So what is this all about?
It is about building a complete Quadcopter/Drone from scratch that can be used for filming and aerial photography.
Project status (26.12.2018)
- Small package for ease of transport. What is a multicopter worth when you can not take it to the places that are exciting. I am not a professional filmmaker so what I want is to enjoy my trip in the first place. The drone is the little extra that helps to capture some cool shots from an unusual perspective.
- Capture great photo and video. The footage will be the final result. If it sucks the whole project has failed.
- Cheap. I am a student with very limited financial possibilities. I won’t do a project if the costs are too high or I could just buy an equal (or better) product for the same amount of money.
- Easy to use. Having to set up the drone for 10min before every flight is not cool nor fun.
- Robust. If I have to worry about the drone to suddenly drop out of the sky, loose signal or crash than the whole thing is useless. You just wouldn’t use it. Drones for filming are heavy (minimum 1kg). Imagine a 1kg+ aluminium block falling out of the sky.
- As much flight time as possible. Nothing more annoying than having to bring three battery packs just to get 15 minutes of flight time.
- Use of very basic materials and tools. I do not have access to rapid prototyping or any other kind of machinery. Just a drill and some saws. Has to be enough to get the job done.
What does this project do differently?
Compared to existing solutions this project aims to:
- Robust digital video downlink using DroneBridge
- Provide a real alternative to DJI Lightbridge
- Custom RC & telemetry transmission using raw sockets and custom protocols
- Custom Android app for ease of use
- High degree of modularisation. Extendability!
- All advantages of EZ-WifiBroadcasts technique + a complete copter command and control concept
- iNAV & MAVLink support
- Full iNAV support makes it magnitudes cheaper than Pixhawk based projects
- Lots of documentation!
Table of Contents
This post is divided into multiple sections:
- Introduction – project goals
- State of the art
- Weight & performance management (Systems Engineering)
- Where to start? (Powertrain guide)
- The radio link (Systems Engineering – DroneBridge)
- Choosing a flight controller
- Choosing a remote control
- Building an airframe
- Setting up a ground station
- Lessons learned