PidFarmer's LR Badger ⚰️RIP💀

By PidFarmer on Aug 14, 2020

8  364  0

Current Status
LR Badger MkI died a painful death after a spontaneous GPS RTH right into the ocean. Rebuilt as LR Badger MkII.

Build Notes
I'm impressed by the design of this frame. The embeddable bottom plate nuts were a very tight fit. I was able to get a nice installation by applying a hot soldering iron to the nut while I tightened the screws. I'm pretty sure the tower screws provided won't work, but that won't be arriving for a few days. I decided not to soft mount the motors just yet.

Oh boy, this is a tight stack space! I made the mistake of buying a FC with dual gyros where the 2nd gyro is a 1cm tall module on the top. It's way too tall to fit in unmodified. I took the shell off the gyro and minimally mounted the tower. The gyro's foam presses it against the top plate. We'll see just how problematic this is.

I wanted to try soft mounting the motors and I also wanted a bit of protection for the ends of the arms. I 3D printed some TPU booties that should be very good at absorbing tiny vibrations as well as heavy impacts.

I'm fond of whipping up 3D printed stands for the GPS. In this case, I made a 35° ramp that attaches with the rear post screws. I use 2M cap screws that snapped into the plastic sockets in the most satisfying way.

I ended up chasing several ghosts during this build. When the DJI HUD said I had 14 satellites but couldn't get a lock, I assumed it was a setting or a bum sensor. Turns out I had TX and RX reversed and DJI's satellite count widget is all lies.

Because this is a long-range craft, I wanted to use proper aircraft lighting. The ESC has WS2812 LEDs on each corner, so I rigged it with the standard ship navigation lights (red port, right starbord). The GPS lights up white and blinks, so it makes the perfect tail beacon. This craft won't be flying at night, but it might look cool from the ground at dusk.

It is currently outfitted with EMAX Avan long range props tuned for these low kv motors. I should probably do the initial tests with junk props though just in case it goes taz on me. I just got a boatload of ugly red 3" tri-blades in my first Kwad Box that I'm happy to do some testing with.

First Flight
It flew pretty well. Just a little bit of wobble and no unexpected behavior. When I tried to test GPS, it would just failsafe out of the sky (foreshadowing).

Final Flight
The day after I took it out for the test flights, it went into failsafe well within RC range. I believe the RX antenna on the AU was loose. Unfortunately I didn't turn off GPS RTH failsafe, so when it lost signal, it climbed to the RTH altitude and then immediately descended into the ocean. I was able to retrieve it the following day at low tide. All of the electronics were ruined of course, but the frame did well and the motors appear to have avoided corrosion after a close inspection. The DJI AU had no video from that day at all for some reason, but video from previous flights was retrievable.

Other Builds
Long Range DJI Armattan Badger MkII
Diatone Taycan Cinewhoop
DJI Tyro79
Shen Drones Big Baby X8 Octocopter (under construction)

Dead drones
Long Range DJI Armattan Badger MkI

Photos

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