"Terrence"*gets his gimbal running at last

Ok, I've finally found some legs that I'm reasonably happy with, which means "Terrence" (formally known as Platypus) now has his gimbal in situ, and running!

The legs are Tarot's off the shelf, but seem to perform ok. The shape of the frame means they are toe-out, but this aids video clearance anyway, so may leave them as is.

Got the rest of the electronic to connect up tomorrow after fitting the legs, but should be ready for a test flight Friday.

Other notables in this "dot release":

- M2.5's from china have been binned, and replaced with some from Britain. Much better quality, but a couple still rounded. It might just be my allen key, but might also be the inherent limitation of M2.5. I could go to M3, but I'd need to redesign the clamps etc...hmmm.

- Terrence is flying well, but his CoG is well forward of CoT. 40mm forward, with a 10.0A 6S pack. However, this doesn't seem to affect him much! The rate of straight up climb is less than I expected, even with a full camera load. 3m-100m (relative, at starting height of 800m ASL) takes 10-12 seconds, which I think is a direct result of the APM throttling the rear motors to maintain stability. Not that you'd notice - at full throttle it climbs rock solid stable.

- immersion 25mW tx replaced with a 600mW and moved forward because of the legs.

- gimbal vibe balls replaced with harder items. Very secure now.

- a "hybrid" vibe solution is used. 4 x zeal corners suspect a G10 plate, which suspends the APM using 4 3M corners (ie one 3M square cut into 4). More data on this on Friday.

- I added a rubber "anti slip phone matt" into the battery bay. Surprisingly effective at holding the battery in place, and reducing vibes. You still need to velco tape down the battery though!

In short - if all the next tests go well (these are the crucial ones - the gimbal performance - it's what this is designed for!), I'll be looking to get the "gold" samples cut in February for the 3 volunteers from diydrones! (Hughes et al).

* Of Angry birds fame.

Views: 1003

Comment by Quadzimodo on November 27, 2013 at 6:12pm

Look good!

Comment by Randy on November 27, 2013 at 7:15pm

Nice looking gimbal.  I guess that's the same controller (Martinez) that's on the tarot gimbal.  I'm looking forward to the day that we integrate that more fully with ArduCopter.

I see you've taken the responsible step of putting your phone number on your copter.  We should probably all do that.

Comment by Euan Ramsay on November 27, 2013 at 10:39pm
I also label all connectors and motors, and even the prop rotation direction.

Helps stops mistakes, especially on prototypes which are prone to repeated disassembling.

(Ok, maybe the prop rotation ones are because I'm the sort of dumb ass who does this nearly every time :))
Comment by Euan Ramsay on November 27, 2013 at 10:42pm
Re: the gimbal - it standard rctimer ASP with the Martinez. Works well enough, but remember to balance it with the camera on - that lens extends out a fair bit!
Comment by Thomas Robinson on November 28, 2013 at 1:09am

Hey Euan, Nice work here! I think you have sold me on the air-frame :-) I'll cast my eyes on your blog tonight and see how you have gone with this (I see you have multiple iterations of this air-frame).

Thanks for sharing your build! 

I love the chunky booms! 

Comment by Euan Ramsay on November 28, 2013 at 3:47am
Yeah - chunky booms! It's to make sure it can do a co-axial config if desired. At the nomen though it would be "v8" rather than "x8"!

For a v8 id recommend 4x4000 6S or 2x 6000, but you'd need to get 7x 4cm risers to deepen the battery bay for 4x4 (2x6 fits ok). Oh, and some gym work...it'll be *heavy* in that config!
Comment by AS on November 28, 2013 at 3:54am

WOW love the design! :D with a X8 design it should fly like a dream! Congrats! :D would love to have one!

Comment by Euan Ramsay on November 28, 2013 at 4:00am
The "gold" sample will differ from the pictures version in that it will have:
- less weight; some panels will be lightened and lighter/thinner CF used.
- a dedicated sensor tray for optiflow, maxbotix and pxflow. Previously these were built into the battery tray.
- better CoG. I have extended the battery bay by 5cm rearward. Will now take "long" 6S nano-tech cells.
- longer and better ventilated ESC bays. Will now carry 8x 40A ESC's without issue. Will also make plugging in the cables easier, and an easier frame build.
- better mounts for PDB's (I've got a full gryphon stack in there right now) and GPS poles.
- gimbal mount "trenches" improved - will now take "square" gimbal mounts up to 8cm square.
Comment by AS on November 28, 2013 at 4:25am

like, like and like! :D

Comment by Euan Ramsay on November 28, 2013 at 4:39am
Only thing really missing before I lock out "gold" is the mount points for the pixhawk external led and USB ports...c'mon 3DR! Get these out or at least give us the screw hole dimensions!


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