Newbie Flamewheel 450 - APM 2.5 maiden flight

Completed my very first quad 'flight' ever today with my DJI Flamewheel 450. I'm using the APM 2.5 with APM Copter 2.9.1b. I say 'flight' because all I did was a bit of hovering to check out my vibration dampening efforts, although there was a constant light wind (<5 kts) that I had to compensate for.

I'm using a Spektrum DX6i xmtr and receiver, 10x4.5 GemFan props that were recommended elsewhere in these forums, plus the standard ESC's and motors that come with the 450 frame. The battery is a Turnigy 2650 mah/35-70C 3S. All motors and props were balanced. I used the 4-run method for the motor balancing and a Du-Bro balancer for the props.

First impression was it was much quieter than I expected. From some of the videos I'd seen I was expecting a swarm of  angry hornets, but it turned out to be more of a gentle electric hum.


The receiver and GPS mounting were temporary as I hadn't received my taller set of standoffs to make the second level of my mounting platform.

I originally was going to make the APM platform out of acrylic but had trouble with the corners breaking off as I tried to drill it, so I just made it out of 1/8" balsa plywood instead.

3691013388?profile=originalI mounted the standoffs on the top flamewheel board at the center of the 'X' made by drawing a line between the existing screw holes for the arms. It turns out that a 2.25" square board fits nicely between these for an o-ring mounting. I used 017 sized silicone o-rings sandwiched between two washers. I also put dampening gel under the corners of the APM as you can see in the following picture:

3691013342?profile=originalThe gel is called PU Adhesive Gel and is made by a company called Align. I got it at my local helicopter hobby store. Its used for mounting gyros, etc. The gel has some stickiness but not enough to hold down the APM, so I CA'd the gel squares to the mounting board, but just held down the APM to the gel with a velcro strap wrapped around the whole assembly.

The following are my vibration results. It seems ok for my first try. Maybe when I take the receiver off the APM's back (held with velcro at the moment) it will improve a bit.

3691013513?profile=originalAll Axes

3691013461?profile=originalX & Y Axes

3691013527?profile=originalZ Axis

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  • Changed the setup to its final configuration. But this worsened my vibrations.


    Principal changes from previous setup are velcro strap holding down the APM now has gel underneath it so its not directly touching it, and the receiver is no longer mounted right on top of the APM, its now on the top shelf. This means body vibrations can now be sent down the wires to the APM, which I think accounts for my increase in vibration measurements.

    Going to continue discussing my hunt for minimal vibrations in my blog.

    Scott's Blog

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