AeroDrone Thunder Mk1 - Operation’s Manual

1.What's in the box? #

What is in the box

  • AeroDrone Thunder
  • Radio Controller with DVR screen and mount
  • “Start Here” box:
    • Welcome note
    • Propeller set (2 red, 2 blue)
    • Lithium-Polymer (Li-Po) battery
    • Li-Po battery charger
    • Li-Po battery charger power cable
    • Micro-USB cable
    • DVR screen charger
    • RC bind plug
    • Alan key
    • 8mm Spanner
    • Li-Po battery charger instruction manual
    • DVR user manual
    • Spektrum Radio Warranty Card

 

2.Battery Charger Setup #

NOTE – New Li-Po batteries are to be cycled several times (5 to 10 cycles) in order for their output to reach full potential.

The first step is to charge the battery. For charging instructions, refer to the included instruction manual for B3 PRO Compact Charger
Battery charger setup

2.1.Li-Po Safety #

WARNING – Li-Po batteries can be dangerous and care must be taken when charging and handling the batteries.

For further information, please download these two documents:

3.RC Controller #

TransmitterNext, the RC Controller can be turned on. To do this and for more information on the DX6i RC Controller, please download the following documents:

 

 

 

4.DVR Screen #

NOTE – Before operating, the DVR Screen needs to be charged.

For charging and operating instructions, please refer to the Wireless Mini DVR User Manual included in the box.

The DVR is set to Channel 8 by default. This is the channel at which the video transmitter onboard the drone broadcasts live stream video captured by the onboard camera.

DVR Screen

5.Assembling the drone #

5.1.Attaching the battery #

Step 1

Turn the drone upside down and place the battery in between the strap, making sure that the battery label is facing up as shown in the image.

Inserting Battery

Ensure that the battery connector is facing towards the rear (tail) of the drone, and opposite to drone’s power connector (the thick red and black cables with yellow connector)

Step 2

Slide battery to the centre and tighten the strap as shown in the image.

Drone_battery_back_2

NOTE – It is essential  that the battery is placed in the right orientation and is centred or else there will be an uneven weight distribution across the drone, resulting in decreased flight performance.

5.2.Powering the drone #

Before connecting, ensure transmitter and screen are ON.

INFO – To turn on the transmitter and screen, refer to DX6i Quick Start Guide and page 5 of the screen User Manual respectively

Place the drone on a level surface with the front of the drone facing yourself, as shown in the image, and plug the yellow connectors together.

NOTE – Do not move the drone for 10 seconds while sensors are calibrated, then proceed.

Powering drone_1

When drone is powered up a musical tone will be heard; an ascending tone followed by an elongated tone. If any other tone is heard, unplug and reconnect the battery, or please refer to Troubleshooting.

Powering drone_2

NOTE – The thin multi-coloured cable is used for charging ONLY

5.3.Arming the drone #

Ensure the battery is connected and the transmitter is turned ON. When first connecting the battery do not move the drone and wait for 10 seconds while sensors are being calibrated.

WARNING – DO NOT ATTACH PROPELLERS YET.

Put the throttle to zero by pushing the left stick down all the way.

Arming_1

Then push it to the right and hold it there for 5 seconds.  The drone should now be ARMED.

NOTE – Do not hold the stick to the right for more than 10 seconds; if so, unplug and reconnect the battery.

Arming_2

For safety reasons, the drone will DISARM automatically after 15 seconds.

Prepare for testing.

5.3.1.Testing the throttle #

Place the drone in a safe location, away from obstacles

Throttle up slightly by pushing the left stick forward and check to see if all motors spin at the same rate.

Throttle

YES, motors spin – Proceed.

NO, motors do not spin – Repeat the ARMING procedure and try again. If they still do not spin, please refer to Troubleshooting.

 

5.4.Disarming the drone #

The drone should now be DISARMED.

To DISARM, put the throttle to zero by pushing the left stick down all the way.

Arming_1

Then push it to the left, hold it there for 2 seconds and it should be DISARMED.

Disarm

Throttle up slightly to check if it has been DISARMED. If the motors spin, repeat the DISARMING procedure and try again.

 

5.5.Propellers #

5.5.1.Overview and Safety #

NOTE – Only attach propellers when you intend to fly the drone. PROPELLERS MUST BE OFF AT ALL OTHER TIMES.
 The propellers are colour coded.Final_Drone_Top_Arrow_final

  • BLUE = Clockwise rotation
  • RED = Counter-Clockwise rotation

5.5.2.Mounting the propellers #

WARNING – ENSURE BATTERY IS DISCONNECTED BEFORE PROCEEDING
Step 1

Take off the nut and washer from each motor.

Motor_Zoom

Step 2

Place the propellers onto the motors as shown in the images below. Red to red, blue to blue and ensure the “top” label is facing up.

Blue propellerRed propellerTop Label

Step 3

Use a little force to push the propeller onto the motor.

Pushing propeller

Step 4

Fix the washer and nut back on to the motor.

Fixing washer and nut on

Step 5

Tighten the nut with the included spanner.

NOTE – It is important that the propellers are securely fixed to the motors; however, over tightening may result in prop-adaptor threads being stripped.

Tighten with spanner

The Final Assembly

Final Assembly Drone

WARNING – ONCE PROPELLERS ARE FIXED, THE BATTERY MUST ONLY BE CONNECTED AT THE TAKE-OFF LOCATION

6.Operations #

6.1.Regulations #

For rules on the safe operation of drones, please refer to the CASA Important Safety Information pamphlet in the ‘Start Here’ Box. Alternatively, it can be downloaded here: CASA Important Safety Information.

 

6.2.Fail-safe mechanisms #

6.2.1.Battery Fail-safe #

The battery fail-safe will trigger in two instances:

  • Low Voltage: When the battery voltage drops below 10.5 V.
  • Max Current: When the total current drawn by the system during flight exceeds 4000mA.
NOTE – Max Current fail-safe instant is only operational when a fully charged battery is plugged in to the system for a continuous uninterrupted period of time, until fail-safe is triggered.

In either case, with 20% power left, the drone will automatically initiate the LANDING mode and land on the spot. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the battery capacity and keep the drone flying nearby so that it is easily recoverable.

6.2.2.RC Controller Fail-safe #

If the connection is lost between the RC Controller and the drone, the fail-safe is triggered. In this instance, RTL is automatically initiated.

  • If the drone is within 5 metres of the pilot, the drone will automatically LAND on the spot.
  • If the transmitter and receiver regain connection and the fail-safe clears, the drone will remain in its current flight mode.
  • The drone will NOT automatically return to the flight mode that was active before the fail-safe was triggered. For example, the drone is in Stabilize mode and the connection is suddenly lost.  This would trigger the fail-safe and the flight mode would then automatically change to RTL. Even after the RC controller and drone regained contact, the drone would remain in RTL.
NOTE – If RTL is triggered manually or through fail-safe, this command can be overridden by moving the flight mode switch from Stabilize to Loiter and then back to Stabilize again.

6.3.Flight Modes #

controller.001

Stabilise:

DO NOT FLY IN ANY OTHER MODES UNTIL YOU ARE CONFIDENT CONTROLLING THE DRONE IN STABILISE MODE
  • Stabilise mode is the primary operating mode for flying and can be considered the “manual” flight mode.
  • Stabilise is good for learning to control the drone and general flying.
  • The drone self-levels the roll and pitch axis and allows the pilot to control the throttle.
  • The lean angle of the drone is controlled by the roll and pitch input from the pilot. When the roll and pitch stick is released, the drone will level itself automatically.
  • If it is a windy day, the roll and pitch needs to be regularly adjusted to keep the drone in place.
  • Yaw input controls the rate of change of heading. When the yaw stick is released, the drone will maintain its heading.
  • The throttle controls the average motor speed, which means the throttle must be constantly adjusted to maintain altitude.
  • If the throttle stick is pushed down to “zero”, the motors will spin at the minimum rate. And if this is done while the drone is in the air, it will lose attitude control and tumble.
  • If the tilt angle of the drone changes, the throttle sent to the motors is adjusted automatically so that less work is required to correct the changes in the attitude of the drone. Therefore, the throttle will increase as the drone tilts over more.
  • It is VERY important to be able to easily and rapidly switch back to Stabilise mode from any other mode in order to regain control from any unexpected or undesirable flight behaviour.

FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY:

Loiter:

NOTELoiter is a GPS-dependent move, so it is essential that GPS lock is acquired on the ground before attempting to use this mode in flight.
  • This mode automatically attempts to  maintain the current location, heading and altitude.
  • In Loiter, the drone’s location can be manually adjusted with the control sticks.
  • The roll and pitch control sticks can be used to adjust the horizontal location. When the sticks are released, the drone will slow to a stop.
  • The throttle stick controls the altitude.
  • The heading is set with the yaw control stick.
NOTE – A good GPS position, low vibrations and low magnetic interference on the compass are all necessary in achieving good Loiter performance.

Return to Launch (RTL):

NOTERTL is a GPS-dependent move, so it is essential that GPS lock is acquired before attempting to use this mode.
  • When RTL mode is selected, the drone will return to the home location.
  • By default the drone will first rise to at least 15 metres before returning home, or it will maintain the current altitude if it is higher.
  • RTL will command the drone to return to the home position, meaning that it will return to the location where it was FIRST ARMED.
  • Therefore, the home position is always supposed to be the drone’s actual GPS takeoff location, unobstructed and away from people.
  • For this APM, if you get GPS lock and then ARM the drone, the home position is the location the drone was in when it was FIRST ARMED.
  • This means that if an RTL is executed, it will return to the location where it was FIRST ARMED.
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