Monday, 27 May 2013

Quadcopter crash - Deja vu, again

Another random crash from my X600 quadcopter... Same as before, the quad oscillated nearly 90 degrees each way on an axis and lost height rapidly. Cutting power to save it from wrecking a motor, I heard a 'thunk' as it dropped onto a grassy slope out of my view. The quad suffered from another broken prop and a busted up aluminium arm where the wire landing gear broke out from its hole in the arm. I'm starting to wonder if the new avionics bay has an intermittent faulty connection.

Before the crash I did risk shooting some footage with my Wife's point-and-shoot camera mounted on the tripod thread on top of the quad... its nothing like this, but it does show that as a camera platform the quad isn't bad when a decent camera is fitted (R.I.P. Veho Muvi and its jelly vision)

New props ordered from Ebay - I might try out some wooden arms to replace the aluminium section arms, as a prototype for my scratch-build quad

Oh, and last time I weighed the X600 quadcopter with battery it came in at 1.2kg... a bit on the porky side...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Quadcopter redesign - the headcrab

After auguring in the 'copter, snapping a motor mount and losing my Veho Muvi camera in the bracken, grass and heather of Hampshire heathland, I decided to try designing my own quad frame...

[subsequent AAIB investigations showed that although pilot error was suggested by onlookers (my boy) the crash was most likely due to a wiring failure on a soldered bullet connector to one of the motors... with one phase gone the motor stopped working and the quad flipped]

The redesign was taking some time to finalise (ooh, what about a tricopter?), so I cobbled the X600 back together without the fibre board motor mounts, instead bolting and zip-tying the 'plus' shaped motor adapters that came with the kit onto the arms.

Meanwhile, the current design looks like this:

The aim is to have all the arms fold backwards (like an octopus?) to improve transportability. The arms will be held in place by friction by adjusting the pivot and stopper bolts so the top/bottom plates grip each arm with enough force to hold it still in flight, but still be able to fold up for transport (or a crash!)

The offset body/CG design also allows for an underslung battery tray that can double as a vibration damped camera mount.

Materials will likely be wood (I've some hardwood 1/2 inch sticks) and laser-cut plywood for the body plates and landing gear. Razorlab (UK Ponoko franchise) will be my source for cutting.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

MORE videos from a quadcopter

Soon to appear - write up on the modification to the avionics bay and attempt to damp out some of the vibrations that are coming from the prop/motor shaft :(