My Quadcopter UAV Build

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by trackwhack, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    I decided to build a basic quadcopter sometime back with the following idea of scale.

    1) Build a prototype with basic maneuverability (2 years)
    2) Scale it up to carry bigger loads (Year 3)
    3) Extend range and add First Person viewer controls so that I can send it out on missions :) (Year 4)
    4) Use a scaled larger model for crop dusting on my farm using GPS co-ordinates and a pre- programmed path (Year 5)

    I spent a few months reading up and brushing up on aero-modelling, propeller theory, etc and also procuring raw material for the build. I wanted to share my experiences with everyone for two purposes.

    1) Help and advice
    2) Keep me motivated. The fact that I put this thread up should put enough pressure on me to finish it :)

    Some wiki gyan first


    Quadcopter


    [​IMG]


    Schematic of reaction torques on each motor of a quadrotor aircraft, due to spinning rotors. Rotors 1 and 3 spin in one direction, while rotors 2 and 4 spin in the opposite direction, yielding opposing torques for control.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
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  3. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Parts and Raw Material - Carbon Fibre Arms

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Carbon Fibre Tubes for the arms. These are 5/8 inch in diameter and 24 inches in length. I intend to cut each in half to get four arms of 12 inches each. They are super light and very strong. I chose tubes as I can route the wiring to the motors at the end through them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  4. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Parts and Raw Material - Brushless motors and Propeller Adaptors

    [​IMG]

    This pic shows eight brushless motors that I intend to use (will need only four, but I factored in replacements). Anyone into hobby RC aircraft's may recognize these as specifically built for ducted fan models. I bough these because in my initial design drawings, I intended to use the neck of these motors for the mount to the arms as it would be more robust. Most quadrotor designs use slow flyer propellers and hence the rpm rating on the motors are low. EDF motors have very high rpm ratings and hence I will be using fast flyer propellers. This suits me well because I intended for the unit to be quick response and twitchy rather than slow/sluggish. The trade off is the lower thrust on fast flyer props and hence lower payload.

    Also seen in the picture are the propeller adapters (top right corner, second box).
     
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  5. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    i m sorry my friend, but why do you want to re-invent wheels?

     
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  6. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Parts and Raw Material - Electronics

    [​IMG]

    This project involves a lot of electronics and programming. The sensors and interface devices needed for the first prototype unit will be at a minimum

    4 Tri-axis Gyroscopes
    1 or 4 Accelerometers
    Maybe an Altimeter

    These sensors will be controlled by a Microcontroller which will use the sensor inputs along with the inputs received from the pilot to control the electronic speed controllers to navigate the unit.

    I will be using a PIC microcontroller for the first prototype. Other options would be Audrino or a motorola chip.

    The image aove has some PIC microcontroller, other assorted IC's, and other electronic components that I will need for testing and final circuit boarding. I havent yet purchased the gyro and accelerometer units.
     
  7. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    A lot of people have built quadcopters before the netra too. I'm doing this for fun and also to see if it is feasible to introduce this technology in farmland for fertilizer and crop dusting activities. Rather than buy something off the shelf, I wanted to build it myself. My way of tackling mid life crisis. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  8. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Way to go man all the best!
     
  9. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Parts and Raw M - Propellers

    [​IMG]

    My collection of propellers.

    I sourced quite a few propellers for initial experiments, but finally settled on wooden counter rotating propellers seen on the right.

    I would have preferred three blade propellers like the ones seen but for the specification I had in mind, there are no manufacturers making bothe left hand and right hand props, which is critical for the build.

    The small plastic piece you see in the right hand bottom corner is a 5 way PVC fitting, which I will be using to route the arms of the unit into. The 5th way in the unit will be where the wiring from all four arms will be consolidated and routed to the Master control board, batterries etc.
     
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  10. H.A.

    H.A. Senior Member Senior Member

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    supercool....all the best trackwhack....i have few sites that can help you in building this (although i believe you wont require the help.....leaving at the moment shall come back post the links for you....
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    All the best dude. Hope we can see the building of UAV through your eyes. Thanks for opening this thread.
     
  12. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    actually i do need help. i was hoping to find someone who is good at programming PIC micro-controllers to help with the final circuitry.

    Most of the online stuff, people buy ready circuits off the shelf and build these things. My objective is to build everything myself including the electronics. if anyone is good at this please let me know. :)

    thanks DD, hope to see it through. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  13. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    DFI nerd!!!
     
  14. H.A.

    H.A. Senior Member Senior Member

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    trackwhack check out these sites:

    HobbyKing Forums - My first Quadcopter build - Page 1
    http://letsmakerobots.com
    Robotics India - India's Online Robotics and Embedded Community
    http://www.helifreak.com

    a
    lso my advice.........it is better if you buy off the shelf stuff if you want to complete the project early, else you will end up figuring out the circuits for a long time.......
    if you are still interested in doing the programming and circuitry yourself then get registered on Lets make robots. they are the best and experienced.

    hope they help....keep posting updates on the build...
     
  15. H.A.

    H.A. Senior Member Senior Member

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    try this out for the programming......i downloaded it for myself however did not find time to use it so i am not sure if this will help you out....anyways check the link and decide for yourself.

    Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio
     
  16. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Good project, hope you will put remote camera when it will fly, best of luck.
     
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  17. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    @ Saya : Yes I will eventually try to get a camera on. I am targetting a First Person View system. Depends on motivation and funding though :)

    @Hussain, thanks for the links, very helpful indeed. Building my own control board looks like a very complicated process indeed. I looked at the Microsoft Robotics software but realized that teaching an old dog new tricks is not easy . I will stick with PIC or Atmega micro controllers as I have a teeny bit of experience with these. Also the boards out there in the market use a similar approach. However as soon as I look at adding functionality like GPS and FPV, I will have to look at more capable systems. But I want to first get this thing of the ground. Anyway to cut a long story short, I dont want to wait a year before flying this as thats how long it will take for me to build the control board. So in the meantime, I will buy an off the shelf controller and check it out. Here is the controller.

    [​IMG]

    This one uses three peizo gyros to stabilize Yaw, pitch and Roll. It is built on an Atmega and the code is open source, which means I might try to play around with the logic a bit and it will give me valuable insight into the control logic. So lets see how that goes.

    Now to the real progress. I've completed version 1 of the Quadcopter frame. The carbon fibre tubes were cut in half using a basic hobby saw. I then used sandpaper on a wooden board to smooth the edges of the carbon fibre and got the dimensions to within 1 mm of each other :) [Was extra happy because its the first time I put my Mitutoyo Vernier to precision use :)] Here is a picture of the tubes, cut, sanded and washed.

    [​IMG]

    A word of advice to those working with carbon fibre, use a mask and gloves. When sanding, the dust is bad for your lungs and when cutting the splinters are bad for your skin.

    The next step was to mount the tubes to the 5 way PVC routing. The Diameters were not a perfect match. The ID of the mount was .840 inches against the OD of the tube being .675 inches. The first approach I used was silicone self binding tape. I rolled a few layers over the tube to make up for the gap and push fiitted the tube, the silicon tapes cures overnight into a single lump and is a very strong bond. I then put a few rolls of tape over the mount and tube to ensure that there was no flex. Though I am not completely satisfied with this approach, the bond is super strong and I could not yank it off the frame, so the propellers definitely wont be able to do so. Hence it is strong enough. I have however ordered some nylon bushes that I may use to ensure that the flex is absolutely non-existent.

    [​IMG]
    After fixing tubes to the mount. Havent sealed the outer section yet.

    [​IMG]
    After sealing the mount and the tubes.

    I used a spirit level to make sure that the alignment was precise. Overall I am very happy with the end result, but I may rebuild it after the nylon bushes arrive.

    Thats the progress so far, until next time, cheers.
     
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  18. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    make a video :)
     
  19. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Oh man that will be difficult. And I have to censor my face:lol:. But will try this weekend when I continue work on it. Will surely post videos of first test run and getting it to fly(or crash :))
     
  20. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Is there a problem of torque in a quad copter? Also isnt UMS in coimbatore into such stuff as well?
     
  21. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    just shoot the thing, and dont point camera to your face and things will be alright. but please do not use cell phone camera to record video :dude:
     

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