Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Need "extension cord" for extended flight times

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by cskwarcan, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. cskwarcan

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a traffic engineering business and need to extend flight times to one hour to record intersection and roundabout traffic flows. Since I only need to be about 100 feet above the ground, in a fixed position, at an oblique angle (I do not fly over traffic) I need to know wiring info to power quadcopter from the ground. Sounds simple, but I do not know voltage and wiring info to connect such an "extension cord". Theoretically, with this setup I could hover indefinitely (right?)...
     
  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    19,117
    Likes Received:
    5,632
    Location:
    US
    It's an interesting idea. But, wouldn't the cord be a bit heavy?
     
  3. gordhunt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    1
    The battery has the voltage and current needed so you could get a power supply at any electronics store that could handle that. The issue will be the wiring you'd need wiring that can handle that load over 100ft which as posted earlier would weigh a ton
     
  4. gordhunt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    1
  5. cskwarcan

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought about the weight of the wire...I am thinking that will likely be the limiting factor for how high I can go. Of course, I can subtract out the weight of the battery itself since no longer needed...according to my rough calcs, the weight of the battery is about the same as 75 feet of 2-conductor automotive wire (12/24 volt) so I may be on to something. Now, if I can figure out how to attach to my Phantom. Is there a problem flying without the battery? Would this throw off the flight characteristics? Hmmm...
     
  6. spudmachine

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, it's a fascinating idea; but I suspect the cord weight will be too much. Obviously you save the weight of the battery, and you can run the motors at high power levels (which I assume will reduce their operational life).

    How about a Helium balloon and a WiFi-capable camera? I suppose you'd have to either have a very wide angle lens on it, or plan to include a steerable, stabilized mount. But you could just use one designed for a quad.

    I assume you're in the US, but I found this example on the Amazon UK site that tells us the lifting capacity is between 7 and 15 lbs. That's a pretty good payload that would include camera, gimbal, battery and the control boards.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/meter-Professio ... B0061SUOWO

    Normally a weather balloon is a one-shot thing because they burst either at high altitude, or when they get dragged over the ground. But in your application I'll bet you'd get a reasonable amount of re-use.
     
  7. BlackTracer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Winter Park, FL USA
    Remember the weight of any cable you attach and hang off the phantom is a force vector applied at the connection point. The weight is not just a one for one replacement for the battery weight. The battery is attached and becomes part of the overall static cg of the phantom. Seems like a hanging cord would be a moving vector which would affect your cg dynamically. In other words it will pull on your phantom in different directions as you fly. Maybe the phantom can handle this. You may want to consider this.
     
  8. crash1sttime

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    By 5 batteries .
     
  9. ilovecoffee

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    17
    ^ this.
    (edit: this referring to 2 comments up ;) )
    Wind can still blow the wire also.

    I'd try to figure out what is the thinnest gauge wire you can get away with and start with that taking it up VERY slowly. The moment it shows destabilization, you better take it down asap otherwise it's going to wobble out of control.
     
  10. rbhamilton

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    13
    I'm fairly sure the drone won't lift off without a "valid" battery present. The drone and the battery chat back and forth quite a bit. That said, it's a really interesting idea.
     
  11. jumanoc

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    8
    You remembered me a "wise man" who used a thin rope for avoiding phantom fly away.
    Check this. It is the nearest to your idea but no power over rope :lol:

    [vimeo]64720911[/vimeo]
     
  12. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    Why not turn the top cover into a Solar Panel?

    Or

    Why not secure a vertical free flowing propeller setup with a charging system?
     
  13. barefootbeachcombing

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    US
    As much as i am a fan of Phantom video, it this case it seems like it would be much easier to erect a pole and put a GoPro on it.

    Or rent a bucket truck.

    Or recruit the Fire Department.
     
  14. RichWest

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Tethering a balloon would make better sense to me... You could take the guts from a P2V+, camera/gimbal, along with the battery and run for hours videoing the scene.
     
  15. oilswoodhome

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://youtu.be/g8J0z1RohfI
    NightFlyer just posted this video the other day. You would be removing the battery weight to balance the wire weight and get extended flight time with a bigger battery that would stay on the ground.
     
  16. CityZen

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    NYC
    Wiring is simple. Look at the battery connector in the Phantom. Terminal with red wire is positive, black wire is negative. You need 12V. The terminals are large-size quick-disconnects.

    There is a hitch: the "intelligent" terminals. Various ways to solve this:
    - Use a Phantom 1 instead of a Phantom 2.
    - Change out the Naza module in the Phantom 2 with a Naza-M version.
    - Gut a Phantom 2 battery, remove the lipo cells, connect the wire to the battery circuit board, create a voltage divider network to provide the individual cell readings (0, 4, 8, 12V).

    You will of course need to measure the amps needed and figure out the proper wire gauge to use.
     
  17. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    6,811
    Likes Received:
    4,376
    Location:
    Live! From New York!
    I would guess the motors would fail early as they are not designed for non-stop running for extended periods.
     
  18. cskwarcan

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great comments - thanks. I also thought about solar panels but not sure the technology is there yet. Since I only need to hover <100 feet, I think I'll pursue it. I have a backup Vision 2+ (don't ask) that I can experiment with. Maybe step one will be to just attach the wire and see how flying characteristics are impacted. Step two would be to figure out how to attached a remote battery and take it up 10 feet or so. Step three would then be to take it up 75 feet and record a couple hours of uninterrupted video. Hopefully motors won't burn up...

    I have extra batteries and considered swapping every 20 minutes and then trying to find the same spot in the sky but it would be nice not to lose the time it takes to swap...

    Ideally, there would be a wired battery "shell" that would just slide in and away I go to collect all the video I need...maybe someone out there will develop this...
     
  19. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    6,811
    Likes Received:
    4,376
    Location:
    Live! From New York!
    You have 2 phantoms right? Fly them alternately and swap batteries on the one not in the air. Use ground station to plot them in the same location every time. I doubt the duty cycle on the OEM motors is long enough for your task but alternating them will allow enough cool down time. 4 batteries should get you an hour+.
     
  20. kengineer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    6
    As long as we are just shooting the sh1t, consider kicking the voltage way up maybe 200 or 300 volts? step it down at the bird with a transformer, the size of wire would be a small fraction of what you need at 12 volts. Figure out the transformer mounting in the bird to comp battery CG.

    How about a small gas engine with a generator onboard? One way to carry energy is in petroleum, it works for bigger aircraft.

    Find the right gas engine, couple it to the right generator, add a gas tank and fly for long periods. Figure out how to HIFR ( Helicopter In-Flight Refueling) and set a new record for ground station!