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Jul 20, 2017, 02:57 AM
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First Ever Build


G'day

I want to build a relatively inexpensive hexacopter to learn to fly and do basic aerial photography. Later, when I learn how not to crash, I will go more up market and refine the build with better goodies. Like most people, I have been overwhelmed by the permutations and combinations, good and bad reviews (often of the same components) and the huge variation in prices for what appears to be the same products. So, I thought I'd post what I've definitely decided on here and open up for comment...

Frame: Hobbyking S650 glass fibre
Motors: PROPDRIVE V2 3536 910KV
Propellers: Quanum Carbon Fiber Propeller 10x4.7 (CW/CCW) (3 sets of 2)
ESCs: DYS 40Amp Mini Opto BLHeli Multi-Rotor Electronic Speed Controller (BLHeli Firmware) SN40A
Flight Controller: Pixhawk 2.1 Standard (This unit will be carried over to future builds)
GPS: HX6003 HERE GNSS ULBLOX M8N GPS
TX: Taranis X9D Plus
RX: Absolutely no idea what to get. Help please!
Power Distribution board/s: Open to suggestions.
Batteries: Multistar LiHV High Capacity 4000mAh 3S 10C (2 of, to start with.)
Telemetry: Open to suggestions.
Camera Gimbal: Feiyu Tech Mini 3D 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal (Camera I already have is a GoPro Hero 3.)
FPV: ??? Dunno, really confused with this. Help welcomed.

As mentioned, this is a mix of dirt cheap and up market, with the up-market stuff to be used for future projects.

Cheers

Edit: Have decided on the FrSky XSR receiver.
I am interested in hearing any constructive comment about the selection of ESCs/motors/props/3S batteries before I commit to purchasing this stuff...
Last edited by away; Jul 20, 2017 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Updated info
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Jul 21, 2017, 06:09 AM
Registered User
ariaAQ's Avatar
I think PROPDRIVE V2 3536 910KV intended for airplane, powerful but heavy and power hungry.
Better with lighter Multirotor Motor if you want to use 10" props, 2212-2216 800-1000kv should be good for you.

PROPDRIVE V2 3536 910KV = 110g x 6 = 660g
2216 motors = 60g x 6 = 360g = save 300g
2212 motors = 50g x 6 = 300g = save 360g

With 2212-2216 motors you can use cheaper and lighter 20-30A esc's..
Jul 22, 2017, 04:58 AM
rfengfpv.wordpress.com
As a basic FPV setup I suggest you start with an HS1177 CCD camera, a 5.8 GHz video transmitter (preferably 200 mW or more output) with a circularly polarised antenna and a cheap set of box goggles with 640x480 or better resolution like the Eachine EV800 and a CP antenna for the goggles. That's about the least expensive set of equipment that will give you a good FPV experience (low latency, good dynamic range, reasonable resolution, resistance to multipath etc). The total cost is about $116 (less 8% with coupon TOYSHO at BangGood). You should be able to get the same or similar at HK for a similar price.
Jul 23, 2017, 04:13 AM
Don't call it a drone!
flyandride's Avatar
For the fpv camera I would suggest the Runcam Eagle 2. Much more detail, better color and light handling than the HS1177. I've swapped out 2 of mine with Eagle 2s and will be getting more.

Since you're not building a mini quad, I don't see the point in using the tiny XSR receiver. It has no pwm outputs to run anything like camera servos directly to the receiver if you want to do that. Consider using the X6R or X8R with pcb antennas for better range. They have 6 and 8 pwm outputs in addition to sbus output and smart port telemetry.
Also, as of August last year, the XSR and X4RSB receivers changed the already small U.FL antenna connector on the board to the even smaller W.FL. You are limited to only using whisker type antennas.

I use these pcb antennas with great results.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-2-4GHz-4...cAAOSwnHZYmBgq
Jul 23, 2017, 04:21 AM
rfengfpv.wordpress.com
I agree that the Eagle 2 is a better camera, but at $44.99 it's also more expensive than the $28.99 HS1177, which is also a perfectly capable FPV camera. You won't go wrong with eaither - I currently have an HS1177 one one of my quads and an Eagle on another.

I also see that the Eachine EV800D goggles are on sale at the moment. At $89.99 including built-in diversity receiver, digital video recorder (DVR) and battery, this is also an excellent deal. Best of all, they include at least one CP antenna (I don't know whether the patch antenna is linear or CP) and are now using proper SMA connectors unlike the RP-SMAs on previous Eachine goggles.
Last edited by RFEngFPV; Jul 23, 2017 at 05:31 AM.
Jul 23, 2017, 09:15 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by ariaAQ
I think PROPDRIVE V2 3536 910KV intended for airplane, powerful but heavy and power hungry.
Better with lighter Multirotor Motor if you want to use 10" props, 2212-2216 800-1000kv should be good for you.

PROPDRIVE V2 3536 910KV = 110g x 6 = 660g
2216 motors = 60g x 6 = 360g = save 300g
2212 motors = 50g x 6 = 300g = save 360g

With 2212-2216 motors you can use cheaper and lighter 20-30A esc's..
Thanks for the reply. You gave me a lot to think about. In the end, I subscribed to the eCalc software and ran my setup through it. All up the craft, with camera and gimbal and everything except FPV, will weigh in at 2700g +/- 100g. I optimised the build so that I have a 2:1 thrust-weight ratio and for the craft to hover if I lose one rotor.

The final configuration ends up using 3508 700 kv motors, 12 x 4.5 props, 2 x 5000 mAh LiPos and 40A ESCs. Theoretically, this should give me a hover time of about 17 minutes and a mixed-flight time of about 14 minutes (discharging the batteries by 85%.) In theory it should still hover with as much as 1800g of extra payload.

I inputted several permutations of 2212 and 2216 motors and props into eCalc and even with the weight savings, I still got worse hover times, hotter motors and less payload.

The original choice of motor (3536 900 kv) was way over the top and would have lifted a tonne, but I would not have got any sort of reasonable flight times. If I could use 13 inch propellers without them crashing into each other, that motor would have been a good choice.

Cheers
Jul 23, 2017, 09:26 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyandride
For the fpv camera I would suggest the Runcam Eagle 2. Much more detail, better color and light handling than the HS1177. I've swapped out 2 of mine with Eagle 2s and will be getting more.

Since you're not building a mini quad, I don't see the point in using the tiny XSR receiver. It has no pwm outputs to run anything like camera servos directly to the receiver if you want to do that. Consider using the X6R or X8R with pcb antennas for better range. They have 6 and 8 pwm outputs in addition to sbus output and smart port telemetry.
Also, as of August last year, the XSR and X4RSB receivers changed the already small U.FL antenna connector on the board to the even smaller W.FL. You are limited to only using whisker type antennas.

I use these pcb antennas with great results.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-2-4GHz-4...cAAOSwnHZYmBgq
Thanks! Nicely picked up on the XSR. The X8R does make more sense and is now on the shopping list.

An Eagle 2 camera is within the wish-list budget, but stretching the actual budget (after I over-spent on the flight controller - I was originally going to to with a pixhawk 2.4.8, but have now decided on the pixhawk 2.1, which is going to set me back another $100 or so.) The budget the Mrs wants me to stick to is...well... going to be ignored.

Cheers
Last edited by away; Jul 23, 2017 at 09:35 AM.
Jul 23, 2017, 09:29 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFEngFPV
I agree that the Eagle 2 is a better camera, but at $44.99 it's also more expensive than the $28.99 HS1177, which is also a perfectly capable FPV camera. You won't go wrong with eaither - I currently have an HS1177 one one of my quads and an Eagle on another.

I also see that the Eachine EV800D goggles are on sale at the moment. At $89.99 including built-in diversity receiver, digital video recorder (DVR) and battery, this is also an excellent deal. Best of all, they include at least one CP antenna (I don't know whether the patch antenna is linear or CP) and are now using proper SMA connectors unlike the RP-SMAs on previous Eachine goggles.
Thanks for the reply. I will probably go with the HS1177 at this stage, unless the Minister of Finance relents and lets me lash out for the Eagle 2. The FPV will come after I've learnt to fly the thing - after all, it will be one less thing that gets destroyed when I crash it.

Cheers
Jul 23, 2017, 10:11 AM
Don't call it a drone!
flyandride's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by away
Thanks for the reply. I will probably go with the HS1177 at this stage, unless the Minister of Finance relents and lets me lash out for the Eagle 2. The FPV will come after I've learnt to fly the thing - after all, it will be one less thing that gets destroyed when I crash it.

Cheers
You don't want to learn to fly on what you are planning to build. Get a toy quadcopter for $40 and learn, also simulators are good for that. The $40 toy will save you that many times over in crashes you won't have.
Jul 24, 2017, 01:37 AM
Registered User
ariaAQ's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by away
I inputted several permutations of 2212 and 2216 motors and props into eCalc and even with the weight savings, I still got worse hover times, hotter motors and less payload.
What I mean, if you want to use 10" props (your first post), then use 2212 or 2216. because 3536 + 10" = airplane setup.
If you want to use 12", sure you need bigger motor, 3508 700kv = good choices, will give you more thrust and more efficient setup compared to 10" setup.
Jul 24, 2017, 01:41 AM
Registered User
ariaAQ's Avatar
Just like flyandride said, a lot of cheap RTF Quads to learn how to fly..
Jul 24, 2017, 07:06 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by ariaAQ
Just like flyandride said, a lot of cheap RTF Quads to learn how to fly..
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyandride
You don't want to learn to fly on what you are planning to build. Get a toy quadcopter for $40 and learn, also simulators are good for that. The $40 toy will save you that many times over in crashes you won't have.
Agreed!
Jul 24, 2017, 10:05 PM
Registered User
ariaAQ's Avatar
I have a lot of toy quads for my kids, try JJRC H31, stable and really good flyer, still survive after sooo many crashes (one years old now), even the propellers still in good shape..
Beware of wind if you fly outside, check here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...opter-Giveaway
Jul 25, 2017, 12:04 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by ariaAQ
I have a lot of toy quads for my kids, try JJRC H31, stable and really good flyer, still survive after sooo many crashes (one years old now), even the propellers still in good shape..
Beware of wind if you fly outside, check here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...opter-Giveaway
Thanks for the link. Love it! Purchased one and also 4 spare batteries. Should be here in 3 days... Can't wait to have some fun.
Jul 25, 2017, 01:08 AM
Registered User
ariaAQ's Avatar
Should be fun to fly! The most interesting parts in the box = sunglasses! use while flying..


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