Most of you are geeks with internet access, so you probably already know what a multi-rotor/quad-copter is. If you dont, its basically a RC helicopter with multiple rotors and an on board control system to keep the craft stable by controlling the motors individually. Theyre all over youtube and such.
So I decided to buy a heap of chinese parts. Im going to put them together into a simple, small quadcopter. I will then probably smash it into the ground a bunch and have to rebuild it. But whatever, I aint even scared, yo.
Ive got all the basic parts:
A control board, which has an ATMega 328PA, 3 gyros, and a few potentiometers for adjusting gain. In particular it is a "KK v5.5" which is a variant of a commonly used board, so theres lots of firmware available to get started with.
x4 EMAX 2822 1200 kV brushless motors
x4 30A brushless motor controllers
Some 10 x 4.5 props, both normal and counter rotating
8 channel 2.4 Ghz Transmitter and receiver
2650 mAh LiPo battery and cheap battery alarm/volt meter
My goals are to first get my feet wet with flying one of these things, then get into programming the stability board. Eventually I want to build my own board with a barometer and GPS. Most likely still based on an ATMega.
Then I want to get a 5.8 Ghz transmitter/receiver and set up FPV video with a little board camera I have.
Id also like to build a bigger one so I can fly my DSLR around and take sexy aerial video of ****. This is probably a long ways off.
So far all Ive done is made a frame. Im figuring out how Im going to mount everything, at which point Ill post videos of me flying it into the ground and crying.
Im new to the RC hobby, so I had to buy some of the foundation stuff, like a transmitter and battery charger.
I spent $75 bucks on a FS-TH9X, which is a cheap and awesome transmitter with a lot of mod support. Its pretty bare bones but you can put different firmwareon it and a backlight for the LCD, which makes it just like the transmitters that cost 3 times as much.
I bought a LiPo charger that can run on 120 in addition to being DC in, so I could have saved a bit by going for a straight up DC charger. I spent 60 on my charger, could have gotten away with only spending 40.
The ebay parts for the quad (motors, ESCs, the control board, props, etc.) came to about $120, plus a bit of stupidly expensive Home Depot aluminum.
That's not bad. My parents bought me a 4' Nitro ARF fixed wing for my 16th birthday for $350 IIRC. I assembled it quickly, then after sitting for 8 years, I decided to fly it. On it's maiden flight, I set the aileron 'polarity' incorrectly, and it went up, then promptly barrel-rolled into the ground into a million pieces. Total destruction.
Now I want to make some cheap park flyer or something. This could be a good choice.
Took the heat shrink off one of my ESCs (Electronic Speed Controller). I'm soldering different wires to the board and I also am thinking about flashing different firmware to them. They put code into them for airplane use, like soft starting and stall ****. It doesn't effect how they act very much, but the micro is still having to go through the code as it loops, so it slows down how fast it responds. By putting multi-rotor firmware on them I should be able to get some better performance, both in stability and how agile it will be.
No surprise that it has an ATMega chip on it. Unfortunately no pads or header to attach wires to for in circuit serial programming. So its going to be a pain in the *** if I dont have one of these:
That little thing costs 20 bucks, ships out of china, and is back-ordered... so Its going to have to wait.
I'm with GeneSplicer, just cuz they don't touch doesn't mean they won't interact aerodynamically. Wouldn't it be a lot easy to buy one of the prebuilt quads, last I looked they were pretty expensive, but still.
Also, it'd be pretty rad to be have one with GPS and set a preprogrammed flight path that basically had it take off and hover 100 ft over an autocross course for a minute so you could get a top down video of runs and check your lines... There's prolly ppl out there that'd spend $1000 for something that could do that.