New to this and building my first rig, comment please!

Frame: Hobbyking Y650 Scorpion

I will be modifying this frame to be a quad.

Motors: KDA 20-22L x4

ESC: Turnigy Plush 30 x4

ArduPilotMega 2.0


More Props

Battery: 5000mAh 3S1P 20C

Radio (will upgrade) HERE

I have heard people recommending you start out small but as fare as the most expensive part (the flight controller) goes going with a cheap (just gyro) one would just make it harder to fly.... No ?

Please comment, I need advise.

Thank You


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A tip with HobbyKing - have a look at the Reviews for the product you are considering.  Some are eye-opening.

For example, the motors you are considering get a panning for bad quality - failing after only a few flights.  I quite like these: DT750 but not sure if they suit the frame.

Also, the propellors get a similarly down rating.  I've tried some of them and they break very easily.  These are much better: Better Propellors  and Pusher Versions   If you want the best, go for APC.

That's another thing about HK - Out Of Stock stuff, like the Pusher Props.  They should come in soon, but sometimes you can wait months.  I've looked at that Scorpion frame a few times, but it's always been out.  Then again, maybe there's high demand and they are sold out as soon as they arrive.

I started with a Simple Flight Controller  It flies very well for what it is, but no GPS, Sonar, UAV ... capabilites of course.  The APM is very powerful, but along with that comes a big learning curve when it comes to PID tuning to suit your frame.

You might want to consider a Power Distribution Board as well.

To add to what Dave said:

I use those motors and they've been fine. I use 25A HK Super Simple ESC's but Plush ESC's are 100%, have never had one go on me yet (have quite a few and I'm generally hard on equipment)

The 10x6 props are cr*p, I had two break in normal flight, in one of the crashes all the other props broke too.

The 11x47 are OK for practising (also expect to balance each) and possible later fast flying but I'm now using APC SF 11x47 (more expensive, harder to find sometimes, but quiet, efficient & balanced)

Battery fine although you might get a longer life from the 25C+ ones, I'm just past 170 cycles (Turnigy 25C 5000 3S), they started fading around #140 and now take about 3500mAh on recharge.

Check my other posts for current draw from this setup

Thanks so much Dave !! This is what i need in the way of help ;)

I will use the props you recommend.

What do you think of these: Motors

Thanks for the advice on the power block, I was going to order THESE and make my own, do you think they will stay plugged in ??

Think i will do with a simpler frame for now, This one seems ok.

Guess I'm still struggling with motor selection. I want it to be peppy but I'm going to get into FPV so I need to carry some weight at times also. That is one of the reasons I likes the scorpion frame was the optional cam mount.

Thank you Graham, I will take your Advise and switch to This Battery

About props, can you give me a link to buy good ones ?

I don't care if I have to spend a little more.

I also like the quiet part....

Also can You guy recommend a good fair priced radio ?

I would like to have 8 channel  so i can mode switch on the flight control (Alt Lock, Pos Lock, Return home, etc.)

I have always been a fan of Futaba but i haven't been in RC in years and it looks like there prices are still high.

I can spend some but I don't want to have to sell my car ;)

John, I recomend the Spektrum DX8 as they are proven and have working failsafe. There are a number of threads about this issue, but let's just say, don't fly an expensive aircraft with a cheap radio.

This thread says it all. I really do feel bad for the guy, he just got the wrong radio and the wrong setup and LOST the entire rig in one fell swoop.

I used to fly JR with all my helis and Futabas, but now I have switched fully to Spektrum. They just plain work. I know you can get cheaper radios and parts, but just don't do it. You said you've been in the hobby and pretty much I think you know what I'm saying.


Go for the best radio you can afford, I use an Hitec Aurora 9 which has the battery voltage telemetry which I find absolutely invaluable. Other brands also do telemetry equipped radio's, JR, Spektrum, Futaba et al.

Turnigy 9X's are fairly popular but are (and feel) cheap but are updatable with custom firmware.

A 5 channel is the minimum requirement for a quad, I use 6 channels, 5 for APM2, 1 for camera tilt, (alternating with CH6 tuning) and optionally another can used be for camera pan. A 6th channel can be useful on some radios to get 6 switch-able modes. 7 Channels should cover everything.

OH MY GOD !! That would SUCK !!!!!!!!

Re-thinking things.....

I would hope the fc would prevent this.

Looking around, I need to spend $150 or less with receiver..

And thanks for the repays and help all you.

I would hope the fc would prevent this.

That's the point, the FC had no idea since the radio receiver sends a valid signal to the APM even though the receiver has lost contact with the transmitter. In other words, to the APM, the user was flying it to a really high altitude. This is what happens when you don't ground test the failsafe, by turning off the transmitter (something that IS covered in most radio manuals), with no props attached. You are also supposed to do a range check with no props to determine electrical interference.

Also in that same thread is the link to the "experimental" fencing code that might have mitigated the incident, but does not garantee some other bad form of a crash would not occur. If you are concerned, I would say run the fencing code, but first, ensure the failsafe does what you want it to do.

Setting up and TESTING, failsafes, with no props and the motors running is the best way to prevent such a situation. Know what the aircraft will do when control is lost. This is RC basics 101.

Again, you can buy that 9X and an FrSky receiver and set up failsafe as in this thread I would rather see you do that setup and validate the failsafe works before flying. 

That meets your $150 requirement. I cannot say for sure if it will do failsafe that works with the APM.

Agreed on the Hitec Aurora.

I recently started using the supplementary power connector and powering the receiver from the motor battery so that I can monitor the voltage, and it's great. As a newcomer to the hobby I believe I damaged the first battery I used by allowing the voltage to dip too low (even with the ESC set up to cutout on low voltage) before I started using this feature! So monitoring your voltage absolutely essential, and this makes it easy without having to install extra sensors / telemetry systems.A very good basic feature IMO.

Graham, could I ask you a question - is it possible to connect more than one power source to the hitec receiver simultaneously? After connecting the SPC I see it no longer takes power from the ESC's via power distribution board. The documentation is rather unclear on this, but I recall seeing a review somewhere that claimed that the receiver could use multiple redundant power sources?



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