Bernie Hoffman's Posts (5)

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Looking for feedback on the Autonomous Avionics SkyTractor Heavy Lift Octocopter. Any input is appreciated. Practical payload is 20 pounds, but we tested it with 30 pounds. Flight time is right around 12 minutes with the full payload, but the RED and Movi only weigh in around 12.5 pounds, so flight time should be around 15 minutes. We have built one with a DJI A2 flight controller and with a Pixhawk with good success.

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CarbonCore Cortex by Autonomous Avionics



Autonomous Avionics is proud to annouce their latest ready-to-fly X8 octocopter. The CarbonCore Cortex folding airframe is an 800mm coaxial carbon fiber airframe loaded with a 3D Robotics Pixhawk flight controller. The 8 MN4120 T-Motors are more than adequate for carrying a full frame DSLR camera and 3-Axis gimbal. Each aircraft is hand-assembled, tuned, and flight tested before it leaves the shop.






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Power Distribution Board


After putting together a Carbon Core 950 and trying to fit all the electronics, ECSs and miscellaneous electronics into the frame, I realized I really need to use a power distribution board to keep the installation clean. I know there are some pretty good power distribution boards available, but none that did what I exactly wanted. I ended up cobbling together a MultiWii board with an AttoPilot 180a sensor. It works, but I had to ship a board from AU and the installation still wasn't as clean as I would like. With this in mind, I started working on a 8 position power distribution board with integrated current and voltage sensors. I also added a place for (3) 1000uF caps (I removed the ones attached to the ECSs in order to gain a little space in my installation and moved them to the board.).

I was planning on sending the board above to a PCB fab shop as a prototype order, but was wondering if anyone else would be interested in something like this?

Not sure how much something like will cost, but if there is interest, I can figure out the BOM and labor costs. At this point, it would be easy enough to create versions for a quad, a hex, and an octo, with or without current sensing, and with or without capacitors. I sourced it with (4) 5 watt shunt resistors, so the max amps could be considerably more than the AttoPilot version... I know the large Octos are drawing more than 180 amps at full throttle, so I calculated this version could handle 282 amps.

I'm just throwing ideas around at this point, so any input would be appreciated.

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GoPro/Tarot Steady Cam with transmitter


This is the latest creation from Bernie's basement (tm). It is a GoPro based steady cam using a Tarot gimbal for stabilization. It attaches to the carbon core X8 via 2 screws AND can be used as a standalone steadycam device. It is self contained with a NiMh battery, switch, and video transmitter. I hacked together a miniUSB cord for the GoPro to transmit the composite output to the laptop so I can see what I am filming when I fly. The gimbal has a connector to allow a clear view of what is recording while flying. I can also remotely control the pitch of the camera in flight (using channel 6 via the remote control). It isn't the pretty think in the world, but a drill, a soldering iron, a hobby case from radio shack, and a half a day of cobbling makes for a pretty cool toy!




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Latest Build - Carbon Core 950


Hi everyone!

Greetings from the Denver, Colorado USA area.

Here is my latest build:

Carbon Core 950 X-8, setup currently as a quad.

T-Motor TM3515-15 kv400 (x4)

14x4.7 props (x4)

Turnigy S6 8000mAh battery

ZTW A-Series 50 amp ESC (x4)

3DR APM 2.6

Spektrum DX8

Tarot T-2d gimbal with GoPro Hero 3

Custom APM mounting (rubber o-ring isolation with memory foam (earplug) vibration damping. This was necessary in order to reduce vibrations to an acceptable level. I tried with out the damping, but it was still too sensitive.

I am currently getting 10+ minute flights

Stabilize is tight, and Loiter/Alt hold are rock solid. The only real change I made to the stock configuration was a decrease in rate roll P to .12 from the stock .15 to get rid of a slight oscillation. That was it, no other change. I suppose I could mess with additional tuning params, but to be honest, it flies really well the way it is.

The Compassmot was 11% as it stands (no additional work needed because the frame had a mount for the GPS built-in)

Vibrations in x-y axis are around +-2

Vibration in z are between  -7.5 and -11.5

The kit itself was excellent. It is super light and very strong. I did find it a challenge to fit the ESC inside the frame, but they did fit eventually. 

Based on some of the bench testing, I'm guessing this could lift 10lbs no problem. I'm already interested in adding the additional set of motors/props to see what it is capable of, but no need right now. It already hovers at about 1/3 throttle, so adding more power (and little extra weight) would make this thing quite overpowered. I'm not sure I need to lift the equivalent of a medium sized dog into the air, so I will probably keep this setup for a while.


If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask!







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