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Converting FC40 to 2.4Ghz with Radiolink AT10 Tx/Rx

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by lake_flyer, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. lake_flyer

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    I'm finally giving it a go.
    After I was told the Taranis Tx would be on backlog for at least another 3 months, I decided to go for my second choice, the Radiolink AT10.
    Really wonderful looking controller with enough 3- and 2 position switches, sliders, knobs, telemetry, great range and extremely fast, capable of switching all 10 channels within 3ms.
    It looks almost the same as a Futuba, except for the colour and some minor differences, even the setup menu's are exactly the same. Some people say that it is designed and manufactured by the same factory that produces the Futubas nowadays. Well, I really don't care. If it performs as promised I'm sold. The price is about a 3rd of the corresponding model of Futuba. I decided to buy it here locally in a real shop instead of getting it from Aliexpress with 60 days delivery and the risk of extra duties. Paid about 50 bucks more but I have it tomorrow, only a few days before my birthday :)


    [​IMG]

    I will give it a thorough test before i decide to keep it. But the specs are more than enough for me.

    Will come back with my thoughts about the use of it, for a FC40, for who's interested in going the same route and converting to a P1.1.1+ (+ means more than 7 channels in this case).
    There are lot of features we can benefit from, using an aftermarket transmitter, like slowing the yaw, easier and precise gimbal control, changing gain settings while flying (a very interesting feature), and multiple memories for different situations or different crafts.
     
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  2. IflyinWY

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    Cool,
    Anytime you are bored and want to write more, I'll be waiting.

    Are you making the switch so you have more choices in FPV?
    So with all those channels will you be connecting a servo hook so you can deliver stuff to your neighbors?
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. lake_flyer

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    Not much difference here.....
    [​IMG]
     
  4. lake_flyer

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    Yeah, you got it right.
    I switch mainly because 2.4GHz gives me all the 5.8GHz FPV choices. I can swap my Fatshark Tx between the P2 and FC40. Already made it easy to (dis)connect. And the much bigger control range gives me more confidence. The limit of 600-700m is quickly reached with FPV flying. Specially after you got used to the range of a P2.

    The advantage of getting this radio over a DJI is the extra channels for whatever I want in the future. (and the P.1.1.1 receiver I ordered is not in stock anywhere anyhow)

    Dropping stuff from the air is something to think about :), wouldn't know what to drop, well I can think of something to drop on one of my neighbours, but would get me totally off topic here :).
    But things like retractable gear (for a future hex), camera switch (between Gopro and Sony TVL), light switch etc.

    Nicest thing though is the possibility to change the servo travel rates easily and have different control settings for different applications like soft and smooth curves for filming (which I do most) and linear to exponential curves for fun flying.
    It somewhat completes the total experience if you can program your own settings and you are more aware of what is actually happening while stirring the sticks.
     
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  5. lake_flyer

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    Well, it was delivered as promised, yesterday.
    First that came to mind when I opened the box:
    WOW.
    It looks even more impressive when you have it in your hands.
    Receiver came pre bound. There is also a voltage sensor included in the set which shows the receiver voltage and main battery voltage on the Tx screen. So from now on the Lipo alarm will come directly from my Radio, instead of the 2$ Lipo checker I never really trusted.
    Other sensors are to be announced soon, Radiolink Ltd. claims.

    Will be studying this thing for the rest of the day and report back as soon as I have it installed in the FC40.

    I imagine using the trims for very smooth 'cruise control' of yaws, circles, descends, ascends. And using the dual and triple rates I could change the control output intensity for (any combination of) the sticks with the flick of a switch.

    20150426_123933.jpg
    Colourful couple.
     
  6. IflyinWY

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    I look forward to hearing how well it works.

    Is that chair painted on the wall?
     
  7. lake_flyer

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    Only a couple of hours later and everything works as advertised.
    IOC switch and GPS/Atti/FS switch programmed and working.
    Dual rate switch on yaw, intensity down to 30%
    Dead point around throttle mid stick
    Gimbal control working over the full sweep of the knob (so happy with that) and I could even throw a dual rate on that if I like.

    So far I'm quite happy. The jog wheel is flimsy though. But after all programming is done, I won't use it much anymore. It's not needed in normal operation.
    Can't use my Gopro mounts anymore to attach the screen to the T. Not enough room to stick them on the Tx. Have to use a regular screen mount, bolted to the lanyard eye. But it works ok and after I get an extra Radiolink receiver for the P2, I don't have to swap the screen between Tx's anymore.
    No, that's an actual chair made of plexiglass. Italian design, called Aqua. The seat is rippled like water.
     
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  8. lake_flyer

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    Just tried it out, in front of the house. Wind is gusty like hell but I just couldn't wait.

    Not a single surprise. Everything worked as it should.
    The dual rate on the yaw made it very easy to make a slow and even turn, even in these gusty conditions.

    I wondered if the non centring throttle would be a problem to get (back) used to.
    As it took me some time to get used to the centring throttle I recall. But other than some small unwanted changes in vertical movement it felt quite natural. Landing feels more natural with a normal stick. The stick position correlates constantly with the movement and direction of the craft.

    I didn't even calibrate the compass before flying. I don't calibrate too often. If it's good it's good. Also, skipped IMU calibration. Straight on to flying after closing the shell yesterday evening.
    IMU calibration has nothing to do with a new Rx.

    I will post the clip I shot for who's interested.

    I'm going to keep it. Ordered an extra 9CH S-bus Rx for the P2, so I can fly both birds with this Radio.

    For this money, amazing radio.
     
  9. lake_flyer

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    Last night the weather calmed down a bit to a moderate breeze.
    The sky was beautiful and there was a thick rain cloud coming in fast, lit by the setting sun.

    I had only time for a few minutes to test the setup before the rain started to pour. The first thick drops fell just before landing.

    But smooth flying. Tested the dual rate on the yaw, and a throttle curve with a large center zone. The gimbal slider position corresponded with the gimbal movement over the full swing, as I so desperately wanted.
    The vibrations are a bit pronounced because I used my old 8" props with a lot of scuffs. I didn't care for vibration. I wanted to see how smooth they were in control, compared to the 9443's.
    And indeed they are a joy to fly, even with 1370 grams weight.

    Didn't use any YouTube stabilisation, just a tiny bit in PowerDirector.

    Please enjoy the little demo video I posted.
     
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  10. IflyinWY

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    I did notice the vibration. I'm glad you mentioned the old 8" props or I would have been wondering. The yaw seemed very well controlled.
    Sounds like you're happy. Cool :)
     
  11. lake_flyer

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    Yeah, I did another flight today with new 9450's.
    A lot less vibration.

    I found out, since I have FPV-OSD now, that the FC40 comes down with 4m/s while in RTH/FS, and there's nothing we can do about it. This is TWICE the maximum safe descend speed for 9450's or 9443's.

    Food for thought. Why does DJI allow us P1 and FC40 users to fly our bird into pieces and doesn't do anything to warn us, while at the same time, all P2(V3+ whatever) are restricted to 2m/s and patronised like school kids with their Naza/Phantom mode.

    Right! According to DJI, the 9" props are not standard for a FC40 but they are for a P2. Now why don't they advise P2 users to use 8"s?
    Because that would shave off 2 minutes flying time and that's not cool in this business. Flying time is the magic word.
    Simple really.

    I guess I'll order a couple of 8" sets. Don't want to see the bird tumble from the sky just because of props. Besides, new undamaged 8" props are extremely smooth anyhow.

    Worth its own topic perhaps?
     
  12. IflyinWY

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    Why yes Sir, I do believe it is.
    That will be a good one. I hope I can keep up.

    Would you care to do the honors? :)
     
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  13. lake_flyer

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    Converted the throttle stick to self centring after all, yeah I know, I'm a *****.

    I couldn't find a throttle centring set for the Radiolink anywhere. The Futuba's use a similar lever and spring but a slightly different notch on the rotating end, so they won't fit. So I decided to craft one my self out of a 1mm thick piece of hardwood. I also found a suitable little spring in the toolbox and got to work. 20 minutes later the throttle was self centring! I was amazed it was so easy. Not too loud, I'm trying to talk my wife into buying a 3D printer, hah.

    Took it out flying and it handled extremely fine and precise, however, after landing I couldn't get the motors to shut off. That was a bit awkward, trying to cut both the battery connections while the blades were spinning. Good I landed and not hand catch it. I needed both hands free to do it. After an adjustment of the throttle end points and sub trim, everything worked fine again.

    I'm also thinking of making a descend mix. The throttle would be cut to say 35% so the descend rate would be around 1.5m/s, the pitch slightly forward so forward speed would be 5m/sec and the yaw would be like 10%, so it would spiral down in a large circle until I flip the switch back. Great for safe steady descending from great height if you have to scratch your nose at the same time :).