Joining the DIYDrones community, My hexa build


I have been following DIYDrones for years now, and have gleaned lots from other people's efforts along the way.  I recently decided (after finding some cost effective frames on ebay) to get started for myself.

I started the heli hobby 2 years ago with a trex-450 in which i learnt pretty quickly, start small... much smaller than a 450 class heli!  Constantly breaking various parts of the 450 was too expensive, so i gave up for a while.  After some more reading online, and deciding I needed to push on, I purchased myself a Blade mSR to learn how to fly. It was nice, I got to use my DX8 transmitter during the learning process, its a bulletproof little fixed pitch heli which taught me how to compensate, and eventually I got very used to the flying process.

I purchased another spektrum receiver, and an initial cheap hexa kit (from GoodLuckBuy) which had frame/motors/esc's and a kk board.  When it arrived it was missing parts (which they did quickly send me), but coming from china it took a while to get it all.  I had also ordered an APM2 board at this point, but due to the popularity it took a while for it to get out to me, during that time APM2.5 came out, so I opted for the upgrade.

With the flimsiness of the initial hexa frame, I decided to get something a little more substantial.  I went with the ATG 700-AL frame (which was cheapest at GLB, maybe I should have known better)... It arrived, missing 1 piece... Not a big deal, it was just the top plate of one of the motor mount assemblies. (I have ordered the missing part, and some extras from

Over the course of the last 2 weeks I have assembled the new hexa with the APM2.5 board, GPS, Sonar and OSD.  Power distribution is done via the Hexacopter power distribution board (available via the store here), with the deans connectors on whips, instead of directly to the board.  This let me deal with the size of the frame, and short ESC power leads.  I have a 2 Y setup from battery to the distribution. Y setup for 2 batteries feeds a Y setup breaking off power to the attopilot voltage+current sensor, which then feeds the distribution board and a separate UBEC to power the video gear (camera+transmitter).

I have had a few test flights and with defaults it is VERY stable... Loiter works perfectly with no wind, when its a little windy it seems to drift and have weird altitude drops.

I have some photos of the assembled hexa on my gallery here:

I will continue to update with my progress, and get some videos together also.

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  • Frame: ATG 700-AL

    Motors: XXD 2208 1200kv

    ESC: Hobbywing 20A x 6 for motors, Turnigy 8-15A UBEC for video

    Props: 9x4.7


    Controller: APM2.5, uBlox LEA-6H GPS, MinimOSD, Attopilot Voltage+current sensor, LV-MaxSonar-Ez0

    FPV: Fatshark Pan/Tilt cam (pan removed), Fatshark 100mw 5.8ghz transmitter, Fatshark Dominator Goggles with 5.8ghz + Head tracker modules (not in use).

    I just ordered some more equipment for the video side of things: ImmersionRC PowerBox(AV) and an FPV-Japan DVR-SD4 (sd video recorder with lcd)

  • What are the motor specs? props and ESCs?  

  • Great feedback. Thanks!  I actually had the apm mounted with double sided velcro tape, but it had far too much movement. I think I will try some double sided tape next (however, I dont seem to have any noticeable vibration issues yet. I have balanced my props and it all seems fairly clean thus far).

    I was wondering about prop wash, I have a cd spindle case I have cut out, I just haven't mounted it yet.

    My next build after I hone this one out is a QAV500 with KV800s and Graupner 11x5s. Its sitting unassembled until I have gained some more skill with this guy :)

  • Distributor

    Nice job... a bit of cable management could not hurt... 

    Also you will see me always saying the same thing about bullet connectors... get rid of them!

    they are sensitive to fail and when it happen it's a sure crash.  Why keep it there to save you 5 minutes of soldering when you kill a motor? 

    So what ever you say, it you want to keep them do it... but I hate them, even the nice super high end ones... 

    Also for your APM2.5 mounted with zip tie, try 2 layers of double side tape, it will cut some vibration and will be better. 

    And finally I've noticed that on APM 2.5 it's worth padding the baro (like on the APM1) as the prop wash influence the barometric pressure reading.  So until we have a case for these just tape a cotton pad on the APM.  Cant hurt!  :) 

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