First Blog- Designing my quadcopter

3689547555?profile=originalWith Frame + motors + props, solidedge calculated weight of 1.1kgs. Im still figuring out how to shave off extra kgs from this frame...

I wanted to design (actually took reference on a couple of existing design) my quadcopter frame. My main purpose is to have a quadcopter carry a gopro for aerial video/photo for our surfing trips and maybe used it for scenery / other video usage. I am still a noob at autopilot system so I am having a hard time figuring out which flight control to use... By the way, I will be using an all aluminum frame with dampening cushions to absorb the shock and vibrations. Aluminum is environmental friendly unlike carbon fiber and fiber glass... Just my own thought..

The following are my main parts:

Sunnysky 2814 750Kv - 4 pcs

12x3.8 CF / Wood props - 4pcs

DJ NAZA-M Lite or APM 2.6 w/ ublox GPS

5800MAh 4S Lipo

Gopro hero 3 black w/ gimbal

MY first design was derived from xproheli but i had made it with 600mm motor to motor distance.

I like the idea of sheet metal frame-- just like the real aircraft construction.

 I have access to shops that can cut my design through a sheet of aluminum. Bending it would not be a problem. I have designed some jigs for my arm and center housing.

The height of the landing gear is designed for gopro or min dslr.

My second design is based on a square aluminum tube (3/4 x 3/4). But when I measured it from a caliper, It is only 17mm x 17mm. Anyways, I had made my centerplate a bit large to accommodate my electronics cleanly. The landing gear is also the same as the previous design.. Landing gear and centerplate is connected t by vibration resisting shock absorbing balls (I dont know the real name of it).

3689547572?profile=originalSolidedge calculated the weight of Frame+motor+props - 1.1kgs. aprox. the same as the previous quad's weight.

    Now I am a bit confused in which design to go. the first design is kind of work extensive than the 2nd one. The second one is plain simple design, sheet metal bending to do and jigs to make.. But honestly The first quad looks kinda cool and professional.

I will be posting new developments soon..

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  • nice! in time for sinulog!

  • Sure sir. I'll just test this out first.

  • If it's a dome type option 1 is better but you have to extend a little bit higher.

    Can I order 1 mate? :D

  • Sure Jay, I am looking at two options for the GPS mount.I will test each option and choose the best setup.


  • I'd like to see this after. keep us updated.

    Can you please include an nice GPS mount for APM board. GPS mount give us so much pain. hehe :D

  • Based on my CAD software it is approximately 500g frame.. I believe that's one of my worry jay.

  • build like a tank! Your only worry now is the props when it crash!

  • UPDATE: I am going with the 1st design. but I am also going to fabricate the center plates for the 2nd design. Off  to the waterjet cutter..

    Anyone interested having a custom aluminum (1.5mm) centerplate for their DIY quadcopter? Just PM me.

  • @ Gerard Thanks for link and suggestions. My Landing gear weight is approximately 150g!! way more than the FlexLander XL's weight which is 85g.. Larger props also tends to have "delay" in wind compensation as compared to smaller props. I think this maybe due to the rpm of the motor? For my motor, I am planning to use 30amp ESC.

  • From what I gathered endurance is not a really important requirement for your missions. In multi-rotor design you're always making compromises between 3 key concepts. Optimizing towards one will remove capabilities in the other two. These concepts are:

    • endurance
    • agility
    • heavy lifting

    I don't know how much weight the aluminium gear is exactly, so it's a good idea to start estimating that and comparing it to what others sell. I bought a couple of things from (go to the shop top right), which have gears like the HiLander-26 and FlexLander and that's a good start for making comparisons. The designs there give a good idea on how to make materials that are very lightweight and strong enough, although they don't excel in absolute strength.The same honeycomb-like design on the HiLander-26 is seen in the DJI F450 arms.

    These larger props can cause some issues with either the ESC or motor temp, so keep a keen eye on those when testing. If you use a 20A ESC, the max. power output (fast ascent or moving fastly forward) runs the risk of burning the ESC with the larger prop. Since your quad seems to come in at 1900g (500g battery+300g payload assumption), making it a bit on the high side, it's even more important to keep a good eye on those. From some numbers I ran here, you're saving 0.5A in hover using the larger props, but flight time doesn't change much. The 10x4.5's would allow you to stay in a safer zone at the cost of perhaps 1 or 2 minutes flight time. My estimate is that with the 5800, you'll be getting around 10-12 minutes for this weight.

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