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Posted by mutski | Apr 28, 2021 @ 12:53 AM | 3,245 Views
This entry is a throwback to document the construction of my Fullspeed Leader 3 quadcopter. In order to add GPS, I had to toss the stock Fullspeed flight controller, which didn't have enough UARTS. I replaced it with an HGLRC Zeus F4 AIO 15 amp flight controller, which sadly is no longer made.

The Leader 3 has been a terrific quad. My construction is as follows:
HGLRC Zeus AIO flight controller
Crossfire Nano receiver
Runcam Racer 2 camera
Fullspeed TC 600 vtx
VAS Minion antenna
Emax RS1106 4500kv motors
HQ T3x3x3 props
Gforce 3S 1300 mah lipo

I have a second Leader 3 with a Runcam Split 3 Micro.

The original version used an FrSky R9-Mini 915 mhz receiver, but my FrSky gear kept dropping telemetry, and then they released ACCESS with which my R9-Mini had failsafes less than a quarter mile away and THEN FrSky released it's new version of ACCST. Too much confusion - I switched all my favorite toys to Crossfire, and I find it much more dependable and easier to set up. There are no questions about which firmware to use and the range is clearly WAY farther than I will ever fly.
Posted by mutski | Mar 25, 2021 @ 11:51 AM | 6,769 Views
Zohd Nano Talon EVO build:

Stock motor, ESC, servos
Matek F411-WING flight controller
Runcam Split 3 Micro camera - I hollowed the nose with a hot-wire foam-cutting pen to put the camera forward where it does not see the aircraft nose. The camera is held in place with a block of foam and hinge tape.
Unify Pro V3 in bottom compartment
TrueRC side-feed antenna
Crossfire Nano receiver
Crossfire Micro antenna
4S 18650 lithium ion pack
Posted by mutski | Jan 21, 2021 @ 01:46 PM | 9,709 Views
This week I lightened my original Dart 250 to less than 250 gms. Final equipment:

T-Motor F20 II 1408 3250Kv Micro Motor 15.2 gm
Aikon 35 amp ESC 3.1g (no wires)
APC 4.1x4.1 prop 2.7g
Emax ES9051 servos 2x4.3g
Matek F411-WSE 8.5g
Crossfire Nano rx 0.5 g
TBS Unify Pro V3 vtx 2.1g
TrueRC 5.8ghz sidefeet antenna (short) 1.7g
iFlight GPS 4.7 gm
Runcam Racer 3 camera 5.5g
20 ga ESC and battery wiring
2S LGGBMH11865 3200mah lithium ion pack 94.1g

AUW - 249.4 gms

The biggest step was dismantling my Strix 2S 3200 mah pack, which started at 101 gms. I switched from 16ga leads to 20 ga, shortened wires and dispensed with a lit of extra insulation and electrical tape. Final weight 94.1 g. I also traded the 16ga battery and ESC leads in my original Dart 250 for 20ga, traded my Matek F411-WING flight controller (12 g) for a Matek F411-WSE (8.5 g), switched from a VAS Minion vieo antenna to a TrueRC side-feed (shhort) antenna, cut out the carbon fiber crossbar in the Dart battery compartment, removed the black plastic bottom skids, eliminated the bullet connectors between the ESC and motor, and cut all the interior wiring as short as possible. I'd like to replace the Runcam Racer 3 with a Split 3 Micro for the HD onboard video recordings, but I don't see a way to keep under 250 gms with the 18650 pack. Or maybe... replace the T-Motor F20 II 1408 3250Kv and APC 4.1x4.1 prop with an Emax RS1306B 2700kv motor and HQprop Durable T5X3 prop, and replace the Aikon 35 amp ESC with an Emax Bullet Series 30 amp ESC. But that's another project when I have the parts.

Maiden flight was 40 minute, 25 seconds with plenty of racing around. It doesn't quite have enough power for a good loop on 2S. I can get to the top and turn, but it's just about out of steam when I do.
Posted by mutski | Jan 17, 2021 @ 01:19 AM | 14,654 Views
After much shortening of wires and rearranging, my Dart 250 is now a hair's breadth under 250 grams AUW. The first flight was 14:43.

Matek F411-WSE
Stock motor, ESC and 2-blade prop
Emax 9051 servos
TBS Unify Pro V3
TrueRC Sidefeed (short) antenna
Runcam Split 3 Micro
TBS Crossfire Nano rx
Battery -3S, 1200mah Efest 18350 pack
Battery and ESC wiring - 20 ga.

I could cut another gram or two by removing the electrical tape that covers the vent holes in the back and using lighter heat shrink to cover the vtx and rx. I could also save by switching to the Runcam Split 3 Nano.
Posted by mutski | Jan 13, 2021 @ 01:52 AM | 7,810 Views
I was inspired by Kvn2019's 248gm Drift to shave some weight off my 315gm elephant (Drift). I spent a long time studying Kvn's pix on Rotorbuilds- . His parts were all lighter than mine, but the biggest differences were:
His DLG 2S 1300mah lipo (80gms) vs. my 2S, 3200mah 18650 lithium ion pack (105gms),
His Emax 1306 2700kv motor and HQProp T5x3 prop (10gms) vs. my stock motor and prop (20gms)
His HAKRC F4 Mini flight controller (3.3gms) vs. my Matek F411-WSE flight controller (8gms)

The HAKRC F4Mini is no longer available, so I wound up using the F411-WSE. I ordered his motor and prop, then replaced my 18650 pack with a 2S, 1200mah Efest 18350 lithium ion pack (53gms). Copying Kvn again, I replaced my 18ga battery and ESC wiring with 20ga. I traded my Emax ES08MD tail servo (13 gms) for an Emax ES02E (8 gms). By then I'd saved enough weigh to keep my Matek SAM M8Q GPS (7 gms vs. the stock BN220, 5.3 gms). I'd expected to use the lightweight Runcam Racer 3 (5.5 gms), but I actually needed more weight in the nose, so I used a Runcam Split 3 Nano (10.5gms). To get the CG right, I also had to move the GPS from its old spot by the motor pod to a new one on the floor ahead of the wing. My new AUW is 244gms.

Final Parts:
Zohd Drift kit
Emax Bullet Series 30 amp ESC
Emax RS1306 2700kv motor
HQProp T5x3 prop
2S Efest 18350 lithium ion battery pack (1200 mah, 10 amp continuous discharge)
Matek F411-WSE flight controller
TBS Unify...Continue Reading
Posted by mutski | Jan 11, 2021 @ 12:25 PM | 7,790 Views
My Razor specs:
Stock motor, servos, ESC
Matek F411-WSE flight controller
Runcam Racer 3 camera
TBS Unify Pro V3 video transmitter
TrueRC 5.8 ghz side feed video antenna
AUW 474 gms

I started with the stock BN220 GPS, but wasn't getting many satellites. I switched to the Matek GPS with much better results.

After buggering the FPV canopy trying to mount the camera with hot glue, I rebuilt it a bit with spare scraps of foam to fit the Racer 3. The camera is stuck in place with double-sided tape with a piece of hinge tape over the top for insurance. The Runcam Split 3 Micro board barely fits under the battery hatch cover. I'm afraid the cable to the camera would be damaged, so for now, I'm using a Runcam Racer 3.

Control surfaces are set to 15-degree deflections in either direction, which seems to work well.

The battery compartment is barely big enough for the recommended 2S 18650 lithium ion pack, and a 10 amp 18650 doesn't really have enough power for this plane. I moved to Hohm Tech Life V4 18650 3015mAh 3015 mah 22.1A, rated for 22 amps continuous and 31 amps burst. These give much better Razor performance. I have been getting 10-20 min. flight times depending on how hard I fly it. EFEST 18650 3000mah IMR cells, rated for 20 amps continuous, 35 amps burts, also give good performance.

The stock prop and spinner are cheap plastic. I couldn't get them to balance properly, so I switched to an MPI 30 mm spinner and APC 8x4 blades from...Continue Reading
Posted by mutski | Jan 01, 2021 @ 05:58 PM | 11,334 Views
Stock motor, ESC and servos
F411-WSE flight controller
Crossfire Nano rx
RMRC Mini GPS (5.4 gms)
Runcam Split 3 Micro
TBS Unify Pro V3
VAS Minion U.Fl. antenna
Ballast 4.4 gms
3S, 1300 mah lipo ( 106 gms)
Weight without battery - 177 gms
AUW - 283 gms
Posted by mutski | Sep 11, 2020 @ 10:44 PM | 7,136 Views
my Zohd Drift specs:

Matek F411-WSE flight controller, iNav 2..5
Runcam Racer 3 camera
TBS Unify Pro V3 video transmitter
AXII side-feed antenna
FRSky R9-Mini receiver
Stock motor, ESC and servos
Battery - 2S 18650 3500 mah (101 gms)
Weigh minus battery - 214 gms
AUW - 315 gms

A good replacement tail servo - Emax ES08MD metal gear servo or ES08E, nylon gears. Both fit easily with some minor sanding to the edges of the servo slot.

The F411-WSE just fits in the top compartment, although I had to shave a little sliver of foam from the rim of the hatch to make room for the servo lead plugs. I put the GPS by the motor pod to shift weight aft and get it away from electrical noise. The video transmitter and receiver are in the belly hatch. I had originally planned to put the video antenna on top, ahead of the flight controller hatch, but I broke my Minion antenna, so I switched to the side-feed antenna in the bottom hatch. I used slivers of foam to fill the voids around the back of the camera. I threaded the receiver antenna out the top by the GPS. With a 2S 18650 lithium ion pack, I will still need a couple of grams of weight on the tail. I set the aileron and elevator travel by the manual and as suggested by ArxangwlRC on Youtube, I added about 2 mm up up trim to the elevator.

Update - I couldn't stop the VTX from overheating in the bottom compartment with the ESC. So today I moved it to the top outside, by the wing mount screw. Much better. The elevator was also very twitchy. I upped the Pitch expo from 25% to 45% in my Taranis X9D Plus.
Posted by mutski | Aug 20, 2020 @ 03:24 PM | 8,566 Views
Phoenix 2.4 meter specs

Matek F405 fight controller
Beitian 220 GPS
TBS Unify Pro HV 5.8 ghz vtx
Runcam action cam
stock motor, esc
4S 2600 mah lipo
FrSky R9MM 915 mhz receiver
40mm Diameter Turbo Folding Prop Spinner
Aeronaut Cam 10"X6" blades

AUW is roughly 1782 gms
Posted by mutski | Aug 20, 2020 @ 02:44 PM | 8,710 Views
My Skyhawk V2 specs:

Stock motors, ESCs and props
F405-WING flight controller
FrSky R9MM receiver
Runcam Racer 3 camera
ReadyMadeRC Cricket V2 video transmitter
VAS Minion antenna
3300 micro-farad capacitor soldered across battery leads
3S 2200mah lipo
CG 60 mm behind the leading edge where the wing meets the fuse
AUW 791 gms using a 3S 2200mah lipo, no Mobius. Empty weight is 607 gms.

I tried a Runcam Split 3 Micro in the nose, with the board installed on a shelf at the front of the battery compartment. I had to remove it because it kept overheating and freezing in-flight (thank goodness for RTH!). So it's back to the Racer 3.

I think the Skyhawk flies nicely without differential thrust, but I wanted to give it a try. Diff thrust does seem to eliminate a lot of side-to-side waggle during fast flight and windy conditions.

My Skyhawk required ballast in the nose with the Split Micro in the nose and original Mobius on the tail. I couldn't put the battery far enough forward. I was able to eliminate the ballast after replacing the Split Micro with the Racer 3 and removing the shelf, and using a Mobius Mini on the tail. I have a little hidden ballast though, because I had to double the floor to repair damage after a crash.

Thanks to Andrew Newton for numerous ideas that made this plane better!
Posted by mutski | Aug 20, 2020 @ 02:03 PM | 8,888 Views
Current Tricopter LR specs:
Modified Tricopter LR frame
Impossible Tilt tail mech
Hobbywing 3amp UBEC
Bluebird BMS-210dmh tail servo
Kakute F7 flight controller
Tekko 32 35 amp AIO ESC
Atlatl HV vtx
AXii video antenna
Runcam Split 3 Micro
R9MM receiver with ACCST
Matek M8Q-5883 GPS
HQ 7x3.5x3 props
Emax RSII-2207 1600kv motors
G-Force 3S 5000mah lipo, OR
G-Force 4S 2600 mah lipo

AUW = 788 gms 3S or 674 gms 4S

Important note - with iNav, the servo signal comes via the M5 (motor 5) signal pad. The tail servo signal wire must connect to M5.
Posted by mutski | Aug 26, 2017 @ 02:53 PM | 10,159 Views
Successsful FFF Eagle specs. It took several times to get one that flies. The key was adding 1/2 oz of lead to the nose; it probably still needs another 1/4 oz, but it is now controllable. The CG noted in the plan is too far aft; i.e. tail-heavy. The current, flyable CG is a smidgeon short of 2" from the leading edge at the fuse.

V3 specs:
All-UP-Weight: 1 lb, 6.5 oz (637 gm)
HexTronics 24 gm 1300kv motor
APC 8x4.7 slow electric prop
3S 1250 kv battery
Turnigy Plush 12 amp ESC
Lemon rx with satellite
EXI D113F 9gm nylon servos for the tail
EXI D213F 9gm metal servos for the wing
Dihedral 5 degrees
V-tail 105 degrees
Posted by mutski | May 01, 2016 @ 12:44 AM | 14,446 Views
Flying today
Posted by mutski | Jun 11, 2015 @ 10:19 PM | 13,879 Views
Lost in the woods. A year ago, but a friend is out looking.
Posted by mutski | Sep 11, 2013 @ 02:39 AM | 15,757 Views
In light of the unfortunate demise of my EasyStar II, I'm accelerating plans to build a new long-range version. I already have the EasyStar II kit. Additional parts ordered:
I just ordered the following for an EasyStar II and Dx6i controller:

EZUHF Transmitter US$209.00
EzUHF Receiver, 8 channel diversity US$124.00
JST Female to 2.1mm Barrel Connector $4.99
EZUHF JR Style Trainer Cord TX Adapter $9.99
400mW 1300MHz Transmitter - NEW CUSTOM READYMADERC US VERSION $49.99
Transmitter Cable (Large Plug) $9.99
1.3GHz Receiver w/SAW Upgrade (V3 with 1258 MHz!) RX Antenna - 1.1-1.3GHz 8dBi Patch $111.98
1.1-1.3GHz 3dBi Antenna
VEE 1.2 GHz IBCrazy Antenna Tunned for 1280 MHz - SMA Male $14.99
Eagletree OSD Pro Pkg with 100A eLogger/Wire Leads and GPS $215.97
HK 3A single cell brushed ESC (to convert EZUHF PPM to analog for RSSI) $9.94
EXI 9g digital servo-D213F $8.50x4

I plan to use a Turnigy Plush 25 amp ESC and the motor salvaged from the crashed ESII. I'm hoping the Pixim Seawolf camera is also salvageable.
Posted by mutski | Sep 04, 2013 @ 07:12 PM | 26,192 Views
Here is my current Q450 quadcopter setup. Flight time with a 4000mah 3S battery is around 10 minutes at 70 degrees F, 7 minutes at 0 degrees F. I've flown a little over a mile at 400 feet with clear video and solid control. That's about as far as I can fly and return with a 4000 mah battery. First version had a KK2 controller. After replacing it with the Naza, I had to build a second to keep the KK2 employed.

Quadcopter Parts

Q450 Glass Fiber Quadcopter Frame 450mm - Integrated PCB Version $14.11
Width: 450mm
Height: 55mm
Weight: 280g (w/out electronics)
Motor Mount Bolt Holes: 16/19mm

Trex 450 Landing Skids $7.99

DJI Naza M V1 flight controller with GPS $359.10
(This is V1, which I actually bought on sale when V2 came out)

NTM Prop Drive Series 28-26A 1200kv / 250w (short shaft version)
Model: NTM Prop Drive Series 28-26A 1200kv (short shaft version)
Kv: 1200rpm/v
Max current: 18A
Max Power: 200W @ 12v (3S) / 250W @ 15v (4S)
Shaft: 3mm
Weight: 57.6g
ESC: 20A
Cell count: 3s~4s Lipoly
Bolt holes: 16mm & 19mm
Bolt thread: M3
Connection: 3.5mm Bullet-connector

Prop Tests:
7x6E - 11.1v - 90W - 8A
7x6E - 14.8v - 192W - 13A
8x4E - 11.1v - 100W - 9A
8x4E - 14.8v - 222W - 15A
8x6E - 11.1v - 145w -...Continue Reading
Posted by mutski | Sep 04, 2013 @ 06:24 PM | 19,831 Views
Here is my current Multiplex EasyStar II FPV setup. Max flight so far was 2.38 miles at 856 feet. The video was getting fuzzy at 2.38 miles, and I had several momentary control signal dropouts on the way home, but at 800 feet there was plenty of time to regain the signal.

Easystar II Parts
Turnigy2836 brushless Outrunner 1200kv $18.68
Dimension: 28mm x 37mm, 55mm(with shaft)
Weight: 74g (kv1200) (not including connectors)
Diameter of shaft:F4.0mm
Length of front shaft:F19mm
Lamination thickness: .2mm
Magnet type: 45SH
Max performance
Voltage: 3-4S Lipoly
Prop: APC9x6
Thrust: 1100g
Power: 340W

Turnigy Plush 25 amp ESC $20.95
Cont Current: 25A
Burst Current: 35A
BEC Mode: Linear
BEC : 5v / 2A
Lipo Cells: 2-4
NiMH : 5-12
Weight: 22g
Size: 24x45x11mm
Supported motor speed for all TURNIGY ESCs is;
(Maximum): 210000 RPM (2 poles), 70000 RPM (6 poles), 35000 RPM (12 poles)

Turnigy BESC Programming Card $6.95

EXI S1123 9gm Digital Servos
Dimensions: 22.6 x 11.4 x 22.2mm
Weight: 9g / 0.32oz
Operating Speed (4.8V no load): 0.12sec/60 degrees
Stall Torque (4.8V): 1.4 kg/cm
Operating Voltage:4.8 Volts

690TVL Ultra WDR Pixim SEAWOLF HD CCTV Mini Camera, PZ0481 $88.50
3.6...Continue Reading
Posted by mutski | Feb 01, 2011 @ 03:01 AM | 15,823 Views
I got an S107 after Christmas and flew it (WAY FUN ) till the top rotor started slipping on the shaft. I tried to glue it, but got Superglue where it didn't belong and killed it (though I've ordered parts).

I'd already dreamed of something more challenging, so I ordered a Blade MSR - lots more zip, steep learning curve! The biggest challenge was unlearning the S107 controls. What used to be the rudder on the S107 was now the ailerons on the MSR. I don't know how many times I've crashed moving the right stick for rudder!

The MSR is much more fragile. I broke the skids almost immediately by bumping the throttle while holding the skids; I fixed that with thread and Superglue. Then I broke the blade grips smashing into walls. Those were available locally. I finally got the controls down to where I could circle the living room and land on the dining table. I had real fun flying the engine bays at the fire department.

Big mistake, I tried to fly it outside with temps near zero. I think the battery got too cold. Anyway, it made a death dive from 40 or 50 feet up, and shattered the canopy and skids. I taped the canopy and bought carbon fiber skids, but the main rotor wouldn't turn.

Proof of addiction: I ordered a new motor, but I thought it was more likely the 5-in-1 board, so I ordered a new MSR, just in case. I also ordered an MCX2 for a backup and as an easier craft for small rooms.

Then I got the idea from to switch the main and tail motor connections....Continue Reading