Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The MarkChibi Part 1

Back a few posts, and awhile ago I mentioned I came across a guy named Charles and some of his work including. Now having actually meet the guy and going though the process of building my own Chibi a death-mobile it's my turn to write an short novel (nanowrimo) with photos of what has happened over the past few months.

It started with taking apart Charles' CAD and figuring out what kind of resources I would have. Currently most of my work comes out of our local hackerspace-Makerplace. Similar to the well known techshop, it provides a full wood, laser, craft and metal shop to anyone that pays the month membership and passes basic certifications on the equipment. With a range of equipment including CNC mill, bridgeports, and lathe just about anything is possible. However Makerspace has a lot of cons but those can be another very long blog post.

Do I need a bigger mill?
And well basically with all my projects it starts with an sketch in Solidworks, my preferred choice of CAD program. Which I have kinda learned how to do over the years of clicking buttons till things happen the way I wanted them to.

CAD! A complete mess of a model atm
Basically what the model looks like today when I opened it up (created date of the assem says May13). Mostly a hacked together mess at this point after many iterations and test fits and upgrades and whatever else I did to the poor thing. But the general construction is there, and how everything is put together. Basically when I started I had a list of points I need

  • Must fit in my trunk without lots of disassembly 
  • Must go fast.. 30mph? lol.... 
  • To do the later 2 speed gearboxes
  • Decent control and handling
  • Budget..... or lack of therefore more on this later. 
  • And to look awesome

With materials I had in hand I went with a regular 6061 extruded box design, held together with gussets and a bunch of 1/4-20 bolts. It's basically how I built several FRC robots in my past. It's cheap, quick and is pretty strong for how light it is. The frame is pretty simple, I went pretty bare bones with everything in the build, squares and simple shapes.

This will be it for this post more to come soon. I am currently in the process of upgrading MarkChibi for the San Diego Maker Faire Dec .7

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blade MCP X

Though a friend I ended up getting an slightly used Blade MCP X micro 3D helicopter. Now coming from an back ground of flying quads with auto level and driving FRC robots at full throttle it was an fun learning curve. The neat thing is since the Blade series is made buy the same guys that build the Specktrum radios, all the blades are Blind and Fly compatible with the Specktrum Radios aka my DX6i. Having put a good chuck of hours flying the quad picking up the heli and getting it to do figure 8s wasn't to difficult however that's where things got a bit complex.

Do to the fly bar-less design and the full range of pitch control these types of RC helicopters are able to do loops and rolls as well as fly inverted perfectly... Well depending on the skill level of the pilot. Also due to the slightly under-powered tail rotator it likes to "blow out" meaning that it spins violently until it crashes... However the little bird is pretty crash proof, haven't really damage anything. Probably because it's so light that if you kill the power it just floats to the ground.

Well just a little scratch. And a artistic photo~

Friday, May 10, 2013

A bit of change

Well things do change when you least expect them to don't they.

As of now I will be attending San Diego State University for Mechanical Engineering in Fall 2013. These things called waitlists... apparently people do get off them!

Well with that settled, and knowing I will be in San Diego and not have to ship any stuff to the east coast for college also I will have all my resources and connections here next year; I guess it's time to go do some projects \m/.

However I do have to do this called high school to graduate ... and without completely tanking my GPA. Probably the biggest piece of work that looms over me is my Math Open House project, where I have to come up with something cool to do in Mathematica/programming/math and show it off. Working out some possible ideas with arduinos and other thingys ... yeah I feel like some all-nighter coding debugging sessions will be coming up. Current project idea: some type of ball/Frisbee shooter.

Other then that I am flying my heli (post on that later), bashing my slash (I should post about this to), tweaking the quad (and this...), and seeing what kinda trouble I can get myself into at the shop.

Monday, April 29, 2013

More Quadcopter

With FRC finally over, I have been able to actually work on other things as well getting around to updating this, which I admit I do suck at a lot...

The more time I spent flying my Quadcopter the more I realized it was a bit undersized for flying with the GoPro and in general a bit to small (for my tastes).  So with this so called free time I build another one! I decided on using the same KK2 controller with a similar style frame, the KK2 for $25 is an amazing control board and with the new 1.5v firmware works even better. Auto level has been improved quite a bit since the first revision and now almost snaps to level instantly.

Now for the build. A nice photo montage to show some progress, I need to work on taking photos though out the build instead of just the end product...
The main plates are now G10/FR4 instead of delrin, 1/8 thick for the body and 1/16th thick for the landing legs.

However because of the epoxy and fiber bend of G10 I wasn't able to cut it with the laser since it just burned. So had to used the Tormach CNC mill, and using a brand new carbide 1/8th endmill at 5000 RPM I was able to go at it with 1/16th DOC at 40 IPM so it didn't take long. Designed in solidworks and then CAMed with HSMxpress as usual.

Because the G10 stock I got off McMaster-Carr had this horrible white color to it, everything got murdered out. And in all seriousness a good looking paint job, makes a bit difference in what people perceptive. It always happens in FRC where the painted/powercoated/anodized robots are always joked about being "mentor/sponsor built" and usually do perform better because they are better built.

In addition the arms are now thin walled aluminum, .5in square with 40 thou wall thickness, a good improvement over the polycarb box. Because getting this type of aluminum isn't an standard extrusion they are actually sourced from towel racks. And again I used the tormach CNC to drill all the holes for mounting. After I was done with that, I was able to bolt the the frame together! Held together with 4-40 SCHS and lock nuts.

This is probably one of the better/sexier looking things I have built, again the paint and machined tolerances gives it a good look. I do get people asking me if this was a kit, and it does kinda look like the Talon Frame Kit off HobbyKing (totally couldn't have bought that).  Well the rest of the work was just adding the electronics and wiring. I deiced to go with bigger NTN 35 1100kv motors  on 3S and 10x5 blades for what I figured to be the optimal life to power draw ratio. So more photos!

I am using my Spektrum DX6 radio and noticed that you can get $6 6 channel receivers on HobbyKing...... however this unit seemed to bugged out and I am replacing it with a legit Spektrum branded one, about 10x the cash but totally wroth it. Cheap Chinese electronics are cheap for a reason.

And here's the post build product shot! With Gopro which is just hanging with an adhesive mount, shock mount is in the planning. I added an LED light strip to the front which helps with orientation at night but besides there isn't really any aid for orientation.

And here's some goPRO Video!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's been awhile

I sure have been neglecting this haven't I.....
Well here's a little tl;dr:

1. FIRST Robotics 2013 happened: frisbees, pyramids, climbing yeah... http://ultimate3647.tumblr.com/
2. Moar Quadcopter.
3. Traxxas makes some nice trucks.
4. Moar Engineering.
5. I will be attending WPI Fall of 2013.

More to come.