Isolated frame Octa will soon be ready.

Following on from the very successful H quad with vibration isolated arms I decided to build something that would lift a DSLR or larger.

Is seems a hex has marginal chances of surviving a single drive failure so I opted for an octa. The H8 was quite an attractive layout but the loss of efficiency and lift was too much so I decided to build a flat 8. It also had to fold down to less than 35cm wide if possible. I wanted to keep a vibration isolation system but the method used on the quad was not suitable. I opted for a separate frame which carries all the heavy and vibration sensitive items like controller and camera, all suspended on silicone ‘O’ rings. Rings can be added or tightened to ‘tune’ the system. Provision is in place for z axis O rings if required but with 6 rings it each corner it is already very stiff in all axis.

I was part way through the build and struggling to get the folding arm system working nicely when my son ordered a 3d printer. I was very sceptical despite their popularity on this site.

After the first few printed items came off I wondered how I ever managed without one and my poor son didn’t get a look in – sorry Leo.

Once all the plastic parts are printed it doesn’t take very long to cut the carbon to length and assemble it.

eCalc suggests it will have a max TOW of 8kg (inc 3.3 kg payload) and hover time of 11 mins at that weight. More realistically, with a DSLR and 4 x 5AH 4s is should be about 5.3kg and 22 mins. (This is using MT4008-12 with 14x4.7 props)

I am considering a production run of these frames once this one is proven.



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Comment by Nicholas Witham on August 26, 2013 at 6:41am

What do you do about lateral movement of the isolated section? It looks like it would bump into the vibrating section?

Im assuming you will be using an APM2.5 or 2.6 with this setup, so how do you plan on keeping all magnetic fields away from receivers? I've always been under the assumption you need to keep the compass at least 150mm away from any high current cables? Well maybe you'll mount it on a stand?

Well done on creativity, it looks like you have spent a lot of time designing this.

Comment by Vince Hogg on August 26, 2013 at 6:59am

Now I have it assembled I am surprised how stiff it is in the lateral plane. It takes some force to move the frame to the edge, however if it proves to be a problem I will use some vertical 'pegs' with o rings. You can see some of the holes already there.

I will be using the remote compass/gps unit on a 2.6 or PX4 and mounting it up on a pole but my previous quad had very small compass swing and that was only 60mm from power leads.

Comment by John McGrath on August 26, 2013 at 7:05am

I will buy one !!

Comment by Vince Hogg on August 26, 2013 at 7:30am

What colour plastic would you like?

Comment by Alejandro Martin Pirola on August 26, 2013 at 8:00am

I build something similar to this. ECILOP like hexa frame. Let me say that was the best vibration dampening ever. Lipo + Camera + Gimbal are so heavy that vibration are easily isolated from central frame. Good luck with your project. I'm looking forward to more updates.

Comment by Alex Lee on August 26, 2013 at 8:27am

Which 3D printer did your son get?

Comment by Vince Hogg on August 26, 2013 at 8:41am

Mendelmax 1.5

Its difficult to find a build manual for this but we managed to get it together without too many bits left over. Some of the plastic parts were rubbish and needed re-designing. ie lead screw to stepper adapter.

Comment by Jared Reabow on August 26, 2013 at 8:56am

magnetic fields are not an issue i would have to say, the whole center frame is quite far from the motors and if he is clever with his wire harness by keeping all the wires on the outer frame and only the battery on the center there will be no problem with the compass.

Comment by John McGrath on August 26, 2013 at 2:51pm

@vince what are my choices 

Comment by robert mcintosh on August 26, 2013 at 4:46pm
Very nice work! Is it possible to make the arms a bit shorter so that it could fold square rather than long ways? That would be ideal for most pelican style cases.


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