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Posted by pmshop | Aug 10, 2017 @ 11:33 AM | 14,435 Views
Documenting my U500 Albatross build - If I left anything out, please ask

AUW = 3256g


But used "upswept arms" to get to 500mm

Motors & ESCs

Landing skids (Bolts, washers and locknuts from local hardware store required to attach skids to frame

Battery 1200g not 1086g as advertised


Power Module Requires longer D-13 connector from Power Module to Flight Controller

Longer cable

BEC for Power Module

Flight Controller

Flight Controller Mount

Kyosho Zeal to mount between the frame, flight controller mount and flight controller - one cut to fit square in each corner

GPS/ Compass

GPS Mast (4 count for anticipating crashes)

Lights Order 16v


Battery Connector Recommended to use and replace on battery to limit HV sparks on boot

JST Connectors Lighting and accessories connectors

Receiver module with telemetry for Taranis controller

Telemetry Cable to connect Rx to Pixhawk


Camera Shop around for coupons

Video Transmitter
Posted by pmshop | Jul 06, 2017 @ 07:03 PM | 15,229 Views
Well, not so much as a fly-away but just never returned from a spline waypoint mission June 23rd.
Everything was double checked and "should have" navigated the route perfectly.
But I was unable to recover the craft.
The flight controller must have been ripped away from the craft or power module damaged because I could not get a lock on it again.
Posted by pmshop | Jan 28, 2017 @ 06:21 AM | 16,898 Views
Current UAW - 3210g

I had a ridiculously dumb crash with the 680.
I am doing some construction progress videos for the school district here.
Once the 680 joined the fleet, I tried to send out the three crafts to video both construction locations.
450 did great but the 550 was stubborn, EKF errors.
Then I sent out the 680 with its 10000mAh battery.
I performed the 2 flights perfectly - a friday afternoon.

So on Sunday, thinking it was the 550 I sent out and the 680 was stubborn, I was trying to catch the sunset with a flight plan of 400' (120m) high and 328foot (100m) circle.
First circle went well (now 15 minutes on one battery)
Sent up for a second circle and 3/4 way around I saw the voltage drop, still thinking it was a now 8 minutes used battery - 18 minutes actual.

Started to recall with RTL but it was too late.

Ordered the obvious parts that were broken.
Those came in and discovered more damage.
Ordered those and upon complete disassembly, discovered even more damage.

So after almost 50 days of waiting due to incomplete ordering, another frame arrived.

Lesson learned on these bigger craft...crash...order a new frame!
Posted by pmshop | Nov 26, 2016 @ 01:03 PM | 16,747 Views
Here is the very beginnings of my 680 class Tarot Pro: If there is anything I missed, please ask

AUW = 3056g

680pro frame

X8R receiver

"Red Wrapper" ESCs

To build a telemetry lead for the FrSky XJT Tx

Propellers recommended for the motors

Lots of these for lights and accessories

ESC control wire extenders

MAVLINK Telemetry for Mission Planner

Soft Wire *Note* 10' but 5' red & 5' black - sadly with my need 6' so order 2X

Strobes - only going to use 2 but spares are good **Send message with requested color when ordering or random will be sent

GPS / telemetry base (Need nuts, bolts and washers for folding GPS Stand)

ESC to motor connections

Flight controller anti vibration adhesive

GPS/ Compass combo
http:...Continue Reading
Posted by pmshop | Oct 31, 2016 @ 08:55 AM | 16,532 Views
I wanted to post my current configuration of my F450 and F550 :
F450 AUW - 1840g
F550 AUW - 2440g
Posted by pmshop | Sep 25, 2016 @ 07:00 PM | 21,130 Views
To catch up - After a lot of discussion, I decided to get the SmartieParts upgrade board for my Turnigy 9X.

Got it all together and discovered I still had a short range issue with the 9X8C-V2 receiver.

So after more conversation, I decided to get the FrSky XJT transmitter module with the FrSky X8R Rx module.

Now smartieparts upgrade is supposed to be "smart enough" to read telemetry.
However, I am finding out the closest I could get for then is RSSI values.
This is after connecting the PixHawk 2.4.8 to the X8R receiver with the Craft & Theory telemetry cable

but now after loading ArduCopter custom 3.4rc5 from Craft & Theory, and the help of Mike B (one of the Open9X ersky9x9XT developers), it is coming along nicely.

I can now have the following readings on the Tx:
Armed/ Disarmed, GPS Lock status, hdop, sats, RSSI, on-board battery voltage, Tx voltage, mode indicator, altitude, GPS altitude, SWR and GPS coordinates.
Also a multitude of alarms, controls and a music player .

Yes, I know I could get it all in one package with the Taranis and with all of the time I have spent on the Turnigy, I could have had the Taranis programmed to the max BUT...

It wouldn't be half the fun as this!
Posted by pmshop | Sep 21, 2016 @ 09:07 PM | 17,925 Views
Since my last entry...lots of adventures!
Did not even report what I was up to in my previous entry.
Just 9 days prior to the previous entry, I had my first successful autonomous mission.
6 days prior, I celebrated 1 year in flight.

Since then I have been burning up the air with autonomous missions.
You can view them here:
Posted by pmshop | Feb 21, 2016 @ 09:58 AM | 17,994 Views
A broken propeller and now I am at SB5 (5th build).
#4 was the same as before but I discovered on that crash my radio was losing connection, motors would lock because I did not have radio failsafe enabled.

This build is easy to list thanks to Ebay:
Posted by pmshop | Jan 08, 2016 @ 11:04 PM | 18,430 Views
Another fatal crash.
This time at 400 feet - ground wire broke free from the PDB shutting down the motors.

Building the SB3:
Posted by pmshop | Nov 10, 2015 @ 09:31 AM | 19,361 Views
SB1.2 was involved in a fatal crash.
According to telemetry, it hit the ground at a whopping 153MPH

So, off to build SB2

F450 Body

Tall landing skids

Power cable in

Power taps

More to come
Posted by pmshop | Oct 17, 2015 @ 01:05 PM | 232,546 Views
Here is a list of components I used to build my SB1 craft:

F450 frame
*Make sure the frame has a PDB (Power Distribution Board)

Motors, ESCs and props
2 Pair EMAX MT2213 935KV CW/CCW Brushless Motor and 4x Emax Blheli 30A ESC (for $56.00 USD is no longer available)

Connectors for ESC to motors


GPS/ Compass combo with mast

ARM &GPS Indicator lights *(Later found one with with buzzer combo)

Power Module

Receiver board

APM anti-vib mount

Marker lights



Picture is with test props and PDB planks to left and right.
Switched to 9047 props for now and rotated PDB 90 degrees
Added gimbal

Transmitter came originally with my CX-20 and used that for this project.
If you are building from scratch, to match this design, you need this transmitter with the receiver listed
But any 8 channel transmitter/ radio combo will do.

AS ALWAYS, shop around for the best deals.
Posted by pmshop | Sep 27, 2015 @ 10:26 AM | 19,642 Views
Thanks to a ditch into a river, I discovered this method of file recovery:

Remo Repair MOV 2.0
It uses an undamaged file from the same camera to compare and repair.
And instead of paying $69, go into the C:\Program Files (x86)\Remo Repair MOV 2.0, view hidden files and repaired video is in the "$tp" folder in .mov format.
But the extension can be changed to .mp4
When I uploaded to YouTube, it takes longer to process than original non-corrupted files from the same cam.
It did save the 60fps format though.

Does not work on "0" byte files.
Posted by pmshop | Sep 11, 2015 @ 04:56 AM | 19,904 Views
Home made Tarot 680 HEX - Build 2
Home made F550 HEX - Build 5
Home made F450 quad - Build 9
X6 Tarantula
X8C (2 units)
X5C (3 units)
Posted by pmshop | Aug 28, 2015 @ 05:21 AM | 25,105 Views
Here is my final report on the X101:
Had the same strange flyaway as DJ Soulforce on his first X101
For some reason, you can take flight and the controls are non-responsive after initial takeoff.
Distance had nothing to do with it either. Control would be lost either 50 feet (15m) or 200 feet (60m) away.

Once I recovered, one motor was jammed but no sign of impact.
It is not a bent drive shaft as I removed it to test.
Also noted earlier, the X101 has a light metal inner skeleton.
I had no issue with it replacing the body the first time.
But this recovery, one of the arms were bent down from the main hull.
So how can that possibly be aligned for perfect flight?
I would guess one would only get close to perfect after that.

Plus, the quad will not turn on.
Must be a cracked mainboard because when I was checking alignment of the bent arm, the battery was attached with switch off but the orange lights were trying to come on.

*9/10/15 - light circuit was burnt out due to receiving motor voltage from an adjacent solder point that had too much wire insulation stripped. Unit turns on, just no lights.

Since there is a jammed motor, bent skeleton and cracked controller board, that was my last flight with the X101.

*See above update

**9/11/15 Update
Yes, I'm done. At 6 feet (2m) the MJX X-101 took off on its own.
At about 50 feet, I shut down the throttle and it continued to climb.
Once it became a speck, I could see it drift away.
I have a pretty good...Continue Reading
Posted by pmshop | Aug 15, 2015 @ 08:18 AM | 19,378 Views
Follow-up with the flight times:
Just got back from capturing a sunrise video and came out to 9 minutes continuous flight/ video.
Not fighting any wind, ascended and descended twice roughly 700feet (213m)
I need to remember to grab that 9g altimeter TheOldFart mentions from time to time.
Again my XiaoMi Yi and direct GoPro mount weighs in at 110g
Stock battery 2000mAh 25C discharge rating.

I will continue to edit the record here:
2015-08-14 had a 6 minute flight
2015-08-15 had a 9 minute flight
2015-08-17 had a 9 minute flight
2015-08-27 had a 8.5 minute flight
2015-09-10 had a 9 minute flight
2015-09-17 had a 8 minute flight
Posted by pmshop | Jul 29, 2015 @ 05:15 PM | 19,328 Views
Here are some other lists of available X8C parts.

First part starts 11 items down on the first page:

Another site to refer to:


An additional site War_Destroyer came up with for a "crash kit"
Posted by pmshop | Jul 28, 2015 @ 08:22 PM | 20,223 Views
Here are my flight videos on YouTube:

Posted by pmshop | Jul 28, 2015 @ 06:12 PM | 19,996 Views
Posted by pmshop | Jul 28, 2015 @ 05:42 PM | 20,789 Views
This is a camera mount solution I came up with with help from the group.

I can't seem to find a kit but:

For some reason, a direct mount to the X8C shell works best for the XiaoMi Yi cam from what I have read.

** I have personally found the same jello-free results with a direct mount. Propellers must be balanced for best results.

The above has quick disconnects but if you want the shortest, lightest mount:

Order up some VHB pads too

Take the strap off and the mounting base that has the thin VHB tape on it.
Put a VHB strip on the mount and directly apply. (not shown in photo)

For me, this is the mount I prefer.
It has it's pros and cons:
Pro: the pivot has teeth in it that allow for a no slip positioning.
Con: No quick disconnect

Don't let the double sided tape fool you.
While experimenting with anti jello mounts, I had a rough crash with VHB connecting the mount, the one with the rubber balls.
I just knew the mount was ripped from the VHB tape.
Nope - the rubber balls ripped out of the mounting plate. The VHB tape never gave way.

Total weight of solution 1: 110g with camera
Total weight of solution 2: 115g with camera

Solution 1 photos are attached to a MJX X101 but works with X8C as well.
*Photos of the solution mounted to the X101 are to illustrate the mount.
After further research, the 3M VHB does not adhere well to the material the X101 shell is made of.

Eye in the Sky; Cloud Flight - September 20, 2015 (4 min 26 sec)