Hi everyone,

I have not been on DIY for a while.  I moved on to racers and mini drones.

But I missed playing with Mission Planner and Tower.

Since I have been on this site the new FAA regulations were introduced.  But thats 250g and above.

I like doing odd things with drones, I made the first APM LEGO drone,

So I decided to try to build a Sub 250g Fully Autonomous + Racer APM Based FPV Micro

Disclaimer:  I know its not a real racer, I have a Vortex Pro 250 but I mean one I can race around not compete ;-)

I wanted Waypoints and also to be able to use ACRO mode to do freestyle.

Chris Anderson, I think sub 250 has a new market and something like this build could sell well at best buy, on the box it can say "no FAA registration needed", just an idea for you ;-)

I have not flown it yet because of a bad motor, but thought I would share what I have so far.

Below is the timeline of my build, enjoy

I started out with a 3d printed frame but went to a CF one for the light weight.

Adding the ESCs

Designed and printed a stand for my APM that sits above the Power Distribution Board

Adding the APM Mini

Adding the motors

Battery on the bottom

Added GPS and FPV, Fits in the palm of my hands

Checking the weight.  First battery was too heavy by 12 oz, so I changed to a smaller battery.   I need to find something with a weight in between,


Sub 250g, no FAA registration needed completed with FPV

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This is very interesting. How would it work with the PixRacer? I was thinking about ZMR 250 and a PixRacer.

I just saw the Pix racer on Randy's post, yeah I may use that later, thats cool
http://auav.com/

Very Cool!

Great work!

Nice build!  Just one small comment.  Usually when people talk about 250, that is the size from motor to motor measuring 250mm.  It is not the weight.  I saw you mentioning 250g.  I am not familiar with the FAA regulation.  Is it size of weight that FAA is regulating?  I cannot understand why FAA has authorities to regulate this hobby.  What if we fly indoor?  Here in Canada being so cold most of the years, we often race in an indoor dome.

yes, I changed the title to 250g to be more clear.  FAA regulations is that anything under 250 grams does not need to have registration to fly.  It was just a challenge for me thats all.

But having to stay under that let me find some cool small components too so its all good.

Why do they regulate this hobby....thats another thread ;-)

You can fly it indoor, just use Stab mode or better yet to race use ACRO, just don't use GPS mode

really cool write up I appreciate the details about everything you actually used in the copter. The one thing that might be tough is the mag being so close to the motors and esc's. I'm gonna build a small one myself I was thinking I will probably need a mast. But if you get this working without one then maybe not. I'll cross my fingers :] 

Thanks for the support, its much appreciated.

Problem with the mast is that it can break if you crash during a race.

Since this is sort of a hybrid of racer/waypoint fun I wanted to keep it low profile. These motors are very small so hopefully not a lot of interference.

But you do have a point and It's still a work in progress.  There is a place for the mast in the front, a hole in the top, I will make a short one maybe 1" high but really don't want to go any higher than that because I want to be able to crash it without it breaking much or anything at all.    I will post the  1" STL mast here so you and everyone can print one.  I will try to get it this weekend, send me a message if I forget.  Ill post the pic too.

For a race you can just remove the GPS of course.

I am thinking about building this with a pixracer or pix mini from bangood. 

http://store.flitetest.com/ft-versacopter-280-v2-quad-kit/

You wont be under the 250g needed to avoid regulation.

  • Weight: 1.20 LBS

The frame I used is much smaller, its only a 150, thats a 280

I only wish I had a printer!! Can you recommend one? 

Re- mast... I got so tired of breaking my mast I cut mine in 1/2 then put it back together with fuel tubing. It works great. You can bump it all you want it just bounces back. Never had any issue. 

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