Just a short post/update today on Terence - I've eventually found some legs I'm happy with! Yay, at last! Not the most elegant, and looks positively sinister from some angles (see above), but there we go.
Got these from quadframe, and the only fault I can find is that each clamp only clamps the leg once, and the leg angle is adjustable. I'd have preferred the angle to be fixed, and a double clamp, but it's still way stronger, simpler and sturdier than before.
(Loose wire in the pic is the Rx satellite cable...Given this thing is nearly 100% carbon apart from the aluminium arm clamps and screws, I'm upgrading it to a fully diverse system using this: http://www.quadrocopter.com/Diversity-Controller-for-Spektrum-and-Jeti_p_344.html). Sats will go on all 4 legs.
You can compare them to the old legs here. I'm going to canibalise the small plates to mount the sats on, as the legs are still 16mm
I did look at "Peg legs" at the beginning, due to their simplicity, but I live in Switzerland - if you fly in winter, you need ski-style legs, even if it mean you need to add foam in winter. Peg legs, you don't have that option, and you're going into the snow, rather than onto it. Your gimbal won't be impressed...
It's now getting interesting - just waiting for the chinese holidays to end for version 1.2 prototype to get cut...all the pixhawk holes are configured and ready for the accessories when they get released. And this is the "gold" prototype, which will be release to beta testers at some point in March. 2 of the testers are on here, so hopefully you'll get to hear just how good/crap Terence actually is! After a couple of months of testing...make some tweaks from the beta test comments, then production!
For V1, no - it's designed to take "diversity" at the moment, but I would definitely like to consider the really long range guys with their narrow beam, high gain rigs.
Going to see how the tracker market develops - yeah, everyone uses tripods, that bit is easy. It's how the servo's and - optional - gearing is arranged. There are so many ways of doing it, and none I seem to be able to make work elegantly in my head.
Then you've got guys like IBcrazy making crosshairs which offer (nearly) the benefits of long range *and* wide (if slightly two-dimensional) coverage, which almost negates the need for a tracker, which I (personally) buy into.
If everyone screams for tracking fitment options, I'll likely replicate the Eagletree mount - this will give existing eagletree users an upgrade path, and new groundstation users a clear build route (nothing wrong with Eagletree kit, afterall). I did include a tracker to begin with - there are 4 mount screws and cable-routing hole on the monitor-side plate for the arudstation, but I kinda got bogged down in how to mount the servos's neatly, and without having to design a load of mounting brackets.
Since it'll be open source after V1, everyone will be welcome to modify the design to make their own...
I still have the locking screen angle problem to solve. I can use household brackets, but they just don't seem appropriate somehow, nor can I assume they will be available worldwide (as it'll be open source, I've kinda got to make it work in all markets). I would prefer a lockable/resistance/ratchet hinge, if that's possible. But can't seem to find one?
Regarding your GS design. Do you plan to integrate suitable pan and tilt drive for tracking? Or is this simply designed to mount to your transmitter? I would love to see a photo of your prototype, the CAD is a little abstract for me to properly understand (I can tell where the helical is though).
The router I was uming and ahing about is this one by xyz-cnc. It has a much bigger bed area of 2400 x 1200mm, and is quite similar to the Shapeoko. It shows excellent precision and an ability to do very fine detail, even with a very cheap drill. It can also be upgraded. But, with the xyz cnc option at over $3k, the Shapeoko offered a more favorable entry point combined with the added benefit of a large community of users from which to draw instruction, ideas and advice. If I get to the point, like you, where I am doing commercial stuff then I will convert my shed to a dedicated workspace with a proper dust extraction with the room to accomodate an xyz cnc machine. But until then, I am just keen to cut my teeth (so to speak) on the shapeoko.
The Shapeoko 2 can be upgraded and scaled up to suit your 600 x 600mm requirement. Longer extrusions, longer belts, etc are easily ordered (It appears that you can get longer lengths in Switzerland than I can here is Australia).
I will be keen to see how you go about setting up your machine for the purpose of milling 2mm carbon with things like suitable hold down anchor points and dealing with issues like dust extraction, or how you might (as Tim suggests) go about setting up a water bath so to avoid undesirable results.
The only downside I see for the Shapeoko is it's cutting size.
Terence is design to use two 600x500 2mm plates for it's main body, and it almost uses them completely. However...the Shapeoko only cuts approx 300x300.
This won't be a problem for my other products - the gimbal plate, the groundstation* and the payloader**, but it does mean I might need to reconsider Terence's size if I'm to get costs down. Which is a shame - Terence is the most stable quad I've flown in bouncy conditions without needing to be coaxial. It even flies with its props covered in ice...
* Here is the CAD for it. I plan to open source this design, once I have it working, and in production. It's 220mmx240mm, and designed for the eagletree, 2 x Vrx, 2.4 antenna's (with optional adapter for 1.2 versions), uses a PDB instead of cables, has space for a DVR and a 5.8 downstream Vtx. Will take any monitor with a VESA 50 to VESA 100 mount, and less than 5kg. Angle is adjustable to 50'. All screws are standardised on M3 and M4 (for the VESA). Space for up to a 6000mah 4S, but I suspect most will run it on a 3S.
** If the FAA are reading this...since you continue to do your level best to keep the USA out of what will be a $13bn industry, this will be known as a "Adjustable Balast mount", to comply with your draconial "payload" statements in your Advisory.
Euan - Many thanks for the introduction to the Shapeoko 2. It is exactly what I had my heart set on, only much smaller and 75% cheaper! With a little luck I should be learning how to cut (Balsa, MDF, Plywood... then) composites and aluminium in about 10-12 weeks and, hopefully, with much less hassle than previously planned.
Can't get a DW660 or equivalent model in 240VAC though, which is a real bummer (I should never have offloaded my 1000VA 240-110VAC medical grade stepdown transformer). I will have to do some more research on that front over the next few weeks in order to find my best option. What are your thoughts on using a brushless motor driven spindle?
As to cutting the G10/CF on the Shapeoko. You can cut within a tupperware full of rater if you get crafty with the mounting.
What cut line minimum width you can get with a drill bit? Less than a millimeter? Better?
Can this shapeoko be also used to simply drill perfectly precise and vertical holes in 45 mm thick beams?
That Shapeoko is very interesting indeed. Thanks! I've been looking for something like this. I wonder if you could run it in a water flooded bed when cuting CF and G10? I guess the MDF bed wouldn't like it.
I cut so much G10 and CF by hand, would love something like this!
Nah - that's the great thing - the shapeoko 2 uses a standard dremel-style rotor will do, but can be upgraded to a DW660.
The key part is the drill bit - you want a narrow, diamond carbide version, and a slow to very slow path speed. Some have upgraded the stepper motors to NEMA 23's, but not sure those are actually needed.