Introduction: RC Blimp
Have you ever wanted to create a blimp that flies in the sky? This is the instructable for you!
Step 1: Conceptualize the Blimp
In order to create something, you must first know what direction you are going to take. How big will your blimp be? What is your budget? Will it hold anything? How fast do you want it to go?
These are just the beginning questions, you will learn, as we did, that as you go along the process of creating the blimp, each level adds a layer of complexity.
For example, we started with a very simplistic design. We were going to just create a blimp, and the rip the motors from RC helicopters and cars. We realized very quickly that this was not economically feasible.
Instead, we now have to build all the components from the ground up. Starting with the basic components, motors, servos, rf transmitters and receivers, potentiometers, arduinos, mylar, and helium, we have to create a blimp.
Step 2: Figure Out Your Limitations
The single hardest part about building a blimp is the weight limitations. Everything else is fairly simplistic, the motors require some coding, the controls require some coding, but creating a blimp that is neutrally buoyant with all of its components is difficult.
First, you must figure out the
So before you create anything, you must first know how much all your components will weigh when combined, and then from there you design your blimp and its capacity.
Step 3: Liftoff!
The way traditional blimps work is similar to a submarine, "ballasts" located in the vessel take in and release air to move up or down. In submarines, air is taken in to rise, and expunged to lower. While blimps take in air to sink, (since the air is heavier than the helium), and release air to rise.
However, this process only really works on larger scales, on a smaller RC Blimp, small being 5ft long, ballasts are not really feasible. So instead, the work around we found was to have the blimp be neutrally buoyant. And to control the level we will have a fan that is vertically placed that will push the blimp up or down, therefore controlling the height.
Step 4: Moving Forward
Now that we have the z axis, x and y are the next step.
Our design was simple, a forward facing fan with a rudder directly behind it.
Step 5: Materials List
2 Rf Transmitter and Receiver
Step 6: Coding
Before the construction of the blimp, we must code for the Arduino and the motors. The flow chart of the communication goes like this:
Rf Transmitter ->
Rf Receiver ->
Step 7: Construction
For our blimp we used a soldering iron to seal the blimp as a regular iron couldn't get hot enough to properly seal the mylar. And then you just seal it!
Step 8: Design
For the mylar, we learned we could spray paint directly on it without any primer. So from there you just spray paint whatever you want on it, using templates or anything else your heart desires.
Step 9: Finishing It Up
To connect the chassis and the mylar of the we used the single best product known to man, superglue!
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