Mr.RC-Cam

3D Printed DJI Inspired Quadcopter

86 posts in this topic

No problem, I can offer advice. Do not proceed unless you have strong Arduino and electronic ckt building experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, to get strong experiences with something, you have to start with your first project. I think, this will be my first arduino project. And it doesn't matter, if I will burn up one or two or maybe three boards (or more) by mistakes I made. But I will learn from these mistakes.

To my person: I am 47 years old (so, I am not a little by with a soldering kit in my hands). I have strong experiences in raspberry pi, coding and mechanics. All my dji inspire parts are printed out, the mechanics are ready, eclectronic parts are bought, only the arduino board ist waiting for me.

I got the right tools, the right place and the will, to do this project and finish it up with success.

All I need are a view answers from you regarding your schemata.

First of all: In your schemata PDF you shows the ardruino boad, numbered the pins from 1 to 34 ccw, but this doesn' t correspondent to the pin numbering of my arduino (I use this on here: ebay arduino mini pro) And I can't see in your schemata what's the upside and what's the downside of the board. If you can explain this to me, I think, this will be the first push in the right direction. May you think, you can give this push?

Best regards,

Maddog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I got the right tools, the right place and the will, to do this project and finish it up with success.

Let's do it! But there is a price to ride this pony. :) You must promise to come back here and publish your build instructions for others to follow.

 

Quote

In your schemata PDF you shows the ardruino boad, numbered the pins from 1 to 34 ccw, but this doesn' t correspondent to the pin numbering of my arduino (I use this on here: ebay arduino mini pro)

I looked at your Arduino information and do not see the silkscreen that identifies the pads. So for reference here is the Arduino Pro Mini layout that matches the one I used:

arduinopromini.png


The upper left corner on the schematic corresponds to the upper left corner on my Arduino board. For example, schematic Pin-5 (CH1) is Arduino Pin D2.

For additional pin ID information please review the def.h file in the sketch zip file set; It shows the actual digital & analog pin names used by the Arduino IDE along with their signal names used in the schematic.

 

Quote

And I can't see in your schemata what's the upside and what's the downside of the board.

The schematic's Arduino block shows the module's physical pin layout from the top side. Like this:

arduino_pinout1_1000.jpg

 

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mr. RC-Cam,

first of all: Many thanxs for your informations regarding about my used arduino.

I will go further on, but at the moment there are too much work at work, so i can't find the time to do anything for this project :-(

But I will, as i promised, do the documentation about the electronic building. I think, it will be make sense, if I do this in english an german, couse I think, here in Germany are also many people which will try to manage this project.

Cu,

Maddog

 

Edited by Maddog0511

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RC-Cam,

I am gong blind reading all the info on this project!  Thank you for condensing your build on this page its VERY helpful.  After reading all the posts I decided to buy a Prusa i3 and get going on this.

I am looking to duplicate your hardware setup as its almost exactly what I was looking to do.  I was very interested in Arduino for a few different projects and I think this maybe enough of a push to get into it.  Are you still active in this project?

The electrical connections seem somewhat straight forward, I do not have any interest in using the hall sensors, and my hold up would be the arduino programming.  It seems like that may have killed the last 2 that said they would help with this project!  Could you provide this to me so I can have a look at it?  If it makes sense I will document the steps for people like myself...good enough to be dangerous.  And as far as the steps I am talking about newbe issues with selecting the print plans, printing, buying the parts, what receiver and transmitters to use, getting it all working on a workbench, getting it into the quad, and lastly the Arduino add on.  Nothing has been stated about the required receiver channels and hooking these to the Arduino.  The LEDs seem fairly simple but triggering this from sensors and coupling the retraction I do not know how to do yet.  I would also want to put in some simple variables so the height of up and down have a span between them and be adjustable etc.  From what I have seen of the programing so far this would be easy to define at the start of the code.

The build will start in 7 weeks, I expect to get all of this done will take me 3 months or so.  This is not considering any parts I may need from China as the build progresses.

It would be interesting to make this universal for RC Planes etc.

 

Thank you,

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind, did not realize you posted the code, looking at it now.  If I can get this working I will document the process.  Its more than I expected but you have documented it quite well. I will need to see this in action to fully understand it.

Thanks

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I was very interested in Arduino for a few different projects and I think this maybe enough of a push to get into it.  Are you still active in this project?

This project was finished back in 2015:  No new activity since then.

It is challenging and rewarding to build. However, it is a fragile model and not suitable as a everyday flyer. Cost is high, requires over a hundred hours of printer time, and many more hours of assembly. It is suitable for someone that has already mastered configuring/flying traditional R/C Quads. It is also helpful to have a prior 3D printer experience.

If my Arduino based retract controller is used then C coding and electronic hardware experience would be needed too. Otherwise, skip the Arduino and use the simple diode based limit switch solution instead.
 

Quote

It would be interesting to make this universal for RC Planes etc.

The Arduino controller firmware is very sophisticated and should be suitable for planes too. Extra effort was made so that it would be a universal R/C retract & LED controller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol challenging to build that seems like an understatement given where this began.  The thread on this was impressive.  Does not look nearly as bad now you have all figured out the kinks.   You are right though its expensive.

Given the cost of 3D printers now I am surprised you do not get more traffic on this topic.

I just bought all the parts to mock up the ardunio setup, I think it will be a little more than I can handle but given you have created the template I am hopeful I can get it somewhat working.  I also ordered a distance sensor with more range to it, when checking out the spec sheets I was surprised that the voltage vs distance is not linear and the drop off when it reaches its lower limit.  The one you used has a the same profile.  Need to check your code to see how you handled that, its not what I expected or the sensor maybe capped before this point.  Also seems like it will not tolerate much side to side motion.  I did see you are averaging the sensor input.  How well did this work in reality?  And did you just use the auto to put the gear down and not up?  And why did you include a servo spare, front and back wheels?

As far as background I have never programmed anything, 3D printed anything, or flown anything lol.  Biochemist by trade so I have blown stuff up!  I have worked with some electronics, set up a home brew stand with a few PIDs, gas valves, temp probes, and pumps.  I can follow your code each piece is intuitive enough, would not be able to write it from scratch though!

Bottom line is this is one of the most impressive projects I have seen in a long time.  While I know it is advanced it also covers most aspects of RC builds that I would like to learn/master.  If you do not feel like answering questions or discussing the build anymore I will understand, no issues there.  If you still see value in a layman's guide I can put something together if I get it working.  Bottom line is you did an amazing job with this.

IRSensor-3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I did see you are averaging the sensor input.  How well did this work in reality?

Worked well for me. But if you run into issues then keep in mind that you can change the code to meet your needs.

BTW, after using the auto retract feature for awhile I found I preferred manual control (without auto retract). But everyone is different, so the feature is there for those that want it. The config.h file allows you to choose how the retracts are handled by the assigned radio switch.

 

Quote

And did you just use the auto to put the gear down and not up?

It does both directions. If this is not desirable then feel free to tweak the code.

 

Quote

And why did you include a servo spare, front and back wheels?

The PPM Servo Out port is for model airplanes that have official Retract Servos (a special kind of R/C servo). It could also be used with a Continuous rotation servo (a standard servo with the feedback pot removed). These two servo choices were not used in my Inspire installation. As documented, I customized a R/C servo by hacking it with a H-Bridge Amp to drive the motor.

 

Quote

If you still see value in a layman's guide I can put something together if I get it working.  Bottom line is you did an amazing job with this.

A layman's build guide would be great. Thanks for the kind feedback.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomas,

I had time to dig into this a little more today.  The more I look at the code the more impressed I am and now understand how you made this more universal via the config section.  I took a good look at the wiring schematics and had some dumb questions that I hope you can help with:

-The 4 leds next to the motors operate in the same way from one LED driver board? 

-PPM sum is the mode in which the receiver communicates to the arduino board?  Otherwise you used 2 channels from the receiver to operate the arduino?  This would indicate a 6 channel receiver is a minimum requirement?

-Nav lights are turned on and off by the receiver signal however what they do after that is based in the code?

-Limit 1 and 2 are connected to the limit switches?

-MTL and R are connected to the motor driver board and the code as is is set up for this and not a servo with a POT attached?

-The servo stop value is still required to stop creep even when the a motor driver board is used?

-Why do the inputs require 5V?

-Did you run 2 rails or distributions for power?  It seems like the ECUs, LED driver boards and motor driver board would need to be hooked up to a high amp distribution block and the rest could be slimmed down with a much smaller gauge wire

-Same question for the grounds, did everything just go back to the battery negative?  I saw you used some noise reduction on the motor did you need to do anything similar elsewhere?

Sorry for the dumb questions this learning curve is steep.  While I can track the schematic the practical application of it is something I do not have much experience in.

And a totally different question, why flash the ECUs?  What does this change or help?  Is this still a concern or has the code been improved since you wrote this?

Thank you,

Si

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Quote

The 4 leds next to the motors operate in the same way from one LED driver board? 

All four Nav lights are wired in series and operated from one LED driver board. The Strobe/Landing light is two series connected LEDs that are  operated from another LED driver. Both boards are powered from the model's 4S LiPO battery.

 

Quote

PPM sum is the mode in which the receiver communicates to the arduino board?  Otherwise you used 2 channels from the receiver to operate the arduino? 

You can use either connection method. But PPM-Sum is the modern way to do it.

 

Quote

This would indicate a 6 channel receiver is a minimum requirement?

I suggest a 8+ channel R/C system. For example, you need 4 channels for throttle/pitch/roll/yaw, 1 channel for flight modes, 1 channel for retracts, and usually a couple more channels for OSD or Gimbal operation.

 

Quote

Nav lights are turned on and off by the receiver signal however what they do after that is based in the code?

Although the hardware will support R/C control of the lights, and was considered, I didn't need it so it is not included in the existing firmware. The good news is that the interrupt driven PPM decoding for a second control channel is already being done for you. So remote on/off of the LEDs is possible, but you'll need to add this functionality if you need it.

 

Quote

Limit 1 and 2 are connected to the limit switches?

Correct.

 

Quote

MTL and R are connected to the motor driver board and the code as is is set up for this and not a servo with a POT attached?

Correct.

 

Quote

The servo stop value is still required to stop creep even when the a motor driver board is used?

The Servo Stop value is ignored when using the Motor Driver board.

 

Quote

Why do the inputs require 5V ?

The 3-pin connectors on R/C receivers have Ground, 5V, Signal. That is why these signals are shown on the schematic at the J2 & J4 servo plug connections.

 

Quote

Did you run 2 rails or distributions for power?  It seems like the ECUs, LED driver boards and motor driver board would need to be hooked up to a high amp distribution block and the rest could be slimmed down with a much smaller gauge wire. Same question for the grounds, did everything just go back to the battery negative?  I saw you used some noise reduction on the motor did you need to do anything similar elsewhere?

5V power for the R/C Receiver and Arduino is provided by the BEC feature from one of the ESCs (the other 3 ESCs' BEC outputs are unused). ESC (x4), Retract Motor Driver, and LED Drivers (x2) are connected to the PDB, which is powered by the 4S flight battery. All grounds are "STAR" connected to the PDB, which serves as a power hub. Power to the 5.8GHz FPV gear is 12V regulated and includes a LC filter to ensure clean video.

 

Quote

And a totally different question, why flash the ECUs?  What does this change or help?  Is this still a concern or has the code been improved since you wrote this?

The ESC's I selected had the dimensions and electrical specs that I needed. But they did not have BLHeli firmware in them, so I had to flash it myself.

Some ESC's have BLHeli loaded in them by the factory; BLHeli is very popular for Helicopters & "Drones" due to its optimized performance (versus a common airplane ESC).

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam
Added BLHeli info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now