3DR tethered flight

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#1
Hi all, first post.

I'm running a uni project where I need to prototype using a tethered solo.
I managed to get the drone to boot using a power supply, but it refused to fly, and the controller software seemed to become a little glitchy in the process.
Any idea what sort of hardware setup i need to make the rotors spin up? Does the third battery pin need to be spoofed somehow?

Any help would be much appreciated!
 
Likes: Coastwise
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#3
Hi all, first post.

I'm running a uni project where I need to prototype using a tethered solo.
I managed to get the drone to boot using a power supply, but it refused to fly, and the controller software seemed to become a little glitchy in the process.
Any idea what sort of hardware setup i need to make the rotors spin up? Does the third battery pin need to be spoofed somehow?

Any help would be much appreciated!
Without details on your power supply it is difficult to say what the problem is. Are you needing a power tether, or just to make sure the bird doesn't fly away on you?

In general more detail will be better for troubleshooting.
 
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#4
Thanks for the replies! Let me add some more detail:

I'm trying to run the solo from a power tether, with no battery installed. Hopefully this will give me longer flight times and a little more leeway on max cargo load.

I plugged the solo in to a 14.8V DC power supply, current limited to about 6A. I figured this is probably way too low amperage to launch, but I might at least see the current draw increase/saturate, or detect a voltage dip if it tried to draw current but couldn't, or some sort of error on the controller that there was a power/battery issue. I found none of these things. When I try to launch, the controller is just unresponsive and the props don't budge an inch.

Any guidance on developing a power tether would be much appreciated!

Thanks.
 
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#5
Thanks for the replies! Let me add some more detail:

I'm trying to run the solo from a power tether, with no battery installed. Hopefully this will give me longer flight times and a little more leeway on max cargo load.

I plugged the solo in to a 14.8V DC power supply, current limited to about 6A. I figured this is probably way too low amperage to launch, but I might at least see the current draw increase/saturate, or detect a voltage dip if it tried to draw current but couldn't, or some sort of error on the controller that there was a power/battery issue. I found none of these things. When I try to launch, the controller is just unresponsive and the props don't budge an inch.

Any guidance on developing a power tether would be much appreciated!

Thanks.
You are going to need another way to power the Solo tethering requires lots of power certainly more than 6 amps and you need to up the voltage a bit..there is some info out there but very vague..
If you have access to a PC install Mission Planner and connect to it via UDP go to the messages tab and it will most likely list the issue or failsafe that is preventing the solo from arming...

Home-Made Power Tether — Copter documentation
 
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#6
I would think the only way to do this is using AC 120v on the ground and then converting it to DC on the aircraft. Some how your going to need 400 watts of power available to play it safe. Maybe a little less.
 
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#7
I would think the only way to do this is using AC 120v on the ground and then converting it to DC on the aircraft. Some how your going to need 400 watts of power available to play it safe. Maybe a little less.
That's the way to do it, also you are limited to the height you can fly the drone according to the FAA rules it will be considered a "Structure" I believe its max 150 feet...
 
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#8
I would think the only way to do this is using AC 120v on the ground and then converting it to DC on the aircraft. Some how your going to need 400 watts of power available to play it safe. Maybe a little less.
Hi David and XevetS, why the need to convert to DC on the aircraft? Is that to minimise line losses? Will a DC line not suffice to get it running initially?

I gave it a whirl with a much bigger power supply running 15V and a max of 30 A and the solo continued to not budge. It launches immediately with the battery in, but won't respond with a power supply. Sometimes it says searching for GPS (despite being in manual) and sometimes it just hangs on the Press Start to Launch screen.

Anyone have any if the double sided 3rd pin is related to this, and potentially sensing that there is no battery?
 
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#9
Hi David and XevetS, why the need to convert to DC on the aircraft? Is that to minimise line losses? Will a DC line not suffice to get it running initially?

I gave it a whirl with a much bigger power supply running 15V and a max of 30 A and the solo continued to not budge. It launches immediately with the battery in, but won't respond with a power supply. Sometimes it says searching for GPS (despite being in manual) and sometimes it just hangs on the Press Start to Launch screen.

Anyone have any if the double sided 3rd pin is related to this, and potentially sensing that there is no battery?
Just so you are aware there are certain failsafes the solo looks for before arming, these can all be disabled/enabled for testing purposes using Mission Planner, tower, Side Pilot so on so fourth.
Check the link I sent you the engineers lay it all out for you and yes you need to convert AC to DC voltage due to voltage/amperage drop/spike think about it? If you try pulling high DC amps through a long thin wire connected to the Solo well its going to get hot and go poof as in meltdown. Buh-Bye Solo Home-Made Power Tether — Copter documentation
What exactly does your solo do when trying to arm it with your setup?
Did you try to manually arm the Solo by holding left stick down and to the right while in Manual or Stabilized mode? Connect to mission planner while doing this and see what type of error messages you see..
 
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#10
Also keep in mind that the power supply is likely very noisy electronically and the Pixhawk is only minimally shielded for such.

Try using a capacitor directlly connected across the leeads as they enter the Solo. Will help with transients and should put some noise filtering on the line as well.
 

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