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Exploration quadcopter?

Swoop

Junior Member
#1
Hello FT forum, they say each multi has a different purpose. I have a purpose and need a multi!

I want to build a multicopter (preferably a quad to keep price down) to explore with. There is a valley nearby where I live that I would love to fly over. I would like to fly FPV and get range up to 3km. I think 3km might be a little unrealistic with the D4R-II maybe 1km? Would a 600mw 5.8ghz VTX cover 3km?

I have built 3 5" quads and 1 3" quad before. I already have a transmitter (Taranis) and 5.8ghz fpv stuff. I also have a few spare pieces I want to put to use.

- Naze32 Rev5 6DOF

- D4R-II

- QBRAIN 4in1 20a blheli esc with 5v bec.

- 4x SunnySky 1806 2300kv motors (I assume it would be too small and kv too high for larger props and 10-20 minute flight)

- 4x Multistar 2204 2300kv motors (Again, kv too high and torque too low for big props and longer flights? Could I get away with 8" on 3s?)

These are the parts I am looking at to complete the build.

- 2212 920kv Motor (http://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...F550-X525-Multicopter/727847_32479929289.html) I have heard good things about the readytosky store.

- FPV camera (http://www.banggood.com/600TVL-8_0M...-Wide-Anlge-Lens-Camera-PALNTSC-p-984345.html) This camera has become a personal favourite of mine. Lightweight, cheap and I really like the wide FOV and the picture is very nice, I find it hard to tell apart from the HS1177.

- VTX(http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-...48.html?spm=2114.13010208.99999999.267.33X2oz) Would this cover up to 3km? It would do at least 1km right? Better/cheaper option?

- 1045 props (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1045...89.html?spm=2114.13010208.99999999.261.33X2oz) Nothing too special.

- F450 Clone Frame (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/F450...60.html?spm=2114.13010208.99999999.264.33X2oz) Maybe a Q330 if I decide to go 8".

To sum it up:

- What size props and motors? I would like to try and get at least 10 minutes with a 3s 2.2ah battery.

- Approximately how far will my FPV and radio gear transmit and receive? 1km is good enough but more would be neat.

- Could I do an 8" 2204 2300kv quad on 3s and still get 10 minutes? or is the kv too high?

- Another question, my Naze32 Rev5 is 6DOF, meaning I won't have mag, baro and gps right? Will this inhibit me too much?
 
#2
1. Props and Motors. You could try using Ecalc to simulate different motors and props and see what the estimated flight times are like. I have a F450 with Pixhawk, using T-motors 2216 900KV and 1045 props. I get about 10mins of flight time on a 4S 4.4Ah battery. Unless you craft is really light, getting 10mins on a 3S 2.2Ah might be a little tough. But for this application, Ecalc is really your best friend.

2. You'll probably need to consider changing the antennas on the D4R to the paddle types. The same one that the X8R uses. Those are more sensitive I think. Or just straight up go for the X8R receiver. Range on the FPV gear, 600mW is good but diversity with high gain directional antennas are even better. Get a pepperbox and a helical for maximum range. My friends had a test once with a FR632 diversity receiver and those antennas and he tried to tune in to another friend flying on an island about 2.5Km away with a 600mW transmitter. Solid signal. But that's over open water and not much obstructions. If the place you are flying in as got obstructions, you will need to consider going to 2.4GHz or even lower.

3. 8" on a 2204 2300 is way way too much. You'll probably kill your motor or ESC if you tried it. Don't do it. Sunnysky has some nice 2216 motors that aren't too pricey.

4. Depends. Having a GPS unit for RTH is always good for long range exploration as if you do lose your direction, you can always flick a switch and have it come back. More importantly, it ties into the failsafe where if you lose video or control at any point, it will still return home. There are some OSD out there that can take a GPS antenna to give position data but that's just to tell you where your home point is. Won't automatically fly it back.

Long range exploration is whole different ball game from mini quads and takes a bit more planning with the gear. Can't really recommend the Naze for that..heck even the DJI Naza is probably a better fit for purpose FC. Pixhawk or Eagletree Vector is the way to go this.
 

Swoop

Junior Member
#3
1. Props and Motors. You could try using Ecalc to simulate different motors and props and see what the estimated flight times are like. I have a F450 with Pixhawk, using T-motors 2216 900KV and 1045 props. I get about 10mins of flight time on a 4S 4.4Ah battery. Unless you craft is really light, getting 10mins on a 3S 2.2Ah might be a little tough. But for this application, Ecalc is really your best friend.

2. You'll probably need to consider changing the antennas on the D4R to the paddle types. The same one that the X8R uses. Those are more sensitive I think. Or just straight up go for the X8R receiver. Range on the FPV gear, 600mW is good but diversity with high gain directional antennas are even better. Get a pepperbox and a helical for maximum range. My friends had a test once with a FR632 diversity receiver and those antennas and he tried to tune in to another friend flying on an island about 2.5Km away with a 600mW transmitter. Solid signal. But that's over open water and not much obstructions. If the place you are flying in as got obstructions, you will need to consider going to 2.4GHz or even lower.

3. 8" on a 2204 2300 is way way too much. You'll probably kill your motor or ESC if you tried it. Don't do it. Sunnysky has some nice 2216 motors that aren't too pricey.

4. Depends. Having a GPS unit for RTH is always good for long range exploration as if you do lose your direction, you can always flick a switch and have it come back. More importantly, it ties into the failsafe where if you lose video or control at any point, it will still return home. There are some OSD out there that can take a GPS antenna to give position data but that's just to tell you where your home point is. Won't automatically fly it back.

Long range exploration is whole different ball game from mini quads and takes a bit more planning with the gear. Can't really recommend the Naze for that..heck even the DJI Naza is probably a better fit for purpose FC. Pixhawk or Eagletree Vector is the way to go this.
1. Ecalc is estimated ~15 minute flight time if I go easy with 2212 920kv motor, 1045 props and 3s 2200mah lipo. If I want to go long range I will definitely need to upgrade my battery capacity.

2. I will upgrade the D4R-II, I don't expect it will have a range further than 1km. 600mw 5.8ghz should be good for ~1km-2km where I am flying.

3. I thought so, will have to save them for another project!

4. I have ordered a F450 frame and 2212 920kv motors as well as some 1045 props. I'll put it together with the Naze32 Rev5 and D4R-II to see how it flies initially before I consider upgrading equipment and adding FPV.

Sounds like I have a lot to learn. Thank you for taking the time to reply.