RC aircraft is one of the greatest toys everyone wants to play with. But buying one may be costlier lets get our hands dirty and build one for ourselves using the Arduino micro controllers . Lets make our own transmitter and receiver and build a flying RC aeroplane within 50$.
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Step 1: Design:-
The design of rc aeroplane needs knowledge of aerodynamics and simple mechanics. For this I would recommend
books such as Flight without Formula and Model aircraft aerodynamics by Martin simons. But for beginners it would be difficult to design using all parameters so I would recommend the website called www.flitetest.com .
This has a lot of flight designs and tutorials how to build them. Here I'm going to focus on electronics part of it. i.e how to build your own transmitter and receiver using the Arduino microcontroller.
Here I have made the FT Versa design using the flitetest.com .
For the aircraft design all you need is
1) Corrugated plastic sheet or depron foam sheet. you can get this from local hardware shop.
2) Cutter knife.
3) Hot glue gun
4) Glass fibre tape
The full tutorials and design is in this link
Thanks for the flitetset.com
Step 2: Getting Started With Electronics
The standard RC Transmitter and Receiver which will cost you around 70$ to 80$. Lets build one for ourselves using arduino and cheap RF modules.
1) Arduino Uno and Nano (clone) ( cost : 2$ to 3$)
2) RF Modules 433Mhz or 315 Mhz ASK ( cost : 0.5 $)
3) Joystick module (cost : 0.5 $)
4) Brushless DC motor 1400kv ( cost: 10$ )
5) Electronic speed controller 20A or 30A (cost 8 to 10 $)
6) 2 9g servo Motors (cost : 2.4 $ for 2 motors)
7) Potentiometer for Throttle (cost : 0.4$)
8) LiPo Battery 500mah (cost : 10$)
9) Propeller 8*4E APC propeller
10) Wires, glue etc (cost : 5$)
Considering all the required materials for electronics side and plane design side you can make a delta wing plane with your own telemetry within 50$.
Note: In some countries 433Mhz and 868MHz is banned for normal use hence please check the government regulations.
Step 3: Connecting Everything.
The connection is simple as explained in the fritzing diagram i have also included the fritzing file with code.
We have to connect a arm to potentiometer (10k ohm) to move and use it as a throttle.
We have to add an antenna to increase the range of the telemetry. We can even use the RF devices such as NRF2401L and Xbee depending on range requirement as these have range of around 1km . But there are government regulations for some frequency ranges so please be careful about those things. With this RF modules I'm getting a range of around 300m with proper antenna design.
Finally enclose the transmitter in a box and use a rechargeable or normal 9V battery to power arduino.
In receiver side ESC powers both arduino and receiver module.
Step 4: Coding
Coding is done using arduino IDE 1.0.4 please note if you are using higher version such as 1.6.7 you may get errors in receiver programs so please use arduino IDE1.0.4. Some libraries are needed to be included such as virtual wire , SoftwareServo, ServoTimer2 in arduino software's libraries folder. Code is self explanatory and we are getting the analog values from the potentiometer and joy stick and sending int using ASK modulation. Here the array of data is received back in receiver and is mapped against PWM values for brushless motor and degrees for servo motors.
The link for the code is here.
Step 5: Flight Test
Since the range of this telemetry is limited it is better to go with up gradation of RF modules or flying it in limited range. Flying needs a lot of skills hence be careful while flying your plane. One or two crashes may happen but if you have made it with corrugated plastic sheets it can easily tolerate the crashes.
Happy Flying !!!
Step 6: Update: Working Video
Hi guys, I thought of having a working video so here it is..
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Participated in the
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