UAV Platform

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Georacer, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    DerStrom8 likes this.
  2. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    Excellent, how is it in the air?
     
  3. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Sluggish with tons of extra lift. You pay for it with extra current draw, of course. I like to draw resemblances to a truck. I often find myself planning ahead of a corner.

    But this is exactly what I wanted. An aerial freight to carry my equipment.

    Today there where winds of 4Bf. On manual mode it shook quite violently, but with an Ardupilot onboard and a fly-by-wire mode, the wind was reduced to a small nuisance.
     
  4. Austin Clark

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    Effing amazing.
    Do you have the details of your build anywhere, or just the photos?
     
  5. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

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    What would you like to know? The build methods where pretty standard for the RC world. Just various types of glue, custom electrical wiring and a few bits and pieces to keep things neat.

    Like I said, it took 2 months to complete it. I can't bring myself to write a complete build blog, but I'll answer any questions you post.
     
  6. Austin Clark

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    Fair enough :)

    What are you using to control it? Sounds like just an arduino. I assume all sensors are hooked up to it, and motor, servos, etc; are controlled via PWM?

    Also, what are you using to wirelessly communicate with the arduino (if that is what you're using)? To, say, take manual control, or change autopilot flight altitude, etc;
     
  7. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    I see that you are a complete beginner in the amateur autopilot scene, so I'll take it from the beginning.

    There are a few autopilot systems available to the hobbyist these days. Here is a comparison (just a bit outdated) View attachment Autopilots Overview.pdf , if you have time for a read.

    The most popular product (not just for its capabilities), is the Ardupilot module. People around the world use it to automate rovers, multicopters and airplanes. You can switch around by uploading a different firmware each time.

    This project is open-source, backed from the community of DIYDrones.com and other developers. Also, the company 3DRobotics develops and sells hardware for the product. The autopilot was based once on the Arduino bootloader, but by now, the only similarity with it is the atmega328 chip.

    A typical load out for an airplane is an autopilot board (including accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers), a GPS, a current and voltage sensor, an airspeed sensor, and a radio telemetry pair. All of the above can be found originally in the 3DR store or in copies from Chinese online shops.

    Your airplane is typically guided by a radio transmitter and receiver, suitable for RC models. The receiver signals are hooked onto the autopilot board while the airplane servomotors are also connected onto the outputs of the autopilot board. In this way, you can use your transmitter (TX) to directly control your airplane, or let the autopilot know that you want it to get in charge. It will take care of the outputs, in the form of 50Hz, 1-2ms T.High PWM signals.

    The telemetry link can be used to connect your airplane with a computer while in flight, see flight data and a projection of your plane on Google maps in real time and send mission commands to your aircraft.

    These are the very basics. Do I have a neophyte here?
     
    Austin Clark likes this.
  8. Austin Clark

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    Luckily, I do have time to look over that pdf, it looks like a goldmine of info for me, thanks a lot!

    I'm not a neophyte when it comes to electronics, but am fairly new to RC, and I haven't done any large-scale projects. I'm interested in building my own quadcopter sometime soon, though, so that's why I asked. I've built quads in G-Mod (you may have heard of it), but nothing real-world or practical.

    How much would you expect to spend on a basic quad? With and without added features, like GPS? Are they typically cheaper and/or easier than RC planes?
     
  9. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    From DIY Drones: http://copter.ardupilot.com/
     
  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    What is a 4Bf?
     
  11. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    4 on the Beaufort scale, moderate breeze, 20-28km/h, 13-17 mph.
    The wind strength scale that sailors use. Anything over 5Bf I'm outta there.
     
  12. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    That's a new one on me!
    I suppose that only shows that I never go on boats.
     
  13. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    It is a sea condition metric, but we have ended up using it for land as well, even though it loses some of its meaning.

    I should have given a m/s value, but I don't have a feel for them yet.
     
  14. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    I suggest you don't dive for a UAV project straight in. It is very important that you learn to pilot your platform first. Go ahead and build your multirotor, fly it, break it and then start thinking about adding any kind of automation.

    Start by visiting those links. Flitetest are a very happy folk who love the hobby. See what you like and pursue that direction.
    http://www.flitetest.com/articles/knuckle-h-quad
    http://www.flitetest.com/articles/bat-bone
    http://www.flitetest.com/articles/v-tail-vs-tricopter-viewer-response
    http://www.flitetest.com/articles/v-tail-quad-build
    http://www.flitetest.com/articles/flight-control-boards-viewer-response

    With a multirotor, you need a flight computer, because you can't control all the rotors manually. You need to have a unit that translates stick movements to motor speed.
    Don't go for an Ardupilot. It is an expensive system and very involved to set up. Flitetest are ecstatic about the KK2 board. I don't have an opinion about it.

    About the cost: You can buy a parkflyer Ready-To-Fly plane with $100-$150, complete with a transmitter. I think multirotors are a bit more expensive because they don't come in complete kits; you have to source the parts separately.
    The most expensive part of your kit will be your transmitter.

    Hobbyking is a major supplier to the hobby market. When dealing with Hobbyking the mentality should be the following: "I know that I buy a cheap made-in China product that may very well pay its value tenfold, but may also come broken in the first place". It's about taking a chance. Usually, you come on top, but you still have to wait 3-4 weeks to get your stuff through mail.

    Browse the internet, check the links I gave you and see what you like and what your pocket can handle. But you should also find people around you who are already involved with the hobby and ask for help. Personal help is invaluable. And always try to have fun!
     
    Austin Clark likes this.
  15. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    Congrats on the UAV !!!!!!!!!!

    I was going to build a tricopter or a V-tail quadcopter but my wife said it's was either build R/C Stuff or custom Offroad trucks and I choose custom trucks and what really sucks is I just picked up a Traxxas T-maxx 3.3 monster truck that I have to sell now
    ....
     
  16. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Sadly, equipment between planes and trucks is not interchangeable.

    But, man, RC cars are boring. The worst that can happen to you is run onto a curb.
     
  17. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    Yeah ok lol
    My old monster truck was pushing 50 MPH and we beat the crap out of them .. But I was really going for a R/C Heli but the learning for me is too long and right now I have little kids with no time ..
     
  18. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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  19. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

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    Australia is one of the most advanced countries, in terms of UAV legislation and integration.

    Good for them!
     
  20. Austin Clark

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    Very very helpful, thank you very much :)
    I'll get started with my research pronto.
    However, in the end, I'm just gonna have to take a chance on a few parts at first. Until I get a more intuitive "feel" for the different motors, props, batterys, and speed controllers.
     
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