Posts Tagged ‘mech

25
Oct
22

ON THE BENCH :KEURIG K35

ANOTHER BLUE MAT GROUP SERIES

CONTINUOUS RUN, INTERMITTENT RUN, INCORRECT CUP SIZE WATER OUTPUT

PUMP PROBLEMS?

SOMETIMES KEURIGS CAN BE FUSSY MACHINES ALWAYS HAVE HAD ONE. CONSIDERING THAT THIS IS THE MR COFFEE MACHINE MODERN REPLACEMENT AND IS USED AT LEAST ON A DAILY BASIS WHEN THEY RUN THEY ARE RELIABLE. SOME HAVE THE FEATURE TO INDICATE DE SCALING PROCEDURES NEEDED WHICH SHOULD BE DONE ON A REGULAR BASIS LIKE ESPRESSO MACHINES AND SOME TYPES OF WATER HEATERS FOR DOMESTIC HOT WATER.

THIS K35 ONE FROM A FAMILY MEMBER. DECIDED TO DO A TEAR DOWN OF THE PUMP JUST TO MAKE SURE IT WASN’T CLOGGED ETC.

ALSO THOSE INTERESTED IN MODS AND UP CYCLE CAN TAKE A LOOK

A YOUTUBE SEARCH REVELED HOW TO REMOVE THE CASINGS, JUST SOME SCREWS AT THE BOTTOM AND THE USUAL CLIPS

THE MAIN CIRCUIT BOARD. NOTICE THE 4 PINS IN THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER FOR ? ACCESSIBLE THROUGH A REMOVABLE COVER ON THE BOTTOM OF THE UNIT. DIDN’T DO AN EXHAUSTIVE SEARCH FOR THIS. NICE ! JST TYPE CONNECTORS ON THE CONNECTIONS

THE PUMP UN CLIPS FROM A MOUNT AND TUBING EASILY REMOVED.

CONNECTOR IS FOR SENSOR INSIDE THE PUMP , RED/ BLACK FOR 12 VDC POWER TO THE MOTOR NO PICTURES OF THE PUMP DIS ASSEMBLED, AN INTERESTING OFFSET DRIVE AND A SERIES OF TRI SPACE DIAPHRAGMS THAT DO THE PUMPING ACTION. I CONNECTED 12 VDC TO PUMP TO INSURE IT WASN’T STALLED OR DEFECTIVE.

DIDN’T APPEAR CLOGGED AND EASILY RE ASSEMBLED. CLIPS HOLD THE PUMP TO THE SEALED MOTOR.

TYPICAL WORK BENCH ENVIRONMENT, NOT A PROBLEM FOR ME.

THE PUMP IN PLACE

RED BLACK 12 VDC POWER

REASSEMBLED AND CUP SIZE WAS STILL OFF , LARGE WAS ALMOST 2 CUPS WATER OUTPUT. RAN THROUGH THE ABOVE PROCEDURE AND NOW THE KEURIG WATER OUTPUT IS WITH IN SPECIFICATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO BREW A FEW CUPS TO TEST.

THANKS FOR VIEWING, HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE.

28
Jul
22

on the bench : RCA SOUND CARTRIDGE TAPE DECK 1YB29A “the missing link”

$31.00, Tax$2.95, Shipping$9.16, Handling$2.00, Additional Donation$0.89. Order Total$46.00

September 21 2021 from shopGoodwill.com

Apparently there is a incorrect link to photos that are not showing please stand by ! Google photos links may be dynamic ?

Now we live in a world where recording music for our enjoyment or for that fact buying albums, CD’s records or whatever is not needed. Now with streaming services available the accessibility and storage of music is all digital. Enjoyment of music is now possible with a smart phone or streaming device. Our stereo equipment may just consist of a blue tooth speaker ! Back in the day we liked to have the concert experience at home. with powerful amps and huge speakers.

Before digital became available to the masses, to construct a playlist, we recorded “mix tapes” a collection of favorite songs usually recorded on cassettes. Also it was possible to record music from someone else who purchased the album thereby saving us from purchasing the music.

Before record able Cd’s and cassettes the audiophiles preferred recording format was the reel to reel. Relatively expensive method of storing sound, the quality though could mimic vinyl records depending on the quality and recording speed (and $$$) of the deck. the reel to reel was also a favored method of musicians and recording studios to produce records from master tapes.

Those who follow the progression of magnetic tape recording recording formats, a little know format was the RCA sound cartridge system. You can look up the history by googling etc.,circa 1958. As most remember Phillips developed the compact cassette that most are familiar with. Some claim Phillips stole the format from RCA and refined it to a smaller more cost effective size.

I was fortunate to grab this RCA SOUND CARTRIDGE TAPE DECK 1YB29A from an auction in a great condition. Not a collector as such as I have enough stuff around , it was curiosity to see this machine. Would it work? As the size is much larger than a compact cassette, it was developed when reel to reel machines were still available. Thus it was a link from the progression from reel to reel decks to the compact cassette. There are variants of this model some in stereo.

the unboxing

inspection of the item hmmmm. that would date this item to about 60 years old !

I also lucked out that the unit had a tape cartridge included.

THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOT OF PICTURES !

Here is a comparison picture of a compact cassette from the net as i didn’t get any size reference from pictures I took

Front panel removed

INSTEAD OF THE TYPICAL VU METER WE HAVE A TUBE TYPE INDICATOR

NICE! WE HAVE INSTRUCTIONS RIGHT ON THE UNIT HOW TO CHANGE THE TUBES

WE ARE POWERED UP

PLAY/ RECORD HEADS

TAPE MECHANISM ENGAGED TO PLAY. I LIKE THE FACT THAT THE PRESSURE PADS A E PART OF THE MACHINE. SOMETIMES THEY ARE TROUBLESOME IN COMPACT CASSETTES

THE PINCH ROLLER HAS A CRAZY DOUBLE JOINTED SWIVEL WHEN ENGAGED/DISENGAGED (CAPSTAN REMOVED) ENGAGED/DISENGAGED FROM PLAY FUNCTION

TUBE TYPE AND DIAGRAM, PIECE OF BELT REMAINS AT THE TOP

SPEAKER

SPEAKER AND CASE HANDLE MOUNTING

NO DRIVE, THE BELT REMAINS, REVERTED BACK TO OIL

BELT REMAINS

CHASSIS VIEW

DUE TO THE AGE AND THE FACT THAT THIS UNIT WORKED I LEFT AS IS FOR REFERENCE AND SALE

MOTOR AND DRIVE SPOOLS, MOTOR HAS STEPPED PULLEY

THE HOOKED ROD LINKAGE IS THE SPEED SHIFTER TO SHIFT THE BELT TO THE DIFFERENT STEP PULLEY

TAPE COUNTER BELT IS OK

OTHER END OF TAPE COUNTER BELT

CAPSTAN FLYWHEEL PULLEY

CAPSTAN BRACKET

REMOVAL AND CLEANING, I HAPPEN TO FIND AN ACCEPTABLE BELT FOR REPLACEMENT. THAT’S ALL THAT WAS NECESSARY TO RETURN THE UNIT TO WORKING CONDITION

PRESSURE PADS

CIRCUIT COMPONENTS, ALL POINT TO POINT WIRING, ORIGINAL APPEARANCE

WAFER SWITCH COMPLETE WITH OXIDATION

DE OXIT TO THE RESCUE

TAPE CART INSTALLED, IT HAD OLD TIME RECORDINGS OF A FARMER TALKING TO VARIOUS PEOPLE AND SOME FAMILY RECORDINGS. CLEARLY SIMILARITIES TO THE COMPACT CASSETTE

DID A TEST RECORDING AND THAT FUNCTION WORKED

FINISHED AND RE ASSEMBLED, PICTURE FOR EBAY SOLD FOR A BIT OVER $70.00 USD I HOPE IT WENT TO COLLECTOR WITH THE SPACE TO DISPLAY IT.

THE SOUND CARTRIDGE

BTW THE SPEED WAS SELECT ABLE TO 3 3/4 OR 1 7/8, THE BELT WAS SHIFTED TO A DIFFERENT PULLEY BUT MECHANICAL MEANS TO GET THE DIFFERENT SPEEDS. SOUND QUALITY WAS MOSTLY ACCEPTABLE FOR VOICE AND MUSIC AS ON PAR WITH OTHER RECORDING DEVICES IN THIS SPEED RANGE. THE HIGHER QUALITY DEVICES OF THE AGE ALSO UTILIZED 7 1/2 OR 15 INCHES PER SECOND OF TAPE SPEED

WITH COVER, ALL CLEANED UP THE END

i HAVE MORE DRAFTS WAITING TO BE COMPLETED SO MORE OF “ON THE BENCH ” SERIES WILL BE COMING SOON

23
May
22

ON THE BENCH : HORN BAROMETER

Order Summary

Subtotal $9.99

Tax $1.48

Shipping $8.12

Handling $2.99

Order Total $22.58

Usually barometers and such may come attached to wooden boards, a ships wheel or just a round wooden disk. Some are contained in a brass case as the previous post.

This one was mounted inside a circular horn. Makes for an interesting display either on the wall or shelf.

Don’t see too many of these a-round.

As usual a bit of cleanup and a repair to the mechanism.

I returned the metal to a polish finish from the original which also had some red tape affixed to the circular pat of the horn tubing.

The dial is approximately 3 1/4 inches and the horn diameter is about 4 3/4 inches

unboxing
dis assembly of the mechanism
some rust on the case to deal with, the mechanism is in good shape
rear case
the horn mouthpiece
the red tape on the tubing.
cleaning
the dial is in excellent shape after a cleanup
one side of the pivot had to be reset, it was knocked from it’s intended position. No idea how it got like than other from a sharp knock
An aneriod barometer, the silver circular chamber is sealed and pressure changes are linked to the to the pointer shaft through levers and finally a tiny chain the is wound around the indicator shaft. Cleaned and oiled all rotating and moving pieces.
re assembly, the circular part of the tubing was plated metal.
finished for now.

Some touch up polishing and cleaning to be completed, fasteners for the bottom of the case needed
22
May
22

on the bench: wempe barometer and clock

purchased from Goodwill online $43.88 , total with shipping and handling $63.00

parts needed 1 battery LR 1 , $2.85 total

arrival of the imstruments
in fairly good shape, the second hand on the clock is bent, no battery
mounted on a wooden base for hanging
bent second hand
on the side some major pitting in areas
pitting and corrosion present
a full circle dog handle, nice touch
removal from the board

rear of the clock
dis assembly of the lenses
all metal construction of the cases
removal of the case from the rear plate
removal of the clock from the case
rear of the clock and the time setting knob
battery contacts in good condition, need LR-1 battery none in stock
barometer lens

removal of the front cover
starting the cleaning
aligning the clock hands
cleaning , a combining of polishing compound and metal polish (Brasso)
making progress
better looking
reassemble the cases
bright and shiny
An old pump motor acquired from a lot, with a chuck attached and an arbor set up with buffing wheel. Clamped to bench, powered polisher/buffer wheel
remounted to base, didn’t refinish the board
elbow grease and polisher machine with the Brasso brought the finish back to high gloss.
No sign of the pitting and corrosion
done for now , battery ordered
arrival of the battery
clipped into place
The clock is running !!! Keeps perfect time !

Not bad for just a cleanup, aligning of the clock hands and a battery. Was going to sell it, but it’s such a beautiful piece I still have it. Wempe instrumentation is a bit scarcer than a Shatz or a Chelsea. The clock ,though it is battery powered vs. a windup with chimes is still very good quality moment.

03
Sep
21

on the bench … tymeter clock

box from Goodwill
VNTG Numechron Tymeter “TV Model” Clock

Order Summary

Subtotal

$27.56

Tax

$2.76

Shipping

$8.83

Handling

$2.99

Order Total

$42.14

bid and won on an old style clock

the “un boxing” !
old style rotating numerals cloak, some wear and cracking on the clear face plate. the clock, the clock works but the motor emits a grinding sound. in a quiet room very audible.
the back is clear plastic , apparently you set the time by putting your finger through he back and rotating the dials to the correct time
plastic style case
sort of a burl wood plastic color
removed the rear panel
you can see the rotating mechanism
the numerals are in good shape , several kits are available as stickers to renew the look , these are highly viable and still have good color
case interior with dial nightlight switch
front panel removed
case
some of the crazing of the plastic visible
wiring , switch bulb and socket, c7 bulb, checking wiring for splits and cracking
grommet dried out and cracked
1 rpm motor, very noisey
timer motor with first cog, the second wheel
motor mounting bracket
pulling the screw and axle from the hour wheel
each wheel (cog) has a spring detent that is slightly adjustable to aline the digits
hour wheel and axle
all of the wheels are removed
cast mounted bracket removed from base
wire nut connections
second wheel press fits to motor
fasteners and hardware
ready to be cleaned
I checked the paint on the wheels of the numerals, it didn’t flake away before cleaning. On some old devices the paint will simply flack away if distrubed
components cleaned
ready for assembly
plastic polish applied
reassemble of the wheels, checking the sizes of the hardware axles and screws
some silicone grease applied, the paint was flaked on the spring detents, left as is
installing the wheels
without the detents in place, spin test
installation of the detents
assembly of the time wheels
assembly
mounting of the motor
aligning of the digits
completed project
rear view

While the project was finished, the motor was very noisy, I tried to lubricate the sealed motor but it ended with failure. Most likely will sell for parts as the motor is not readily available for replacement.

The bulb will be replaced with a C7 LED filament bulb.

13
Mar
21

on the bench

The continuing series cataloging repairs, tear downs and random stuff.

Now on he bench is an Retro Oreck Air cleaner. some of you folks (sounds homey right ?) might remember these from it’s TV advertising. Some are probably already familiar with the Oreck name. I did a quick search on Oreck and those unfamiliar with it’s history may find it interesting reading more than the scope of this posting.

Another item is the fact of air purification. You can easily find yourself in a whirlwind of information on air purifiers and filters, air quality and health condition, all beyond the scope of this blog. I as more often than not acquire items on their merit of design and components rather than the best rated and reviewed results, even though the device is usually discontinued or no longer available. So on with the show…

At the time when these were offered for sale, comparatively speaking they were expensive (to my demographic). It’s advantage is that the air cleaner never required filters , so to speak. The electrostatic filter is the main filter element, basically sheets of metal separated and each other layer charged with a high voltage to trap particles in the air. This was later referred to as the “truman cell” filter and I’m stumped as to the reference of this marketing terminology. I’ve had some experience with electrostatic commercial units, basically a larger implementation of the truman cell. It also harks back to the day when it was legal to consume tobacco products at your pleasure and many restaurants , bars and lounges used a “smoker eater” to keep the air cleaner.

All components of the filter are removable and washable. It can be equipped with a charcoal filter, still available. The model purchased was the AIr 8 , they may be (as more research is needed) first generation of the Oreck air purifier and came in a few colors including the wood grain variety. One striking feature is it’s layout, unlike many other home air purifiers, is that it’s designed to a rather large footprint type device that would be on a tabletop, not like a floor model. The retro wood grain looks of this model disguises it to be a table top console device that would look good in a living room setting. It probably could be placed near an ashtray, cigar humidor, or a stand holding a collection of pipes (tobacco that is) but most of that has disappeared from our lives.

The fan design is similar to a elongated squirrel cage blower, cylindrical with axial vanes that allows a low profile. Since there is no input airflow to the center of the rotating vanes, like many squirrel cage blowers, it moves the air, by the design of the case, by just the outer edge of the vanes while rotating. Air flows from the rear of the filter assembly around the edge of the vanes and exiting up through the top of the device. Adjustable vanes allow some limited direction of the exiting air flow. The design also requires that airspace is clear over the top of the unit.

As with other Oreck devices manufactured in it’s time, it’s expensive price is justified in it’s design. Ironically to me is that some reviews (some misleading) classed this as a device needing frequent service as that the time Oreck had it’s chain of retail stores and repair centers. In my opinion the device is well built as we will see. some of the shortcomings of reviewers of the time placed it as a mediocre filter system, but again it doesn’t matter to me.

More technically the 120 volt powered device has a low voltage transformer feeding the high voltage supply for the electrostatic filter, The speed control slide switch selects the motor windings for 3 different speeds, a basic but effective system other than an electronic speed control system. A specialized slide switch of both two and three pole combination and wired to switch the fan windings, while supplying the power to the low voltage transformer. A separate high voltage supply, 120 vac in and high voltage DC out is for the ionizer, another controversial system of air rejuvenation, which operates by a simple switch. The high voltage output terminates in a needle located close to the fan blades to provide the ions to the air stream. The final switch is actually a latch to access the fragrance cartridge holder which springs open allowing insertion of the fragrance cartridge I think still available. I utilized some soldering iron foam cleaning pads and use scented essences as necessary. Another small circuit board on the front panel rear is the LED indicator assembly to indicated power, filter condition and power applied to the ionizer.

All of the components are easily removable and as with other older devices a good number of fasteners are used versus plastic clips of newer devices. The entire unit can be disassembled and cleaned, even the louver assembly is made so it can be taken apart, there are no plastic “welds” in the device. The case is of heavy thick plastic. Mine was missing the rubber feet, some chipped areas on the feet projections. The unit was also engineered for wall mounting but I can not find any reference to a wall mounting bracket offered through research. This device could be mounted on the ceiling if you were so inclined to fashion a bracket or mounting plate for it.

Noise wise the unit is very quiet on medium speed and practically silent on the low speed. Occasionally there is a slight sound from the bearings barely perceptible on the low speed. Noise form these devices is very subjective to the user.

Lets take a look…

unboxing… I didn’t know this would be as popular as it has become
The “before” picture. Unit powered up but the fan blades were jammed for some reason.
first glance, top removed, motor mount cracked
The right side
left side bearing assembly plate, easily removable
a bit of dust and dirt expected when buying on the used low price market. Some buyers actually like to bring the item back to original condition rather than buy a totally refurbished item,. Plus you get the best part… to take it apart and see the design ! It’s a learning experience !
The fan motor mount may have gotten jostled around during shipping as the seller said it worked.
ground wire from the ionizer just sitting in there ?
cracked motor mount, was eventually glued back to normal.
slide switches and LED display board, the control panel also slides out from the case.
another view of the control panel pulled form the case
broken motor mount
The stud for the ionizer chipped, later epoxied
repair of the motor mount
fan motor removed (right)
the brass bushing pressed on the motor shaft provides coupling to the fan blade assembly
not a through cleaning yet reassembled for testing, fan now rotating.
case together, run testing
days later full disassembly for cleaning appears that the high voltage ionizer supply does not output the high voltage. The high voltage for the electrostatic filter is good.
As stated practically all of the components can be broken down for cleaning.
three separate windings for this motor, would be hard to find a replacement 120 vac
ball bearings
mates to the grommet on the fan blade end
detents for positive switch position
The “after” picture. ionizer power supply replacement on order. All bearings were cleaned and greased also.
order from Ali Express, a replacement, not the exact replacement for the high voltage power supply
This one terminates in a carbon brush end instead of a needle. Not sure of the voltage of the original one , this one definitely more compact. No pictures of the repair just connected to the 120 vac and ran the output to the original bracket that held the needle termination. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001652041536.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.357b4c4dKRyOVm

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001652041536.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.357b4c4dKRyOVm

After almost a month of running practically full time, the fan blade assembly was starting to slip and squeak on the bushing at the motor drive. Previous I used a piece of heat shrink on the outer section of the shaft. That did not last Then tried a vacuum cap to bush up the diameter for a tighter fit. Nope still a no go.
Finally I repeated the heat shrink application , this time covering the entire shaft with the heat shrink even over the bushing then applying heat. The ridge on the bushing fits into the grommet with the grommet completely covering the bushing
seen here the grommet fully pressed onto the shaft covering the bushing
on duty today

I do like the design and operation of the Oreck. If needed it could be modified for instance, for smoke extraction when soldering Or if you needed a high voltage supply or some type of fan for moving air. It can be operated on it’s side Hasn’t collected much dust yet , the filter light has not come on. there is some fine dust on the electrostatic plates On occasion you do here the snap of the high voltage could be a large dust particle etc. Does it make a difference on the quality of the air in the room ? I can’t really say and by delving more into the subject of air quality ………………

New Toy , review to follow.
28
Jul
17

Drone restoration

One of the drones I purchased on Ebay for repair the Spyder XL, had a smaller drone included a Zero Gravity X1- HD  , no remote just the drone.

The other drone that needed repair is a Protocol AR Video Drone: Upright motor,  gear reduction setup, main shaft gears have a keyed hex projection on top for propeller attachment. 1 s battery power. Standard video and still image camera with on board memory card.

Basically, I used the gears from the  Zero Gravity X1- HD and swapped them to the Protocol AR video drone also purchased from Ebay for repair. I had been searching for replacement parts for the Protocol because they were stripped, but no luck. I thought of swapping the entire flight controller from the Protocol to the other drone that had a good gear  train but swapped the gears instead , the  gears were almost a perfect replacement, I had to slightly drill out the bore of the propeller gears with a small drill just holding the drill by a pair of pliers as the Protocol drone main shafts were about .2mm diameter larger. The main shaft is slightly knurled. The gears are press fit to both the motors and the main shaft.

IMG_1971

IMG_1979

IMG_2208Gears swapped and installed…. Some big hairy capacitors on board..

IMG_2681

Ready for flight testing, propellers from the Zero Gravity drone also swapped to the protocol.

IMG_2682

 

Propeller guards installed.

Revving motors for testing.

IMG_2683

At first it didn’t seem to fly as well as it should, now, the original propellers were installed and notice the slight difference in width and pitch . Just this slight  difference made the  performance much better.

IMG_2684

This has altitude control, more stable in  flight, camera and 4 gig video card for photo and video. I bored a hole on the cover for the antenna and marked the counter clock wise propellers and front with a paint pen. A sharp looking drone in  flat black and gold. The LEDs are not as visible as other drones, a bit visible from the motors and more visible from the underside.

Once the fascination  of steadily flying the drone wears off you tend to want to race it through the house. Testing other functions and camera.

Protocol Video AP Drone For Parts Or Repair Ebay, $20.00 shipping $6.61

IMG_1985

Update : after much flying and racing through the house, the drone got hung up and one of the motors no longer gives enough power for stable flight. Replacements on order.

Also the listings on motors for replacements from websites, are providing more detail as far as voltage, current and rpm. So with the proper test equipment, measurements can be taken to troubleshoot problems.

 

What do do if you can’t fly?

tweaking settings on this simulator and using the 4 channel transmitter from the Multi wii, more on this on a later post.

24
Jul
17

Multicopters repair and comments

canvas

The Spyder XL was another Ebay purchase, after checking out the multicopter, the propellers are attached to the main shafts by tiny screws, some of them either shear off or strip out so the propellers can’t be attached or they slip. This may be a feature so that the motors won’t stall and be damaged.  The replacement/repair was propeller adapters and modification of the spare props I had on hand. The propellers adapters  had to have spacers (grommets) put on the main shafts or the bearings would ride up the main shaft when in use. A quick modification of the original Spyder XL  propellers was required so they would be a thru hole mount on the propellers adapters.

IMG_2152

 

Another modification was cutting the main shafts so they didn’t require spacers. Later ,I found and purchased suitable replacement shafts online and replaced all four of them. The propeller guards supplied with the drone were also attached but were flimsy, testing the drone indoors and practicing my flying skills bent and damaged the guards. This drone has quit a bit of power, the most powerful one that I have flown. 2S batteries power this quad.

The main shaft replacements I found online were the correct length but the gears did not match the originals as there is not a specific replacement listing for all the parts for a Spyder XL.  If you do repair work this is common as some drone manufacturers don’t  provide the specifications or continue to supply replacements. (this could be a consideration for 3d printing if you have the resources.) Metal tubing could be sourced or machined for replacement.  Other items to have on hand are the tiny screws that many manufacturers  use for assembly. Various sizes and kits can be purchased in bulk inexpensively from online sources.

 

IMG_2153

One of the features of the Spyder XL is the sequential lighting LEDs on the struts when activated, when battery is low they solid flash without sequence.

IMG_2154

 

Finally, the new props were installed, it’s of course possible to purchase different sizes and colors of propellers.

Again , indoors this is a monster quad to control but can be fairly stable, it’s responsive and kicks up quite a lot of thrust and noise so any paperwork lying around will be blown away if you hover around a table or desk. Without the prop guards, use caution , I’ve replaced the screws that secure the gears to the main shaft ,the motors are powerful enough to shear them if not completely  secure and applying slightly larger and longer screws make for a good power transfer. The life of the motors are uncertain, now one of them crapped out and all four will be replaced. Another solution that others have used is the use of foldable  propellers so the motors and gear train  sustain less damage if they contact anything. I like flying drones without too much automatic  control, although at times they can be unstable and a temperamental sort. More of a challenge at times.  Way up the ladder is GPS, more stability, geofencing etc with the higher priced drones.

The auto launch button on the transmitter works well, but indoors will rise and contact the ceiling if not aborted. Some  of the feedback is delayed from  the control sticks.

More flight time and repairs are required.

Just like other forms of technology, quads and any other types of drones can be a consuming hobby. Some terminology is appearing like drone addiction, drone phobia and the like. Yes folks it’s all over again, less time playing video games, being on the internet, and now drone flying !  “Johnny be good or I won’t let you fly your drone!”

Happy Flying , I’m with ya ! Remember some days you have to RTH !

Next: another restoration or hack ?

 

 

29
May
17

UDI RC repair

Since my previous post https://pmetro.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/the-flying-computer what direction would be next? Since there are a overabundance of drones on the market,  many do not get that great of reviews, or over simplify the ease of flying and have a short flight time due to the size of the battery especially at the lower end price points. Some reviewers simply state that there is a lot of junk out there. If you are not experienced and want to join the ranks of drone operators, note recommendations and reviews of current high end drone operators with experience as to what drone they flew as a starter either as a racer or photographer, in other words what is cost effective for multiple  crashes.

Technology has progressed the drone into basically two types, at the higher end of the consumer market, racing or photography. As with other types of electronics smaller lighter and faster can be the general rule to racing drones and photography, (could also be branched out to heavy lifting) stability, reliability and stunning high definition cameras on remote control gimbals  have captured the market. The new announcements releases from leading drone manufacturers to drone operators is the same furor as  the latest smartphone presentation. Prices are reasonable as with every advance there is more technology for the price. This is a growth area with the application of different technology ever expanding.

Drones have given the radio controlled hobby market a kick in the pants. Certainly a few manufacturers have taken the lead and it reminds me of other breakout tech companies when a market first explodes, such as personal computers and cell phones. Some will be shaken out and others will consolidate. The amount of technology applications involved run from remote telemetry, autonomous control, GPS, vision and remote recognition as just a few before even getting into the array of sensors utilized to give the drones stable flight. Racers have not been left out , first person view, cameras and FPV vision goggles make these people look like Borg wanna be’s. Lipo battery technology give racers crazy amounts of power and brushless motor technology constantly boost the top speeds of these racing demons.

So instead of another complete kit, as of yet, after perusing the many hobby sites and quad copter forums, a new drone was out of the question, and trying to keep the cost low would limit me to an unreliable toy for learning flight. Now many of the online hobby shops  carry repair parts with some low cost consumer drone hobby models having practically all of the parts available to build one from the ground up, this is true with racing drones as they can be built in stages but would add up to a high cost , there would be an alternative to  gaining flight practice and  knowledge.     I decided a repair/modification of a drone would be the best route to become familiar with the types of technology being utilized. So off to the junkyard so to speak in search of a decent learner drone needing to be rescued. (Many first time drone buyers simply trying out the hobby crash and burn so to speak, so postings from Ebay on drones for parts etc. gave some promising results)

 

Note: If you want to repair drones look up replacement parts beforehand,  many models are supported either through the original manufacturer or third party sources, ALi Express, Banggood, Ebay, drone forums Etc. Much information can be obtained from hobby sites , you tube videos, online user manuals.

Lets get to it so we can fly….

 

From the drone bone yard, a UDI RC salvage from E-bay. Model 818A.

Basically bought from E-bay used, listed as one rotor not turning. After arrival and check,  one of the propellers is binding . After further checking the motor is the cause.

Ordered replacement motor and also a remote transmitter control  along with spare propellers as the control transmitter  was not included in the purchase this is another factor since many low priced drones have of their own proprietary remote transmitter. (more on this later)

Previously I had removed the canopy cover and propeller guard, a one piece snap off unit and unplugged the connections to the flight controller. Take pictures of the connections or draw up in a note pad a schematic before disassembly or research pin outs for the motor connections and LEDs of the flight controller board. (google etc.)

To disassemble the faulty propulsion unit , remove screw and disconnect strut from the main chassis. On the strut, carefully pry back the motor cover, slide it back and expose the motor. Remove necessary screws and draw enough wire from the strut to access the soldered connection to the motor. The other pair of wires is for the LED on that pod.

Compare the replacement component with the original, the gear is slightly different from the original. Note: The motors ( these are brushed motors) are highly magnetic keep them a distance from any magnetic sensitive material, keep work area clean from metal particles that would stick to the motor. (especially if you work on brushless out runner motors in the future) Also if you work with circuit boards, most all videos and instructions disregard the use of anti static precautions such as wrist grounding ground straps. Electronic Static Discharge can happen and disrupt sensitive electronics and cause a myriad of undetectable problems from total failure to loss or scrambling of data. If you have problems with circuit boards arriving DOA don’t discard that ESD may be the cause of failure. If you work with large amount of electronics or expensive components ESD precautions is cheap insurance. Once you open up the cover (like a cell phone) you have penetrated any shielding to sensitive devices and components.

Utilizing the insulation tubing from original, cut the conductors and solder in the replacement motor, of course following the original wired colored connections. Slip the insulation tubing over one of the soldered connections.

 

Carefully route the wires by gently pulling the through the strut from the opposite end, toward the flight controller. Double check the connection of the fragile wiring before securing motor cover.

secure cover of assembled unit. (bearing below propeller should be flush to top of strut, in this case the propeller shaft is a press fit to lower gear, align as necessary)

 

Make the PROPER  motor and LED and camera if equipped, connection the the main board of previously disconnected. Improper motor connection order will result in a flipping over or uncontrollable drone taking flight. (How do I know this?) Also if the flight controller board was removed from the chassis insure that the proper orientation of the board is followed, most aftermarket boards are marked with an arrow to indicate front (facing) of drone. Not this one. Accelerometers and gyroscopes have to know which way the are headed ! (in relation to the propulsion units). Troubleshooting skills here learned  for flight problems!

One note here: be extremely careful when pulling delicate connections from sockets, some manufacturers use a sealing or locktite type glue. Small connectors such as 2 conductors plugs, grasp the connector , not the wires to disengage. Some sockets  are surface mount soldered and could be pulled directly from the circuit board necessitating a re soldering of socket to the main board.  If plug does not disconnect readily, be aware and proceed cautiously.

At this point (with propellers removed) you could attach battery, pair up the transmitter  and test the motors.

 REMOVE PROPELLERS BEFORE TESTING

 REMOVE PROPELLERS BEFORE TESTING

Rotors should be removed when you power up drone after modification, some unexpected reactions at times will cause the flight controller to start all propellers when battery is connected, due to an improper wiring or damaged flight controller. Assume that motors may start at any time. Again remove propellers.

Checking connection and LEDS, so far the drone is looking good, battery connection resulted in proper lighting and (not shown) blinking led on flight controller)

Secure cowling by snapping on cover/propeller guard. Mount LED headlight (white single LED). Power down and follow manufacturers direction for pairing transmitter, calibration and flight.

Most all drones have a user manual that can be found online. Some might have different conventions on flight controller and transmitter synchronizing  (pairing).

Progressing up the ladder on Radio Control it’s advantageous to get a transmitter that will support multiple Quadcopters, but this comes at a cost and matching transmitter and receivers  to flight controllers is a later lesson. Most of the low cost hobby drones require each their own radio control transmitter  system. When buying drones less a transmitter (control) research if you can buy a reasonable required replacement transmitter as they more than not will  not work with any other type for drone. Or you could swap out the flight controller with one that you already have a properly matched receiver (and/or flight controller) and transmitter using the frame and motors of the drone you are repairing.

**********************************************************

Will it fly ?  Yes ,I was lucky as the motor was the only problem with the drone.

The firmware of the flight controller was undamaged, there is no USB or software available to re-flash the flight controller as in the case of the MultiWii.

The UDI RC with the propeller shroud can take many crashes and collisions without damage. It’s a good learner drone. I have yet to test the camera out.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<UPDATE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The UDI drone has flown many times and is a learning challenge to pilot just around the house. The propellers are protected by the cover/shroud so they only get slightly chipped in my flights. It’s not ultra stable per say, but after some trimming of the controller pitch, roll, and yaw, easy to get to flight with the limited room indoors available to fly. Probably replacement of all 4 motors and prop balancing would improve stability. A good flyer none the less and time to move on to other repairs and construction. Several high capacity 1s batteries were purchased for increased flight time.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

So could I have bought a complete  used drone instead of a damaged one? Probably so, but missing a education experience and satisfaction of repair, disassembly, motor wiring and how the drone is constructed. Modifiable? Snap off the cover and ditch the camera for weight savings, disconnect the LEDS for power savings, go with slightly larger or smaller props  and  beef up the battery with a higher capacity replacement. Add an FPV camera ? Maybe a trick out paint job or more LEDS?

Drone :  $9.99 Ebay

Controller : $16.65 Ali Express

Motor: $5.31 Ali Express

optional replacement propellers: $2.88 Ali Express

shipping for the drone was about $10.00

shipping for the propellers $2.04

other items shipped free

NEXT : Can a Propel Spyder XL (chromed) be returned to flight status ?

05
Feb
17

the flying computer

Working with open source programming on the hobby level presents it’s own set of problems for the first time user. Setup of hardware and software on some projects assumes not only that the user has basic skills in hardware setup but also programming.

The Sunfounder quadrocopter kit , consist of a microcomputer and hardware not unlike other microcomputer projects with sensors and software. The supplied documentation in book form with the kit  also assumes that the user has the skills and the proper hardware to connect the processor to a computer.  Even before starting programming or modifying the parameters, the correct drivers must be installed for the USB to serial  connections to the microprocessor. The reason for connecting this device to a computer is for calibration and verification that the proper firmware is running on the controller.

Software and documentation for open sourced programming can be fragmented, that is, different developments or versions for the software components can be found on different sources, posted on web pages, FTPs or forums. Since open source programming can be dynamic in the fact it could be either revised to a newer version from what was originally  issued on one website, or loaded on the hardware, it could also be a stalled project, that receives no additional support. Therefore more than one version may be available and as with all revisions, it’s hoped that the latest revision may still be compatible with the current hardware project but remember that it’s  an collaborative project and while some sites ask for a donation, it’s a passion of programmers to share, comment and revise their efforts available for a global audience usually for free.

Having some experience with programming over the years being mostly with the higher level languages, usually it was with one platform and hardware, now utilizing either a windows or mac environment is not foolproof as each may  have it’s own version of software, hardware  and procedures . Even command line processing and writing assumes that files are placed to follow in the correct directory paths in both execution and installation. Error messages may be cryptic at times. But such is the state of collaborative programming today as one might be inclined to write an app for sale , and BASIC still exists in many forms, open source is the current program exchange and with the online internet connections the process is much faster than the shareware years ago where programming was distributed physically on floppy disks. . One of the most popular types of programming microprocessors is the Arduino   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino, but don’t stop there, many, many,  other microprocessors and systems are available.   There is also  a ton of programming courses and kits online  so education can be done anywhere, for free.

The main reason for the flying computer (quadrocopter) was for education and to familiarize myself with one the current micro processing platforms  to gain experience with hardware interface and programming. A drone would be a good example of  programming with tangible results, in this case flight of a miniature aircraft. The popularity of drones both by hobbyist and commercial uses abounds. It’s  a quest to understand how they actually fly. The prices run the gamut of range and the Sunfounder is the lower entry range of projects for an open source environment that includes all items needed to program, assemble, and fly. Some of the components could also be used if the person would be interested in building other flying devices.

Having an   Arduino editor installed on your computer and  having the knowledge to open, edit and compile and save  the code, it gets  uploaded  to the flight controller. ( a fancy name for a microprocessor decked out with the supporting chips to run several motors).  Basically your are changing the supplied code by commenting out code you don’t need for your flight controller. The code file is written for many different types of flight controllers and hardware configurations. The Arduino editor is a simple version of a text editor, and I’m going to have to learn the language sooner or later  and more reading to familiarize myself with the syntax. For the first time user it’s build able without programming experience, but that’s not the end result I was looking for, as you know once the system is up and running the user can modify the code and actively see the results. There certainly is a wide variety of subjects to learn. Microcomputers, sensors, GPS, flight dynamics, radio controls, motor controls, electronics speed controllers, propeller pitch Etc. Years ago anyone wanting to break into the field of radio control planes was hampered by cost.

the flight controller

the flight controller

flight controller

flight controller

Notes:

At first my computer didn’t connect and recognize  the USB serial cable to the flight controller board, it didn’t load the USB drivers correctly right away. Finally after restart it showed in the device manager that the driver was installed. This may utilize port settings as necessary. Sometimes Windows will try to look up and install a driver when first connected. Use the USB driver supplied in the download. Again the proper USB to serial driver must be on your base computer connected to flight controller. (DUH)

USB to microcomputer (flight controller) serial interface board

USB to microcomputer (flight controller) serial interface board

The GUI multiwiiconf.exe didn’t work correctly first try, it seems that JAVA had some files misplaced. It was necessary to copy files to correct directory. Researched on the web for correct procedure. involved both the program/java/ and java/program/ directories. (this is common with open sourced projects, so gain experience with forum setups, Q and A’s  and searches to find answers to your particular problems.) Also the GUI Multiwii, different from the text editor version , isn’t well documented as I tied to change some of the values, by typing , it was a matter of using the cursor and sliding small boxes under the values to modify them if necessary.

also some compatibility issues with the type of platform, 64 vs 32 bit for the miltiwiiconfig.exe. Didn’t run consistently on all occasions.

The GUI runs but at this time didn’t properly show the flight controller parameters yet most likely I have a port setting incorrect.

The 32 bit windows version now works fairly well , some times after starting  the GUI several times the program may hang, and going to the Task manager and stopping multiple occurrences of Java running.

This is a learning experience for a first time user trial and error processor with frequent searches on the web for solutions.

There also may be updates and revisions to the programs to download

Finally the Multiwii GUI runs and read the data from the flight controller , the calibration of the accelerometer can be accomplished.

Next. the receiver is connected to the flight controller and the transmitter is activated, and the receiver is synced to the transmitter, now the data from the movement of the remote controller can be read by the GUI.

assembly of the frame and motors.

assembly of the frame and motors.

After the completion of the assembly, the battery can be connected and the drone is ready for flight. After several attempts, the battery life is very limited, the drone was unable to fly. More diagnostics are needed, the power to each of the 4 motors is not balanced and will not propel the multi copter to level flight.

closeup of the flying computer !

closeup of the flying computer !

After loading a different version of the Multiwii and some tweaking, the drone was able to liftoff and I found out more aggressive thrust is needed to launch the drone , several flights upwards could be accomplished by holding the drone and launching it midair but flight control is a problem as it’s more difficult at first to control the direction and height of flight. ( also the drone is operated indoors, and is fast, a very large room would be better.) OUTSIDE? No,  there are restrictions on drones and it would be advisable to read and understand the safety rules and regulations for flying one. (airports are  one restriction)

a bare bones build, less the supplied LED board (lights) for flight testing

a bare bones build, less the supplied LED board (lights), for flight testing, charging the battery.

More study and tweaking  of the software is needed for more stable flights.

All in all the Sunfounder is a complete entry level kit, all parts you need are contained in the kit including  a 4 channel transmitter (remote control). It provides a challenge for the first time microcomputer programmer and an introduction into radio control flying.

https://www.sunfounder.com/drone/multirotors/6d-box/sunfounder-6d-box-mwc-multiwii-drone-quadcopter-diy-starter-kit-for-arduino-with-2-4ghz-rc-6-axis-gyro.html




Archives

January 2023
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Recent Posts

Twitter Updates

Follow Metro Blog on WordPress.com

Original Netcom Site Ending May 01 2019


Antique and Vintage Clocks

Collecting, repairing and restoring antique and vintage mechanical clocks

pacmaniax

Okay, so it's really just ONE Pac-Maniac, but you get the picture.

My Favourite Pastime

Simple Everyday Recipes

Zero-Waste Chef

Less waste, more creativity, tastier food

Talking Hydroponics

Growing & Much More

Power Plant Men

True Power Plant Stories

Bottles & Cans & Just Clap Your Hands

Rhode Island’s Better Beer Blog • by Lou Papineau • @BottlesCansRI • bottlescansclaphands@yahoo.com

Goan Recipes

Learn about Goan and Indian Recipes

cooking from the heart

inspired by june & norma

RecipeReminiscing

Food the old fashioned way

Beer Hobo

Words and photos from the road

Alcoholidays with Mama Bear

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they are going to feel all day." -Dean Martin

spf 99

my two ounces

Bard's Home Brew Brewery

A Homebrew Journey

TwistedSifter

The Best of the visual Web, sifted, sorted and summarized

rise of the sourdough preacher

Of homemade bread, food and other recipes / Una storia di pane fatto in casa, cibo ed altre ricette

Rugutis

The spirit of fermentation

JEFFREYTHARP.COM

A voice of sanity in a world gone mad...

Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

My Food and Me

... just about food and more food!!!

my sister's pantry

Eat food... real food

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Food...cooking...eating....tools - What works, and what doesn't!

Two Barn Farm

Sustainable Farming, Permaculture, Gardening and Homesteading in Ohio

Little London Observationist

An expat blog about "the little things" in London

elfogoncito.net

Cocina Dominicana

gettin' fresh!

turning dirt into dinner

Talin Orfali Ghazarian

Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown

ediblesubstance

A foodie's thoughts

Food in Jars

a little mech, tech, and food

cupcakejunky

Fashion, Food, Interior Design and Architecture

Rachel & Maya

Dishing about all things food related.

Advoken's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Croque-Camille

Food Adventures in Paris

Veggicurious

Vegetable-forward food and lifestyle experiments featuring bold flavors with an international focus.

Wide Angle Adventure

a resource for the independent traveler

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: