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rahtware
08-12-2006, 09:33 PM
I'm in the development stage of a new plane to carry my Point & Shoot camcorder aloft.

The first one works OK, but I feel I need to address a couple of problems; wind-milling and control. With the high, long, flat sides of V1 it tends to windmill into the wind. Also, with that large fuselage blocking the air to the rudder if there is any wind at all I need to keep the motor running to give the rudder enough authority to turn the plane against the wind.

In researching this and other forums I have decided to use twin tail boom design. As with my other design, this one will need to be low cost, easy and quick to build and operate and low cost.

I will go with my proven BP-21 motor turning a APC 8 x 4 E prop and powered by a Common Sense 2000mah 11.1 V battery through either my T-Bird or GWS controller will power this. I used two HS-81 servos on V1 for E R control, but am thinking of going to A E R controls on V2 so will probably drop down to 4 HS-55s.

I am looking for at least a foot of separation between the motor / servos and the camera to cut down on distortion. The center-pod design, by mounting the motor in the rear and the camera in front, is perfect for this.

More on this next week.

rahtware
08-16-2006, 02:01 PM
I'm now in the middle of rethinking the design.

The complexity of a twin boom plane reared its ugly head as I was working on the center pod. Part of my problem is materials. It is impossible to find blue or pink foam in this part of Northern California. Without that I am limited to packing and foil-backed foam, which are poor substitutes. The center section of the twin boom wing is where everything connects and this needs to be very strong to carry the loads. I could (and might have too) make a balsa wing, but one of my design parameters was that the plane be simple to build.

Because of these problems version #2 is going to be a pod and boom design as in "the Shot Getter". I still plan on building a twin boom plane (when I can find the materials) as the P&B design puts the tail right on the ground and the twin boom would raise the tail off the ground about 4”. With a skid-landing design a little ground clearance for the tail feathers is desirable.

rahtware
08-17-2006, 06:04 PM
V2 is curing (I hate foam safe CA!), when done I will shape the pod. Tail feathers are going to be as simple as I can make them, need to drive downtown and get some more CF before I can finish them.

Not a very good pic, v1 in back, v2 in front... V2 has a much smaller profile then v1.
15496

rahtware
08-17-2006, 06:58 PM
Basic shaping almost done...

This shows how much shorter (heigth) but longer (length) v2 is over v1.
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Much lower profile..
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Damage done to v1 by a one-point landing into a big rock... pilot lived!

ForestCam
08-17-2006, 11:36 PM
You'll probably get a lot more efficiancy out of your prop with V2 too.

Just a thought but with your twin boom idea, what about attaching the booms directly to the wing and use a long wire as an extended tail skid or just extend the rudders below the elevator?

rahtware
08-18-2006, 01:03 AM
You'll probably get a lot more efficiancy out of your prop with V2 too.

Just a thought but with your twin boom idea, what about attaching the booms directly to the wing and use a long wire as an extended tail skid or just extend the rudders below the elevator?

The twin-boom will have the booms attached to the wing center section. The design will have everything but the fuselage belly off the ground, the motor will clear the ground as will the tail feathers. With a high lift wing and a light wing loading the landing speed will be so low that the plane will stop in about 10' or less.

HoggZilla
08-18-2006, 02:50 AM
Good to see another creative design in the works.

I have blue foam, plenty of it, but I don't think it would have the strength to support a twin boom either. Don't know anything about the pink stuff. A little carbon fiber would probably do the trick though?

Also, you are much more knowledgeable on this stuff than me, but I love the foam safe CA when I use the activator. Have you tried the activator, it hardens faster than superglue.

rahtware
08-18-2006, 05:09 AM
Good to see another creative design in the works.

I have blue foam, plenty of it, but I don't think it would have the strength to support a twin boom either. Don't know anything about the pink stuff. A little carbon fiber would probably do the trick though?

Also, you are much more knowledgeable on this stuff than me, but I love the foam safe CA when I use the activator. Have you tried the activator, it hardens faster than superglue.

HZ

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I've tried two different FSCAs, both with Zip Kicker, with lousy results. The only success that I have had is when I can Zip one part and CA the other before putting them together.

Both the blue and pink are much stronger than the white, bead foam that is available to me. I don't know why, but about two years ago the pink and blue foams were replaced in the local hardware stores by a white foam with aluminum foil on both sides... I haven't tried to work with it yet (as my wire is still down), but might have to try it if I can't find a source of the other foams.

rahtware
08-18-2006, 01:07 PM
Everything is on hold for about a week... The grandkids are coming up for a visit and I won't have a free minute until they leave!:)

Fuse almost done, waiting on CF for it and the tail feathers and then it is down to installing gear and making everything work. I need to fix my hot wire... I am tired of sanding foam!

aviatordave
08-18-2006, 01:58 PM
Ahhh Grandkids........well I'm not at that stage in life yet...but not to far away. We will wait I guess......unless Grandma takes them to the mall - a little free time for you!

Dave (watching this build....)

rahtware
08-18-2006, 03:18 PM
Dave (et all)

Thought I should post a pic...
15524

CF arrow shaft (as in Shot Getter) tail boom and motor mount. The mount won't be that tall, I will cut it off after I attach the mount plate.

Weight so far is 85g / 3oz. Still have to glass the nose and attach tail feathers. It is such a pain that the only hobby shop (besids the local Rexal that has a hobby wall) in town is run by a nitro-truck junky! "Carbon Fiber, ya I got it, you want a truck or car frame???":(

HoggZilla
08-18-2006, 06:29 PM
I look forward to more, have a good week with the Grandkids.

Here is the link to the finished documentary of my first scratch built plane. My friend Mike did a good job with it, in my opinion at least. I may seem like a dork but that is pretty close to reality.

http://www.michaelvera.com/

rahtware
08-18-2006, 11:50 PM
I look forward to more, have a good week with the Grandkids.

Here is the link to the finished documentary of my first scratch built plane. My friend Mike did a good job with it, in my opinion at least. I may seem like a dork but that is pretty close to reality.

http://www.michaelvera.com/


I liked it... But don't know what I did to earn a spot on the credits???

rahtware
08-18-2006, 11:57 PM
On a whim I stopped by an out of the way lumber yard on my way down to Sonoma.... Came away with not one, but two sheets of 1" blue foam! Now I guess I will have to fix my hot-wire! Still no fan-fold, but keeping my eyes open.

Also stopped by Hobby Town and picked up CF and more Cellfoam 88... I am thinking of built-up wing tips to save weight.

More latter.

ForestCam
08-19-2006, 12:05 AM
Hmmmmm.... maybe I should go into the fanfold export business.:D

HoggZilla
08-19-2006, 02:42 AM
I liked it... But don't know what I did to earn a spot on the credits???

I was at Lowes tonight and walked by 2 large stacks of fan fold. Thought to myself, hmmm, that's a lot of blue foam. Then I went and looked at the 1/2"" and 3/4"" blue foam. Oh well, guess I can have all I want.

Anyway, credit to Larry in the video for inspiring me to build. My next plane is carrying a camera. Credit to Kosh and Dave also for their support in my new found hobby of building.

rahtware
08-21-2006, 07:13 PM
Glued the CF spars in the stabs this AM... G-kids here, but trying to find time to strip the gear out of V1. Hope to be able to shape the tail feathers and glue on leading edges tonight (after the kids go to sleep!)

rahtware
08-24-2006, 04:59 PM
Even with the G-kids here I was able to finish the tail feathers and figure out the approximate CG. It seems I will be able to use full length of the arrow shaft. I have simplified the construction of the tail by going to a single flat CF spar in each stab and tape hinges. Overall weight is down by by 2oz so far.

15719

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rahtware
08-26-2006, 05:36 AM
I made a decision today... Do you smell the smoke???

I was going to stay down in Sonoma and do some work at moms and my sisters houses, but decided to come back to Willits and try to get in some cleaning and building! In my shop (my half or the garage) I can't get to the worktable due to half finished projects and storage issues. It's a good thing my other half doesn't have a problem with me working on the dinning room table (as long as I clean up after).

I want to finish this project by next Tuesday, so I have to get hopping.

Notes: The CF "flat" that I used for the tail feathers was a Midwest #MID5742, .057" x .177" x 24". It came in a two-pack, but I think MW has started putting only one piece in a pack. I used 30min epoxy so it would fill any gaps between the foam and CF. This gave me time to tape up both sides and weight the pieces down before the glue set up.

rahtware
08-28-2006, 04:17 PM
Servo tray in and control rods built and installed.

The underside of the servo tray showing bracing.
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Servos installed, After gluing the tray in place I decided it would have been better to turn the servos around and exit the wire straight through the forward brace.
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Control rods in place and epoxy curing. The CF part is Midwest part# MID5720 .125 OD tube.
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rahtware
08-28-2006, 06:35 PM
OK, darn it somebody wasn't doing their job this morning! So who was supposed to be watching me to keep me from doing stupid stuff???

Went to attach the motor mount and found that the control rods were too high! I tried different setups but ended up mounting the servos out the sides of the plane to get the rods low enough.

Good news is the servos are in and the epoxy on the motor mount is curing.

rahtware
08-28-2006, 10:24 PM
Latest pics...

Rods in, motor on (temp) still need to trim a little off the 8" prop or drop down to a 7".

Fuse weight with all the gear (inc battery) is 437gms or 15 1/2 oz.

New servo and rod setup.
15902

closer up...
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rahtware
08-29-2006, 03:42 AM
She's done... Well almost as I need motor screws and nuts, and velcro to hold the battery down.


15921

15922

15923

RTF weight is 812gms (28.65 oz), 1 1/3oz less than v1... I was hopping for more, but anything is better than nothing.

HoggZilla
08-29-2006, 06:22 AM
She looks good. I'm a little surprised the weight isn't less as well, but I'm sure it will be fine. Do you know the weight without the batter, motor and esc? Probably cutting off 1+ oz off the airframe weight was pretty good.

Can't wait to see and hear the reports. Any idea when she will fly?

rahtware
08-29-2006, 03:30 PM
The battery, motor, ESC, camera and receiver = 375gms (13 1/4oz). The servos, the only thing I couldn't easly remove, are standard HS-81s (16.6gms ea) which would bring the non-airframe parts to 408gms (14.4oz). That leaves 404gms (14 1/4oz) for the airframe, a 9% drop in weight from v1.

I hope to get in the test flights on Wed. morning in that big field in Sonoma.

I'm not too sure about the tail feathers... I think I am going to do some reshaping and maybe bracing back there. One of the things about the boom is it is a heck of a lot more flexable then a built-up structure. I don't know how that will affect flying, but guess I will find out on Wed.

rahtware
09-01-2006, 04:09 AM
No test flight yet due to a cold (mine), wind and family... Maybe Saturday or Sunday...

rahtware
09-04-2006, 09:06 PM
Guys, I think I have a winner here!

Took it out this AM got in a 10 min test flight. It still needs a little trimming, larger rudder and minor adjustments to the thrust line, but in all it was a great success.

I was a little worried, but as soon as it left my hand I knew that it was going to be a sweet flyer. Climb out was not what it should be, but after I gained altitude and throttled back it started a slight zoom. I reset the trims to level flight and applied power... It started a slight decent at high(er) speed... Thrust line too positive! An easy fix.

The other problem that it showed was little rudder control. It was enough, kinda like low rate, but I like a positive rudder so will be working on that as well. I had enough rudder to play "chicken" with a vulture... I won!

After getting the feel of the plane I tried a loop and a roll... Loop, YES! Did two in a row with out loosing any altitude. Roll, NO!!! Maybe after I get a little more rudder control. I then did a couple of low, high speed passes. But the best part was the landing.

The first attempt flew right past me as I had misjudged the planes speed. I gave it a little power and made a 180. This time I had to apply power and hold in a little pos elevator. I stalled it a couple of times, but when it did the nose just dropped and it descended a bit (less than a foot). When it was where I wanted it to land I slowly cut the power until it was sliding on the grass.

Video turned out great. I will post a clip tonight. In about a week I will be making my first attempt at cutting wings in 15 years.

rahtware
09-07-2006, 03:43 PM
Have worked out most of the trim problems, still need a larger rudder, but able to use it as is.

This video is in three parts; First is a high altitude 360 of Sonoma valley CA at sunset. Second is a couple of low passes over the flying field. And the last part is a landing with approach... Note: The new, two story houses in view at the start of the 3rd part are selling for 1.5 million+.

http://media.putfile.com/Sonoma-9-5-06

The reason for the rough landing comes into view just as the P&SS touches down... I'm not talking about me!

GallopingGhost
09-08-2006, 12:18 AM
Congrats on your efforts. What type of camera are you using? CMOS or CCD?

ForestCam
09-08-2006, 12:54 AM
Pretty cool! I see your cam doesn't have the waviness at low light as well. Where's the video of playing chicken with the vulture? :D

Oh, BTW the new two story homes in the background of my Formosa video are selling for 1.7 thousand+ http://home.comcast.net/~forestcam2/tongue.gif

rahtware
09-08-2006, 01:20 AM
Congrats on your efforts. What type of camera are you using? CMOS or CCD?

GG

The Pure Digital Point & Shoot is just a CMOS, 640 x 480 camcorder but...

I started this and the previous build just to carry the P&S aloft. I don't know how they do it, but I can play the videos back on my laptop filling the full screen! This is a great little CC that has the firmware and USB connector built into the camera so no downloading 3rd party (as in the other cheap CCs) software that sorta works. This firmware feels like it was designed around the P&S, not an afterthought.

The best part is that now the same CC is being sold under the RCA name for $109 with a $30 rebate. Add that to the 30min record time (no extra memory to buy). And ease of use, push power, push start, put in plane and take off. When you land, push the same BIG RED button to stop it and you are done. and you can see why I started this build.

FC

$170 thou around here buys a... I can't think of anything you can buy with that! I will have to find the vulture shot. As I remember it isn't as spectacular on film as it looked from the ground.

ForestCam
09-08-2006, 03:01 AM
I just have to chuckle about housing prices there. On another board I frequent a guy got transfered from LA to Minnesota. He sold his 120k 1200 sq ranch house for 450k, bought a 2200sq on 4 acres for 200k and banked the 1/4 mil. that was left.

rahtware
09-08-2006, 04:08 AM
Found it!

16381

ForestCam
09-08-2006, 04:10 AM
Yep, he definatly turned first. ;)

GallopingGhost
09-08-2006, 11:38 PM
Is this the Pure Digital Camera that is pretty much the same as the CVS version that people are hacking to reuse? It sure seems to do a good job for you.

rahtware
09-09-2006, 08:53 AM
Is this the Pure Digital Camera that is pretty much the same as the CVS version that people are hacking to reuse? It sure seems to do a good job for you.

I would think the hardware is close as they both come from Pure Digital from San Francisco, but, the P&S comes with a built in USB connector. The firmware must be different; all needed programs to upload and save the files is included in the P&S.

I went this way because I'm not much of a computer geek (which you need to be just to figure out which hacks and programs you need to use for which version of CVS camera), and I wanted the AP part of this project to work without too much trouble.

For my $109 I got what I wanted with only one exception, I wish the P&S were a more plane friendly shape. Although it is small enough to use on a plane like the Shot Getter, I need something without landing gear because I plan on using my plane in places where LG gets in the way. And, as the only way I know to protect the camera from motor "noise" (the waves seen on a lot of videos) is to get it as far away from the gear as possible, I went with my own design.

A side bonus is that I am so happy with the P&S that I have stopped taking my Canon when we take the G-kids on outings. No more bulky camera swinging from my neck as I scramble around the tide pools trying to keep up with a 6 year old!

A side note: I am also thrilled with the performance of my little (and cheap) BP-21 motor. I might want to move up to more expensive equipment before tossing a plane off a 600' cliff that drops straight into the Pacific Ocean, but that is quite a bit in the future for me. As is, after I get the rudder figured out, I plan on doing pelican level passes over the waves and beaches in my area. And if it does go in… I am only out around $220, radio gear, power system, plane and camera.

GallopingGhost
09-09-2006, 09:50 PM
Since you like the BP -21 try one of the BP -12's on something that needs a bigger prop. I have one on a Slow Stick with a 12-6 prop. It only pulls about 7 amps and carries a 6 oz camera with power to spare.