Cinestar8 build for RED Epic

Discussion in 'Cinestar 8' started by David Kellermann, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. David Kellermann

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi,

    that's my first post in this forum, since I just started getting interested into octocopters.

    I work, now that I have finally finished university, as a film director and producer (www.a-better-truth.com) and got some jobs in the next months where multicopter shots are necessary. Originally, I wanted to hire two operators (pilot and camera operator) with a multicopter, but since I'll be using the multicopter quite often for those projects, I considered buying one and pay for some training of the camera operator (who has already some experience with multicopters).

    I got offers from different companies for octocopters, did some read-up about the components (again: I will not fly nor assemble the multicopter, other people / companies will do so) and would like to get now some advice of people who work with multicopters.

    The requirements at the multicopter are the following:

    - Has to be able to fly a RED Epic / Scarlet camera (including hdmi transmitter, batteries, lens and so on) weighting up to 5kg (12lbs)
    - Should be, if possible, upgradable if needed in the next years (stronger motors etc)
    - Should be as cheap as possible to justify purchasing it instead of renting it

    Below is a list of components I consider to buy. But I still have some questions concerning some of the parts and whether an alternative is better (at the same price range).

    UPDATE: I updated the list with the items I bought.

    1x Freefly Cinestar8 (with 8x 500mm booms)
    1x Freefly 3 Axis Gimbal RED Epic (with 2x 200mm booms & EPIC tilt bars)
    2x Freefly 215mm booms (to accommodate the EPIC)
    1x Freefly 180mm boom (to accommodate the EPIC)
    2x Freefly Metal tilt bar clamps
    1x Freefly Tilt axis
    3x Freefly Radian
    2x Copter Deluxe UBEC 4A w/ 5V or 6V
    4x XOAR 15x6" propeller pair in wood
    4x XOAR 8 to 6 mm adapter
    8x KW10 Pro v2
    8x Copter Deluxe Brushless Regler 40A OPTO 500Hz
    1x HoverflyPRO Blackboard
    1x MX-20 12-Kanal Gr. HoTT + earpiece
    1x MX-12 6-Kanal Gr. HoTT
    2x Turnigy nano-tech 2200mah 3S 25~50C (gimbal, Radian and receiver)
    6x Turnigy nano-tech 8000mAh 6S 25~50C
    1x Graupner ULTRA DUO PLUS 60
    1x Blade mQx
    2x Red/green LEDs
    ... and many other items.

    First of all... are there any errors in this setup? Or are there alternatives that work better with the Freefly components?

    Is the Hoverfly PRO Blackboard good choice? I don't really need GPS, but it's a nice feature to have, so there's the upgrade possibility.

    I truly would appreciate you help. Thanks in advance
    David
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,371
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Hi David:
    Some initial reactions -- other folk with more experience of "heavy lifters" (which is what you're going to need to fly a Red) will also add their comments I'm sure:


    1x Freefly Cinestar8
    Yes, but you will need to get the 500 mm booms if you want to fly 15" props otherwise the blades will not fit.

    1x Freefly 3 Axis Gimbal RED Epic
    You will also need to get a pair of 200 mm booms to extend the gimbal forwards to accommodate the size of the Red.
    You will also need to get the Quadrocopter Epic tilt bars, again to accommodate the size of the Red.

    1x ESC for gimbal ???
    No. The Electronic Speed Control is for motors only. You will need a means of providing 12v for the vidoe downlink that you mention -- a 3S Lipo (suggest a QC 1200) will do this. You can also use a Traco or Recom DC/DC converter to downconvert the LiPo output to +5v for the MX-12 and the Radian sensors and the servos. If you use an HDMI to SD converter to downlink the Red's video, that will also need +5v.

    1x Freefly Radian
    Only one? If you have the 3-Axis Gimbal, you will ordinarily use three: tilt, roll and pan.

    4x XOAR 15x5" propeller pair in wood
    That's pretty daring of you as wood props are more susceptible to nicks and other damage in transit -- for your first copter you might want to consider APC 14" x 4.7 (in which case disregard my comment about the 500 mm booms.

    8x KW10 Pro
    8x Maytech MT40A - opto V1
    1x HoverflyPRO Blackboard
    The other folks who fly heavy lifters will need to comment on the above. It's above my payscale. (I only fly a standard C8 with a Canon 5D Mk III or Sony CX760).

    1x Graupner LiPo 2S/2300
    What's this for? The gimbal? Go with 3S and you can drive the video downlink.

    1x MX-20 12-Kanal Gr. HoTT
    1x MX-12 6-Kanal Gr. HoTT
    Good choices.

    6x Turnigy nano-tech 8000mAh 6S 25~50C
    1x Turnigy 10XC 10S 400W 10A Dual Channel
    1x HobbyKing 540w 220~240v Power Supply (13.8v~18v - 30amp)
    For the batteries, do you plan to use them one at a time or two at a time. The advantages of two at a time are that (a) you have a backup and can limp home if one battery fails (as opposed to searching for wreckage), (b) you will get extended flight times -- not by much as as the extra weight of the battery tends to offset the extra capacity.
    Other batteries to consider at the Quadrocopter 8000 and the MaxAmps 10900 120C. Do NOT use the Maxamps 11000 -- the flight times are no longer than the Quadrocopter 6200's. AMHIK.

    Items missing:
    Video downlink: I'd suggest a 5.8Ghz Mondo Stinger with Passport diversity receiver. You'll need 12v for the Stinger, hence 3S Lipo on the C8.

    Are you not going to have a ground station with any monitor so you can see the framing from the Red?

    Have you considered putting an FPV (first person video) camera on the C8 itself so the pilot can see what is in front of boom #1? If so you'll need a separate transmitter and receiver. You'll also need a separate ground monitor to see the FPV video. Suggest using 1.2Ghz for the Tx/Rx to avoid interference. Use a Low Band Pass filter to avoid the first harmonic at 2.4Ghz from interfering with the frequencies used by the MX-20.

    I'd recommend Blue-Beam clover-leaf antenna for the transmitters and receivers (different sizes for the 1.2Ghz and 5.8Ghz).

    Get an earpiece for the MX-20 so that you can monitor the downlinked telemetry from the C8 for the battery voltage.

    You might also wish to consider a Smart On-Screen Display for the C8 Navigation Board -- it superimposes a heads up display on the FPV video so that you can see altitude, artificial horizon, compass heading, orientation of the copter, battery voltage, current, etc. etc.

    Let me know specifically what of the above items you're interested in and I can send you URLs to find things.

    Hope this all helps.
    Andy
     
  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,371
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    I forgot to add that the GPS is really, really convenient so that you can do a "Position Hold" which basically parks the Cinestar in the sky even if it is windy -- if you add Altitude Hold you can hold it pretty much in one place.

    Also, given you have a GPS lock, the Navigation Control board can also do flight logging of the avionics data and motor control system which is very useful for fault analysis.

    The other benefit is that, provided your pilot is comfortable with manual flying you can also preprogram in GPS waypoints and the C8 will then fly to those waypoints, climbing/descending at selected rates, rotating to a predetermined heading, and lingering at the waypoint for a predetermined time.

    Andy.
     
  4. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    214
    Looks like a nice list.

    Where are you located? If you need someone to build a copter let me know! ;)

    Josh
     
  5. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    214
    I do agree with Andy's suggestions.

    I too am building a Heavy Lift Copter to carry the epic/scarlet. I am hoping to have mine in the air by the end of the week.

    When you are pricing everything make sure to also include extra for all the extra random parts/acc you will need. Also buy extras of all the major parts, motors, props (Especially if your using the wood ones!), escs. This will ensure your not dead in the water if something bad happens on a shoot.

    Josh
     
  6. David Kellermann

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Andy,
    thank you so much. Can't tell you how much I appreciate your post.

    I updated my first post according to your suggestions. But I still have some questions.

    1x Freefly Cineframe: Do you know if it's possible to order the Cinestar somewhere with longer booms instead of purchasing them additionally?

    1x Graupner LiPo 2S/2300: It's a LiPo for the receiver. Or should I take the power directly from the big LiPos over a DC/DC converter?

    For the batteries, do you plan to use them one at a time or two at a time?
    I want to use them parallel. A little more security is more worth to me than a slightly extended time to fly.

    Are you not going to have a ground station with any monitor so you can see the framing from the Red? Have you considered putting an FPV (first person video) camera on the C8 itself so the pilot can see what is in front of boom #1?

    I have already a (rather large, but light) HDMI transmitter (http://www.iogear.com/product/GW3DHDKIT/) and a smallHD DP6, but I guess a dedicated system for the octocopter would be better. Also a FPV camera systems sounds good. My problem is my limited budget. Since the shots I have to make for the next two projects are rather simple (octocopter is always close to the pilot and in sight), it might be a good option for me to buy a compact hdmi transmitter system now (sending the Epic video stream) and a FPV system for projects next year when my company account recovered from the purchase of the Cinestar. Can you recommend any good hdmi transmitter set other than the 800$ Mondo? Or do you think that the IOgear will work for the first months?

    Get an earpiece for the MX-20 so that you can monitor the downlinked telemetry from the C8 for the battery voltage. You might also wish to consider a Smart On-Screen Display for the C8 Navigation Board -- it superimposes a heads up display on the FPV video so that you can see altitude, artificial horizon, compass heading, orientation of the copter, battery voltage, current, etc. etc.

    Could you recommend an earpiece for the MX-20 and a smart on-screen display for the C8? I'll probably not have the budget to buy those items right away, but they'll be on my shopping list for the next year.

    GPS: Again, I'll probably buy the Hoverfly GPS module as soon as other jobs come in.

    Again, thank you so much for you help!

    Cheers!
    David
     
  7. David Kellermann

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Josh,
    I'll definitively get some extra props :) Good luck with your own project. I'm looking forward to see photos and video of it!
    I'm located in south / west Germany, so letting it be built it in Phoenix is kinda tricky;)
    Cheers
    David
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,371
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    That's a question for Quadrocopter, I'm afraid. I just don't know. I'm sure if you were to have them do the build (their so-called RTF option), they could do that.

    By "big LiPos" do you mean the flight battery?
    If so there are two reasons why the answer is no:

    1. Minimize what's taking power from your flight battery -- if something shorts out the Cinestar plummets.

    2. The 3-Axis gimbal is mechanically isolated from the frameset (the booms and hub), therefore you cannot run wires from the frameset down to the gimbal -- the gimbal can rotate indefinitely....

    In which case avoid the so-called Deans connectors -- they are not rated for enough current, use EC5 connectors for the frameset. Deans would be ok for the gimbal.

    The frameset can pull 80 amps or more in ascent....much more for a heavy lifter.

    I use a pair of DP6's too (mounted on lightweight carbon fiber tripods -- Costco's finest!).
    Check out the new DP7's -- they have a high brightness DP7 that is allegedly visible in sunlight.

    It's almost a necessity because the camera can be panned independently of the frameset, so it make it much easier to fly if you have FPV -- you'll also have some surreal conversations between pilot and cameraman of the form: "Can you move the copter left?" Answer: "What do you mean by left?"

    Well, as I say, the real problem is that the nose of the copter can be pointed independently of the Epic -- so for the pilot to see the Epic video does him or her no good at all -- copter left is only rarely camera left, if you see what I mean.

    Well, truth be told I use this for the MX-20: http://www.amazon.com/Macally-Acces...=1352763225&sr=8-23&keywords=macally+speakers

    The advantage to have the shooter hear what the battery state is (rather than using an earpiece) is there is no argument from the shooter about "just one more take...." when the MX-20's lady's voice says: Minimum input voltage....Minimum input voltage....
    [/quote]

    Out of curiosity, why not use the MK electronics, including the GPS? Is it that the electronic speed controls (aka BL-Ctrls) cannot handle the anticipated current?
    My pleasure.
    Andy.
     
  9. Guilherme Barbosa

    Guilherme Barbosa Distributor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    11
    If you use Hoverfly Fc they already have OSD and altitude hold.
    That's the board of my choice, simple, almost plug and play , and most important eficient, or should I translate my bad english: get the job done
     
  10. David Kellermann

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Caju and Andy,

    thank you for your replies. I read a lot of good things about the DJI WKM Wookong and the HoverflyPRO. Since the Hoverfly is cheaper and people had great results, I choose it for my shopping list. The discussions on other forums between DJI and Hoverfly did rarely included MK, so I didn't really considered it. Also, I since this project is already a risky adventure, I try to minimize possible surprises, so I tend to rather order the "get the job done" items. Or are there reasons why I should choose the MK electronics?

    I updated to list in the first post according to your suggestions.

    Cheers!
    David
     
  11. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,371
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    I defer to the superior knowledge of others, here, David. But I think the real issue with the MK electronics appears to be that the BL-Ctrls may not be suitable for the heavy lifters. I know the source code shuts down the BL-Ctrl's if the current through one of them exceeds 60 Amps. But the Navigation Control/GPS and Flight Control seem to work fine -- it could be just the power distribution board and BL-Ctrls that are the issue?

    Andy.
     
  12. David Kellermann

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Andy, I think I'll go with the Hoverfly since many people recommended it. Do I really have to get the 500mm booms for the 15x5 props? I tried to find more information on them and found this thread:

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=21778623&postcount=8

    Also could you recommend a shop where I could get all (or most of) the parts? Quadrocopter.com? I rather pay a little more and have everything from the same place.

    Cheers
    David
     
  13. Guilherme Barbosa

    Guilherme Barbosa Distributor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hi David, I admite myself as a programing hater, MK is years ahead of the others board, been around for quite some time by now, Lots of people flying them and having awsome results, but it does involve a great quantity of knoledge of MK itself. Also in the last few days is falling behind on the Heavy lifters (a few months ago was reference for them, but we keep adding weight to our gear, so a past heavy lifter, today is an average lifter) Hogger probably is already thinking of new updates on BL´s...... (or you can use the 2000,00US integrated escs........)
    If you need gps features there is no competition for MK, but if you want flying smothhhhhhhhhhh, easy plug and play (well almost , you still have to adjust gain, and configure some chanells on TX) and you can leave without Navi, (go to waypoint, and others) you should be fine, and the mantainance and inspection is also easier for been able to use separented escs. What I really love on HF is on descending it is really rock solid. Could never replicate in any other board including MK. On the other hand for GeoMapping , and fotogrametry MK is the only way to go.
    You really want to start from the top, so my advise is to get a good company to assist you, and trust me it will be your best investment. Go with your list to a trust one and let him or her take you through this. Learn as much as you can, and once you fill confident spread your wings.
    But here you only will get the aperture and speed numbers, but not how to use them on a cloudy day, or on a fast take (as you are a a film director u may understand).
    Cheers
     
  14. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    214
    Andy is correct in the fact that you will need a stronger BL to run an epic. This was the issue I was having. I wasn't anywhere near the BL's amp limits but I was running the BLs extremely hot (105-110*C) and that was just with a 5dmkii. For this reason I am upgrading everything. I decided to try a different method for flying with the MK electronics. I love how the MK works but didn't want to spend the $2000 on a AeroDrive8 or $1500 for the new Herk 3 board so I'm using a converter that runs the standard ESCs using the MKs I2C interface. So far it worked right out of the box but have yet to fly it. Hoping this weekend.

    Also you for sure need the 500mm booms to fit 15inch props.

    Hope this helps!

    Josh
     
  15. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,371
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Certainly Quadrocopter.com is a good place to start for those components made in the USA -- I'd just be concerned that you're going to pay a lot in duty to import them to the EU -- not to mention the shipping?

    Message #5 on this thread also has some "shopping list" items.
    I purchased the clover leaf antennae and a lipo battery alarm for the QC1200 gimbal batter from http://dpcav.com.

    Andy.
     
  16. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    Hi David. I echo Andy's thoughts on shipping and import duty. I bought my cinestar direct from quadrocopter.com when they first came out and were not available in Europe yet. They were brilliant but I did have to pay a rather large amount in import duty, I think it was around 500 euros. I would never want to do quadrocopter out of a customer as they are great and have always been at the end of the phone if needed but to save yourself the extra money on import duty I would order from one of free fly's cinestar dealers in europe. Dejan at Kopterworxs has been really helpful for me and they are based in Solvenia as has Geoff at quadcopters.co.uk
    They ship very quickly and are both brilliant at after care and advice and stock what you need for your build.
    Katya
     
    Phil likes this.
  17. David Kellermann

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you all. I truly believe that without the help of this forum I wouldn't have come so far.

    I'm contacting tomorrow European dealers. I wanted anyway to buy the Kopterworx KW10 Pro motors, so maybe they can also make me an offer for a Cinestar system with 500mm booms and a gimbal with tree Radians.

    For the batteries... I guess I'll buy the Turnigy nano-tech 8000mAh 6S 25~50C since the mAH/price ratio seems to be the best.

    There's a war discussion which ESC is the best over at some other forums (simonK vs. non-simonK vs. other solution), so I hope that I don't make a mistake with the TURNIGY Plush 40amp speed controller. Or should I get a Hobby King F-40A to flash with simonK?

    What chargers do you all use? I don't want to ruin my batteries, and the turingy in my list just doesn't look very confidence evoking.

    @ Andy: thanks for the link to the other thread.

    Cheers
    David
     
  18. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,371
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Glad we could help. This is how the Internet was originally designed to work -- communities of common interest sharing information.

    Let is all know how you get on.

    Again, we'll be interested to hear -- my concern is that it's the less-than-easy to measure traits that separate out the batteries -- for example, I know that QC's 8000's were designed with consideration of the useful lifetimes, number of charge cycles, and discharge curves.
    So mAH/price may not be the best ratio to use.

    Sorry, I just don 't know enough to answer that one.

    I have four Hyperion SuperDuo 720's that I power with ProgressiveRC PRC-500s. Pretty nice units and you can drive them using PC-based software that will even log all relevant battery data if you are that way inclined. I've not dealt with the problem of having four units connected to the PC at a time, just one -- so I don't know whether their software will handle that.

    Hope it helps!
    Andy.
     
  19. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    Hi David.
    I have DJI Wookong M Cinestar 8 running 14x8 Graupner props, axi 2826/12 motors with 360 cinestar gimbal. I carry 5DMarkII and also have C300 and use Hobbywing funfly-40A opto ecs's. I use 2x6500 4S batteries in parallel and get about 8 mins flight time with the 5D. My escs are the minimum really even for a 5D setup so I would recommend getting some beefier escs to lift something like the epic, also I think 60-80amp escs are recommended for the KW10's so I would definitely spend the extra cash and get the larger escs.
    Good luck with your build:)
    Katya
     
  20. David Kellermann

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Katya,
    would you rather get the 60 or 80? I read on an other forum that the ESC should not be to big for the best efficiency...
    Cheers
    David
     

Share This Page