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CranialRectosis' Alien 4" Build

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#41
looks like by the time i get to feeling better to start working on my trifecta the triflite stuff should be implemented as i plan on using dronin. i also saw the how to add that wire to the servo. i wish HK would of recommend the correct servo so i would not have to order a new one.. you suck HK. heh.

chris.
I added more on the Trifecta build under DB's Junk. Got deep into the tail shaft again last night as the bi-metal pivot can be problematic on top of the bad servo recommendation. The Emax servo is shorter also so I had to shim it 2mm for the gears to align. Going to add more details about the Feedback too. See all the details over in the other thread.

Going to have to give all this Dronin stuff a try on one of my builds. I have two similar FlexRC 3" OWL 118 builds so I could do side-by-side Betaflight <=> Dronin comparison.

Cheers!
LitterBug
 
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cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#42
Beware dRonin on an F1 board like a Naze. It's not as easy. I have a pair of Brains a, Sparky2 and a few Nazes flying and while I did run a Naze on dRonin, I'm back to CF on it and soon it will go to Triflite.

I have a pair of RE1s on order with the SWEEET MPV below it. I imagine, if for no other reason than voltage monitoring, this copter will be running dRonin on an RE1 in the fall of 2016.

I am absolutely following your 'junk' build so we may as well post the link. :)

DB tossing out a Lumenier motor like that..... :p

It's 104 outside. I have charged lipos but it's cooler in my basement workshop over my soldering iron than anywhere else in the house. I'm putting the 2 blade props back on the 4" Alien because the motors just get too hot on days like this and I'm pulling apart my Twitchity Mini Tricopter to try and fix the brown outs I'm getting in the tail motor.

It's just too danged hot to be outside. I need to figure out a way to fly FPV in the yard, from indoors. :)
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#43
Beware dRonin on an F1 board like a Naze. It's not as easy. I have a pair of Brains a, Sparky2 and a few Nazes flying and while I did run a Naze on dRonin, I'm back to CF on it and soon it will go to Triflite.
There are two issues with the Naze32:

1) That annoying USB chip that means the dronin GCS can't be used to flash them. See my videos on how to use CF to flash the dronin hex. It's not that hard but it does mean no auto-update functionality and having to set everything up from scratch when you upgrade FW.

2) The low memory which it shares with CC3D and which means you have to be VERY careful about what you enable at the same time and that you can't enable anything if you want to use autotune. Of course once you autotune you can disable autotune and turn one or two other features back on...but it is a bit annoying.

To be fair I have dRonin on my Nighthawk 280 with it's naze clone, and on my twitchity 230 with a rev5, and I may put it on the rev5 on my tri...except the new triflight stuff won't be supported on F1 so I may swap my sparky onto there and move that naze to my original quad where the sparky is currently....I think I may have something else with dRonin on a F1 as well but it escapes my memory right now.


That said, as cheap as sparky's are from ebay/aliexpress I'd probably pick up sparkys to replace Naze's if I was concerned about ease of use and performance.

It's 104 outside. I have charged lipos but it's cooler in my basement workshop over my soldering iron than anywhere else in the house. I'm putting the 2 blade props back on the 4" Alien because the motors just get too hot on days like this and I'm pulling apart my Twitchity Mini Tricopter to try and fix the brown outs I'm getting in the tail motor.

It's just too danged hot to be outside. I need to figure out a way to fly FPV in the yard, from indoors. :)
You've got that great cool weather and you're wasting it inside?! 115 here today with an overnight low that MAY possibly hit 90 if we're lucky.

This was what greeted me on my phone a few days ago:
20160714_172817.png

Forecast says overnight lows are in the upper 80's...but don't believe them. They don't mention that that's only from about 3:34 to 3:36 in the morning :p We get down to 100 about midnight right now. The other day I got in our pool and thought it felt a little chilly...then looked at the thermometer and saw the water was still at 95 :D By the time I step outside around 8AM I have to put shoes on because the ground is too hot to walk on.

Think I may build a solar oven again this weekend...been a few years since I made one and my last one got destroyed in a rain storm.....or might be time to introduce my daughter to the magic of baking cookies in the car, been a few years since I did that too....
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#45
So an odd thing happened today. I was sporting around the backyard flying low and fast and I flew too low and got sucked down by the grass and crashed. Didn't even break a prop but did a somersault through damp grass.

I set the copter back up to fly, armed, spun up the motors and took off across the yard and the copter just shut down 10 seconds later and crashed again. I could have sworn I heard a popping sound and I can smell the stink of electrical fire. Crap. I know the smell of burnt KISS and burnt SunnySky and this is VERY similar.

I put the copter on the bench, took off the props and connected a lipo via the smoke tester. After 2-3 seconds the smoke tester starts to glow dimly at first and getting brighter.

I find this behavior odd. Kinda like I have a short that builds over time.

The copter is covered in a CodeMonkeyish green pate with some larger chunks of flora stuck in hard to reach places under the Flight Controller and behind the camera. I have had to dig sand, snow and plant parts out of the USB a few times. I also have a new RE1 FC for this machine so it's time for a rebuild and a major scrubdown.

Still, that odd, slowly growing short kinda bugs me. In the past the smoke tester has glowed brightly immediately if I reverse polarity etc... Any thoughts from the electrician types on how this is building over time? It's like a capacitor warming up...
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#46
Conductive wet goo on electrical components = bad news. Sounds like some got in the wrong place on the ESCs or PDB causing mayhem to rear his ugly head. :eek:

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#47
Blades of fresh grass laying across a chip or capacitor. When the component heats the grass "Sweats" thus improving electrical conductance thus the growing short scenario you suggest. Or there is not a complete short but something providing resistance and the components internals are getting hotter and changing characteristics as it heats.

Check for grass under the heat shrink around your esc's they could be baking grass and the moisture evaporating is enough to cause issues as well.

Edit.. you mean green stuff like this?

green stuff on quad.jpg
 
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cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#48
Yup.... Seems we have similar green flora in Colorado. :)

P6010004.JPG

So far the only cleaning it's had is a spit on the lens and a wipe with a T shirt. :)
 
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PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#50
Yeah you have a hobby for sure. I have been putting off cleaning mine until I absolutely have to open it up. I need to move my antenna as that is causing some weird wobbles. you can see where I am trying to mount it now. I also want to re route the video wires to get rid of the 1960's static that suddenly appeared with the new camera I am using.

Did you by chance come across the cause of the "creeping short" you described? or have you got that far to check for bad components yet?
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#52
I have rebuilt this with the RE1 FC and the mPB board. I just smoke tested and have that same odd, slowly building glow in the lightbulb. I think I have lost an ESC and need to isolate the one(s) causing the issue.

Ugh. I had hoped, cleaning it up and rebuilding it would solve the problem... Oh well, win some lose some. :)

I guess any day I get to pull out the soldering iron is a good day. :D
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#53
You really need to get some priests in that shop and exorcise those ESC demons!

I wouldn't suggest going with blheli_s yet if you replace them. At least not with the brain/dRonin. Don't really have enough data to say for sure but it seems like a number of people trying blheli_s are having issues with autotune. Devs are still looking for more data and testers who know what they're doing and have blheli_s ESC's to confirm but seems to be a bit of a trend developing lately. So far no one with experience using dRonin/autotune has gone to blheli_s so there could be unrelated issues for the people having issues. Just something to keep in mind if ESC shopping right now.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#54
Last time I was in a church, the roof collapsed. Not sure an exorcism would work here. A priest might drive me out of my own shop. :)

I have a spare ESC. When I move on, I will probably try some of the new KISS 24A ESCs. I have had no trouble with the KISS 30A ESCs. Maybe my KISS problems were with rev 1 only.

Today I'll disconnect ESCs until the light stops lighting. I should have assembled the copter this way but I was just so excited to see RE1.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#55
When your RE1 sees the light of day, make sure you bump the default rates up from 150deg/s unless you like slug mode. Going to be trying out HangTime tonight which is the dRonin equivalent to *Flight Airmode.

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#56
I spent some time with this today. My Weller soldering iron is acting up. I suspect I have a loose connection in the tip. At any rate, what should have taken 10 minutes took an hour but the faulty part was ESC 4.

I have the new ESC connected, have replaced the ground wires on the other 3 ESCs and have removed the Brain FPV board in favor of the new RE1. I have also connected the ESCs and XT60 to the mPB for the RE1.

Once my soldering iron decides to work again, I will connect telemetry and flash with dRonin. I am already bound with this receiver so hopefully, no surprises there. At any rate, the major electronics are connected and smoke tested and that weird little short no longer rears its ugly head.
 
#57
Aliens are simple. If it's hard to assemble your Alien frame, you are likely overthinking it. The 4" is the most difficult of the lot due to space constraints, but if you can solder and have a good, adjustable temperature iron with a mix of tips, these are some of the simplest copters to assemble. Even for a butthead like me. :)
LOL, cranialrectosis! :) Thanks for the build guide, even though I'm late to the 4" Alien party.

You reminded me that I have one that I bought used off a random guy. Glad to hear it went together OK with 1806 motors. I was thinking about giving the newish Tiger F30s a try when I finally get around to building my 4" Alien. Only hangup is that I was really hoping to make this lighter than my 6" Alien. Hard with a tough and heavy frame like this. We'll see...
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#58
I had some trouble finding 1806s in the KVs that I want. The Cobras were nice at 2800 but the C clips fell out of them mid-flight before my triblade props arrived. The new eMax 3000 kv 1806s get really hot with the triblades.

I hadn't seen the Tiger F30s in 1806 at 2800kv until now. With 4045x3 props on those Tigers, my copter would scream. :)

I worried about weight at first, but my weight to thrust ratio is pretty good with the eMAX 3000kvs and HQ 4" BN two bladed props. dRonin puts my hover at <> 22% and I live at 6,300ft above sea level. :)
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#59
I'm curious to see how autotune can do on this. With RE1 we've seen a lot of new users to dRonin and some more people with high performance builds experiencing AT issues. Hard to say for sure what's causing them but it's starting to look like most of them are likely vibration related due to AT using leveling mode and the vibrations messing with the accells even if they gyros are ok. This is exacerbated by hard mounted FC's, but is especially bad on frames where the FC mounting bolts double as arm mounting bolts which can transfer more vibration. Last night icee hacked up a version of AT that can run in rate mode but was convinced it would be unusable - this morning one brave tester gave it a go and found it was actually usable. That's only a first step towards solving the issue, but gave a lot of insight as to some approaches for making AT more robust.

Any major AT changes won't reach release for awhile yet. Slight possibility they could make it into the release after the upcoming one, but that's purely speculation on my part. It could just as easily be a release after that, or the experiments could turn sour and it never makes it out of testing.

Next major release is getting close, may be a bit late since there are still some blockers in the queue but there's a lot of cool new stuff for the next release - like expoM - so I'm excited about it making it out of development ;)

Cranaial - I think you'll love expoM. Makes it so much easier to get a nice expo curve with a longer flatter center section for smooth center stick control but still have insane rates at full stick for real fun ;)
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#60
Rats. Looks like the motor blew too...


EDIT:

Oops, the new ESC isn't calibrated. The motor still works!

Almost to maiden! :D
 
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