After having flown a little Hubsan quadcopter around for nearly a month, and all but destroying the first one, my second Hubsan X4 Quad lost control over some trees. Depending on where it fell, the area was possibly heavily wooded and on someone else’s property. Fortunately, after driving around the neighborhood, my wife was able to pick out the quadcopter’s bright blue lights shining in a small drainage ditch.
So what went wrong?
The controller I normally use was acting strange when turning (which I haven’t resolved yet), so I picked up the controller previously used on the smashed quad. Everything was working well until I dipped fairly low 50 feet away or so and lost communication.
Looking at the controller battery indicator, everything seemed to be as it should. Given the loss of control and the fact that I was using the older controller, Read more »
This little quad took a lot of damage, but a final trip into the asphalt finally did it in.
As I write this today, I am finally without a quadcopter that works correctly.* After another particularly brutal crash into asphalt, one of my motors seems to have seized up. I’ve ordered repair parts, as well as another little quadcopter, but I’ve started playing with the idea of actually building my own. Or at least a frame to house the internals from a store-bough model.
As I have a CNC router, I don’t think this would be out of the question, but drawing one up correctly would mean I need to understand how it works. After a bit of searching, I found this thread on “Aeroquad” which referred to several papers, including this one that seemed to make the most sense without interpreting the massive amount of equations.
I’d like to think I could still work the equations out, but engineering school was quite a few years ago. In my spare time at least, I prefer to experiment rather than carefully figuring things out. To this end, the figure found on page 39 on the referenced paper was quite helpful:
The rotational speed is proportional to the width of the arrows. The figure is from this PDF linked earlier. The “front” of this quad is set up differently than the Hubsan X4 (available from Amazon), in that the “front” would be rotated 45 degrees so that the two front props form a horizontal line. Although rotated, this shouldn’t affect the basic control concept. As I see it, there are 3 aspects to quadcopter control: Read more »
Before the contest is over, I wanted to announce here that I’m giving away one of the quadcopters that I’ve been talking about. I’ve reviewed it and repaired it on JCoPro.net, but this contest comes via my other site, DIYTripods.com.
You just have to subscribe and leave a comment per instructions on the contest page. It’s been a lot of fun flying this little guy, so I’d definitely encourage you to throw your name in!
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I recently turned an older Cannondale bicycle into a single speed (see this post). I’ve been really pleased with the results, but one thing that was missing was clipless pedals. The only problem was that I wanted to ride this bike with street shoes as well for various more casual situations.
Fortunately, there is a solution, called the “Mallet Pedal.” After I had nearly convinced myself to buy a pair of Mallet DH Pedals (Amazon) because they look awesome (but cost more than I got the bike for), a coworker told me he had an old pair of “normal” Mallet pedals that he didn’t need. They were a bit worn, (as he told me), so I decided to give them the paint job seen above. Check out the slideshow after the “read more” link to see my progress taping ans spray painting these pedals. Read more »
Well there’s 50 bucks down the drain…
After crashing my Hubsan X4 quadcopter probably close to 50 times, one of the motor pods finally decided to snap off. I was disappointed at first, but then realized that it could possibly be fixed. That, and I could write a post about it.
To repair things, I first used some Gorilla Glue (Amazon) and a cheap clamp that I bought a while ago to secure things while it was drying.
The wiring was hanging outside of the plastic piece, so I stuffed it back into it’s indention beside the structural socket part on the bottom of the arm as best I could. A tiny flathead screwdriver can help with this. You may also have to stuff the wiring back in at the bottom of the pod if it’s been pulled out. Once this is done, you can align the socket and snap the leg back into place.
As an aside, if you think this quadrotor breaks easily, here’s a guy crashing his Hubsan X4 (Available from Amazon). It takes this minor abuse quite easily, but I’ve crashed it much harder, so eventually it does break. I don’t think a large ‘copter would survive nearly as much abuse.
Once the arm is set into place, I applied some Gorilla Glue where the fracture actually happened. This method worked OK, and survived a crash or two, but after some thought I finally came up with an attachment method that held up quite well: Read more »