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HAL - Heavy Aerial Lifter v1

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I have been fascinated with multirotors and drones for many years.  A year ago I decided to take the risk and start building drones as a hobby.  I started with the very popular APM 2.0 flying a Quadcopter.  I chose a very robust frame the Turnigy HAL (Heavy Aerial Lifter).  It is made mainly of aluminum pieces and weights about 800 grams without electronics.  Once my build was done the copter would range from 2.2 Kg to 2.5 Kg depending on the payload and battery used.  Flying time only about 4 minutes tops.

Here is a list of the parts used to accomplish the build.

  • APM 2.0 with GPS
  • Xbee telemetry radio
  • 4x Turnigy 3530 1100kv brushless motors
  • 4x Turnigy Superbrain ESC
  • Turnigy HAL Quadcopter frame
  • Lots of wire
  • 3.5mm bullet connects (lots)
  • 1047SF propellers (1047SF & R1047SF)

The FPV equipment I first used

  • Boscam 5.8G 500mW 8 Channel AV Transmitter FPV
  • Turnigy Micro FPV Camera 600TVL (NTSC)
  • Boscam 5.8G Pocket FPV Ground Station with DVR (for recording)
  • Boscam RC805 - 5.8Ghz 8 Channel AV Receiver

Ouch - Remember to be safe during apm calibration!

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When performing ESC calibrations and initial setup of your multirotor be sure to take the blades off.  I had some difficulty flying so I though I would do a some ESC calibrations and such.  I left my blades on.  Normally not a problem but this time I went to disconnect the power and the throttle was still at full and the copter decided to go for a quick flight in my basement.  I quickly grabbed the copter with my hands and held it to the ground.  I nudged the throttle down to zero. Then I pulled the power plug apart. 

In the process I broke all four blades and cut up my thumb.  At first I thought I lost it so I checked the floor before I checked my hand.  Lucky for me the props were flimsy plastic ones and not solid carbon fiber ones.  So they blew apart on imapct with my thumb

What was learned;

  • Don't leave the blades on!
  • Make sure throttle is at zero and the copter is disarmed before approaching the multirotor!
  • Wear gloves and eye protection!