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I'm getting about 4.5 to 5.0 minutes run-time with a mix of speed and hovering. This time is based on an end-of-flight hover discharge voltage of 3.4V/cell. So it does not take long to burn through my two packs.

I had a couple unused Zippy 2S 800mA 20C packs sitting in the factory box for the last year. As luck would have it they are an exact fit in the Rodeo's tiny battery area. A few minutes with a soldering iron was all it took to add a EC2 connector and configure the leads for the Rodeo. Here's what needs to be done:

zippy_bat_mod1_800.jpg

Run time is the same as my stock Walkera 850mAH batteries. End of flight pack temperature feels similar too. Not bad for a $5USD battery and $1USD EC2 connector.

Parts List / Supplier:
Zippy 2S 800mAH 20C battery: HobbyKing
EC2 Connector (5 sets): HobbyKing
EC2 Connector (5 sets) : eBay

The stock Rodeo pack is advertised as 30C but the part number printed on it says it is actually 25C. Before anyone gets their undies in a bunch, the Zippy's 20C continuous discharge rating (30C Burst) is a good match for the little Rodeo.

EDIT: Another Rodeo owner has discovered that the Zippy 2S 850mAH 35C battery fits the Rodeo.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__25506__ZIPPY_Compact_850mAh_2S_35C_Lipo_Pack.html
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=35189991&postcount=106

Lastly, if you don't like soldering EC2 connectors then try out the new XT30 instead.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__65440__XT30_Power_Connectors_for_30A_Continuous_Applications_5_Pairs_.html

 

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam
Added zippy 850 links
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What frequencies does the video TX use? I'm tempted to get one to play with if it will work with my existing receivers.

 

Thanks, Terry 

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What frequencies does the video TX use? I'm tempted to get one to play with if it will work with my existing receivers.

It uses the "Chinese" frequencies (5733MHz, 5752MHz, 5771MHz, etc). Compatible receivers are about $30 (diversity versions are under $60). Here's what I'm using with an Oracle diveristy setup:
http://www.banggood.com/Boscam-RC58-40CH-40CH-5_8G-Wireless-AV-Receiver-with-LED-Digital-Display-p-1025267.html

 

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Ah OK. Thats me out, I like all of my gear to be interchangeable. I have a mini quad with a broken frame so making a new frame with somewhere to put the camera and TX may be a better option. Thanks for the info.

 

Terry

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Sliding on the Rodeo's battery cover can be a bit frustrating. Most of the time the battery leads get in the way and put up a fight. Especially with my DiY packs. So I put an end to the madness by creating a custom 3D printed cover.

Here's what it looks like (3D rendering):
battery_cover_3D_1_800.jpg

 

It's a two piece print (bottom cap and frame) that snaps together. It was printed with ABS then the two pieces were solvent welded together with acetone. Be sure to firmly snap / press the parts together (so all joints are tight) BEFORE the solvent has a chance to dry!
battery_cover_assy_1_800.jpg

 

Here's the STL files:
battery_cvr_cap1.stl
battery_cvr_frame1.stl

I recommend printing with ABS, 35% infill, NO supports. Be sure to rescale to account for shrinkage (I use 101% on my ABS parts).

There's a snap-off support already included in the frame's STL file. Be sure to remove it after printing.
battery_cover_frame_sup1_800.jpg

 

The 3D printed part's weight is 4.2 grams.
battery_cover_compare_1_800.jpg

 

There's an "air scoop" opening in the front to aid cooling:
battery_cover_bot_view1_800.jpg

 

The bottom has a large opening to help keep the pack cool too:
battery_cover_bot_view2_800.jpg
 

The new battery cover slides on just like the original without any of the fuss that I get with the original. The spring loaded lock is functional too.
battery_cover_bot_view3_800.jpg

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That battery cover is one of the best rodeo mods I have seen.:D

 

Are you going to do a write up on your led mod ? As I would like to know where your got the signal from and how you enabled it in cleanflight?

 

Zero

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The signal for the addressable RGB LED strip is the yellow wire in this Rodeo 150 flight controller photo (ignore the red and white OSD wires):

mod_wire1_1000.jpg


Configuring the LED's in Cleanflight follows the standard procedure. Nothing special is required.

 

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very excellent work on the Rodeo!

I've had mine for ~4 weeks, 2 weeks out of action after breaking the VTX on an upside down crash.... 

I sent your STL file for the 808 keychain cam mount to a friend with a 3D printer.  Are you happy with the angle of yours, looks like a bit more up angle would be better?  Maybe I can get him to mod it... 

Last night I ordered 3D printed extended battery covers off Ebay, wish I had seen this site first I would have also sent my bud your stl file for that :)  http://www.ebay.com/itm/2X-Walkera-Rodeo-F150-Extended-Battery-Cover-For-Taller-Battery-3D-Printed-Parts-/182275251343?hash=item2a70739c8f:g:foEAAOSwIgNXqyYO&rmvSB=true

Only mods to mine are replaced cam with the banggood one (measured 110degree HFOV vs 84 degree stock cam), reinforced top fuse cover to resist cracking and breaking VTX, and a few holes drilled in main fuse just above the tips of the rear props, which with the little rubber VTX cover open should get some cooling air around the VTX and Rx.

Here's some video off a HMDVR on my Headplays.   Quality is pretty bad, I think it's set for "HD" PAL so I'll try switching it to NTSC and see if there's any improvement.  But really looking forward to getting your mount printed for 720p footage from an 808 cam.

cheers!

Kurt

 

 

 

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I sent your STL file for the 808 keychain cam mount to a friend with a 3D printer.  Are you happy with the angle of yours, looks like a bit more up angle would be better?

The angle on the 808 camera mount is ideal for FPV exploring but will be too shallow for serious high speed racing. The plastic mount is easy to file/trim, so you may be able to tweak it with a knife to change the angle. If that does not solve it then have your friend mod the STL file to provide the angle you need.

Quote

Last night I ordered 3D printed extended battery covers off Ebay, wish I had seen this site first I would have also sent my bud your stl file for that

You'll want to add some cooling holes to the eBay cover.

Quote

Here's some video off a HMDVR on my Headplays.   Quality is pretty bad ...

The image quality from your HMDVR is as good as it can provide. NTSC/PAL video is boorish on its own, but the HMDVR further reduces the resolution a little bit more too. For sure, your 808 camera will look much nicer.

 

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Devo 7 Battery Update:

The short life of the Rodeo's Devo 7 Alkaline battery pack was a hassle. But not any longer because the NiMH rechargeable battery pack upgrade has fixed this. The combination VReg mod and high capacity (2500mAH) NiMH AA cells has been fantastic. Long story short, I seldom have to charge the Devo 7 radio.

I discussed the NiMH battery & Vreg mod here: http://www.rc-cam.com/forum/index.php?/topic/4100-walkera-rodeo-150-racer-drone/&do=findComment&comment=28592

I could have used a LiPO pack, which is a popular solution. But I like to charge without removing the battery (a recommended safety practice with LiPOs). Plus I did not want to lose the Devo's low voltage warning and auto-shut down features, which are not compatible with LiPO cell voltages. So in the end the NiMH choice was ideal for me.

The only remaining goofy thing was the long NiMH charge times. With a regulated 12V supply the Devo 7 charge current is about 35mA. That means a depleted 2500mAH pack would take three days to fully charge!  But that can be fixed in a few minutes.

The Devo 7 charge circuit is based on a simple bare-bones "constant voltage" design that uses a resistor for limiting charge current. The constant voltage is from an external voltage regulated 12VDC wall adapter (wall wart). The current limit resistor is inside the Devo 7, as shown in the photo below.

bat_chrg_res1_1000.jpg

 

For higher charge current (shorter charge time) the stock 51 ohm resistor value can be decreased. My goal was to have an end-of-charge current close to 50mA so I could leave the charger connected for extended time without harming the pack. This is a standard C/50 float charge for my 2500mAH pack. But I wanted much higher current at the start of recharging the discharged pack.

A good compromise was found by soldering a 10 ohm 1W resistor in parallel with the existing resistor. Cost is under $1 USD. See photo for installation details:

bat_chrg_res2_1000.jpg

 

The 10 ohm resistor provides about 125mA initial charge current and close to 45mA during maintenance float charging. For higher currents the resistor would need to be reduced a bit more. Don't ask me what resistor you'll need for a different current -- use your ammeter and determine the resistor value that is best for your needs.

So what's this all mean? After flying all afternoon I connect up the 12V wall wart and in the morning the NiMH pack is fully charged. I don't have to worry about removing the Devo 7 from the charger since the float charge is a safe C/50 rate.

But if the pack is allowed to fully discharged then a full charge takes about a day. The only time that would happen is if I accidentally left the Devo radio turned on and drained the pack until the Devo did its auto-shut down trick. Of course that is something that will eventually happen to many of us; But no worries since NiMH cells can survive such inhumane abuse (unlike common LiPO packs because they can be impaired/damaged if cell voltage goes too low).

Another cheap mod provides more Walkera Rodeo 150 goodness.

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3 hours ago, Mr.RC-Cam said:

The angle on the 808 camera mount is ideal for FPV exploring but will be too shallow for serious high speed racing. The plastic mount is easy to file/trim, so you may be able to tweak it with a knife to change the angle. If that does not solve it then have your friend mod the STL file to provide the angle you need.

You'll want to add some cooling holes to the eBay cover.

The image quality from your HMDVR is as good as it can provide. NTSC/PAL video is boorish on its own, but the HMDVR further reduces the resolution a little bit more too. For sure, your 808 camera will look much nicer.

 

 

edit: can't figure out how to reply after your quote

meh don't plan on doing much FPV exploring with this little speed demon :)

Do you know the part's weight?   I'll ask him to put some more tilt in it (15 or 25 degrees), and maybe punch some lightening holes in the sides in the CAD design.

 

Haven't noticed the stock batteries coming down too hot, but some airflow won't hurt anything.

 

The recording from a Quanum Elite cam/VTX with the same DVR somehow looks better to my eyes, but it could be just a better camera and/or lens.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nurburgringer

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Do you know the part's weight?   I'll ask him to put some more tilt in it (15 or 25 degrees), and maybe punch some lightening holes in the sides in the CAD design.

ABS will be about 3g.

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Can someone please post the Cleanflight settings (particularly the PID settings) for the US version?  I connected to Cleanflight and somehow wiped mine out and don't have a clue what to set them back to.

Thanks in advance,

Steve

 

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Hi,

I've noticed that my Rodeo 150 has firmware version 1.13. Now, it is available version 1.14.1.

Is it save to upgrade firmware via cleanflight tool? Or maybe Walkera interfere to much in original cleanflight code, and it's better to not to update it. Could we say that we have SPRF3 board?  

I've also noticed that there is a small microphone on vTx in my Rodeo 150. But my Eachine EV800 goggles does not receive audio (there is posibillity that goggles are not working correctly, I haven't got any possibility to check on another equipment yet). Is there any way to turn on audio transmision or this vTx is only for video transmission?

Regards

gc 

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I've noticed that my Rodeo 150 has firmware version 1.13. Now, it is available version 1.14.1. Is it safe to upgrade firmware via cleanflight tool?

Version 1.14.1 is the latest stock Cleanflight code for **common** flight controllers. Rodeo's variant uses a custom version of Cleanflight (Walkera Version 0.1.3).

 

Quote

Or maybe Walkera interfere to much in original cleanflight code, and it's better to not to update it.

I have no idea what sort of trouble you may run into if you attempt to use the stock Cleanflight code. It may work on the Rodeo, but I suspect it will be a painful conversion. Keep in mind you might brick it!  If you try it out please come back and report about it.

 

Quote

Could we say that we have SPRF3 board?  

Yes, the Rodeo Flight Controller is based on a stripped down SPRF3.

 

Quote

Is there any way to turn on audio transmission or this vTx is only for video transmission?

The Rodeo vTx has audio. But because of either a bad engr decision or a design mistake the volume is insanely low.

I can hear a tiny bit of motor noise during flight only if I crank the monitor's audio level to maximum. Even then it is hard to hear and during periods of dropped video the highly amplified pop noise hammers eardrums.

It's low on my list of things to do, but one of these days I will open my Rodeo back up and fix their audio mistake. If the existing circuitry is missing the required audio amplifier then a mic like TinyMic should solve it.

 

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3 minutes ago, Mr.RC-Cam said:

I have no idea what sort of trouble you may run into if you attempt to use the stock Cleanflight code. It may work on the Rodeo, but I suspect it will be a painful conversion. Keep in mind you might brick it!  If you try it out please come back and report about it.
Yes, the Rodeo Flight Controller is based on a stripped down SPRF3.

I did the upgrade to 1.13 a while ago -- it just works. I did the Full-Erase option so I had to put back in all parameters, but that wasn't hard. I plan on upping it to 1.14.1 very soon.

I would suggest you to write down the standard settings for the Rodeo (I used a Youtube video from someone else) and then once upgraded you go pane by pane and make the appropriate changes in the configurator.

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I did the upgrade to 1.13 a while ago -- it just works. I did the Full-Erase option so I had to put back in all parameters, but that wasn't hard. I plan on upping it to 1.14.1 very soon.

Thanks for confirming the stock Cleanflight code was a painless upgrade.

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Hi again,

I am looking forward to hear some microphone project news. I think it would be nice upgrade. Just like in car, it is usefull to hear engine.

I've got another question. I have Devo 7 with firmware in version B. Do you know if the range signal 10mW against 100mW is caused only by firmware version, or there are some hardware differences? Do you know if it is possible to change version B to version A, with some soldering maybe? 

Do you know if Rodeo 150 is prepared for oneshot125 option? I've noticed in cleanflight this option. Does it change anything if I turn it on? I've read something about it, and I found that ESC must be prepared for oneshot "feature". Does Rodeo's ESCs are compatible? 

 

Edited by trach555

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My Devo7's firmware is V0.5A. The RF power is adjustable in the MODEL->AMPLI menu. For 100mW choose the +20 setting. If your Devo is missing this menu then I don't know the solution to changing RF power.

Sorry but I have not tried the oneshot setting. If you find it works then let us know.

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