The good weather this weekend was utilised to practice flying the Expedition Quadcopter.
Gunnar and his good friend Ola Skjeldal was out for hours, and conducted several practice flights, in both LoS (Line of Sight) and FPV (First Person View).
Several minor modifications and tuning were conducted on-site, to improve the flying behaviour of the Quadcopter, as well as improving the flying experience.
Ola has been a good supporter in selecting electronics and making adjustments on the Expedition Quadcopter Project from the first day.
After flying, the rest of the evening & night was used to equip the second Expedition Quadcopter with electronics. All experience gained during these last months with the Untested Prototype r.300 frame have now been put to good use. Both Gunnar and Ola had many thoughts on how to position and mount the electronics in the most optimal way.
First of all, connecting the Quadcopter to the computer for programming and tuning has always been difficult, since the USB connector is on the rear end of the flight controller. To make the connector more accessible, we turned the flight controller 90 degrees, so that it would be accessible from the side of the frame.
First problem associated with this solution, was that there is a small screw in the way. After experimenting with the positioning, we decided to flip the flight controller on its head, so that the USB now steered clear of the screw.
This also had another advantage, in that all the cables to the ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) would go straight down, subsequently keeping the wiring in the top part of the frame very tidy. This also means that the Quadcopter can now handle some rain, since the flight controller board is not open for direct exposure on the top via the ESC connectors.
When flying FPV, we had many problems with noise and signal drop-outs of the video feed. We agreed that position of the transmitter and antenna had a major impact on this, so when installing new electronics into the second Quadcopter frame, we moved the FPV transmitter to the front of the frame, and put the antenna directly on top of the frame.
We also used a better transmitting module on this second frame, that will hopefully also help improve the quality of the video feed.
To reduce FPV transmitter interference with the control signal to as little as possible, the RC (Remote Control) receiver has been positioned in the rear underside of the frame (placing it underneath the frame instead of the top, where we have with the FPV transmitter antenna). This makes good logical sense, since the RC transmitter will always be below the Quadcopter during flight.
Almost all the cables have been shortened, to make installation as tidy as possible. Combined with the power distribution board, the result was really good.
We also preapared cables to power LED lights under the frame, to make it easier to see the orientation of the Quadcopter during flight. We are still waiting for the LEDs to arrive, but we hope this will be a good addition to the Quadcopter.
These Expedition Quadcopter builds have been heavily inspired by Ola Skjeldal and his many years of experience flying RC helicopters and we kindly thank him for all the great support! Consequently he have been added to the Acknowledgement Page.