Power overload?

I ran several outdoor flights this morning with the LEDDAR enabled, the last of which lost LEDDAR connectivity shortly after takeoff.

That could be due to dodgy wiring, but my first best guess is actually overloading the 5V 1.5A switching regulator I use to power Phoebe’s HoG direct from the LEDDAR.  That’s based on several assumptions:

  • the LEDDAR LEDs self-tune for reflectivity and ambient light levels; outdoor flights on grass would have the LEDs turned up high, soaking up 0.25A
  • the ESCs are not opto-isolated so they too must draw real current.

If the combination of these overloaded the regulator, then that could explain a self-reboot of the LEDDAR, and hence loss of contact with the HoG.

So I put in some protective code to catch the LEDDAR connectivity failure, and switch to only using the integrated accelerometer to complete the flight.

I moved her indoors on the basis that lower light levels and less dispersive, more reflective vinyl floor covering would turn down the LED power.  What I actually got was her rising 8′ 6″ at maximum speed, smashing into the ceiling before I could kill the flight, breaking two props, and gouging out some bits of the ceiling.  I then spent an hour repairing the ceiling damage before the wife and kids came home.  I’ll leave it until tomorrow to test the fix for the bug I introduced to catch the LEDDAR connectivity failure!

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