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Attaching power banks to the handlebar

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#1
To help my cameras last a decent time on battery, I wanted to find an easy way to attached the power bank to the bar, and be able to removed it easily too, but be sturdy enough to be sure it was safe. Now, I could just tape it on, but that would leave a mess after few flights, so instead a friend suggested pipe clip, and there's not much choice of good pipe clips at would fit the 32mm bar on the GT450 ... But I do have a 3d printer... :cool:

Version 1.
IMG_20201123_151121_crop.jpg
simple, attached the powerbank with a tie wrap - bit of a fiddle though

Version 2.
IMG_20201123_151302_crop.jpg
double clip - use a tie wrap to tighten the grip on the power bank

Version 3.
IMG_20201123_151410_crop.jpg
double clip with recess for rubber draft stuff - creates enough friction to stop the power bank slipping side to side, will also grip handlebar - I hope!

Not tested them yet - need to head over to the airfield later this week :)
 
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Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#3
printed in PLA - no idea how long it'll last regarding UV, and as I'll probably take it off after each flight I doubt that's an issue - I've printed bird feeders in PLA that have been outside since the spring and showing no signs of problems at all (apart from the bird sh*t all over them :ROFLMAO: ) - and if the clips fail, it'll be pushing them onto the bar, or taking them off, as that's the point of the most flex - and then I can either just print another, or revisit the design and make the next one stronger :cool:
 

Aerial

Cross Country Pilot
#5
Good suggestion. What is going to stop the powerbank slipping around the bar from top to dangle underneath, or does that not matter?
 

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Will see how the rubber strip works - if it provides enough friction - and I guess that although I imagined it sitting on top of the bar, underneath is every bit as good, as long as the cable is long enough from power bank to camera - want the shortest I can get away with to save it flapping around in the breeze! I suspect cable ties will be involved one way or another, good job I've got tonnes of them :ROFLMAO:
 

BobH

Student Pilot
#7
Mike, if your cameras are mounted up on the wing, why not 3d print yourself a clip on bracket that will secure the battery pack to the top of one of the uprights? If you design it so that it sits at the front of the upright then the breeze will help to hold it in place. Just put some tape or a cable tie below where you want to mount the pack so that it won't slip down the upright and it should work. This has two advantages.

1. The cable is shorter
2. The pack doen't interfere with your ability to hold any part of the basebar you may need to in an emergency situation.

Something I've used in the past in order to keep things in one place is a strip of nylon cloth with velcro at both ends. One end is the male velcro and the other end is female. Then when you put the pack onto the bar or upright, wrap the strip around it so the the two ends are lined up with each other. The velcro then acts to hold everything in place and is reuseable many many times.
 

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Good thoughts, thanks :)

Plan to nip over after work today and try the designs out in situ. Also need to work out cable lengths. Will get some pics of the potential solution :)

Like everything, there will probably be room for improvement!
 

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#9
Well, went to the airfield straight after work, already dark and cold. Not entirely happy with the level of grip achieved on the nice shiny stainless steel bar, so have done a re-design that will allow for 3 pieces of the rubber to be fitted to each clip, and walls 1mm thicker for more pressure/grip. Also added small detents to keep the tie wrap I'll put around it from slipping at all.
Also added some tie-wraps to the bars themselves as another restriction to stop the clip slipping along it.

3d Printer is working away on two of this, plus another of the design no 3 above, just in case these prove too stiff to pop over the bar... it might finish around midnight...

design double pipe clip vers III.JPG
 

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Had mixed results - decided that the camera on the vertical was in my line of sight, and as my instructor gently pointed out, having a battery so close to the compass was something to be avoided - he was very good about that idiot mistake - never even occurred to me :oops: - live and learn though. So I'll keep the one on the bar that can rotate. The redesigned clip holds it very firm and I also put a tie wrap around it for the flight and it didn't budge at all.

IMG_20201128_115651_resize.jpg
 

BobH

Student Pilot
#11
Ah, a picture is worth a thousand words. Now that I can see what you're doing it changes my thoughts on what I think you should be doing.

For a start I don't think you should have a camera on the basebar. Mount the camera somewhere where it won't interfere with bar movement. As it is, from your photograph I can see that if you move the bar to one side or the other the camera will hit either the front upright, or the side of the screen. This is bad news, and could cause you problems if you found yourself in a situation where you needed full forward and/or sideways movement of the bar at the same time due to sudden turbulence.

As you have training bars on the A frame, why not make up a fitment that will allow you to mount the camera on of one of them, with the mounting on the lower horizontal end of the tubing? It would be much safer for several reasons.

1. It won't get in the way of you moving your hands along to the end of the bar
2. It won't catch the front upright or the side edge of the screen if you need to either push all the way forward, or the bar is pulled all the way forward by turbulence
3. Being supported on a forward facing horizontal tube means the camera is in a caged situation where it is less likely to be hit and either damaged or lost
4. Even if someone is holding the training bar handles they won't be holding the lower horizontal part of the handle, so a camera mounting won't interfere with their use

And finally, as an added bonus, you can still make up a battery mounting but make it to fit behind the camera rather than to one side of it, and you will likely only need a very short cable.
 

BobH

Student Pilot
#13
Very good point Joan, like everything on a flexwing it should be lanyarded to prevent it coming loose and going into the prop. When I flew flexwings I had lanyards on everything, even my gloves.
 

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#14
Will definitely look into sorting something like that, cheers (y):) I was back this morning for another lesson and got my instructor to have a look over the mount etc and he's happy with it, but the lanyard is definitely a good call, just need to work out a way to secure it to the camera.
 

Vincent

Administrator
Staff member
#15
Very good point Joan, like everything on a flexwing it should be lanyarded to prevent it coming loose and going into the prop. When I flew flexwings I had lanyards on everything, even my gloves.
Sewn onto strings through the arms of your flying suit, like your Parka as a kid 😄
 

BobH

Student Pilot
#16
Similar,

I attached those kind of loops you use for carrying a phone or camera. I attached one to each glove, and when I put the gloves on I put the loop round the outside of the sleeve of my flying suit, then tightened the loop with the small rubber/plastic ring put there for that purpose. Not quite the same as the idiot strings we used to have as kids, but does the same job.
 
#17
Took a friends husband for a fly last winter, gave him a pair of gloves that were very warm, shortly after take off there was a "bump" and a sheepish voice saying I've lost a glove, "I know", I replied.
Before the flight he asked if it was ok to take a camera but I said no because there was no lanyard but he obviously felt it was fine to remove his glove to use his phone as a camera.
I thought I'd made it clear regarding items going through the prop but maybe some people should have their hands cable tied.
 

ginge

First Solo Pilot
#18
Whatever you do you can,t be right for all folks. If you give the precise, detailed instruction that some folks need others will regard you as a pedantic old pillock. At least if you do give idiot proof instructions you'll still have a prop and I gusee that is as good as you're gonna get.
 

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