The test flight ended in disaster.. it started well enough.. had positive control for about 5 minutes, one thing I noticed with a low kv motor is the slow control response which I think I can get used too anyway. Disaster struck when one of the props shattered mid flight.. I suspect I over screwed the plastic prop and it probably had a crack. The quad fell like a rock from approx 20ft. and landed on its back. 3 of 4 of the motormounts broke off..the motors adapters were damaged though the gps, apm and escs seems to be ok.
Important lesson here is: use CF props on the get go AND if possible use the appropriate prop adapter! yes even prop adapters have CW and CCW shaft threads!
Heres the scene of the disaster..landed where it can do the most damage…on the cement runway =(
The Hobbyking H4 Copter Multi-Rotor Quadcopter Frame 470mm is well crafted. Carbon fiber motor and body plates with aluminum arms and frame. My only gripe is the motor plates where you screw the motors on.. it would have been perfect if it can readily accommodate the Turnigy Multistar 3508-640Kv 14Pole Multi-Rotor Outrunner.
After doing FPV flying with the 1900 Skywalker in Batanes, I realized how great it would be if I had a quad or hexcopter to film low and close shots of stuff that interests me.. any platform obviously has its pros and cons and the thing going for a multicopter is its ability to be flown in and from a small area. So with the hobby budget recently re-instated, I sought out to assemble a multicopter at a budget of $600.00.
I ended up deciding to set up a quad (hex will have to wait), for budgetary reasons.. I chose to get good motors which i can easily repurpose for hex if I do decide to upgrade the frame.
My objective is to have a platform that will give me the best flying time and decent lifting capacity (not to mention keep costs down). Here’s the setup that I will be assembling in the following week (items are inbound):
1) Frame – H4 Quadcopter frame from Hobbyking, weight: 453g, Motor Width: 470mm, $29.99.
2) AP/Stabilization – APM 2.6 + 3DR GPS Ublox from ReadymadeRC. I’m a firm believer of open source both for business and hobby.. the APM tech has been nothing but great for me so far. I dont see any reason to try other options. This arrived just today and seems to be complete. Took a big chunk from the budget at $239.99.
3) Video Transmitter – Boscam 5.8Ghz 400mw from Banggood. This should be more than enough since I dont see the quad flying beyond 2km anyway. This costs $46.99.
4) FPV Camera – Fatshark 600TVL CMOS with pan-tilt servos from ReadymadeRC. The pan-tilt system is to future proof the setup.. I ordered this along with the APM but this item was not included in the packet although its in the invoice.. $@#&@R!#.. this set me back $67.99.
5) Motors – Turnigy Multistar 3508-640kv 14pole from Hobbyking. This is the star of the show particularly for copters. I chose to get a low kv motor for bigger props and higher efficiency. This costs $113.68 for 4 units.
6) Power Management – None.. I just got a breakout cable from HK.. lets “KISS” for now. Costs $3.15.
7) Receiver – An OrangeRx R620 from Hobbyking with option to get a satellite. This should have good range, probably even extend to 1-1.5km if there’s not much interference. This costs $12.95.
8) ESC – Afro ESC 30A (SimonK Firmware) from HK. This is a well recommended ESC and specifically designed and tuned(HW and SW) for multicopters.. or so they say =) this costs $55.88 for 4 units.
9) Props – I’ll be putting in 12×5 props on this thing.
10) Batteries – one of the things I dont want to do is to have different batteries for the Skywalker.. so in the meantime, I’ll be using the Turnigy nano-tech 4S 5000mah. Will probably have to get 2-3 more of these.
That’s about $570+ so far without the props and batteries. I guess I’ll know if I missed anything soon enough..and I hope I wont regret buying from ReadymadeRC with that missing fatshark camera!
Update 2014.03.11: ReadymadeRC is sending over the Fatshark FPV camera that they didnt include in the packet. That’s a -1 for not sending it complete in the first place, +1 on the quick response (could have been +2 if they had not used the postal service and sent it instead via UPS which I paid for in the original purchase ).