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Slowing down a drone yaw (rotation) speed.

cheddarman

Aug 14, 2021
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Aug 14, 2021
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Thought I'd share this in case anyone out there is also having drone yaw problems.
I have an old "inherited from my son" Phantom 3 Advanced drone and have always struggled to pan, yaw, rotate (whatever you want to call it) slowly and smoothly. Even with all the available menu options set to minimum speed vs stick movement I found it hard to control smoothly. Touch the stick and it spun but keeping the stick in exactly the same place proved impossible.
To look into this I opened the the GL-300B remote controller to see what was what and found that the yaw control was simply a 2K potentiometer, with the stick centered on it. Move stick one way or the other and the resistance changed by just over 110Ω. I figured that if I reduced this, the drone would go much slower so I designed the attached circuit to basically put another up to 10K into each half of the existing pot.
The heart of the mod is a DPDT switch. In the OFF position it kept the c circuit how it was (you need this to be able to start the motors), but when ON it put the ganged 10K pots into the circuit. Now, by adjusting the 10 pots I can rotate from zero rpm up to the original.
image.jpeg
Once completed I can now put the stick hard over, left or right, and control the yaw speed with the new potentiometer. Works a treat!
IMG_8992.jpg IMG_8991-2.jpg
 

VenomBallistics

Aug 30, 2018
285
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Aug 30, 2018
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these issues are addressed digitally.
As a practitioner of these dark arts, we tend to detest DJI for it's proprietary approach to practically every aspect of the drones they produce. Not that we do not recognize the quality of the hardware, we certainly do, It's probably one of the best interpretations of the personal flying camera in print. But, just as you have discovered, we have known for quite some time. What you desire might be out of reach, locked away in proprietary firmware.
Out here on the dark side where we build them from the ground up, this can be addressed in betaflight with a simple rate adjustment, or in your radio as a dual rate or exponential setting. However, this trades much of the DJI "Flys itself" qualities for this full back stage all access pass flexibility.
Loosely translated, you'll need to learn to actually fly rather than toss suggestions at the DJI firmware. Trust me. it's not a bad thing. Shooting gaps through various obstacles will put some iron in your sword and lacing through the branches of a tree via FPV like a hummingbird holds a certain element of wonder that just doesn't get old
Perhaps you may ultimately rephrase your question to something like "How do I build a drone"
 

cheddarman

Aug 14, 2021
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Aug 14, 2021
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As an 82 (83 on Saturday) well retired electronics engineer pensioner I would love to be able to afford to build my own drone but that is way out of my budget whereas £3 for a DPDT switch and 10K double ganged pot was OK . I inherited this old drone from my son, who was a jungle pilot in Indonesia for seven years and used it to check out newly built airstrips before attempting a landing on them.

He recently returned to civilisation and no longer needed it, he plays with much bigger flying machines.

I have "learnt to fly" quite well considering, but I still found that smooth panning was a challenge so thought I'd use my rusty electronics knowledge to play with the system and am quite pleased with the result.
(one of my first videos)

 
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VenomBallistics

Aug 30, 2018
285
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Aug 30, 2018
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The old phantom 3's are somewhat more desirable among those who have them in my flying club. Primarily for the features they lack compared to the phantom 4, mavic and inspire. We are in military airspace with a memo of understanding. DJI geo fencing is unaware of this and locks the user out unless you go through a process of asking DJI permission to fly, which was only valid for a few specific days, then repeat the process. Only one in the club is so masochistic to continually endure this. Outside the club, you can almost always find someone trying to sell one. It takes a bit of driving to get into "free air".
at retail, one can build 2 or 3 drones for the price of a phantom 4.

One of the most fascinating things I've seen in the field was in the subset of indoor drone racing.
With a good multiprotocol radio, a USB flash tool, and NFE silverware, they hack certain $20 toy grade "tiny whoop" drones so they can race tune them. Personally, I think these 65mm to 130mm ducted frames will eventually render the 450 -500mm drones like the Phantoms obsolete in the mainstream. You can safely fly them anywhere
 

cheddarman

Aug 14, 2021
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Aug 14, 2021
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All the Phantoms are going to become more and more unsupportable so I should go up to one of the more modern ones, Mavics and Minis.
 

VenomBallistics

Aug 30, 2018
285
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Aug 30, 2018
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It depends on your view port.
If you view the Phantom 3 or 4 as a singular object as DJI produced, then yes, you are subject to corporate decisions, and whims of company policy.
If, however, you view these as spare parts flying in tight formation as a quad racer would, it's as valid as it was when the frame left the mold.
What you have is a decent chassis, a set of motors, possibly some speed controllers, power distribution, a flight controller, video system, and an RC uplink. You can pick and choose from this hardware as needed.
To just get your sketchy P3 back in the saddle as intended, a 5.8 VTX, camera, antennas and a set of FPV goggles should allow continued operation by simply adding this "hacker friendly" system.
To fully jailbreak it, strip it to the frame power distribution board and motors. If you can determine if your speed controllers are of the oneshot or dshot system, you can use them too. if not, they will need replacement so the flight control board can keep them in sync.
Replace the flight control board, Radio control, and vid system. From here, you can add most any whizbang gadget system you deem desirable.

Going forward in the consumer "Buy and fly" wasteland .... Radiomaster T16 radio, either analog or fatshark digital goggles, and the BetaFPV Beta 95X represents what might be the future of drones.
You won't save much if you need everything, but once you have the radio, goggles and battery charger, your replacement packs and entire drone come in at a fraction the cost of anything DJI.
I just gave mine a starlight flight camera.
 

VenomBallistics

Aug 30, 2018
285
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
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If you are restating your question here, I gave you two answers to fit your relative skills or willingness, whichever they may be.
If you are afraid of screwdrivers, the phantom 4 should already be considered obsolete as DJI employs geofencing to pander to various government restrictions around the world. With the US being a major market segment, you can bet that the FAA's pillaging of RC aeromodeling will have a detrimental impact upon the industry. craft of less than 250 grams flying weight are exempt of most new regulations. Since legislators seem content to mimic the legislation of other legislators, rather than think like we all pay them to do, this idiocy may be coming to an airspace near you, no matter where you are.
The beta 95X is sub 250 even with an action cam strapped to it. Not sayin' anything ... just sayin'
 
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