May 18, 2016

Finally some small SBUS receivers for Futaba!

I've somewhat regretted last years that I decided to take the Futaba path with the 14SG instead of buying a Taranis. The Futaba is much more expensive, both the transmitter, the receivers and the telemetry devices.

More so I noticed the new "naked" X4R and D4R FrSky receivers. These small buggers comes without header pins soldered and a small connector for SBUS output directly. Perfect for SBUS installation and excellent especially for small quads which only uses SBUS to the flight controller. I want this for Futaba!

And just the other day I noticed the new FM800 Fasst mini receiver (foxtech, hobbyking) with only a connector for SBUS (and not the clumsy servo header at that). And there's more. Banggood carries a no-name S-FHSS receiver in compact format with only a servo header with SBUS. In fact, the FM800 seems quite no-name as well, not much information on the receiver online, but from the community it seems to have a lot in common with the Corona R4FA-SB when it comes to the setup procedure. I've been making a lot of use of the Corona receiver myself in exactly the way that I would use a FM800, but with some de-soldering and risk-taking.

Between the two receivers, the no-name receiver from banggood comes with long antennas, I would see this as an advantage when installing the receiver in a carbon fiber frame. And since I all my mini-quads comes in carbon, well, I would go with that one. Otherwise, a FM800 with long antennas would be nice. But the present one has soldered-on antennas and a long antenna would probably be impossible.

May 9, 2016

Tarot 960

I haven't had much time to spend building lately, family has been taking up most of my time. But I did buy a second hand Tarot 960 a while back. Why on earth I did that I have no idea. But I quickly realized there are a few things I have to improve/fix on it before I will take it to the skies.

  • Power connections; the use of the Tarot 960 connector with 3.5mm plugs looks dangerous.
  • More power connections; reuse main batteries for the gimbal and video system.
  • Even more power stuff; install a current sensor and a telemetry receiver.
  • Radio system; use S.BUS to the gimbal instead of seperate receiver.

I have now started working on it. There are a few things I will have to order which will keep it on the ground for a while. I started out with the big soldering job on the power connectors. See the image below on why I wanted to address the power connector problems.


When all this was done I started looking into the future receiver switch. But first taking notes on the present channel mapping. I intend to use a R7003SB receiver. I will use S.BUS for the Naza and the gimbal controller. At first I intended to use a PWM output for the retractable landing gears. The R7003SB can only output channel 2 and 3 as PWM when also using S.BUS and S.BUS2 outputs. I imagined that I could configure the channel mapping in the NAZA and use channel 2 or 3 for the retracts. Nope, you can't. This is why I never used NAZA before. It may be great and expensive but it really lets you down on features and configurability.

So now I need to install an S.BUS decoder for the retracts. This is no big deal but I have to order one. I'm going to use the Corona CSBD-1 that I've used before. For some reason you can only get this device from HobbyKing...