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

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Comments

  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Fantastic videos Ken & co. Really nice to see it working.

    Now you must post the electronics setup and code :)
    My Prop boards: CpuBlade, TriBlade, RamBlade, www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index)
    Emulators (Index) ZiCog (Z80)
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd)
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cluso99,
    He can't post the code or electronics beyond what HoverFly has done (which is VERY little). Their stuff is a closed system.


    Ken,
    That is a really nice frame setup, any chance of getting that in kit form from Parallax?

    Roy
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Oh my! Got your email. I think you're trying to start something. :-)

    ...Tiger
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Very nice Ken! My own QC project has stalled for now. I like what you've done here.
    Some times my mind seems to wander..... these days I just tag along.
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hmmmm....could this be a prototype of things to come from Parallax???? (as I predicted during the "Product Ideas Contest")

    The Air-Scribbler?

    Penta-Prop?

    Air cover for Jessica's M&M delivery S2?

    Regardless, this is truly inspiring and clearly is the latest shiny thing to wrench my attention from a bunch of other unfinished projects!! Great job!!
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 5,625Vote Up0Vote Down
    A couple in the thread asked about commercially making a frame kit available. We'll probably do this at some point, but it's not the main priority right now. First and foremost the priority was (and is) to have a good time. However, what we could do is take an "unofficial approach" and build up 25 kits outside of our formal system of parts management. We'd sell them around cost and collect some feedback from you, the users. I think an expanded beta test of this sort is really appropriate.

    You may remember that the Madeusa robot base started from plywood with a $3K ShopBot CNC router I found on Craig's List. Christmas break provided the opportunity to get the project started in the garage. This effort would be similar except it would be done with Parallax tools in Rocklin. Documentation would have to be very limited, consisting of photos posted on a forum thread.

    A parts kit consisting of frame, motors, propellers and ESCs could be available in this way for about $250. Is that of interest?

    The control electronics we will not make. We'd far rather yield to our Propeller customer who already does this nicely - Hoverfly. Doesn't matter to me if their system is closed or open-source; what matters is that a customer is already filling this niche and we wouldn't want to compete when our long-term interests are in chip sales. Further, and really irrelevant since the first point trumps this one anyway, there's lots of science and programming in their design that's already been accomplished. Selling the Hoverfly boards is a possibility, however.

    Any input you want to provide is welcome.

    Ken Gracey
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Ken Gracey | Parallax Inc.| Direct
    : [URL="tel:(916) 624-8333"](916) 625-3010[/URL] | www.parallax.com

    Follow me on Twitter



  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I think this last image from last night's video captures the moment!

    KenQC.JPG
    237 x 270 - 16K
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken:

    I'd be interested in some level of kit. Just a set of the laser cut parts may be sufficient if everything else can be readily sourced elsewhere. Of course, if you want to put together a larger kit that's ok.
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken,
    What about a kit that is just the laser cut parts, the aluminum tubes cut and drilled, and the hardware (screws, standoffs, etc.). Many of us already have motors, ESCs, and prop blades.
    Although having said that, I'd probably want one of each. :) one full kit for $250, plus one of just the frame for my other parts. I like the idea of having a backup setup.

    Roy
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    A kit of some sort would be great!

    Either a kit like Roy mentioned (unless there are issues with drilling for motor mounts, etc. that vary from vendor to vendor). Something that makes it as simple as possible to put together the running gear so we can add electronics, either from Hoverfly or our own twisted minds and cluttered workbenches.

    I'd have no problem with the beta test concept - sign me up for crashability and repairability issues.
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken-
    I would really be interested in the $250 kit. I think it would be fun to play with.

    Shawn
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken,

    If you make it I'll by it. I would love to be a Beta Tester. My flying skill are decent "I'll ring it out" for you as they say. One thought on the delrin my 90 size Heli (N9) has a a delrin main gear and crown gear it is tough stuff. I have never seen delrin used for any kind of frame's in the RC Air World maybe I am not looking hard enough. After all the holes to lighten it up not sure how much strength is left and I am sure it has some flex. You might consider making one with G10 or Carbon Fiber. G10 preferably cost wise Carbon Fiber is expensive. G10 is just fiberglass like circuit board material, if you didn't already know and available in different colors. It is available in different thicknesses also 2mm would be about right for this maybe 1.5mm would be all you would need.

    $250 sounds about right to me. I think the HF board is 3 or 4 bills I looked at it awhile ago.

    Ron
    I like Pizza.
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken,

    Excuse me I'm on a roll. The different colors of G10 I have seen blue and orange of course black. You could make an orange top blue on the bottom different colors here and there. You could make it resemble the Propellers Hat colors that would be cool.

    I don't know much about CNC but you could probably cut multiple sheets at a time. And it would be quicker because you wouldn't have to put all the holes to cut down on weight. I am sure it would be a little messy to machine some dust probably. I'll leave the CNC stuff to the CNC guys.

    Ron
    I like Pizza.
  • So where's the video from Kye's phone? :)

    OBC
    <br>
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Put some flashing LEDs on it and fly it at night.
    -dan
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ron,

    The problem with G10 is that it leaves a burnt edge when cut with a laser. I've also tried cutting carbon fiber sheets with my laser cutter. Amazingly, it won't even touch them. The nice thing about acetal (e.g. Delrin) is that it cuts so cleanly without any ash or other residue, aside from a light smoke deposit.

    For other materials, I think Parallax's next equipment acquisition will have to be a water-jet cutter. :)

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil,

    Most all the carbon fiber frame sides I have seen appear to be stamped with a die. And the G10 cut using a machine tool not a laser. Is cutting G10 in Parallax's (non laser)CNC machine not an option? It has water to cut down on dust. It's just there must be a reason I don't see delrin used for such a purpose in my other hobby maybe its cost I have no idea. Just some thoughts. I vote G10 100%. Without cutting all the lightning holes in the delrin and cutting multiple sheets of G10, machine time would be at a minimum I would think. Production would be higher that must be a plus.

    I am already looking for a bowl to use as a mold and cover it with fiberglass and I'll have a "Propeller Hat". :smile: I know wish full thinking.

    Ron

    PS: Of course Ken knows what G10 is he makes circuit boards. What was I thinking.
    I like Pizza.
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ron,

    The disadvantages of physical machining compared with laser cutting (in my experience) are:
    1. Fixturing: CNC mills require the material being cut to be clamped -- an extra step; laser cutters do not have this requirement.

    2. Tool diameter: Milling requires cutter compensation, and the sharpness of inside corners is limited by the tool radius. With laser cutting, that's not an issue, and parts can be laid out much closer together for less material waste.

    I like G10, too, and have CNC'd a lot of parts from it. But tooling setup is much more of a pain than with a laser cutter, and throughput -- at least on my mill -- is much lower. Laser cutting, given the right material, is just quicker and easier.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil,

    The delrin Matt cut for Ken was on a laser? Seems like it would melt. Like the cut wouldn't be clean. I don't know. I wouldn't mind sanding of some burnt stuff off G10 if it must be cut in a laser.

    Look at all the holes in Ken's frame. Now picture G10 and four triangles cut out between the booms. Simplicity.

    Ron

    EDIT: Adding some thoughts, when people start crashing these things which they will G10 with fewer holes might be repairable and done right will be strong vs. delrin with a bunch of holes if it is repairable the repair would be harder and not as strong IMO. Ken if you make it out of silly putty I will buy it. These are just thoughts based on past experience.
    I like Pizza.
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ron,

    Unlike some other polymers, such as ABS, Delrin and acrylic cut very cleanly with a laser without excessive edge melting or discoloration. Delrin is very strong and also more flexible than G10, which should render it at least equally able to withstand bumps and contusions.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil,

    I am not sure if flexibility is a good thing. In a crash it would be good, not sure how much of diffidence it would make as far as frame plates breaking. Performance wise I think flexing would be a negative again I am not sure. I would place performance over, delrin might not break and will flex. I know Parallax isn't going after the RC market right now but who knows what the future holds. People in this market buy things based on performance, crash worthiness, parts cost and availability. Now if you have a delrin frame plate that breaks at every hole drilled for weight loss. Not a good thing, if you think that the frame plates breaking might save a boom or other part probably not usually booms bend then frames break. If it where G10 you might be able to use 5 minute epoxy and a scrap piece of G10 sandwiched over the crack and you off and flying it wont break there again vs. little breaks all over the plate. Again just some thoughts I don't have a flying quad, so I haven't crashed one. My thoughts are based on RC Heli flying and what I have seen, they might not apply in the Quad world. I am not a fan of glueing things together I just replace parts but most people like to fix thing with glue and are happy to save a buck nothing wrong with that if its done wright. Delrin might be the way to go I don't know. The only helicopters I can think that have plastic frames are the very, very low end. I know delrin is strong and not your regular plastic. Again I have only seen it used in gears, not a flat plate that looks like Swiss Cheese. It might be better in this application than G10 I don't know for sure. Just my 2 cents.

    Ron

    PS: Phil I hope you don't think I am challenging your knowledge that is not my intent. :smile:
    I like Pizza.
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hey Ron, no problem with the counterpoints -- all legitimate, IMO. I've used both materials and do like G10. But I find myself replacing it with Delrin more often than not since I got my laser cutter, just because it's less of a hassle to set up and cut. With the laser, I can go directly from CAD to output without detouring through a CAM toolpath generator. But where stiffness is imperative, I'd probably still favor G10, despite the additional effort required.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil,

    You know I think this will be the first product that Parallax will produce that crashing is consideration in design, I know Ken and his engineers are up for the task. It will be interesting to see what they end up with or it may stay the same and be fine. Like I said I'll buy it if they make out of Silly Putty. Does Delrin come in colors? I know Silly Putty does. :smile:

    Ron
    I like Pizza.
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Great work Ken
    '
    I'll have to revisit Hoverfly's site.
    __Walt McDonald__

    The Truth is out there
    It's not rocket-surgery
    I see why we don't have any water,All of the pipes are full of wires!
    E=WMc2
    Now with WiFi
    Not in the Spin Bunch
    import RPi.GPIO as GPIO

    ABB M202 certified
    ABB M211 certified
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I hadn't realised it was using a commercial product (Hoverfly). No wonder it flew so well.

    I am interested in the frame only. However, shipping to Oz is likely to cost more than the frame :(
    My Prop boards: CpuBlade, TriBlade, RamBlade, www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index)
    Emulators (Index) ZiCog (Z80)
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd)
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cluso99 wrote:
    However, shipping to Oz is likely to cost more than the frame
    Perhaps Parallax would consider open-sourcing the CAD files so your local laser engraver could fab the parts for you. It's cheaper to send bits than actual hardware.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 5,625Vote Up0Vote Down
    Perhaps Parallax would consider open-sourcing the CAD files so your local laser engraver could fab the parts for you. It's cheaper to send bits than actual hardware.

    -Phil

    Of course I'll post the drawings. I have a bit of cleanup to do to make them presentable, so give me two weeks maximum (not because it will take me more than an hour, but because I'm booked solid right now).

    And you can do whatever you want with the drawings: make your own, make a hundred and sell them, I don't care.

    Today I finally had a few good crashes. The crashes were a result of faulty Turnigy ESCs and motor shafts that didn't grab the propeller's shaft and collet - nothing to do with my flying skill or the Hoverfly setup. I also managed to identify a couple of design improvements after breaking the motor mounts in the same place three times. The quadcopter even went upside down once before it buried into the ground.

    Ken Gracey
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Ken Gracey | Parallax Inc.| Direct
    : [URL="tel:(916) 624-8333"](916) 625-3010[/URL] | www.parallax.com

    Follow me on Twitter



  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken: Yes, I expect a few crashes, but a lot less than when I flew model aeroplanes... never got to even try to land!

    Looking forward to seeing the crash pics :)
    My Prop boards: CpuBlade, TriBlade, RamBlade, www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index)
    Emulators (Index) ZiCog (Z80)
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd)
  • edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    Ken: Yes, I expect a few crashes, but a lot less than when I flew model aeroplanes... never got to even try to land!

    Funny how it is easier to fly a real airplane than a model.

    I'm sure a big part is the vested interest in staying alive, the other is a much better point of view from being in the cockpit.

    I wonder if an RC plane would be easier to land using the view from a video camera mounted to have a view similar to that in a real plane?

    C.W.
  • K2K2
    edited August 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    @ CW - FPV (First Person View) attempts just that. It's a pretty incredible idea come to life. Many of the implementations are outstanding. Google it!
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