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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Funny but you seem to be tracking the same path as me... :-)

After alot of soul (and pocket) searching, I decided to opt for a self-made

aluminum Airframe, only 300 grams difference over the DW AD8-HL.

Being an architect, I spent alot of time designing a variation on

the Hash concept (#), since it it structurally very strong and would allow

for future modding and improvements, including adding the PH AV-200.

How would the APM 2 fair (pre-order # 16692)?

Beats me - it is MUCH cheaper than the MK or DJI WK-m I was considering

and the DIY project seems to be catching up fast!

I used the various RTF kits and DW frame spec page to profile the motors

and props, and decided to go for 8X Avroto M2814-11S coupled with APC 14x4.7

props. Motors will be mounted using tilt angles for improved yawing

(http://www.mikrokopter.us/shop/index.php?route=product/product&...) and fed via Turnigy Plush 30A ESC's.

LiPo could be a Turnigy nano-tech 6000mah 4S 25~50C Lipo Pack, but that is not final.

I am saving the big $$$ for the Gimbal, as this is supposed to be a very

stable picture-taking platform.

Also, lots of consideration for Vibration dampening, using pressurized

silicon slips at the motor mounts and other options (Check out Altigator.com).

Good Luck - I will post as soon as things start taking shape!


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

what would be the maximum recommended payload for 1000octo? (or total weight - i can use calculator to some degree) :)

have you (or anyone else) been flying that frame already? can we see some videos, please? :)

hey gil,

looking forward to see some videos/photos :)

# looks very different, there's not so much style.. one friend of mine though just built one, will see how it flies.. it is damn cheap, that's for sure - i think he spent on his 1000mm frame about 30€ or smth.. and it is damn strong, too. but it is ugly :)


Hi Jaan,

You bet a Hashcopter is one ugly design.

Thats why I RE-designed it!  :-)      :-)       :-)


Hi Jaan, Thanks for the friend.

I'm building an Octo 1000 in January and I'm considering the Scorpion 3014-830's however it's practical for myself to go on 6S as I have loads of 6S 5000 Packs from my 12S heli. So I have to choose motors and props.

But at an estimate, 8x 3014-830's with 13 x 4 on 4S will give about 11.6Kgs of lift. Subtract about (this is a genuine guess) 4Kg for the AUW and your left with say 7.6 Kg to carry a camera and climb!

13 x 4 props are about 20A where
13 x 6.5's pull about 30A!

And less pitch is better for AP anyway - We're not drag racing!


11,6kgs of lift is "max".. to get optimal we probably have to split it by 2, which gives 6kg optimal flying weight. substracting 4kg will leave you only 2kg for gimbal/camera, which is not that much..

my question was rather about frame itself - how "heavy" can it get? i read from your post, that 12kg total flying weight should not be a problem? 1,5kg per boom, add some acceleration (lift) and that would be 4-5kg per one boom.. (think theoretical calculations is not something where i find myself an expert, so feel free to tell me where i'm wrong with numbers) - will frame be able to handle such load?

Hi Jaan (not sure why the last post had no reply button).

Please keep in mind that the Estimated 11.6Kgs quoted is nowhere near the max because that was with 20A and 13 x 4 props. The Scorpion 3014 motors will handle 30A on 13 x 6.5 props.

Can the frame take it? Oh Yes. My designs are not just pretty pictures. I do a lot more on CAD than just draw things ;)

The top domes are not for show either - they are compression domes canceling-out the cantilever forces from opposite arms.

When my next lot of stock arrives remind me to make a You Tube video of myself standing on a motor arm ;)

Hi -

Following the weight lifting issues, I came across this...



Following your conversation, guys.

@Carbon, your new octa made me interested.

I would probably install the Photo Higher AV200 Pano



Would you consider to provide easy installation of this (ready to install, holes ready, installation hardware provided) ?

By the way, I would probably run on 4 or 5S, but I am not sure about that.

Your molded hexa looks very neat. Would it be a good idea to use that one for carrying the same camera mount? Or will it´s payload limit be to low?

Generally speaking, I am very interested in payload vs. flight time (and who isn´t?)

Hello Tomas.

Yes I have seen the very expensive AV200.

Have you seen my MiniRadius Camera Mount? Have a good look at that and think bigger ;) The MegaRadius, with standard servos, 220 degrees rotation on each axis and designed around a Canon 5D will be released with the new multicopters in Mid-January. And the MegaRadius will be somewhat cheaper than the PhotoHigher mounts. And Made form 2mm Carbon Plate, not stamped, folded metal film.

The Moulded Hexa is from UAVFrame - I have the Y6 700E and Q50E currently in stock. Of course they will take the weight and I have adaptor plates for the CarbonCore camera mounts but the UAVFrame multicopters are very costly, also costly to ship and not exactly easy to fix like my "mechano" copters. Also, only a single LiPo pack can be fitted inside those frames. The Flight control plate has to go under the brainplate, with the battery on top; I'm not sure how a power distribution board fits into those multicopters.  On mine it can fit between the frame plates with the ESC, unless you prefer to mount the ESCs on the arms in the prop flow for cooling.

I think the flight VS payload will be almost the same for any multicopter - it has more to do with the efficiency of the setup and less to do with the multicopter itself... there's a reason I fly a 12S helicopter and want to push to 6S on the Multicopters ;)

Ok, Carbon. Even though I like the shape and look of the molded I guess that the classic octo 1000 would suit me best. Easier to make istallations I imagine.

I like your Mini radious camera mount, clever design. Mind you, I am strongly considering going for a 3-axis mount, that is with pano too. Have you given it any though to provide that as an option?

Also I think you should consider to design the camera mounting section (near mounting plate) space to attach a Picloc 3X (stabilizing unit, sophisticated). Probably you are familiar with it, if not checkhere.

Finally. Droidworks claims they have proven good vibration isolation record. How do you relate to vibration mitigation in your designs?

hi camron, just on your site. like what you have done. i have a hexa and looking for a MKII camera gimbal + landing gear upgrade. id like to see what you have mid jan for that :) , i also noticed, you wouldnt at all be asscociated with coptersky.com ? they have very similar frames. regardless, like what you have done. 

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