3DR Solo - From Ordinary to DIY Photo Drone

Part.8 Propellers

Default OEM props exchanged to Master Airscrew. They tend to be more quiet and battery efficient. Wanted to add green ones, but there were no possibilities to get ones to Latvia, so ordered orange, just like @Robpower ?
But regarding this post 11" Props on stock Solo motors, ordered APC 11x4.5 which are 1” longer.
Have had one test flight, for now cannot say if there is a difference or not, will check power draw etc. APCs are definitely stiffer.
If they in the end will be better, will need to switch color from orange to gray and reprint some stuff :)

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to be continued ...
orange props.......nice mate ? I am 3d printing my leg extenders in orange now too ?
 
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I never thought of using orange on my battery covers. I noticed your cover doesn't have a slot at the back so you can see the LEDs, the file I have has a slot.
This was printed more as a test for Li-ion mode (it's higher than default one but fits also default battery mod) + the LEDs can be seen through the plastic.
The li-ion pack will fit barely. Will see if use this printed case or a velcro in the end :)
 
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Part.9 Battery mod

All process is written up here (hope it’s the latest instruction) - **UPDATE** Solo Battery Mod for Dummies => Updated Battery Mod for Dummies
The main thing, be caution and do everything by instruction, not shorten anything etc. To take apart better buy degluer (I didn’t have it so wrap up with screwdriver and pliers – extra caution needed, better don’t do that).
Other thing I did not correctly – discharged the new pack with 50W, better to do it with 5W, much longer time but more accurate balancing.
I have all 3 BMS extracted but only one battery built as I wanted to go power module way. So maybe will sell other two BMS.

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to be continued ...
 
This was printed more as a test for Li-ion mode (it's higher than default one but fits also default battery mod) + the LEDs can be seen through the plastic.
The li-ion pack will fit barely. Will see if use this printed case or a velcro in the end :)
Any chance you have a design on the boards that permanently clips around the setup, essentially building up new batteries which can be swapped?
 
Any chance you have a design on the boards that permanently clips around the setup, essentially building up new batteries which can be swapped?
I used tis one - 3DR Solo Battery Mod Cover by jonbrotherton. (the only drawback, the locking pin at the front must be made thicker, i took and reaglued it from OEM battery shell)
Fits my moded 5000mAh battery, and will tightly fit (i hope) 9000mAh Li-ion
 
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Great thread. Am glad to see movement on the battery front. We are all living or dying on borrowed time. I was surprised to see how light the Ricoh is. The Sony I am using, depending on the lens, is between 330 and 390g-- which may explain why I get some drone shaking. Rob, what does your Nikon weigh with the wide angle lens?
 
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Great thread. Am glad to see movement on the battery front. We are all living or dying on borrowed time. I was surprised to see how light the Ricoh is. The Sony I am using, depending on the lens, is between 330 and 390g-- which may explain why I get some drone shaking. Rob, what does your Nikon weigh with the wide angle lens?

Nikon J5 with Nikkor 10mm f2.8 and battery installed 340g
 
Nikon J5 with Nikkor 10mm f2.8 and battery installed 340g
thanks Rob, you guys have been a big help.
I like the orange props too.
The cam remote is extremely useful with the Sony. It's powered off the unused gimbal cable.
The photo of the button keys shows the functionality. I shoot RAW and can easily flip from HDR brackets, to normal shooting, change ISO, Av, shutter speed, zoom in and out and shoot video- all without having to ground the Solo.
I am beginning to believe that a center anchored mount is unstable for these cameras. A bit why a catamaran is more stable than a single hull. If all the additional weight of these cameras is anchored only on the center line of the Solo, it becomes unstable and shakes.
I will be working on a new gimbal mount and will no doubt ask you for help.
 

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thanks Rob, you guys have been a big help.
I like the orange props too.
The cam remote is extremely useful with the Sony. It's powered off the unused gimbal cable.
The photo of the button keys shows the functionality. I shoot RAW and can easily flip from HDR brackets, to normal shooting, change ISO, Av, shutter speed, zoom in and out and shoot video- all without having to ground the Solo.
I am beginning to believe that a center anchored mount is unstable for these cameras. A bit why a catamaran is more stable than a single hull. If all the additional weight of these cameras is anchored only on the center line of the Solo, it becomes unstable and shakes.
I will be working on a new gimbal mount and will no doubt ask you for help.

Nice to hear. Will wait for upcoming progress ?
In future, maybe I`ll also move Sony way, but not now.
Maybe better post under Nikon J5 mirrorless camera on 3Dr Solo - ch7 shutter there's about our gimballs triggering an cameras :)

p.s. by the way standart MasterAirscrew props have better lifting power than these (there were comparisment somewhere).
 
Part.5 Bearing replacement

After first flights of 3DR Solo, I was hearing a strange whistling sound from my 3DR Solo. Opened a thread Weird whistleing sound from Solo and searched info elsewhere and lot of folks suggested that it could be or definitely is a bearing problem and they need to be changed.
...

@makatanav: curious, did you get the same strange sound if you were flying without the added weight of the camera and gimbal?
 
@makatanav: curious, did you get the same strange sound if you were flying without the added weight of the camera and gimbal?
I don't remember anymore, but i guess - without added weight there was no sound, when added - the sound appeared
 
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Part.10 Donor drone

As I haven’t got spares like controller, shell, motors and motor pods, i considered to buy a donor drone (just in case), as buying parts separately will be more expensive as buy a combo. So, I watched auctions in eBay EU and got a good deal.
Got better and cheaper combo, like mine primary drone I bought 1.5 years ago :D
Will leave only drone + controller and maybe a bag and sell everything else off [EU], like:
  • Gimbal,
  • GoPro Hero 4 Black,
  • Chargers,
  • Propellers,
  • Batteries/battery BMS.
At the beginning thought that will extract battery BMS + solder XT60 connectors + add 3D printed shells, but after checking with MadHacker SoloTool, maybe will sell whole batteries if someone will be interested in price + shipping:

1st battery - 2015-6-25, 4 charges, Act.C. 5200mAh, Charge 53%, cell voltage ?
2nd battery - 2015-6-25, 5 charges, Act.C. 5200mAh, Charge 54%, cell voltage ?
3rd battery - 2015-7-27, 3 charges, Act.C. 5200mAh, Charge 53%, cell voltage ?
4th battery - 2015-6-25, 4 charges, Act.C. 4937mAh, Charge 51%, cell voltage ?

to be continued ...

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Part.11 HDMI cable replacement Nr.2

The first ribbon HDMI cable (LV 3DR Photo Drone) was maybe not so bad at all, but the thing is, for Ricoh GR the USB and HDMI connector is placed awfully close and connecting HDMI cable was always a struggle.
Then I started to lose video signal, got interference in video, so I looked for another alternative.
Those “cheap” ribbon HDMI cables sold on eBay/AliExpress have connector width of >13mm.
I managed to find one <10mm, but for the price. And quality is superb. So, if anyone have the same problem I had, I suggest buying this cable.

Bought mine here - US $22.27 19% OFF|TAROT RC Mini Camera Gimbal Line Cable Straight Micro HDMI to Micro HDMI Non Destructive HD Shielded Tarot TL10A07 FPV Aircraft|Parts & Accessories|Toys & Hobbies - AliExpress

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to be continued ...
 
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Part.12 Power module mode + 2x Li-ion 9000mAh battery build

This was the hugest and most serious upgrade for my 3DR Solo.
Definitely all credit goes to @Derriell who “ invented the bicycle” so we can ride with it - 3DR Solo with LiIon 9000mAh battery | up to 30min flight time
I cached this thread already a while a go so already knew which way I will go.

Bought a spare 3DR Solo board, so I could fly with current setup and work on other.
Ordered power module from mrobotics - mRo Hall Sens Power module ACSP7 (Next Gen)
Ordered 24x Samsung INR18650-30Q Li-Ion cells (for two packs) from - NKON | Samsung INR18650-30Q 3000mAh - 15A - 18650 - Li-ion - Rechargeable batteries
Ordered connectors, and others soldering parts and materials from AliExpress

When all parts had arrived, the project could begin.

I'm not good on soldering jobs, so I gave it to my friend who is, and together we managed to do it.
I`ll not duplicate information about power module instalation couse it all is available under @Derriell post here => 3DR Solo with LiIon 9000mAh battery | up to 30min flight time

did a 1st test flight
temperature 7C, wind 3m/s, hover on altitude 15m
battery charged 2nd time
got 20min 20sec from 16.3V down to 12.4V with my 1940gram 3DR Solo (with MasterAirscrew props)
Average draw ~19A
So I guess it will get little better with further charges and charging it to 16.8V and carefully discharging it even lover (to some 11.5V).

For battery charging using 19V 4.74A (90W) notebook power supply and ISDT Q8 Lite battery charger

HINT:
to remove Warning, Battery differential: xxxxxmV in Solex, Connect to the Solo with WinSCP (10.1.1.10, user root, pw TjSDBkAu). Then navigate to /usr/bin/. Edit shotManager.py and comment out 420 line - " self.checkBatteryHealth()". Save


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