Hi im looking for a quad or hex that could hold a small mirroless camera like the panasonic g7 with a gimbal. I like the dji cuz of the folding arms and the retracts but its a bit overpriced, also not sure if i need something that big. if anyone has some inexpensive suggestions pls let me know. maybe something from tarot?

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Hmm idk, it seems weird that they would make the frame out of that hollow plastic shell like a phantom for such a big quad. Also this one doesn't really fold, it just has 2 piece arms which seems like a bad design imo. Also although a pixhawk sounds good, it is running old ardupilot software not the new pixhawk software.
Correct me if I'm wrong here

Simon, I see that you are in the USA.  I suggest that you look for an Iris at a store such as Cabelas (look in their Bargain Cave) and take advantage of the open source nature of the Flight Controller.  This is an old 3DRobotics frame that performs very well for a low price, especially if you can pick one up that has been returned by an overwhelmed consumer that wanted an RTF model.

Arbutus said:

I have had some significant issues with Tarot products and DJI products with respect to deck space, and fitting 3rd party components.  

Now this is not a flame in any way, but anyone buying these UAV platforms should be very familiar with the layout/geometry/space available.  Pay particular attention to the motor mounts and the placement of the ESC.  

Pay attention to the physical space available for the flight controller, BECs and other electronics. Account for thick wires, connectors and their strain relief.

Its not impossible to build a top-notch UAV from a Tarot or DJI platform, just don't expect it to be a smooth process.

is there another platform you would suggest? or are you saying that i would need to buy something much more expensive. my goal is to get my g7 in the air for a decent amount of time with a video monitoring system but not have somthing massive

Well other opinions may differ, but I have been designing and building these things for several years and the minimalist  (cheap) boxed products do not stand up IMHO.

This is how I design a UAV (I do this for a living).

Start with the payload. How heavy, what dimensions?

Endurance? It takes time to begin and end a mission so allow for that battery drain too.

With payload and endurance known, the required power capacity can be determined. If you cannot calculate that, then use as examples other successful UAV designs.

The required power determines the propeller thrust which then defines the motor size for a specific battery.

Batteries are heavy - include the battery size and weight in the weight calculation.

Start again.

How much does the design weigh?

How much power is needed?  What thrust is required? What size props and motors can do that job? What batteries have the needed capacity?

How much does that solution weigh?

Start again,


The outcome will be a design that fits the requirement for power and control. Step two is to understand the physical geometry required.  Obviously a Quad is 4 rotors, and a Hex is six - but what geometry works best for the electronics and batteries you will be needing? A Quad does not need to be symmetrical - and there are X or + arrangements possible with uneven arms so that the center of gravity fits the requirements as well.

There are solutions for your rig - you should be looking for something in the 900-1100 class, 20,000mAh batteries, 18" props ToW around 8Kg - that should give 35-40 mins with the G7 & gimbal. 

Smaller options would be a 750 class with 16" props, lighter batteries and payload and 20 mins endurance.

PM me if you need help.

For your calculations, use ecalc.com

what would the cost of something like that be? ( I do understand quad will simply cost more more.) I mean i hate to go here but you can get a phantom 3 pro for like 900 which although not even coming close in terms of video quality has a very clean interface with a great video monitoring system that doesnt need lots of parts.from what i have seen, there isnt really anything that can control the video(camera settings, gimbal) and the drone itself(flight modes waypoints etc.) that isnt very clunky. could you also provide me with some of the equations you use to design ur drones? do you have a website i could check out?

A reliable frame, motors, props, pixhawk, gimbal, batteries etc - - around $2500 for a professional grade system. 

Closer to $1500 for a hobby grade system

PM if you need specifics such as designs and technical details.

Hmm ok do u have any reccomendations as to parts? And what a final product might look like?

I have designs to suit, but as I said please PM.

eCalc is a great place to start. The thrust/power calcs are quite a bit off if I compare the computed values compared with real, measured values. eCalc is usually conservative, but it relies on manufacturer's marketing data, not real-life tested systems.

Ray Anderson said:

For your calculations, use ecalc.com

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