Payloader prototype 2


Hot behind CT's announcement of the Electro/magnet v2, my payloader is almost ready for it.

But as usual, there are problems. Some mine...some with the CF supplier.

1. The search light boom is too weak. My fault. It's only 2mm CF, and the light weights 100g. It bounces, way too much, even on the the bench. I dread what it'll be like in the air. And as a result, the camera image will be next to useless. Dammit. Not an easy fit either. Then the measurement of the hole for fitting it, is way off. I'm checked the CAD, and it's right - somehow the supplier got it very wrong.

2. The target plate is too thin. It works, and as you can see it's carrying this 1.4kg 6S no problem - but I'd like it a bit stronger. No biggie. That's why we prototype stuff.

3. The light cable needs to be much, much shorter. Can't wait to try it out at night...pity my quad is in bits, getting upgraded to a Hex.

So...almost there - just a few things to tidy up, then it's out to the beta testers. Volunteers? Preferably someone who can test it with Ardupilot 3.2, and autonomous functions.

Some pics:





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  • Practical limits are around 1.5kg, with smooth flying and good CoG. Magnet itself will do 5-6kg, but only on the bench.

    I'm taking pre-orders btw. Don't know if I mentioned it or not.

  • Weight lift limits ?

  • Hi Euan

    Would be prepared as a tester,  ciao Klaus / Germany

  • Remember how they do swinging booms. They are supported in a triangle with a cable or rod on the hypotenuse.

  • Your best solution for removing vibration is to add a diagonal strut from the edge of the light housing to the frame itself with a decent amount of vertical height.  The higher the included angle between strut and lamp carrier, the better it'll be at providing out of plane stiffness - which is what you are lacking in the lamp carrier.

  • The light is a 7 CREL T6' LED unit, originally taken from a bike kit. It needs 8.4V (but I noticed it runs on 5.2, albeit with the low voltage warning), and according to the manufacturer, sucks down 1A at full power. It certainly drains down a 500mah 3S in no time at all. 3 models are possible - high, low and flash - but I suspect high will be the only one ever used. It would be nice to include a PWM loop for the light activitation, but that will cost, and it's already over the price I wanted to charge for it.

    It's supposedly rated to 9,800 lumen...but this is in chinese lumen...It's very bright, regardless of the official rating, and should be good enough for doing accurate payload drops in the dark (in conjunction with the board cam)

    I'll be doing a payload demo in the dark soon, once I've upgraded the quad to a hex. Will upload some videos/photos then.

    As mentioned, I intend to do a SAR/construction specific lamp, based around a gimbal. My brain hasn't worked out how to make an interchangeable plate(that's light)  though, allowing the user to swap between a normal camera and a spotlight. A 180gm its a big mass for a BLG, but since sub-degree accuracy is probably not needed for a mobile search light - I might look to a old servo-based unit, controlled (not powered) directly from the APM. This would at least let me scale it up to a "proper" searchlight, along these lines. The advantage being they can take up to 8S DC, and the body will be strong to form part of "spotlight only" servo gimbal. Still 2.5kg though...

  • What are the details on the lamp?  Nice looking unit.

  • MR60

    Could you replace this halogen lamp by high power LEDs to consume less?

  • The lamp draws 1A @ 8.4V

  • Hi Hughes,

    I followed you suggestion, and it does indeed improve matters! Using a scap bit of CF and 2 x 8mm spacers, I get a noticable reduction in bobbing. There is still some rotation of the lamp itself, but in the next prototype I will extend the 2nd plate all the way to the light, which should make it rock solid.

    It's the light that the problem. With 9,800 lumen, it heats up...a lot. The case is metal.It weighs a lot. 180 grams is too much I think. The basic magnet and CF carrier only come to 100 grams. I need to make a decision on whether I even offer the light stucture for sale...regardless of how cool it is. At 280g total weight *before* you add the payload (max it out at 1.5kg, and the total payload weight is nearly 2kg), you're looking at medium lift rigs only for the full product.


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