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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Ok I think I'm going to go with THIS Radio with THIS for failsafe, range, and telem 

What do you guys think of THIS motor ?

Motors are sometimes simple to figure out the numbering system. The DIY Drones (AKA 3DR now) are 28mm in diameter and 30mm long for the 850kv and 28mm and diameter and 36mm long for the larger 880kv. the BIG tip here is that those dimensions determine how much power the motor can handle. The motor you listed is "only" 22x15mm so I'm just going out on a limb and say it's not the best choice unless you are building a small, extremely lightweight quad. Maybe that's what you want.

If you've learned nothing else from me, just follow the same stock specs as a 3DR. That means get 850kv motors that are 38x30mm like these

Also, get the 20amp speed controls from the same place because you can flash the firmwre on them and stop a lot of the BS problems the stock firmwares cause as well.


Trust me, this combo will save you some headache.


That motor says to use a 30A ESC, You stated a 20A is this correct ?

2830-13 850KV Outrunner Brushless Motor


Model: 2830-13
Motor size: Ф28*30mm
Shaft size: Ф3.17*45mm
Weight: 52g
KV(rpm/v): 850
Max Power: 187W
Battery: 2-4Li-Po
Prop: 11X7/8x6
Ri(M Ω): 0.136
ESC: 30A

I run the Turnigy Plush 30A ESC's and have not had any problems with them.  While you could probably run a 20A, the 30A will give you a margin and may run a bit cooler.

There is/was a problem with the APM2 sending out erroneous signals at startup, causing certain ESC's to lock up or misbehave.  The APM1 doesn't do that, so I'd be confident the APM2 will be fixed if it hasn't already.

"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! "

Are you not suppose to turn this feature off using a quad ?

If one esc cuts out a motor your toast !

I want too thank every one for there help here.

I'm still doing research and will post conclusions for you all to check on my build before i order.

About the FAILSAFE check, I think this should be done before every flight session. How hard is it i mean tie your quad down (or remove props) > arm > 1/2 throttle > turn off TX.

Hi John,

Certainly on long flights you would not want the motors to cut out because of low voltage and crash the quad. In those circumstances I suppose I also would rather risk damaging the battery and bring the copter home!

During testing however (short low flights 2 to 3 meter altitude)  I have left the feature switched on, and set for "soft cutout" so as the battery approaches the threshold voltage level the ESC's slowly reduce power to the motors, meaning you need more and more throttle to keep it in the air, thus warning you that the battery is running down. I have had no crashes due to this, just forced soft landings.Warning, I have seen that low battery will sometimes cut out 1 or 2 motors before the others, so the quad rolls or dips - always test fly above grass or other softer surface!

Now that I have enabled the battery voltage telemetry on my transmitter I will almost certainly switch off the ESC cutout feature, especially, as I said, for long flights, but if you do not have any way of monitoring battery voltage you will most certainly damage your batteries through over discharging them - and eventually of course there will simply not be enough voltage to stay in the air which is going to give you the same effect - a crash.

So my advice is - if you have battery monitoring of some form - stop flying when the voltage reaches 9.5 V (on a 3S battery) - please note that this is the "under load" voltage, the reading while you are actually flying. The moment you land and cut the motors, the voltage is going to climb a bit - do not use your batteries until this "no load" voltage is 9 volt, by then there may be damage already.

If you have no battery voltage monitoring / telemetry, set your ESC's for soft cutout at the correct threshold voltage (3 to 3.2 V per cell) (the DIY drones ESC's sold with the kits have these settings as default)  and do short test flights until you know how long your battery lasts - most transmitters should have built in timer functions for this.

You can then use this information to plan  your flights later on when you switch off the ESC cutout and bring the quad in before over-discharging the battery.



Removing props is usually not difficult, never tried tying my quad down, so no idea on that one!

Also just ensure you put the right prop on the right motor again!

Some advice - check your props are tight before every flight, the only bad crash I have had was a prop coming loose!.

Hi Vernon

Looking at the RCTIMER link you supplied above, the Image of the ESC and the programming options they list under their product description seem identical to the ESC's supplied by DIY drones with their kits  . If so, then these are what I am using. No problems so far, except I have better flight stability after changing the timing from low (default) to medium.

Could you supply more info on flashing the firmware on these?



They are the same ESC with a different label so here is the very important information in this post.

Key points:

You need some wires

Arduino AVR programmer (usbtiny or other)

avrdude or grab one of the flash tools from the page.

I posted the exact firmware file required for those ESCs.

The diffference is amazing. No more calibration, no more crazy startup beeps, just smooth power and control. Sorry i didn't make pictures of me actually flashing but will post some more in that thread tonight since I just got 2 more of those ESCs myself and they need flashed. Also, should you mess one up, I have the original firmware saved to flash back on and will post that too. Again, being that';s it's an AVR, pretty straight forward.

It's fixed in the current 2.5.5 arducopter firmwares.

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