Well, I finally got my quadcopter w/ APM 2.0 built and flying, and crashing.  I was so happy to be flying that the I think I ran below voltage threshold on ESC, and lost power.  I still need to confirm in logs.  In any case I need a new frame.  Here's some photos (before crash) and video (crash at end).  Any advice would be appreciated, I made a lot of educated guesses on components.







Frame: HobbyKing quadcopter frame V1  (3 arms broke on crash)

Motors: NTM 28-30A 750kv

ESC: Turnigy Plush 25A

Props: Slow Fly 12x45

Controller: APM 2.0 with Arducopter 2.8.1

Radio: Turnigy 9x, flashed with er9x

Battery: 2200mAh 3S 25C

Power distribution: 3DR power distribution board

Video: GoPro Hero

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  • Brett I would turn off any low voltage cutoff anything.. I would much rather kill my battery than fall out of the sky... but the batter monitor/alarm will go off before needing to worry.  The interesting thing is if you put that monitor on and not change the ESC settings both will come on at the same time.. which is what happened to me.. the alarm went off and like 7 seconds later the ESCs cuff off and decended exactly like yours did.

    @R.D... based on the video that is exactly what happens when the ESCs start to hit a low voltage threshold.. you get this weird tumbling effect as each ESC does a soft cuff-off, etc...  no need to look at the logs I am more than sure that is what it was as it is exactly what happened to me when I forgot to turn those ESC settings off.

  • LEGO frame is very stable

  • @Mark: Thanks I'll take a look at those frames.  I just used the default setting of ESC, brake off, soft cut-off, medium cut-off threshold.  Is there any reason not to set to low cut-off threshold, 2.85V /cell rather then 3.15V /cell?  I've ordered a batter monitor.  '

    @Edgar: Nice Lego frame.  That landing gear looks a bit fragile, at least for my landings.

    @Michiel: Nothing damaged except the frame.  Since I didn't completely loose power props were still spinning and kept copter upright.  Landing gear took the brunt of the force, and arms just snapped.  I could probably repair, but I don't know that it's worth it for a $17 frame.

    As far as the total setup, since I'm new to this I was looking for a low cost entry point.  I probably spent closer to $500 when you include multiple batteries, spare props, battery charger, smartieparts card for radio.  Build didn't take that long, maybe 3-4 hours over multiple days.  Soldering was the most time consuming task(I'm an amateur). Waiting for all the parts to be delivered took a lot longer.  Programming APM was easy, just followed directions on wiki. (disclosure: I'm a software engineer, so I may have a leg up of the layman).

    @Doug: I had a bit of a struggle bringing copter down, maybe it's because I was basically coming straight down, through prop wash, just a guess.  I was also throttled way down, which also probably led to stability issues.  

    I did fly as shown in photo.  It's possible I'm missing some fasteners, plenty came with kit, but no directions, so I was just guessing where they go.

    I need to still pull the log, haven't gotten to that.  I'll report back what I find.

    Thanks for all the feedback.


  • Did you look at the logs post crash?


  • Sorry to hear about your crash.

    It was evident that the aricraft was struggling with something before descent. Did you fly it as show in the photos? I ask because it looks like several fasteners are missing in places. I have read several reviews that say the import airframe kits are often shorted fasteners.

    The brick that clicks... and now flies. At least it is waterproof.


  • Cool Lego frame Edgar, looks nice! How stable is it?

    @Brett: Sorry to see about your crash. I hope parts other than your frame weren't damaged? I checked the price on the parts you used. Am I right when I think this setup is about $350? How long did it take you to build it? And to program it? I'm considering building a drone myself and this looks like it's not extremely expensive.



  • When my crashed my GAUI 330x I changed to a LEGO frame, I also have a DJI f550 :)




  • as far as frames I highly recommend the DJI F450 as a great starter frame.. get a couple of spare arms for it which are like 8-$10/per.. frame runs under $40..  my fav frame I am running right now is the TBS Discovery which uses the F450's arms as it is just replacement top and bottom plates..  the TBS is nice as it spreads things out and also spreads the front arms so they aren't in the GoPro video.  (My profile pic is the TBS).. I also have a XAircraft X650 V4 with Wookong controller.. but this frame has a tendancy to tip over on a poor landing or even a poor takeoff... so I much perfer the low profile frames like the TBS and F450.

  • Whats wrong with your frame?  Seems pretty sweet and organized... granted after crashing you might need a frame :)  Did you program all your ESCs prior to flying it?  Most of the time they come with lower power cutoffs enabled and what happend to you is exactly what happened the first time I flew my small quad.  I am willing to bet it is a ESC setting...  I would turn the brake off and the low voltage cutoffs and make sure to get a battery alarm the plugs into your blance port of the battery.. saved my @$$ plenty of times.. get the one that beeps very loudly if any cell goes under 3.3v.

  • lol, yes Boomer is fine.  Ever since I started chasing him with my Syma S107, there's not a copter he wont try to fetch.  Must be the retriever in him.

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