Open source Alienflight FC


#688

I haven’t seen much discussion on this topic. I’ve given it quite a lot of thought and I think the time is ripe to begin a more open conversation to break some of the mystery that seems to surround this issue.

It is noticeable from reading this thread that there is some confusion as to the taboo of people selling their boards, but is pretty clear in the license that anyone is able to make and distribute the boards for commercial sale. There seems to be a miscommunication somewhere along the line.

I am extremely grateful for Alienflight’s generosity in releasing these files, as I’m sure all of you are. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do this on my own without the help of the initial files and the support of this community. With that in mind, I am just a bit unclear on Alienflight’s stance on the issue. I can appreciate this group’s steadfast dedication in honoring Lance’s wishes, for sure. It is admirable, and I share in the sentiment. That is why I would like to be patient in this issue and not step on anyone’s toes because of how much I value you all. I think it’s important to have an open discussion instead of quietly mentioning that it is frowned upon.

That being said, has it been made clear what Alienflight’s intentions are? From the beginning I had openly shared with you all that I intended to create and have manufactured a variant of the Alienflight boards for sale. I have been personally confused by this roller coaster of information and would like to know where this all stands.

Now that the files are released again, still under CC, I would assume that it is fair game for anyone and everyone to freely trade their designs and finished boards with each other keeping with the spirit and guidelines of the license, (giving attribution and sharing the design files). Please, someone correct me if I misinterpret the license, but as I read it that is what I can see. If that was not included in Alienflight’s wishes, then I’m not sure it was wise to release the files under CC.

Again, I’m in no rush and would like to take the path of patience to learn and understand more about these boards and their author from you all and this great community. Thanks for all your support these past few months, I look forward to a lively discourse :+1:

Anyone want to chime in?


#689

I have 2 more boards to try and repent for my sin :smiley:


#690

@madman1412 thank you for the tips. I did work at fixing bridges for awhile but I think I was using the wrong tip. I should have used my smaller chisel instead of the tip I have for drag soldering (slanted cone/cup shape). I also ran into the situation you described of components in the way and ended up removing a couple of caps and oscillator to make room (and putting those back was more frustrating than placing them the first time lol)

I think if I do this again, I’ll try to do it in stages. apply paste for the STM32 and solder it first, leaving the rest of the board clear to maneuver around, then the regulator and gyro as those as the biggest and most tedious parts to fix. I know I could build an oven, use a hot plate, or buy a reflow but it doesn’t make sense for the wild hare days that I’d use it.

Any tips for the USB port? I messed with that for quite some time trying to fix a bridge but due to the contacts being in and under the housing I couldn’t fix it.

I thought my handle was apropos, for In the end it’s better for me to scorch earth than continue to cause myself further misery and lost time. If there’s even a hope of fixing it, I keep trying :slightly_smiling:


#691

@blaze I will be praying for you my Son. The Lord is forgiving, to a degree except when it comes to your dastardly act.

it may take a lot of hard worship :smiley:


#692

Flux and that chisel tip 1.5 mm are your friend. On the USB you need to push it to the outside of the board so the legs in the holes align the pins with the pads if it is crooked they will bridge. Too much solder paste, they will bridge. The later is easier to fix with the flux and chisel tip.

I made 3 of the side usb 1.2 5v and 2 flew, literally off to two of the guys in the community. But the 3rd, I have attempted to fix at least a dozen times. Still not quitting and I will fix it just a process of elimination and determination. I learned to stop burning it down a while ago, might need to go back that way sometime. Persistence and anal inspection, detection and correction of mistakes is the name of this game. Do not plug them in till all work is spotless and all should go as planned.


#693

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to have another go at populating one of my PedroWii_CC PCB’s on the weekend after four previous failed attempts. After cleaning up a few pads I was surprised to see that it accepted the bootloader and a sketch OK which was a good start. However when I opened it up in the Multiwii GUI there was no quad movement registering on the gyro gauge. I am hoping that this can be fixed by reworking the soldering on the MPU6050 gyro chip. So after a bit of reworking of some bridged pins and a bit of a tidy up the board was registering movement in the Multiwii GUI.

Setting it all up

Ready for the reflow

Not looking too bad at all

Time to solder in the battery, sat RX, bind pin header and motor sockets. Fit and bind the Lemon RX and check stick throws/ set up flight modes in the GUI - All good to go.

Just knocking up a 7mm frame with Hubsan motor so a bit of plug soldering there

What a mess just to try and make one little FC and quad

Too much soldering with that CF frame so onto plan B

For expediency I went with a Dreamcatcher with 8.5mm motors

So after all that, numb nutz goes and loads a left rotated USB sketch into the board and wonders why it spins uncontrollably when attempting lift off :slight_smile: Hopefully that is the last hoop to jump through but I am trying to not get too excited as I have learned that you can get this far and be tracking straight but still come a gutza on the last curve. However the Quad God shined down brightly on me and all was good the the house of Pedro :grinning:


#695

@pedro147 awesome maiden! Looks super dailed in. Good work from components to a solid FC :+1:


#696

hey can you make one for me please :cry::nose:


#697

Thanks @MasterRC_sTudenT I appreciate that :slight_smile:


#698

Not that much into building FCs, but I just remembered that I ordered a vacuum station for SMD component placement two years ago… Never used it much, but it is much faster than using tweezers. So just in case anyone would show up with a bag of components, some PCBs and the documentation - I’m certain we can do it in a couple of hours :smiley:

I also remember enjoying this video a while ago:


#699

I just placed an order for some side mounted alien classics and all components. Round 2 of me destroying pcb’s… But maybe I’ll have an alien to show for it this time around.


#700

YES! Effin A right Peter! I knew you could do it! How did that feel!? :wink: Great work @pedro147 and thank you for the plug at the end.


#701

I’m really tempted to try and build a few of these for personal use. What is the price of all the components when purchased from Digikey? I have done a lot of soldering and was trained at it many many many years ago when I built mainfram computers at Burroughs computers…LOL.
I also worked on aircraft instruments for year and that required lots of soldering too but none of this was surface mount. I have done very little of that with a hotair station I have. Is the best way to do this with an oven? Then use the hot air for rework as needed?

I think I will order a couple training boards from amazon.


#702

FYI banggood also sells the SMD/SMT practice kits as well. There are always broken things that can work to train on too. Here is what BG offers and there is a cheaper kit as well. Reflow is done by one of many methods and that includes an electric skillet, hot air, SMD oven and or toaster oven converted with a thermocouple sensor and arduino as a control unit to create the correct temperature profile. Your prior experience from what you say will give you an advantage in doing this. It is not that difficult to place the parts. The difficulty comes after the reflow and if you have rework to do that part will be done with flux and a fine chisel tip to touch up weak joints and pull any bridging out of the contacts. Hot air can work to fix weak contacts but it will do nothing for the bridging. So you flux the crap out of the bridged pads/pins and then lightly touch the iron to the flux and pins and most often if it is not super excessive amount of solder globbed there they will separate and wick up to the contacts and pads. The only other way of fixing those is to pull the chip, clean the pads then start over and the second go around, you will not be able to use a stencil for applying the solder paste.

I am behind you 100% @brlowe, as well as all these other fanatics here. We got your back man, you can do this for sure!

Hey Thanks @boomtown, totally forgot that part :wink:


#703

It’ll cost around 30 dollars for all the needed parts depending on how many boards you buy for. There’s a couple parts like the buck boost that you won’t find in digikey, I got them from mouser.


#704

Digikey has the buck boost chips but the MPU is the one you have to source elsewhere. I got mine from Component Distributors Inc. There are some other sources for those as well and a seller on ebay has them for around 10$ for 5. That is much cheaper than CDI which sells them between 4 and 5$ a piece. All of the caps, resistors and whatnot are pennies each the 3 chips or 4 actually are the more expensive part of the FC together they are probably 50% or more of the cost to build one. The 30$ is pretty close, the more you buy with the components the cheaper they get.


#705

Ordered a 5 pack of practice boards from Banggood for $12.99. That is my starting place. After I try those I will decide if I want to build a few of these. If I do build them it will be a larger quantity knowing how the board orders work.


#706

Feel free to laugh cause this guy just double bought some buck boosts!
So, can you link me to those MPU-6050’s please @madman1412
NVM!, http://www.cdiweb.com/ProductDetail/MPU6050/422200/?ProdId=422200&
Just noticed you mentioned that uptop.


#707

@boomtown, I will not laugh at you but I will laugh with you. Can’t tell you how many components I have ordered that I discovered were not what I needed :wink: So check this out, if you are willing to chance this these gyro chips can be had very cheaply out of China on ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=mpu-6050+module&_osacat=61494&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.Xmpu-6050+IC.TRS0&_nkw=mpu-6050+IC&_sacat=61494

Are they genuine?? Who knows? But I do know that @Jakob and @pedro147 ordered these and I hope I am correct about Jakob being the one that pointed to these and actually used them on his builds that he just did. I am willing to test some at the price of a dollar and change vs around 6$ each!


#708

Do you use stencils? I didn’t use stencils my first time around and I think it’ll make this a bit easier for me.
Would you recommend buying them or making them?