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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video Docs  CineStar 6 | New AP rig
09-11-2011 10:26 PM  6 years agoPost 1
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I took a hiatus from Rotor based craft for a few years. Life stepped in during my Helicopter tenure (Vario gassers / Raptor .50's / Scale builds, etc.) - so I took a 6 month break.

When time allowed me to resume, I sold the Helicopter gear and went into the Airplane route. It wasn't just the normal airplane stuff though, I was interested in autonomous flight. I purchased a couple of ATTO Pilots and some RVOSD units. That worked for a while to keep my interest, but I was never fully successful in my endeavours. The problem I had was that I wanted too many elements of technology; this created weight issues, RFI issues, and general "random" glitching. Frustrated, I sold most everything I had.

Fast forwarding to a couple of days ago and growing a wild hair in my ass, I decided to Google some multi-rotor platforms. Come Saturday, I plunked down some cash and now will be in the process of building my CineStar 6 from Quadrocopter.us!

The endeavours I have never been able to truely meet was AP. I plan on purchasing a Panasonic GH2 or equivelent size for some HD video and stills.

I will be using the MK based electronics. Flori from Quadrocopter.us will be shipping everything out here tomorrow or the next day. Hopefully, I have everything by the end of the week so I can start the build process.

Here are the extras I purchased with the CineStar 6:

Pro Mount 130:

MK GPS:

Navi-Ctrl:

DX8 System with AR8000 + TM1000:

Xbee P&P Modems:

Additional 6s Battery:

Hyperion charger:

Bare GoProHD Camera:

GoProHD A/V Drive:

FPV Ultimate FPV Starter Package:

I am excited..

Mike

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09-12-2011 01:50 AM  6 years agoPost 2
seattle_helo

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Seattle, WA USA

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Great stuff. Please keep us posted with the build and setup.

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09-12-2011 03:27 AM  6 years agoPost 3
Eroto

rrApprentice

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What was the total on all that?

fly adrenalin. if it AINT broken DON'T fix.

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09-12-2011 03:31 AM  6 years agoPost 4
tott

rrApprentice

Maui Hawaii

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......

Welcome back and congrats on the new build....

Keep us posted...

JASON

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09-13-2011 05:12 AM  6 years agoPost 5
Red-Rx7

rrApprentice

Olathe, KS - USA

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Spoke to Adam at Quadrocopter.us today; it ships out tomorrow morning through USPS. Hopefully I get it this week! It is going to be close. Nothing worse than having it delivered on the Monday following this weekend, pondering about the 1 day miss.

Thanks,
Mike

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09-17-2011 11:10 PM  6 years agoPost 6
tott

rrApprentice

Maui Hawaii

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....

Did it make it to you ????

Keep us posted.

MAHALO,
JASON

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09-18-2011 10:11 PM  6 years agoPost 7
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I received the kit on Thursday while I was in AZ on business. I started working on it late Friday. As with all complex orders (and my luck) a few small pieces were missing. In speaking with Adam at Quadrocopter.us, it makes sense why those parts were accidently swapped out.

One piece that is missing is actually halting the build process though; a 5 pin Molex connector and wire. I need to speak with Flori about that, but most likely will pick this piece up locally (unfortunately, only one company in the Kansas City area has it - and it isn't open on the weekends). I was REALLY hoping I could fly it while I was off of work yesterday and today; such is life though.

Friday, I was able to get the frame assembled and rewire the MK motors for 4mm bullet connectors (I only had male 3.5mm connectors, the female ones were accidently left out - Flori offered to send them ASAP, but I didn't want to wait. ). It doesn't sound like a lot was accomplished, but it sure took a few hours. Here are some pictures:

On Saturday, I installed the dampners and test fitted the power ring and flight control board. This is when I realized that the power ring didn't have a Molex connector pre-soldered to the board (nor did one come with the kit). The other missing part was the female bullet connectors that mount to the ESC boards. Flori and Adam offered to send it out when I spoke to them on Friday, but my intention was to have it flying by Saturday - so I just purchased the connectors locally at Castle Creations (.5 mile from my house); I then had to re-solder all connections and stuff. That took a LONG time.

From an electronics perspective, I have to solder the battery connections, 5 pin molex, and make a detachable LED harness (I plan on using an R/C Servo connector). Then the rest should be pretty much plug & play hook-up.

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09-19-2011 04:10 AM  6 years agoPost 8
Eroto

rrApprentice

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Yummy

The smell of brand new stuff

Wow!

fly adrenalin. if it AINT broken DON'T fix.

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09-26-2011 07:38 PM  6 years agoPost 9
tott

rrApprentice

Maui Hawaii

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........

Any updates......

I am excited to hear your feedback on this one....

Keep us posted.

JASON

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10-02-2011 05:47 AM  6 years agoPost 10
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Jason,

Sorry - I left this forum off. I have TONS of updates. I will start posting them in... Get ready for a bunch!

Mike

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10-02-2011 05:48 AM  6 years agoPost 11
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Tonight I made a few steps forward, although there is still a bit to go. Soldering was the theme once again, this time being a tad more challenging.

http://www.Quadrocopter.us had overnighted me the missing 5 pin Molex and cable. I had never soldered anything that small before, but put solder on the pad, placed flux on each pin, and a dab on the soldering iron. It seemed to work out ok.

After the Molex connector was secure, I then moved to make the disconnect wires for the DX8 satellite receiver and Buzzer. I placed the wire around the boom clamps, extending out the back side of the frame. My plan is to put the Rx on the rear boom.

I also plan on putting the Buzzer on the very tip (near the motor) on the rear boom. I took apart a standard RC connector and wired it just past the frame was well. The concept here is that the other side of the buzzer wire will have a female connector where it will be attached and stuffed in the tube.

I also did some test fitting; tight squeeze!

Finally, I was able to solder the battery connections to the power distribution ring. I then spent the next 45 minutes with my volt meter checking each spot to ensure my sloppy soldering didn't goof something up....

Here are some pictures:

Tomorrow, I plan on wiring up the LED lights. Then I can build the rest of the frame and stack, along with mounting the XBee and GPS unit.

Mike

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10-02-2011 05:50 AM  6 years agoPost 12
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

As Dr. Frederick Frankenstein once said, "Alive! It's alive! It's alive!" ... not quite flying, but the electroncis check out with the MKTool with no errors!

Since the last update I have been doing a bunch of wiring. I wanted this thing to be portable, so every connection has a disconnect of some sort. At this stage, here is what is left:

- Mount lights on the boom (bad blue lights, Quadrocopter.us sending me new)
- Mount GPS on the boom
- Extend the GPS wire so it will reach the NaviCtrl
- Screw in battery tray mount
- Install velcrow for the battery tray
- Prop balancing / Final boom mounts.

Most of this would have been done tonight, but for some reason (my luck), the blue LED lights were bad. The red ones powered up just fine, but the blue were DOA. I called up to Quadrocopter, spoke to Karsten - as always with great Customer Service I was taken care of. In the mail will be some new lights.

** Side note : Quadrocopter has been extremely helpful with their customer service with me. This has really given me confidence with the build and moving forward with the MK electronics. As mentioned in the thread, sure - a few nuts & bolts were missing from the kit - but Quadrocopter overnighted me the missing parts! I cannot thank Karsten / Adam / Flori enough for taking my calls at odd hours. **

After I had all of the base electronics and wiring done, I had to build the MK USB board. I think my soldering skills are finally up to par (yes, a tad late - but hey!). I was very reluctant plugging everything in (I went through with a volt meter and checked almost every connection), but went ahead and did... Success! The only thing on the MK Tool was that the compass needed to be calibrated (as expected). I went ahead and updated to the Hexa version and validated I had green boxes for the parts plugged in.

Anyhow, here are some pictures:

Thanks,
Mike

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10-02-2011 05:51 AM  6 years agoPost 13
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Just got home from work; I was planning on building the legs and GPS mounts - essentially finishing up some parts.

Since I had success yesterday with the MKTool showing "GREEN", I decided to throw on the Xbee modems I purchased from Quadrocopter (P&P kit). I simply just plugged it in (no need to solder anything this time) and launched MKTools....

Success!

Quite to my amazement, it just works. I have played with Xbee and other data modems before, but I have never had instant unpackage - plug-in success before. Brings a smile to my face.

Here is a picture:

I need to extend the wiring of the Xbee connector. It will go on the boom opposite of the TM1000 (as seen in the picture above).

Ok, off to build some more.

Mike

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10-02-2011 05:52 AM  6 years agoPost 14
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Tonight I didn't get as far as I would have liked. I decided to watch some TV with the wife. I only had a couple of hours, to which I focused on extending the Xbee modem wires and GPS mount.

The Xbee modem wires were simple enough, but I had to dot the wires to remember which one was which, for there are three black and one red. The plan is to put the modem and antenna on the rear side (4 o'clock position) in the middle of the boom area.

I didn't realize the GPS shield had to be built the way it did; nothing like a free-standing puzzle pieces to be connected! I tried to solve the problem by using electrical tape, which made it easy to tape the frame together. Once it was mostly aligned, I was then able to solder the joints. It was an odd angle, and the solder joints weren't the best, unfortunately.

I test fitted the mount so I could measure the cable length to create. Yet, I am tired so I will do this part tomorrow.

Whats left?

- LED lights on boom
- Extend the GPS cable
- Attach each boom
- Balance the props & mount them
- Securely mount the GPS
- Mount the battery tray to the aluminum posts
- Fine tune the FlightCtrl software

Thanks,
Mike

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10-02-2011 05:53 AM  6 years agoPost 15
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I think I am ready for launch tomorrow!

Today was a busy day... I resumed where I left off last night, wrapping up the GPS unit on the boom. As mentioned yesterday, I needed to extend the GPS cord out. By this stage in the build, I started to run out of wire and I was being to lazy to run across town and buy more; I started cannibalizing old R/C vehicles for their goodies.

The GPS extension was easy enough, then I started doing stupid things. For one, I HATE heat shrink. I always seem to forget about it until right after I lift the soldering iron from two wires that required heat shrink before bonding. ;( It gets worse, I forgot to put the clear heat shrink on the boom a few times, causing me to have to take it all back out again. Here were my idiot mistakes today:

- Cut a whole piece of the clear heat shrink in the wrong direction; yeah - it isn't a sleve anymore, but rather a useless blanket.
- Realized I had my boom configuration backwards from my build; this required me to move my RX that I had already mounted and clear wrapped.
- Plug the XBee wire to the Tx in upside down (so here is the deal - the 5v wire is correct in either position, even the associated ground. But one of the black wires goes off one pole, thus not making it work).

After my self induced chaos, I was able to resume the wiring job. I built this Hexakopter with the disassembly ability in mind. Every wire to every piece of electronics is either a bullet connector or Servo Connector. I am sure I could have taken 12 hours off the build if I were to just hard-wired it.

I had to wire the LED lights and mount them. This was a pain as well, for I couldn't just do it; I had to test fit things 10 times - including build the landing gear parts.

Based on Mike80's recommendation, I also removed two O rings from the Gimble dampners.

Ok, pictures:

Here is a quick video - it is 120mb. I am too tired to edit it right now, maybe tomorrow.

http://home.comcast.net/~mhaun5/hex/quickvideo.AVI

Thanks,
Mike

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10-02-2011 05:55 AM  6 years agoPost 16
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Sorry - I have been playing too much! It was my son's birthday this weekend. We had the party, presents, cake, etc.

I have flown it twice now. The first was a maiden flight that lasted about 10 minutes. Wife took some video of that (she is a crappy photographer, just don't tell her I said that). The second flight I mounted the GoProHD on it and flew it around the back yard some. Below is the Youtube link... Please note - this is COMPLETELY unedited. You can see me start and stop the camera. One thing I did in this video (it is boring) is land and adjust the camera angle. I couldn't reach the knob on the DX8 with the pinch finger flying method.

Commenting on how it flew : it flew much easier than any R/C Helicopter I have ever flown! I haven't flown in over 2 years via R/C Helicopter, and it was pretty easy.

Turn down your volume as well.. Make sure to watch in 1080p

Watch at YouTube

Like I said, boring video - but you can watch it in 1080p HD. Around the 2:20 mark is when I move the camera down some to not see the boom. Notice in that segment you can occasionally see the boom for the automatic nick/tilt was in action by the MK electronics.

Mike

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10-02-2011 05:57 AM  6 years agoPost 17
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Here are a few pictures from the last few days of the build.

At this point, it was mostly just balancing the props and mounting the AV130 Camera mount. The prop balancing was frustrating, as the the blades all needed sanding (minor), but the hubs were out of balance. This took a lot of effort to get the hubs correct. I think I spent ~4 hours balancing these dang blades over two days.

Mounting the AV130 was super simple. In the middle of the camera mount plate, there are rows where you can put in the screws. On the top of the AV130 frame, the slots fit into the existing servo and large circle holes. At first glance when mating the two together, it looks like the plate is off-centered compared to the whole gimbel ... It is. This is because the gimble is off centered on the mount where the camera actually sits on the tray.

I used some parts I had laying around, which worked out well. I would suggest Adam or Flori buy these pieces of hardware and include them with the kit. For the top of the plate, I used Audacity Models (R/C Helicopoter manufacturer) dress washers (http://www.audacitymodels.com/product_p/aud1014.htm) to hold the M3x20 bolt. I then used three washers and 3 lock nuts. The pictures have the wrong hardware washers in them (I changed it before I used my final version); but you can see them in the mounted picture.

After I had the Base Y plate mounted to the Photographer AV130 mount, I then put a battery pack on the CineStar 6 and flipped it over (so the kopter was sitting on the battery). I then screwed in the plate to the dampners.

Mounting the Nick and Roll servos were easy enough, the lenght of the cables directly dictate which servo 1/2 that they go in - so you can't mess it up. After mounting everything, I went into the MKTools and set the Camera settings per the video on Quadrocopters website:

http://vimeo.com/27956849

Here is a video of the maiden flight (boring, yes - unedited, yes - wife tripping over her favorite flower pot to video tape me when she has no interest and get pissed off - priceless!):

Watch at YouTube

Mounting the GoProHD to the AV130 was pretty simple, but took some elbow grease. The Surf Board edition has a mount piece that is supposed to be mated inside the surf board (I guess you drill a hole in your board?); anyhow the flange almost fits the slots in the mount perfectly. Almost. I had to take a file and round the corners. Once I did this, it would slide into place nicely. I put a little strip of Velcrow on the bottom of the mount, and then cheaply (yeah, need to get better hardwar) sandwhiched with warshers to hold it in place securely (velcrow does fine, just wanted to be EXTRA sure).

Pictures:

Thanks,
Mike

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10-02-2011 05:58 AM  6 years agoPost 18
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

As it mostly sits in its final form, I went ahead and threw it on a scale.

With the 6200 mAH batter (that weighs 1 lb, 4.5 oz | 583 grams), GoProHD Camera (167 grams | 5.9 oz) & Mount (5.6 grams | .2 oz), and Photographer AV130 (410 grams | 14.46 oz), the CineStar 6 came in at 3408 grams or 7 lbs, 8.2 oz; stripped without those items it would be 2242 grams | 79 oz.

How is it on power? hahaha! I will have my wife video tape this next time, but I had it in a nice hover about 7' off the ground. I went full throttle - this thing shot up so dang fast it scared me.

My goal is to buy a Sony Nex-7 camera next month (expected to be about 415 grams); removing the GoProHD, it is a net add of about 240 grams or 8.45 oz.

I still have to add the downlink TX and battery, so I am guessing the total flight weight will increase from its current load about another 1 lb.

Mike

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10-02-2011 06:00 AM  6 years agoPost 19
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Couple of more stupid videos for you:

CineStar 6 acceleration at 7 lbs, 8.2 oz:

Watch at YouTube

Playing with Position Hold, then out of no-where a flock of Geese tried to kamikaze into my CineStar! GoProHD doens't record dusk / dark very well:

Watch at YouTube

Thanks,
Mike

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10-02-2011 06:00 AM  6 years agoPost 20
Red-Rx7rrApprentice - Olathe, KS - USA - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Ha! I had a HELL of a day today (good day).

Starting off the day, Quadrocopter came through - like they always have. The past few days, I have been having some issues getting the GPS PH / CH to work. After reviewing my entire build, I found I made a mistake - but a "known ignorance" one.

After I ordered the CineStar 6, I spoke to Adam on the phone about wiring everything up. In one of those conversations, he told me to take the 6 pin ribbon cable and ensure the red wire was on PIN #1. When I installed it all, I did that. Yet, when the cable was on that way it wouldn't power the GPS or NaviCTRL board. Thinking I misheard him, I flipped the connection over (where PIN#1 no longer had the red cable). Bingo - the GPS and Board popped up. Even better, the MKTools showed "no error" and had a fix on SATS, etc. I even went on Mikrokopter's wiki site and found a picture of the ribbon cable:

(Link here: http://gallery.mikrokopter.de/main....onnect.jpg.html)

(notice the red wire on the 6 pin cable is on the LEFT side; PIN#1 is on the RIGHT).

Yet two weird issues occued:

1) No Geiger counter on COMPASS calibration. Yet, it actually beeped at each DOWN Nick command and took the actual compass calibration. Inside the MKTools - it showed the correct headings.

2) When flipping between FREE mode and PH/CH - the buzzer would NOT beep.

After speaking with Quadrocopter again, they confirmed it should be on the right side. I did a few more tests (hooking servo extension cables block to block) and found the problem:

Stupid ribbon cable was causing a short!

As I originally started by saying, Quadrocopter came through once again; they overnighted me / Saturday delivery a new & tested ribbon cable.

This lead to a wonderful day of flying. Today, I was able to use Carefree for the first time, along with my first autonomous flights. I did the generated patters (circle and grid), along with a custom 4-5 point plot, following a POI fixed target. With the GoProHD, I have more than 10 gigs of video I need to process. I will be working on this tonight and posting up later the footage.

Finally, I went up to the local hobby store and purchased some Dubro foam airplane wheels. I drilled out the center hub to fit the M3 screws, then put them in the legs on the landing gear. This makes it much easier to have on the kitchen table (heh, wife got upset that the carbon fiber scratched our 4k dinning room table - bah, she will get over it!) - along with outside concrete take off & landings.

More to come...

Mike

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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video Docs  CineStar 6 | New AP rig
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