Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Shrike - HD Camera Mount Design and Testing


What?


I've spent the last few months designing a 3D printed camera mount for my quadcopter. It holds my Foxeer Legend HD camera and SD FPV camera, and protects all the electronics from the inevitable.

View post on imgur.com

Why?

The Shrike is a super lightweight, minimalist, x-shaped racing quadcopter frame. When built with the right components, it provides a ludicrous 11:1 thrust to weight ratio, and the symmetrical design offers nimble handling and the smallest possible size for 5" propellers. But the design doesn't include much space to mount a HD recording camera. And what's the point of zipping around the sky at 70 mph if I can't share my flights in glorious HD?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Project POD

Back in January, I brought my Morphite 155 quad-copter on a trip with my family to Nevada and Utah with the intent of exploring the beautiful landscapes from a birds-eye view. I had my first opportunity to take flight just outside the Valley of Fire state park. And what a flight it was! As I soared past sandstone and brush from the virtual cockpit of my palm-sized robotic flying steed, I was reminded of just how rewarding this hobby can be. Unfortunately, my first flight was also my last flight of the trip, as I crashed the little guy into a tree and broke a solder joint on the antenna, rendering the video feedback useless.
As much as I love building and flying my drones, I can't deny that they are fragile creatures. And flying without crashing would be about as interesting as playing a video game and staying at the spawn point. So I set out to make my drone as near-indestructible as possible.

The plan was simple - to build a 3D-printable enclosure to protect the electronics, and provide strain relief for the video transmitter's antenna. Armattan was nice enough to provide CAD files for the frame, making the job of modelling the machine digitally a whole lot easier. The first step was to measure and model all of the components and place them in a Solidworks assembly.



Friday, January 8, 2016

Nexus 5 Battery Capacity Upgrade

Google's Nexus 5 is a great phone running vanilla Android, but it could never really hold its own in the battery department. I "upgraded" to Samsung's Galaxy S6 a few months back, but I have found myself missing the stock Android experience, so when I found my old Nexus sitting unused in my desk I got to thinking. After reading a post on Reddit about fitting the battery from LG's G2 into the Nexus 5, I couldn't resist a little side project that could breathe new life into my old phone.

Ingredients:

  • Google Nexus 5 phone
  • LG G2 3000 battery
  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering equipment
  • Dremel and grinding bit
  • Masking tape
The stock Nexus 5 battery is 2300 mAh, whereas the G2's is 3000 mAh for about a 30% increase of capacity. Not bad, as long as we can make it fit!

The disassembly of the phone was pretty straightforward, just pop off the back plate and remove all visible screws.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Mini Quadcopter (Morphite 155X FPV)


I've been flying my Morphite 180 racing quadcopter for a few months after building it over the summer. FPV is new to me, but it's been tons of fun so far! Here's some DVR footage:


 I decided to do some upgrades to it (stay tuned for more info), and decided to build something new with the leftover parts. Say hi to the 180's younger brother, the 155x:

Old vs. New

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lehigh University Drone Club!!!

After spending this summer building and flying a small RC racing quadcopter, I couldn't suppress the urge to bring Drone Racing to my friends at school. Enter LU Drone Club:


While we're still waiting on official school approval for the club, don't hesitate to contact us if you are interested in drones, want to learn how to build one of your own, or have any other questions. We will soon be starting weekly meetups for Drone Club on the Lehigh Mountaintop campus. Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of Classes

Today is my first day of classes at Lehigh University! I'm excited to be done with orientation and to finally start my classes. I'm not excited about waking up for 8AM classes M/W/Th/F. I'd love to write more, but I'll be late to CSE 002.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mister Two

I picked up this 1985 Toyoto MR2 up halfway through my senior year, after much sweet talking my parents and saving up. The original LBM paint was in reasonable condition, the owner had service receipts up until 2004, and I fell hopelessly in love with the retro interior on first sight. She ran beautifully for two whole days before overheating and suffering a blown headgasket.
 Unphased, I decided to take the car on as a project and replace the headgasket myself.

Up on to jacks she went

Eventually I managed to get the motor out
Block HG surface after quick scrape
 However, a quick look at the crankshaft bearings show tons of wear. I pulled the pistons to find a number of stuck rings and poor cylinder walls. At this point I should probably have started looking for a motor to drop in, but instead I stubbornly decided decided I wanted to get the original motor running. So down she came for a full rebuild. I moved the engine to 410 Machine in Buckley as I had no indoor working space in my own house.
5-angle valve grind done


 Finally, after a number of months waiting for work to be done, and much procrastination on my part, the engine was back in my driveway and ready to go back into the MR2.
I got the engine recently reinstalled and the car running, after figuring out a few timing issues. Now that I'm off to college I won't be able to see her until Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for more updates!