Other things you'll need to complete your BlimpDuino kit

Your Blimpduino kit comes with most of what you need to compete the blimp, and all the hard-to-find and unique parts. Here's what else you'll need:

  • A soldering iron and solder
  • A FTDI cable (DIY Drones cable recommended) to program the board.
  • Helium (Available in the balloon kits available for $18 at Target, or a larger tank from Amazon)
  • A 7.4v LiPo battery (any other one of that approximate size and capacity will do, as long as it's under about 35-40 grams)
  • A balancing charger (This one, with this power supply, will do the trick and is inexpensvie)
  • If you want to use RC mode, you'll need an RC system with at least three channels. Any will work, starting with simple systems such as this one. You''ll also need two female-to-female RC cables.
  • A 9v battery for the ground beacon
  • Double-stick tape to attach the board to the gondola
  • Velcro tape to attach the gondola to the envelope
  • Superglue

Views: 1912

Comment by Mitch Patenaude on June 20, 2009 at 1:16pm
The pack you mention is on backorder everywhere I look. Would this battery be an acceptable substitute? it's slightly heavier (22g vs 19.5g for the other one) but otherwise has similar characteristics, though the form factor is somewhat different.

Also, what (in your exp) has been the maximum lifting capacity with the provided envelope? Can you run a higher voltage and capacity battery like this one?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2009 at 1:24pm
I think this one would be better (it's flatter and higher capacity). The flatter the better.

The lifting capacity of the envelope is around 130-140 grams. The gondola with recommended battery is around 90 grams, so you've got a bit of extra lifting capacity if you want to add stuff, like higher-capacity batteries or video cameras.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2009 at 2:40pm
Mitch: Just a quick update. I happen to have one of the batteries you linked to. It will fit in a pinch, but it's a bit tight. It has a different connector, so you'll have to solder your own.
Comment by Mitch Patenaude on June 20, 2009 at 3:12pm
What about the voltage? Will the switching regulator on the board handle 11 or 14 volts? will the motor controller?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2009 at 3:40pm
The regulator can handle up 11v (3C). There's really no reason to use anything higher and 2C (7.4v) is better.
Comment by Mitch Patenaude on June 20, 2009 at 7:32pm
I hope you'll excuse all the questions. I'm somewhat new at this. The 300mAh 2S lipoly packs I can find in local hobby stores aren't balanced, but I'm not sure how much difference it really makes.

Should I hold out for the online pack and charger, or is it doubtful that I will ever drain the packs far enough to make unbalanced cells a problem?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2009 at 8:22pm
Unbalanced cells are fine. They've got slightly shorter life but it's not a big deal.
Comment by Cesar Agustin on June 22, 2009 at 1:52pm
Drone newbie, picked it up at Maker Faire.

Couple of questions:
1) For the Sparkfun board, should I order 3.3V or 5V?
2) You referenced that Zippy battery which needs a different connector. Which connector does it need? Just want to make sure my online order is complete when I do this shortly. Thanks.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 22, 2009 at 2:07pm
1) The 3.3v board is better.
2) Not sure; mine hasn't arrived yet.
Comment by Cesar Agustin on June 22, 2009 at 2:27pm
Thanks. I start ordering the Sparkfun first then.

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