We've decided to have a class/build party once every 3 months, so without further ado we would like to host our very first FIXED WING UAV build-a-thon!
CHANGE OF VENUE --- Bigger, nicer and very close to the previous build space! Dialexa LLC has volunteered their office space to us for this build, your gonna LOVE it! This is the pic mentioned in the email that went out early Tuesday, notice the 5 black cars in a row. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!!
Due to a potentially more complex build (and lessons learned from the August build) we will limit this class to the first 7. We have 5 instructors to lead you through the build. Build time will be longer than our last one so we can be sure that everyone goes home with an functioning aircraft.
*REPLACED DUE TO FAA CHANGES, MAYBE* Overseas Jobs with Drones - 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM - Tony White and Chad Frazer
This will be a brief introduction to the experience that it is to be a drone operator and mechanic for various drone platforms in a modern theater of war. We will describe to you how we applied for and got the jobs as well as what happened on the way. We can give you a good idea of what it is like to use drones in a military fashion and why they are so important to our modern military army. Guided discussion format.
Farmers and Hunter and UAV's - 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM - Tod Timbke and/or Guy Compton
We are substituting this topic in light of the FAA endorsing the use of sUAV's on private land for personal use for the agricultural business. This is a huge deal for UAV enthusiasts because it offers us the first LEGAL use for our hobby. Since most of us are not hunters or farmers we have invited these two gentlemen to bring us up to speed on farming, livestock issues, growing food, hunting hogs and counting wildlife. These speakers will have free reign to brief us on how they see UAV's helping in the farming and hunting communities. I highly recommend attending this brief as it offers even a serious UAV hobbiest a challenge to meet.
Battery, Batteries and MORE BATTERIES! - 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM - Tony White
This will the class you want to take if you want to know how to go about selecting the right battery for your platform. We will also go over how to charge them, safety and the pros and cons of LiPo, LiFE, NiCD, NiMH and any others we can think of!
Basic RC/Electronics - 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Romeo Espana
This class is designed to introduce and explain all basic Radio Controlled equipment and cover basic electronics skills as they pertain to Fixed Wing aircraft. We recommend watching this video about basic soldering if you have not done it in awhile (3.18 minutes). This class is a must for all those who wish to do the drone build class but have never built or flown a hobby level aircraft. If you just want to come and brush up or even just want to get up to date on modern equipment then you should go ahead and grab a seat here.
Lunch - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Dallas Makerspace is located next to fast food restaurants as well as some sit down restaurants. Take your pick.
Slow Stick UAV Build - 1:30 PM to 8:00 PM - Chad Frazer, Tony White, Romeo Espana, Nolan Henley
The Slow Stick airframe has been chosen for multiple reasons. First, it is a beginner level airframe that can also be built within the time allotted. Second, any beginner pilot will have a much easier time learning to fly with this bird. Third, this aircraft has an amazing amount of mods available! You can find the Slow Stick in many places some as low as $30. Please use this website to get started with picking out your airframe and then your mods: Check out the Slow Stick. Shipping is very cheap with that site and support is available should your order go wrong.
At our September Fly-In we had one of these doing waypoints with a camera attached so we know this one works well. Top speed was around 42mph (single engine ParkFly 480) and a reported stable flight of 15mph. Get whatever mods you want, we will help you figure out the build and then figure out how to slap on an APM 2.5 or 2.6! Decals are welcome!
Please be sure to read the Slow Stick Hop Up descriptions provided by this particular website, they are very helpful in understanding which mods to pick and they provide a list of required parts. You MUST get at least:
1) The airframe
2) Motor (004 option from Radical RC, I'd recommend a ParkFly 450 or 480 instead) Pay attention to the motor mount, the diameter of it is critical.
3) Servos (2 minimum, 4 if you want Ailerons)
4) ESC, mine is 18A continuous with the 004 option (10x7E or SF) from Radical RC, use a 40A ESC with a ParkFly 480 motor (11x7E prop).
5) Transmitter and receiver (NOT a park flyer mini receiver, they do not have the range that a drone is capable of going, get a small fully functional receiver instead)
6) LiPO Battery to match your engine (3 cell, 2200maH is nominal, 4000maH possible
7) An APM 2.5 or 2.6 from 3DR Robotics or from RC Timer.
8) I would also suggest picking up an air speed sensor kit from 3DR Robotics as it will greatly improve autopilot flight characteristics.
9) Connectors! If you can, go for "Deans" style. You might also need servo cable extensions and a Y splitter if you go for Ailerons.
I spent about $200 getting all the parts I needed for the airframe, including 4 servos (the most expensive items). The autopilot is about $350 from 3DR Robotics and $150 from RC Timer. Bring your laptop preloaded with the APM Mission Planner and any build tools you think you will need. If you want to get the balsa build kit for this aircraft you are welcome to do so, but please keep in mind you might not be able to finish it in time (very nice upgrade though, it is made for carrying a larger payload).
We will discuss during class the need and want to meet somewhere to test fly these birds. We could meet at a field on Sunday or just skip it. We will decide based on who shows up and what they need.
This event is rain or shine. If our venue is a wash-out, for weather or politics, an alert will be announced/posted. If our site selection committee has been successful, we'll have a high-ceiling indoor location on standby. If that happens, apologies in advance to our fixed wing flyers. If we get enough weather-resistant flyers, we can consider using both locations.
The site selection committee has yet to meet on this schedule. Please send me a message to add a site to the list. If possible, please provide a description of the field, a google/bing map link, and a point of contact for that location (if there is one.)
Please send me a message if you would like to serve on the site selection committee. The committee will meet briefly, via WebEx, twice a month to consider and select locations for the group.
Keep it safe, I look forward to seeing you (and all of your fingers) at the flight line.