2014-09-21

DIY drone - tutorial for developers | Part 3 - Ordering the parts

I used hobbyking.com but I am not affiliated with them in any way, you can take this as the baseline of stuff that work together

The order is very budget constrained but espect to spend at least $400-500 just on RC parts.

Frame




Hobbyking SK450 Glass Fiber Quadcopter Frame 450mm

Rationale : This is a pretty solid and standard frame.


Motors and their mounting kits




4x NTM Prop Drive Series 28-30S 900kv / 270w (short shaft version)
4x NTM Prop Drive 28 Series Accessory Pack
Rationale : you'll need something around 1000kv, that can lift between 1.5 and 2x the weight of the quadcopter.


Electronic Speed Controllers


... and something to program them (more like tuning them in reality)

Jargon:
ESC = Electronic Speed Controller
BEC = Battery Eliminator Circuit (This is included in this same device, I'll explain later what it exactly means)



4x TURNIGY Plush 30amp Speed Controller
1x TURNIGY BESC Programming Card

Rationale: this is a slightly overkill (30A) but it provides us some security in case of electrical FUs. For example I reverted their polarity once, the battery almost exploded on me but they stayed alive.

Propellers


2 sets of different rotations and different colors are recommended


10x4.5 SF Props 2pc Standard Rotation/2 pc RH Rotation (Red)
10x4.5 SF Props 2pc Standard Rotation/2 pc RH Rotation (Flouro Yellow)

Rationale:  this needs to be a combination that works well with the motors, the weight, it can also influence the stability of the quad.

The Flight Controller


RC Jargon :
FC = Flight Controller
AIO = All In One

Multiwii and Megapirate AIO Flight Controller w/FTDI (ATmega 2560) V2.0

Rationale: this packs a lot of goodies that simplifies your life, the main ones are 
- Arduino based (this is a very standard and simple toolchain)
- USB : basically this allows you to connect, program directly from the mini usb port.
- FTDI : this is a serial port, the one behind the USB port is exposed (so you can use one or the other)
- Accelerometer : to stabilize itself and find where "down" is.
- Gyroscopes : to tell if it is currently rotating
- Barometer : so it can calculate by itself its altitude from the air pressure

Batteries 


+ something to hold them securely and something to charge them.
Note: you will need a separate 12V power source for the charger, a multipurpose wall charger should do it.



2x Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 40C Lipo Pack
1x Hobbyking® DC-4S Balance Charger & Cell Checker 30w 2s~4s
1x Turnigy Battery Strap 330mm

Rationale : something cheap that works with it.

Radio



Be sure to take one with the receiver that goes with it.

RC jargon : 
TX = Radio
RX = Receiver



1x Walkera Devo 10
1x RX1002

Rationale: You want some room for expansion : 10 means 10 channels with 4 already used with throttle, yaw, roll, pitch. More on this jargon later.

Wires and connectors







2x HXT 3.5mm Gold Connector
1x XT60 Female w/ 12AWG Silicon Wire 10cm (5pcs/bag)
1x Turnigy Pure-Silicone Wire 12AWG (1mtr) (blue or black)
1x Turnigy Pure-Silicone Wire 12AWG (1mtr) Red

Some other stuff you'll need... Nylon cable ties ... (small ones like 2.3x60mm)


I also used those household connectors :


While you are waiting for your bits and pieces, lets be prepared to program the beast.