Make your own KickStarter style hexa!


So there have been a few threads about the failed Kickstarter campaign by Kellie Sigler of Failed not because it they didn't collect enough money in the time alotted, but I'm assuming due to potential legal issues with selling a UAV to overseas buyers or a lack of originality in this project as they might have been designing and building nothing new or of their own design. There has been some discussion about if this project was actually a scam.

Right now, I come down on the side of the project didn't include a single photo of their own work so I doubt they've even built one. They made claims about using "these computers" for 2 years when discussing the APM2 when I'm on the ArduPilot dev team and I don't even have one yet! And they had an estimated delivery date of March, 2012 without ever checking with Jordi and 3DR about delivery dates and quantities. Is this wrong? I think so. Is it a scam? I wouldn't call it that. But they sure don't keep their estimated delivery dates (see 8-10 months later) .


So what's the point of this blog? I just want to educate you on where you can go to get the exact parts listed in the KickStarter campaign and build your own.

Will it be easy? No.

Is it bullet proof? No.

Will you crash it? Yes!

Do I have the PID settings for this airframe? No.

Can I send you all the parts if you order from me? No. I'm not selling anything.

What exactly was I getting for the extra money on KickStarter? I would say packaging....and maybe a distribution board (they called it a "HOOK UP BOARD").

Have I built one? Nope.

Do I know what I'm talking about? Too soon to tell.


APM2: $199

Xaircraft Hexa Frame carbon fiber + Motors, ESCs and camera mount: $669

5000mah 3S lipo (they listed 6000mah but no voltage):  $26.72

Mission Planner Download:  $FREE 

Futaba T8FG Radio (but lots of other radios would work just fine):  ~$480

Turnigy 4x6S Lithium Polymer Battery Pack Charger:  $99 

X-Bee Telemetry Kit: $150


Total cost buying directly from the source: $1,624 + shipping.

They were going to include a "pro spares" kit (whatever that is) and a TX case for $2,499.

What's missing from the list above is PID tuning values and lots and lots and lots of trial and error.


EDIT: This photo may be the only evidence that Kellie and company may have actually built one!

Found here:


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  • I found it funny how this whole kickstarter project turned out. I came across the kickstarter link on rcgroups right about the same time that I was in the process of building my own Xaircraft hexacopter. It turns out that my website showed I was gaining referrals from this thread so I checked it out only to find that pictures from my build log had been taken by the individuals who created the kickstarter project. I think it is unbelievable that so many people were initially willing to donate to such a scam. It just goes to show how much money you can save by researching and pricing out your own builds. I put together my build for about $400-$500 including a 9channel radio and 5.8GHz fpv equipment. It doesn't have a wookong or a camera gimbal such as the first picture in this thread, but it can surely be outfitted with an ardupilot mega for under $700. I have put in more than 30 flights with it and even the inexpensive electronics and flight controller have proved to be reliable enough to fly with my gopro. I encourage that anybody interested in building an inexpensive hexacopter visit my build log:

    I hope to outfit it with an ardupilot mega 2.0 when I have the money. I'll be sure to post more info when the time comes.

  • It comes with the frame kit! I do find it to be a bit strange the lack of detail on what exactly you were going to get with the KickStarter project. The only photo listed sure shows a camera mount and camera! Plus they went ahead and removed the star wars style sensor array (?) that's on the top of the cnchelicopter photo.... Not sure what's in that pod? Maybe the GPS?




  • It's nice that Paul remembered the camera gimbal that was missing from the Eye3 kickstarter project :-)

    I'd use a Hitec Aurora 9 radio w/ the built-in telemetry to save $150're not going to do high speed maneuvers w/ this thing so the extra lag compared to the Futaba should be ok...

  • guys did it made into a filmakeriq article :)

    I'd agree w/ Ellison on the engine change from Paul's list assuming you want to duplicate the original Eye3 specs...they claimed to be able to lift 12-20lbs.  I don't know of any commercial x-copter that can do that, but overspec'd motors like the Avroto might do it...reasonably priced compared to the 40% more microkopter ones too.

    That said, most people won't need to strap a heavy DSLR to a video copter...they can just use a GoPro HD2 and Paul's list is fine.  He missed the FPV-Fever wifi video downlink's needed to aim the camera gimbal properly at claimed ranges of 6000 meters...assuming your camera has NTSC out instead of HDMI :-)

    Kickstarter campaign for Eye3 Drone Hexacopter Too Good to be True
    An exciting aerial photography crowdfunding project crashes back to earth as Kickstarter pulls the plug on eye3 Drone Hexacopter
  • Developer

    @Ellison: Avroto is a super-hyper-high quality one. By using a Graupner 11x5 prop, you can run it at max current(25A) for 3min it will give you around 2250g  (one motor!!!!!!) Of course you'll not fly it so hard in real life... but it has juice. It just prove the quality of it... a crap one cannot handle that extreme situation without smoke.

  • They're definitely worth trying.  Do they have a good user base and review for flying in multirotors?  The thing is, if I'm gong to be carrying thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment on my drone.  It's just not the power curve that I'm worried about.  I want to make sure that the motor and ESC pair that I'm using have a track record working together, and have been tested in the type of usage I have in mind.

    The list I threw together above is really just for costing things out.  If I were really going to be building one of these, I'd try out all the parts my self, and test them to destruction, or at least buy parts that have MTBF ratings.

  • Developer

    You can't deal with MK prices... I will probably never put it on my cart.

    There are two ones that are pretty much like the MK: Avroto and Cobra (Pulse). Both will cost almost half the price of a MK. I'm not kidding... You can even compare them like here:

    Here goes a suggestion on both ones (my choice is the Avroto one):

    Avroto (the best one ever):

    RC Groups - View Single Post - Does anyone know anything about the new Avroto 2814 770KV motors at…
    RC Groups - the most active Radio Control model community: electric and fuel rc airplanes,rc helis,rc boats and rc cars. Features discussion forums,…
  • Well, as I've never used the Hoffman motors, it would be hard to argue.

    But from my pov, if I were to build a camera platform like they were in this Kickstarter project, I'd just go with the Mikrokopter motors and ESCs, myself.  The Cobra motors you listed are good, but they're just running a little too fast for my liking.  You'd have to run them with a bigger prop or on 4S which mean more wear on the bearings.

  • Developer

    @Ellison, that Hofman motor is far NOT a good option for 500 reasons... I will tell you three... :P

    1 - Expensive;
    2 - Not so powerful to justify the cost;
    3 - It has a crapy prop-adapter.

    By pretty much near that price you can even buy an infinitely better Cobra 220-300w (ex-Pulso).
    Here is the link:

    Also, for the love of God... forget the 60A ESC!!! hehe... :) For that motor above you'll be pretty fine with 30A due the max current is 20A.

    That 60A has a weight of a motor... 60g... a Plush 30A weights 25g.

  • Paul says:

    >  EDIT: This photo may be the only evidence that Kellie and company may have actually built one!

    >  Found here:

    NOPE!  They are scammers.  This photo was stolen from here:

    (scroll to the very bottom of the page)

    People: they haven't built anything.  Don't get sucked into their scam.

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