I'm pretty excited. The blimp flies and is as controllable as a large envelope full of helium in a drafty house can be ;)
The blimp shown here is 24" diameter, 8" high.
So what's different about this revision and why does it fly?
- Motors are spinning super fast and drawing about 200mA each.
- New motor drivers provide motors with battery voltage, but control voltage is separate, allowing for motors to get maximum power.
- Board is 0.8mm thick and cut the weight of the PCB in half - thank you @oshpark!
- Buck boost converter is slightly on the edge with allowing 1.3A, but is much more capable than the voltage regulator in earlier revisions.
- Code has been revised so that there is no lag between control switch and motor.
I had a memory leak in which the ram was spinning down and causing the connection to drop. Turns out the libraries (2.4.1) provided for ESP8266WiFi have a bug. A down rev (2.4.0) fixed that problem, but it still took me a day to figure it out.
- Evaluate battery draw with special wattmeter designed to look at single cell draw
- The hardware is there to measure battery levels, add this to code and send signal when low.
- There are still connection loss issues, hopefully adding error handling to code will address this.
- FUN! Design controller for joystick and buttons. I'm envisioning a figure eight so that it fits nicely in the hand.
- Test with 24" blimp when that arrives
- Add ESP reset switch or button to gondola hardware
- Add ESP reset switch of button to joystick hardware
I found these docs helpful