As we know now it it becoming increasingly difficult to find disinfectants and hand-sanitizer with evolving Coronavirus situation. I have also learned that Purell is running out of supplies and many stores are now completely out of hand sanitizer. IF you find yourself in this situation please keep reading.
99% rubbing alcohol is still widely available and you make your own! Here’s how its done 🙂 All of the following ingredients can be found easily at http://www.amazon.com and can be delivered in many cases next day.
1.5 cups of 99% rubbing alcohol.
2/3 cup of Aloe Vera Gel.
15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil scents.
Putting The Sanitizer Together;
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with using a spatula until completely mixed. Once done pour into containers and you are set for your next public outing! Very simple to make and even better you can make with your own scents that you prefer! The next time you are in need of hand sanitzer you will be set! Try different scents and give them away to your family and friends to help prevent the spreading of any virus or bacteria. Stay safe and use sanitzer often when you can’t wash your hands!
So, you’ve decided to build a drone, now what? Although it can seem like a challenge, the basics of building a drone are not as intimidating once you get into it. Building a drone from the ground up has many benefits. YOU can choose what you want to build it for, whether you are building just to zoom around, race, or are taking incredible video! This guide is based on the F450 frame but ultimately can be applied to all sizes with a few modifications to the frame, motors/props and battery. In the end you will have a drone customized for exactly what you want it at a much lower cost with the satisfaction of building it yourself, and furthermore, how to build a quadcopter with GPS guidance that is simple to fly and capable of flying as far as you can see for incredible pictures and video.
Before we get into all that, first you must ask yourself what kind of drone you are building. At this point you should start to plan how this will all come together on a frame that is well balanced with a low center of gravity.
Okay you made it this far and your mind is content on building a drone. After researching, planning, and gathering the supplies, it’s time to get to it.
The first thing to do is assemble the new frame. Most likely the frame came in a flat box and will require assembling. My build utilizes the “dead Cat” design as wanted to build a drone with a wide camera angle off the front. This version is more difficult to balance, and I recommend going with a more traditional quad frame.
Power Distribution Board (PDB).
You will need to get out your soldering iron and solder on whatever battery connector type you have chosen, I went with Traxxas connectors just for ease of use and that is what my charger is set up for. Solder the connector before you mount the board, (you won’t have much room to work once all the other wires are soldered). Be sure you locate the “BATT” port on the PDB and solder the connector, red to positive and black to negative. I used a capacitor between my battery connection to help reduce electrical noise, this is not essential especially if this is your first build. If it’s easier for you and do not want to mess around with soldering the right connector on your battery, use the style connector that came on your battery and purchase the male connector separately.
Mount your power distribution board (PDB) on your frame, for best results use rubber standoffs and mount with screws to the frame. This will reduce vibration and catastrophic failure.
Mount The Motors.
The motors I purchased needed to have the connectors soldered. This was a little bit painful as you must solder 3 wires for each motor (these will plug into the ESC’s). Once you have everything soldered go ahead and mount the motors. While doing this you need to be sure where the “front” is and mount your motors accordingly. In the correct configuration. See Betalights Quad Diagram here paying attention to clockwise vs counterclockwise rotation, you should have ordered 2 of each type.
Electronic Speed Controller (ESC’s).
Once the motors are installed the next step is to mount the ESC’s. I chose to mount them under the arms using strong double-sided tape and wrapping them with Electrical tape. Once the motors are connected you can also use heat shrink tubing to cover the connectors to isolate them from each other to avoid shorting out.
The Fun Stuff.
Okay, now you have the battery connector, Motors and ESC’s connected. Now its time for the guts. Find the ports on the PDB that have + and – signs, the boards I used were not labeled with output voltage. Go ahead and solder each of the ESC’s to the closet corresponding port on the PDB. Red to positive, Black to negative.
Mount The Flight Controller.
Having fun yet?
Now is the time to find that perfect location to mount your flight controller, using double sided tape secure the controller to the frame. If you have gone with a NAZA M Lite please read through the following instructions for set up and tips.
Because there are accelerometers, gyros and GPS within the
controller, it is important to be sure you unit is mounted facing the correct
direction so that the drone knows which way is forward and backward. For the NAZA the controller needs to facing
forward with the ESC connections in the front and the receiver connections in
Now its time to plug in the ESC’s. At this point it’s important to refer to the motor configuration. M1-or motor 1 is plugged into the M1 port on the controller, same for 2, 3 and 4. For now, do not plug in the GPS unit or the LED indicator so that you have room to work for the receiver, we’ll come back to that.
It’s All About Communication.
Now find a spot for your receiver and mount it again with double sided tape. It will need to be close to the controller because the connections are not that long. Once mounted go ahead and plug in the connectors to the rear of the controller. Receiver port 1 goes to “A” (aileron), 2 goes to “E” (Elevator) and then right down the line. The last connect on the controller, Port X3 goes to the PMU.
Putting in together.
Once you have the receiver connected to the controller, the controller connected to the motors, you can now plug in the GPS head unit and the LED indicator.
We’re getting there!
One last solder to power up the controller. Find the red and black wires from the PMU like the pictured above. Solder these to the same point where you have soldered the battery connector, lastly find a place to mount the PMU and LED/USB port. I chose to mount the LED beneath the drone so that you can continuously see the indicator lights showing the status of GPS and battery levels while flying above me.
The Final Touches.
Alright, we have everything wired up and connected, just a few loose ends to take care of. If you are using a top plate on your drone you can install now. The GPS head unit and the transmitter antennas should be mounted in a clear area. I chose to mount on top like this.
Take the time now to look over all your connections and double check your plug ports and make sure everything is where it needs to be. When mounting the GPS unit, you will need to take measurements to be able to calibrate based on the distance from the controller on an X, Y, and Z access as well as making the sure the arrow on the top of the unit is pointing forward. Refer to the NAZA M Lite manual for specifics on this as there is a lot of information.
Don’t forget the camera!
Lastly is the camera!
I chose to use the Mobius HD camera rather than GoPro or using a gimbal
for no other reason than cost and weight.
The camera takes great aerial footage that is recorded in the
memory. If you wish to go further watch
for my next blog on setting up FPV and on screen displays for battery voltage,
speed and coordinates.
One last note, you will notice many different ports on your
PDB. When using cameras and displays, these
can be hard wired to the board as well.
More over you will want the constant voltage provided by the 5V outputs
for clear video transmissions when using FPV.
Again, we will cover that in a future blog to come!
Everything is connected, transmitter and receiver are bound, one last thing to do. Head over to your laptop and download the DJI NAZA M Lite software. Open it up and plug in the USB to the LED port of the controller. At this point you can calibrate the entire control system and fine tune any radio adjustments you may want to do. For this I also recommend reading over the DJI software manual and (see link below) as there are many great tips, tricks and functions to getting you in the air!
Once complete, head outside and go for a test flight without the props! Initially use your command stick start and make sure all the motors are spinning in the correct direction (with correct rotation configuration). If everything looks install the props and give it a try! Once you get feel of the controls you can start playing with the different modes offered by the NAZA controller to suit your needs and have fun!
Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions and don’t forget to subscribe and even add your own project to the forums!
If it’s broken then fix it, if you need something new
then build it.
This is the premise of what we will begin to do if you are
like me. After years of fixing, tinkering, and building all sorts of things it
has occurred to me that collectively we can all help each other save money and
the amount of discarded products that may be easily fixed.
The truth is the art of DIY repairs and building is becoming
a lost art because unlike our parents who could neither afford or wanted to buy
new things are moving on and unable to complete these tasks. In today’s world
its just easier to buy something new. Our generations have more net worth and
can afford to buy new even if something is able to be fixed. Its always the
latest and greatest gadgets.
In my mind however this is a great concern, for example in 2018 more than 47 million tons of electronics were tossed. What if we could DIY fix half of that putting money back into our wallets while reducing the worlds trash burden?
The intentions of this blog will be to build a community and
a forum of all things DIY. Whether it is fixing household appliances, toys,
electronics, auto or building drones, laptops, robots or anything else we can
think of; It will be an incredible journey to see what we can come up with!
Follow my blog and Stay tuned for many more updates to come!
If you are like me, you love fresh homemade pizza dough! Sure, you can go to a variety of places to buy “fresh” dough but there is nothing like fresh homemade pizza dough, additionally one you make yourself from prep to table in under 15 minutes on the grill! Not only does it take less than 15 minutes the recipe calls for minimal ingredients that makes it so simple that your kids can do this for a pizza party, playdate or even your next back yard BBQ! Furthermore, you can substitute some ingredients as you wish to make the dough gluten free or try a wheat pizza, it doesn’t get any better than that. Fresh homemade grilled pizza. Yum!
-2 ½ cup
-1 Cup of warm water (Yeast proofing)
This will yield one large pizza or can be broken in half or quarters to make mini pizzas.
the grill at its max temperature.
the warm water (95-105 degrees) into a mixing bowl and add the yeast and sugar stirring
5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes bubbly (slightly frothy like a cappuccino).
the olive to the mixture and again gently stir.
start to fold in the flour and salt using a wooden spoon until a ball is
formed. It should be a little sticky at
this point. Keep adding flour slowly
until the ball becomes a little firmer and less sticky (you should have ¼ to ½
cup of flour left over.
the dough on a clean dry surface lightly dusted with flour and knead into a
flat smooth dough while adding more flour if needed to prevent sticking to your
hands or the surface.
Time to cook.
Gather all your toppings and sauce.
This is the tricky part, using a brush, lightly coat the top of the dough with olive oil (this will be the bottom)
Place the pizza directly on the grill with the olive oil side down and watch very closely, this will only take 1-3 minutes.
While this is cooking lightly coat the uncooked side with olive oil.
Once the dough starts to turn light brown underneath, flip the crust using a grill flipper.
Immediately add your sauce and topping quickly to the cooked side and close the lid.
Cook for another 2-4 minutes and watch closely, if bubbles start to form you can use a fork to poke them to release the air.
Once cooked, let cool for 5 minutes and cut with a pizza cutter.
There is nothing like a fresh gilled pizza made with homemade dough! For a little extra pizazz try adding different topping to create your own signature homemade grilled pizza. Your next BBQ you will be the talk of the town! Please leave a comment if you try this and how it went! Enjoy!
“Having someone do
certain things for you is like getting someone to chew your food for you. It might be easier to swallow but it loses all
its flavor… And you want the flavor!”
it or toss it?
Before we dive into the good stuff we need to figure out if it is worth fixing. Being there are some moments when you should just say the heck with it and rush to the store, we are not about that unless there is a reason other than it’s just broken! On the contrary if you can save money and have the sense of accomplishment, why not fix it yourself! I have heard different thoughts on fixing vs tossing and have also seen mathematical formulas to calculate this. Although this may work, I am not a math genius and do not want to pull out a calculator and punch in an algorithm to figure this out. So, here is my thinking on to fix a product.
With this in mind, the rule of thumb I use is when the cost of the part is less than 40% of the value of the item new I fix it myself. Why not 50%? Time! Nevertheless, when factoring in the amount of time to fix something also plays a role. For example, a new rear main seal on an Audi Q7 cost is near $40. Cheap right? The problem becomes the 40 plus hours of labor and pulling out the engine to get to it! So, if you’re not a mechanic with the tools and knowledge with a strong desire for punishment you would take this to the shop! The bottom line is that if its going to take days to fix something that has minimal value it my not be worth the time.
when considering if you should fix it, it is important to think about the age
of the product. If it has realistically
reached the end of its lifecycle and the cost to fix is near the 40% percent
mark it may be time to recycle it. I say
this only because this is the point that other parts may also start to break
and that will push your costs higher and not be worth the time, effort and cost
summary, for DIY the good news is its already broken. At the very least give it try and see what
you can do, you can’t fix anything unless you try!