Wednesday, June 26, 2013

HK 330 Frame Quadcopter : Plan E

There is an old saying ... "If I only knew what I know now ...."

I could have saved alot of money and maybe some time .... but where would the fun be in that. But in this instance it could have really helped.  I started out this project wanting to get into aerial photography using a Quadcopter. I did a lot of reading and though I had a good plan.

But after my many plans & failures, yes there were some successes I now believe that if I was to do it all again I would start with the build of a small 330 quad.

My experience may be helpful for others who are also starting out. Now remember I had no RC experience before I started this adventure.

Heres a list of "progress"

Plan A : Build a cheap HQuad, large for stable flight,

Plan B : BlueSkyRC HQuad

Plan C : RCTimer 450 Quadcopter

Plan D : Planning for 330 and home built 300

So this leads us to where we are today...

Plan E : HK330 "Current"

Things I have leant :

  • Unless you are an experienced flyer, you WILL crash, and if you are a novice like me you WILL CRASH A LOT.
  • Use Dual Rates to help with the handling and stick sensitivity for novices likes me. Made a huge difference and helped with the learning to fly process.  
  • Plan for crashes, try and protect your quad, and have spare parts if you order online (Takes 3weeks to arrive to me from HobbyKing)
  • Dont try and run before learning to walk, I was planning on how I would FPV, yet still couldnt competently fly a quad.
  • Dont think you will only buy one quad and be done, unless you get bored and move on. This is important to understand as then you can then get started cheaper, learn your skills and them upgrade.

So after all my "learnings" I believe for me a starting with a 330 frame would have been a good start. As you can see Ive gone from large down to small.

So this leads me to my current build Plan B. The home build 300mm quad I built was really good, surprisingly good.  But if I crashed and damaged any of the motor mounts, which always hit first I would be with out a quad. So thats why I ordered parts for a 330 sized quad listed in the Plan D post.

Frame : F330 150g
Motors : SK3 2822 1275kv  31g
ESC : QBrain  112g
FlightController : KK2  55g
Props : 7x3.5 Tri or 8x4.5 
Battery : 185g
Landing gear : HK-500GT   60g Skids and rails (they have held up really well to the abuse on the 450)

Total weight about 690 -700g

Eariler this week all the parts arrived ...... build time.

Pretty standard procedure, I first bolted the base plate on to the arms to get a understanding of the size and

Here is the HK 330 Frame compared to the RCTimer450 and my scratch build 300.

The 330 sitting on the 300.

Next steps was to take all the running gear of the home build and move over to the 330 frame.

After a bite of fiddling the Q-Brain was a perfect fit in the 330 frame. Once I got the orientation sorted I used double sided foam tape to hold it in place.

Before I stuck the Q-Brain ESC into the frame I threaded through velcro straps and tested to make sure that they would hold the 2200 battery.

Q-Brain stuck in place and the leads routed ot the motors, Motors were bolted directly to the frame.

With the long power leads on the Q-Brain ESC I platted them which reduced the length and then zip tied underneath the arms. I wanted this to be as tidy as possible.

I transfered the foam plate I used to mount the KK2 board. Its made from the lid of the foam box that the kk2 was shipped in and the foam doubled sided taped to the frame. The KK2 board has sticky Velcro  that is used to hold it to the match Velcro on the foam, Seems to work really well.

The same velcro method was used for the receiver, plus an addition zip tie.

I used zip ties to mount the helicopter 500 landing gear. The helicopter landing gear has been great at absorbing hard lands and crashes.

After the first initial flight is seemed to have a surging motor. After more investigating I had a bent one of the prop adaptors very slightly, once I changed that and put a set of new props on with basic balancing (Blades, not hubs) it flew smoothly with out any surging.

Next will be to do some fine tuning now I have sorted out the unbalance that was causing the surging.

The next night I did some a little more tidy up of the wiring to secure the leads coming out of the motors were less exposed.

Overall so far very happy and as I stated earlier this combo of frame, motor, ESC, KK2 and 8x4.5 props makes a great beginner quad.