3D Robotics

Unboxing the Gaui 330X Quadcopter

[UPDATE: I've now flown this a bit. A few tips, which I learned the hard way:

1) Don't connect the green wire (gain) to your Rx. That disables all the onboard buttons and the little pot. Better to set these manually when you've first starting. Later, once you've got it flying well, this may be something you want to control from Tx, but not at the start.

2) Make sure you check the little addendum (if you've got the old manual, like me) about how to set the ESC curve. Make sure the green wire is unplugged and the gain is at zero, then power on the quad when your Tx throttle is at high, then bring the throttle down.

3) CA glue all the fiddly little plastic retaining rings. They fall off all the time and you'll end up leaving bits of this quad on the field]

Now that we're getting into the quadcopter business, I thought I should get a better feel for the competition. First up, the new Gaui 330X quadcopter that we wrote about here. At $400 it's in the same price range as ArduCopter, but it doesn't come with a full autopilot. It's just an airframe, motors/ESC and a 3-axis gyro unit (no accelerometers, so it's not an IMU). No GPS or any ability to program it--it's just an RC quad, not a UAV.

They say you can upgrade it to GPS navigation someday, but there's no clue how.

It comes very nicely packed in an surprisingly small and stylish box:

That the gyro unit at left and the four ESCs.

Here are all the parts. Lots of bolting bits together.

When you're done, it's supposed to look like this:

If you want to upgrade to a bigger body (plywood and fiberglass), you can:

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  • I am using Prop savers with o-rings, as I found the prop adapters broke when I tightened them and the props break fairly easily and the two reverse pitch props are hard to source.  BTW does anyone know the pitch and diameter of these props?  I am having to buy genuine through flyinghobby.com ATM.
  • I have just bought one of these from a mate. I also have a full Ardupilot mega with oilpan shield etc in the mail.  I was going to put it on a spare nitro trainer (FPV and GOPRO) that I have, but i think  I might wack it on this first so i can do some quick tests at the park with a laptop.  I agree with chris on the green gain wire.  I setup with manual gains and set the ESC's without it connected.  Flies nice and stable.  Now however I have hooked the gain to a spare channel on my receiver (setup as an aeroplane) with the travel on that channel limited to -50% and about +65%.  With a switch flipped one way, you get a low gain, the other way you get a gain of about 65 i reckon.  I only fly it on 2s, as its too touchy on 3s with no payload.  I have also limited the throttle channel to as low as I can go (and still get the ESC's to initialize) to reduce the climb that it has, because I feel that it climbs very quickly with even the smallest amount of throttle and when you reduce the throttle even slightly as it climbs too quickly, it tends to drop from the sky, and is hard to recover smoothly.


  • 3D Robotics
    I've updated this post with some setup tips.
  • i hope these photos upload they are of the locknut i use to replace gaui prop. Propeller will not come off using these nuts

  • Developer
    maybe after a crash you can drive it back to your location with 2 left over props?? :) hahah

    yeah that sounds a bit silly.
  • 3D Robotics
    I'm assembling it now. First impression of the silly little wheels with springs that serve as landing gear: ridiculous. What were they thinking with the wheels? How can you even move on the ground with a quad???
  • i bought one i give it a 8 out of 10 because they did what no other maker could made a pretty good quad for under 400.00 very durable i have not had any problem with motor or esc. i only have two compliants the landgear and the propeller nut should be replace with locknuts that what i did works perfectly. because even with locktite they will come off, and last thing you want is to be 300 feet in the air and a propeller pops off.
  • looks like they stole sms86 from mikrokopter's forum design....wonder if they pay him any royalties?
  • Developer
    in generally that frame design is rather nice looking. hmm maybe i need to get one to my self too to study it a bit :P
  • I like mine for messing around. It would be very nice to have at least altitude hold.
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