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The crash test dummy FC40

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by BMc, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. BMc

    BMc

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    Hello all,

    This is my first post here. I have been a long time RC guy however I have only just recently gotten into full size quads. I have a half dozen or so helicopters and small toy quads and I finally stepped up to a DJI. Let me back up a little, I actually bought a P2V off amazon prime a couple months ago but after 2 days of silly invalid battery alarms and firmware updates, I returned it. I waited until the FC40 came up on prime and got it for $499 with free 2 day air. Sweet. Anyway, I was wanting to build a 550 or something similar and go full FPV but I felt I needed to get a good amount of flight time before I drop a couple grand on a nicer rig.

    Anyway, so far I love the FC40. It flies just like my old P2V. The Naza-M V2 rock although it doesn't appear to have the PMU/BTU for add on goodies but those can come later. I have already ordered the dual battery mount kit so the batteries go outboard on either side as well as the FPV mount platform (actually got two, one for front and back) to mount various stuff on. I am looking into seeing if down the road I can switch the FC to 2.4 by using someones old 2.4 phantom Rx and controller which would give me better range and allow me to use a 5.8 FPV system with a gimbaled gopro. I am pretty sure I can get the iOSD mini to work if I add the $70 DJI PMU, but that's later down the road.

    Long story short, I figured I would start with their inexpensive model and either mod it to a 1 mile range FPV rig or leave it as is and get an additional serious quad/hex. I do like the fact that it does have the awesome Naza FC so if I do crash it, I can yank the guts out of it and build my own quad/hex.

    I look forward to talking with you guys on here and you can bet I will have mine torn apart and modded in no time. Oh, I have some 3/8" aluminum tubing on the way to make some new, much wider footprint landing gear. I hate how narrow it is. If you land with any lateral momentum whatsoever, there is a good chance it's going to tip over. I already have the prop guards on it just for that reason.

    Ok, done rambling.

    See you guys around!

    BMc
     
  2. BMc

    BMc

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    After having the unit for a few weeks I have already started tinkering with it. Aside from adding the prop guards, then 9.5" vision props, and back to stock props for now, I have added carbon fiber side plates for parallel battery flying for increased flight time, a rear FPV mount bracket which is used to hang the FC40 camera from while my old GP Hero2 hangs from the front mount. As it is now, I have the FC40 camera behind the gopro and pointing down below the GP a bit and you can still fly it well via the FC40 camera and get better video from the gopro. Next up will be a cheap gimbal for more stable shots. I still barely have $600 into the thing and even with a cheapo gimbal I will be at about $700 and it will serve as a perfect training unit until I step up to a bigger hex. At the very most I plan to swap controller Tx and crafts Rx to a 2.4 Ghz longer range setup and use a 1000+ mw 5.8 fpv setupup but that gear could be transfer over to a new hex once I make the switch and then I can return the FC40 Tx/Rx back to OEM stuff and keep it as a play toy or 'high risk' flying. I would much rather crash/loose a $700 unit than a $2500 long range hex.

    Anyway, this thing has been a blast and short of needing to recal the IMU, it has been perfect out of the box. I am amazed at just how much stuff this thing can haul on stock props. So far it consists of the Phantom, (2) 2500 batteries, gopro H2 in waterproof case, the FC40 camera and (2) led flashlights for giggles. I can shed the lights and gopro hardcase if it struggle too much outside but it has been awesome so far!

    Here is a little vid I shot last night. Nothing special. I will get pics of the craft itself later today.
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8KZZcZtNXw[/youtube]
     
  3. Bigbells

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    Location:
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    That is flying precision of which I am not capable! Excellent flying!
    The FC40 is a very decent quad and a good deal, IMHO. I've been trying to get the FC40 camera's wi-fi to connect with the Unieye Cam app, but so far no dice. I don't yet have the hang of FPV flying but I've found it's less difficult when I aim the camera high enough that I can see the tips of the front rotors.
     
  4. BMc

    BMc

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    Why thank you. Sadly, in that video the updraft actually made the craft silly wobbly inside. At least my loving wife finds it amusing for now :D

    Edit: Current build
    [​IMG]
     
  5. antpoli

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    WoW BMc!!! Ure phantom is really col, COMPLIMENTS. How many batteriedo you use for phantom (not camera) 2 or 3?
     
  6. general01

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    I see I ain't only stable in door flyer

    Nice setup on the batteries I may do that later on as I want longer run time

    I also have a fc40 and love it I plan on getting a vision later on(currently restoring a classic car)
     
  7. ericdes

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    Hi,

    Can you explain or get pictures of how you set up the FC40 camera? I have a gimbal coming in would like to use the FC40 once I get the Gopro for FPV.

    Thanks!!
     
  8. Bigbells

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    That is an amazing job of modding. I really enjoy the way the FC40 camera looks when mounted that way. Such a cool alien look. Cyclopsian!
     
  9. Jenniar

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    If you want to get a great RC toys you may go to the rctopshop where there are many RC products.
     
  10. BMc

    BMc

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    Wow, thanks for all the complements guys! I haven't been back on here in a while but I will try to answer everyone questions.

    antpoli - I am running 2 Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo batteries, one on either side using these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ESJ ... UTF8&psc=1

    general01 - Thanks, it is super stable inside and with the prop guards on, if you bump a wall it wouldn't go crashing to the ground. I am currently running without the guards and using the 9.5" Phantom 2 Vision props. They make a huge difference in flight time and payload capacity and the motors are not even getting hot. As far as the P2V goes, I had one before this and returned it to buy an FC40. The P2V is extremely limited for $1200. Just buy a P2 and add gimble, gopro and FPV Tx/Rx and be miles ahead. The P2V 5.8 GHz flight control range is limited as is the 2.4 GHz video range is even more limited. The P2 used 2.4 on the flight control which is good for 1 km stock. Then you can use any one of many 5.8 GHz video downlink systems and have solid flight/video control well out to 1 km compared to the 500m at best on the FC40/P2V.

    ericdes - I am currently using this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D8I ... UTF8&psc=1
    on the rear to mount my lipo monitor/buzzer to so I can see it from the ground. I am using this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FMP ... UTF8&psc=1 mounter with the FPV plate facing forward with the FC40 camera and cradle zip tied to the top of it as seen in the picture above. I have since changed the mounting position because the 9.5" props flex enough that they could have hit the top of the camera so I rotated the mounting cradle 90 degrees so the cradle lays flat on the FPV plate but the camera is in the vertical position. I will take a photo tonight.

    Bigbells - Thanks! I love it and most of my neighbors come over and watch every time I fly it. It is currently zero degrees here in Kansas City so I haven't gotten out to a big field yet so just a bunch of test flights in the neighborhood.


    Lastly, for my next round of mods I extending the range of both the 5.8 GHz flight control system as well as the 2.4 GHz FPV system. Lets start with the 5.8 GHz parts I will be doing this week. First starting with this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005UW ... UTF8&psc=1 to remove the cheap old radio Tx antenna and run a legitimate: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004UB ... UTF8&psc=1 . This will push the range from the stock 500m to hopefully 750m+.

    Next for the 2.4 GHz wifi system, I am using this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007B5PQ6A/ref ... 1DBLTCZTZF to boost the signal similar to what the range extender on the P2V does. I will be powering it with this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007RQW5WG/ref ... 12ZSG6MELR.

    I think about the only other thing I want to to is add a gimble for the gopro and I will be done with this unit. My goal for this one was to build an FPV quad that uses a gopro for under $1000 and so far, that should be easy (exploding the gopro, I already had that). My next copter is still undecided. It will likely be a hex, built around the gopro 4 that's coming out before long.

    Thanks guys!
     
  11. rustysd

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    I'm definitely excited to see how you rigged the FC40 cam to go with the GoPro - please include close up pics that will let us figure out how to recreate that mod.

    Thanks!
     
  12. BMc

    BMc

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    As promised, here are some pics of my current setup.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So far everything works great with this setup. I am going to tear it down tonight and cut a new opening in the battery door to allow the power cable to pass through at a better angle.
     
  13. general01

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  14. ericdes

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    The camera doesn't shake with that setup?

    How do you connect the Battery Alarm? Longer wire?

    Do you prefer this setup or the battery alarm to the leg?
    Can you here it from a good distance?

    This is sweet and very creative!
     
  15. BMc

    BMc

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    Ericdes- the anti-jello mount makes for nice and smooth video. The placement of the FC40 camera would likely be shaky when viewed on a computer however being that it's used for FPV, it's pretty decent. I prefer a rigid video feed of the craft as to relay exactly what's going on. The battery alarm is wires up with a 5" balance wire extension cable as seen in the firat picture. The batteries are mounted with the leads forward so the extension runs through the anti-jello mount and attaches up front. Lastly, i do prefer the alarm mounted under the rear plate mount because I can read it when it hovers by rather than getting it down to eye level to read it. And it is super loud. I cm hear it for at least 500 feet. I time my flights so I nowhere near beyond that when it would go off.

    Cheers.
     
  16. antpoli

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    Hi,
    for the battery alarm, bacause you have only one alarm, you can connect only one battery... or there is any trick to monitor both batteries with only one battery alarm?

    ciao
     
  17. BMc

    BMc

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    The alarm is only connected to a single battery. Being that they are connected in parallel, the draw rate is pretty even. Even if one battery has a little more/less juice than the other, I still land when the voltage on the one i am monitoring hits 3.7v per cell. That gives me plenty of time to land safely. The buzzer is simply used as a double safety. I have flown several times at low level with it beeping because the LED on the craft has yet to blink red yet.

    Now, if you were having it go off at a lower voltage when it's closer to landing for you, yes, I would dual alarms.