Tuesday, August 26, 2014

3D printed battery holder & land gear for Fortis Tricopter

The next multi-rotor in my collection to get a little 3D printing love is the Fortis Tricopter. I love this frame. But I had issues with getting jello free video with the Mobius camera.

I wanted to have really clean lines with central battery holder and protector that could also function as landing gear.  While I was in the process of updating I also dropped in a Naze32 board.

Naze32 in a 3D printed case mounted via 3M double sided tape.

I used the mounting holes on the Fortis frame as the mount points for my anti jello system. It was a simple case of altering the holes and printing a pair. I first started with bottom plates that I had left over. This soon changed as I integrated the battery holder and legs into the design.

New mounts bolted to the frame.

A couple of test fits with the older base mounts.

Both the gimbal and the static mounts were tested. At this point I decided to change the bottom  mount to the integrated battery holder legs. That way I could also remove the legs from the tricopters legs. The new design also provided some protection to the camera/gimbal on hard landings that usually broke the zip-tied landing gear.

The new design had supported base plate and a battery tray for the zippy 3700s. I also printed a Velcro strap battery holder as the battery fastening system.

Here is the first design mounted ready for testing.

The design worked really well,  It gives the tricopter a nice thin profile which I like. Very stable landing gear platform and provides a good platform for video.

I plan to do some test video soon. But at the moment I am too busy crashing my new flipping quad.

Monday, August 18, 2014

OPQ Frame ESC covers : UPDATED

The OPQ Frame quad has also had an upgrade to the ESC covers I designed. These have holes for better air flow and bolt hole tabs that use the land gear bolts. They also have a zip-tie recess to secure the other end close to the motors to stop any movement.

Fresh off the printer

All bolted and zip-tied on.

Close up of the final case.

Extra arm protecters as I damaged a few

Flip success ....

So my main aim with the OPQ frame was to learn acro with it. Acro to me means a lot of learning and crashes.

So today I started the process, The NAZE32 sure makes it easier. After I watched a couple of youtube videos to get the basic idea down and set the NAZE32 up with higher RC rate and horizontal flight mode I though I was set.

Ok so the first back flip with plenty of height was a bail, then the next attempt was a big loop but successful. So after about ten successful backflips I tried a side flip..... hmm not so successful. Big crash ... but little damage, pancaked flat. So I moved to a larger practice area. More success and I tried to make the loops tighter. I was able to do back, front, side flips. Then I got cocky and went for a double ....... hmmm mistake considering my skill level is still nil.

End result was a beat up quad. But the OPQ frame was fine. Just props and the 3D printed battery holder. I am in the process of redesigning the battery holder to be much simpler & hopefully stronger!!

Here are some photos of the damage.

Overall I was pretty happy as I looped the thing.... next I better order more props :0

Saturday, August 16, 2014

3D Anti vibration testing :

After I got all the 3D printed bits on the FLIP and some gimbal tuning I had a parcel arrive. It was my new Taranis Transmitter. I spent the night swapping out the receiver on the FLIP/Naza so I could use SBUS. I also set the gimbal up so I could control the roll and pitch. The X8R was set to use SBUS on the first 8 channels and the other 9-16 on the normal pins (Using the supplied jumpers when binding)

Super happy with the Taranis, it lives up to the hype.

I took it for some shake down testing. The below video was taken form only 2 batteries worth of flying. It was a beautiful morning and I had a very gracious helper.

View at full 1080p for best viewing. I was really happy with the quality of the video I was getting. The only issue now is some shake when fast forward movement. Not sure if its the gimbal or the mounting system.

The video was taken with props that were straight from the pack, and not balanced. I do have some 10x4 wooden props that I plan to put on now that I crash a lot less.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Smaller 3D Printed Gimbal Case

After my first cheap gimbal controller and the hassle I had getting firmware (Had to get a hacked HEX) and then getting a GUI to tune it took more time than the actual setup. Once I did have all the right software it was relativity easy.  But I wanted a simpler way.

Just after I had finished my 3D printed anti jello system Hobbyking released this, a Micro AlexMos BGC
So I ordered one and waited the required 3-4 weeks it take to make its way here.

As you can see from the photo below it is considerably smaller, both the controller and the IMU from the normal size controller.

It was time to modify and design a new case.

The first thing I did was change the roll motor mount. I moved the motor back about 10mm. I wanted the whole gimbal closer to the quads CG. 

Once that was done it was onto the actual controller case. After some tinkering in tinkercad I had my first version complete ready for testing. 

The Motor mount and the case are just superglued together. This makes it easier to print and faster.

I also modified the gimbal arm for this version as the first version I am currently using warped a fraction by the roll mount. So I added some bracing to strength that up.

Full test mock up trying to fit everything in. The extra wire lengths were the main part to try and hide. I did want to do any cutting just yet until I have proven it would all work.

After a couple more tries I printed a slightly longer case to give me more room to pack everything away in the controller case.

I also had to print another Gopro holder with a different IMU holder as its considerably smaller. 

Overall the the final gimbal setup is about 20% smaller, When on the FLIP quad the battery is about 20mm closer to the center which makes for a more compact look. I will update with weight reduction and final shots of it on the quad.

OPQ Frame Acro quadcopter with 3D Printed parts

OPQ Arco frame

So many months ago I got a OPQ Acro frame but just never had the chance to get it flying as I was busy with the FLIP and the gimbal setup.

Now that is 95% sorted I wanted to return back to learning todo flips. The OPQ frame caught my eye as I liked the simple one piece design and hopefully the strength.

I have already covered the 3D printed protectors I made for the arms, since I fly over tarmac I wanted some skid protection.

Below is the final version to date, set up with a NAZE32 Acro board.

Since I like to have a low / thin profile quad copter the first thing I designed for the frame was a set of legs / battery holder combo to bolt to the bottom of the frame. I wanted to add some protection to the battery as I mentioned I fly a lot over tarmac and wanted to add some protection from ... hard "controlled" landings.

They are pretty simple braced plates with a cross member for the battery to velcro to. 

Fresh off the printer

Assembled ready to bolt to the frame 

Legs bolted to the frame. I drilled 3.5mm holes in the frame.

The first version was with a KK2 board and a HobbyKing 20amp Qbrain. The motors are Turnigy SK3 1275kv motors running 8x4.5 HK props. I had all of this lying around and was quick and easy to get up in the air. It flew really well. I was very pleased. However it was a little heavy due to the QBrain. 

So after some debate I stripped the 12amp Plush ESC I had in my non used HEX. Stripped 4 ESC back and set about using these as the power system. This decision was also pushed along since the long wait for the NAZE32 Acro was over as I had 2 arrive in the mail ..... Finally.

Yes I soldered on bullets as I know I will damage motors while learning to flip, and wanted to easily swap in the field.  I also designed and printed a simple ESC cover to protect the ESC's and made it easy to attach to the frame with zip-ties. 

Abusemark power distro board getting the some extra length for the power leads, at they were 2 short once I cut the ESC's out of the HEX

I drilled holes to allow bolting of the power disto board and the 3D printed NAZE32 case.

Test fitting the ESC & power distro.

The current final product. It weights in at 700g with the 2200 Turingy battery. Its a hoot to fly and I am now in the process of tuning the NAZE32 and getting the flight modes and PID settings sorted to go out and learn to do flips.

The arm protectors are doing there job well.