My first setup...looking for critiques on layout


Attached are a few photos of my first setup.  I'm curious what I might be able to layout a little better.  I have my distro mounted directly to the X525 top plate.  Above that is a piece of plexi with my rx stuck down.  Above that is a shock mount for the APM.  Behind the APM is a Zigbee and the GPS.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.





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  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I had the first flight today.  It was awesome. I didn't have have too many problems.  I thought I was doomed at first but simply needed to reverse my elevator.  Once did that it flew great.

    The one issue that still remains is the compass calibration.  I flew a couple of batteries and when I try and calibrate the compass I still get an error.  I'll try and dig a little deeper but any suggestions would definitely be appreciated.


  • Compassmot is a way of programing the apm to compensate for magnetic interference from the wiring,  motors, escs etc. It measures the interference and then can use this to ensure it knows which way is North. If you fly eith gps you week find this very useful. 

    Have a look at this video. Explains what and how.  The guys other videos are great too.

  • Hi Loren, looks like a good start to me, but I do have a couple suggestions:

    1. Try putting the escs on the arms and securing them using zip-ties.  I know you won't be able to run your motor wires in the arms if you do this, but there really isn't enough room to do this on the x525/x600.  This will shorten up your wires considerably, saving that weight.  This will also give them some distance from your GPS/Compass, and it will result in a cleaner looking quad as you won't have the escs bundled around your center plate.

    2.  On a starter quad, I'd seriously consider getting rid of as many bullet connectors as possible and just soldering the connections.  A major cause of crashes is poor connections between your battery - ESCs - motors.  Trust me, the fewer plug in connections that can come apart, the better.  

    3. Try locating your power distribution board between your frame plates.  Now that your motor wires aren't coming out there, you have a lot of room for your power distribution board.  This will allow you to my next suggestion:

    4. Lower the overall height of the quad by mounting your vibration reduction plate directly to the top plate of your frame (nice plate btw, I just found those the other day).  For your GPS, I'd build a horizontal plate extension out a few (maybe 6) inches from your centerplate, right in between your two forward arms (assumed red as your forward arrow on the APM2.6 points towards them).  

    I'd also do something about that telemetry radio, but without changing the radio I'm trying to think of what...maybe think about a 3dr radio as they are much smaller.

    Please do not take these suggestions as "rules", I actually think its nice the way it sits, and I'd fly it just like that (until you crash it and rebuild it).  Everybody crashes, but thankfully the x525 parts are very cheap and straight forward to replace.  IMHO, crashes give you much more experience in building and flying than they are given credit for, and although they are disappointing, I've learned more from crashing (and the subsequent search for what happened) than I have from flying.  

  • Looks good, You could get the ESC's futher away from the APM, and look at removing the red lead from all but one esc (Saves on paralleling the ESC's. This can be bad for the APM.

    Remember to run a compassmot if you're using FW V3+

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