Hardware inquiry for a long battery time drone with quality camera

Discussion in 'First Build' started by Anton Ambalong, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Anton Ambalong

    Anton Ambalong New Member

    Hello Ma'ams and Sirs,

    I'm trying to build a drone for surveillance purposes. This is my first drone building project and my school thesis as well.

    Basically my main problem statement is to create a web-based drone control mechanism.

    I'll be developing the program using flytpi so I'm thinking of using pixhawk.

    What I'm trying to figure out is the best set of hardware to maximize flight time while having a quality camera onboard.

    Basically, what would be the best motors etc.

    I'm also trying to figure out how to work communications between the ground station(my web-based project).

    Any help would be great!

    Thank you!
  2. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Low kv = lower power consumption.
    What size frame do you intend to use ?
    Something around 450mm + looking around or upto 10,000mah.
    You could do wit getting all the other bits together then weighing them.
    That will give you a roundabout figure of what thrust you need off your motors.
    I would suggest around 2308 maybe 24 with 900kv - 1200kv. But really you need a weight to go off. Then you can look at batteries properly.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  3. wafflejock

    wafflejock Well-Known Member

    You need more parameters to narrow this down. What flight time do you need? If you can figure out the flight time you need then you can start working out what size battery you think you need and what motors at what load they will be driving, basically need to start just throwing some figures out and work from there I think. Good break down here on how to calculate flight time but again need to work out some more constraints/parameters first http://www.rcdronegood.com/quadcopter-battery-calculator-flight-times/

    Regarding the communication to the quad you can potentially use one of the channels from the receiver to send along information to a micro controller that does what you need to do but depending on the scenario the telemetry setup on the pixhawk may give the capabilities required again need to know some more details of what kind of control you want to have http://dronesarefun.com/AutoPilots.html . Image there shows telemetry in use but elaborate a bit on what kind of control you need to have.
  4. dragger201

    dragger201 If it ain't broke, don't fix it??? You kidding?

    When doing design phase of a copter, one of the best tools is eCalc(https://www.ecalc.ch/). Also something to think about is do you really need to use a quad?? Or would a hexa or octo work better for your purposes. As for flight controller, I would definitely recommend the Pixhawk. This is what it was designed/built for......and the Mission Planner software is great. It's just my opinion but I think you would have to go to something from DJI(or equivalent) and end up spend much more money.
  5. Anton Ambalong

    Anton Ambalong New Member

    Thank you all for your replies.

    Will look into them.
  6. ringolong

    ringolong Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="I'm also trying to figure out how to work communications between the ground station(my web-based project).[/QUOTE]

    A Mini d1 would work as long as there is a network that it can connect to.(https://wiki.wemos.cc/products:d1:d1_mini) I am running a couple and they are awesome!

    Could you potentially use a tether for powering the drone? This would be optimal for surveillance purposes if you are just staying in a small area depending on your application.
  7. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    I don't see why not. I sent some 4S lipo's 75C & they only use silicone 16-18awg, which I think would be light enough to lift a few meters. Don't know how long all the components would last flying like that though. No fun either.
  8. wafflejock

    wafflejock Well-Known Member

    Don't think tethering is a very viable option has a few things working against it. The lighter the wire you use the easier it is (less amps) to lift it but the thinner the wire the greater the resistance so the more voltage drop and loss as heat the longer you go (particularly a problem with low voltage DC over a long distance). I suppose if it is hovering at a low altitude this might not be an issue but at that point think one would be better off using a camera on a long pole.
    ArmyVet and mozquito1 like this.
  9. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Camera on a pole, good one :p
  10. ArmyVet

    ArmyVet Well-Known Member

    Hot air balloon. Worked for the Union in the Civil War. Ok you could use helium.:rolleyes:
    wafflejock likes this.
  11. wafflejock

    wafflejock Well-Known Member

    Not sure if you're joking (I mostly was about the pole) but this is legitimately a good idea. Can just blimp it and use the power for steering instead of lift. Peter sripol did it on YouTube with some of the cheap tiny whoops sure you could scale it up though and would be more stealthy with regard to sound.
    ArmyVet likes this.
  12. ringolong

    ringolong Well-Known Member

    That's why I stated "staying in a small area" If so then depending on the application it WOULD be applicable. Please do not poke holes on your assumptions. o_O
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  13. ArmyVet

    ArmyVet Well-Known Member

    I have actually used a military surplus weather balloon to hoist an antenna up in the air. There were issues.....but it did work.

    Only limited by our imagination
    wafflejock likes this.
  14. wafflejock

    wafflejock Well-Known Member

    Did some googling and there have been a few attempts at this with one commercial company doing it that I saw so might be more viable than I initially thought. That said feel like you are really sacrificing the freedom of flying around if you need to have a wire running back to a ground station hooked to mains power.
  15. wafflejock

    wafflejock Well-Known Member

    Imagine you could slap some solar panels on there and since the motors are just used for maintaining position they wouldn't be consuming as much power to stay afloat. Could see problems with this though if the weather is less than ideal and have high winds then will be spending a lot of power maintaining position.

    Could do some combo too have a RC car for tethering it to keep it roughly in some area, blimp for taking care of lift with bouyancy and props just for rotation or small position adjustments. Only obvious issue I can find with that solution is you need to maintain a clear path for the tether between the car and the blimp.
  16. ArmyVet

    ArmyVet Well-Known Member

    One of the issues I had was a build up of a static charge on the antenna wire. Radios don't like that much.:rolleyes:
    That was fixable.
    The other was the bigger I made the balloon ( I wanted more wire up), the more it wanted to present wind resistance and head towards the horizontal. Unless it was perfectly calm day. Which fixed both problems.

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