Rookie Hexacopter build

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Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby Michel » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:23 pm

Hi,

I am completely new to the multicopter-hobby. I flew RC Nitro planes in my 'young years', so I do have 'some' experience with RC.

I want to start big :) Building a medium/large size hexacopter.
For days I browsed numerous topics trying to find the projects to 'steal' some ideas from.

This is my initial shopping list. I know parts are missing, but I want to start building the frame, motors and ESC''s and then decide what else to buy.

Frame:
1x Turnigy Talon Hexcopter (V1.0) Carbon Fiber Frame - 625mm
23790-3.jpg
23790-3.jpg (31.47 KiB) Viewed 2603 times


Motors:
6x Turnigy D2830-11 1000kv Brushless Motor
12921(3).jpg
12921(3).jpg (89.23 KiB) Viewed 2603 times


Speed controllers:
6x F-30A/15205 Hobby King 30A ESC 3A UBEC (intend to flash SimonK firmware)
f30a.jpg
f30a.jpg (58.15 KiB) Viewed 2604 times


Props:
3x 8x4.5 Carbon Fiber Propeller (set: 1pc Standard/1pc RH Rotation)
25686.jpg
25686.jpg (44.47 KiB) Viewed 2603 times


and...
1x Hobbyking Multi-Rotor Power Distribution Board (DIY 8 x output PCB)
31223.jpg
31223.jpg (86.76 KiB) Viewed 2605 times

1x USBasp AVR Programming Device for ATMEL proccessors
and some small parts like screws, bolts, spacers, clamps etc.

I am building this to lift a small/medium size HD video camera or compact system photo-camera.

I am now facing some difficult decisions:

1. What flightcontroller shoud I use? I'd like to be able to have autoflight, waypoints....
- Autoquad
- DJI Wookong-M
- ZeroUAV YS-X6
- ????
How do they compare. Is the autoquad v6.x actually just as good as the DJI or ZeroUAV?

2. What landing gear (maybe combined with gimble)?

3. What camera gimble for stable video and photo?

4. Which radio system? Futuba, or the little cheaper Spektrum. What do I need if I would later like to control led-lights, add FLV etc.

I'll add build photo's and documentation later as I receive the parts.

Hoping for your feedback :)

Kind regards,

Michel
Michel
 
Posts: 7
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby Max » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:03 pm

Hi Michel,

My first advice if you're not a heli pilot would be a decent flight simulator and lots of heli/multicopter practice. Use your actual radio, if possible, or at least some RC radio (not a joystick/gamepad). (And/or start with a cheap indoor coax heli, or maybe a simple MR kit. But the flight sim will be cheaper! ;) ) Since all those flight controllers have stabilization modes, you don't need to master a full-blown collective-pitch 3D chopper, but it's vital to be able to comfortably control the model while in all orientations, and to practice getting a steady hover.

Having seen that frame "in the flesh," I couldn't really recommend it. The main problem is the arm clamping system they use -- it just doesn't hold the arms at a set angle, and with only one clamp per arm, it's pretty weak. Also the motor mounts will bend from the slightest impact, so you'd need to get a handful of replacements. The carbon parts are actually quite decent, so it's unfortunate that the rest of the hardware kinda sucks. I am flying a Talon v2 quad kit with some mods to lock in the arms better, but it's on a light "knockabout" test rig, not something I plan to hang a camera or any other expensive equipment on (plus the quad kit is made a bit better/tighter than the hexa, and I got it all for free from a local friend who didn't know what to do with it :) ).

The "cheeseplate" kits from Flyduino/Viacopter, and the UAP kits from AGL Hobbies are both highly recommended here. They weigh and cost a bit more, but worth it IMHO.

I probably wouldn't start with carbon props... unless $ is not an issue. They're the first thing to break. And cheap carbon props can be hit/miss in terms of quality (not something you really want to fly apart at high RPMs).

For motor choices, most people prefer motors with prop adapters which can attach directly to the motor housing, instead of using the shaft which is very easy to bend. But this really limits the choices available. For picking a motor in terms of performance, http://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc_e.asp if your good friend.

Cheers,
-Max
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby Michel » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:42 pm

Hi Max,

Thanks for your reply.

I have decided to buy the Spektrum DX8 Transmitter + AR8000 & TM1000 Telemetry Combo.
Can I practice with the http://www.heli-x.net Flight SIM, or do you recommend something else?

The frame will have to do for now, since I have already bought it. I was looking at the flyduino frames before, but as I wanted to build a hexacopter and the website is very unclear about what extra parts I would need for that I bought a complete kit elsewhere.

What GPS flight control system would you recommend?

Can you point me in the direction of a motor with a prop adapter like the ones you are talking about? A picture sometimes says more than a 100(0) words :)

Kind regards,

Michel
Michel
 
Posts: 7
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby leopold1 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:02 pm

A couple of tips I can give, given my 2 years + of experience of breaking things ;)

In the beginning you will crash so start cheap. Keep your extra € for props.
Try to start with a proven setup concerning frame, esc's, props and motors. This way you will have a higher % to succeed.
I would suggest a quad.

To get the feeling of stabilized flight, having no previous RC experience, I went out and bought a 4ch mini helicopter for about 100€. I can honestly say it helped a lot to get the hang of it and certainly showed when I first did a quadcopter maiden. Flying a multirotor for the first time, you have to be very sensitive on the controls.

One last thing, when it crashes, don't be dissapointed, but try to determine why. It has a steep learning curve.

And most of all, have fun!

Concerning FC and can only speak for two controllers: AQ and Arducopter.
If I look at the time I spend the last two years setting up the arducopter and still doesn't have a flight behaviour which I would like and then compare it to AQ which I have for 2 months now and flies much better, then the calculation is quickly made!

Looking at price, AQ is certainly worth it compared to DJI and MK. Yes, DJI is allmost plug and play, but then again, where is the fun in it.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby Max » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:10 pm

Michel wrote:I have decided to buy the Spektrum DX8 Transmitter + AR8000 & TM1000 Telemetry Combo.
Can I practice with the http://www.heli-x.net Flight SIM, or do you recommend something else?

Not familiar with that sim, but as long as the physics are somewhat realistic, it should be fine. Even the free, old, FMS would serve for basic orientation and hovering practice.

To help hover, be sure to set up some expo on the throttle channel around center point. This gives you much finer control resolution where it matters most. The heli term for it is "throttle curve." But remember that MRs fly in "airplane" mode, so the terminology can vary between transmitters (I'm not familiar with Spektrum stuff).

What GPS flight control system would you recommend?

The AQ, naturally... :) But I haven't tried either of the others you mention... too expensive for me.

Can you point me in the direction of a motor with a prop adapter like the ones you are talking about? A picture sometimes says more than a 100(0) words :)


This is the style I'm talking about. The prop adapter attaches directly to the spinning motor can. Those prop adapters can still be bent, but much easier to replace than a shaft.
Image

-Max
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby Jdmagoo » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:02 pm

Michel wrote:
The frame will have to do for now, since I have already bought it. I was looking at the flyduino frames before, but as I wanted to build a hexacopter and the website is very unclear about what extra parts I would need for that I bought a complete kit elsewhere.

Michel


I agree the website is a bit confusing at first, I really believe instead of just selling the individual parts they should also sell complete frames as a kit.

Anyway, do you have the option to sell your frame and buy the fcp-hl? You may loose money to begin with, but will probably save you money down the track.
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby leopold1 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:47 pm

I ordered the FCP HL three weeks ago and very happy with the overall design and strength!
The kit itself is made for a quad excluding arms.
There are way to many options available to make a certain full kit. Long arms, short, thick, big motor arms, ...
The Quad or tri is the base and you buy the xtras if you want to go hexa or octo.

Just add a centerplate shell per extra arm,
http://flyduino.net/FCP-HL-16mm-shells-for-Centerplate
two pairs of motor side shells per extra motor
http://flyduino.net/FCP-HL-16mm-shells-for-Centerplate
and offcourse a big or small motor mount for the extra motors.

Don't forget to add an extra set of screws
http://flyduino.net/FCP-HL-Screws-Sets
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby Michel » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:37 am

If I decide to (try to) sell the Talon hexa frame and buy the flyduino, what set should I get for my motors?

Image
Turnigy D2830-11 1000kv Brushless Motor
Specs:
Rpm/V: 1000kv
Shaft: 3.17mm
Voltage: 2S~4S (7.4v to 14.8v)
Weight: 52g
Watts: 210w
Max Current: 21A
ESC: 30A
Suggested Prop: 8x4 (4S) ~ 10x7 (2S)
Mounting Hole Bolt Circle: 16mm or 19mm

The FCP HL XL or the FCP HL L ?

Kind regards,

Michel
Michel
 
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby Michel » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:46 pm

Did I get the shoppinglist for the frame complete like this?

6x 3K CF Boom, 34cm matt, 1.5 wall thickness 11,50 €
1x FCP HL XL - universal Centerplate - Set for Quadrocopter 63,90 €
2x FCP HL 16mm shells for Centerplate 2,60 €
4x FCP HL 16mm shells Motor side 1,65 €
2x FCP Motormount Black matt big V2.0 2,55 €
1x FCP HL Screws Sets 4,90 €
1x Cover for FCP HL Frame 18,90 €
Total sum Gross: 173,60 €
Michel
 
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Re: Rookie Hexacopter build

Postby leopold1 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:58 pm

That looks ok.
Maybe you should go for a lower KV motor.
Check out ecalc for your setup.

Total weight of this hexa incl drive and batt is about 2,2kg.
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