Introduction: AltiSafe CTR for RC Aircraft

Picture of AltiSafe CTR for RC Aircraft

This Instructable will show you how to turn a Quanum Lipo Battery monitor into a remote Maximum Altitude Alarm. (AGL altitude)

Simply attach the modified Quanum transmitter to the balance leads of the aircraft lipo and the Quanum receiver will vibrate when the aircraft altitude is greater than the configured limit (either 40m or 120m). This is particularly useful when flying within a CTR (near aerodromes).

Theses limits can be easely modyfied for other needs in the C Arduino firmware.

Parts required:

  1. Quanum Lipo Monitor
  2. Pololu A-Star 32U4 Micro : Arduino compatible micro-controller; the C code is included at the end of these instructions.

  3. BMP180 or similar barometric altimeter

  4. PCB and components

Cheap, about $20.

New version with link described at the end.

Step 1: Remove Blister

Simply split the blister at the side near the antenna. Then make a cut to be able to access the 3 first pins.

Step 2: Cut Off All the Pins in Preparation for De-soldering

Cutting the pins off first, will make it easier to de-solder the connector in the next step.

Step 3: Add Fresh Solder to Help De-soldering

Picture of Add Fresh Solder to Help De-soldering

Set the soldering iron temperature a few degrees higher than normal, e.g. 370C.

Then put fresh solder on all pins.

Step 4: Remove Pins

De-solder the pins one by one while pulling them out with tweezers.

Step 5: Clear the Connector Holes

That can be done in many ways, the easiest is with a solder pump.

Step 6: Rebind the Blister

Since the blister is still ok, we can reuse it. Use transparent tape to tighten it and hold it in place.

Step 7: Populate the PCB

Picture of Populate the PCB

The PCB is described at EasyEDA site.

https://easyeda.com/danielroibert/alti_a_star_1-08...

You can download GERBER files or order it there.

The picture here shows my prototype version. The final version on EasyEda is greatly enhanced and beautiful ;-)

The connectors can be soldered later.

Step 8: Assembling PCB and A-Star Together

Picture of Assembling PCB and A-Star Together

It's easy to use some header pins or little cable.

You can set the soldering iron temperature to a normal one (320C).

Solder all 7 pins for the Pololu A-Star and 4 pins for the BMP180.

Step 9: Remove the Plastic After the Soldering

After soldering all the pins on one side, remove the plastic.

Step 10: Solder the A-Star and the BMP180 to the Pcb

Align and solder the Pololu A-Star and the BMP180 to the pcb.

Step 11: Trim All the Pins

Picture of Trim All the Pins

Trim the pins after soldering.

Step 12: Solder the Pcb and the Quanum

Picture of Solder the Pcb and the Quanum

Align and solder the pcb and the Quanum together, then solder the 3 pins which pass through the two boards.

Step 13: Upload the Firmware...

Use the Arduino IDE upload upload the firmware.

First install the BMP180 library from Adafruit.

Wire.h ( normaly already in the Arduino IDE by default )

Adafruit_Sensor.h

Adafruit_BMP085_U.h

Step 14: Upload the Firmware...

Install the Pololu A-Star 32U4 Micro drivers in the Arduino IDE.

All instructions here :

https://www.pololu.com/product/3101

Step 15: Upload the Firmware

Download the attached file and open it in the Arduino IDE.

Step 16: Upload the Firmware...

Plug the USB cable.

Open the Arduino IDE, configure the port and the board as described in Pololu site.

Upload the firmware.

That's all there is to it!

The last step is to read the user manual (last step of this instructable;-)

Two important things:

  • Be sure to check the polarity of the battery when connecting it!
  • Chose to plug the jumper or not, to set the altitude alarm
    • with jumper = 40 m
    • without jumper = 120 m

Step 17: User Guide

Download the file.

Step 18: New Version With Full Quanum Monitoring and Simple Plug.

Picture of New Version With Full Quanum Monitoring and Simple Plug.

New version with full Quanum fuctionality, see :

https://easyeda.com/danielroibert/alti_a_star_1_pl...

Version with PIC, see :

https://easyeda.com/danielroibert/alti_pic_full_pl...

Comments

Robert Herzog (author)2016-11-09

Impeccable !

Pour être tout à fait précis, en aéronautique,
l'altitude est en principe référencée par rapport au niveau moyen de la
mer ! (AMSL ou "above main sea level"). Il faudrait plutôt employer la
"hauteur-sol", ou la hauteur au dessus du sol de référence (celui du
terrain de vol, au moment de l'initialisation du BMP180). En english, la
heuteur-sol est exprimée en m AGL ou "above ground level". Mais bon, on
n'est pas entre puristes...!

GhislainC1 (author)Robert Herzog2017-01-27

Bonjour,

vous précisez bien "la hauteur au dessus du sol de référence (celui du
terrain de vol, au moment de l'initialisation du BMP180)", ce qui est très exact.

Il ne s'agit donc pas de l'AGL, mais de l'AAL, altitude au dessus de l'aérodrome. en "English" : Above Airport level. Mais bon, on n'est pas entre puristes... (Juste pour être tout à fait précis, en aéronautique.)

Merci Robert, je vais ajouter cette précision. :-)

Robert Herzog (author)2016-11-09

Impeccable !

Pour être tout à fait précis, en aéronautique,
l'altitude est en principe référencée par rapport au niveau moyen de la
mer ! (AMSL ou "above main sea level"). Il faudrait plutôt employer la
"hauteur-sol", ou la hauteur au dessus du sol de référence (celui du
terrain de vol, au moment de l'initialisation du BMP180). En english, la
heuteur-sol est exprimée en m AGL ou "above ground level". Mais bon, on
n'est pas entre puristes...!

Swansong (author)2016-11-08

Thanks for sharing :)

danielroibert (author)Swansong2016-11-08

It's a pleasure :-) Thanks to Instructables to give a good tool for that.
I hope the explanations will become better and clearer with the help of some friends.

About This Instructable

2,074views

25favorites

More by danielroibert:E-dohicky the Electronic Version of  Russ's Laser Power Meter DohickyAltiSafe CTR for RC Aircraft
Add instructable to: