heavy octo for semi-pro and pro video gear - with arducopter


is there anyone on forum who have built (or bought) copter for carrying heavy-weight (3+kg) video gear and is using arducopter board to control it? Duran DeV is running droidworx AD8HL and i am trying to contact him to find out about his setup, but anyone else?

would anyone be interested in kind of .. "assisting the build", remotely?

what i need is advise on

- frame (so far looking at droidworx skyjib/AD8HLE, or cinestar 8?)

- motors for that frame (AXI?)

- powerboard (or esc?)

- props (size and manufacturer? i've seen more than one prop braking on my friend's MK, it's really f..ng scary when it happens 30m above the sea)

- i would really like to use arducopter instead of MK - small, compact and developing project (and cheaper, too) + strong engineering community

camera we are aiming towards is fs-100, which (with reasonable lens and battery) weights about 2,5kg..
camera gimbal - av200, no 360pan (at least, not yet).
flight time - 10 minutes in the air in reasonably chill weather would be great..

what did i miss?

budget for frame+motors+powerboards/esc+props should stay within .. ideally 3k€, and i'm located in europe (so when ordering something from USA/Asia i will have to add VAT 20% + custom fees, another 5-10%)

did i miss something? fpv gear i have, tx/rx will probably be spektrum dx8, and i can find good specialists in soldering/electronics (not that i would like to spend too much time in that area)

RTF packages on kopterworx (and anywhere else) are always running MK, usually include lots of stuff i don't need and are above my budget..

example calculation (based on kopterworx.com pricing):
frame: 1x cinestar 8 @ 1750€
motors: 9x kw4pro @ 80€
props: 5x 12x4,5 cf @ 79€/pair (no sure size is enough, but for price indication should be good, i suppose)
powerboard: 2x herkules II power board pro @ 499€

total is 3120 (tax deducted)..

it feels somewhat.. scary? to put tiny (reasonably cheap) arducopter in control of gear with flying cost a bit less than 10k€.. maybe what i need is a bit of .. confidence? :)

thanks in advance,
p.s. in my fleet i have gaui330x to carry gopro, custom-built aluminium hexa (now dead due to frame failure) with arducopter, foxtech carbon hexa frame with arducopter, couple of light planes for fpv (hk epp fpv sub-2m wingspan etc), 450sized and micro heli's.. so i am not a complete beginner - but of course very far from being a professional..

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Hi Jaan,

Just wanted to say I too am in the planning-/purchasing phase and considering the same frame. Maybe with the 360 pano.

I suppose you have studied DW Airframe table.

What I would like to see examples in a table; motors, batt, payload, AUW, flight-time... That would be nice :)

Also thinking about where to buy it from. Hoping for good price and good service...

Keep in touch / Tomas

yes, that was an useful table..

in terms of motors/props/esc - seems best way to go is look at RTF packages and get the feeling from there..

carbon frames look great and are probably lighter, than aluminium, but is it worth 1k€? i don't know..

would you fly with arducopter or MK (i mean controller)? it seems so far that arduino would do the work.. but maybe i've managed to miss some very important advantage of MK?..



We have been flying several times our original ArduCopter hexas with total weight of 3.3kg. Flight times with this combination is around 7-8 minutes with 4S 5000mAh battery + 1500mAh for video onboard. This flying date there were winds from 4-9 meters/s.

There are many other combinations that could use too. It's more like what what are your requirements.

Hi jani, what camera rig are you using?

That was just one rig my friend brought to us and we created mount plates for hexa frames. Not really good one rig as it only had one servo and you could only control pitch manually on that.

We are currently doing bigger rig for 1kg cameras but i'm afraid that it will take at least till January before that one is ready. 

Ok, look forward to see your version. Jan not too far now.

I intend to go with ArduCopter flight controller. I am on the list for version 2 boards.

But but before I trust the AC with Droidworx frame, camera and mount I will do thorough testing on my 3DR quad, my test bed...

The frames are surprisingly expensive, considering how uncomplicated the part are. But I will go carbon, I get it that the have better inherent vibration cancelling properties, and that would be worth a lot.

I would be interested in what dealers you are considering. Maybe we can even co-bargain a good deal :D

I might be interested in that new camera rig. Will keep an eye on your webshop.

i've been looking to kopterworx.com so far - seems they are cheapest (among expensive, i agree), will send a vat-less invoice (means -20% for me, as i am buying for company) and pretty fast email exchange with them with advise etc.. though, for heavier camera (fs100 with lens is about 2,5kg) they thought maybe cinestar 8 instead of droidworx ad8hle would be better?


I have a range of multicopters in the UK and about to release a bigger version of the the MiniRadius Camera Mount seen here with the X4 650 and Octo 1000. The Larger Multicopter frames and MegaRadius Camera Mount wiull be in-stock mid-January!


I have been making Assembly Gudies for the frames and will also help with your questions on the forum :)



i've been surfing in your shop before, but as i am looking for "classic octo" which you do not have yet in stock i didn't stop for longer..

is there any good reason, why carboncore frames are not built using hollow carbon tubes?

just curiosity..


Hi Jaan

The New Octocopter 700 and 1000 “Classic Octos” have just been added today.


Square CNC tubes are used because wrapped square tubes have a terrible finish, require edging by hand which weakens the tube and have one edge where only resin holds the tube together.


The CNC square tubes are practical for both small and large scale production and have the same resistance to torsion and flexing as round tubes, however require no brackets, making them cheaper and lighter with the added bonus that the faces are replaceable.


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