It was a busy weekend. One of my earliest concerns with this project was the lack of an ON/OFF switch that could handle the current of the system and that would not look like something from an old junk box. I wanted it to be easy to use, easy to access (translate: no where near the propellors), and completely remove the battery supply in the event of an unfortunate event.
Enter the Schumacher ArmSafe Arming Kit.
This kit comes with 10 gauge wire and the hardware for nice installation. I didn't use the wire supplied but used 13 gauge wire from my LHS.
After measuring the wire paths and checking the sexes of the required connections (I have EC3 on the PDU and battery), my sketch was turned into a harness.
After some razor saw work with my favorite plywood, some light drilling, tapping, and other fabricating, the harness was installed on a side deck next to the APM2.
The home brew camera mount was pulled from a camera pistol grip project from last year and adapted to the arming deck. Behold the complete installation!
A view with my Philips Qvida pocket camcorder installed...
This weekend was also spent running down the battery on the Arducopter multiple times. The tether system is working fine. One flight effort was at my friend John's house lauching off his lawn. That was a different experience because the interaction of the grass tugged at the legs causing a different type of compensation for hovering. At times I had to abort due to hanging on the grass and tipping too far over.
Another funny thing to watch were leaves and bugs that happened to be sucked into the down draft. Think leaf mulcher.
I am presenting a program on drones/UAVs at the Anderson Radio Club meeting this Thursday night. John helped me edit some of my video and some he shot into a short movie to present at the meeting. The activities director wants to intro the program with a clip from one of the Mission Impossible movies where a drone is used in an action packed scene. Talk about riding the hype curve...