JJRC Baby Elfie Drone Quick Start Guide

Designed to be quick and easy.
Turned out there really are lots of details to cope with.
Oh well, I believe this is still a better alternative than the manual that came with the drone.

FIRST FLIGHT – Controller

  1. Remove Drone Battery
    • Squeeze the two flaps in the middle of the battery
    • Pull the battery out
  2. Recharge the battery
    • Plug the included USB cable into the USB port
    • Plug the other end to the battery
    • Charger lights up while charging
    • The battery is fully charged when the light turns off
  3. Put Batteries In
    • Put to the drone its fully-charged battery
    • Open remote controller, bit tricky but the idea is push top forward, bottom backward
    • Put two AAA batteries to the remote controller and close it
  4. Open the propellers
    • Pull out 4 propellers
  5. Pair Drone with Remote Controller
    • Press the drone power button, lights will turn on and flicker
    • Turn the remote controller on, you will hear a beep
    • Long press the right button, release when you hear a beep
    • Press up the remote controller’s joystick then press down
    • You will hear double beep and the drone’s light steadies
  6. Turn On the Propeller
    • Press the joystick down
    • Drone propellers start but stays on the ground
    • Orient the drone such that power button is close to you and the camera is in front
  7. Drone Take-off
    • Hold the controller steady
    • Gently push the joystick up to move the drone upwards
      Go easy on this on your first try, takes some practice to gain full control
    • Release the joystick to hover or stop
      Try to keep the controller steady or gently move left or right
    • Gently push the joystick down to move the drone downwards
    • Press the down button to stop the drone and land
      Make sure drone is low enough, otherwise it could be a destructive drop
      Quite a tough drone though, doesn’t seem to mind bumps and drops

FIRST FLIGHT – Smartphone App

Screenshot_20180520-195331The idea is that you turn on the controllers, the arrows and the up-arrow to get the engine running.
Once the propeller starts, use the altitude and direction controllers to fly the drone.
Details as follow:

Process after running the app would be:

  1. Turn drone on
  2. Connect app with the drone
  3. Turn controller ON or OFF
  4. Turn power controller ON or OFF
  5. Turn on drone
  6. Fly up by sliding left controller up
  7. Go forward/backward/left or right by sliding right controller up/down/left or right
  8. Beginners need to get familiar with the STOP button for emergency stop

Screenshot_20180520-195343The simple operations are:

  1. Go Up or Down
    Slide left controller up or down
  2. Rotate
    Sliding left controller left or right
  3. Forward/Backward/Left or Right
    Slide right con

OTHER IMPORTANT CONTROLS

  1. Headless Mode
    This is so you can easily take selfies.
    The drone flies in specific position regardless of where the camera is.
    Steps as follow:
    • Tap the settings Gear Icon to pop-up sub-menu
    • Tap the NEWS Compass icon to activate headless mode

FIRST RECORD

  1. Install and run the app
  2. Connect smartphone to drone
  3. Tap photo or video to take them

ISSUES :(

  1. Lights are controlled only by the handheld controller, app can’t turn it off to save battery life
  2. Camera recording are controlled only by app, not by controller

UNFORTUNATE EVENT

_20180520_201919I flew my drone in the open field with nearby trees.
Seemed to have lost control of altitude so I press the STOP button while it is still up like 20′ high.
Dropped on concrete pavement with one of the propeller first.
Notice afterwards that one propeller runs randomly, until it finally won’t turn on.
Drone can’t be controlled with just 3 propellers running.
Dismantled and tried to fix but it seems the engine is broken.
At least was able to salvage the camera.

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My 3D Printing Adventure

View image on Twitter

Awesome! Got around 2 hours of 3D lecture, hands-on and printing session – all for free!

I was actually scheduled to attend the lecture a week later but I took my chances anyway, hoping few attendees will miss their schedule. I really thought it would be a full house as these are free sessions. I was a bit surprised nobody’s still around at scheduled time so I chatted with the teacher and asked if I could attend. I was allowed so I sit right in the front seat. There are only like total 6 of us, one is not even attending, just sitting there to use the computer for his own project. And the venue can accommodate 12 people.

Lecture went well, actually just an hour was spent on it. The other hour was spent on printing. That small piece of around 1.4×5.4×0.4 cm took around an hour from preparations to actual printout pictured here. Preparations included the following:

  • Loading the filament
  • Warming up the printer
  • Downloading the 3D file
  • Processing the 3D file to ensure correct scale
  • Copying the processed 3D file to the USB stick
  • Putting the USB stick to the 3D printer

We were actually not aware that we can print our mini project for free but our teacher mentioned it before we finish our lecture. In the session’s flyer, it was stated that we have to bring our own USB stick. I did not bring any but our teacher volunteered to lend us, so I got excited and finished in a hurry a keychain project suggested to us.

In the first few minutes of printing, it was confusing for me because it did not look like the object I have drawn. Turned out, it have to first print a base so the rest of the object would be printed on it, improving printing accuracy by doing it on a more stable surface. I almost cancelled the printing process but I decided to just let it take its turtle pace. I spent time instead reminiscing of CAD plotting decades ago. Sure is much more interesting watching 3D printing compared to plotting in tracing paper.

After more than 30 minutes of actual printing, it was done. I’m still confused because the printed object is way more than what I’ve drawn. Then our teacher brought out a spatula, scraped the 3D stuff out of the printer. After being removed from the printer, it was like peeling an orange, removing the extra objects. Finally, the 3D object I’ve drawn an hour ago was handed over to me :)

As for technicalities, here are what we used in the session:

  • A computer with internet connection
  • TinkerCAD (A free online CAD software :)
  • User’s TinkerCAD account
  • Makerbot Replicator 5th Gen 3D Printer
  • Filament (blue)
  • USB stick (bring your own)

Oh by the way, we did it at Chinguacousy Library near Bramalea City Centre, just beside the Bramalea Bus terminal.

About 3D printing technology, it sure is exciting with much more advancements to come. My prediction is, just like paper printing which started from dot matrix using ribbon, to ink to laser printer – I look forward to 3D printing using cartridges that prints in color. That would be an exciting development to watch. Ultimately, printings would develop into holographic projections and replicators ala Star Trek, which I hope to see in my lifetime.

Godspeed!