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Thread: Mini quad build

  1. #11
    Senior Pilot elchan's Avatar
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    For my power distribution, I just twist 5 black wires, and 5 red wires together. Solder the blacks together, and reds together at one end. Fan out a black and red pair to each esc, and one pair to the battery. Voila, a el cheapo power bus.

  2. #12
    Senior Pilot wooden's Avatar
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    I did that for my first quad but really hated all the wires running around... I'm a little OCD in my cabling (computers, stereo equipment, guitar amps/effects...), I like to hide wires as best as I can and avoid using them if at all possible haha.

  3. #13
    Senior Pilot wooden's Avatar
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    ESCs came yesterday, grey props came today! I also got a prop balancer but these small propellors don't weigh enough to make it move, maybe it'll work better on my 8" props.

    Anyway, I found that the cables that go from the ESCs to the AeroQuad shield were long enough except on one arm (the one ESC covered in electrical tape), so I soldered on a longer cable. The cables were soldered on very tiny pads, sandwiched between two SMD resistors, which tested my soldering skills. I wish I had a finer solder tip, but I managed to do it with a basic Weller soldering iron available at RadioShack. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures..

    I glued the ESCs in place with hot glue, if the ESCs get too hot I'll scrape it off and zip tie them down. Soldered the ground and voltage lines to my copper PCB power distribution, all looks good!

    I got antsy and hooked up my receiver (Orange R610), connected the shield and battery, and uploaded the AQ3.0 software. Tested it in Configurator, the sensors are detected and respond well. I then calibrated the transmitter after binding it to the receiver. Had to reverse the rudder and aileron channels and fiddle with the settings on the controller for a bit, but it all checks out!

    Balanced my props using a sewing needle taped to my desk, worked really well actually. I've got 8 props all balanced and ready to go! Grey props in front, black in back, just waiting on the motors and longer nylon screws now! Hopefully they will arrive some time this coming week.

    I'll try to take some better pictures this week, I'll have to borrow someone's camera, my phone just isn't cutting it =P
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    Last edited by wooden; 02-19-2012 at 08:58 AM.

  4. #14
    Senior Pilot wooden's Avatar
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    I didn't like how ridiculously long the servo cables connecting the shield to the RX were, so I shortened them up today. Thankfully, my university has lots of pins of all sizes, and I was able to find some that fit my servo connectors. Couldn't find a crimping tool so I did it all with a pair of pliers, soldered a couple wires that I thought needed a little extra strength. As you can see, they were quite excessive before, now they're about 2.5-3" long.

    As you might notice, there is a battery connection for both mini JST and XT60... The 1000mAh batteries I have all have XT60 connections while the 850mAh ones have mini JST. Kind of a bummer but oh well.

    Still just waiting on motors... Should be here soon as a different order from HobbyKing shipped one day earlier came today!
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    Last edited by wooden; 02-23-2012 at 12:04 AM.

  5. #15
    Senior Pilot Twidget's Avatar
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    I built the Kinjal frame and tried the 3 blades without much success. Really difficult to tune and finally gave up and ordered the 2 blade. Good luck!
    it's only a hobby... it's only a hobby... it's only a hobby....

    Hand built Cyclone frame @ ~60cm w/ Mega/v2.1: AQ Store Cyclone Hex w/ AQ32v1: HK Scorpion w/ HK KK v3 board: E-Flight mSR: E-Flight Nano QX: Estes Proto-X

    FatShark Dominators, x2 wing cameras, GoPro HeroHD, 5.8Ghz Tx/Rx
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    Mac, Hac(q6600) and Window$ Configurator/Arduino
    (OS X/osx86/Vista)
    E-Bike/Segway/Ryno - Coming Soon!

  6. #16
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    Why are you running two separate packs on a quad that small? Just run it on the main pack directly, or use one of the BEC's, and tie it into the 5v bus. These little quads need to be as light as possible to fly well.

    3 bladed props are much easier to balance than 2 bladed props. Balancing the hub on a 2 blader is a pain. The 3 blades let you balance at the blade, where less weight (tape) does more. Do yourself a favor, and get a magnetic balancer. Worth its weight in gold.

  7. #17
    Senior Pilot wooden's Avatar
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    I already balanced my 3 blade props, really wasn't that difficult

    And I'm not running multiple batteries simultaneously, I just happen to have batteries of similar size with different connectors, so I put both types of plugs on to be able to use whichever one is charged at the time.

  8. #18
    Senior Pilot wooden's Avatar
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    Got the motors in the mail yesterday, wired it all up and started flying! I hadn't flown much in rate/acro mode before this tiny quad, so it was pretty hectic at the beginning but I've since gotten the hang of it and can keep it in the air for an entire battery pack (~9-10 minutes on the 1000mAh 2S 25-50C Turnigy NanoTechs). ESCs don't seem to get too hot, motors aren't too hot after multiple battery packs in a row...

    These GWS 5030x3 props are amazing - they're very strong and despite dozens of crashes into walls, chairs, my own legs, etc, they're still going strong. You can see some minor bends in a couple of them, and one of the black props has a nice crack in it, but in comparison to a larger quad, these little props are tanks. Very happy with the durability of this little copter.

    BUT... these motors are just too heavy for this quad. Each motor is about 30g (yikes!) and the whole quad weighs about 240g, 280-290g with battery depending on which battery I'm using (850mah or 1000). I've ordered some 1811 2000kV 9g micro motors, which is what most people are flying this frame with, so hopefully they'll solve the problems.

    It lifts off around 2/3 throttle, and it's VERY hard to tune. Maybe tuning quads is inherently hard, but I get the feeling a micro quad is a little harder to tune than a normal sized quad. The default PID values were OK, but it oscillates in a hover, and also overcompensates any movement severely. I've tried dumbing the P value down but anything below 80 just feels loose and unresponsive, but even 80 oscillates a little. I've decreased the D value to -750 and it still overcompensates a little.

    There are a few possible reasons for its overall lack of stability:
    1) I still haven't tuned it as best as I can (likely the biggest cause at this point)
    2) These motors just aren't ideal for this size of quad (probably true)
    3) Prop savers, as opposed to prop adapters, may be adding vibrations. I've ordered some prop adapters to see if they help at all.
    4) As I've been flying it, I've bent some props and haven't bothered replacing them yet because I'd like to get as much life out of this first set as I can while I practice my rate mode flying (almost all of my flying prior to this quad has been in untuned stable/attitude mode).

    Anyway, here are some pictures. I meant to take more pictures of the components before slapping it all together but I forgot to bring my roommates camera with me, and I was more excited about finishing and testing it than I was documenting it. Oh well.
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    Last edited by wooden; 02-26-2012 at 10:43 PM.

  9. #19
    Senior Pilot elchan's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was flying my Firefly frame with these motors:

    18-11 2000kv Micro Brushless Outrunner (10g)

    I was using ArduCopter software, which is just not well suited for flying these mini, from what I can tell so far. Way to sensitive. But I ripped off wires from one of my motors, and now waiting for a new set of motors too. I think I'm going to try to load the AQ software in.

    Do you have any video of your mini flying with AQ?

  10. #20
    Senior Pilot wooden's Avatar
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    Yep, those are the exact motors I ordered. Should be here within a week or two, opted for the pricier shipping because I'm impatient =P

    No video yet, as soon as my TX is done recharging I'll try to get some footage.


 
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