I made this drone as a research and as I simple weekend project so you can also try if you'll like it. I'm starting now a big drone project with two intelligent drones programmed by me and for this I need a much longer flight time than the casual drones can ensure for the user. To make this possible I had to make a little research about the drones and about batteries.
After some failed experiments I found a way to make a solar powered quadcopter. Gets its energy directly from the sun then charges up the built in battery and keeps charged even while flying. That is how I earned a very long flight time, more than 30 minutes.
Let me show you how to do it yourself!
Step 1: Gathering Tools and Materials
Here I am going to give you links to each part and component used in this project. I hacked my old Cheerson CS-10 quadcopter to get a flight controller, but in the links I'll show you only the needed component.
- Soldering Iron
- Third Hand
- Glue Gun
- Cheerson CX-10 Flight Controller
- Cheerson Remote Controller
- 180mAh battery
- 5v 200mAh solar panel
- Strawbees (that is a toy that can help you to build object out of straws)
- Lithium-Ion Battery Charger
- 4 DC Motors
- 4 Propellers
Step 2: Building the Frame
Starws are strong and very light materials, its the perfect component to build a frame for a lightweight drone without 3D printing. As you see on the pictures with a glue gun it is very simple to build. Use two Strawbees to hold the motors and two straws to make a squere for the motors. But go and jump to the next step and install the motors first.
Step 3: Soldering to the Circuit...
First remove the wire from the end of the motors then plug the in into the Strawwbees. Now heat up your sooldering iron! We don't really need a schemantic and you don't even should have soldering skills, because on the circiut board at every motor's joining point is marked the positive with a "+" and the negative wire with a "-". Use these to solder your wires correctly to the circuit board.
Step 4: The Battery and Charging
Solder the Li-Poly battery to the main circuit then in paralell solder the charging circuit to it. The IN+ and IN- of the charging circuit have be soldered to the solar panel.
While soldering this simple electronics together you also need to make the frame. Use super glue or your glue gun to fix your frame.