Can you build a Raspberry Pi drone? The Raspberry Pi is a little, comparatively low-cost computer used to teach programming. And should you would like to establish your drone from scratch. Then it is among the most effective approaches to make it occur.
When you construct your drone, you can buy a flight control, a tiny circuit board capable of guiding the motors about the best way to transfer.
You can indeed purchase it pre-made, but if you would like to construct more of this drone than just soldering together the hardware, then consider using a Raspberry Pi that you will program yourself since the flight control.
What’s Raspberry Pi, and what exactly does it do?
Raspberry Pi is a line of small, single-board computers about the size of a credit card, developed in part by the United Kingdom-based Raspberry Pi Foundation and Broadcom. The first intent of its founders was to utilize these computers in universities to educate basic personal computer science.
However, they captured the robotics sector as hobby manufacturers, small business owners, and much more attracted to their low price, modularity, and open layout. These days, the Raspberry pi drone kit uk is among those best-selling British machines, with over 30 million boards offered in December 2019.
And yes, you may use them to construct your drone, also.
Can you construct a Raspberry Pi drone?
- DJI F450 ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) Kit
- 3300mAh 3S 35C LiPo battery using T-Connectors
- EV-Peak – AP606 – 50W DC LiPo battery-powered charger/discharger (many LiPo battery chargers will operate )
- RadioLink AT9 2.4GHz 9CH Transmitter w/ R9D 9CH Receiver
- Xiaomi Yi Action Camera using microSD card
- FeiYu Tech Mini 3D 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal
- Raspberry Pi (Model A+), microSD card
- Raspberry Pi camera module
- Any USB Wi-Fi dongle with support for 802.11a/n/ac (5GHz band)–D-Link DWA-160 was utilized in this project
- Spare micro USB cable
- Different female and male T-Connectors
- RadioLink AT9 2.4GHz 9CH Transmitter w/ R9D 9CH Receiver
- Suction auto window mount to get a Telephone
- 4 x M3 bolts and 8 x M3 nuts
- Android Phone
- Soldering iron
- Allen key
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
Before beginning this project, it’s vital to comprehend the objective of every region of the quadcopter. Below is a listing of every part about the quadcopter you will construct, its intent, and the particular part employed within this How-To.
Goal: The framework provides a convenient way to mount motors and electronic equipment
Parts utilized in this project: DJI Flame Wheel 450 (F450) framework (included at the ARF Kit)
- Brushless motors and propellers:
Goal: The motors spin the propellers to Create push to lift the quadcopter
Parts utilized in this project: DJI E305 960KV motors and DJI 9450 propellers (both contained in the ARF Kit)
- Electric Speed Controllers (ESC):
Goal: ESC’s electricity the brushless motors and provide a PWM port Which Allows the flight control to control the rate (and push ) of every engine
Parts utilized in this project: DJI E305 960KV motors (contained from the ARF Kit)
- Flight Controller:
Goal: As its name implies, the flight control controls the way the quadcopter is flown. A flight is a tiny computer that has an Inertial Measurement Unit or IMU (that comprises a gyroscope and accelerometer) to maintain the quadcopter secure; the flight control also includes a barometer, GPS, magnetometer to permit the flight control to understand at what altitude it’s at, where around the ground it’s, and what direction it’s facing, respectively.
Parts utilized in this project: NAZA-M Lite using GPS kit (included at the ARF Kit)
- Voltage regulator, flight control status LED/USB Interface:
Goal: The voltage regulator provides a stable 5V into the flight control. The status LED relays info about the condition of this quadcopter into the pilot during flight. Indicators contain a low battery and also GPS lock. The USB port also makes it possible for the flight control to be configured by a PC (we’ll use this in component #2).
Parts utilized in this project: The voltage regulator and standing LED using are contained using the NAZA-M Lite
Goal: Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries would be the preferred approach to provide energy into the quadcopter–because of some higher power to weight ratio and higher maximum discharge electrons.
It’s essential to comprehend how to securely use and control LiPo batteries until you join one for your quadcopter! Not doing this may lead to fires and explosions. There are a couple of battery specifications to comprehend, a few of which are explained below.
Ability: reflects just how long a particular present could be drawn from the battery until it’s considered “dead.” By way of instance, if there’s a 1200 mAh (milli-amp-hour) and you’re drawing a constant 1000mA in the battery, it’d be lifeless following 1200 mAh / / 1000mA = 1.2 hours.
Generally, battery life = capacity (mAh) / current (mA). It’s suggested to use a LiPo battery before 80 percent of its capacity was consumed.
Cell Count: each LiPo battery consists of 1 or 2 cells. Cells are connected in series, so the entire voltage of this battery is the individual cell voltages. The amount of cells onto a LiPo battery is generally marked since the amount before the “S” a battery indicated 2S could have two compartments.
Discharge rate: the release rate reflects the most amount of current that could be removed from the battery life. The release rate on a LiPo battery is generally marked since the amount before the “C” a storm indicated 35C could provide a maximum current of 35 x-rays.
Part employed within this project: The battery used in this project is a 3300 mAh 3S 35C LiPo battery using T-Connectors from ReadyMadeRC.
Read also Raspberry Pi: https://dronebotworkshop.com/raspberry-pi-microcomputer/
LiPo Battery charger:
Goal: A LiPo battery charger charges a LiPo battery charger. It’s crucial to utilize a LiPo battery charger rather than a battery charger developed for different battery chemistries (NiCd, NiMH).
The component used in this project: EV-Peak – AP606 – 50W DC Charger/Discharger
Transmitter + Receiver:
Goal: The transmitter takes the pilot’s controls through multiple joysticks and switches and switches them to a recipient on the quadcopter. The receiver decodes the pilot’s controls and forwards them to the flight controller. ( raspberry pi drone without flight controller)
Parts utilized in this project: RadioLink AT9 2.4GHz 9CH Transmitter w/ R9D 9CH Receiver
Gimbal + Camera:
Goal: The camera and global transform a quadcopter into an aerial photography system capable of shooting professional, excellent footage. The camera is connected to a gimbal, which performs the contrary movements of this quadcopter, ensuring that the camera is always level with the horizon.
Parts utilized in this project: Xiaomi Yi Action Camera, FeiYu Tech Mini-3D Gimbal
RPi, RPi Camera, WiFi dongle:
Goal: While the gimbal-mounted camera can capture video in a gorgeous 2K resolution, even the ideal camera equipment is useless if your preferred subject isn’t in the framework.
A Raspberry Pi is connected to a Raspberry Pi Model A+ using a 5GHz WiFi dongle. This permits the Raspberry Pi to broadcast a live stream of this forward-facing Raspberry Pi to any apparatus connected over WiFi.
Parts utilized in this project: Raspberry Pi Model A+, Raspberry Pi Camera Module, D-Link DWA-160.
Android telephone, telephone mount:
Goal: The telephone hosts a WiFi hotspot the Raspberry Pi joins to and provides a handy display to look at the live stream from the drone. The telephone mount is a beneficial means to connect the telephone to the transmitter.
Components used in this project: LG Nexus 5 (almost any Android Telephone with assistance for mobile hotspot will operate ). Any telephone bracket with a suction cup on one end and a magnetic telephone mount on another
Measure #1: Solder ESCs to bottom plate
The DJI F450 framework that we’re using has a top plate and a base plate when constructed to “sandwich” the arms. All those four arms will maintain an engine at the end of the peninsula and an ESC below the arm. Collectively the 2 plates hold the four arms together and provide a mounting surface for several of the components we’ll be installing on the quadcopter.
The plate has an essential role. It spreads the battery’s ability to each of the ESCs, as you can see in the image, over five pairs of negative and positive pads, one for every ESC and one for the battery charger. Every ESC (electronic speed control ) includes two wires coming out of its casing: a two-wire PWM cable plus a giant black power cable.
Today, we’re concerned with all the power cables that the PWM cable will be linked to the flight control afterward. The electricity cable is a lot more than we want it. It could be snipped to approximately 12cm long.
Then cut some of the shameful insulation in the cable to show a red wire (positive) and a bare wire (negative). Solder the red wire into the mat together with the (+) and the bare wire to the carpet with all the (-). To help avert any short-circuit, I covered the pads with hot glue. Repeat this process for every engine.
Measure #2: Solder the voltage regulator and battery cable to the bottom plate
After soldering the ESCs into the bottom plate, there’ll still be one set of pads nothing attached to them (the places in the base in). These pads are in which we join with the battery cables and the cables for the ion.
The NAZA-M Lite box ought to function as two large-gauge cables, a red one and a black one. Solder the provided red cable and the red wire from the voltage regulator into the positive (+) pad.
Solder the provided black cable and the black cable in the voltage regulator into the side (-) pad. To help stop short-circuits, I covered the solder pads with hot glue.
Measure #3: Merge T-connector
We can not directly solder the battery to such cables; when we did so, we’d not have the ability to swap out batteries or bill them. So to connect the battery into the power supply board at the bottom plate, we’ll solder a man T-connector into the 2 cables we soldered.
This set the connector short-side upward and then solder the red wire to the short horizontal part and the black cable to the short vertical section (see the connector on the right from the figure below for polarity).
When you complete soldering, you need to have something which looks like that (I covered the exposed connections together with electrical tape, but You May Also uses heat shrink):
Measure #4: Attach the flight control
Just take the black dual-sided tape provided using all the NAZA-M Lite and cut off a bit about so long as the flight control. Peel the protective wrap off one side of this tape and securely affix it to the center of the base plate.
Next, take your flight control and scatter the side, which includes multiple labels of M1, M2, M3, etc., towards the face of the underside place you chose, which is the front part of the quadcopter. Remove the protective wrap off the opposite side of this tape, and then affix the flight control to the video.
Measure #5: Mount RC receiver
I opt to mount my RC receiver into the bottom of the plate extension onto the rear of the framework. Attach it using hot glue or double-sided tape. The cable that extrudes in the receiver is your antenna–leave it alone till we build the legs.
Step #6: Attach servo wires from the receiver to flight control
Each pillar of 3 hooks on the receiver outputs a PWM signal. From the RC world, every one of those PWM signals is known as a station and represents one of the pilot’s commands. As an instance, channel 3 to the receiver is your pilot’s desirable throttle.
For the flight control to obtain every pilot’s commands, we have to utilize a PWM cable to attach each station on the receiver into the flight control. Notice that the orange (sign ) cable on the PWM cable must be around the very top when inserted into the flight control, and the opposite end of the brownish line must face downwards when attached to the recipient.
You need to join the PWM wires as follows (in which the station number on the left Is on the recipient and the correspondence in parentheses on the right will be composed on the back of this NAZA):
- Channel 1 Aileron (A)
- Channel 2 = Elevon (E)
- Channel 3 = Throttle (T)
- Channel 4 = Rudder (R)
- Channel 5 = Flight Mode (U)
- Channel 6 Orientation Lock (X2)
Measure #7: Twist ESC servo wires to flight control
Bear in mind these servo wires from ESCs I said previously? Today we’ll join them in the flight control. Entering the ESC into the flight control in the incorrect sequence is a common cause of crashes, so it’s necessary to get it right the first time.
On facing your NAZA-M Lite, you may observe numerous columns of pins labeled M1-M6; we need to take care of hooks M1-M4. You have to connect the motors to the flight control based on the diagram below, where the reddish arms would be the front part of the quadcopter.
By way of instance, the servo cable in front of ESC has to be attached to M1; the front left ESC servo cable has to be connected to M2, etc., moving in a counter clock section.
Measure #8: Twist the top plate to arms
Now that we’ve installed all of the electronics on the base plate, now is the time to fasten the arms and leaves together, beginning with the top plate. You might have discovered the DJI F450 framework comprises two red components along with two white arms.
This is since we could put both red arms on the front of the quadcopter and both white arms over the rear of this quadcopter, so as soon as the quadcopter is from the atmosphere, we’ll understand where its entrance is pointed.
Utilize the bolts provided with the framework to fasten each arm into the top plate using four bolts. Ensure the two reddish components are around the face of this NAZA in which you joined the ESC servo wires into M1 and M2 that is going to be the front part of the quadcopter.
Following another step, you will observe that every arm is efficiently “sandwiched” between the upper and bottom plates.
Measure #9: Twist thighs and bottom plate
The white legs that came with your F450 ARF kit (pictured above) are utilized to protect necessary electronics under the quadcopter through takeoff and landing. The legs are connected using the extended bolts provided with the framework.
Position the legs so that they operate directly beneath the arms and then operate the bolts through the thighs, the bottom plate, and then to the peninsula base. Ensure the ESC power cable runs out of framework beneath the arch onto the base region of the arm. Repeat this procedure for all four components.
Measure #10: Twist ESCs to arms
Now the heart of the framework has taken shape. It is possible to begin to attach elements to the arms. It’s possible to mount every ESC below the arm together with zip-ties as pictured below.
Measure #11: Bolt motors to arms
Mount an engine at the end of every arm that spins in the path indicated in the diagram below. The way the machine is meant to turn is signaled on the face of the engine. By way of instance, mount a count counterclockwise on the rear left and a clockwise motor on the front left.
Measure #12: Connect motor Contributes to ESC
Connect the 3 wires from every engine into the 3 holes on the front of their adjoining ESC. Now in time, it does not matter what order the cables are connected. (When necessary, we will fix the sequence in Section 2).
Measure #13: Twist LED module into flight control and arm
The NAZA-M Lite includes a little module that is both an LED indicator (e.g., warns of low battery, screens great GPS lock) along with a USB port to your PC. The LED module is pictured below.
Twist the end of its very long cable into the slot on the rear of this NAZA-M Lite branded “LED.” We’ll utilize the USB port in Section 2 to configure the flight control. I mounted the module on the face of this back-left arm using hot glue.
Measure #14: Mount GPS
The GPS provided together with the NAZA-M Lite includes a place to mount it all on. By mounting the GPS in its own home, you increase the space of these motors and ESCs into the GPS, diminishing the odds of electromagnetic interference.
The GPS pole includes three components: the underside, which has four legs, the long thin pole that fits in closely with the components above and below it using a tiny bit of glue, along with the upper horizontal part the GPS mounts into.
I mounted the GPS pole into the back-right corner of this framework. The terminating end of this GPS cable includes a connector equal to that of the LED module; the GPS cable is attached next to the LED module, even in a slot labeled”EXP.”
Measure #15: Install Raspberry Pi
The most convenient place I discovered to mount the Raspberry Pi would be to the base plate to attach the legs into the framework (see above image ). I oriented the GPIO pins facing down and the USB port facing the side of the battery charger.
The Raspberry Pi doesn’t make horizontal contact with the base plate; therefore, the double-sided tape wouldn’t work well; instead, I used hot glue to fasten the corners into the legs.
Measure #16: Install voltage regulator
While we’re working on the base of the quadcopter, the voltage regulator could be glued into the base plate right under where its cables are glued to the power supply board.
Measure #17: Install Raspberry Vacuum Camera
Since the Raspberry Pi camera intends to provide a live view of what the quadcopter is directed towards, it needs to be mounted onto the quadcopter’s front.
I hot glued a tiny piece of cardboard into the front part of the frame between both arms then glued the Raspberry Pi camera into the cardboard (see the image below; my camera includes a fisheye lens to your camera might look slightly different).
Your Raspberry Pi should come with a ribbon cable attached. The opposite end of the ribbon cable has to be on the Raspberry Pi to the quadcopter’s underside.
To slide the ribbon cable supporting the cardboard and throughout the hole right below; subsequently, offer a slight twist into the ribbon cable, so the exposed metal onto the line is facing the opposite direction of the USB port.
To set up the ribbon cable from the Raspberry Pi, gently pull open the snowy cover onto the blackjack labeled CAMERA (involving the HDMI and Sound out/composite video out ports). Add the cable as far as possible, making sure it’s evenly added. While holding the line, then lock the thread in position together with the white bit we started before.
Measure #18: Power flight control and toaster from voltage regulator
The voltage regulator we set up before provides a handy 5V output to power the flight control. We can make the most of the 5V source to power the Raspberry Pi. To do so that I cut the brown and red wires in the voltage regulator’s PWM cable and put them in the positive (red) and negative (black/brown) lines, respectively, of a micro USB cord.
Ensure that you solder the close of the PWM cable for this wiring harness too! Otherwise, you’ll not have any way to power the flight control. Then plug in the micro USB cable to the Raspberry Pi to power it.
To deliver power to the flight control, join the PWM cable in the voltage regulator into the X3 slot on the rear of the flight control.
Read more: Best DIY Drone Kit
Step #19: Install vibration isolation gimbal bracket
The gimbal’s first step against eliminating vibrations and rotation of the camera is six vibration isolation rubber chunks that link the global into the quadcopter’s framework.
To put in the rubber balls, you need to fit them in the tiny holes on the lower gimbal, then hold the top of these chunks to the upper plate of the gimbal. To protect against the gimbal from coming in-flight (if the vibration isolation chunks have been neglect ), I looped one zip-tie through a hole on all sides of the gimbal. Whenever you do so, it must look like the picture above.
Measure #20: Twist the gimbal to front expansion of this framework
To decrease the probability of one of those quadcopter’s legs coming to the framework of the gimbal through a quick turn, I chose to bolt the gimbal into the front expansion of this framework (e.g., lifting the gimbal under the middle of the framework would raise the probabilities of legs emerging in the movie ).
To do this, I set the head of this M3 bolt (you might also use M4 size nuts and bolts, but you’ll have to improve the size of both rear holes a tiny amount to match the more giant bolts) to both holes on your gimbal’s upper plate along with the next two M3 bolts at the corners of this broad open place (see above for where I positioned the bolts; note the little arrow signifies the front part of the gimbal).
I then tightened a nut on each bolt that had been fastened with all the gimbal. To attach the gimbal into the framework, I slid the bolts to both open rows on the front expansion of the framework and topped them off with a more nut every (see below for what the gimbal resembles. It’s attached to the front part of the framework ).
Measure #21: Create Another extension cable to the battery connector That’s soldered into the global electricity cable
For your own FeiYu Tech Mini-3D Gimbal to operate, it must get electricity from the battery life. I made an extension cable to your battery connector and then cut the JST connector in the global electricity cable then soldered the power cable into the extension cable.
The extension cable consists of a man T-Connector on one end, a feminine T-Connector on the other end, and the global electricity cable soldered from the center.
With an extension cable rather than soldering the global power straight to the electricity supply board, you’re in a position to take out the global in the framework for more accessible transportation or should you want to fly with no gimbal.
Measure #22: Mount the camera at the global
The Xiaomi Yi camera employed within this project is a bit larger than the GoPro for this gimbal was intended for. But if you twist at the bottom bolt of this brace first and then the upper part, you’re still able to match the Xiaomi Yi camera with no alterations to the gimbal.
Measure #23: Install telephone mount on the transmitter
The specific procedure to put in your cellphone mount might vary, but to set up mine, I just peeled a protective coating off a massive piece of double-sided tape onto a circle slightly larger than the suction cups to mount. I utilized the doubled sided tape to attach the ring to the rear of the transmitter securely.
This ring then provided a simple method to fasten the suction cup and so the telephone holder into the transmitter. After sticking a metal plate (provided using the telephone bracket ) into the rear of my cellphone’s instance, I flexed the elastic arm so that I could see the telephone’s display when holding the transmitter usually.
The magnet at the end of the telephone mount holds your telephone to the bracket with the metallic plate cited previously.
Measure #24: Install transmitter batteries
Just take the battery, cover the transmitter off and set up the AA batteries in the battery case. Then plug the little connector in the battery case to the transmitter after the polarity instructions are published near both pins (as you can see in the image below from inside the transmitter’s battery bay).
See also: How To Make A Radio Control Plane
You’ve just constructed an Aerial Video quadcopter. Now your quadcopter isn’t prepared for flight. In Part 3 or 2, we’ll configure the quadcopter’s applications, learn how to fly the quadcopter, and do a few test flights. Check back for another phase of the construct in the coming month. Stay tuned!