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

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  • edited February 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Eggplant - Welcome to the forum! It's going to be an adventure for sure, but I know you'll have a great time. If you've been following this forum for a while, then you're off to a good start. Lots of great tips here and lots of great guys that are willing to help if your stuck on something. So...(as requested) GOOD LUCK! :)

    ...Tiger
  • edited February 2012 Posts: 5,629Vote Up0Vote Down
    Eggplant! wrote: »
    Hello! After months of reading, drooling, saving, and hand wringing, I just ordered my ELEV-8 kit! Wish me luck!

    Welcome to the forums, Eggplant (and great forum name - surprised it wasn't taken!). Sorry we couldn't offer it in purple for you.

    I'll go ahead and wish you luck, too. But I think you'll be become more skilled than lucky by the time you take the ELEV-8 to the air. All you need to do is take this slowly, in small steps - make each connection very carefully and hover before you fly. Learning proportional throttle control is the most difficult part - most newbies let these drop out of the sky by reducing throttle. As you descend you'll actually need more throttle. Once you pick up a few details like this it'll all become easy.

    There's a fantastic article just published in ROBOT Magazine by forum member Cowboy Coder. I'm working with our marketing department to get a copy of it posted on our forums. I think it'll provide another great background read before you actually start building.

    And most importantly, if you have any problems along the way just let us know. This ain't no buy-it-and-crash-it hobby kit; we're a user just like you and we'll stick with you to until you succeed. You've got friends here.

    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 February 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    A good way to learn to fly one without damaging precious hardware might be to use one of the many RC flight simulator programs out there. If your transmitter has a socket for a training cable, you can interface it to the PC to get a realistic feel of the process. Here's an example:

    I used a similar program to try learning how to fly an RC glider. I was not successful, but it was more a matter of poor eye-hand coordination (or lack of patience) than a fault with the program. The simulation itself was quite realistic and paralleled nicely with my pathetic attempts at actual controlled flight.

    -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 March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I had a question about the Firmware updates and I emailed the following to HoverFly that I thought everyone might find useful:
    In the update client it lists three similar firmware updates i.e.
    3.1.477 Sport
    3.1.477 Expert
    3.1.477 AP
    I have the Sport board so does that mean that I choose the Sport entry? What are the differences?
    HoverFly responded with:
    The three different versions you see are for different flight characteristics. Sport is the version you would choose for acrobatic flight, while AP is the version you would choose for stable Aerial Photography. Expert is for those who want complete control with minimal correction from the flight controller.
    If you do not have much previous RC flight experience, we recommend starting with AP to learn the basics. This will provide the steadiest flight characteristics.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Who is doing FPV with their Quads? What is your set up. Are you using goggles?
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Brian,
    We are using some Foxtech gear, along with some that we have pieced together. We are using 7" LCD monitors instead of goggles, as the goggles are very pricey, but they definitely have a cool factor about them! We found it cheaper to get the gear by itself, and it also makes it possible for you to get exactly what you want, as most "full kits" are pre-set for what they contain, and are not very flexible. I can post our components in the morning so that you can see our setup. We are getting good perfomance out of our setups, and it is a very awesome feeling to fly first person!


    -Nick
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    that would be great. in a past life i did FPV with airplanes. My rx/tx is 2.4 Ghz and i now have a DX8. Are you using the 5.8 GHz stuff?
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Yeah, we are using 5.8 GHz for our setup. Here are the links to the components that we have been using and have had good success with, except for when you fly them into the ground like Mega Destroyer.....aka Kevin!!

    High Gain Patch Antenna
    http://www.foxtechfpv.com/58g-16dbi-patch-directional-antenna-p-437.html

    Adapter for Antenna
    http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=533

    Receiver
    http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9&products_id=407

    Camera
    http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=687

    Video Transmitter
    http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=10&products_id=619
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    The good news...

    - No Propellers broken
    - No Delrin broken
    - No Electronics broken

    The bad news...

    - 2 hour repair time

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  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    OUCH!!...but you walked away from it so, GOOD LANDING!!!
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Kevin just keeps forgetting that the ground is the hard bit and the sky is the soft bit. He'll get it eventually. :)
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Here is the Video - SD Memory ran out just before impact, I'm still trying to find out what went wrong. I think there was a mechanical failure.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Can i use the GoPro HD for the camera, and record while outputting to a wireless downlink?
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Can i use the GoPro HD for the camera, and record while outputting to a wireless downlink?

    Yes, the last video I just posted was setup in that exact way. I've been running FPV with the GoPro as the camera and sending the output through our transmitter while still recording the action!

    Parallax will be selling the GoPro Hero 2 models. We will have them at the end of this month. Price will be the same as you would buy them anyplace.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    TheGrue wrote: »
    I had a question about the Firmware updates and I emailed the following to HoverFly that I thought everyone might find useful:
    In the update client it lists three similar firmware updates i.e.
    3.1.477 Sport
    3.1.477 Expert
    3.1.477 AP
    I have the Sport board so does that mean that I choose the Sport entry? What are the differences?
    HoverFly responded with:
    The three different versions you see are for different flight characteristics. Sport is the version you would choose for acrobatic flight, while AP is the version you would choose for stable Aerial Photography. Expert is for those who want complete control with minimal correction from the flight controller.
    If you do not have much previous RC flight experience, we recommend starting with AP to learn the basics. This will provide the steadiest flight characteristics.
    So I now have steady flight! I am so happy! Now I just wish that the weather would comply so I can take longer flights. I am going to get some FPV camera gear to fly from the view of the copter. I have to save up for it though. I will post more info on my build site [http://letsmakerobots.com/node/30408]when I get my ELEV-8 repaired. I flashed the ELEV-8 with the Aerial Photography Firmware and found that 50% Gain was really the best so far. Plus it helps to first fly indoors with no wind. I just needed a large room. Oh and I did buy the Phoenix RC simulator software. I bought the Phoenix because it had a Quadcopter model to fly. I crashed my virtual quad several times until I could get it to fly level and the Simulator is a lot harder to fly than the ELEV-8 unless you flash it with the "Expert" firmware version.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    my hobbyking order finally came!! got it all together. i rolled her over in the living room testing... i think ill take a break and start fresh tomarrow :)

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  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    skynugget wrote: »
    my hobbyking order finally came!! got it all together. i rolled her over in the living room testing... i think ill take a break and start fresh tomarrow :)

    20120312_201958.jpg

    Bummer!

    Hope you got a Crash Kit! :)
    Infernal Machine
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hello folks! My build is going well. I had one issue with an apparently DOA motor, but Parallax is taking care of it for me. Overall the kit is fantastic! Plenty of parts to go around and a few unexpected extras, like LED strip lights!

    I've not seen anyone mention the kit LED lights in the thread. I see they run off 12V. How are folks typically wiring those in? I figured I'd splice them into the EC3 connectors coming off of the ESCs. Any problems with that?
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    @Eggplant!

    We have been just splicing them into our main power harness straight from the battery as they are 12V LED's, and they can handle the 12.6V off of a fully charged Li-Po battery. They run great this way, and I have been running the same initial set I tested with no problems. I have seen some use a switch to be able to turn on and off the LED's as they want them, but I prefer to wire them straight in as I use them to keep my orientation, and I do not want to forget to turn them on one time and lose orientation, because we all by now know what happens when you do that!
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Eggplant! wrote: »
    Hello folks! My build is going well. I had one issue with an apparently DOA motor, but Parallax is taking care of it for me. Overall the kit is fantastic! Plenty of parts to go around and a few unexpected extras, like LED strip lights!

    I've not seen anyone mention the kit LED lights in the thread. I see they run off 12V. How are folks typically wiring those in? I figured I'd splice them into the EC3 connectors coming off of the ESCs. Any problems with that?

    I took CowboyCoder's advice and installed a switch. Actually, I installed two switches, one turns on the battery power, which powers up the ESC's, Hoverfly Pro/GPS and the receiver (via one of the esc leads). I decided to put the other switch in to power "accessories" like the LED's, camera, etc. I didn't want the LED's on all of the time and I have this half-baked idea of maybe "strobing" them (I'm using blue and red like a cop car), but I haven't figured out how to do that. I'd like to alternate red then blue, etc. like wing strobes on an airplane. :smile:

    I like being able to shut the power off without pulling on the battery connections. That has been helpful while I'm checking everything out. I'm still not flying because I've got something connected wrong, but Ken gave me a few ideas on troubleshooting and I hope to be flying by the weekend.
    Don
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I just happened to google Elev-8 quadcopter and ran into 3,980,000 hits, found out that Parallax isn't the only one selling the Elev-8 kits, I found Antratek in Belgium is offering them! I also wanted to say that flying an Elev-8 in person is easier than the guai 330x-s on the RealFlightG6 flight simulator.
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I did not have my LED's wired in because like a knuckle head when I was making my wire harness for my ESC's I did not think about the LED's. I have some connectors on order from Digikey so I will be able to plug my led's into my balancing plug along with my low battery alarm. I found this http://www.rc-cam.com/bitsw.htm which is a micro-sized R/C on-off switch that I will use to turn my LED's on or off. I also purchased this from hobbyking http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=8833 Turnigy Receiver Controlled Switch in case I am to lazy to make the Bit-Switch.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    ratronic wrote: »
    I found Antratek in Belgium is offering them! I also .


    Antratek is the parallax dealer for Belgium,.... (benelux) I order all my parallax stufs there.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I got a couple of these thinking that they may come in handy.
    http://www.dpcav.com/xcart/product.php?productid=16466&cat=252&page=1
    But I haven't used them yet. I don't know which channel I could hook them to on my receiver, I think I'm getting close to running out of channels.
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hmmm, twhite over on the Robotics ELEV-8 thread posted about this outfit http://www.dimensionengineering.com
    They have a nifty little programmable lighting controller, along with a bunch of other neat stuff, that would be perfect for making my LED's strobe...
    Boy, I gotta retire so I can have time to play with all this neat stuff! We never had stuff like this to play with when I was a kid. When I grow up, I wanna be an engineer :smile:
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hey guys... You know you can just use a $10 brushed speed control to control your lights. That lets you not only turn them on and off, but allows you to control brightness. Cheap solution and it works great.

    http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V533528

    ...Tiger
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Yup, I ran across that last night. Makes sense and cheap!
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    hit a fence! making more mounts.... *giggle
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  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    What material are you using to make the new mounts?
  • edited March 2012 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    i built my whole frame out of lexan...seems to work good. though i have a pretty nasty vibration problem at about half throttle, i found this out just before i lodged it in some chain link :). I'm guessing the lexan flexes a bit more then the delrin.
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