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.
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
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.
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.