Indoor Quad - The Next Steps?

3689541488?profile=originalHey Everyone

I've been messing with making a quad to carry a GoPro for indoor commercial use. I wanted one that was not necessarily 'finger safe' but 'impact safe' and after several iterations including a 'Bucket Copter' (Yep made out of kids toy buckets - Flew for 15 seconds then never stayed up again) I hit on the idea of using 8" PC Fan Guards mounted on Poly Screws to solve the issue.

I started with the super cheap frames from China. The current version has Emax MT2213 motors and 30amp ESCs. The mount for the GoPro is two Carbon Sheets and dampers with ear plugs in them. Its Rock Solid to the frame so needs smooth control but the platform is very stable in itself. APM 2.5 Board of course. LiPo 2200mah 4S 45c Battery. Props are 3 blade 6". Flight time is currently at 8mins to about 25% on the battery

My problem is that I have no fabrication or design experience but have a degree from the university of 'How Hard Can it Be?' Right now its getting pretty hard. The ESCs get pretty hot as do the motors after about 8mins. I'm pretty much tied to the 6" props because the largest Fan Guards I can find are 8". I want to go to bigger motors but am restricted to the props size and weight increase quite a lot with the Turnigy series. The other issue is that bigger motors are making the gap on the guards over 50mm and the screw system is only rigid up to that distance (broke a few)

I moulded some guards out of plastic but they were incredibly brittle and reduced airflow quite a bit. Also they weight benefit was not enough to get worried about.

So...any suggestions as to how to get this thing to have more grunt, not start smoking, have bigger props (with bigger guards) and more. I'd be grateful of any input you guys can have as I've hit a bit of a brick wall. Nothing I try at the moment improves on the current spec. Total cost of the rig was around $250 so I have a little more budget to throw at it but the aim was to come up with a viable rig I can use for work that wasn't the cost of my DSLR Octocopter.



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  • regarding the fan guard, try googleing 200mm fan guard, there will be some results.

    The idea with DIY wire guard is imo great, just use a thicker wire.

    You could extend your rigidity by eather using plastic zip ties or even better after making the circles different sizes to join them with 4 or 8 lines by welding (soldering wont be rigid enought imo).

  • You could also try 3D printing fan guards using something like this:

  • I found a 254mm (10 in) fan guard... This should work with a larger prop, but then again I haven't physically seen this guard:

    Good Luck!

  • You should do something like.... this:

    While that frame is just massive, because you're using such small props. you could make much smaller foam guards for your indoor quad. Get some foam, hot wire foam cutters, and have at it :) You might also want to think about getting either some really small CF or fiberglass rods to brace the inside of them, or covering the foam in fiberglass sheeting for strength, but you'll have to weigh that (no pun intended) against the weight penalty. I'm sure that the weight would be significantly less than all that steel :)

  • LOL try some PVC pipes and make an square 90 degrees elbow  or an hexagon 45 degrees elbow and use that as prop guard if the weight isn't too much. or you can cutout bucket rims those are strong too.

  • @OliverWhysall That would be great thank you.

  • Hi Ewan,

    Where I work we had a load of 12inch PC Fans delivered with these guards on, I'll try and find out where we got them from as these would be a lot bigger than the ones you are currently using so you should be able to fit larger props in them.

    I believe the company we bought them from did even bigger fans as well - I will find out!

  • They might not be able to withstand a fall from 4-5 meters every time but at least the will give you a fighting chance.  You're better off breaking a leg from my lift kit than a arm.  If you break a leg from that height you can always replace the leg in 30 seconds.  Do a search on ebay for

    6" Landing Gear DJI F450 F550 Quadcopter legs Camera Gopro 

    I sell them in set of 4 or 3

  • @Cre8bit

    Where did you get those legs ? Can they handle a fall from 4-5m without breaking ?

  • @Ewen

    I use wire about 3ish mm thick, its rigid enuff to support the hex, it should be sufficiently strong as a guard between props and some other object.

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