My name is Nickolas, and I'm new here. We are starting a new Unmanned vehicle systems course here at EMU, and I plan to do my senior/honors thesis project on the topic of UAVs. We are looking into what hardware to get for our course/project. The 2 vehicles DIY drones recommends do not have some of the features we want. We are looking for a fully featured vehicle with as many features as possible, including:
-Fully automated, from take off to landing. (That means landing gear)
-Complete tracking and communications.
-Camera integration. (is it possible to use the camera to avoid colliding with something like a water tower?)
-We want to explore different material options besides just foam.
-Electric motor, or Gas with a generator (I'm fond of electric myself)
-Fairly large size.
-Good payload capacity.
-High range (Is a few miles possible?)
I figured we would use the Ardupilot/Arduplane electronics.
The first vehicle my professor looked at was a Penguin B. I almost had a heart attack when I saw the price tag. He said we may buy one of those, but we want options to get 5 or 6 of a less expensive model for the class.
The following caught my eye, but as I have no experience with this stuff yet, I thought I should make this post.
Spektrum Alpha models. http://www.hangar-9.com/products/default.aspx?prodid=han4400
Telemaster Oversize series from Hobby Lobby. http://www.hobby-lobby.com/6_foot_telemaster_electro_arf_v2_oversiz...
Penguin B: http://www.uavfactory.com/prodcat/1
What do you think of those? Maybe you have some recommendations?
The general Idea I had for my project was to have a neon green colored ground area for take off and the drone would seek out a neon orange colored area where it would either land, pick up materials, or drop off materials. Can this be done?
Is this a good choice for the ESCs?
Yep, those would work, but for half the cost since you pretty much need to make an order from hobby king get these instead http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__18010__HobbyKing_Red_Bri...
At $18 each, this is what I'm running. Basically you will spend $70 at nitro planes to get the same parts for $36 at HK. Because you need 2 of those.
I just realized that none of this includes the manual controller for RC flight, and the stuff with it. Is the Spektrum DX7s 7 CH Transmitter with AR8000 all that I will need?
Yes, right. You can easily use the DX7, I use the DX8 (not because I need it today but it never hurts to go a little better). Default config you need 5 channels, 6 and 7 give you pan and tilt for a camera or other features. 8 is just for fun stuff.
Also, I just looked at the props I linked and sorry the hubs are too small to fit the motor. I will have to get back to you. I'm building mine as I was typing this. The motor is amazing!!!!!!
What about this prop? It's what others have used with this model:
And then there is something called a '4s' or something like that, which I believe is the cone thing that goes over it.
Right, but if you use the counter-rotating motor, then you need a lefthand and right hand prop, and also,HK is backordered, so I was going to go over to my local hobby shop and get several props of difference pitch, measure amp draw and thrust and get back to you.
Are you absolutely sure this contra rotating motor will fit? The diameter of the motor is 3mm larger than the maximum on the spec...
I can't really see how to get one battery in, nevermind 2 or 3. Did you cut a hole in the bottom, or something?
Won't the 900mhz video interfere with the 915 mhz telemetry?
Nope, that's what spread spectrum is all about. It might reduce the range, or your option is to go with 2.4 ghz by either using the more expensive Xbees for telemetry , or alternatively using a 2.4 ghz video TX and RX, but then your DX8 is also 2.4 ghz.
The 3DR 900 Mhz radios are the best telemetry option and you can lose telemetry link in the air and still fly fine. I wouldn't mess with the RC radio link by putting up 2.4ghz video too, and 5.8 ghz video link sucks IMHO, so yes, this is the best option
For FPV 5.8 ghz has the worst range and thus I don't recommend it.
So, is the 3dr telemetry kit 2 way?
I'm getting most of what you said to get from DIY from udrones and I'm using V1 rather than V2 because of stock and compatibility with the ground station:http://www.udrones.com/Ardustation_p/ac-002.htm
Yes, all the telemetry kits are 2 way, both the new radios or Xbees, but the new radios have higher bandwith and work MUCH better. I have both and have done the die by side. The new ones are half the cost and work better.
Also, I know today the groundstation doesn't work with APM 2 but a member is workign on the code and it will be, so the smart choice is save $50 and buy APM 2.0.