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My bird and its mods.

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by ToThePoint, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Ok as some asked me in PM what I've done to the beast and enhance its capability i shall some up what I've done to it.

    First of all the transmitter.

    I bought 2 antenna's for wifi.
    9dbi and 7dbi.
    9 went on the transmitter thats actually a 5.8 transmitter but i wanted to try it out giving me more reach.
    It works up to 1.3km with fresh charged mi-mh battery's ( tested today).
    Also i have approx 1km with the 7dbi on the wifi extender ( also tested today because i forget to initiate the booster app ).
    On how to get the connectors to the outside => youtube.
    Also i fixed the transmitter connector with super glue. I guess the case is made out of abs and that mets with that kinda glue so it gives a nice firm fix.

    Notice how i fixed the tablet to the stock clip. I glued it only with super glue.
    As the paint on the tablet gave way in the first attempt i,ve redone it and since then its attached very nicely.
    I don't use the tablet for anything else so i just leave it there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you have seen on the previous pic i use li-po to power the transmitter now.
    Inside i installed a 7805 with a 670 risitor on the negative feed that gives a 6.5v output.
    It doesn't need cooling and you have to replace it when the transmitter gives its first warning beep. Otherwise the li-po will be discharged to deep and lead to its destruction. I also have the original battery box over the output and i had to use that today because the neg wire came out of the connector and thus i had to use the mi-mh battery's. The power consumption is about 77ma BUT the only disadvantage is that you have to remove the li-po because the 7805 draws 2.5ma after the transmitter is off. Thats going to draw the li-po empty faster then you can imagine and therefore destructing it when discharged to deep.
    There is a other possibility. The 7805 after the on-off switch but that involves messing on the pcb and thats not what i want to do @ this moment.

    They snug nicely into the compartment.

    [​IMG]

    I engraved my phone nr with +(and landcode ) on every part of the bird. Also i removed every sticker that leads to camera code or ip address of the bird.
    If lost someone can just call me. When it causes damage to someone else's property i am insured. And if someone breaks and wants to steal it out of the mobilehome, try to sell the parts ? LMAO. Thats why i removed any reference on the camera because they can call DJI and get a IP address from the camera nr.
    The leave is there to mask my nr so you don't call me. LMFAO.

    [​IMG]

    As you have seen i made it on stilts using fiber glas or what ever that they use to make arrows. ( thanks to someone for that tip in a threat on this forum )
    Initially it was there to protect the camera and lucky i did !
    Now with flying the beast more then 20 times i felt confidant enough to make some mods to the camera.
    As you can see the system isn't that good and there are some designer-flows into it.
    1) The camera lens isn't in the middle of the bird. Its way off center !
    2) When pushed to the max either by velocity or wind when stable you get the props into the video.
    But hey it works fine if you know and uses its limitation.
    But as i had them skids i had the idea of lowering the cam.
    The max length of M3 available in the DIY is 40mm.
    So i cut from brass tube 4mm a 35mm long extension.
    As i was doing that i noticed that when you turn the mounting plate 180¤ then the camera is almost in the middle and puts it further in front but it can only be attached with 2 screws.
    As it gave me also a tight fit i opted for that solution instead of making a adapter that would make i could use the 4 screws.
    When somehow i crash the bird the camera is likely to detach faster this way hopefully leaving it less damaged. ( wishful thinking ?)
    Anyway i had to extend the cables going to the camera and i did so with 6cm.
    As a seal i use masking tape and after applying i do a drop of super glue on it. That leaves a nice bond that never detaches.
    You may find it odd but actually the first capacitors were made out of paper.

    The white that i used to make the bindings on the skits is expanded PVC of 1cm.
    It nice stuff to work with and light in weight.
    The front binding is glued with super glue and the ex arrow stuff binds with it to the PVC.
    As i apply the skits i slide the back binding so it can be attached and slide it more in front so it fits nice and tight.

    [​IMG]

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    The inside of the block that attach the skits on the bird are fastened with 3 screws that are used to attach servos.
    And also here i put in super glue to bond the leg with the PVC. The body also dissolves a bit with super glue giving a nice firm bond.

    [​IMG]

    When i did the mods on the transmitter i had the stock antenna from it placed on the bird.

    [​IMG]

    The antenna i made yesterday and gave me a reach of 2km until i got the "max distance "screen is a collinear dipole with 16 elements tuned to 5,789Ghz.
    It snugs nicely into the 9dbi casing.
    Further test have to be made when i change the max distance true the assistant ( thanks to dirty-bird for that info ).
    But for the moment i am very happy with the reach off it.
    2km control and FPV with booster app and 7 dbi antenna, thats something isn't it ?

    [​IMG]

    Picture of the bazooka balun.

    [​IMG]

    1/4 wave end piece.

    [​IMG]

    Some elements.

    [​IMG]

    Well thats it folks, i can go on holiday now with the bird.
    I hope i can shoot some nice video for my up to come "In flanders field video "
    Greetings and till .......................

    P.s. The one that has seen i placed the top back to front noticed the same i did when i turned the bird back over after fastening the screws.

    TTP
     
  2. J Dot

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL. USA!
    Here is a quick trick for you

    [​IMG]

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    Hope this helps!

    Take care, fly safe!
     
  3. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks for the info.
    Anyway i intend to special paint the bird once the mods have ended but don't have any clue as of yet on what it would look like.
    But the info is helpful for others.
     
  4. yawnalot29

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    That is something else. Words failed me.
     
  5. tizzl10

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    man you need to clean that thing lol.
     
  6. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    It has more then 40 flights on dusty environments.
    Give your address pls so i can come visit, you can knock you're brains out on it then and i have a clean bird. LMAO.
     
  7. yawnalot29

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    I was initially a bit hesitant to open this thread thinking I might see a prince Albert.
     
  8. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    So after testing and ultimately also changing the stock antenna's on the bird (wifi and RC ) it was time to change the virgin white to a more practical color.
    Its finally done !

    [​IMG]

    Didn't had any clue to what i had to do with the RC.
    It had to be dark colors because i always have messy hands.
    I am a DIY guy not a fashion model nor a beach gay guy. ( no bad intention towards those fellow humans, its just to paint a picture ).

    [​IMG]

    It performs very nice !
    +2km wifi and control
    1.2km without the booster app. ( before glitches start, 1.5km max )
     
  9. Onezerosix141

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    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    very... functional design
     
  10. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Done some more mods.
    I didn't like the sticking out wifi antenna's and it wouldn't give that extra range on FPV i expected. It was a improvement but...
    I noticed my RC range was way down, +- 1700m instead of +2100m.
    Over all FPV was better but...

    Made 3x 2.4ghz skew planar antenna's. 2 for the bird and one to test on the extender.
    I tested the skew planar antennas on the bird instead of the omni directional 7dbi wifi antennas.
    Good god i have FPV without the booster app +1700m.
    So the skew planar antenna's are the way to go and are staying.

    RC is still cutting out on 1700m, i suspect the wifi now creates a bubble for the 5.8ghz RC.
    Tested the power consumption on the RC transmitter and thats still on 76ma.
    I am going to reinstall the original wifi antenna's in the bird to make sure its the bubble effect.
    Sleepless nights i'm having.
     
  11. Sasquatch

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    Location:
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    Hi TTP....what's this?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. ToThePoint

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    Location:
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    That was the inner piece of a high power LED light that i installed in the beginning to see what the front was.
    As i got more experience in he bird i removed it and cover up the hole using Polystyrene ( 2mm ) and super glue, it makes a nice bond like that.
     
  13. Sasquatch

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    Thank you for the answer, TTP. It actually looked like a camera lens to me and even though I *thought* it might be an LED light, I wasn't sure.

    Thanks again.
     
  14. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    So a step further in the mods.
    As i previous could go +2.1km i got lately bearly get to 1.7 before the RC cut out.
    I didn't know what would be the cause, really i broke my gray mass between the ears on it.
    It could have been that it was in a bubble from the wifi antenna's.
    There were extreme good conditions when it flew that 2.1km.
    What ever ! as i wanted @ least 2km comfortable wifi and control it was clear this wasn't it.
    I manage to get the FPV right but stuck with the RC.
    So i decided to abandon the onmi antenna's on the wifi and make some skew planar ones ( LHCP ).

    Result
    I had the full range of RC, good FPV with no booster app, GOOD GOD !
    But still RC to 1500/1700m. Even when i changed to CP on the wifi the RC wasn't better ( and 2 RHCP 5.8ghz skew planars for RC exterior on the bird ).
    So no bubble effect, i guess.
    After my brain shorted out on what i had stock i reinstalled all stock antenna's. Also to be sure that after the taking apart for the paintjob all systems were ok. ( Bird and RC )
    The FPV as horrible again after +-1200m and i had to use the booster app.
    It went to 1500m on the RC.
    So i had to make a difficult decision because i like the onmi antenna for the RC.
    After seeing a test on helical antenna's on youtube that they use for FPV they discovered that the 5+ windings one are also a bit omni directional in some extend.
    So i made today a RHCP helical 9 turn on 5.8Ghz for the RC.
    Got the bird out. Ow hell.

    After 2000m the distance went to n/a as expected.
    So i had to get to the settings to set it to imperial and couldn't find it right away.
    I first i initiated the failsafe to activate the RTH.
    I finally got it after some 30 sec and had a screen shot made.

    [​IMG]

    Then things really messed up.

    [​IMG]

    Finally i could enter GS to see were the bird was hiding.
    I am not acquainted with feet so a other mess for the gray mass between the ears.

    [​IMG]

    Well i am a happy camper. Still on its way is a amplifier for 5.8ghz of 1w. Maybe i use it or not, don't know yet.

    My bird as it enters its final stages off development.

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    Note that the helical got its color.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    The RC is almost finished.
    Awaiting Ghz diodes so i can measure on a directional coupler the VSWR of the 5.8Ghz 11 turn helical.
    The 2.4Ghz 10 turn helical is tested and approved for service. I even have flown with the 2w booster on.

    As it stands now i use 100mW on the RC ( FCC mode ) and a 11 turn helical 5.8Ghz ( home brewed ). With 25mW ( CE mode ) i could manage 9700ft and 2 x skew planar on the bird, with that 100mW and expected doubling the range it could be well 18000ft ?
    Anyway thats in a rural environment.
    I do have a screen shot of 11000ft and never lost RC control nor FPV.
    On FPV: No booster app, skew planar ( 1 on wifi and 2 on the bird ) and 10 turn helical ( home brewed ), 11000ft with crisp clear view on 11000ft, not even a glitch.
    So i have the booster app as a spare and the 2w booster making it a range, euh unknown.

    Note in the following pictures that i replaced the feeding plug in the boosters and that i made a battery case for the 4 x 5000mAH li-ion battery's.
    I also implemented on that case a on/off switch with green led and a cheap volt meter.
    Case made out of PS ( polystyrene ) and glued on the original battery holder that can be used @ all time.
    Also note the 7th channel pot/lever.
    The neck strap i fixed on the RC is something that called my name on the right moment.
    I've seen someone stating that a clip like that comes lose. As it can be soldered i fixed the opening so it can't detach by itself.
    Total weight is 1623 grams.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Kag49601

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    Great work! Question on your battery pack. I see that you have this powering the actual tx controller as well as your amps. Do you have a voltage regulator in line with the tx to bring the voltage down to 6 volts? If so, can you provide some info on this and also where you purchased the battery tray? Are these 18650 batteries? Thanks for the help in advance!
     
  17. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I have used a 7805 to regulate the power as i used 2 x 7812 for the amps.

    I added a resistor on the common pin ( center ) of the 7805 to get a 6.2V supply out of the 18650 battery's.
    [​IMG]

    A 18650 fully charged is 4.2V = 4 x 4.2 = 16.8V
    As the RC transmitter uses approx 77mA ( on FCC ) the 7805 heat produced due to dissipation:

    16.8V - 6.2V = 10.6V
    x 0.077A ( 77mA )
    ________
    0.8162 W of dissipation

    As seen in the datasheet a 78** heats up 19¤C/W. That temparture has to be added to the surrounding temp.
    So the 7805 doesn't need actual cooling.

    The amplifiers use 12v and the adapters provided with them do indeed provide 12v.
    So a 16.8v supply can cause damage.
    Therefore i used a 7812 for them.
    The same calculation applies if you want to know the dissipation.

    For the RC amp 1000mW on 5.8Ghz.

    16.8v - 12v = 4.8V
    x 0.125 A ( 125mA )
    _________
    0.6 W
    As for the WIFI amp its harder to get a current reading. But i assume as its double the power its also double the dissipation.
    So for the 2 x 7812 cooling isn't really necessary but i nevertheless soldered them onto a brass 1mm piece.

    As you know now how you can use a 78** to regulate voltage you can use also a 7805 to provide a 12V supply. You just have to add a resistor of higher value in serie with the common pin.
    Bear in mind that a 78** has its limits, see datasheet !
    Resistor value has to be experimented and thats the only way to be sure that it provides what you need and that is to measure it.
    So i am not going to give a resistor value but start with 1k or a pot.
    Also note that a 7812 can't provide a 5V tension. To do that you need to add a lot of diodes into series with the output whats a bit overkill.

    That battery tray ? I made it myself out of PS ( polystyrene )
     
  18. DronePilot

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    Very interesting read.

    With my P2V+ with only the FPV Booster App I have been able to get just over 2 miles with basically a stock system, no added antennas or amps. Picture gets laggy and starts cutting out there as does control. I do live in a forested area and I do stand on a very small hill and I probably couldn't do that in every direction. I maintain enough altitude to keep LOS. If there are any trees in between me and the Phantom range is greatly reduced. Been thinking about adding more for antennas but the limit in how far you can fly then comes down to the battery and that runs out about 3 miles out and then back.

    Nice work.
    Thanks for sharing all your details.
     
  19. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I had that setup during the holiday with similar results.
    FPV and RC control goes a long way if you don't count in any glitches or temporary drop outs in rural environments.
    To my surprise and filming coming in from the gulf of Biscay, the port of St-Jean de Luz FPV dropped out after approx 150m even with the booster app. I was standing @ the lighthouse and from there over the gulf FPV had no issue and could easily go out 1,5km.
    My conclusion was that wifi networks really interfere badly because a lot use channel 1 and as the wifi channel on the bird isn't selectable it will give issue's.
    Therefore i had to do something to meet the goal i set out for the setup here.
    @ least 2km FPV and RC in any condition.
    I know that the setup as it is now has a reach i will never know in rural conditions. Also because with all the extra weight it shall never be a record breaking bird.
    Have to try it out in a urban setting when time is due.

    What i want to state, never expect the same distance on FPV in a city, your going to be surprised as i was.
     
  20. ToThePoint

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Finally a day with less wind. Only 8km/h headwind.
    I have set the RC to 100mW ( FCC ) and no booster on it.

    First attempt to get out of RC range but didn't succeed.

    [​IMG]

    Second time, note that i initiated failsafe.

    [​IMG]

    Don't run out of RC control yet.