Tarot T810 build log


I have been searching high and low for a good affordable large hexa system, with the main objective to lift 500gr (camera, FPV transmitter, etc) for as long as possible, and have the video stabilized. 

The S800 looked ok, but due to some issues around the boom flexibility and cost, I ditched that idea. The Carbon Core, Steadidrone H6X also looked very nice, but once again cost played a big role.

So, I stumbled across the Tarot T810, for $330 I got the frame. I needed to add some extras for folding landing gear (not retract) and the camera rail mount which was not included.

I'm doing a build log to not only "hopefully" help someone out there, but also have a place to get some input from the community in getting the max flight time. The Hexa will be used for local security missions and possibly also help in the Rhino Poaching crises we're facing in South Africa.

My system:

  • Tarot T810 Frame
  • Sunnysky 4112S 400kv
  • 40 Turnigy Plush
  • 15X4.7" props
  • APM (of course!) - Looking forward to a maiden flight on AC3rc6
  • Martinez gimbal controller
  • Brushless Gimbal
  • Gens Ace 6S 5500Mah X 2
  • Estimated AUW including gimbal and camera - 5.3kg

The frame went together nicely, only issue I had was the hole in one of the landing gear braces was skew, I just drilled it straight with a bigger drill bit.

Here is a view of the frame in it's folded position. It folds nice and small - about 900mm in length


Here are the motors I'm planning to use, hopefully I get my flight time. Powerrrr! Notice the ESC mounting plates under the motor mount.


I like the prop attachment.


I also like the way the booms lock in place with a dovetail clamp, very secure.


Here is a shot of the little power distribution "lugs" - I just soldered all the power wires in place with huge amounts of solder.


I'm planning to install the ESC's under the motors, I have read about some scare stories on RCGroups about this idea, but I have never personally had problems with this.

I am however a little concerned about the wire gauge for power - using 16AWG to the motors and 12AWG to the battery. I'll do a full power test to see if they heat up, and by how much. 

I'm wating for my ESC's to arrive, and will continue the log once they're here!

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  • Holy hell... nice gimbal.  rofl.

  • Sorry Wesley... but WTF?  That thing is huge.  Nah... dont need that big of a deal.  I figure that I can accomplish what I need with a X8 probably no more than 800-1000mm.  The key is the proper gimbal system.  I need to find a heavy duty solution.  I think your 12kg estimate is likely a bit much.  I think my gimbal + camera will be around 3-4 kg total.  That leaves me with likely 3-4 kg for the craft, motors, etc.  A total of 6-8 kg is more like it.  Lets say 8 kg... 16 kg at 100% thrust... 2 kg thrust per motor... possible.

    Lets put it this way... I know Cinestar does it with a frame that isn't as large as the one you linked me.


    More research to do.  Thanks for the input.  But that copter you linked me looks like something I can sit on and go for a ride with!  :p

  • 100KM

    I recently bought this puppy - http://www.thanksbuyer.com/3-axis-cf-brushless-gimbal-camera-mount-..., 3 axis maximum 1.5kg (Chinese :) - just to give you an idea of what you're in for. The gimbal weighs 1kg and I'm putting it under a Tarot T960. A two axis gimbal would be lighter though.

    I would guess a gimbal that can handle 3kg would be larger and heavier. You're multirotor would need to possibly be able to hover at 50% with a 5kg payload. Let's say such a multirotor weighs 12kg (AUW), it should be able to lift a max of 22kg (50% margin). If you choose an octocopter then each motor should be able to deliver 2.75 kg thrust at full throttle. This is going to be a challenge.

    Maybe you should consider this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgqjU6O8X1w

  • Greg, 

    I concur with your philosophy.

    A little background on me.  I've constructed 2 multi rotors thus far.  One is a X4 H-frame and the other is a Y6 coaxial.  I love my coaxial configuration for the backup and because it does folds neatly.  However, my weight allowance on that craft for a camera and gimbal is 2 pounds.  So far, I have only toyed with the GoPro affixed to the craft with no gimbal.

    Thus now, I am diving into an unknown... gimbals and higher thrust and weight tolerances.  Its another step in the evolution of my knowledge regarding these setups.

    I could go with something along the lines of Cinestar for example but that is seemingly out there in cost.  I don't like dumping money off to China for any of their setups because quite frankly, I don't trust the Chinese.  I don't buy Chinese and I always try to read labels on anything manufactured in China.  I don't hate the Chinese... I just don't trust them.  I'm half Korean... I know what I am talking about :)

    Nonetheless, I'm at a point where I need to come up with a plan.  I have done some initial calculations regarding battery, ESC's and motors but the unknown is going to be the weight of the frame and gimbal.  I know that my camera will take up 6 pounds of the weight requirement.  This would likely leave me with about 4-6 pounds for frame, motors, etc... in general.  It is a balancing game.  As I discover products I want to use, I will start to revise my numbers.

    This being said, anybody has any experience with the A2 flight controller from DJI?  My X4 flies with Naza M V2 and my Y6 flies with APM 2.6.  I decided to use both controllers to understand the nuances.  I will say that it took me a good deal of time to get APM 2.6 working.  Once I did get it setup, I find that in some situations, it is easier to fly thatn the Naza.  Just my opinion.

    Nonetheless, can any of you suggest a gimbal system that I could use to lug around 6 lbs of camera equipment?

  •     I too like you look at price but when you look at his rock solid video's and his following for the higher end photo and filming there is no way anyone come's close.

    But like i said i too am going with a Tarot frame because of cost and DJI because you get there anyway.

    Octocopter is one of the top choice's also because of REDUNDANCY. So if we are going to use hobby speed controllers and motors and such to hang thousand dollars in cameras on the a little Redundancy is good.

    Also Steven i would like to point out customer support, Pat has a habbit of checking on you if you are say having any issues. So the support is there to get you dialed in and in the air. NOT JUST A SALE"S PERSON.

    So how many thousands of dollars is it worth to you for this type of help and support.

    Example: I flew back to Colorado to help a guy assemble and fly a large newer camera ship, here is what i found out.

    He loaded me up with a box of 3 crashed MK copters and misl. parts and peice's when we were done, about 12,500 to 15,000.

    Moral of the story was he wished he would of started with pat the first time, now he deals with him, so that is the reason i made the comment in the first place. I just like to help people from time to time so that there is not a train wreck.

    You can talk with 10 different people and get 10 different views on this subject.

    It's all of the little things that make the big things happen.

    Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light.



  • Check out what flitelabe has <flitelab.com>. His in Canada and has some nice things. I'm not sure if his Hexes fold or not though.
    You could look at the Carbon Core X8, <http://shop.carboncore.co.uk/&gt; folds great but not cheap. I like my T960, but it's still pretty big even when folded. It's real stiff and strong. Not disappointed at all.

  • I've been reading about Tarot and the weight allowances that its structure can handle.  It appears that the maximum weight allowance of its structural components is roughly 10 pounds.  This seems to be in line with what I need.  However, most multicopter systems built for this application of cinematic cameras typically are octocopters.  My problem with an octocopter is portability as most frames don't offer portability (i.e. folding up arms, etc).

    Ultimately, my challenge is portability while providing the raw power to lift say about 10 pounds total (craft + gimbal + camera).

    In reference to Aerial Media Pros, I have checked out their website.  It is my opinion that the costs are extremely high.  I've been able to accomplish building a quad (H configuration) for a fraction of the price of building many of the options available on the market.  Thus, I do believe you can build a quality hex or octo for less cost and more to my liking and requirements.

  • 100KM

    It helps a lot to check out some RTF systems and use similar items on your power train.

    I think the Tarot frame better than the S800 (less flex), but if you have the cash the Droidworx looks like a good bet. The main criteria for frame choice should be size (can it fit your props), weight and stiffness. As for motor and prop combo choice - 320kv with 16" or larger is the way to go. In the end flight time depends mostly on your prop size - pick a motor to spin it at the correct RPM for your given cell count (an example is the T-Motor U8 100kv with 29" props and 8S setup). 

    If you need more power then increase the cell count beyond 6S (which should be the defecto standard IMHO).

    Another broad guideline, if your empty weight is, for example, 1.5kg, you should be able to add another 1.5kg in batteries and still be able to hover at 50%. 4S setups can fly long, even 3S setups - but when it comes to adding weight (gimbal etc) to an empty copter, the flight time drops dramatically. If you add, for example, a 1kg load to a 3kg copter (batteries 15000Mah 3S, etc) the difference is huge (percentage wise). But add the same 1kg load to a 6kg copter, the difference becomes smaller (plus you should have around 3kg batteries on - 15000Mah 6S).

    These views are by no means scientific and many might disagree - but this is what worked for me over the years.

    Btw - we're busy with a T-Motor U8 / 29" Y6 build based on the Tarot T960 frame - I'll create a new build log for it. We're hoping to break 45mins with a 1kg gimbal and camera loaded onto it - hold thumbs (and if anyone has any views on this planned setup please chime in).

  •     Why don't you do it right the first time.

    I have seen a lot of people like you over the years make mistake's. 

     Only reason i commented on this is i was sent a e-mail because i made a post, i am not a sale's person or anything like that.   Just a guy that live's eat's breath's multi rotors.

    Get ahold of Patrick at Aerial media pros.

    That is ALL he does every day for years.

    I have never meet him but he has always done me right.

    Pick a winner like him and do what he is doing.

    You are going to get there anyway.

    Good stuff is not cheep and cheep stuff is not any good.

    Buy one time and do it right is all i am saying.

  • William,

    I'm looking to acquire a Black Magic Cinema Camera (4 lbs) to couple it with my Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lense (less than 2 lbs).  So, my total weight allowance for the camera would be around 6 lbs.  I'm struggling to pick the proper gimbal system to handle this weight allowance and allow for 3 axis control.

    I've been doing some calculations on the X8 I am looking to build based on the Tarot 810 frame.  But the key weight issues are going to be battery and the gimbal system itself.  Any possible insight you can provide?

    If any of you are curious, Black Magic (www.blackmagicdesign.com) manufactures cinematic cameras that can use standard photographic lenses.  The incredible sharpness and color puts it ahead of any other camera for a similar price.

    Thank you!

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