Need help/advice for first time drone owner

Discussion in 'First Build' started by Jimbo69ny, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Member

    Hello everyone,

    I posted this in "Introductions" but in hindsight I think I may have posted it in the wrong section because no one responded.

    Well I've been wanting a drone/quad copter for a while now. I just didn't want to shell out the money to get one. Thankfully Santa made one fall out of the sky for me.

    I own a 20 acre parcel in the country that I'm developing and putting up apartments on. I was putting up a snow fence to reduce snowdrifts and I see some plastic legs sticking out of the ground. I pull it out and it's a F-450 hobby drone! I am brand-new to all of this but after researching it last night it seems to be complete. I don't know how long it was sitting outside in the snow for but it still looks like it's in good condition. One of the rotors is broken though. I think somebody hit a small powerline as they were spying on my property.

    I asked my tenants if it belong to any of them and they all said no. My closest neighbor is a quarter-mile away. So as far as I'm concerned, it's mine now.

    I was hoping I could get your advice on a remote control for it. I also don't know if the battery is still good so I'll need batteries and a charger.

    Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated. I've been wanting one of these for so long and I am so excited that I finally have one ha ha
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. GlassKnees

    GlassKnees Well-Known Member

    From what I can tell from the photos, the GPS mast is broken - the GPS antenna is that white circular thing laying on the table with the wires attached to it. You will need to find out where it was attached. Fortunately, that's a relatively inexpensive fix.

    I can't tell from the pictures if the other props are damaged. There appears to be some foreign material on them (grass?) - there may also be some in the motors - you might be able to clean any foreign material from the motors by spraying some compressed air in them.

    The condition of the motors is a concern. If they were spinning at the time of the crash and power was still being applied while they were stuck immobile in the snow then they may be damaged and have to be replaced.

    The other white circular thing with the bent blue support looks like the antenna for the video transmitter. You should be able to simply bend it back straight so the antenna is upright. If you have a video receiver/monitor, you can power up the aircraft and see if you're getting any video from it.
  3. RENOV8R

    RENOV8R Well-Known Member

    First thing, lets look at your battery. If the craft was powered on when it crashed, it would have continued to draw power until the battery was very low or dead. If this is the case, it's probably damaged beyond recharging. You need to test it with a voltage meter and if it's below 3.2-3.3 volts, dispose of it as not only is it no good, it's actually very volatile.

    You're going to need a transmitter (unless you found one of those in the snowbank too).

    So, at the bare minimum, you're going to need props, a battery, battery charger and transmitter. Let us know if you want to continue and we can give you suggest of specific parts and the process on how to see if it will get off the ground. It looks like it has some decent components (I think I see FRSky receiver and definitely has Naza-M V2 flight controller) but you're probably going to have to dump a couple hundred bucks into it.
  4. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Member

    Thank you for your comments.

    Your right about the motors. I am wondering how much of the components are damaged after sitting outside for god knows how long. I figured the first steps would be to buy a new battery and charger. I have already installed the Naza-M software on my Mac and I think I have a spare micro usb cable laying around somewhere so I can connect to the flight controller.

    I took a bunch more photos. I have been doing a ton of research. I was up until 4 am last night researching this.

    So, question number one, I saw a page that recommended this charger,
    What do you think? Is that a good one? Is there a cheaper option thats better?

    2, What battery should I buy? Below is a picture of the battery that was on it. But based on my research it is a 3S and DJI says on their website that they recommend a 4S battery because I have their 2312E 800kv motors. But if the motors are bad I dont know what to do. I need a battery and charger first just so I can test the drone. There arent any hobby shops around me that deal with drones.

    So once I get a new battery and charger I need to connect it to my laptop. I think I connect it through the LED. Is that right?

    Based on what I have learned, this is the radio receiver right? I did a search and it looks like this receiver will only work with the FrSky Taranis X9D.
    Is that right? That's more than I really wanted to spend on a transmitter but its doable if I dont have to put in a lot to repair other items.

    I dont know anything about the camera but here it is.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The GPS antenna doesnt seem too secure but it seems to slide into this plastic bracket.

    This antenna bent straight again but I cant find any info about it online. What is it? Do I have two receivers?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The NAZA-M V2 flight controller. Its not stuck down so I have to fix that. (pay no attention to the gouge on my finger haha)

    Here is another component that I dont know about. Something to do with video it appears.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm also not clear what this data link does. I searched the web and the videos just show people connecting it to their laptop and flying the drone. It looks like I will need some more parts for this to work.

    This is the power distribution. Pretty ugly! I dont know why they didnt use the board thats built into the F450. They also didnt shorten any of the ESC wires, just ziptied them up. I plan on cleaning this all up to save some weight.

    I am not sure exactly what this does but from what I can tell its part of the flight controller, right?

    Here is my CAN HUB. I dont know exactly but I assume this is just a data distribution point. Like a USB hub for a computer.

    And last but not least, here are my ESC's, well, one of them anyway. You can see all the extra wire just zip tied up there.

    If you want to see and comment on all of my photos here is the link to my photobucket page. stuff

    Thank you so much for your help!!! I am so excited and I cant wait to get this guy in the air again!!!!
  5. RENOV8R

    RENOV8R Well-Known Member

    Dang, you've got some very nice equipment right there, somebody's probably really pissed because they went to great lengths for a nice setup. You're correct on the remote LED, the USB is connected to your computer for software setup and it will also give you information on status like flight mode etc. with different combination of flashes. Decent camera, it's for FPV and is connected to the blue transmitter with antenna and will transmit video to goggles or video screen on the ground so you can see what the quad is seeing. The OSD Mini is connected to the flight controller and overlays info like battery level, GPS status, speed etc. to your ground station or goggles. The Datalink is a wireless transmitter for wireless Wifi apps to iPhone. You're correct, the Can Bus is a distribution point for extra components and PMU is just a power distribution unit. The battery is connected to it and it provides a filtered power source at a specific voltage that the Naza-M requires.

    So, I guess the first thing you need to do is get a battery and see if this puppy fires up. Choice is up to you as you could use either a 3S or 4S battery. If it was me I'd get a Tattu 4S 3000mah 35C lipo. You'll get much shorter flight times than the 5200 you have, but it'll be half the price and get you in the air. No use spending a fortune until you know it's actually going to fly.
    Jimbo69ny likes this.
  6. GlassKnees

    GlassKnees Well-Known Member

    I have a Tenergy battery charger. Once I've entered the information about the battery I want to charge, it will check the battery first - it won't try to charge the battery if the voltage has run below safe levels. I expect most chargers have the same functionality.

    I would expect that the ESC's are okay. But I am doubtful about the motors. Better to be safe than sorry - go ahead and bite the bullet and replace all four of them.

    That little white dome thingy with the blue stick plugged into a blue box is your video antenna - the blue box is the video transmitter. Whatever you do, MAKE SURE THAT THE ANTENNA IS CONNECTED TO THE VIDEO TRANSMITTER BEFORE APPLYING POWER. Otherwise, the impedence mismatch will burn out the transmitter. I expect that the video camera is okay - it doesn't appear to have any physical damage.
    Jimbo69ny likes this.
  7. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Member

    I don't see a Tattu 4S 3000mah 35C lipo battery on Amazon. I can search the web more when I get home though, right now I'm on my cell phone.

    How long of flight time would a Tattu 4S 3000mah give me? 10 mins?

    This one is a lot of money but what do you think about this one? Tattu LiPo Battery Pack 6750mAh 14.8V 25C 4S with XT90 Plug for Elite UAV Drone

    Would it be too heavy? I'm just thinking I might prefer one big battery with the longest flight time rather than 3 small batteries with less.
  8. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Member

    Can I apply power to the wires for each motor to test them? If so what voltage would work? Would I send the voltage directly to the motor or before the ESC?
  9. RENOV8R

    RENOV8R Well-Known Member

    Yes, that battery would work, I just suggested the cheaper one so you didn't spend too much yet.
    Jimbo69ny likes this.
  10. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Member

    Any more suggestions? I am ready to get this in the air and I would love some more input.

    Is this a good accessory to own?

    Is this transmitter any good, because its cheap.

    This was $209 over the holidays, now the price went up. From what I can tell it will work with the receiver I already have.

    Should I buy this charger?

    Thank you in advance!
  11. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Member

    Does anyone use this forum? I dont see very many posts here.

    I would really appreciate some help picking out a battery so I can move forward.
  12. Erik Alford

    Erik Alford New Member

    Look at the battery that came with it and see what the numbers are 3 or 4 cell, volts, maH?
  13. GlassKnees

    GlassKnees Well-Known Member

    If you don't still have the battery, or if you're contemplating increasing the voltage from 3s to 4s, you should look at all electronics that connect directly to the battery and check their specs to see if they can tolerate the higher voltage - things like the video transmitter, etc.

    Personally, if I don't have the battery that was on the aircraft and I'm not sure what to get, I'd research the specs on this model and see what others are using.

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