As more RC flyers and aerial photographers are getting started in Multicopters, and some are converting to CarbonCore, I’m doing this photographic build thread to talk through how I would personnel build a Hexacopter.
CarbonCore Hexa 950
Zenmsue Z15 with Sony Nex-5 and DJI WooKong-M
4112 DJI Motors
2x 6S 5000mAh LiPo batteries (lightweight and high power rechargeable for those who don’t know)
New, tall and light weight leg set, available in the New Year.
The new leg set can also be used with the PhotoHigher AV130 and AV200.
The leg set also detaches from the Multicopter with only four clips. (Production version).
The latest motor arms now have carbon inserts pressed around the captive nuts, that all come pre fitted.
So here we go!
The very first thing I did was to bolt, with thread lock, the six motor mounts (3.0mm thick) to the TOP of the motor arms.
Then drop four 6mm long bolts, with washers, through the slots.
Next adding a dot of thread lock to the threads in the motors.
Finally fitting the motors to the motor mounts.
I also used some cable braid as the three motor cables have to go around the edge of the motor mounts.
The Tall leg set will be available in the New Year in a short and a tall version.
The short version only for the PhotoHigher AV130.
And the tall version for the Droidworx and PhotoHigher AV130 and 200, and the Zenmuse. Carbon tubes are included in the kit to allow for either camera Gimbal.
The complete leg set, with battery tray and Gimbal can be removed from the Multicopter with four clips. And the upper section that stays with the Multicopter can also be removed with just four short bolts.
Next I turned all the motors over so they were sat on the bench at about 45 degrees, placed the four bolts through the motor rings, adding thread lock, and fitted them to the underside of the motor mounts with a hex driver fitted to an electric drill, on slow.
I will need to take some close-up photos.
The entire idea is that the legs, camera gimbal and battery tray can all be moved along the tubes to get the correct CofG.
The complete leg set, with battery tray and Gimbal can be removed from the Multicopter with four clips.
I'm putting some more into production tomorrow with the main batch of multicopters so there will be a more refined version in the New year.
Nose and tail arms bolted with thread lock to the lower frame plate.
The other four arms only have thread lock on the four pivot bolts.
Four bolts are only to hold the arms in place, in the folded position while fitting the ESCs. Another four bolts are only to hold the frame reinforcement pieces in place.
And the power board is test fitted before arranging the six ESC (Electric Speed Controller)
I have made up spacers to hold the power board between the frame plates.
The arms are 23mm deep, and the power board is 1mm thick.
Using 10mm threaded studs, I added two 10mm spacers and two 1mm spacers to each hole on the board.
The holes in CarbonCore Multicopter frame plates exactly match many different power boards.
These are 40A ESCs, only because that’s the smallest that can handle 6S LiPo as well.
Standard 40A ESCs can be fitted between the frame plates like this, however on this build, I decided to remove the heat shrink and solder the motor wires directly to the ESC boards.
Before soldering the motor wires to the ESC, I used an ESC to gauge how wide to cut up little foam tape rectangles. Each ESC has three 3mm thick foam tape pads to snugly fit it between the frame plates. The fastest way to do this is to use a ruler and a sharp hobby knife on a cutting board.
The motor wires on the 4112 motors were not shortened – this makes it much easier to solder them directly to the ESC boards.
Here’s a HUGE TIP ;)
The motor wires are Red, Black and Blue.
Solder ONE ESC first.
Then try it on your transmitter and receiver to see which way the motor is spinning.
If the motor is turning the correct way For That Arm, great! If not, just swap two of the wires.
Once you know the wire colour sequence for that ESC, you know the ESC for the neighbouring arm will have two wires swapped, to make its motor spin the opposite direction.
For an I-Hexa configuration, like CarbonCore, Arm #1 is the front arm, and the motor spins anti-clockwise. Arm #2, is on the left of arm one with the Hexa nose-out, or facing away from you. And the motor on arm #2 needs to spin clockwise. And so on…
Cables are fitted for the MC and batteries.
I took the plugs off the ESC to Rx cables and fed the pins though the 10mm hole at the front of the frame, after fitting a grommet.
Replacing the plugs and adding a label with the arm number written on.
Are the original skids still available? Who makes that PDB?
Hello Rob, the stock 110mm high landing skids are still included in the kits.
The power board came from one of my dealers in the UK whom stock all the electronics.
The WooKong-M Flight Controller comes with it’s own voltage regulator (PMU) that changes the 22.2V from the main motor battery, down to 6V for the WooKong and radio receiver system.
The ESCs I used also have similar circuits built in called BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit) and will also try to supply the WooKong and Receiver with a regulated voltage in parallel with the DJI PMU (Power Management Unit).
This is potentially very bad! As all seven circuits (six ESC and one PMU) will all be fighting each other and something can burn out! SO, all you have to do is disconnect the pins from the red wires from the ESCs.
Before fitting the power distribution board, one pair of red and black silicone cables were fitted to go through the top plate of the Multicopter, to power the PMU. Three more pairs were soldered underneath to go to the two battery packs and Gimbal.
Only then, were all the power cables from the six ESCs fed through the power board, from underneath and soldered from the top. Then it was OK to bolt the power board to the lower frame plate.
This can also be done the other way up – for example if you are fitting a 3-Axis AV200 Camera Mount to the lower frame plate, at some point you may want to remove the lower plate to undo the big bolt that holds the pan axis to the Multicopter. In this case you would want to first bolt the arms to the upper frame plate, and bolt the power board to the upper frame plate, so the lower plate with camera mount is free to be removed.
It needs to be noted that with three pairs of power cables, all in parallel, with male plugs fitted (as the batteries have female plugs) there is the possibility of short-circuit on the edges of the carbon fibre plates once one battery is connected. So to avoid this, I fitted heat shrink to a female plug and that plug lives on the second battery lead until after the first battery has been connected. Only when connecting the second battery do I remove this insulating plug.
I used Deans plugs, no particular reason.
To solder them I fit a male and female together, as this holds the pins in place in case too much heat is applied and melts the plug slightly! And a small bench vice is used to hold them .
What are other motor choices for this frame?
For sports flying, the Hexa 650 can be fitted with 14" propellers, 2814 700-760 Kv motors on 2X 4S.
Popular setups on the Hexa 950 include Tiger Motors, 2826, 3515 and the 4112 motor by several brands.
Taking a step-back: Here’s another wired CarbonCore Hexacopter, with the same ESCs. This time they have been left in their original heat shrink and the extra lengths of wires have simply been hidden inside the arms. With short bolts top and bottom of the arms, fitting a bundle of wires inside the arms is no problem!
With the Hexacopter built and wired – time to calibrate and program the ESCs!
These particular ESCs are calibrated to the transmitter throttle range by connecting one ESC to the receiver throttle channel at a time, and simply moving the transmitter throttle stick to the top, and plugging in the motor LiPo batteries to power them. If the red wires have already been removed from ESCs with a built in BEC, then the receiver will have to be powered with a 4.8 to 6V battery.
Then after a few beeps from the ECS, moving the throttle stick to the bottom again- Done!
ESC Programming – There are lots of preferences here. The main setting is to disable any motor brake and to also set any voltage cut-off to NiMh and the lowest voltage. Let the Low Voltage Warning in your flight controller handle when it’s time to land.
In this example the WooKong IMU is mounted directly to the centre of the top plate, on double-sided foam tape, with the lead facing the front arm.
With the arrow also facing the front.
There is NO offset, making the setup assistant very easy.
And the WooKong MC can be fitted on a flight control plate also with double-sided foam tape, with the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 and M6 connections also facing the front.
The Red ESC pins have been removed from the plugs.
The WooKong PMU is the only device to power the WooKong and Receiver.