27 January, 2011

Zăganu - the start of a dream

According to wiki, Zăganu was a species of big eagle that once lived in the mountains of Romania. But I'm not going to talk about this here. Zăganu is just a name i took and gave to my latest project and the only thing that has in common to the bird is it's the flying abilities and the big size.

So.. to cut it short and get on topic, I'm actually talking about a RC multirotor helicopter model. The idea ain't new, neither to myself as I've pondered on it for some time now, and neither to the rest of the world, since there are many projects out there on the subject. Most of them started in the RC model community but the apparent simplicity of the idea made it a wildfire through every hobbyist of one kind or another.

What really got my attention was the photographic opportunity that these machines offer. I first got the idea seeing some BTS movies somewhere on the net with video cameras mounted on RC helicopters. The problem with classic helicopters though is that they're quite exclusivistic in the sense that the hardware involved is quite complicated with lots of moving parts on one side and things that need to be fine tunned on the other, and besides all this, in order to fly a heli you do need some serious skills and practice. The quick way out of this are the multirotor helicopters where all the fancy mechanics and serious skills move to more than one rotor and some sort of controller electronic board.

Most of the multirotor designs involve tri or quad motor designs as they are somewhat simpler and cheaper to build, but when you have and expensive and hefty payload like a DSLR camera then a hex or octo design is best as it is a more stable platform. Since a DSLR is my ultimate goal for such a flying machine I choose starting with a quad design for testing and tuning of the controller and then expanding to octo for the final "product". I'll stop here for now and get back with details as the work continues.

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