Saturday, September 25, 2010

Testing out War Paint

In the preparations to rebuild the plane, this time a painting test:

Aimed for maximal visibility, the winning combination seems to be: florescent "lemon yellow" with no primer on the hull and florescent "signal red" with primer on the wings.

Regardless of the primer, the paint sticks the same and can be peeled off with duct tape.

Equipment Testing - Controller v2

Time to test the controller board:

Interestingly enough, the frequency at which the beeper operates, is not exactly audible to a mobile phone microphone.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Controller Reborn

And now it's time to show off the finished controller board v2:

A few correction of beginners mistakes later (it was literally designed to small for a few connections to function correctly), completed with a weight of 12.88 g. That's 3.5 times lighter and includes upgrades, such as, a beeper to signal who is control and a dip switch for manual overriding of control channels for testing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Equipment Testing - Demodulator v2

After hacking an USB to COM converter cable, so it interfaces to the new demodulator board:

It was time to test it out:

Trusty FlightGear to help us out with this task and the setup works quite nicely.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Demodulator Reborn

First one of the boards completed:

Stacked against the old one for size (no, the two part "construction" is not by design). The new one weighing exactly 5.43 g is 9 times lighter and way way smaller, which will hopefully bring stabler flights in the future.

Ceremonial Cutting of the Board

So, the big slab of integrated circuits from China have been cut:

To show them up against the previous version for size:

The weight savings on the boards alone is worth the trouble.

Monday, September 06, 2010

It's Over 9000

As the title conveniently trough a pop culture reference* suggest, we'll be talking about power.

Engine power that is. The question was, how much power does the used EMAX BL2210/25 engine consume. So a measuring contraption was built:

And after much fun fiddling with it, this is the result:

As expected, almost linear ratio between output power and consumption. Almost linear because the measurements themselves weren't perfect, since they needed to be interupted for the engine to cool off (no flight, no airflow).

* look up Dragon Ball Z.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Future has Arrived

And it has done so all the way from China:

This package contained nothing less than the redesigned boards, professional made to order:

Dual layer printed circuit boards, 0.6mm thick, with black coating and red silkscreen (which is visible under the sun, but not so much indoors). Obviously we ordered some excess boards for redundancy and cost savings.

But from idea to a delivered product in less then two weeks (would be way less if some beginner mistakes were avoided), ordered from PCBCORE and totally worth it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Adjusting the View

One annoyance with using the camera on the mobile phone to take pictures from the plane was lack of perspective due to narrow angle of the lens.

Arriving today, a fix for that:

A 180° wide angle "fish eye" lens for mobile phones.

First impressions:

A proper mount and some zoom magic and the end result should be respectable or at least interesting.