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Jan 07, 2014, 04:17 PM
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Vulcan Black Widow X8 (foldable) 20+ Min flight


First off thanks to Alex at VulcanUAV for all the help and support on getting this thing ready for prime time.

In case you are not aware, this is the NEW Vulcan X8 (aka Black Widow), using (4) of the Z-arms from their other Multirotor builds, Mantis has (2) Z-arms. This allows unobstructed views for any camera you may have because it raises the props up above the frame. Another cool thing is the arms can be folded inward for transportation purposes as shown in a few pics below.

The goal here is to create a redundant multi that can support a Movi camera rig with a Red Epic with somewhat decent flight times.

Another thing I really wanted to try was the DJI A2 flight controller, since it has a built in RX that supports Futaba FASST, this would eliminate one extra piece of equipment as well.

I will be installing the DJI retractable landing gear on this, but at this time I just have the 390mm landing gear for testing purposes.

List of Parts:

Black Widow 900 folding frame
12mm rail mount
250A PDB
Tiger U5 400 Motors
Maytech 40A Opto ESC - SimonK Flashed
Tiger 15x5 Carbon Props
DJI A2 Flight Controller
390mm Landing Gear
(2) MaxAmps 10900Mah 6s batteries
Futaba 8FG

Total weight - 12.5lbs

In the Works:

DJI Retractable Landing Gear
Movi Freefly Camera Gimbal
Allied Drones Quick Release Echo plate for Movi
Last edited by shdwkeeper; Jun 06, 2014 at 02:53 AM.
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Jan 08, 2014, 03:44 AM
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Here is a 2nd round of photos. This includes balancing the props with gorilla tape underneath for weight balance (horizontal), and balancing the hub out with hot glue for vertical balance. Now, no matter what angle you set the prop at, it should have little to no movement.

I have also posted pictures with props now attached to the X8 and have taken some measurements, both unfolded and folded.

Attached is also a pic of the dual batteries I will be using. I also added pipe insulation to bottom of landing gear to cushion it a little bit.
Last edited by shdwkeeper; Jan 09, 2014 at 01:18 AM.
Jan 08, 2014, 04:35 AM
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nice build so far. didn't know that there's a centerplate for folding the arms. didn't find it in alex's shop either. how much are they? what about that folding mechanism - can you really thighten it down, so that the arms wont move/vibrate in operation?

interesting thing. i'm also converting my flat8 into a vulcan x8.
Jan 08, 2014, 08:38 AM
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I have been thinking of getting a Vulcan Mantis for awhile to fly a Small DSLR but storage space has held me back. This configuration looks like the ideal solution to having a first class machine and being able to transport and store it easily. Alex is a great dealer and has helped me a lot in building smaller DJI upgraded machines.
Jan 08, 2014, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panoramic
nice build so far. didn't know that there's a centerplate for folding the arms. didn't find it in alex's shop either. how much are they? what about that folding mechanism - can you really thighten it down, so that the arms wont move/vibrate in operation?

interesting thing. i'm also converting my flat8 into a vulcan x8.
This folding arm center plate is extremely new and still in the beginning stages. I think only a few folks have them for testing purposes before they become released as long as we give good feedback about them.

As far as the folding mechanism, I have not flown this yet as I'm almost done with the build, hopefully get it in the air this weekend. But, Alex feels that these bolts should be sufficient enough to hold it in place by using the small carbon piece and washers to spread the load and increase the friction (don't forget to tighten though He can always cut emergency backup latches to make sure they don't move.

More to come...
Jan 08, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcflippen
I have been thinking of getting a Vulcan Mantis for awhile to fly a Small DSLR but storage space has held me back. This configuration looks like the ideal solution to having a first class machine and being able to transport and store it easily. Alex is a great dealer and has helped me a lot in building smaller DJI upgraded machines.
I totally agree.
Jan 08, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shdwkeeper
hopefully get it in the air this weekend.
Looking forward to hearing how it behaves.
Will you be loading it with the equivalent weight of gimbal, red and retracts.?
I'm interested in what flight time you get.
Jan 08, 2014, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
Looking forward to hearing how it behaves.
Will you be loading it with the equivalent weight of gimbal, red and retracts.?
I'm interested in what flight time you get.
Hopefully I can get the retracts on by this weekend, but the Gimbal with the Red will wait until I can get familiar with this craft first. It would be a disaster to put that much $$$ into the ground due to not being familiar with the craft first.
Jan 08, 2014, 01:59 PM
I am building a big vulcan octo with U7 motors, and have 2 of the Mantis arms, how big of a prop can you run on the underside of that arm? would a 16",17" or 18" fit? I'd convert it to a 4 mantis arm X8 in a heart beat.
Jan 08, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepyc
I am building a big vulcan octo with U7 motors, and have 2 of the Mantis arms, how big of a prop can you run on the underside of that arm? would a 16",17" or 18" fit? I'd convert it to a 4 mantis arm X8 in a heart beat.
i'm also converting my flat8 into a x8. i've got the 440 mm zarms - my current 15" fit perfectly on the bottom side. i also want to upgrade to 16". i've measured it if they would fit and yes, 16" should work fine (space wise) on the bottom side from my measures.

edit: i'm running mt3515 motors
Jan 08, 2014, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shdwkeeper
This folding arm center plate is extremely new and still in the beginning stages. I think only a few folks have them for testing purposes before they become released as long as we give good feedback about them.

As far as the folding mechanism, I have not flown this yet as I'm almost done with the build, hopefully get it in the air this weekend. But, Alex feels that these bolts should be sufficient enough to hold it in place by using the small carbon piece and washers to spread the load and increase the friction (don't forget to tighten though He can always cut emergency backup latches to make sure they don't move.

More to come...
thanks for the insides. i'll stay tuned about your verdict of the folding mechanism. i would sleep better with some latches to secure.
Jan 08, 2014, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shdwkeeper
Hopefully I can get the retracts on by this weekend, but the Gimbal with the Red will wait until I can get familiar with this craft first. It would be a disaster to put that much $$$ into the ground due to not being familiar with the craft first.
I kind of thought you wouldn't put a red on the craft until tested. That's why I said the equivalent weight
Jan 08, 2014, 03:05 PM
Using that one pic, I'm thinking maybe 17 or 18" props could fit!
No?

Jan 08, 2014, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepyc
Using that one pic, I'm thinking maybe 17 or 18" props could fit!
No?
guess it will depend how tall (height) the motors are. with my 3515 and 17" props would get REALLY close - if it would fit at all. never thought about 17". btw you cant measure the distance on a picture like this ;-)

maybe theres a difference in angle between the long and short z-arms which would matter?!?
Last edited by panoramic; Jan 08, 2014 at 04:42 PM.
Jan 08, 2014, 04:55 PM
Yea I was "Guestimating" I'm using U7's and they are HUGE, I'm going to investigate this on my rig when I get home.


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