This weekend’s project has been to change my 680mm Alien quadcopter frame to a different one in hopes the different frame is better engineered. I wasn’t very happy with the design of the old frame and the quad flew very poorly in my opinion because of the way the weight was distributed more toward the front and rear of the UAV. The concept of the old one was cool, to get the camera more front, but the mass of the battery had to be put way in the back. This made flying it in anything other than dead calm a teeter totter ride.
The process required ripping the old Alien quad apart and moving all the components/wiring/electronics to the new frame. That took a couple of partial days to do. Much of the wiring was custom cut and soldered, so that had to be undone.
The new version is lighter so far. I’ve decided that though it is cool, I’m not going to put the old retractable landing gear on the new frame. The new frame came with some very cheap, but super light gear. That gear also has some finger nuts which allow it to be take off and put back on very easily. That’s part of the point of this bird, to be able to compact it down to something easy to transport in a backpack or on an airplane etc. I will be weighing both sets of gear to make a note of the difference in grams.
Today’s maiden flight was a success! IT FLIES. Too windy to do much else other than launch it a few feet. It was very squirrely due to being lighter and the wind conditions. The gains are set for a heavier load.
Now that I know it flies, I’ll be taking it into the shop again to install the camera gear. I’ll be putting the old FPV (first person view) camera setup on it, along with a 3-Axis brushless GoPro gimbal. Hopefully by the time I get that stuff installed the wind will have calmed and I can do more test flying later today.