I have been flying an arducopter quad for a while now and want to build an octocopter next to provide a more reliable platform for a better camera. I am hoping some of you could recommend a good frame kit or share your octocopter build details. I have looked at the Droidwork AD8 heavy lift and like this design except the price tag. I still may go for this frame but then I would need to know who is a better supplier in terms of pricing say in the US or Asia Pacific region. Driodworx used to sell off their web site but they have a network of resellers now and the price varies a bit.

It would still be good to, look at other octocopter designs before I settle on a solution.

Any ideas / thoughts on this subject would be appreciated.

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Hey agin Greg.

After using PDBs we find that it's far easier and more effective/effecient just solding all +/- wires together in a 'loom' it's very easy and simple to do. We also minimize wiring as the ESC three wires go straight into our pin system block, so very neat and tidy. We also have the carbon fibre board plate that is large enough to customize for any system and also helps with the esc interfearance, oh and looks great!

Regarding the AD8, we started with an AD8 360, and as you said, you don't get a whole lot of features for the $1000, it's basic and a PAIN to travel with, trust me as y ou can't just desemble it and when you do it's an hour job at least. It's a very nice solid frame, slightly smaller than you think it is, but again, for the money I think there are better options ;)

I love the arm design.  Quick release for travel?

I noticed that your APM seems off center a bit.  Does that cause any issues with maneuvering? 

Thanks. Yes we travel a lot shooting and taking apart our previous Droidworx AD8 for travel was a serious pain, it (and most other systems out there) requires you to take the entire frame apart to get the arms out, if they do feature 'quick release' it's like 4 or 5 very hard to reach screws that you need to take our for each arm.

With our arms it's a single screw that holds the arm in place, and instead of using two part tube mounts, its a very snug fitting single part. APM off centre does not effect it at all, if you think about the roll and pitch movement, it does not change if the oard moves around as the whole frame is still moving the same distance, to a centrain extent obviously, sticking it at the end of on arm will haveit act very strange lol, but 2 or 3 cm does nothing noticable.

I ordered one of these a couple of days ago. Haven't received it yet so can say anything about the quality yet.

From the pictures it looks the design is based on the Cinestar with some modifications.


John this looks pretty good. I like the fact it uses the 3k twill carbon tubes and also has 2 mm thickness plates. I would be very interested in your opinion of the kit when it arrives quality wise. You mention Cinestar which is a design I like but the price is ridiculous for the frame. What I have been planning is a bit of a hybrid taking some parts from these manuafacturers and combining them. For example I think the Cinestar camera mount has merit. Duran's Octocopter looks good too so its hard to decide. I do not know when his company is ready to sell kits but. At the moment I am trying to match what I will use for the power distribution with the frame so I end up with a really tidy design. I think the higher grade power boards from Sarab copters will do me or I will simply create my own power bus. Thanks again for the tip on the Goodluckbuy Octocopter. The price is very reasonable, just on the carbon parts alone.

Hey again greg, we are alreadu making kits and frames, will have a 'launch special' of 695USD for the full frame kit. We also use Twill weave carbon tubes (super glossy!) and have the quick release arm system. :) Let us know

Hey again all, just took some new pics of our new frames, thought I'd post them here quick, keep an eye on steadidrone.com, will go live this week with the full range and pricing :)

Since I last posted I have been busy collecting parts for my Octocopter.  While I appreciate all the suggestions I have decided to build a hybrid taking the best bits from different designs.  For example I think I will build something like the Cinestar vibration mount, to carry the Photohigher AV200 Gimbal.  I was lucky enough to catch a previous supplier of Driodworx who is switched to Cinestar, They had a few spare parts very chaep so I grabbed the lot.  I am now the proud owner of most of a AD-8 heavy lift frame.  I just need to find a good supplier of Carbon fibre 3k twill tubes.  I need 17mmOD and prefer a gloss finish.  Thanks to John's note on the Cinestar like frame from Goodluckbuy, they do have what I am looking for.  However I am not sure of the quality.  So perhaps someone can suggest a european or US supplier who would have 17mm tubing?  I have decided on a 410 to 440mm arm length depending on whether I run 12'' or 13" props.  I do like the Goodluckbuy Octocopter kit which has a bigger diametre boom (I think 20mm) however now I have the AD8 I will build something around this.   Again if you have any good carbon tube manufacturers /suppliers who sell a suitable carbon tube for multicopter use I would appreciate some links / references.

I just got the "Goodluckbuy" octo today. Quality is very good, real 3K carbon all the way and nice clean cut plates. It is pretty much looks like a cinestar frame with some modification done to the mounting plates.

I did some more research and this octocopter frame goes under the name Blackstar 8 (a clear reference to Cinestar). Here are some more pictures from a more traditional reseller. http://www.maximus-racing.com/fr/maxicopters/black_star_8_octocopte...

I also think I found the 'perfect' motor and 15" CF propeller for this frame on goodluckbuy.



The 15x55 CF propellers are extremely light and stiff (same ones you see on the promotional pictures for the DJI S800 frame).

I haven't tested them yet, but they sure do look nice on the Blackstar boom.

John looks really good. Knowing the carbon fibre is good grade 3K means I can trust the suppliers quality They have the booms in the 17-19mm range I am looking for. I might also grab one their octo kits too. Those are serious props Does the boom length in the kit allow enough clearance ? To operate a 13" prop with my AD8 centres I need 430-440mm booms. It is good your building your octocopter at the same time as me. We can compare notes if you like. I will post up a few power boards I am looking at shortly. I am tempted to build up some like the mikrocopter design but I suspect this would not work with apm2 i.e not i2c support to drive the esc's.

The Blackstar 8 has 480mm booms and a 230mm baseplate. End to end diameter is 1100mm with the booms at maximum reach. At that size I have 20mm clearance between the 15" CF propellers.

I am going to use the Turnigy TY-P1 25A ESC's that I will modify with the SimonK firmware.


And this power board that I was very lucky with since the mounting holes actualy fit pre drilled mounting holes on the bottom baseplate of the Blackstar. http://www.goodluckbuy.com/100a-multicopter-multi-quad-copter-power...

John 480mm booms no problem then.  This will be one large Octocopter :-)  I have been looking at this power distribution board http://www.multiwiicopter.com/products/voltair-esc-wiring-board   The one you have was my other choice.  Looks like your further ahead than me.  I am going to go for AXi 2814/22 for my motors but with smaller 13" props My Octocopter is smaller 186mm centre and 440mm booms.

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