Someone asked about the magneto (or lack of it) in my previous post, so here's the reason it was absent…
I could've just soldered the cable on, but figured i might want to use it for other Arduino projects occasionally. This makes it a much simpler task:
Word of advice: don't push the pins all the way down when soldering, or they'll stick out too much from the bottom of the magneto PCB (it's pretty thin) and you won't be able to mount it flat on the carrier plate. Oh, and G on the plug stands for GND.
Anyways, let's move on. Ever noticed how the ArduCopter frame's GPS carrier plate and dome center come with two M3 screws, but *four* M3 nuts? Ever wondered why?
Mmmm. Bendy. Here it is with four nuts:
As i was about to put the dome and legs on my ArduCopter, i found another thing off. Can anyone spot what's wrong with this picture?
That's right, i can't plug the USB in the IMU. The standoff is in the way. I'm an idiot and have to unscrew everything again. Yay… Here's the wrong way to mount the APM/IMU sandwich (smack dab in the middle of the carrier plate on both axes):
… and here's the right way (moved one hole towards the front):
Oh, by the by, do not tighten the nuts on the upper carrier board. Leave them slightly loose. Why? So you can do this:
… when you want to take the upper board off (to access the APM/IMU). Unscrewing the standoffs is much easier than unscrewing the nuts, plus, it doesn't require any tools.
Speaking of tightening, careful with those plastic screws. They crack like eggshell. The moment it goes "crick" the first time, it's tight enough. Here's how, where and why they crack:
As you'd have probably guessed by now, i'm a heat-shrink tubing junkie. As far as i'm concerned, it's the best and most convenient thing since sliced bread. It makes mess not look like mess, it protects and isolates, it marks and identifies… I can never have too much of it.
Or can i?
Turns out i can. Because it also makes cables rigid. Which leads me to the first no-no of arducopter frame-building. This:
… seemed like a good idea at the time (bright yellow makes the battery cable easy to spot when i'm plugging/unplugging it in a hurry), but makes my life miserable every time i try to plug the battery in, because the heat-shrink tubing keeps trying to straighten the cable out when i want it to curve underneath the ArduCopter main plate. Re-heating it while keeping the cable curved helped somewhat, but in retrospect, it could've done without it.
On the other hand, here:
… the rigidness turned out to be useful, because it keeps the PDB<->RX connectors neatly grouped and packed together so i can unplug/plug them into the receiver all at once.
Finally, motor mount LED covers. I didn't get any with my ArduCopter frame kit. Because, apparently, they don't come with version 1.0 (despite there being a hole in the motormounts for the LED, which is kinda daft, but oh well).
So i've decided to make my own, with stuff i had lying around. Sawing isn't my thing, plus, i didn't have any scrap PCBs to saw. Plus, white and red LEDs shining through a green or yellow PCB? Yish.
I did, however, have this:
It's a plastic pad meant for furniture. Obviously, the two plugs are a nuisance and the whole thing is much wider than the motor mount, but otherwise, it looks like precisely the thing i need. So:
… from one came many. Well, two. The color makes for a somewhat jarring contrast on black arms, but hey - it does its job:
Coming up next: first flight (hopefully).