Nightvision Brushless Whoop

By brulez on Jun 08, 2018

46  1,833  11

Background

After replacing the motors on my tiny6, yet still having it feel sluggish after about a minute or two of flight time, I figured it was time to build a brushless whoop. I was also looking for a build with some challenging soldering in order to make use of the TS100 soldering iron. This one definitely fit the bill.

I've never been a fan of the oddly shaped whoop canopies, so I opted for a 'squashed' build. The flat form-factor is also nice as it seems less likely to get stuck. Easy to fly out from underneath a couch or bookcase whereas a regular whoop would be trapped.

I also recently got a relatively cheap security camera and was impressed with the night vision quality.. it works even in pitch darkness given only a few IR leds. Wouldn't it be cool to have a whoop that could also fly around in the dark?

And thus, the nightvision brushless whoop was born.

Build

The build is relatively straightforward due to how well the betafpv frame fits together and the all-in-one FC+ESC. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures throughout the process. I detached the camera/vtx AIO and sandwiched the vtx between the RX and the FC. The frame is actually backwards so that I had a flat surface to mount (glue) the camera to.

IR LEDs are mounted on both sides of the camera. It is important for them not to stick out past the camera lens or you will get glare. I also scratched up the LED surface slightly to create more of a diffused light rather than spotlight. Make sure to remove the IR filter from the camera as well. It is the pinkish looking small square usually mounted (glued) on the inside of the lens itself. It can be removed, with varying amounts of difficulty depending on how much glue there is.

The LEDs are wired in series with a 75 ohm resistor. It's hard to see because it is a surface mount resistor, so nice and small.

Switchable IR LEDs

Originally I was driving the LEDs directly from the battery, but that's no fun because then you can't switch them on & off. A straightforward solution to this would be to use the awesome betaflight LED strip functionality. A few problems with this:

  1. The BetaFPV board doesn't have an LED pin. (However this can be solved by changing the betaflight resource assignments and repurposing a different unused PIN.. like buzzer).
  2. They don't make WS2811 LED strips with IR LEDs (all of them are RGB). Most have the control logic built into the LED which is cool, but make it very hard to swap in an IR LED.
  3. There are WS2811 controllers only but there isn't really room for an additional microchip in this build.

Instead, I opted to patch betaflight. Betaflight already has the concept of single LEDs (each directly controlled by a single pin rather than via WS2811). These correspond to built-in board status LEDs on most FCs. I patched betaflight to define an additional status LED, and mapped that to turn on/off with the existing LEDLOW status signal. Mapped that resource to the buzzer pin, wired up that PIN to the IR LEDs, and was plesantly surprised when it worked flawlessly. Leave a comment if you are interested in the patch.

The result is IR LEDs that are controllable via the transmitter.

Flight Video

Photos

Part List

Frame

Beta65 Pro Micro Brushless Whoop Frame (16 builds)
Betafpv.com
$4.50

Flight Controller

F3 Brushless 1S Flight Controller (ESC + OSD) (7 builds)
Betafpv.com
$29.99

Motors

0603 1S Brushless Motors (5 builds)
Betafpv.com
$36.99

Propellers

BetaFPV 31mm Inductrix Propeller with 1mm Bore (1mm Shaft Motors)
Kadosmultirotors.com
$2.99

FPV Camera

Wolfwhoop WT05 Micro AIO 600TVL Camera Only 3.4g 5.8GHz 25mW FPV Transmitter with Dipole Brass Antenna Combo for FPV Quadcopter (16 builds)
Amazon.com
$16.55

Receiver

FrSky XM+ SBUS 2.4GHz Mini ReceiverDefault Title (1220 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$12.99

Batteries

5PCS GAONENG 3.7V 250mAh 1S 30C/60C PH1.25 Plug Lipo Battery for Blade Nano QX CPX and Tiny Whoop (3 builds)
Banggood.com
$16.99

Radio

FrSky 2.4G Accst Taranis Q X7 16 Channels Transmitter Remote Controller White Battery and Battery Trays Not Include (176 builds)
Amazon.com
$124.99

Goggles

Fat Shark Dominator HDO FPV Goggles (92 builds)
Getfpv.com
$449.99

Misc Parts

Chanzon 100 pcs 5mm 850nm IR Emitter LED Diode Lights Night Vision Camera (Clear Round Infrared 850 nm DC 1.5V 30mA 100mW) Light
Amazon.com
$8.34

Misc Parts

FrSky X-Lite 2.4GHz Radio Controller (Black) (67 builds)
Getfpv.com
$121.99

Misc Parts

McIgIcM 1206 SMD Resistor Kit,1206 SMD chip Fixed Resistor Kit 1% 1/4W 0.25W (1 ohm~10 Mohm) 36 Value 20pcs =720pcs Chip Resisto
Amazon.com
$11.99

Video Receiver

ImmersionRC rapidFIRE w/ Analog PLUS Goggle Receiver Module (105 builds)
Getfpv.com
$149.95

Battery Charger

ISDT Q6 Plus 300W 14A MINI Pocket Battery Balance Charger (56 builds)
Banggood.com
$59.99

Soldering Iron

TS100 Portable Programmable Smart Soldering Iron (110 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$54.99

Tools

9 Pcs. PyroDrone TOOL KIT (5 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$19.99
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Discussion

Sign in to comment

MrSmoothFPV   Aug 18, 2019  

How difficult was it to safely remove the IR filter on that camera?

brulez   Aug 18, 2019 
1

Depends on how much glue they used to stick it on. Just slowly losen up all the edges with a sturdy knife.

WhaleFPV   Jun 24, 2019  

very nice!

matop   Jul 08, 2018  

Nice work!

AcidFPV   Jun 13, 2018  

Killer project! I want one!

Bushwacka FPV   Jun 12, 2018  

what KV motors are you using?

brulez   Jun 12, 2018 

16000, they are great on 1s
I have a similar build on 2s and they overheat.

Sokrati   Jun 11, 2018  

Great work! Will use your example to build a nightvision 3incher

FissionBomb   Jun 08, 2018  

For a little while this was the scariest Rotorbuilds profile picture ever.

brulez   Jun 08, 2018 

Yeah I figured it might be better to show the actual build.

Jodie Froster   Jun 08, 2018  

Amazing work

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