Monday, July 11, 2016

DT-180 Racing Drone - Diatone 180mm Full Setup & Mods

Ok, so the DT-180 flies. Now, let's see what I can do with it. This post will update for a while.

I did a partial de-Pinning of FrSky_X4R-SB so that it will fit behind camera (and partially under Naze32-FC).

Cut last 2 pins down flush like the others. I will never need CH-2/CH-3 anyway. Leave the 6-pins for SBus & CH-1.

Needs one more thin coat of Liquid-Tape, for 2 total.

Install between beeper and PWM-cable.

PWM cable is just barely long enough.

Not really needed, but how about a small piece of black-tape for one more piece of insurance. I didn't know, but it turns-out that 99% of the bottom of this Naze32 PCB is smooth and void of components. That really helps make this mod possible. If you loose the threads on a stand-off, try some Teflon-tape.

X4R-SB got to keep its protective outer case. Its still a bit loose in space and not crushed. Wire and antenna management is key due to close props.

Naze32 is still level and securely hard-mounted with black nylon screws like before.

Nothing shorting-out.
Arms, spins-motors, RSSI is good.
Test flight successful. (Updated 7-15-2016)

- Battery got a bit hot.

CleanFlight Steps edited for this simple flight of this version of Naze32 FC and FrSky X4R-SB (via SBus):

Setup with CleanFlight Configurator v1.2.2
Identified Board:AFNA Version:2
Using NAZE firmware CLFL v1.12.1 (4-10-2016) Stable
  • Calibrate Accelerometer
    • Let sit still on level surface
    • Save your config if you want (I do this often as I make changes and progress)

  • Ports

    • UART-1
      • Data = MSP/11520 (never change this)
    • UART-2
      • RX = Serial RX

  • Configuration

    • Mixer = Quad-X
    • Receiver Mode = RX_Serial (SBus)
    • Serial Receiver Provider = SBus
    • ESC & Motor Features
      • Motor_Stop & Dis-Arm Motors (5 secs)
      • Throttle numbers are Min=1150, Middle=1500, Max=1850, Min_Cmd=1000
        • Some of these might need adjustment, but theses do work/fly.
    • System Configuration
      • Loop Time = 2000
    • Other Features

  • Receiver

    • Select Option for JR/Spektrum
      • That will give you TAER1234 (Throttle, Aileron, Elevator, Rudder, Aux1-4)
      • By now your radio TX/RX set should be Bound and working. Turn on Taranis, and see it respond in CleanFlight. If paired TX/RX radio-set are both on and bound together, the Naze32-FC should not be beeping. X4R-SB green-led should also be lit.

  • Modes

    • Setup some modes ... like Angle flight-mode (Auto-Level) on your main switch. (video)

  • Sensors

    • Move and manipulate the Blade quad and watch sensors respond.

    Saturday, July 9, 2016

    Diatone Tyrant 180 (DT-180) & FrSky X4R-SB (SBus) - Quick Build & maiden-flight

    Nice carbon frame & PDB. Pretty tight in there, and props are close. I easily installed FrSky X4R-SB receiver on top of Diatone DT-180 for now. I used the supplied 10-pin RC-Pig-Tail cable. Carefully apply pressure when inserting the 10-pin header connector because its only soldered to the top of the PCB. The black-DuPont RC-plugs stick-out of X4R-SB a bit and increases its required mounting space.

    Must have Velcro-strap on main battery. Now trying another around back wires and antenna. Props are installed in normal CW/CCW Naze32 order. The supplied nyloc prop-nuts are two black/silver colored pairs, they all screw-on in the normal direction. Using wire-ties and heat-shrink for whisker antennas. Only difference with mine is the tubing-middle is tied-down.

    • First, I like to Bind receiver (a FrSky X4R-SB with it's own battery) to new Model #05 on Taranis. Don't forget to power-cycle X4R-SB at the end. Look for green-led on successful bind and even currently-bound status.
    • With volt-meter, be sure BEC on quad is outputting about 5.0 volts. If so, you can use this for power now.
    • First, turn on Taranis. Then, power-up drone (Naze32_FC & X4R-SB_TX) with it's lipo. Always follow this order and vice-versa for power-down.
    CleanFlight Configurator v1.2.2
    • Set CleanFlight Ports & Config for SBUS. Save and reboot.
    • See the bottom of this page for basic CF settings.
    • Calibrate accelerometer/gyro (easy ... just let rest and be motionless). 
    • Check for radio coms
      • Main 4 control channels
      • Setup one main Flight-Mode switch (AUX-1) and check Modes
      • Backup Settings

    • Those settings, radio is responding, easy calibrate gyro, and I am good to fly.

    Maiden Test-Flight
    - Location & weather: Outside backyard in medium winds.
    Results: Two successful take-offs, hovers, light-flying, and landings. Flew battery until low-voltage alarm sounded. No damage for today. Will try with a fresh lipo and goggles later.

    Radio installs easily in the DT-180 PnF drone. Intermediate pilots and builders with only basic skills should be able to get this quad into the air fast. Now that the DT-180 is a proven flier, I went ahead and partially de-pinned this X4R-SB ... allowing it to fit behind the camera.

    Still ToDo:
    - Tune PIDs

    Tuesday, July 5, 2016

    Blade-185 Drone take-off crash-landing up into tree with no-damage.

    It started as a simple take-off under a tree. I got stuck on a vine at first, but the required throttle to break-free catapulted quad up into the lower tree branches. It came-to-rest and perched itself on this large branch ... with no damage.

    Tough little quad. Had 5 minor crashes flying thru 2-batteries in my back-yard "obstacle-course" :) No damage to racing-drone, and the new skid-plate/antenna-guard seems to be doing its job.

    Monday, July 4, 2016

    PixRacer v1.0 Autopilot Xracer Flight Controller Mini-PX4 Wifi for FPV Racing RC Multirotor

    I just ordered an inexpensive Chinese-clone PixRacer Flight-Controller to try-out. It says it also comes with the WiFi-module. I will add more to this post once I receive it.
    It arrived fast and as pictured (with WiFi daughter-board and SD-Memory-Card). It appears to be generally good build quality for a cloned FC from the outside (metal case, etc.).
    From Windows MissionPlanner, I loaded: APM:Copter v3.4-rc5
    On the PixRacer (BG clone) hardware, it's identified as:
    APM:Copter v3.4-rc5 (0d9d101f)
    Note: Due to a recent IMU hardware issue fix in code, this might be the first firmware version that is working 100% for this particular FC.
    After firmware upgrade to this version, my PixRacer still Connects to MP and seems to operate normally for a benched FC with only an USB connection. Even in this minimal state, I went ahead and did some minimal Compass and Accelerometer calibrations. The PixRacer continues to operate properly in MissionPlanner's HUD.
    I will try some more elaborate bench-test configs, and post about those test results later. My initial opinion is favorable.

    Saturday, July 2, 2016

    Diatone Tyrant 180 5.8g 40ch Naze32- rev6 FPV Racing Drone PnF/ARF

    I just ordered a Diatone Tyrant 180 FPV racing drone.

    I got the PnF model, that comes with Naze32 FC. I plan to install a FrSky X4R-SB Receiver, and use my existing FrSky Taranis Transmitter.

     Diatone Tyrant 180 (PNF) Notable Features (what caught my attention):
    • Simple & sturdy 4mm/3k Carbon-fiber composite frame & PDB
    • Naze32 Flight Controller (Rev6 6DoF 32bit processor)
    • Runs CleanFlight
    • ESCs 20amp OneShot-125 opto (serviceable & replaceable)
    • Motors BX2204-2300kv brushless & 4-inch props
    • Landing-gear/ motor-protectors
    • Requires any good (hobby grade) 2.4ghz RC-Radio for control
    • Requires 3s-1200mah LiPo battery (or similar) with XT60
    Then just pick your goggles or FPV-screen. With EV-800, that's a nice pre-assembled entry-level  racing-drone FPV quadcopter ... for around $350 usd.

    UPDATE: It's now built and flies good ... complete PnF Build and maiden flight.

    Also, here is my partially de-pinned X4R-SB install.