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Thread: Sneak Peak of My Next Project

  1. #1
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    Default Sneak Peak of My Next Project

    Got a breadboard going of the circuitry for my next little project .



    I'm looking to upgrade my current night flyer which can be seen below:



    ...more to come...

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Hey!

    It's been a little too quiet here lately, so here's an update on my nightflyer project.

    The sneak peak you saw was of my initial bread board prototype. A lighted photograph of the breadboard is here:



    A breadboard is a simple way to prototype an electronic circuit. It lets you make temporary connections without soldering so that you can test and adjust your design.

    It occured to me that since I was building a blinky, I might as well make use of it on Halloween. I plunked the circuit in my pumpkin in place of a candle. Here's the result:



    ...

  3. #3
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    .

    The aircraft I've chosen for this project is the Stevens Aero Shaft 25e.

    Basically, Bill Stevens took the Ultra Stick line of aircraft, added his own flair, and called it the "Shaft"... get it? Stick... Shaft?

    Anyways, I chose this aircraft because:
    -it's a kit..great for customizing, and lots of open bays which is great for lighting.
    -flat bottom airfoil, and nice large wing, good for lifting payload.
    -Stevens aero aircraft typically build extremely light, again...good for payload.
    -They're fun and quick to build.

    What you see in the next picture is the result of two evenings of building. Seriously. The fuse and tail framed up in one evening, and the wing took the second evening:



    The wing is designed so that the builder has the choice of one big aileron, or a flaps/ailerons configuration. You can see below there's a thick stinger with a cut through the middle that is the suggested place to split the aileron/flap. The kit even comes with two sets of servo mounts depending on what you want to do. A larger HS-81 mount is used for single aileron setup. A smaller HS-65 mount is used for split. I'm going split flaps and ailerons.



    The horizontal stab is desinged to be removable on this aircraft. Below you can see the two screws that keep it in place. The idea is that while this isn't a big aircraft to begin with, removing the stab means that it is super easy to transport (maybe on vacation to the cottage?)


    ...

  4. #4
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    ...
    The last really cool thing about the aircraft is the landing gear:



    It is simply held on with a pair of rubber bands. This provides ALOT of shock absorbtion without stressing the fuselage:



    If you need it stiffer, just put the rubber on tighter .. ahem... Apparently the gear will snap off in a REALLY hard landing, but I don't plan on doing any of those.

    That's it for now... more to come...

  5. #5
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    Interesting. Will it be fueled or electric?

    Larry

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cicopo View Post
    Interesting. Will it be fueled or electric?

    Larry

    It will definitely be electric. The StevensAero kits are really not designed to withstand the vibrations of an IC engine. It also wouldn't be too much fun to mess around with gas or glow fuel in the dark

    Tom

  7. #7
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    Here's a quick update on the build.

    I've been building the controller board that will hold all of the LED controlling electronics.

    Here is the board without the microcontrollers:



    And here it is with the controllers installed:



    On this board you can see:
    -The larger blue board is an Arduino Mini. This runs some code that I wrote to flash the lights in the chosen pattern.
    -Each of the smaller red boards is a MAX6966 chip. These are 10 channel LED drivers, meaning that each chip can drive 10 LEDs at varying brightnesses. Each RGB LED requires 3 of these channels (one each for RED, GREEN, and BLUE).
    -At the right is a hard drive connector I scavenged from my bin of old computer parts. It has 40 pins, and this is where the wing electronics will connect. To simplify setup at the field, the servos in the wing will also connect through this connector.

    The last bit of electronics I had to build for this project are the power distribution boards in the wings. The MAX6966 chips are not designed to drive large numbers of LEDs. So for each wing bay, I have a little board with 3 MOSFETs (one for each colour channel) to handle the current to all the LEDs in that bay.



    This board has the three black FETs at the top, and the 150ohm current limiting resistors for each LED. I build the boards so they can easily connect 6 LEDs each.

    ....

  8. #8
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    ....

    So alot of soldering fumes later, I have a little test harness to help me write some initial software to get the lights flashing:



    Here you can see the 10 transistor boards that will be installed in the wing. They are temporarily hot glued onto some scrap wood to keep things lined up. What you see here is just for initial testing to make sure everything works before I commit it to being installed in the wing where it is tougher to troubleshoot problems. Each board has a single LED hardwired to it at the moment. Once it is installed in the wing, each board will drive 6 LEDs, all showing the same colour as the one hardwired to the board.

    Here's where the board sits in the fuselage with the wing off:


    And here, with the wing on, you can see the 40pin connector lines up nicely with the wire opening in the wing:



    ...

  9. #9
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    Last but not least, here's a sample video of some patterns I have going. Just imagine that each of those lights is one bay in the wing:




    Thats all for now.

    Tom

  10. #10
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    Dude, you're geeking out. Awesome project! Way to combine two hobbies into one REALLY cool one!
    uʍop ǝpısdn ʇı op sʎnƃ ılǝɥ

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