Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

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Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby Mullet » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:39 pm

This is my very first attempt to do Quatos with KISS ESCs and AutoQuad. Thus far, I’ve only found bits and pieces here and there on the forums that aid in the process. But nothing that I felt was like a complete step-by-step guide. By the end of this thread, my goal is to try and explain things in a way that helps others that haven’t done this before “get” it the first time with general steps on how to do it. Or at least have a place where the process is ironed out. I’m relatively new to AQ and multi-rotors in general, so I don’t know everything and most likely will have questions on how to achieve desired results. So expect to have the “guide” by the end and not up front in this initial post.

So on to the actual build. We’re going to be building at 180mm sized FPV quad with 1306 sized motors and KISS 12A ESCs. The quad will also have OSD for the FPV. Ideally, it will also have GPS and BlueTooth capabilities.

Here is the list of what will be on the quad:

Main System

BlackBird 180 v1 carbon fiber frame - http://www.sos-x.com/
AutoQuad M4
Joerg’s M4 Expander board for brushless motors.
CC3D Flight Controller 5V 12V BEC Output PDB
KISS ESC - 12A
DYS 1306 3100kV motors
Gemfan 4x4.5 Props
Nano Tech 950mAh 3S battery

FPV

Micro MinumOSD - http://www.readytoflyquads.com/micro-minimosd
Pico Camera - RMRC-PICO-WIDE-V2 - readymaderc.com
Video TX - AOMWAY FPV 5.8Ghz 200mW 32CH Wireless AV Transmitter Module
Antenna for Video TX - VAS - 5.8 GHz Air-Blade Antenna Set (LHCP)
Recording Camera - 808 #16 V3 Camera

Misc.

HC-06 bluetooth module. - maybe
10mm patch antenna or DIY dipole. - might use a larger patch.
Buzzer

Here are some shots of the frame with some of the associated parts installed...

Full quad in all its glory...

BlackBird180_1.jpg


Battery and 808 camera cage...

BlackBird180_2.jpg


Close up of M4, Joerg's M4 expander board, and PDB...

BlackBird180_3.jpg


More to come….
Mullet
 
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Re: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby chschmid » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:11 pm

Hey Mullet

Very nice little bird. Congrats. Post a vid of the maiden pls.

Cheers
Christof
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Re: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby Mullet » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:19 am

So we're not done yet... my next installment is about airframe measurements...

So to start with my plan is to weigh everything out. I found that I didn’t have an adequate scale. It only read every 5 grams. I ended up with the Ozeri Touch II digital kitchen scale that worked great. Paid something like $20 shipped on the bay. Sorry no pics of the actual weighing in sessions.

My hardest challenge was weighing the frame.

I had questions about how to do mass distribution and asked in this thread.
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=4614

As you can see from previous pics of the craft, there is a main part of the frame which is a uni-body like structure. Thus having arm weight in my .xml wouldn’t be easily achievable. I ended up weighing the total uni-body and then roughly dividing it into 8 sections. The total weight was 33 and divided by 8 which is 4.125g. I rounded each arm to 4 grams, which hopefully gets closer to the actual weight. I’m hoping if I’m further off it doesn’t impede the performance of the quad via Quatos.

I assumed the COG of the craft was not exactly in the center and is slightly off because there is the pico camera platform on the front. Ultimately, this means that the craft is technically asymmetrical and my Quatos moment numbers reflect this. The front half is 75mm and the back half is 64mm. I measured the total width as 58mm, even though it narrows out in the rear portion of the craft. The bottom part of the craft, which holds the battery and 2ndary camera has similar width and length measurements. The height is different. This measured out at 17g. I treated the ESCs as individual mass points instead of including them as a part of the arm, motor, esc measurement.

In total with everything added up… body, escs, motors with props, 808 camera, antenna, transmitter, etc. I have an approximate calculated AUW of 257g. We’ll see if in the end after everything is built up if this weight is accurate or not.

Once I felt like I had everything down pat I moved along to using the Quatos Tool to convert the XML to usable parameters. At first, I had some issues with the online Quatos tool not accepting my .xml. Strangely everything looked good in textEdit on my Mac, but uploading didn’t work. I ended up having to use an online clean up tool to fix the formatting.

http://codebeautify.org/xmlviewer

Once done I uploaded my newly generated parameters file to my M4. Here is my xml file and a few pics of my craft via WRML files. I can't quite figure it out, but my antenna (the long green object) should not be sticking through the craft. I feel like my xml is correct, but I could be wrong.

M4_BlackBird_180_X.xml
(2.53 KiB) Downloaded 286 times


BlackBird180_WRML .png


BlackBird180_WRML_2.png


Next up… Thrust curve measurements.
Mullet
 
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Re: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby Mullet » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:58 pm

The next step that I needed to take on was the thrust measurements. Normally with Quatos one would use the ESC32 as their ESC of choice and there is a prescribed method for obtaining thrust measurements in grams. One can run the ESC32 in closed loop mode with given intervals of 300 to 600 RPM and then measure thrust at these intervals. With standard ESCs this is not the case e.g. KISS, Simon K or BLHeli based ESCs. The measurements have to happen in a slightly different way. After asking about thrust curve measurements in this thread…

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=4448

…I learned what I would need to use to do a thrust curve measurement with KISS ESCs in mind.

Here are the tools I used:
Turnigy Thrust Measurement Stand
Hyperion eMeter II with phase tachometer (this is an awesome piece of kit)
Turnigy micro tachometer (didn’t work well)
Turnigy 7-in-1 tachometer (seemed to work ok, I think readings were off)

Here is the procedure I used to conduct my measurements:

In order to obtain measurements in a way that could produce consistent results with non ESC32 ESCs I used Menno’s firmware. This firmware is normally used for HOTT telemetry but contains other useful features such as ESC choice, ESC calibration, and a PWM routine.

http://autoquad.org/software-downloads/?category=1

Once the firmware was downloaded and loaded on to my M4, I set up one KISS ESC to the M4 via a PDB and Joerg’s M4 expander board to my motor of choice, the DYS 1306 kV3100, which was attached to the Turnigy Thrust Stand. When using the expander board the 4 motor ports are from 5-8. I chose 5 for my testing. I then setup my values for MOT_ARM, MOT_MAX, MOT_MIN, and MOT_START.

MOT_ARM 1055

MOT_MAX 1950
MOT_MIN 1080
MOT_START 1095

These values seem to go well for KISS ESCs.

I also set MOT_ESC_TYPE = 0, which is for non ESC32 ESCs. I believe 1 is for ESC32 and 2 is for on-board ESC.

Then for the actual measurements one needs to have their battery connected and set MOT_ESC_CALI to 2. Flash, then restart M4. Then a prompt will come up in the console to do Left Roll to start the test. Right roll aborts the test. Left Roll again starts the first interval. The test runs in increments of 100us and I was able to get 8 readings per my settings. Because I wanted to see how accurate my testing would be I took 21 different tests and averaged the readings together, which were then put into the thrustCalc spreadsheet. Consistently my lowest RPM was ~8,100 RPM and my highest RPM was around 35,000 RPM. The lower measurements were less accurate between 4-22 grams for the first reading. The 2nd reading and up was far more accurate. I found that the Turnigy Micro Tacho didn’t work well at all. I returned it to HK. The Turnigy 7-in-1 worked ok, but seemed to be off by a bit in terms of RPM values and the Hyperion eMeter II with phase tacho seemed to work the best. The phase tacho only had options for an even amount of magnets i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. and my motor has 9 magnets. I set the eMeter II to 8 magnets instead of 10.

The thrust stand seemed to vibrate quite a bit at the lower RPM, but smoothened out at higher RPM. At low RPM (~8000) it had trouble getting accurate readings like I mentioned before.

Note: MOT_ESC_CALI = 1 can be used to calibrate the ESCs, which I will do later on.

I’m hoping I got the correct results being that I was only able to get 8 readings.

Here are my results using the thrustCalc.xls and OS X Grapher...

thrustCalc_DYS1306_kV3100.png
thrustCalc_DYS1306_kV3100.png (72.79 KiB) Viewed 8974 times


DYS_1306_kV3100_Final.png


Next up is the build... We’ll start with getting the OSD system working.
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Re: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby Mullet » Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:01 pm

Since I’m doing an FPV based craft I decided to add on the obligatory OSD system. The only system that I could find that would offer the features that I wanted, but also have a super small size (180mm sized quad) would be the Micro Minim OSD with KV Team mod.

http://www.readytoflyquads.com/micro-minimosd

The benefit of using this OSD is that our very own KISSSYS developed some firmware that has AutoQuad in mind.

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=424

I had quite a few questions getting this guy going and had a little trouble along the way getting it going. Here are some of the issues I ran into…

I wanted to be able to dual purpose my TX line from my UART connection on the M4 Expander board. So I soldered at wire from the TX line so I could leave the port open for a BlueTooth module. Here is a pic.

How to power everything? I also wanted to have my power distribution done in a way that would give me as clean of a signal as possible. I found the best way to do this was to have a PDB with on-board regs. The one I bought is the CC3D PDB board that can be found at Banggood. It has 5v and 12v. I ran the 12v to my transmitter (AOMWAY 5.8ghz 250mW) and then used it’s reg to power my PICO sized camera (from Ready Made RC). Then I powered the OSD separately with the 5v reg from the PDB. The M4 is powered from the 5v reg on Joerg’s M4 expander board.

Here is a pic of the power train and M4 expander board with TX connection soldered on...

OSD Power Chain.jpg


Expander_OSD_TX.jpg


With KISSSYS’ firmware loaded, I couldn’t update the character set. I had to use another firmware and then flashed the desired char set. Then re-flashed the AQ based firmware. After doing it this way I could get the char set I wanted. I was going for a smaller font size in order to not have as much of a cluttered screen.

However, I still only was getting No Mav Data! errors on the screen so I would have to make it past this to get to the next step. After some back and forth with Kisssys I figured out that he had programmed the OSD to work at 57600 BAUD. Once I changed the M4 to this baud rate I could see OSD data from the M4.

I then had questions about how to switch between OSD panels. Within the OSD config software you can determine how the panels get switched. You can use radio channels or even momentary switching using your mode switch. I chose to use an empty channel - the Gear channel in the QGC. I couldn’t for the life of me get this to work and I couldn’t figure out why. I tried and tried and tried until I finally figured out the recipe. It was all in the settings in my Spectrum DX7s radio. I had to set up the Gear switch and my Elev D/R switch into a mixed channel. This would allow for 3 positions, which are needed for the 3 panels… panel 1, panel 2, and off. I knew I had to do mixing from the get go. The issue was in where the values were programmed. Low had to be in the middle of the servo - 50%, mid had to be in the 75% range of the servo, and high had to be at the 100%+ range to make it work.

Here are two settings pages on the radio that allow for this mixing to happen.

OSD_Gear_1.jpg


OSD_Gear_2.jpg


Once I got through all of these issues we had a working micro camera/OSD/transmitter solution.

Next up… is the final build up...
Mullet
 
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Re: AW: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby Simson » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:20 pm

Hi Mullet,

thanks a lot for the great description how to setup the little craft. It's really interesting to read your tutorial!
At the moment I'm struggling with getting the micro MinimOSD working together with the Bluetooth. I'm using the N4 Board from JussiH and it seems that the Bluetooth Modul is set up to Bitrate 115.200 bit/s. Therfore I guess, the MinimOSD doesn't work with Kisssys firmware.
Did you had success to get bluetooth and OSD working together?
Have you already tried the firmware from James in this thread?

what osd to use?
viewtopic.php?t=459

So long! Harry
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Re: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby brat002 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:05 pm

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=424 <- incorrect link to post.
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Re: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby kinderkram » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:41 pm

brat002 wrote:http://forum.autoquad.org/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=424 <- incorrect link to post.

I think it´s this post: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=4246

@Mullet: Thx for your very detailed build log! Will surely be helpful for others to follow. :)
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Re: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby Mullet » Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:43 pm

Simson wrote:Hi Mullet,

thanks a lot for the great description how to setup the little craft. It's really interesting to read your tutorial!
At the moment I'm struggling with getting the micro MinimOSD working together with the Bluetooth. I'm using the N4 Board from JussiH and it seems that the Bluetooth Modul is set up to Bitrate 115.200 bit/s. Therfore I guess, the MinimOSD doesn't work with Kisssys firmware.
Did you had success to get bluetooth and OSD working together?
Have you already tried the firmware from James in this thread?

what osd to use?
viewtopic.php?t=459

So long! Harry


Harry and the rest of the gang...

I decided to do a longer more detailed build log because I felt that while good information is given, it's not as specific as I'd like. So I thought more detailed explanations would be helpful to beginners like myself. Also, so many of you guys have given a lot so I thought it was my turn to give back.

So far I haven't gotten to the phase of making both the BlueTooth and OSD work together simultaneously. However, knowing that you're using the N4 board and a few other details is helpful in maybe finding a solution. I believe the earlier version of the the N4 could only do one at a time. Do you have the original version? Version 1.2 can work with both. Not sure if the original board can be modified to make it happen or not.

The second issue is that you have to be sending data for both devices at 57600 baud. That's what the OSD was coded for. This means you'd have to change the operating baud rate of the BlueTooth board. I'm not sure if this can easily be changed being that I think yours is directly soldered to the N4. In my case, I can change it because mine is self contained. If you can de-solder it you'd have to connect it to a USB-to-Serial device to program it. Like I said I haven't fully tried it yet, but I think it'd work in theory. Remember, you'd also want to change the baud rate of Serial Port 1 in QGC to 57600.

Hope that helps,

Mullet (Scott)
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Re: AW: Blackbird 180 - an exercise in Quatos and KISS ESC

Postby Simson » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:32 am

Hi Scott,

I'm using the N4 Board in Version 1.1. You are right, that would be a big step backwards, if I had to flash the Bluetooth Module back to 57600 baud.
Therefore I try to get the firmware working from James in this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=459

I found out, that in Version 1.1 N4 Boards, the TX line is always connected on UART 1, even if the Bluetooth is enabled or disabled.

Nevertheless, with UART you are able to share over the TX Line Data to different modules e.g. bluetooth, OSD simultaneously.
But in this case all must be set to the same baud rate. All you need is a Y cable.
The firmware from James use 115.200 baud and should work flawless. Right now I have problems to get the char set uploaded. I will report, as soon as I have success.
So long! Harry
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