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Build Your Own Quadcopter: Power Up Your Designs with the Parallax Elev-8

Book Description

Build a custom multirotor aircraft!

Build and customize radio-controlled quadcopters that take off, land, hover, and soar. Build Your Own Quadcopter: Power Up Your Designs with the Parallax Elev-8 features step-by-step assembly plans and experiments that will have you launching fully functioning quadcopters in no time. Discover how to connect Elev-8 components, program the microcontroller, use GPS, and safely fly your quadcopter. This fun, do-it-yourself guide fuels your creativity with ideas for radical enhancements, including return-to-home functionality, formation flying, and even artificial intelligence!

  • Understand the principles that govern how quadcopters fly
  • Explore the parts included in your Parallax Elev-8 kit
  • Follow illustrated instructions and assemble a basic 'copter
  • Connect the Parallax chip to a PC and write Spin and C programs
  • Build radio-controlled systems that minimize interference
  • Add GPS and track your aircraft through Google Earth
  • Beam flight information to smartphones with WiFi and XBee technology
  • Mount cameras and stream real-time video back to the ground
  • Train to safely operate a quadcopter using flight simulation software

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. About the Author
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. 1 Introduction to Quadcopters
    1. A Brief History of Multirotor Helicopters
    2. A Matter of Definition
      1. How Are Quadcopters Used?
    3. Design of the Elev-8 Quadcopter
      1. Main Electrical/Electronic Elev-8 Components
    4. Summary
  9. 2 Quadcopter Flight Dynamics
    1. Flight Basics
      1. Flight Axes
      2. Basic Quadcopter Configurations
      3. Flight Controls
    2. Quadcopter Controls
      1. PID Control
      2. PID Theory
      3. Tuning
      4. LabVIEW PID Simulation
    3. Summary
  10. 3 Building the Elev-8
    1. Introduction
    2. Safety
    3. Tools and Additional Materials
      1. Bill of Material
      2. Additional Materials
      3. Optional Additional Materials
    4. Beginning the Build
      1. Motor Set Screws
      2. Solder the Motor and ESC Connectors
      3. Motor Mount Assembly
      4. Boom Accessories
      5. Attach Motor/Boom Assemblies to the Bottom Chassis Plate
      6. Solder the Power Harness Together
      7. Installing the Quad Power-Distribution Board
      8. Configure Your Transmitter
      9. Programming the Electronic Speed Controllers
    5. Connect the Motors and Synchronize the ESCs
      1. Chassis Top-Plate and Control-Board Assemblies
      2. Mount the Control-Board Assembly onto the Chassis
      3. Control-Board Connections
      4. Mounting the Propeller Blades
      5. Mounting the Battery
    6. A Few More Comments
  11. 4 Programming the Parallax Propeller Chip
    1. Introduction
    2. Prop Architecture
    3. Prop Software
      1. Spin Language
    4. Propeller Spin Tool
    5. Porting to the Propeller QuickStart Board
    6. Clock Timing
      1. RC Oscillator Operations
      2. Crystal Oscillator Operations
      3. Reducing Dependence on Absolute Clock-Cycle Times
    7. Pulse-Width Modulation and Servo Example
    8. Summary
  12. 5 Quadcopter Propulsors
    1. Introduction
    2. Motors
    3. Electronic Speed Controller
      1. ESC Waveforms
    4. Propeller, Motor, and ESC Experiment
      1. Running the Experiment
      2. Experimental Results
    5. Battery Eliminator Circuit
    6. Propellers
    7. Comprehensive Quadcopter Analysis
      1. ESC_Motor_Control_Demo Analysis
    8. A Brief Introduction to the C Language
    9. Summary
  13. 6 Radio-Controlled Systems and Telemetry
    1. Introduction
    2. Evolution of Model R/C Systems
    3. Carriers and Modulation
      1. Noise
    4. Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum
      1. Automatic Selection of Dual Transmit Channels
      2. Switching Channels for Every Data Frame Transmitted
      3. Transmission of SOP and PN Packets
      4. Transmission of Two Sets of Cyclic Redundancy Checks
      5. Transmission of the GUID
    5. Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum
      1. Binding or Pairing
    6. Experimental R/C System Demonstration
    7. Measuring R/C Channel Pulse Width and Rate with the BOE
      1. BOE Pulse-Width Measurements
      2. BOE Pulse-Rate Measurements
    8. Telemetry
    9. Summary
  14. 7 Servo Motors and Extending the Servo Control System
    1. Introduction
    2. Exploring a Standard R/C Analog Servo Motor
    3. The Digital Servo
    4. Continuous Rotation Servos
    5. R/C Signal Display System
    6. Elev-8 LED-Lighting Controller
    7. Tilting Mechanism for a First-Person Viewer
    8. Summary
  15. 8 GPS and a Real-Time Situational Display
    1. Introduction
    2. GPS Basics
      1. Brief GPS history
      2. How GPS Functions
    3. Quadcopter GPS Receiver
      1. GPS Receiver UART Communications
      2. Initial GPS Receiver Test
    4. NMEA Protocol
      1. Latitude and Longitude Formats
      2. Parsed GPS Message
    5. Propeller Mini
    6. Radio-Frequency Transceiver Module
    7. XBee Hardware
    8. XBee Data Protocol
    9. XBee Functional Test
      1. XBee Range Check
    10. Complete GPS Systems
      1. Portable Display
      2. Mounting the Transmitter XBee Node
    11. Moving Map System
      1. Monitoring the Quadcopter Position with the Google Earth Application
    12. Summary
  16. 9 Airborne Video Systems
    1. Introduction
    2. GoPro Hero 3 Camera System
      1. Hero 3 WiFi-Range Test
    3. Ground Station
    4. Economy Video System
    5. Post-Processing Software
      1. RoboRealm
    6. Field Test of the RC310 System with Post Processing
      1. Higher Resolution Test Image
    7. Geotagging GoPro Hero 3 Photos
      1. Geotag Test Run
    8. Summary
  17. 10 Training Tutorial and Performance Checks
    1. Introduction
    2. Developing Fundamental Quadcopter Piloting Skills
    3. The Trainer Cable
    4. Running the SIM
    5. The Buddy Box
    6. Wireless SimStick Pro
    7. Performance Measurements
      1. Determining Maximum Payload
      2. Test Results
    8. Kill Switch
    9. Estimating Flight Time
    10. Summary
  18. 11 Enhancements and Future Projects
    1. Introduction
    2. Position Location and Return to Home Operation
      1. Electronic Compass Module
    3. Computing Path Length and Bearing Using Latitude and Longitude Coordinates
      1. Computing Longitudinal Length
      2. Computing Bearing
    4. Return-to-Home Flight Scenario
    5. Swarm or Formation Flying
      1. Motion Capture
      2. Close-Proximity Detection
      3. Near-to-Ground Altitude Measurements
      4. Ultrasonic Sensor Concerns
      5. Maneuvering the Quadcopter to Maintain Its Formation Position
      6. Other Close-Proximity Sensors
    6. Writing to the EHO-1A LCD Screen
      1. Communicating with Peripheral Modules
    7. Autonomous Behavior
    8. Artificial Intelligence
      1. Some Basic FL Concepts
    9. Quadcopter FLC Applications
      1. Matlab®
      2. ViewPort™ Fuzzy Logic Functions
    10. Summary
  19. Index