I've got all my stuff, and I think I'm ready to start building this weekend. Things not pictured but I do have - PVC to make landing gear, blue loctite, velcro (straps and adhesive backed), 3.5mm bullet connectors, prop balancer, and battery charger. I'm picking up a better assortment of zip ties and some extra 18ga black and red wire today. Will start assembly this weekend.
Well, making a build video of the entire process went out the window once we got started! Too much hassle to try to video everything when it's already been done before by others, and probably better than we could.
Only took a couple pictures during the process too...
And here's the (almost) finished product!
It will probably always be "almost" finished because I'll probably never stop tinkering with it. I want to get some flight experience as is to get an idea of changes I might *need* to make, but my list of planned modifications include...
Round 1 Modifications:
1) Paint Scheme - Front arms blue, rear arms red, hub white. 3D print a Captain America shield (or source an already produced one that would be about 5" in diameter) to cover the center hub.
2) Add spacers between the hub discs and arms so the flight controller and receiver can fit between the discs. As is, there is not quite enough room between the discs. The arms are 1/2-inch so that is the current spacing between the discs. However, both the flight controller and receiver case is about 5/8-inch so they have to be stacked in the center "well" (large inside hole of the upper disc).
3) Replace one of the screws holding each arm to the hub with something that can be quickly removed so the arms can be folded for transportation, but secured in place when ready to fly.
4) A power distribution board to help clean up the wiring.
It flies great and is a lot of fun. But, for me there were some problems with the AnyCopter hub design that I felt I could address. I have not yet made and tested my redesigned hub yet, but hope to do that soon.
The big hole in the center of the bottom hub made mounting my flight controller a little difficult. I use the Flip 1.5 with the case. The case is bigger than the hole, but only the corners touch and there's not much surface area there to use the foam tape I wanted to use. I ended up covering the entire hole and surrounding area with the foam tape, but now the exposed sticky area covering that big hole has attracted a lot of dirt and grass and crud. In my redesign, the center of the bottom hub is solid for mounting a flight controller. To keep the same weight reduction from that original center hole, there are four "medium" holes but away from the center.
In the template, the center of the top hub is a "battery plate" that is then screwed to the bottom hub. I didn't use it and just attached velcro straps to the arm screws. Instead of cutting a hole to reduce weight, then adding it back with a battery plate, my redesign incorporates slits directly in the bottom hub to run velcro straps for a battery.
The AnyCopter template itself was very nice, but it didn't have cross-hairs to pinpoint the center of the holes. I bypassed this problem with the way I made my hub (using the template as a guide, but referencing the center point for actual hole locations instead of the printed template), but thought they might still be useful on the printed template. Also, printing it at 100% scale on standard printer paper cut off part of the image. It just didn't fit on one page. That wasn't that much of a problem, but I put each hub template on its own page.
On my AnyCopter build, my first set of booms started splitting at the screw holes. When I replaced the booms, I replaced the outer screw for each arm with zip ties. Now, in a crash, the zip ties break instead of the boom. With the arms being able to fold (when no zip tie is in the outer hole), I started wishing the arms could fold for carrying/travel without much fuss. So, I added an arc for the inside screw to slide through allowing the arms to fold. Hopefully I can keep this tight enough to not fold while in flight, but still be able to fold for transportation and storage.
My redesign loses a lot of the flexibility of the AnyCopter hub, but since this is dedicated to a quad, I'm OK with that. If I ever do another configuration, I'll make another frame for it anyway. But, I kept a few of the small screw holes and added more medium sized holes to help with wire management and weight reduction.
I've attached my first draft of the template. Hopefully this weekend I'll give it a test. I'd appreciate any feedback or suggestions!
On my AnyCopter build, my first set of booms started splitting at the screw holes. When I replaced the booms, I replaced the outer screw for each arm with zip ties. Now, in a crash, the zip ties break instead of the boom. With the arms being able to fold (when no zip tie is in the outer hole), I started wishing the arms could fold for carrying/travel without much fuss. So, I added an arc for the inside screw to slide through allowing the arms to fold.