Replies

  • My project doesn't involve photography, so I'm not worried about that part.

    I'm attempting to build a plane launcher using a quad. Many fliers have difficulty launching planes, especially EDF's. People build all kinds of launchers, and the most popular are bungee launchers. Knowing that the price of Intelligent Quads (IQ's) is going to plummet (especially because of our new president), I think a plane-launching quad could do the job.

    You program the quad to hover at a particular position, at a particular elevation, and at a particular direction (against the wind), and then to go full speed forward at a command from a Tx switch, then RTH when the Tx switch is set back again.

    Then you place your plane on the quad platform. The plane is locked to the platform via a servo. The quad has an additional motor for horizontal thrust so that it need not tilt to achieve high speed (see pic). Then you should be able to launch the plane with a flick of a switch and the quad will return to home on its own. Sound feasible?
     
    Todd Hill said:

    I used the Solo because of my familiarity to the hardware and software its derived from.  The Solo was "intended" to be a hack-able quad, and it is to a degree.  The phantom I am uncertain of, but I do believe it is possible. You may have a bit more trouble controlling third party gimbal with the phantom though, and I don't know how easy it is to change the parameters needed as well.  

    Quad Launcher.JPG

  • I used the Solo because of my familiarity to the hardware and software its derived from.  The Solo was "intended" to be a hack-able quad, and it is to a degree.  The phantom I am uncertain of, but I do believe it is possible. You may have a bit more trouble controlling third party gimbal with the phantom though, and I don't know how easy it is to change the parameters needed as well.  

  • Your setup looks great, Todd! Where did you buy the CF tubes? I got mine from HK and they look just like yours.

    I can buy a Phantom2 for about $350, do you think that's hackable?

    You said "... a lot of configuring" and I'm not very good in that department. I'm hoping to hack a Phantom2 so that it doesn't even know that it's no longer a Phantom2 :-)


     
    Todd Hill said:

    Sure it is.  Can't do it with every setup, but it is possible.  If you can pick up a Solo for less than 400 it can actually be cheaper than buying RC transmitter, flight controller, and video down link separately.  I've got an ongoing project using Solo hardware in larger quad frames.  After a lot of re-configuring it works pretty darn good.  If 3DR had did what they said they were going to do with allowing 3rd party gimbals and further opening up development I could have gotten full Solo functionality with almost any size copter, gimbal and camera.  Still locked out of much of the controller.  Not much you can alter, change, or add with python.  Right now it functions just like a smaller Solo, got tilt control, some of the smart shots, shutter control.  

    3702322519?profile=original 

  • Sure it is.  Can't do it with every setup, but it is possible.  If you can pick up a Solo for less than 400 it can actually be cheaper than buying RC transmitter, flight controller, and video down link separately.  I've got an ongoing project using Solo hardware in larger quad frames.  After a lot of re-configuring it works pretty darn good.  If 3DR had did what they said they were going to do with allowing 3rd party gimbals and further opening up development I could have gotten full Solo functionality with almost any size copter, gimbal and camera.  Still locked out of much of the controller.  Not much you can alter, change, or add with python.  Right now it functions just like a smaller Solo, got tilt control, some of the smart shots, shutter control.  

    3702322519?profile=original 

  • What are you trying to do?  If you give an idea of what you're trying to accomplish, that might be a better question as others her may have better ideas.

  • I wouldn't have thought that to be a reasonable assumption - the phantom is made as a single fixed solution with every part made to work just with other parts of that fixed solution.  The power traces in the board are unlikely to cope with much more than what they were designed for (15A), the batteries will probably explode if you try and draw a lot more from them, who knows what signals the FC outputs, if they use some other magic mode other than pwm.  And the FC in the phantom may be (almost certainly is) specifically tuned for that frame and that propulsion system, it may not cope with different flight characteristics. Not to mention it's a very small flimsy frame to start with which is unlikely to cope with much increased power, the mounts probably won't take larger motors, no space for larger escs, can't fit bigger batteries.  In short, get a different model :)

    Dan Jacob said:

    I'm assuming that the signals from the receiver don't care what the size of the ESC and motor are, is that reasonable?

    Then, theoretically, I could put ESC's and motors that take 60-80A each, and batteries to suit, of course. The big question is are the innards of a Phantom2 accessible for hacking. All I'd need to locate are the receiver throttle outputs to connect to larger ESC's. Make sense?

  • I'm assuming that the signals from the receiver don't care what the size of the ESC and motor are, is that reasonable?

    Then, theoretically, I could put ESC's and motors that take 60-80A each, and batteries to suit, of course. The big question is are the innards of a Phantom2 accessible for hacking. All I'd need to locate are the receiver throttle outputs to connect to larger ESC's. Make sense?
     
    Fnoop said:

    The phantom 2 actually has a pretty decent set of motors and ESCs - they're essentially the E300 propulsion pack.  They have decent thrust and excellent flight time.  You can increase the thrust slightly by getting different props - I forget the names/numbers but DJI released a separate prop with a bigger bite that increased thrust by a reasonable amount.  The best way to increase thrust significantly on the phantom2 would be somehow to change the battery to a 4s (I think it's 3s as standard?).  The propulsion pack works fine on 4s and is quite a bit more powerful.

    I used the E300 with a pixhawk on a DJI 450 flamewheel when starting out with drones.  It's an excellent combination.

  • Definitely not the lowest cost solution, but I'm looking for something ready made since I'm not having any luck with my setup.

    Andre K. said:

    While I actually don't *know* I strongly doubt that due to the proprietrary nature of those products. On the other hand, that would not be a "low-cost" solution , as you get a pixhawk + standard RC controller cheaper than that.

    Not sure how big you want to build it, but Pixhawk(2) is also a lot safer/reliable. (due to double/triple sensors and EKF)

  • The phantom 2 actually has a pretty decent set of motors and ESCs - they're essentially the E300 propulsion pack.  They have decent thrust and excellent flight time.  You can increase the thrust slightly by getting different props - I forget the names/numbers but DJI released a separate prop with a bigger bite that increased thrust by a reasonable amount.  The best way to increase thrust significantly on the phantom2 would be somehow to change the battery to a 4s (I think it's 3s as standard?).  The propulsion pack works fine on 4s and is quite a bit more powerful.

    I used the E300 with a pixhawk on a DJI 450 flamewheel when starting out with drones.  It's an excellent combination.

  • While I actually don't *know* I strongly doubt that due to the proprietrary nature of those products. On the other hand, that would not be a "low-cost" solution , as you get a pixhawk + standard RC controller cheaper than that.

    Not sure how big you want to build it, but Pixhawk(2) is also a lot safer/reliable. (due to double/triple sensors and EKF)

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