allready - I want one of your full kits w/ the HoverFly sport.
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Looks great Ken...
    Whit+

    "In almost every robotic project I attempt, I am way over my head going into it..." - Carol Lynn Hazlett
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'd like to get a kit, too. Looking forward to finding out how to order.
  • BRBR
    edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    This is probably obvious to most folks, but for a complete R/C novice such as myself...would it be possible to add to the BOM a "recommended" or "reference" battery and charger combo that would be appropriate? Voltage, current, capacity, connector type? Ken stated in in the other thread that he uses 3S (11.1V), 4000mAh batteries with EC-3 connector, but nothing about current rating. There was some discussion that a current rating of 35C would be OK? I guess LiPo is the way to go? Could someone point me in the right direction?

    Just to say it...other items that should perhaps be on the "user supplied" list?:
    Ken called out this motor accessory pack as a good-to-have item
    Loctite
    Battery strap
    Low battery voltage alarm? Or is this overkill?
    Anything else I'm forgetting?

    We've all been there...nothing more disappointing than getting a new toy, unwrapping it, putting it together...then figuring out that one part is missing or doesn't fit right.

    EDIT: just saw post #2 in this thread. Thanks, Ken.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    50 landing gear out of one 12" x 12" piece of Delrin? How are you doing that? I can't fit more than 40.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    This is great!

    What kind of flight time are you getting?
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    BR wrote: »
    Just to say it...other items that should perhaps be on the "user supplied" list?:
    Ken called out this motor accessory pack as a good-to-have item
    Loctite
    Battery strap
    Low battery voltage alarm? Or is this overkill?
    Anything else I'm forgetting?

    We've all been there...nothing more disappointing than getting a new toy, unwrapping it, putting it together...then figuring out that one part is missing or doesn't fit right.

    I agree, an official list like this would be useful - especially if it involves ordering from places that might take longer to deliver. (In fact, I actually logged in to make the same post.)
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Sweet...

    I'm putting this one on my X-mas wishlist... ;-)
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Can you provide the drawings in the .ai (Adobe Illustrator) format? This will allow us to use Inkscape (Open Source) to edit the files.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken after reading the manual it seems pretty clear. I have a question is that Loctite Blue 242?. After the Loctite all I am missing is the kit!
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    The You Tube videos of the ELEV-8 are really impressive. What on-board camera was used and what additional parts are needed to support the camera?
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    David, I believe they are using GoPro cameras. Seems to be the latest in lightweight HD cameras.

    http://gopro.com/products/?gclid=CPas6O_QhK0CFUOo4AodeAvzSQ

    N
    ot sure of the model # Ken and Jason are using.
    Infernal Machine
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Publison wrote: »
    David, I believe they are using GoPro cameras. Seems to be the latest in lightweight HD cameras.

    http://gopro.com/products/?gclid=CPas6O_QhK0CFUOo4AodeAvzSQ

    N
    ot sure of the model # Ken and Jason are using.
    Thanks for the link! I guess I misunderstood what was going on with these videos. Somehow, I thought the video was being streamed back in realtime. I guess it's just being recorded and played back later. In any case, I'd love to know which model Ken and Jason were using? Is it the $199 "Naked" model?
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    Thanks for the link! I guess I misunderstood what was going on with these videos. Somehow, I thought the video was being streamed back in realtime. I guess it's just being recorded and played back later. In any case, I'd love to know which model Ken and Jason were using? Is it the $199 "Naked" model?

    Ken talks about flying with streaming video in the build/project thread:

    http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?133372-Ken-Cluso99-W9GFO-JasonD-s-QuadCopter-Build-Log-%28updated-info-ELEV-8-availability%29&p=1058736&viewfull=1#post1058736
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    David - The only difference between the Naked and and others is the set of mounting options included. I believe I have the original GoPro HD Hero (Helmet version, but with another case that's not waterproof, for better sound). The Naked version comes with a single, curved mount, suitable for helmets. You'll probably want to get an additional flat mount at least.

    The new one (HD Hero2) looks like it'll do higher frame & data rates, which would be cool, but isn't really necessary unless you're filming fast action stuff like sports.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    JasonDorie wrote: »
    David - The only difference between the Naked and and others is the set of mounting options included. I believe I have the original GoPro HD Hero (Helmet version, but with another case that's not waterproof, for better sound). The Naked version comes with a single, curved mount, suitable for helmets. You'll probably want to get an additional flat mount at least.

    The new one (HD Hero2) looks like it'll do higher frame & data rates, which would be cool, but isn't really necessary unless you're filming fast action stuff like sports.
    Thanks Jason!
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    For anyone looking for a decent charger, I use this one: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKAU0&P=FR

    It doesn't do cell balancing, which you'll eventually want to do, and would need a separate (but generally inexpensive) unit for. It does charge 4 batteries at a time though, which is awesome. Up to 3A each. I fly pairs of batteries, so this is perfect for me. I'm willing to bet you could find something similar on HobbyKing that also did balancing, but I haven't looked. This one by Hitec does, but it's more expensive: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXAEGM&P=M

    Many battery chargers also require a 12V power supply. Some will use standard A/C wall power, but many don't, so check that too. The ones I linked above do not, so you need something like this to go with them: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXWGU7&P=FR
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I just checked the HD Hero2 specs, and the one other thing it does that's kind of cool is a 90 degree FOV, whereas the HD Hero is only 170 degree unless you're in 1080p mode. The wide angle is nice, but it also has a decent amount of fisheye distortion, which is annoying. The Hero 120fps mode is only available in WGA resolution, but it looks like it has a few other improvements that might make it worthwhile, like better optics, and nearly double the low-light sensitivity. (The one I have doesn't like dusk at all).

    I ordered one of these a couple days ago. I'll report back on quality once I get it and have time to test it.
    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=17200
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    The new Hero2 doesn't come in a "naked" version (I emailed them to ask). You need to get it in one of the packages which include mounts that you may not need (helmet, motor vehicle, surf board). The packages run $300. I haven't seen the new one discounted anywhere.
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