Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quadcopter Drone - UAV with a GoPro

And so it begins...

After roughly 6 months of getting all the parts together (many directly from China which is what took so long), I am ready to start a new project.  I am building a Quadcopter (4 prop) Drone, better known as a UAV (Unmanned Ariel Vehicle).  The controller range of this device should be around 1km, with a flight celing height of about 200m.  I know it can go higher than this, but the risk of losing the device due to signal interruptions and high winds (not to mention current FFA regulations limiting drone flight above 500ft), make going any higher a bad idea.

I will also be strapping my GoPro Hero3 (Black Edition) camera to the drone for aerial video, and eventually enabling FPV (First Person View) flying.

There are a TON of parts that will go into the construction of this drone.  Here is a list of the primary components, and farther down this post, I will included a more detailed parts list:
  • DJI F450 Flame Wheel Kit (frame, legs, motors, and ESCs)
  • Turnigy 9XR Transmitter (Controller)
  • FrSky 2.4GHz (Transmitter / Receiver combo)
  • Hobbyking KK2.1 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board

The last part I was waiting on came in just a few days ago, but I will be traveling a bit for work over the next few weeks and won't be able to do much until I get back.  I wanted to at least get everything together to see what I will be working with before I left.

Larger Image

And here is the more detailed Parts List.  Things may change as the build progresses, but I am pretty sure this will get me off to a good start.

Part Qty Model
DJI F450 Flame Wheel Kit 1 DJI F450 Flame Wheel Kit
DJI F450 Flame Wheel Frame 1 DJI F450 Flame Wheel Frame
Motor 4 Dji 2212 Electric Motor
Propellers 2 Dji 1038 10" CW/CCW PROPELLER SET
Electronic Speed Controllers 4 Dji ESC 30A
Battery Charger 1 Turnigy Accucel-6 50W 6A Balancer/Charger
Power Supply 1 Hobbyking 60w Power Supply (4A)
Battery (Drone) 2 Turnigy 3600mAh 3S 30C Lipo Pack
Flight Controller 1 Hobbyking KK2.1 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board
Voltage Status LED 1 KK2.0 Super Bright Status and Alarm LED
Flight Controller Flashing Tool 2 USBasp AVR Programming Device for ATMEL
Flight Controller Flashing Cable 1 AVR Programming Cable
Flight Controller Housing 1 KK2.1 Delrin Protection Case V3
Transmitter 1 Turnigy 9XR Transmitter Mode 2 (No Module)
Battery (Transmitter) 1 Turnigy 11.1v (3s) 2200mAh 1.5C 
Transmitter Module 1 FrSky 2.4GHz TELEMETRY Transmitter Module
Receiver 1 FrSky V8FR-II 2.4Ghz 8CH Receiver (HV)
Legs / Landing Gear 1 F450/550 Flamewheel Legs
Vibration Dampening 1 Align PU Adhesive Gel
Vibration Dampening 1 Vibration Dampeners M3x8 - Set of 4
Misc Parts 2 Male XT60 connectors (5pcs/bag)
Misc Parts 2 Female XT60 connectors (5pcs/bag)
Misc Parts 1 XT60 Male w/ 12AWG Silicon Wire 10cm (5pcs/bag)
Misc Parts 1 XT60 Female w/ 12AWG Silicon Wire 10cm (5pcs/bag)
Misc Parts 1 Extreme accuracy Prop/Rotor balancer
Misc Parts 1 Battery Connection Wires
Misc Parts 2 Turnigy Battery Strap 330mm
GoPro Mount 1 Batwing Camera Mounts
GoPro Strap 1 Go Pro 3 Strap (Blue)

There were some other small connectors and cables that will also be used, but I already had them from other project, and did not include them in the above parts list.

Next up is the construction of the F450 frame and soldiering the power contacts to the circuit board.  Stay tuned!