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 ).