I redimensioned the V7.2.1 charger to incorporate the V7.2 battery unit. I like the result, but feel I’ve learned all that I can from this version, and already have some simpler folds planned for the aluminum case. The V7.3 battery unit is similar to the 4 units shown here, but shorter with one less of the unit LiPo battery.
I’ve never liked using the force-sensitive touch screen on document printers and other appliances. The nicer appliances have capacitive touch screens with a digitizer like a smartphone, but even on these the lessened sensitivity is noticeable and hitting the edge of a button will often not register with the digitizer, a problem exasperated by a small LCD screen. I think its much better to invest in a clean design with LED indicators and minimal switches. If any interface is needed, including a Bluetooth unit and a microprocessor in the design allows for delegating the UI to the Toyuchdown Delivery app. This makes sense from both a power efficiency and user experience standpoint, because the user already has a high quality digitizer and LCD local to their smartphone.
That being said, I am only going to find a home for the processing once I’ve dealt with the power conversion. Designing a custom power adapter doesn’t sound fun, but will ultimately be a necessity if I want to maximize the efficiency of the charge/discharge cycle. The more drone flights per day there are, the faster the drones get paid off, and the higher the monthly take home for the Partener. For the short term, however, I’m going to find several power adapters I like, install them, see what the sizing is like, and reassess.
The V7.3.0 Charger will also incorporate the connectors I blogged about a few days ago. I have some designs for these, but would rather just include them later when I post the charger in its entirety. The connector I’m currently designing might stay around for a few versions, but I’d be foolish to think I can solidify a connector design in CAD alone, it will probably take a dozen prints to work out all the stress points. It’s time intensive and detail-driven work, but if the drone has a mvp, it would be the battery connection - a power interruption could cause the vehicle to crash.
This is one of the reasons I’ve designed with two battery units per drone. Like hands and eyes in animals, having duplicates of a critical feature is a survival advantage. One planned recovery mode of the drone involves noticing a one-side power enteruption and performing an unplanned safe descent. And while this would mean a ruined experience with a customer, if I design a robust power connector, a reasonably safe failure rate can be obtained.