Nerding Projects

Prototype home built quad copter fail

Well I guess if NASA can do it in the open so can I. Fail that is. Openly. I remember watching several Mercury program missions failing spectacularly on the launch pad.

So here is a quick post to document my first prototype test of a homemade on the cheap autonomous quad copter drone.

I bought a bunch of small DC motors at a surplus site that I used for an art project honoring Parallax by creating their logo in a low fire ceramic with functioning propeller of the quintessential nerd beanie. I gave a functioning ceramic beanie to the founders of Parallax and sold one too when I attended the 2010s unofficial propeller expo.

Gimped-Again-IMG_0871(This is not a flyable beanie!)

I have a bunch of the motors with propellers left over. I think I paid fifty cents or something cheap. I had some balsa wood laying around that I’ve used for some model airplanes and such. I used a glue gun to attach to the spars. Lately I’ve been wanting to buy a quad copter but they are at least three hundred dollars. I thought I would tinker a bit. I plan on trying to fly it with a couple different processors both a netduino and a Parallax propeller.

It’s probably taking me about as much time to take the pictures, write the blog and upload it as it did to build the first prototype. Looks like I will have to concentrate on a stronger air frame. I wonder if I can buy some carbon steel in pre cut shapes? For maybe three hours work including the blog post and less than five bucks not bad. Cheaper than crack!

OK here is the before:


and the after:


I hope you’ll take a moment to comment, particularly if you have some suggestions where to buy parts or alternate ideas for an airframe. A great deal on motors and propellers would be cool. These motors are pretty small and not much to attach to, hence the glue gun.

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