Dronepedia    Posted:


dronepedia.com

A wiki about UAVs.

RC Model Reviews    Posted:


rcmodelreviews.com

A nice kiwi guy who seems to really know his stuff. Has a YouTube channel with lots of interesting reviews & intro info. No quadcopters, but lots of FPV and semi-UAV stuff.

OpenPilot Easy Quad - OpenPilot Project    Posted:


oldwiki.openpilot.org

Nice quadcopter frame kit, supposedly for sale.

ArduPilot - DIY Drones    Posted:


diydrones.com

Chris Anderson's Arduino based UAV controllers. Available from SparkFun.

KK Flight-controllers for sale | Tricopter | RCExplorer    Posted:


rcexplorer.se

$150, see also KK Multicopter multicontroller v5.5 "Blackboard", an Australian site selling bits and pieces for tri- and quadcopters.

ClearView RC Flight Simulator    Posted:


rcflightsim.com

RC flight simulator for radio controlled models. Flying bit runs ok under wine, no dialog boxes work properly though unless you "Emulate a virtual desktop". Demo is limited to 2 planes (and a heli) and 15min flight time.

Converting an ATX computer power supply to a 12V DC supply for battery charger    Posted:


I just finished building a 12V DC power supply for my LiPo charger by following along with these two articles:

I bought the HobbyKing ECO8 charger from HobbyKing, assuming I'd have a suitable wall-wart lying around. After looking around a bit, I realised I probably didn't have any that were going to source 2A+ required to charge LiPos, so I figured I'd try the computer power supply conversion, which is a project I'd considered before when playing around with microcontrollers. I decided to skip the 5V output to keep it simple, I can always build another to get the full "bench power supply" version.

Parts:

The ATX power supply was lying around, the bits I added were (from JayCar):

  • 2 x Banana plug sockets
  • 1 x 10 ohm 10 W wire wound resistor (sandbar)
  • A bunch of heat-shrink insulating tube.

And 4 little screws to mount the guard on the fan, a couple of cable ties, some thermal grease.

Steps:

  1. Pull power supply apart and clean it (they're bound to be filthy)
  2. Cut off the connectors
  3. Move the fan to the outside of the box for more space
  4. Cut holes in the air vent bit for banana plug sockets
  5. Cut off unnecessary wires (all but green, 1 red, yellow and half the black)
  6. Insulate remaining bits of cut wires
  7. Solder red wire and 1 black wire to resistor (this gives the power supply a load so it won't cut out with nothing is plugged in)
  8. Solder green wire to black wire end of resistor too (i.e. ground it)
  9. Solder yellow wires to banana plug connector for +12V DC (red)
  10. Solder remaining black wires to banana plug connector for GND (black)
  11. Heat-shrink insulation for everything
  12. Use thermal compound/grease on resistor (if possible) and use cable-ties to secure it to the case through some of the holes in the air vent.
  13. Reassemble

Testing:

Do this at your own risk, mains power is dangerous etc.

  1. Check that black plug is grounded with a multimeter
  2. Check that case is grounded
  3. Check that red plug isn't shorted with a multimeter
  4. Switch off and plug into AC, no smoke, sparks etc...
  5. Check there is no voltage on the case and plugs
  6. Unplug AC, switch on, plug into AC (i.e. want to be touching an AC switch when powering it on, not the case or anything...)
  7. Check no smoke, sparks, fan should come on.
  8. Check voltage on plugs, should be approximately 12V.
  9. Check case has no voltage.
  10. Test power switch.

Photos:

The inside, fairly neat:

Img_2746

Front panel (was the back), fan mounted on top.

Img_2747

Testing the output voltage:

Img_2748

Plugging in the LiPo charger (plug it in first, then switch on power), it booted up and works:

Img_2749

I've yet to test it under high-load (e.g. charging a LiPo battery), fingers crossed it'll all hold up.

Update:

The power supply worked perfectly while charging two 3S1P 2200mAh LiPo packs. Stayed nice and cool and no explosions!

Img_2759

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