I have been going through the site and forums for almost 4 days with plenty of google searchs for what some of the stuff means... like Mode 1 or Mode 2, FPV, outrunner vs inrunner... I think I am getting a pretty good understanding finally.. Though I have a few questions, based on the getting started and review of the easy star clones...
I won't be able to start with a full UAV setup in the beginning, due to cost. But I would like to "build up" to it, by starting with a plane and accesories that will still be viable for UAV usage and expansion.
Going link by link from the link for the Bilxer from HK, think I have a basic setup in mind. Seeing as I have always wanted but never flown a RC plane the Easy Star models seems like a good place to start.
Here is what I have for my HK "wishlist"
IMAX B6-AC Charger/Discharger (says it doesn't come with A/C adapter?)
Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 25C Lipo Pack (still don't fully understand the 3s or 25c info)
Turnigy Super Brain 20A Brushless ESC (want a datalogger as well as the linked ESC bad reviews of melting and fire..)
Turnigy 9X 9Ch Transmitter w/ Module & 8ch Receiver (Mode 2) (Don't fully understand the PPM/PCM)
Hobbyking Bixler EPO 1400mm - (ARF)
How would I go about determining max payload and how to increase that weight for further expansion, from shaving the inside of cockpit, to increasing size of motor or prop? This is completely outside my understanding right now..
I want to have OSD, with all the fun telemetry and gps data at some point, and was wondering if anyone has tried this product http://fpvpilot.com/EasystarAluminumCanopy.aspx for the Bixler since the final stage of completion will be adding a go Pro HD on a pan/tilt mount (if the plane can handle the payload weight). I will use a much smaller/lighter/cheaper camera to get the hang of it and an idea of transmission range.
Reading about FPV, some of the sites recommend 900mHz vs 2.4GHz so it doesn't interfere with Tx/Rx.. Is there any truth to that, they seem to have a slower transmission rate?
Is there really a point to installing a Ardupilot Mega w/o GPS? Seems like it would limit the functionality for outdoor use.
Is there a target weight I should be shooting for with this model of aircraft? w/o upgrades
What would be expected flight time of this system, and how would I increase that time?
Looking for 1hr+ flight time. Would a low RPM prop/motor do so?
I am currently pursuing a Solar Engineering degree, and am wondering if it is possible to charge the Lipo's off solar pv, since the charger seems to do a lot of stuff while charging lipo's.
Possible to use lightweight thin film solar on top of wings to charge battery during flight for increased flight time, or power video/telemetry transmission equipment?
I have a high enough understanding of circuitry to build a solar charge controller to be sized properly to fit inside limited space as well as prevent overcharging..
Would it be possible to have the ardu pilot mega setup for target tracking via a GPS becon? Like for instantence having a becon on a dog collar, and the UAV being able to fly to and track becon, to provide a video feed.
Also not really sure what the xbee's are used for..Is that for a HUD on a laptop or something?
Where do I find the FAA regulations related to r/c aircraft and UAV's?
With the amount of UAV related news I have seen recently (like the wifi hacking/cell tower spoofing UAV) this site has been extremely informative, even the information I don't understand is becoming more clear.
The video's that have been posted are really cool, hope to post my own one day..
Thanks for the Help,
Still researching as I patiently await any kind of reply...
Doesn't look like a Bixler will be able to take the added weight of a gopro HD camera.. with all the other electronics on board...
Also looking for a different Tx, since the Turnigy 9x doesn't see to work with PC sim's..any recommendations?
Seems it will not be feasible to use solar on the wings, due to cost and surface area of a Bixler. But it is actually rather cheap to use Solar to power a Lipo charger, which will be nice for long trips out to fly..
Even with all the ardu pilot gear? I thought it might effect the CoG too much.. Thanks for the info..
I finally found a couple threads regarding the Turnigy 9x and Sim's.. dealextreme sales a USB adapter for it..
Good to know about the battery, over double a/hr of what I was planning to buy. I still don't fully understand what all the battery stuff means and how it relates to the rest of electronic's, esc, ardupilot, motor...
Basically I need to look for a 5000mah 3S 25C.. cool.. looks like that is close to max mah they make for 3s 25c..
I got one of these to use my DX6i with Clearview flight sim. I looked at the manual for the Turnigy 9X and it wasn't too clear on what the trainer port was, it just said a "stereo cable" was used to link two transmitters . . .
Your USB adapter would plug into the trainer port. I'm thinking Plug U7 is the one you would want, but I'm not 100% on that. The power switch on the transmitter should be off. It will turn on the controller (with the radio module not powered) when you plug in the adapter to the trainer port. The switch should remain off while using the sim, that's normal. I haven't used other sims outside of a hobby store. There are better sims than Cearview, but the price was right for me and I found a good number of models available for real world planes. You can go into the plane file and modify the parameters to better match your set up (increase the weight, I changed the motor/prop specs to match my 2200 kv motor with 6X4 prop) I got it to feel like my real plane. The setup for the interface is fairly straightforward in the settings tab in Clearview. There should be a PPM option in a drop down, then you can calibrate.
Don't put a 5000mah in a Bixler unless you really need the long flight times. While the Bixler flies fine with such a large battery it does have a tendency to more easily stall in slow turns, and will fly better with less weight.
I kid you not... before reading your post and after a lot of researching on my own, I purchased those exact items you've listed from HK today. Did this setup work well for you? What AV and Ardu setup did you end up using? 2.0, GPS, telemetry, radio/transmitter, etc.?
If you're just starting out with flying, I would recommend starting with that. A Bixler would be a good plane to learn on. I started with a Dynam Hawk Sky, which is similar. I like having the ailerons (and ability to use them as flaps and spoilers as well), so that steered me away from the Easystar. I wouldn't jump right to an autopilot, because you want to be comfortable flying the plane . . . you'll need to if the autopilot fails.
An hour or more of flight time would be cool, but I wouldn't start with that as an immediate goal. Flying for long periods is exhausting. Tough on the neck as well. The extra weight limits your camera payload and I've found in a gusty wind the extra battery weight can pop your spar through the wing if your fight it too much. (there are foam cutouts in the wings that can pop out. A 1600 - 1800 mAh 3 cell will give you 10-30 minute flights depending on your throttle usage and other variables.
The Hawksky handles much differently with a GoPro on it than it does without it. I keep mine on the CG and it's fairly stable, but you need to keep your speed up on landing or it tends to spin.
I upgraded my motor to a 2200KV I found on Hobby King for about $8 with a 6X4 APC prop. I can go vertical at full throttle and cruise around at about 1/4 throttle for a long time. Get a 30 or 40 amp speed controller even if you don't need it now. It will be useful later. A 20 amp will work, but it will be limiting later when you want a more powerful motor. Turnigy Plush have been good to me. The $8 hobbyking speed controllers have been bad 1 out of 4 in my experience. The Turnigy Plush speed controllers work with Hobywing programming cards. You may want to play with some of the settings. You can set them from the transmitter, but it's less frustrating with a programming card. For instance, you may or may not want to use the brake. I've read that a propeller with the brake on has less drag than a free spinning prop.
I like the DX6i as a controller. In hindsight I would have gotten the 8-channel. I've never used the DX-9. I like the $7 Orange RX receivers with the satelite module. I have the main receiver under the canopy and the satelite on the tail. Extension cables are cheap. The other little secret is that The DX6i ships set to 100mw output power so it complies with European Union regulations on transmitter power. In the US I can increase that to 200mw. I used to have glitches at 100mw,but since I increased it and used the satelite I haven't had a single glitch (except for an aileron cable coming unplugged) It's been rock solid.
I'm using a Thunder AC6 charger from HobbyPartz. It will take 120AC or 12VDC, so that might interface well with a solar system . . . I like that I can power it in the car.
"C" rating means capacity. 20C is 20 times capacity, which means you can draw 20 times the rated mAh rating without damaging the battery. So an 1800 mAh would be 1.8 A X 20. I have mostly 25C and 30C batteries so I have more than I need. I would prefer several smaller (1600-1800mAh) batteries over 1 larger battery.
I've heard about a lag in the AV out from the GoPro that gives you a delay in the video you would see if you were flying FPV that can be problematic, limiting your reaction time. It's possible they've fixed the problem with a firmware upgrade or the newer models, but I haven't explored that. I think a small Sony board camera would be better for flying FPV. GoPro is great for hi-def video you want to look at later. I see them as two different applications. When flying the gopro, I really like to use the waterproof case. The lens of the actual camera sticks out and is vulnerable in a crash. It's easy to chip it (and it costs $90 to get a new one) The case adds 100 grams, but it's much cheaper to replace. They sell an $8 tripod mount for the GoPro that screws on to any 1/4-20 bolt. (I use nylon)
Check your CG before you fly, especially if it's loaded down with extra gear. A tail heavy plane will be harder to control than a nose heavy plane. It's usually about 1/3 back from the leading edge of the wing, but check the instructions with your plane. Orange RX (think of it as a brand name, since not all Orange RX products are receivers) makes a 3 axis stabilizer for $17. I think it's a nice unit for not much money. I was getting some nice glide times when I dialed in the pitch gain just right.
Hope some of this is useful.