Thread Tools
Jun 01, 2013, 11:59 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP

RCTimer F1000 Octocopter Build

Hey All,

So I have had a few request to put up the build log for my 1300mm Octocopter that I am presently building for my new aerial photography platform (to replace my 900mm octo and 650mm hexa). The main purpose of this rig is to capture images for both 3D mapping and other things like weddings, real-estate and 4x4 racing etc and for it to be as stable as possible.

I pre-warn you all this is not a cheap build as it is for my professional UAV service business but at the same time I am not going to be taken for a ride by buying overpriced gear by companies like Freefly.....

Here is the build list items so far;

ITEM - Site Listing Name
Link to website

  1. 1x Octocopter Frame - F1000-M8 Carbon Fiber Octocopter Frame 1000mm - Cinestar Clone
  2. 1x Camera Gimbal - CM301 High Performing Gimbal - Cinestar Clone
  3. 1x Extra Long Carbon Fiber Booms 25mm - D25xd23x650mm 3K Matt Finish Carbon Tube
  4. 1x Top Cover - Canopy for Multicopter (Colorless)
  5. 8x Battery Tray (Boom Mount) - 25MM Carbon Fiber Single Battery Mount Set TL80B04
  6. 1x Camera Gimbal Battery Mount - Cinestar Gimbal "Up Armor Kit" Accessory Mounting System
  7. 8x Camera Gimbal Anti-vibration Mounts - Anti-vibration damper-soft type(M)
  8. 2x Flight Controller Anti-vibration Mount - MOONGEL MOON GEL 4 PIECE DAMPER PADS
  9. 1x Cinestar Gimbal Plate - Cinestar Gimbal Plate Enhanced
  10. 4x Carbon Fiber Props 17x5.5 (CW/CCW) - 17x 5 Carbon Propeller Set (one CW, one CCW) - Curve Tip
  11. 4x Battery Strap - Battery Strap 300X20mm (Black) (4pcs/bag)
  12. 1x Carbon Fibre Plate - Woven Carbon Fiber Sheet 300x100 (2.5MM Thick)

  1. 1x Flight Control & Telemetry - 433Mhz ArduFlyer UAV GPS Flight Control System - APM 2.5 & 3DR Teletemery Clone
  2. 1x Camera Gimbal Stabilizer -
    I can no longer recommend what I am using for a gimbal stabilizer, the guy making them is a , he is just out for the money and not willing to help his customers or the hobby.
  3. 1x Pilot TX Controller - Hitec Aurora 9
  4. 1x Pilot RX Controller - Hitec Optima 9
  5. 1x Camera RX Controller - Turnigy 9X 2.4GHz (V2)
  6. 1x Camera RX Controller - Turnigy 9X 2.4GHz 8Ch Receiver (V2)

  1. 8x Pancake Motors - Turnigy Multistar 4830-420Kv 22Pole Multi-Rotor Outrunner - HengLi rebadge
  2. 8x ESC's - Hobby King 40A ESC 4A UBEC (over time is has become apparent the f-40A's are not up to the task on pancake motors, make sure you use the Hobbywing Platinum Pro 30A or 40A ESC's)

  1. 1x LED Switch - Turnigy Receiver Controlled Switch
  2. 1x Power Distrobution Board - Sigma Black Whirlwind 8 way DIY Electric Circuit Distributing board (4oz gold plated / luxury / Power_HUB)
  3. 2x LED Strip (RED) - High Density Waterproof LED Flexible Strip - RED (1mtr)
  4. 2x LED Strip (GREEN) - High Density Waterproof LED Flexible Strip - Green (1mtr)
  5. 2x LED Strip (yellow) - High Density Waterproof LED Flexible Strip - Yellow (1mtr)
  6. 2x LED Strip (Blue) - High Density Waterproof LED Flexible Strip - Blue (1mtr)
  7. 7x ESC Cables (RED & Black) - Silicone Wire 14 Gauge 1 Meter Red/ 1 Meter Black
  8. 3x LED WIRE (RED) - Turnigy Pure-Silicone Wire 24AWG (1mtr) Red
  9. 3x LED WIRE (BLACK) - Turnigy Pure-Silicone Wire 24AWG (1mtr) Black
  10. 3x Servo Cable Extension (LONG) - 45CM Servo Lead Extention (Futaba) 26AWG (10pcs/set)
  11. 6x ESC Connectors - PolyMax 3.5mm Gold Connectors 10 PAIRS (20PC)
  12. 2x Servo Connectors - Servo Terminals (Futaba) Gold Plated (10pairs/set)
  13. 1x Main Battery Connectors - EC5 5mm Connector (Pair)
  14. 16x Capacitors - 63V 1000uf

  1. 1x Voltage/AMP Sensor - 50A/100A/150A/200A Bi/Uni AC/DC Current Sensor Module (arduino compatible)
  2. 7x 5v/6v 3amp SBEC - TURNIGY 3A UBEC w/ Noise Reduction
  3. 1x 5v/6v SBEC (camera gimbal) - IGY 5-7.5A (8~42v) HV UBEC for Lipoly
  4. 1x 12v SBEC - 12V 4.5A UBEC 2-5S Lipoly (12-23v)
  5. 8x Main Battery 5000mah 3S - ZIPPY Flightmax 5000mAh 3S1P 20C hardcase pack
  6. 2x Avionics Battery 2200mAh 3S - Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 25C Lipo Pack

  1. Heat Shrink Tube - 2mm, 3mm, 5mm, 6mm, 10mm, 30mm, 40mm
  2. Thermal Tape - Thermal Adhesive Tape
  3. Cable Sleeving 3mm (Black) - 30Ft braided sleeving f3mm expandable PET for Audio wire cable Diy (BLACK)
  4. Cable Sleeving 3mm (Red) - 30Ft braided sleeving f3mm expandable PET for Audio wire cable Diy (Red)
  5. Cable Sleeving 6mm (Black) - 30Ft braided sleeving f6mm expandable PET for Audio wire cable Diy (BLACK)
  6. Cable Holder - Tie-D-Wires Cable & Wire Holders (10pc)
Last edited by Redemptioner; May 25, 2017 at 12:22 AM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jun 02, 2013, 12:09 AM
Registered User
Very detailed build log!

Im waiting for your build
Jun 02, 2013, 01:10 AM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Motors & ESC's

I went with 40amp ESC's from HK as I know these work well and are easy to flash with SimonK firmware (a must for multirotors). There are however some modifications that need to be done in order to bring them up to my standard which I will cover below

With regards to the motors many may argue that they are simply too large for what I plan to use them for, here is my thinking and experience behind the over-sized motors. Keep in mind the main reason for going with an Octocopter, it's not technically lift capacity as many think, its for redundancy.

1. If you lose a motor you want to be able to continue to fly (or at least come back to the ground with some "grace"), if your motors are not capable of taking up the extra load then your in trouble, especially if you lose more than one motor (god forbid).

2. The slower you can spin your motors the less amps you draw, so bigger motors spinning slower with larger props on a high voltage equals efficiency (AKA longer flight times).

3. Larger motors mean larger bearings which means less heat.

4. They look AWESOME!

The first thing we need to do is make sure things will fit, the items you first need to look at is the motors and ESC's. I knew the ESC would fit without too much of an issue due to them just being strapped in with some zip ties, on the other hand I also knew that the motor mounts would require a small amount of "convincing" to make the motors fit.


4830 Turnigy Multistar motors
F1000 Mototr mounts
Rotary grinder or dremel

I had a look and could see the motor mount holes were close, and fortunately it does not make any difference if the mounting on each motor mount is slightly different so out came the rotary grinder to convince the holes to be larger (ovalled out a little). I also gave the mount holes for the ESC's zip ties a slight increase in size to allow the zip ties to slip through easily. Make sure you do not breath in any of the carbon fiber dust as it has a similar effect on your lungs as asbestos, ie not good for you (especially if your body is your temple, lol ). The other thing is to remove the sticker and any other residue off the motors as these are added after they were balanced

The changes to the ESC's are made to increase efficiency and reduce likelihood of failure. The larger capacitors are a must due to the length of battery wires, changing the thermal compound and exposing the heat sink fins increase the ability to get rid of the heat making a significant impact on the power usage. You will need a decent solder station to do the following steps, don't attempt it unless you have a soldering iron that you can control the heat on and a nice fine tip, you will also want some real fine solder that has the flux incorporated into it.

40amp Hobbking ESC
5mm Heat shrink
30mm Heat shrink
40mm Heat shrink
3.5mm Bullet connectors
Thermal adhesive tape
63v 1000uf capacitor
Mentholated spirits
Soft cloth
Temperature controlled soldering Iron with fine tip
0.7mm (or thinner) fluxed solder
Wire cutters
Heat gun
On sided razor blade or hobby knife
Can of CO2 (optional)
Helping hand (not needed if your hands are made of steel)

1. First thing you need to do is remove the Heat Shrink wrap and the Heat Sink. Give the mosfets a clean with some mentholated spirits and a soft cloth.

2. Get the capacitors ready, cut the old capacitors off as close as possible to the board, be carful not to damage anything when you do this. You then Heat shrink the 2 capacitors together with 30mm heat shrink(note to line your positive ad negative outputs up) to hold them in place. The heat shrink will provide some insulation against the components underneath them as well as some cushioning.

3. Remove the positive wire in the servo lead coming from the ESC, you won't want/need this, 2secs with the soldering iron and a little tension will get this out of the way. Add a little hot glue onto the connection point of this servo lead and glue it to the board to ensure this cannot vibrate and cause solder points/connection to fail.

4. Feed the positive outputs from the capacitors through the holes in the ESC board through to the other side, bend them over and solder one of them on. Now you can manipulate the capacitors so they sit where they need to. Remember that one side will be hard up against the end of the boom arms, so you need to make sure the capacitors are not poking out on this side. Once in the position you want you can go and cut/solder the other outputs. A multimeter is a good tool here to make sure you have not generated a short. Do not let things get too hot, a can of CO2 is a great too here as you can hit it with some cold air before and after to help keep things cool. I personally don't use the CO2 as it is not need but if you have not done much soldering in the past it is worth the extra cost.

5. Cut cut the cables coming out of the ESC's just long enough so you can put a 90 degree angle in them and have the few millimeters needed to go into the end of the 3.5mm bullet connectors (do one at a time). Solder the wire into the 3.5mm bullet connector then move the connector around until it is position where you want, then come back and wick solder into all the wire and back onto the solder point on the ESC board where the wire is connected. If you have done this right then the bullet connector won't move. Again I caution you about not getting too much heat into the components (put your hand on the mosfets, if you feel them getting nearly too hot to touch then hit it with some CO2 gas).

6. Once you have done all the 3.5mm bullet connectors then re-clean the mosfets and apply a adhesive thermal tape to the heat sink (clean this too) and then carefully attach to the mosfets ensuring the heat-sink is covering all of them completely (you will find the heat sink is at a slight angle and right up close to the solder points for the motor connections). Check with you multimeter to make sure the heat sink is not touching any of your solder points.

7. Add some heat shrink in the appropriate colours over all the bullet connectors. It is now worth bench testing you ESC with a cheap motor to make sure it will work correctly.

8. Cover the entire ESC with 40mm heat shrink, while the heat shrink is hot use a screwdriver/kebab stick etc to get the heat shrink to conform/stretch into some of the curves. The main place to make sure this has been done is on the under side (other side to the heat sink) behind the capacitors as there will be a zip tie come through here.

9. Cut out a section of the heat shrink covering the heat sink. If you use something blunt (Ii use the back of my one sided blades) to find where to cut, stay inside one of the heat sink fins on each side and about 5mm on the ends so when the heat sink gets warm it does not cause the heat shrink to shrink back over the edges.

10. Take in your handy work, have a beer or something to reward yourself as it typically will take a couple of hours to do each one if you are being careful and takes a lot of concentration not to damage things. Now you only have 8 more to do (that's right, one extra one as a backup).

Hobbyking F-40A ESC Modification Build (28 min 12 sec)

Righto, enough of that gum flapping, here are some pictures..
Last edited by Redemptioner; Sep 12, 2013 at 06:52 PM.
Jun 02, 2013, 01:11 AM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by LockedHigh
Very detailed build log!

Im waiting for your build
Thanks mate,

I will be putting each step in high detail every few days. Let me know if there is anything you want to see specifically or in more detail.
Jun 02, 2013, 05:02 AM
boxfan's Avatar
I'm in...subscribed. Great looking start.
Jun 02, 2013, 07:24 AM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Cabling (part 1) & Booms

Suffice to say there will be a few posts on this subject as time goes on, this first part will be focusing on the cabling for the motors. One of the things that needs to be considered is the fact that the length of the booms have been extended from 450mm to 650mm. The reason for the extension is to get a greater distance between each of the motors. With this extension I can easily run 17inch props, I will running 15inch Carbon Fiber props to begin with but later I will probably move to 17inch props to increase efficiency. There are several other reasons including mainly surrounding stability but I will cover this in more detail in another post at a later time.

There are 2 large draws to this RCTimer F1000 frame (among others), firstly is the fact that there is a ESC mount as part of the motor mount. This means I can have the plenty of airflow over the ESC's which will keep them cooler typically giving a significant increase in efficiency. The mounts allow the ESc to be mounter far enough away from the props so as not to have any negative effect on lift. The mounts keep the ESC mounting simply just using zip ties and are in a postion that is easily accessed.

The second draw card is alignment tabs for the booms and motor mounts. As this build puts the motor to motor distance at 1300mm, there is just no way I can fit this rig into a SUV let alone take it on the plane (as much of my work requires me to fly to remote places). All the booms will be removable so the entire Octocopter can be packed down into a hard case for transit. This means everything I do has to take into account the fact that the arms will be removed and I will cover off some of the key design changes that I have made to address this need.

I went with the 650mm long 25mm carbon fiber booms available from Himodel. The booms are of high quality and do not have the gloss finish that most other suppliers do, the is only 2 things to do for the booms.

25mm Carbon Fiber Booms 650mm long
Rotary Grinder or dremel
Allen key set

1. Sand down the ends of the booms that need to slot into the main body of the frame. This just makes it far easier to get the booms in and takes nothing away from the strength. I used my trusty rotary grinder for this as carbon fiber is tuff .

2. Sand down the shark edge on the inside of both ends, as the cables will be coming through here the last thing you need is the cables being cut into if you accidentally pull on them or during flight from the vibrations (remember carbon fiber also conducts electricity). You only need to do enough so they are not sharp, do not sand it back as much as you did on the outer side that goes into the main frame. We will also cover the cables in a protective sleeve so don't go overboard.

When you go to work out setting up the booms, get one right first then make the rest the same. I liked having the booms come a fair way into the frame and basically lined the inside edge (in side the body of the main frame) a smidgen past the inner ring (see the pictures). I slid on one of the location tabs and had it on loose, I then lined the boom up where I wanted it and slid the tab up to then set this location. The clamps will slide up flush against the outer clamp of the main frame, then tighten them up.

Follow this same process on for the motors, sliding the location tab on loosely at first and then getting the mount where you want it. I would not put the motors onto the mounts as this stage as you will be taking these mounts on and off several times yet, you just want to get the location tabs set correct. You end of the boom to come out past the end of the last motor mount clamp by a few millimeters, this will help prevent ovalling of the end of the boom and will add a little more strength to the clamping down of this clamp.

Before you tighten anything up (make sure it is finger tight to begin with) put the boom down on a flat surface and push down so the 3 clamps (2 motor mount clamps and the one location tab clamp) line up level with the location tab you have already tightened down. Once they are all aligned with the first location tab tighten down the second location tab, make sure you do this evenly, half a turn or so on each bolt until it is tight else you will cause it to become skewed. You then need to recheck it on a flat surface to make sure both tabs are aligned correctly, if not loosen and try again. It is really important to get these tabs perfectly level with each other as this is what you will rely on later to make sure everything is square.

On a side note I can highly recommend Himodel as a cheap and reliable part supplier. That have fantastic customer service and I just have never had a better dealing with any hobby supplier ever, unfortunately i can't say the same for RCTimer..... (check out the US dealer for RCTimer as Rybat seems to be on the ball).

The max amp draw for the motors will be 29amps, with this in mind and the fact that the cable length is around the 900mm long I have used 14AWG silicon covered multistrand wire. This will ensure the is little voltage drop along the length of the wire and it won't get hot under continuous full load. It is heavier than is strictly needed and the all up weight of the wires is a little over 400grams, fortunately with this setup the 100 grams or so of extra weight makes little difference on flight time but the reduction in voltage sag will.

14AWG Red silicon covered wire
14AWG Black silicon covered wire
45cm Servo extension cables
26AWG Black silicon covered wire
Futaba servo connectors
3mm Heat shrink
10mm Heat shrink
3.5mm Bullet connectors
Temperature controlled soldering Iron with fine tip
Small heat gun
0.7mm (or thinner) fluxed solder
Wire Cutters
Helping hand (not needed if your hands are made of steel)

I like to twist all my cables when ever I can, especially when it is running next to signal cables or inside carbon fiber. So the first step is to twist all the power cables running to the ESC's. Cut the lengths of you cables about an extra 150mm or so longer than you need (end length will be 800mm twisted), the reason for this is you will never twist each wire the same so there will be a bit of variance in the end length (cable is cheap so cut them 200mm longer than you need, in this case that will make it 1 meter). Do not put you cables in a drill and twist them as I have seen a few youtube videos do, this will damage the cable breaking a bunch of the fine strands inside and causing an ovalling of the wires basically killing the advantage you gave yourself using 14AWG wire (instead of thinner 16AWG wire). It will certainly make your hands hurt, so I suggest you twist one set then solder your bullet connectors on then twist the next set that way you give yours hands a break. Later we will come back and cover these cables in a protective sleeve which I will cover in a later post when it is time to do this.

The other part to the Boom cabling is the bringing the power up for the LED lights (don't worry i have not forgotten about the signal wire for the ESC's), unfortunately (well not really) the batteries for the motors are 6S (22.2v) which is much too high for the LED's. I typically run motors on their own battery source and won't share the batteries power with anything else (other than little fun flyers like my tricopter). This means we need to bring the power up from the flight battery all the way up the end of the booms, this is a chance to actually save some weight and kill 2 birds with one stone.

Back in the ESC build notes we removed the positive wire from the ESC as we won't be using the on board BEC (in fact I never use the on board BEC power from any ESC's for several reasons...), this means we have a spare line to bring the power up in the servo cable coming up the boom for the signal wire. What I need to note here is you need a 45cm 24AWG servo cable extension (I prefer the Futaba type myself) to connect to the output from the ESC, this will give you a near equal length to the main power cables coming up the boom for the ESC's. I leave the negative cable on the lead coming from the ESC so I can twist this round the signal cable, this will help with interference as well as give a little extra strength to the servo cable in case you catch it on something. This is a good time to twist the servo extension cables, fortunately this takes little effort and will not hurt your hands like the 14AWG cables used for powering the ESC's.

I remove the negative cable from from the servo connector coming from the ESC and fold it back and put a bit of 3mm heat shrink over it and the signal cable covering the metal pin just to hold it in place. I then make up some 26AWG cables and pins to go into this plug (so it only has the signal wire from the ESC plugged into it at this stage) that are long enough to come out and connect to the LED strip lights we will add later. You need about 500mm in length for these cables and twist them as well (although it is not needed to twist these cables as it is just for the LED's, you might as well). The only other thing you need to do to finish this job off is to put some 10mm heat shrink over the servo extension cable connectors to prevent it coming apart. You don't need to now but we will come back later an cover the cable going to the LED's with a protective sleeve when we go to put the LED's on.

By this stage there is a single cable containing the power for the LED's and the signal cable for the ESC's and another twisted cable for powering the ESC's. Time to have a drink and admire your hard work.....
Last edited by Redemptioner; Jun 03, 2013 at 12:57 AM.
Jun 02, 2013, 07:42 AM
Registered User
koolkiwikat's Avatar
Appreciate your well detailed build! what solution will you use for the connectors considering the arms are removable?
Jun 02, 2013, 01:39 PM
Rick / Phobotic/Famous Dealer
WOW! Amazing thread already! Thanks so much for sharing this Redemptioner!

You're using the same frame and gimbal I'm planning to use too. This frame seems to make the most sense for removable booms due to the locating tabs... It Also lessens the likelihood of unwanted boom rotation i hope. I'm subscribed too.
Jun 02, 2013, 05:52 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by koolkiwikat
Appreciate your well detailed build! what solution will you use for the connectors considering the arms are removable?
Hey Koolkiwikat,

Just using bullet connectors, I should get around to writing this part of the build today so you will see why there is no need for fancy connectors. I looked at the all-in-one solution from Flexacopter but at over $400 pounds (like $700 Australian dollars) for some 3D printed plastic parts I decided against it, that and I was not sure about the strength of the plastic they have uses.
Jun 02, 2013, 05:53 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by Violet Wolf
WOW! Amazing thread already! Thanks so much for sharing this Redemptioner!

You're using the same frame and gimbal I'm planning to use too. This frame seems to make the most sense for removable booms due to the locating tabs... It Also lessens the likelihood of unwanted boom rotation i hope. I'm subscribed too.
Np, mate, hope it helps you in your build.
Jun 02, 2013, 09:28 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Power Distribution (Part 1 - Motors)

It took me some time to decide on what to do here, especially considering I am running 8 batteries and have the need for nice easy connection with the removable arms. Total amp draw maxes out at 240amps so most of the available distribution boards just won’t stand up to the power requirements, enter the 4oz copper octo-board from CNChelicopter. This distribution board is rated for well over 350amps continuous and unlike some of the other solution out there it is on a single board. They have coated each side of the board with 4oz’s of copper ensuring plenty of head room for my needs and the insulated coating stands up to the heat from soldering hefty connections without the slightest melting or bubbling. The other advantage of this board is its size, instead of going inside the body/centre of the frame it fits around the outside of the inner ring/circle. This makes it an ideal product for my needs. Some modifications needed to be made to the frame and the power distribution board (nothing new there with me) to make it work the way I want, especially considering the fact that it partly covered where the vibration dampeners needed to connect to the frame. These modifications were easy to do and I will cover the Vibration dampeners and mounting in another post.

First thing that needed to be done is to make up some mounts for the board to connect too, there are a few things that I have not listed on the build items (I will endeavor to go back and update these) as these are items I have on hand lying around from the various builds I have done.

4mm drill bit
3mm bolts (8mm long)
3mm nylon nuts
3mm captive nuts
Power distribution board
Thin CA glue
Electric drill
Allen Key set
Sharp scratchy thing

1. Go through and line the solder points of the power board up with the arms so these were aligned, then centred the board around the centre of the frame body, there will be a about 5mm of the frame visible on the inside of the power board ring all the way round. Now aligned the 4 sets of the mounting holes on the board with the 4 tabs that extend further out from the centre of the main frame (did I mention that we are working on the bottom plate of the main body of the Octocopter frame).

2. Once you have this all aligned nicely, tape the power board to the frame with some paper masking take (another thing I need to add to the product list….gees), then use something to mark the 4 holes in the power board that line up with the tabs on the main frame (I uses the end of a small round file, it marks the carbon finer well but you can use a small drill bit etc).

3. Drill the holes out with a 4mm drill bit (I will double check the size of this drill bit tonight), the drill bit needs to be the size of the captive nuts.

4. Insert the nuts from the inside of the frame, they need to be really tight and should take a bit of force to get them in. Use a little bit of CA glue when you put them in, making sure you do not get any in the threads, this will stop it coming out and it will also act as a lubricant (don’t use it for a lubricant on other things….) when forcing them in

5. Put your 3mm bolts through (I like to use Hex head ones) then screw down the 3mm nylon nuts on these. The nylon nuts are there for 2 reasons, one to hold the bolts in places so they don’t fall out and the second is act as a spacer so the solder points don’t touch the carbon fiber (carbon fiber conducts electricity). Now screw the power distribution plate in and make sure it all fits well.

6. Always the most important thing last as usual, have a beer and take in the great work you have just done.

There are a couple of things we need to do to the power board, one is putting on the connectors and the other is to make the holes for mounting the vibration dampeners. I am not going to cover the vibration dampener fitting in this post, just the preparation need to be done to the power board to enable their fitting at a later date.

3.5mm bullet connectors
14AWG wire
5mm black heat shrink tube
5mm red heat shrink tube
Temperature controlled soldering Iron with fine tip
Small heat gun
0.7mm (or thinner) fluxed solder
Wire Cutters
Helping hand (not needed if your hands are made of steel)

1. The first thing that needs to be done is to solder a small length of 14awg wire into the end of the bullet connectors, use a reasonable length to solder it in then cut it to length afterwards, this stops too much heat going up the wire and causing the solder to wick up the wire. You want the wire to be flexible straight out of the end of bullet connector as we will bending it wound 180 degrees, if you get too much solder up inside the wire just put it out and start again.

2. Use a male bullet connector for one polarity (I use it for the positive) and a female for the other, this way you don’t plug the wrong polarity in when you plug them cables in later.

3. Once you the wire soldered in, then cut off around 8-10mm of wire and remove the silicon covering. Twist this wire well and bend it over, you only need it to be long enough to take up the gap in the power board between the solder points. The bullet connectors will face in towards the centre of the power board/frame. You may find you need to re-twist the wire once you have bent it over.

4. Place the bent over section of the wire into the gap on the power board making sure you put the right connecter type (male/female) in to the right slot for the right polarity.

5. Add a small amount of solder to the wire connecting it to the board, you only need enough to temporally hold it in place.

6. Now manipulate the connector so it is straight, the end of the connect should also be at a slight angle away from the power board to make it easy to connect. Turn the power board over with the connector off the edge of the table and using a screwdriver (or other poky thing) make sure all the wire strands are not coming past the back side of the power board (you want them flush with the board, remember we only have a few millimetres clearance from the main frame on this side of the power board).

7. Turn the board over and add some solder between the bullet connector and the solder points on the power board on both sides of the bullet connector, this should lock the position in place. You don’t need a lot of solder at this point, just enough to hold it in place.

8. Turn the power board back over again (so you are looking at the back side again) and flow plenty of solder across the entire area between the 2 tabs and the wire that is in between. Start by putting solder onto the gold plated tabs around the wire first then feed a good flow across the wire. You should end up with a nice even, slightly raised “bubble” (for lack of a better word) of solder across the entire back section.

9. Come back to the front side of the power board now and flow plenty of solder into the wire and down each side of the bullet connector making this all one solder joint. This should give you a nice solid bullet connector to push into and a high current connection capable of sustaining high load and high head (not that it should be getting hot).

10. Cut a length of heat shrink long enough to cover the bullet connector and wrap round and cover the solder on the back of the power board. I will put up a picture showing how to cut the heat shrink in order to do this. This is where a dedicated soldering heat gun comes hand as you heat the heat shrink up only, then fold it over the back and press it down which will cause it to stick to the back.

11. Rinse and repeat another 15 times.

12. While you are here flow some solder around the extra set of solder pads on both sides of the power board in preparation for adding the battery terminal later on.

13. Ahh time for another beer, you have done a great job.

As I have noted above, I am not going to cover the mounting of the vibration dampeners in this post, we do however need to cover off the holes that need to be made to attach the dampeners to the main frame as on set will be covered by the power distribution board.

Seacraft vibration dampeners
3.5mm drill bit
8mm drill bit
Paper masking tape
Electric Drill
Sharp scratchy thing
Small round file

1. Remove the power distribution plate.

2. You don’t need to put your dampeners together yet, you just need the largest part so you can line the holes up. Line these up on the bottom plate as shown in the pictures and mark the holes with something sharp on the carbon fibre. I should on need 4 dampeners with the cameras I plan on using on this rig.

3. Drill these holes you have marked with the 3.5mm drill bit, it is worth putting some paper masking tape on the back side to stop the fibres from the carbon fibre splintering out the back side.

4. Now screw the power distribution plate back on.

5. Now use the 3.5mm drill from the main plate top side and drill, back through the holes you have just drilled, into the power distribution plate. Do not use much force as you don’t want to cause the copper to come away from the power board.

6. Once you have drilled all the holes, remove the power distribution plate. You should find that the holes have come out through the inside of power board leaving half-moons.

7. If you have a drill press take 8mm drill bit work the side of the holes back into the power board, otherwise just use a round file.

8. Make sure the copper is not exposed of sticking out on the power board, you can remove any burs with the file gently at an angle.

9. if you have done this right, when you mount the power distribution board back on then take one of the stand-offs for the vibration dampeners and screw it in, they should not touch the power board in any place. If they do just work that part out a little more with the round file.

10. And you are done, hopefully you have put more beer in the fridge earlier so it is cold as it is time to admire your work again.
Last edited by Redemptioner; Jun 14, 2013 at 12:11 AM.
Jun 03, 2013, 12:05 AM
Rick / Phobotic/Famous Dealer
Originally Posted by Redemptioner
6. Always the most important thing last as usual, have a beer and take in the great work you have just done.
The problem I'm having is that I keep skipping ahead to step 6! (I'm joking of course)
Jun 03, 2013, 12:47 AM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by Violet Wolf
The problem I'm having is that I keep skipping ahead to step 6! (I'm joking of course)
Yeah, that's why you have to drink beer and not rum/scotch.....remember you only get the reward once you have completed a bunch of the work, not reward yourself each step
Jun 03, 2013, 12:48 AM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Trying to fix some of the formatting so some of the posts will change guys, same data just changing it all to the same format to make it easier to follow.
Jun 14, 2013, 12:10 AM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Thread OP
Sorry I have not been updating in the last week or so, I have been busy with an emergency job that came up, I will get a few steps documented today/night.

Power Distribution (Part 2 - LED/Signal)

The next thing to tackle is the motor signal and LED power supply, as the vehicle is to be easily broken down and put back together for transport it is needed to add this to the main distribution board. Unfortunately there is no existing connections points on the board but fortunately there is plenty of room to make modifications. I did not want to have a bunch of extra connectors hanging around hence using the servo extension cable being changed to bring bower from the flight power board back up the connection rather than bringing the power down from the ESC’s SBEC. One of the challenges with this is to make sure the polarity could not be crossed over on the connection (like the power connection for the motors), using the standard servo female connector was also going to be too large so I looked for another solution. I landed with a computer headed pin, these fortunately came with a 90 degree pin connection and ensured polarity was maintained.


90 Degree 3-pin headers
1mm Heat Shrink Tube
26AWG 45cm Servo extension cables
5min Epoxy glue
Temperature controlled soldering Iron with fine tip
Small heat gun
0.7mm (or thinner) fluxed solder
Wire Cutters
Helping hand (not needed if your hands are made of steel)
2mm Drill bit
Drill press (this is highly recommended due to accuracy needed)

1. The first thing is to drill the 3 little holes that the prongs will need to go through into the power distribution board, I have elected to put them in-between the 2 bullet connectors so I can’t mix up which connector I need to plug into as well as due to the fact that the supports for the vibration dampeners would get in the way if put somewhere else. You can use the prongs on the back of the 3 pin header to mark the paint for the drill spots. These holes will be very close together and it is important to get these accurate, this is why I would HIGHLY recommend the use of a drill press to achieve this. Drill presses are only about $70-$90 for a bench top version (well they are here in Australia, I can only imagine they are much cheaper in other countries). Use a middle to slow speed and take your time to line things up, yes it’s a pain to do these but the result are worth the trouble.

2. Go through and remove any of the jagged copper that has come out from drilling through. I used a small flat head screw driver to push the jagged copper edges back into the holes then uses a slightly larger drill bit (2.5mm) to then drill slightly back in the hole basically counter sinking the copper part on each side. This ensures the copper section of the power boards is back from the whole reducing the likely hood of a short.

3. Once all your holes are drilled you can go through and setup each plug. First add a small bit of heat shrink over each of the prongs on the header, you need to leave about a “poofteenth of a bees d!ck” sticking out the end (if that does not make senses it represents a very small number).

4. Place the pins through the holes and tin the little tips sticking out of the heat shrink. Now cut an end off a servo extension cable (you don’t have to use server extension, you can just use lengths of cable) and strip a very small amount of cover off the end and tin that as well.

5. Slip a short length of heat shrink over one of the servo wires at a time and solder it to the end of the header pin sticking out through the power board ensuring you solder the same colour wire to the pin on each plug (I put the negative to the side that has the negative bullet connector closest). Now slip the heat shrink back over the solder point, it should also be able slip a mm or so over the already existing heat shrink.

6. Once all the wires are soldered on and covered with heat shrink on a single plug, mix up a small amount of epoxy. I recommend making up a bunch of small “application sticks” out of balsa (or use some matches) you will need these to apply and clean away excess glue. Apply some glue under the header (between the header plug and the power board) and hold this down. Clean any excess glue away from the sides of the plug ensuring that the plug that is meant to slide over this connection goes on and off without any glue being in the road of this connection. Wait for it to dry (approximately 5mins).

7. Once the glue has set under the plug, mix up some more epoxy and apply an amount on the bottom where the wires are attached around the holes, hit this with the heat gun, this will make the epoxy really runny and make it flow into the holes around the wires/pins coming through. Now apply a generous amount of epoxy to the back of the plug on the top side making sure the entire back of the plug is coated. Once this has dried you can do the next plug, rinse and repeat another 7 times.

8. Have a beer, too bad you can’t sniff the glue…..
Last edited by Redemptioner; Jun 14, 2013 at 12:31 AM.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Build Log Tarot iRon Man 1000 Octocopter Build Askyvision Multirotor Drone Talk 1532 Apr 20, 2020 11:37 AM
Discussion Help me design my DSLR Octocopter build neo__04 Multirotor Drone Talk 14 Nov 06, 2014 12:47 PM
Discussion Building a octocopter please help Reely Scratchbuilt Multirotor Drones 2 Jun 03, 2013 03:24 PM
News Tarot iRon Man 1000 Octocopter Build Terry Multirotor Drone Talk 0 Mar 06, 2013 09:17 AM
Build Log RCtimer S800 Build log CarterDave060 Multirotor Drone Talk 36 Jan 11, 2013 05:01 PM