Hello and welcome to our community! Is this your first visit?
Hi all; sorry I've been so quiet. I've been working with Mikro to test out my frame design and so I've been avoiding the forum while working on it. We've got just about all the kinks worked out now and things are really looking up. Mikro has just recieved his second full iteration of my frame design - earlier versions are posted in my other threads. At this point the design is complete and good to go!
The following rough pictures are ones I snapped of the frame right before I sent it to Mikro. I expect minimal overall changes from this point on - the biggest being the addition of a nylon spacer and flipping two holes.
Some key features:
Whew, that's longer than I intended. Here are a bunch of bad pictures I snapped while getting it out the door to Mikro. Feel free to ask any questions about it and I'll see if I can't answer them. Thanks!
- Incredibly stable with a "split" mass set up. Basically, heavy parts are tied together and isolated via dedicated vibration dampeners from all vibration creating parts (motors specifically.) This creates what I believe is the best dampened frame out there. Less vibration gives you more stability right away. It also gives you FAR better image quality in FPV and aerial photography applications. The camera mount it comes with supports the GoPro Hero HD camera and is also included in the dampened mass.
- Very durable due to the fact that it's made out of 6061-T6 aluminum plate - that's aircraft grade aluminum for the rest of us. Simply put, it's going to be very hard to really damage this frame. Aluminum is both incredibly strong and light without being brittle which is highly useful in crashes.
- Field servicable! The arms do not require any modification to use them - no holes, channels, etc. This means you can replace them after a bad crash in just minutes without leaving the field or bringing your shop with you. Due to the modular construction, it's quite simple to replace components in minutes.
- Super rigid. The frame compresses the arms using bolt/nut combinations to create an extremly strong structure. Because it's aluminum, we are able to really tighten down the nuts and bolts far more than you can with other materials.
- Automatic alignment - because the parts are cut in 3d and not just flat 2d cutouts, channels exist to ensure alignment of the arms to each other. Additionally, there are depth stops on the motor mounts and center plates that ensure the arms are the same distance all around. Basically, if you cut your arms to be the same length to each other, the frame will automatically help you align them to be perpendicular with the motors an equal distance from center.
- Totally complete - the frame comes with every nut, bolt, screw, standoff, velcro, and washer you need to fly in either the + or X configuration. Heck, it even includes the allen wrenches for all the socket cap screws so you will have a set to put in your flight box to take to the field.
Hey guys, I just spent this evening flying this around the yard. It's silky smooth in flight, the combination of the larger motor span (I went 24" motor to motor distance) and the vibration dampeners really make this a smooth sailing ship. Mike spent a lot of time on quality machining of this frame and it has a nice finish to it. Can't wait to take video with my GoPro camera! (Comes with a GoPro mounting bracket.) This frame is very tough and stiff, I've learned that when you sandwich to plates as pictured, it makes for a VERY strong design. Suprisingly the weight is not too bad, with it's size, it came in at 1.25 kg (frame/landing gear/GoPro mount/no battery).
Here's how the arms go together (this is from first iteration, I forgot to take pictures of the latest version, but it's the same construction):
Top / Bottom Anti-Vibration / ESC Plate:
Power / Motor harness: I experimented with all crimp connectors... this was one of the easiest harness builds I've done (got butt connectors from Home Depot). Mike is working on a power distribution system, will keep you up to date as the design gets closer.
Views with GoPro mount and camera attached:
Weight without GoPro Camera:
Weight with GoPro Camera:
Mike really setup this frame for minimum vibration and a lot of space to mount camera equipment. Since the frame is great for first person flying and aerial photography, we're going to tentatively name this the AeroFPV frame. We're working to get this frame into the store by or before next month!
Mikro, loved the idea that the arms can be replaced without drill or anything like... the arms is 1/2" x 1/2"?
Hi Mike, excellent looking frame, what do you expect the cost of the frame to be?
The AeroFPV frames will have an introductory price of $150 which includes the frame pictured in the original post, GoPro camera mount, landing gear, 12" x 5/8" x 5/8" arms and the hex tools required for assembly. AND we expect the first batch of frames to be in stock on or before 12/31/10. The intro price will last until the end of January, so make sure you pick 'em up when they show up in the AeroQuad store before it returns to the list price of $175.
This frame really feels smooth during flight, the built in anti-vibration design is very noticeable! The quad is solid and with the sandwich design of the center portion of the frame it is extremely crash resistant! I've smacked it a few times on the pavement and it survived with no problem. This is a great frame for a beginner due to it's resilient crash design but also great for the expert as it's setup for FPV flying with plenty of room for video transmitter equipment and the GoPro camera mount hardware.
The compatible arms are 5/8" x 5/8" and you can pick them up at your local hardware store (like Home Depot if you live in the US). I'll have extra arms of various lengths available in the AeroQuad store as well. The most excellent thing about it is that you are not limited by how large or small you want to make your quad! Below you can see me have some fun with a small build I did this weekend. Heavy rain was in the forcast where I live, so I built a mini quad (12" motor to motor distance).
Sorry for the low lighting in the pictures, it was a bit dark outside due to the weather. Mike will be taking some high quality pictures later this week if you want to see more detail. The quad below is Frankensteined together with some spare parts from a beta version of the AeroFPV frame (the blue G10 plate is mine) but you get the idea of the freedom you can build with this frame.
Instead of the 24" motor to motor distance I used in the build of the previous post , I sized these to 8x3.8 props to create a quad with a motor to motor distance of 12" overall.
Here's what the quad looks like fully decked out with wireless XBee. Here I used a v1.8 shield with an Uno, the first version of the frames will support the Mega 2560 (the Uno is planned for the next rev).
Here's the ending weight without a battery and the length. It might be a little heavy for a quad this size, but the frame can be used for way larger motor to motor lengths...
I have a short video which I'll post later of this little beast flying... although I can fly it indoors, the sharp propellers makes me make sure no one is close while this thing is in the air.
Next I plan to build a 36" motor to motor length quad... muhahaha! I'll be sure to post pictures of that one. I must say after homebrewing so many quad frames, it really is quite nice to have a solid, modular bolt together frame available now!
Mikro, what motors did you put on the 12" version just for curious minds, they look like BP's but I can't see the numbers in the pictures are those the same ones off your larger version? The ones you list on the AQ store?
This comment goes for the Aluminum *and* any Carbon Fiber frame - sharp edges around wires need to be looked at very closely, these machines vibrate like crazy and both aluminum and especially carbon are very good at cutting... and both are *CONDUCTIVE*. Shorting a LiPo out across carbon would certainly cause a spectacular fire. Across aluminum as well, with lots more smoke ...
Just watch wires, heatshrink, etc and make sure all the edges are de-burred and not sharp, especially the ones that may be exposed in a ding or crash...
I can't wait until some of these get to the market, it's been the part of my project that I've not done anything around, just waiting for the results...Hurry, my $$$ are waiting ...
Hi Aadamson excellent and accurate observation. Fortunately, all of the aluminum sides and holes are beveled slightly using a special hand tool to remove sharp edges. The holes are also countersunk a tiny bit (visible, but minute as the aluminum is thin). The edges that come from the milling machine are little tiny razors and I started beveling them after slicing myself up more than a few times while sanding. This is not to say they won't cut wires if the wire is pinched tightly but they won't do it nearly as easily. Now for the better news - the frame is designed in such a way prevent the wires from ever being in a pinch point. They have very large holes through the center of the frame between the arms where you can pass wires. You can easily run the wires through those holes with room to spare. I use wire loom personally to keep them bundled nicely and it adds a ton of protection while looking great.
In addition to having the room for wires, the frame also has a place to attach a wiring harness next to the speed controllers to clean up the wiring even more. I've got a prototype wiring harness I LOVE that I'm currently testing out and it screws right into the frame directly, piece of cake. I'll talk with Mikro about getting it for sale once I've proven it works nicely.
Mike, does the design really use 1/2 x 1/2 or is it different, it looks like the chromed bath towel tubing and that .625 not .5 on the outside... As a source for those looking aircraft spruce sells 6061 t6 aluminum tube in 1/2 square if this is what the center mount takes?
Heh, I was going to correct Mikro on the phone later - they are 5/8", an unfortunate size overall but superb in that Home Depot sells them quite inexpensively and they are surprisingly light and durable. Mikro plans on adding pre-cut arms to the store as well. 1/2" arms would work too, but the channels wouldn't assist you in alignment anymore.