First Parts Arrive From China for New Bird

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Monday, February 17th, 2014
Categories: Build LogMultirotor AircraftRandom

It has begun.  The first box of hexacopter parts from China has arrived.  Inside are six motors, six electronic speed controls (they control the speed of the motors), and a power distribution board to get power to said items.  The board even has some lights.  Cool.

I’m waiting now on the frame, a foldable 960 frame which is 1000mm in diameter.  That’s 3.2 feet wide for those of you who aren’t hip with the metric system.  3.2 FEET.  With the heli’s propellors the total width will be over four feet wide.

Also waiting on landing gear, battery mounts and the flight controller.  Ordered the flight controller today.  I picked one which is almost 2x the cost of the most popular brand, DJI, because of reviews I’ve read and comments about how stable the flight is.  The flight controller is from XAircraft America.

I’ve spent quite a bit of dough so far.  In fact, I’m just about dead broke now.  I may not be able to order any  more parts until I can rake in a little extra cash.  But the current parts list will give me plenty to work on.

Still deciding on a transmitter, having almost pulled the trigger on several units in the last three days.  They can go from $50 to $6,000.  The ones most suited for what I’m doing are $60-$400.  If I get the one I want, it will run about $400, plus I need to dump another $200 in sensors into the copter.  I can then have altitude, airspeed, direction, temperature, rotor RPM’s, battery voltage and all sorts of other cool “live” data coming back to my transmitter and displaying on its screen.

For some perspective, the motors alone for this mega-copter cost more than my entire DJI Phantom did.  Ouch.  That reminds, me… I need to put a bunch of old gear on ebay so I can raise the rest of the money for this beast.

Gimbal Problems

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Monday, February 17th, 2014
Categories: Aerial ImageryCamera GimbalPhotographyRandomVideo

Frustrating few days.  In attempting to increase my functions and capabilities to include tilt/roll of my gimbal (meaning it could point forward or I could rotate it 90 degrees to do straight down shooting) I screwed up the settings it came with.  First time I plugged it in it nearly bounced off the table top having seizures which would make the worst epileptic look healthy.

I’ve been learning the software which controls the gimbal, SimpleBGC, and slowly working the unit back to functionality.  So far I have two of the three axes working, but the yaw axis (where the camera follows the direction the bird is pointing) is reacting very slowly.

Very frustrating, but I’m learning so much each time I go through these experiences.


New Bird Coming – Going to Take a While

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Categories: Multirotor Aircraft

Tarot T960 Hexacopter

Tarot T960 Hexacopter – Heavy lifting multirotor for aerial video/photos

I’ve pulled the trigger. A new path has been chosen. I’m about to build my first bird. My Phantom has been great, but I need more stability and the ability to carry heavier loads, as in bigger cameras.

I’m building a 960 frame hexacopter called a Tarot T960. With the proper setup this unit should be able to carry a full DSLR camera, and will easily carry smaller mirror-less cameras etc.  The size of this unit is going to be 3-4 times my Phantom.

I’ve ordered the skeleton frame, landing gear, battery mounts, gimbal mount from China. Its Chinese New Year so I’m not sure when the stuff will arrive. I’m still in the process of choosing the electronics, motors, navigation system, GPS, batteries, remote and all that.  I’m also still trying to figure out where the money for all that stuff is going to come from.

This build will take months due to the time and the expense. This is not going to be cheap.

I’m very excited and can’t wait to get going.

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