All posts by xnaron

Making a PCB using a Laser Engraver Part Deux

I’ve made some changes to speed up the process for making power distribution boards for my multirotors. Basically I use a blue painters masking tape to cover the board and then use the laser to cut out the template.  After removing part of the blue mask I spray paint.



I start off with a double sided PCB copper clad blank







I mill and drill the board on the CNC as usual.




After some slight deburring of the copper at the edges I cover the board with high quality blue painters masking tape.





Then I use the laser to cut out a template in the blue mask.






Now that the mask is cut I can remove the part of the mask that I want to apply paint to





I give it a couple of light coats of Painters Touch flat black spray paint making sure all the copper is covered.




After the paint has had a chance to dry a bit I remove the blue tape to expose the copper I want to remove with ferric chloride.  I only let it dry for a couple of hours before etching.




Here it is after etching with the copper removed.




Next I remove the paint with acetone and a rag and then use some black electrical tape to cover the pads for where I want to solder the esc’s and power connections to.




Now it gets a coat of the black EZ liner Truck Bed Protector paint to insulate the copper.




Here it is with the esc’s soldered to the pads.  I use liquid insulator to cover the connections on the pads.  This board is for my new tricopter V2.  I’ll be putting a KK2 controller on it.

Active stabilized camera gimbal for the folding Hexacopter

I’ve been working on this mirrorless DSLR sized camera gimbal for a while now. As usual this project has eaten most of my time over the last month due to my obsession with needing to get results. The high I get from a succesfully completed project makes it worth it – usually.

Today was the day I claimed my high.  I wish I could say this worked without any revisions.  Luckily though the revisions weren’t many or too involved.   The gimbal itself only required one revision.  The carbon fiber tube (12mm) that I used didn’t resist twist well enough.  This led to bad oscillations on yaw and pitch.  Solved with aluminium tube.

The next issue I needed to tackle was the mounting system.  It needed to isolate vibration, hold without flex and be as light as possible.  I ended up trying 3 mounting systems before settling on this.  This final design encorporates a front to back carbon fiber tube to resist flex in pitch and G10 plates for stabilizing flex in roll.


I needed to isolate the hole gimbal from vibration from the props on the hexacopter.  I chose to do this with silicone fuel tubing.  I drilled holes through the G10 that fit the outer diameter of the tube.  Then used 3mm screws with washers on each side to sandwich the tube between the G10.  This appears to be adequate from the results of the video

Aside from the aluminium tube, assorted screws/nuts and G10 the rest of the parts are made from ABS. The parts were 3d printed.  The ones requiring high strength were printed at 95% fill.




What’s up next?  The addition of a dedicated stabilizing gimbal controller.  Currently looking to purchase a Hoverfly Gimbal Controller.

Here are the results so far:


New motor mounts

This is what I normally use for motor mounts.  It weighs about 23 grams and is made of HDPE and FR10 G4.

I designed a 3d printable motor mount and printed it out of black abs.  It allows me to locate the motor about 4cm further out on the arm.  The downside is it weighs about 29grams.  I know that doesn’t sound like much but it adds up quickly with the need for 6 of them in a hexacopter.  I haven’t decided whether I am going to use them or not.

Introducing the 600mm+ Folding Hexacopter

Here it is!  The folding hexacopter I have been working on.



  • Integrated esc and component power distribution plate
  • supports 600mm to 750mm hexacopter configurations
  • can be built as folding or non-folding hexacopter
  • center cut out for easy component access
  • adjustable height battery platform allows easy access to varied electronic components and adds strength to the design
  • 4 booms fold for compact storage and transportation