Author Topic: RC Quadcopter  (Read 9024 times)

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Offline skillz21

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RC Quadcopter
« on: February 05, 2016, 11:35:10 pm »
I want to make a RC quadcopter with Arduino. I found some videos online about some circuits you can use but I couldn't find them. so if anyone has any suggestions please leave them below. if not I want to use the Arduino, or two of them. one for the controller and one for the device itself. but here is the goal: I want to do it on my own. the problem? I don't have a lot of experience with Arduino. So can you guys help me find somewhere I can learn more about Arduino for free? and if you can, can you find some examples of how to build a quadcopter. I still need to find out what to use as the structure and the hardware. Any help is seriously appreciated.

Thanks :)
 

Offline Skimask

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 11:41:50 pm »
Google must be broken down under.
I didn't take it apart.
I turned it on.

The only stupid question is, well, most of them...

Save a fuse...Blow an electrician.
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 11:44:13 pm »
well then can you point out some search terms?
 

Offline JimRemington

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 12:58:30 am »
DIYdrones.com has everything.
 

Offline denneyaa

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2016, 02:37:47 am »
I have dealt with quads for about 4 years now. It is quite an undertaking to do everything you are planning on just by the shear size of the project. A few suggestions to get you started. Focus on a single area first either frame building, main flight control or accessories. They all have their rabbit holes and can all have time and money commitments.

Flight controls I would suggest kk multi copter or multi Wii as they started off with the atmega328.

Frames all depends on the size and danger you can deal with. I would suggest a 250 size to get started as they are on the smaller size but can still handle quite a bit.

I hope this helps.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2016, 04:57:12 am »
I want to make a RC quadcopter with Arduino. I found some videos online about some circuits you can use but I couldn't find them.
you cannot find an arduino? thats the only circuit afaik. the rest is RF receiver, esc, motors and propellers. everything can be bought off-the-shelf...
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2016, 05:10:59 am »
I want to make a RC quadcopter with Arduino. I found some videos online about some circuits you can use but I couldn't find them.
you cannot find an arduino? thats the only circuit afaik. the rest is RF receiver, esc, motors and propellers. everything can be bought off-the-shelf...
could you point out what I need and where I could get it?
 

Offline crispy_tofu

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2016, 05:13:39 am »
Have you checked out HobbyKing for buying quadcopter parts?  :)
(no affiliation)
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2016, 05:21:41 am »
I want to make a RC quadcopter with Arduino. I found some videos online about some circuits you can use but I couldn't find them.
you cannot find an arduino? thats the only circuit afaik. the rest is RF receiver, esc, motors and propellers. everything can be bought off-the-shelf...
could you point out what I need and where I could get it?
feel free...
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/RC_PRODUCT_SEARCH.asp?strSearch=quad
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2016, 05:22:38 am »
here is a question I have always had: if you had the motors connected to motor controllers and the motor controller connected to the Arduino, how would you actually control the speed of rotation. I know how to control the side of rotation but how can you control the speed?
 

Offline crispy_tofu

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 05:41:43 am »
here is a question I have always had: if you had the motors connected to motor controllers and the motor controller connected to the Arduino, how would you actually control the speed of rotation. I know how to control the side of rotation but how can you control the speed?
This might help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_speed_control
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2016, 10:49:10 am »
here is a question I have always had: if you had the motors connected to motor controllers and the motor controller connected to the Arduino, how would you actually control the speed of rotation. I know how to control the side of rotation but how can you control the speed?
This might help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_speed_control
Ok I read the page. it explains ESC modules. I have seen people do this with just the Arduino. CAN the Arduino be used as an ESC? if it can, is there a specialised library to set the speed of a motor? one more question: how do you control the speed of a motor through a motor controller? I know that there are two wires that control the direction of the motor. But how do you control the speed, do you vary the voltage of the control pins of the motor controller. if so, can you use the Arduino to vary the voltage of a pin. (I originally thought you couldn't do that)
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2016, 04:41:11 pm »
here is a question I have always had: if you had the motors connected to motor controllers and the motor controller connected to the Arduino, how would you actually control the speed of rotation. I know how to control the side of rotation but how can you control the speed?
speed of rotation is controlled by giving the ESC a PPM pulse, thats easily programmed with arduino, just find any quad controller code. if coding is so hard, buy dedicated flight controller...
lmgtfy... http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/RC_PRODUCT_SEARCH.asp?strSearch=quad+controller

CAN the Arduino be used as an ESC?
no! ESC has dedicated motor drivers aka bunches of mosfets, and it also has its own dedicated MCU for BLDC algorithm...
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2016, 09:56:58 pm »
here is a question I have always had: if you had the motors connected to motor controllers and the motor controller connected to the Arduino, how would you actually control the speed of rotation. I know how to control the side of rotation but how can you control the speed?
speed of rotation is controlled by giving the ESC a PPM pulse, thats easily programmed with arduino, just find any quad controller code. if coding is so hard, buy dedicated flight controller...
lmgtfy... http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/RC_PRODUCT_SEARCH.asp?strSearch=quad+controller

CAN the Arduino be used as an ESC?
no! ESC has dedicated motor drivers aka bunches of mosfets, and it also has its own dedicated MCU for BLDC algorithm...
So where do you introduce the PPM pulse to? and one more question: isnt it Pulse WIDTH Modulation? Did you do PPM By accident.
(Googled it!)
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 04:52:20 am »
So where do you introduce the PPM pulse to?
the ESC's input port?
isnt it Pulse WIDTH Modulation? Did you do PPM By accident.
(Googled it!)
no design is by accident, you need to code it.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2016, 07:59:08 am »
So where do you introduce the PPM pulse to?
the ESC's input port?
isnt it Pulse WIDTH Modulation? Did you do PPM By accident.
(Googled it!)
no design is by accident, you need to code it.
firstly i meant how to you introduce it to a motor controller (though i am not going to use one!) there are two pins to control the side of rotation, right? and secondly i have no idea what you are talking about (no design is by accident, you need to code it.) please explain more
thanks!
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2016, 10:20:23 am »
Quote
there are two pins to control the side of rotation, right?
wrong, only one pin only. be it unipolar ESC (for flying object) or bipolar ESC (for land object like rc car or boat)...
Quote
how to you introduce it to a motor controller
its hard to imagine when you dont have the item, there is wire poking out, just connect it to arduino pin. you'll know when you have one. and if you pay enough attention, in many item shown in the link i provided, you can see the wire in the ESC pic, usually white,reds,black (PPM,V+,GND)
Quote
Did you do PPM By accident.
what are you talking about?
Quote
(though i am not going to use one!)
so is it worth the time? or i'm just wasting my time here...
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2016, 10:34:17 am »
Quote
there are two pins to control the side of rotation, right?
wrong, only one pin only. be it unipolar ESC (for flying object) or bipolar ESC (for land object like rc car or boat)...
Quote
how to you introduce it to a motor controller
its hard to imagine when you dont have the item, there is wire poking out, just connect it to arduino pin. you'll know when you have one. and if you pay enough attention, in many item shown in the link i provided, you can see the wire in the ESC pic, usually white,reds,black (PPM,V+,GND)
Quote
Did you do PPM By accident.
what are you talking about?
Quote
(though i am not going to use one!)
so is it worth the time? or i'm just wasting my time here...
it is definitely worth your time! as I said, I'm a beginner and I am very interested, and I am learning
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2016, 11:51:37 am »
... as I said, I'm a beginner and I am very interested, and I am learning
Break your "wanted result" up in parts you understand.

It looks like the first step you still have to take is "blink the led"
This is done by putting code in the arduino controller.

If you want it to blink faster/slower/... your code will have to be different.
There are also multiple possibilities to get the same result. Learn all of them.

Then learn about input/output and serial communication.
Then PWM and interrupts
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline Blackwarrior

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2016, 10:01:23 pm »
I agree with Galenbo, learn the basics of the arduino first. Programming a FC for any aircraft is a massive undertaking. I've been flying helicopters and quads for many years now and although it would be an interesting, but lengthy project, it not for the novice.. Much easier to buy a ready made FC like the Naze or similar...
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2016, 10:40:55 pm »
 

Offline markhing

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2016, 04:52:58 am »
Take a look at http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Android-controllable-PC-Interfaceable-Relati/?ALLSTEPS

It shows you how to build a quadcopter (and octocopter) as well as control it with Arduino.
 

Offline skillz21

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2016, 04:36:36 am »
... as I said, I'm a beginner and I am very interested, and I am learning
Break your "wanted result" up in parts you understand.

It looks like the first step you still have to take is "blink the led"
This is done by putting code in the arduino controller.

If you want it to blink faster/slower/... your code will have to be different.
There are also multiple possibilities to get the same result. Learn all of them.

Then learn about input/output and serial communication.
Then PWM and interrupts
I Know how to blink a led.( I build an led chaser too!) I would say that I know a bit about serial communication. But I DO need to learn about PWM and interrupts. (NO idea what interrupts are, but I'll google it!)
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2016, 11:06:37 am »
...I Know how to blink a led.( I build an led chaser too!) I would say that I know a bit about serial communication. But I DO need to learn about PWM and interrupts. (NO idea what interrupts are, but I'll google it!)
This is exactly what I mean. No offence, but the way you know how to blink a led, is by copy/paste internet text into some software, connect a cable and push the "send" button.
The time when I didn't know about interrupts, I considered myself being on level "zero" in the world of microcrontrollers.

You will now have to start learning all the other ways to blink that led.

-try this: close internet, the books and examples, and write/type your software yourself, from zero, without libraries.
-blink 8 leds, all together, but at another frequency.
-blink a led at 1HZ, but make sure input from a pushbutton is always immediately sent to rs232.
-blink the led at a rate that is received by serial communication.
-make a led dimmer with pwm.
-Make it blink or dim using interrupts, so less processor performance is used, and other software can run also.

After that, you are ready to take another step, and ready for start thinking about measurement and control.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 11:12:02 am by Galenbo »
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline LHelge

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Re: RC Quadcopter
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2016, 09:39:13 am »
Just to give an idea of the work you need to put in. I have a long time project going on to create a flight controller for a multicopter. I've build one revision several years ago and started rev 2 maybe a year ago. Working on several projects at once but I guess I have at least 250 h put into the flightcontroller yet and it's still bodged together breakout boards on a demo board and it hasn't been up in the air yet. I'm guessing my starting point is a little better than yours with a daily work in embedded software developing and a M. Sc. degree in control theory.

With that said, I don't think it is impossible, and it's extremely fun and rewarding work so i definitely think you should keep on. It has been done with an Arduino before so it should be possible. One thing though that I would strongly recommend is to use a microcontroller with enough Capture/Compare modules and timers for all your PWM signals. I use a STM32F405 which gladly takes 8 PWM input signals and 8 PWM output signals with barely any CPU load. I've got all those 168 MHz with floating point capability left for sensor fusion and control calculations.
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