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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:28 PM
I love FPV!
Cralis's Avatar
Eastern side of Australia
Joined Jan 2007
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Hoverthings FLIP FPV

Hi chaps,

I am planning on moving from fixed with FPV, to a multi rotor. The idea of lifting off from my small-ish garden, or small park, is appealing.

The frame I think I like is the one from Hoverthings... the FLIP FPV.
http://www.hoverthings.com/flipfpvca...black-294.html

What I have:
Loads of 900Mhz video Rxs and Txs, along with cameras and all that.
Long range UHF radio (TX connected to a Futaba 9CH)
Lots of 3S batteries.
DragonOSD V2

So, from what I can see, I need:

4 * motors (Which ones? Hobbyking would be nice...)
4 * Speed controllers
1 * flight controller? http://www.hoverthings.com/accessori...s/djinaza.html seems to be the advice?)

The flight controller seems to be the pricey part, and this Nazi thing seems to be good, but then the GPS adds on a serious cost more. I'd like to have a position hold type feature, and an altitude hold?

As far as skills go, I have flown rc Helicopters and planes, so I am hoping a quad is pretty simple for that. Most planes have been FPV.

Hope someone can advise, or maybe share a Hobbyking sourced Hoverthings powered machine?


EDIT:
Current CHOICE list:
Frame:
FLIP FPV Frame (BLACK/RED) - (Link)

Speed Controller:
ReadyToFly-SimonK House ESC-20AMP-NFET

Motor:
HT-FPV Motor - House

Controller:
MultiWii PRO Flight Controller w/ GPS Option

Extras:
Servo extensions

Things I need to order (Extras):
Some prop adaptors
Some extra props
Maybe the Bluetooth addon.

Already have:
Thomas LHS Long Range radio Rx and Tx
Futaba 9CHAP
Rangevideo 900Mhz 500mw Video Tx
RangeVideo 900Mhz video Rx

Videos of once I got the goods:

Unfortunately, I received a dud ESC.
Motor/ESC issues (0 min 29 sec)


Some run up tests:
HT-FPV Quad build Diagnosis check (0 min 0 sec)


Checking the motor directions and settings:
Quad issues - Motors ting they are crazy? (0 min 0 sec)


I will post my Multiwii Sketch and settings once I have it working well.

First FPV Flight!!
My first Quad FPV (5 min 0 sec)
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:18 AM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
Vantasstic's Avatar
Las Vegas, NV
Joined Sep 2003
18,604 Posts
Ha...I get first reply!!!!

Do you have a price range you'd like to stay in? That'll help with equipment ideas. I don't have my Flip FPV frame yet. Some recommendations though:
1. To stay in the 3S LiPo range I would look towards some 28mm OD size motors in the 1050-1200kv range for 8"-9" props.
2. ESCs...in the 12A+ range is good. I'd shoot for 18A-20A ones that are pre-flashed or can be flashed with the SimonK firmware. This firmware is more multi-rotor based and normally preferred over stock firmware.
3. The Naza and GPS is a great FPV setup...not so much a great 'sport' controller (IMHO). Naza alone will give you a fantastic altitude hold and autoland on low battery (if you program it that way) and autoland on failsafe. The newest Naza firmware also allows for PPM input so it makes connecting to a PPM capable receiver much cleaner. More popular and more affordable is the Multiwii type controllers. You can get them with mag and baro sensors in the $50+ range. You can get add on GPS units for RTH and position hold for ~$40 more...but they AREN'T plug-n-play systems....expect to do a lot of learning/experimenting. I recently got a GPS setup for my Multiwii boards, but haven't hooked it up yet.

So where to get?
1. The Flip FPV frame from Hoverthings of course.
2. Take a look at the Multiwii Quadrino board sold by Hoverthings....runs ~$150 I think. He also has a GPS plug-n-play (I think) add on for an additional $130...something to consider if you don't want to go the full Naza-GPS route, but don't want to hassle with figuring out how to get a GPS system configured and working with a Multiwii controller. FWIW, The Naza is real easy to set up and the RTH, position hold, and altitude hold work very well. A similar Multiwii setup works too, but I don't believe anywhere near the accuracy of the Naza unit.
3. Motors and ESCs...take a look at RCTimer.com. They have pre-flashed SimonK ESCs starting at 20A and in the ~$15+ price range. You can get the RCTimer 18A ESC for ~$10 and flash it yourself...if you have an AVR type programmer...probably also available at RCTimer. Oh, the 28mm OD motors also run in the ~$10 price range. 35mm OD motors are to big for these size frames in my opinion. They also have these new HP motors...they start in the ~$16 range. I've read they are similar/clones of the SunnySky motors which seem to get really good reviews on build, quality, and balance.
4. RCTimer prices include shipping...so what you see is all you pay...well, plus a 3.5% PayPal fee. For $2 more you get tracking info. I've dealt with RCTimer for some time now and have been satisfied with their service and stuff I've bought.
Lastly...buy at least one extra motor and ESC...and many extra props...you'll be breaking props...I guarantee you. I like the Gemfan props for price and durability. You'll need CW and CCW props. Different colors will help with orientation too. I normally fly orange up front and black in the rear.

So your job now is to give us a preferred price range you'd like to start off with. Oh, last thing...about the flight controller. These are really pretty good pieces of equipment now. To start off with, without going overboard, consider an inexpensive Multiwii board with either a built in Mini USB port or comes with an FTDI for programming and setting up. You can start out with a $30 controller with gyro and accelerometer only or a $55 controller with added baro and mag sensor...then upgrade to a more expensive board once your ready to take a bigger price plunge.

Some potential RCTimer items:
Controller: w/mag and baro: http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...1&productname=
gyro/accel only: http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...5&productname=
FTDI: http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...4&productname=
ESC: http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...0&productname=
http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...3&productname=
Motors: http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...8&productname=
http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...1&productname=
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:51 AM
I love FPV!
Cralis's Avatar
Eastern side of Australia
Joined Jan 2007
4,650 Posts
Van you're the man.... Thanks for that! I'm reading, and rereading your post.
Costs? I was HOPING to stay around $500, but am worried that might not be possible. I'd prefer the Nazi, as it sounds easier to use, and sounds fantastic. But one thing I'd like the copter for, is to maybe film my kids playing from the air, or friends and I playing sport or something - and to send it up to a position, and hit a button to 'Hold' and then allow me (or the pilot) to control a camera while it hovers, sounds like a fantastic thing to do. Or allow my wife to get into flying, and allow it to be 'easy' for her to fly, and if she panics... a button to 'Hold me here, as I am in trouble'.

Those sorts of features will probably be pricey. But under $500, I can maybe get past her. Am I aiming too low, for too much fun?

RTH and all that sounds great - but I am battling to understand why the GPS add on is so pricey. Isn't it just a GPS rx? I guess that can wait though...

I'm going to check those sites.

PS: Is this not a better frame? Has feet and stuff. I am battling to work out the size though. To me, bigger is better. Not sure which is bigger.
http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...8&productname=
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 01:04 AM
Custom quad builder
tech69x's Avatar
United States, TX, Spring
Joined Apr 2012
2,364 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cralis View Post
Van you're the man.... Thanks for that! I'm reading, and rereading your post.
Costs? I was HOPING to stay around $500, but am worried that might not be possible. I'd prefer the Nazi, as it sounds easier to use, and sounds fantastic. But one thing I'd like the copter for, is to maybe film my kids playing from the air, or friends and I playing sport or something - and to send it up to a position, and hit a button to 'Hold' and then allow me (or the pilot) to control a camera while it hovers, sounds like a fantastic thing to do. Or allow my wife to get into flying, and allow it to be 'easy' for her to fly, and if she panics... a button to 'Hold me here, as I am in trouble'.

Those sorts of features will probably be pricey. But under $500, I can maybe get past her. Am I aiming too low, for too much fun?

RTH and all that sounds great - but I am battling to understand why the GPS add on is so pricey. Isn't it just a GPS rx? I guess that can wait though...

I'm going to check those sites.

PS: Is this not a better frame? Has feet and stuff. I am battling to work out the size though. To me, bigger is better. Not sure which is bigger.
http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...8&productname=
You can get the same frame here cheaper

http://skullcopter.com/multirotor-fr...05-Multicopter
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 01:14 AM
I love FPV!
Cralis's Avatar
Eastern side of Australia
Joined Jan 2007
4,650 Posts
Thanks for that.
Is that the same from? Looks the same. It's $129 on the site you mentioned, though, and $119 on the RCTimer site:
http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...8&productname=

BUT ... I see there is a nice combo.
http://rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goo...5&productname=

$239 for that frame, 4 motors, 4 ESCs and 4 blades.
Waiting for Van to comment on this frame, vs the original one I mentioned. This one can fold up!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 01:21 AM
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United States, CT
Joined Oct 2012
650 Posts
Hey Cralis what you are looking to do is certainly attainable and very fun, I'm actually going through the same process myself. Van helped me out on some questions too and was very helpful so he's a good source.

So your goal is the $500 budget. You might be aiming a little too low since from the sound of it you would be needing a Naza GPS setup to get the position hold accuracy you would need to operate a camera on a pan tilt and get the best shot. It will be a bit of a project to get completed. You'll have to go one step at a time. Build the quad, test with Naza, test with GPS, throw on camera, thrown on pan tilt, etc. I'm sure you'll have fun.

But anyways yeah the Naza GPS alone is $400. Why does it cost that much? Because they can charge it and people buy it. Simple as that. No other reason. Until or unless competitors make products that can rival the Naza and GPS combo it won't be changing dramatically anytime soon. However other FC's like OpenPilot are being worked on all the time and there is a new version of OpenPilot being tested now called the Revolution which should be on par or better than Naza eventually. I just wouldn't wait for it because progress is slow but steady.

I just build an HT-FPV with Naza and GPS and I am loving it so much. The Flip FPV frame looks cool too I might just buy one of those to test.
I also just built a VC-450 frame and used OpenPilot on that one and it works great. The only thing is there is no letting it chill and hover in the air. You have to make sure you don't crash it the whole time. But it's a blast to control and zoom around full speed. I just got a set of Fatshark goggles so I can't wait to test the HT-FPV and the VC-450 with goggles and see how they are from that perspective.

But anyways..kind of got off topic. Naza GPS: $400. Frame $100+ Motors: $60-140 depending on the quality you want. I'm actually wondering if the Tiger MT motors which cost like $50 per motors make much a difference from the already expensive Tiger MS series motors I have which cost $35 a motor. Motors are fairly important so it's something you might not want to go too cheap on.
ESC's will end up being $50-80. I got $27 NextLevel 30a ESC's. Not sure it was worth the extra.
Batteries and props: $60+

So being modest you are looking at $200-$300 for your Quad without the flight controller so that will break your $500 goal. $600-$700 minimum I'd say for a quality setup. It's worth it though. My HT-FPV flies SOOOOO stable now that I've locked it in. I also have a Futaba 9c. Love it. Anyways... good luck
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 01:35 AM
I love FPV!
Cralis's Avatar
Eastern side of Australia
Joined Jan 2007
4,650 Posts
Thanks TimeTrave1er! Very good info. That Van Man is cool! I'm happy to go without GPS - for now, and then get GPS later on, once I learn to fly. The Naza only sounds cool, because it's easy, and seems to get good reviews on stability and all that - and maybe for someone new to Quads and their controllers, and on a budget - tinkering with controllers, causing crashes, might be bad, and a 10min setup of the Nazi, sounds .. cheaper in that respect?

But if another board, which does require some work, but can obtain the same stability, is available, and will allow for position hold - then it sounds sleak, and I guess I can tinker.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 01:46 AM
Custom quad builder
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Joined Apr 2012
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It takes a little longer than 10 min to setup but you can't beat it I love mine
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 02:59 AM
Registered User
United States, CT
Joined Oct 2012
650 Posts
One more thing I'd like to tell you Cralis, is that flying a quad from my experience isn't that difficult and can be picked up quickly. I find it easier to fly than a fixed wing plane or Heli. That is my opinion at least
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 07:56 AM
Build,Fly,Crash,Repeat
Michigan
Joined Nov 2007
514 Posts
Cralis,

I started to post some sudgestions but soon realized everything I had to say has been said. I ordered two Flip FPV frames and my build is going to consist of a NAZA w/GPS, SunnySky 2212 980kv motors or my SunnySky 2217 1250kv motors 20 or 30a ESC's flashed with SimonK firmware, 9x4.7 props 3s 3300mah or 8x4.5 with 4s 3000mah battery, If the batteries end up being to big I may opt for 3000mah 3s or 2650mah 4s. RC Timer has all you need at a great price minus the frame. I think this would be the easiest for you if your just starting FPV quads. RC Timer has the same motors but they call theirs HP2212 1000KV, They draw around 15a on 3s with 9x4.7 props. Some RC Timer 20a ESC's with SimonK firmware and you'll be good to go. Another popular setup is HobbyKing NTM 2212 1200kv short shaft motors with 8x4.5 props, Just dont forget the prop adapter as they sell them seperatley. DJI motors are nice but they have a special keyed prop that tends to break easily. GemFan carbon/nylon props are what you'll want, Less flex and pretty darn tough, Tough is what you need in this hobby. My biggest advice would be not to fly it within 100' of anyone you care about until you get really good and even then take precaution these things seem to get brainfarts all the time and they always go towards people for some reason (SkyNet syndrome?,Maybe). Also, NEVER and I mean NEVER!!! buy used, your not saving a buck!, You're buying someone elses headache or outdated hardware.

GG
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:25 AM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
Vantasstic's Avatar
Las Vegas, NV
Joined Sep 2003
18,604 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget-Geek View Post
...Also, NEVER and I mean NEVER!!! buy used, your not saving a buck!, You're buying someone elses headache or outdated hardware.

GG
Oh, there you go and ruined it. I was just about to offer Cralis my ancient, gyro only, Gaui GU-344 controller for $200. Jesh...
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:35 AM
Build,Fly,Crash,Repeat
Michigan
Joined Nov 2007
514 Posts
I have some GWS PG-03 gyros and some v-tail mixers from my first build! going on 8-9 years ago now. I think they qualify as antiques so I can charge more right?.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:36 AM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
Vantasstic's Avatar
Las Vegas, NV
Joined Sep 2003
18,604 Posts
Cralis,

There's so many frames out there I certainly can't comment on them. My concerns on the one you were looking at:
1. Stands tall with narrower landing stance (more chance to tip over)
2. For a 650 frame I'd go with lower kv motors, 4S, and 10" (minimum) to 12" props.
3. Room for hauling a camera gimbal under the frame.
4. Durability with carbon fiber arms. Yes...they break...or shatter.

You're learning. You're GOING to crash, tip over, loose orientation, etc, etc, etc. It's all part of the learning curve. DURABILITY is what I'd lean towards...especially for the first frame. The Flip FPV looks to fit the bill for smaller, easier to transport size, durability, and still large enough to haul your FPV gear around...that's why I've got one coming for myself!

The Naza really is the easiest controller to set up I've seen/used. No PIDs to adjust, just a couple of gains...and those can be set up to be adjustable in flight. Unless there's a reasonable price break between a Naza+GPS combo over buying them separately, I'd start off with the Naza and add the GPS later. Put the Naza in autolevel mode (which also turns on altitude hold), and provide light stick corrections to keep in hover. GPS hold is cool, but not always accurate. Sometimes my GPS hold works great, sometimes it goes into a TBE (toilet bowl effect) where it starts swirlign around, and around, and around, and wanting to go out of control. So don't think GPS is perfect. Also, the Naza GPS seems to be bothered by some VTx equipment. I have one 300mW 1.3Ghz VTx that the Naza refused to get satellite lock (where my DOSD does) when the VTx is on. A second, same type, VTx and the Naza GPS will get satellite lock. ???

There's lots and lots of sites out there with available equipment. What I listed was just my attempt to get as much as possible from as few as possible places. I'd still lean towards Hoverthings for the Flip FPV and a Naza (check to see if he has props too), and RCTimer for motors, ESCs, and whatever else. For 1000kv motors on 3S 8" props will work...edging towards 9" may be better though for that kv. 1100-1200kv would work better for 8" props on 3S.

Oh, last thing on the 1000kv motors and props. I build a tri for a buddy using 1000kv RCTimer motors. He wanted to use a 5000mAh 3S pack, so I tested it (with 8" props) on that setup. It did fine with the added battery weight. I moved to GWS 9x5x3 3-bladed props and liked it even better. 3-blade props are harder to balance, the blades don't always track with each other, but they seem to be quieter and smoother for FPV work. Look at some of the higher dollar type frames and you'll see a lot of them using 3-blade props (multicopter.com for one I believe). Choice is yours. I think I'd still lean more toward 9" props for the 1000kv motors on 3S though...
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Last edited by Vantasstic; Dec 13, 2012 at 09:43 AM.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:57 AM
LOAD "FLIP-FPV",8,1
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If you get simonK flashed ESC's just make sure they work with the motors you select... I've heard some motors (like NTM1200) dont work as well with the flashed esc's (due to odd pole count?). But most work fine.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:59 AM
Build,Fly,Crash,Repeat
Michigan
Joined Nov 2007
514 Posts
Google bang buck quad, I can't believe it flies without shaking apart!. Vantasstic brings up another good point, Make sure all your gear will play nice together as far as frequencies go. GPS is on the 1.5ghz spectrum so 1.3ghz may not play well together. We use a copper pigmented paint on our birds at work but copper foil under your GPS will work too just make sure that it doesn't contact electronics, You can apply it to the outside of a GPS housing. I bought a BumbleBee quad thinking it would fulfill my FPV needs as a transportable ready built quad, It suffered from a brainfart about 200ft. up, Broke a prop and went SPLAT!, I rebuilt it and I still like it I guess but it's not tough, Stands to tall and tips easily and all that carbon fiber don't mean sqwat from 200'.

GG
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