Adding an Arming Plug and a Camera mount to a South Carolina Arducopter

 

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...

 

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Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 22, 2012 at 4:27am

I like the arming plug.  That's not a bad idea.  If it were me, I'd find a way to boot up the APM before plugging in the arming plug.


Distributor
Comment by Dany Thivierge on August 22, 2012 at 9:29am

interesting... but it seems to "just" be a dean connector bridged... how easy it is to remove in case of ground emergency/panic/want to stop the quad from chewing on my fingers? looks like it's still quite "hard" to remove, just like removing a normal LiPo. (But granted the location is easier to reach ... maybe... ) 

I think it's a nice feature but still remove props when not using and like Robert saying this could be inproved to have 2 switcher, one that actually controls a separate ubec for the 5V line to poweup the electronics before the real 12V flow in for the motors. 

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on August 22, 2012 at 2:44pm

I had actually started sketching out a rotary knife switch but after seeing the Schumacher kit in the LHS, I thought flying would be more fun than fabricating something that did not exist yet. ;)

Good points and ideas, thank you for the comments.

Dany, it is just a Dean's connecter bridged (male side bridged - didn't show just the empty female socket on the board). I had Dean's aplenty. I didn't have the nice mouting hardware aplenty and the time to make something similar was too long for saving less than $15 US.

It is not hard to remove at all and not loose either. Solid is the best decription. I am more concerned that it will be forgotten on the bench if I go flying! In that case, I just go back to the Battery --> PDB scenario.

The next quad will have a separate APM/electronics power source. Running with no fuses is like running with scissors IMHO. I keep reminding myself this is my trainer so I am about done updating/improving this model. 3DR parts I will use and the raw tubing for the next one are on hand now.

Comment by Carl La France on August 22, 2012 at 6:42pm

R.D. ! I see you are systematically adding to your project  Quad . You had them in a stirr last time with the umbilical  from a lead acid battery idea!  I like the camera mount  you just put on a "off the shelf" camera nothing fancy . How long was the grass you were flying in  to get tangled in the legs? or was it hay?  like the hand sketch the neat thing about DIY You try some thing and you can change it later My wing is complete  now I am shifting my focus to the fuselage having left it for a while I have come up with  a bunch of new ideas for it  when I do some thing significant I will post .Have a Great Day! R.D.


Wiki Ninja
Comment by Stephen Roach on September 30, 2012 at 5:39pm

Well done! Thanks for sharing

Comment by Kim Skatun on October 3, 2012 at 6:16am

Anyone knows where to get this plug in europe or similiar one?

Kim

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on October 3, 2012 at 9:33am

Kim, You could check to see if Euro shipping is available. HERE is a distributor.

-=Doug

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