Hi everyone,

I'm creating this thread to share your drone/copter information. I believe, this would help immensely for newbies like me during the initial build. For example, the Chris's blog on cheap Hobby King quad configuration is really a good resource.  

I don't want to burden anyone who is willing to share their info. Hence all fields are optional. Atleast the first 5 fields are ideal. Please find the list of fields to copy/paste at the end, so you can start filling :-). 

Here goes information about my quad.

frame: Quadcopter (3DRobotics)
controller/autopilot: APM1
esc: 20A (3DRobotics)
motors: 850Kv (3DRobotics)
propellers: 10x47, APC (3DRobotics)
motor to motor distance: -- inches

battery:  4S 3300mAh (Turnigy nano-tech)
total weight: -- lbs
flying time: 15 minutes (average)

radio: Turnigy 9X 
video/osd: none
other: Sonar, Xbee, GPS/Mag, Attopilot current sensor



Turnigy 9X: Mode1 -> Mode2 change, Li-ion battery hack





motor to motor distance: -- inches

total weight: -- lbs
flying time:


Misc (hacks/mods):


Views: 134040

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

frame: Styrofoam rings, 170mm diameter (inner diameter 130mm). Some wood pieces (4x8mm I think)
controller/autopilot: Crius AIOP2, MegaPirateNG
esc: Turnigy Plush 12A
motors: HK 2725-1600
propellers: 5x4.5
motor to motor distance: 170mm
battery: Zippy Compact 4S 1000mAh 25C
total weight: 600g
flying time: 6-7 min
radio: HK6DF
video/osd: Nope.
other: Strange indoor quad. Not very stable.

Tricopter Rcexplorer.se Mix vers 1.5 - 1.6
Apm 2,5
Prop : 10 x 4,7
DT750 750kV Motors
Radio Turnigy 9x 2.4 Ghz
Esc's Turnigy Plush 18 A (Flashed with  OwSilProg BLHeliTool)
Receiver Frsky V8FR-II (Failsafe)
GoPro Hero 2
Mission Planner 1.2.36
Lipo 11,1vlt - 5000 mah

Maiden : https://vimeo.com/62951203

Andrew, I've embedded your video. In the future, you can click on the "html" button and insert the embedding code. 

BTW, it is nice and stable!! great work!

frame: Custom aluminium CNC milled
controller/autopilot: APM 2.5
esc: RXtimer 40A with simonk firmware
motors: 4
propellers: 14 x 4.7
motor to motor distance: 580mm

battery: 1 - 3 x 3s 5000mAh LiPo
total weight: ~2000gr
flying time: not tested yet, but should be 10min with 1 x 5000mAh battery and 20min with the 3 x 5000mAh batteries it was designed for

radio: Devo 10 with deviation firmware
video/osd: -
other: -

Misc (hacks/mods): -


Are you still flying it?  Are you happy with it or interested in improving design?  If not, we might be able to help each other.  I too have built an octa, to carry a Cannon 5 Mark III, but took a different approach.  At hover, I'm pulling less than 30 amps.

frame: TBS Discovery
controller/autopilot: APM 2.5
esc: Turnigy Plash 18A
motors: L2215J 900kv Turnigy
propellers: SF 10 x 4.5
battery: 3s 5000mAh LiPo

Telemetry: 3DR 433MHz

Video: Gopro 3 White

FPV: Fatshark 5.8GHz

total weight: ~1750gr
flying time: 13 min.

radio: Spektrum Dx6i


Nice build.  Looks like you even attracted attention.

I'd like to stay in touch with your impressions on camera (CCD vs CMOS), frame vibration, flight time with camera, etc.

Sometimes when things don't go back to zero, if there is a controller involved, it might be the PID settings.  Increasing the I of the PID might solve the problem.  Errors are continuously added up for the I part (the integral or sum of the errors) to correct.


Which GoPro mount is that?

Hello Luca Passone, I did some modification on this gimbal.

As my first post and a way to introduce myself, I thought I'd post a description of my scratchbuilt quad.  I apologize if this is long but I want to include some details as it might help out someone or give them ideas for their own project.

When I started this project back in March I was 100% new to RC models.  From learning the very first steps of setting up and binding my Spektrum controller, setting up the APM and doing some successful auto flights, to programming the JDIOBoard to get my LEDs to do what I want, I literally started from the ground up.  Right from the start I wanted to make a drone...at the time regular RC model flight wasn't what I was interested in but during the last few months that's changed (largely due to watching episode after episode of the awesome FliteTest youtube channel!).

A quick bit on my background. I spent my 20s as a programmer, first creating simple Windows apps and then later on embedded systems.  My 30s are currently being spent as a helicopter maintenance engineer.

Ok, where to begin?  After cutting my teeth on the awesome 1SQ miniquad by Heli-Max, I decided that multirotor stuff was for me.  A friend of mine happens to be neighbours with one of the developers on the APM project and that lead me to the Arducopter and DIYDrones.

Not wanting to just buy a kit, I opted to build my frame from scratch.  I wanted it to be light, strong, and cheap.  I cheated by using scrap composite material from work.  The first frame was made with nomex honeycomb plates (more on that below) and child sized graphite hockey sticks:

It flew, pretty well actually, but I knew I could do better.

Enter mkIII (I've been through a few revisions of the frame):

mkIII had several improvements.

First, the nomex panels.  Nomex is a sort of waxy paper.  The panels are made by taking a nomex honeycomb structure and sandwiching it between two very thin layers of fiberglass and epoxy.  The result is a extremely lightweight and relatively strong panel.  In the photo above you can see that I bonded two layers together for the main frame, several pieces were bonded to make the arms, and I used loose panels to carry the avionics.  Total frame weight, with all hardware but no motors, esc, or electronics, was something like 600g.  Very light and very rigid.  Nomex also happens to absorb vibration pretty well, which leads me to the second improvement:

Isolating the APM from vibration came in two stages.  The blue isolators I found laying around in the shop.  They are very similar to the black ones that come with the RCTimer GoPro gimbal but a bit more robust.  They held up the entire avionics shelf.  The APM itself is also sitting on your friend and mine, the ever popular Moon Gel.

The results, with unbalanced props and motors (that were also misaligned because I was lazy with the frame alignment):

Not bad!

In the above photo you can see that I added a second shelf and installed LED strips:

These are controlled by the JDIOBoard and marks the point where I started getting into the programming side of things.  Working from the sample code, I got the LEDs to perform different functions based on MAVLink messages.  As it stands right now, when the APM is DISARMED the forward (white) and aft (blue) lights are off and the left (red) and right (green) pulse.  When the GPS gets 3d lock, the aft lights go on steady.  When the APM is ARMED, all lights go steady.

Here is my setup, as it was not even a week ago:

APM moved to the top shelf to get it away from the power distrubution system.  Metal tape also provides a bit more isolation from electrical interference (not much though).  Telemetry added, fed to my phone using the awesome Droidplanner app!

I've flown many missions with the above setup and it's worked great.  However, I wanted more.  I wanted a hex.

Despite how well the nomex frame worked, I decided to forgo the scratchbuild for the new drone and concentrate more on the Arduino programming side of things.  Here's a sneak peak of what I had built a couple days ago:

Since then I've tuned the RCTimer gimbal, wired up the motors and escs, and did the basic Arducopter 3.0.1 setup.

Planned improvements: external mag once the GPS + mag unit becomes available from Canadadrones (Dany has helped me a lot and everyone in Canada should buy from him!).  I've been working on the code to get the JDIOBoard to initialize the gimbal controller.  I'm also cooking up a rigging pin to hold the gimbal in place during initialization and to keep it from flopping around in transport.  Yes, this pin will include a "Remove Before Flight" tag ;).  I also made a killswitch to make it easier and safer to kill the power if something goes wrong on the ground (I had a few close calls with the other drone trying to quickly disconnect the battery).

And that's it so far!

That's it so far!  Looks like you got the bug.

So we share a fascination with using aerospace floor panels for the electronics board.

Can you share some weights on your hexa and what the weight includes?  If you have a weight without motors, gimbal, camera, and batteries, that would be great.

Well done by the way!

Thanks for the feedback!

The hex frame is from RCTimer, it's a copy of the DJI F550.  RCTimer says that frame weighs 700g but I think it weighs more than that.  Unfortunately I built it up so I can't put just the frame on a scale.

Reply to Discussion


© 2020   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service