My gear and the modifications I did to itProject started on October 09, 2015.
Last updated on May 31, 2022.
Over the years of flying quadcopters and other stuff I have grown quite the collection of self-made or customized gear.
When out flying alone or with a partner, often people walk their dogs nearby or families go on a walk together and see us. This often sparks a conversation. For these occasions, it turned out to be very useful to have some kind of second screen and receiver with me.
A friend of mine even has a spare cheap set of FPV goggles with him most of the time.
I decided to go a slightly different route. For my first experiments, I bought the Quanum DIY FPV Goggle Set. I didn't really like the box-style of goggles, so I quickly took the monitor from the set and used it stand-alone.
After I switched to proper FatShark goggles, I used the Quanum monitor again, this time for a spectator monitor.
I built a simple wooden box out of left-over parts and hot-glue, with a large cut-out in the front for the monitor.
Inside is not only a FR632 Diversity Rx but also an Eachine ProDVR, 2x 18650 cells, voltage regulators, a fan and a voltmeter. The channel can be selected on the receiver, with cut-outs on the back. The DVR can be controlled using external push buttons. A power switch, as well as a switch to select either the Rx video feed or the DVR video feed, are on the top.
The batteries hold up for maybe 3 sessions with spectators. I had to add the fan after the first tests because it simply got too hot inside the box and the first DVR died after a while.
The quality of the Quanum monitor is great and it does not switch to a blue-screen when the signal is fading. The DVR does not work 100% reliable, but considering my FatShark Dominator v3 has a built-in DVR as well, I'm not really dependant on it.
Many years ago, a long time before I even started getting into Quadcopters, my grandpa bought me a cheap 2.4GHz Transmitter from Conrad Elektronik. Because this was already available when I started building my own copters, I used it for that as well. Turns out, it is a Flysky-clone, with it's own shoddy PC software. So I wrote my own Mac driver for it. After using it with its original receiver for a while, I decided to move into the FrSky ecosystem. So I swapped out the built-in transmitter for a FrSky DHT with the TTL mod to connect my own telemetry display.
Ammo Can Battery Charging
Having so many high-capacity LiPo batteries around because of this hobby is kinda scary of course, after looking at a bunch of battery fires on YouTube. So I at least wanted to have some kind of fire-proof enclosure for charging my batteries in. I decided to go the common ammo-can route for this.
When doing this, it is very important to modify the can so it no longer is pressure-tight. Otherwise you're building something more like a bomb. Many people remove the seal in the lid for this, but I decided to drill a couple of large holes into the can, as well as a rectangular cutout for the charging cables.
The holes have a piece of mesh glued in front of them, to keep debris out. And the inner walls of the can have been padded with cardboard, to prevent any chance of short-circuiting on the metal sheet of the can.
Ammo Can Battery Storage
For far too long I stored all my LiPos in a cardboard box on a wooden shelf in my livingroom. After seeing one too many videos of LiPo fires, I decided to work on a solution for safe storage of the batteries outside, on my balcony. Like with the charger described right above this section, I decided to get some used ammo cans for this project.
When you buy an ammo can like this used, I recommend giving it a thorough soap and sponge wash on both the inside and outside. Then you can pull out the gasket in the top with a large flathead screwdriver. Give it a good clean as well, and rub some oil on the gasket so it goes back in easier and lives longer.
The most important part of a storage solution like this is the ability to vent gases that expand in case of a LiPo failure. So we absolutely need to add some holes to either the base can or the lid. This time I decided to put two 5mm holes in the lid of each one. Just to make sure no water gets in through the vents, I added rubber plugs, which can be pushed out easily by the expanding gas in an emergency. This way I feel relatively safe storing the cans on my balcony.
Like with my charging can, I also added some cardboard on the inside for preventing any possibility of short circuits.
Spectator Monitor 2
The files for the modified 3D printed case can be found on my Thingiverse profile.