I've been following the ArduCopter project for a while now, and have decided to give it a go. Over the last few days I've been reading up on as many details as possible, and would like to run the results by the community, to find out if I'm making the right choices.
- A nice balance between agility and lift. I do not plan to lift heavy camera equipment, but would like to add some gadgets or a tiny video camera later.
- As responsive as possible
- Flight times are important; the longer the better. I don't really know what to expect yet, based on my choice of parts.
- Addition of GPS/magnetometer to enable real UAV behavior

So, the various choices:

I'll either go with the ArduCopter frame when it's out of beta, or I will buy Jakub_J's frame ( http://www.kkmulticopter.com/index.php/airframes/44-kkquadrocopter-... ). 
If the ArduCopter frame is done soonish and priced right, I'll get that.

The Turnigy 9X 9Ch. It's a guess in terms of quality control, but there's no beating the price. I'll order it as soon as HobbyKing has it back in stock.

Engines and props
Now the hard part starts. I'm following Old_Man_Mike's thread on quad motors over on rcgroups (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1006721 ) - according to his research, the KDA20-22L (KDA) and DT-750 (HexTronik) have the best performance ratios. I'll be using these with - probably - EPP1045 props.

No idea yet. It seems the Turnigy Basic 18A is the best choice, but I haven't done enough research on ESC's yet. [Update: I mentioned the Turnigy Basic 18A, but should have referred to the Turnigy Plush 30.]

I'm looking for great weight to power ratio. I'm thinking 4000mAh+, but those weigh up to 400-500g. Also see open questions :)

Open questions

- Does this shopping list give me something satisfying my goals?
- What is the best battery to choose for the longest battery life/agility combination? Will I burn the engines if I use a 4000mAh+ 4S?
- How will the ArduCopter frame compare to the Jakub_J frame? Will it be worth the wait?

Very much looking forward to your insights, and hoping I'm not making any too obvious mistakes :)

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I have exactly the same idea as you.
At the moment I allready have the APM and IMU.

I also was looking Jakub_J frame which is reasonable priced.

An Eurgle 9ch TX/RX is on the way which is the same choice as you but an other brand.

When I look for the motors and follow the forums tips I would also like to go with the 20-22L's and 25A ESC's.
But Arducopter is going to sell their own motors and ESC's.

The positive side of waiting and buying the Arducopterkit willbe that everything is made for each other. Software and Hardware. On the other hand if I read the procedures for programming the PID values and it doesn't seem that hard. So going for my choices of motors, ESC's and frame is realistic.

I have to be honest, its itching to buy the rest of the components.
I hope its worth the wait.
Hi Mees,

I'll be ordering APM and IMU as soon as possible now. I emailed with Jakub tonight, and he showed me pictures for the second version of his design. I rather like them - he changed the motor protection, and did some other updates:

- central plates made using G10 1.5mm,
- new arms with indestructible motor savers ;)
(G10 RDS 1mm),
- new, cool green landing legs (G10 1mm),
- arms with holes for two kind of mounts -
22mm hole to hole, and 16mm distance - Emax 2822,
RCtimers, Turnigy etc with bearing space...
- motor 2 motor distance - 64xm,
- 280g withous box, 350g with box.

.. and the price was lowered slightly as well.
So I'll go with Jakub's frame for now.

I agree with you on the kit; but also a large part of this project is about learning - so I guess I decided to take the more difficult route :) Being bad at waiting also plays a part..
Where did you order the Eurgle 9ch? As the Turnigy is on back-order, I'm open to ordering elsewhere, as long as they ship to Europe/Netherlands.

I'm from Belgium. So were neighbours!

I ordered the Eurgle here

Any photos of Jacobs new frame? The thing I would like with the frame is that the wires can be mounted inside of the arms.

With this project, and so many others I've tried, I like to learn also.

Maybe in the future we can come together with our ardu problems ;-)
Thanks for the link! I have ordered the Eurgle there as well. This will save me time, as I won't have to wait for HobbyKing :)
I'm not sure if Jakub is OK with me posting the pictures, so I'll ask him first. Good to see there's more Europeans working on quads!
Why not post pics of Jakubs frames?
He'll be delighted about some extra advertising. ;-)

This is mine:

You can find more pics and an assembly video in my build log:

Robert already posted a link to the frame above.
Hi Norbert,

That's your build log? In that case, many thanks are in order. Your information saved me lots of time, and gave me the inspiration to get started :)
I was planning to contact you, because I really like the enclosure you use for the electronics. Can you tell me how to get one?

The reason why I didn't post the pics upfront, is because Jakub sent me the links in a private email. I think it's only fair to ask him first before posting them on a forum. Think I'm being too proper? :)
Ok, I got a response from Jakub, and am attaching the photos of the new frame to this post.
The frame has the improvements as mentioned above; he is shipping these frames with two spare arms, one spare motor saver. Cost for me was 52 EUR for the frame, excluding box for electronics. Box costs 3 EUR extra, shipping was 17 EUR to NL.

In case there are more people who like Jakub's frame, I can recommend buying from him. He's very responsive and friendly.
Ok, another quick update. I ordered the oilpan, GPS, magnetometer, Airopilot board. What's left is motor, ESC, prop and battery choices. I'm inclined to go for the DT750 for the motors, due to the easier mount, high torque, and attractive watts/oz ratio. Any suggestions for a battery and ESC combination to go with this?
ESCs= Turnigy Plush series 25-30Amp
Lipo= 2s or 3s 2200 - 4000 mAh (depending on payload and flight time you want to achieve)
Robert, just to check. You did order ArduPilot Mega board?? Also what magneto you did order due DIY Drones site is out of stock and other magnetos might not work properly or need extra hardware to get them work.
That ring around motor looks nice but I just cannot figure what is its purpose. My opinion for it is that is just adds extra weight and nothing else. Other than that, Jakub's designs has always been really nice and minimalistic :)
Hi Jani,

I ordered the ArduPilot Mega board, and the "Triple Axis Magnetometer Breakout - HMC5843" as Coolcomponent sells it ( http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?products_i... ). As far as I understand it, this should be able to handle the regulated output of the oilpan.
Am I correct?

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