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Oct 21, 2017, 03:09 PM
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Build Log

Atom V2 with HGLRC Zeus. Poor man's build version 2




I decided to do another build based on the Atom V2 frame after seeing that the F4 Zeus became available from HGLRC. The first edition of the "Poor man's Atom V2" took a pretty hard crash into a water tank and unfortunately the OSD chip on the HGLRC F3 V4 FC gave out, Even though I felt bad about taking out the FC, I got hundreds of flights and crashes out of that board. I was actually surprised that after ripping the antenna off of the board three different times that the board worked for as long as it did.
I like the Atom V2 frame kit because it's extremely durable, protects the electronics, lightweight and looks damn good!



Parts used:


Atom V2 frame kit



HGLRC F4 Zeus Micro AIO 28amp ESCs,FC,PDB,OSD,BEC (Got it from HGLTECH.com direct for review)





HGLRC TX-20 VTX with antenna (Got from GotHeliRC.com)





HGLRC ELF Camera (Got it from GotHeliRC.com)





Emax 1306 4000kv motors (Got from GotHeliRC.com)






Lumenier 3040 props (Got them from GetFPV.com)





Hyperion G7 SV 3s 850mah graphene lipos (Got these from GotHeliRC.com and they come with an XT 30!!)





XT-30 connectors (Got them from GotHeliRC.com)







When I received the F4 Zeus I was very happy to see how easy the layout of the soldering pads are. All of the connections are located around the edges of the board and things like the beeper and LED wires are on a connector with long enough wires to mount those accessories wherever needed for any 3 or 4 inch quad. I honestly think this is probably the easiest all in one board I've seen.




One of the drawbacks to this design is the rectangular shape of the board. There just isn't enough room, as of now, to put 4 ESCs,PDB,OSD,F4 FC and BEC on a typical square board so they had to elongate it to make it work. The length of the board is 35mm and the width is 32mm. The other issue some may have is the 20x20mm mounting pattern for frames that are made for 30.5x30.5mm.


However this AIO ESC FC will fit in most 100 to 150mm frames just fine but some may require modifications if there isn't enough room for the 35mm length wise on the smaller frames.


The 20mm mounting pattern works with the HGLRC TX-20 VTX perfectly and this little VTX is a true performer that is now my favorite transmitter I will use in all of my builds. It has more bands than I will ever use and set at the 250mw setting, it performs very nicely when I fly behind trees and shrubs. I used the stock dipole antenna that came with the TX-20 because it's light and works great.




I also used the HGLRC ELF camera in this build that I did a review on. However, the ELF camera in my video was PAL and I didn't realize that so I did not have my DVR set properly to truly show off the performance of this camera. The reason I like this camera over the RunCam micro V2 is because the lens fits better into the housing without a focus ring and the color saturation also seems to be better.


The EMAX 1306 4000kv motors are my overall favorite motor to use on 120 to 140mm builds because I think they provide plenty of performance and efficiency with the right propeller for a 3s to 4s build. Using these motors, I can usually get about 5 minute flight times with plenty of punchouts to do tricks.


The Lumenier 3040 props are the overall best props to use with these motors in my opinion. I've tried EVERY single prop out there and I get the best hang time, efficiency,performance and durability out of these props. They are heavier than other props because of the thick hub, and the 4000kv motors seem to have the powerband to make these props perform. I've only tried them with 4000kv motors so I'm not sure how they work with other kilovolt motors.


I also used the Frsky XSR receiver because my new R-XSR receivers hadn't arrived in time for this build. I modded the XSR to get rid of the inversion. This made it SUPER simple to hook up Smartport to the FR Zeus so LUA scripts would run with my QX-7 radio.






Onto the build:


The first thing I had to do was to drill out the Atom V2 frame for the 20x20mm mounting holes. This was done by sandwitching the Japalura frame to the Atom V2 frame and lining up the 30.5x30.5mm mounting holes, bolting the two frames together and drilling. If you don't have a spare Japalura laying around... then you can take a straight edge ruler and inscribe diagonally from the 30.5x30.5mm mounting holes, measuring out the 20mm holes and drill them. After drilling the 20mm mounting pattern, I did a dry fit of the Zeus by using the included plastic standoffs. While the Zeus was in place, I inscribed two marks for additional holes 2mm behind the Zeus board that lined up straight with the stock 30.5mm mounting holes. These holes are for mounting the Atom V2 canopy that is usually mounted through the Atom V2 stock power stack. I then drilled two holes into the canopy so the new canopy mounting holes would line up with the new holes in the frame. The benefit of this over stock is that I no longer have to worry about damaging the stack or standoffs if the canopy takes a hit as it did before. I used two 1.25 inch #4-40 screws to bolt the canopy to the frame.




The other item that had to be modified was the stock camera mount. This part had to be modified anytime somebody wanted to use a better camera with the Atom V2 because the Atom V2's stock camera was not very good. I did this using a Dremel Tool and a cutting disk along with a small sanding drum. If you don't have a Dremel tool then I suggest getting one for they can be purchased for little money and are one of the most used tools I have. I modded the mount so the ELF camera could mount flush with it and still allow for a camera angle I liked. The lens on the ELF camera provides a very wide view so the camera angle doesn't have to be very aggressive. I set mine to roughly 25 degrees and it seems to be good for all around performance. I mounted the ELF camera to the mount using locktite RTF sealant because it works well to hold the camera on but it can be easily removed if necessary and cleans up well.








Prepping other parts and Flight controller for final assembly.


I had to take some steps to get the stack height down so everything could fit into the Atom V2 frame. The first was to mount the HGLRC Zeus using silicone RC fuel tubing as opposed to using the standoffs. I could have used small orings from a hardware store as well but the store around me was out of them. I wanted the Zeus to clear the Atom's frame but still be high enough so there was a small gap under the Zeus's accessories plug. After achieving the right height I used 4 small screws to go through the bottom of the frame, fuel tubing and stick out of the top of the Zeus. The 4 plastic included standoffs for the TX-20 were cut using a Dremel cutoff wheel and I removed about 1mm from the bottom of the standoffs and cleaned out the holes from melted plastic using a hobby blade. I also turned the TX-20 180 degrees so that it would mount closer to the Zeus and so I wouldn't have too much of the VTX antenna sticking out of the Atom V2's canopy. When I had the Zeus in place I also cut out a small square out of the side of the Atom V2's canopy to allow the USB plug to pass through.





Prepping the FC.


I hooked up the Zeus to Betaflight and updating it to 3.2. I also made sure everything was in good working order. I set my ports,receiver to SBUS and modes I usually use. I turned on the reverse motor switch, anti gravity and dynamic filtering. I turned off the top two notch filters because I'm using dynamic filtering and also set my lowpass filtering to PT1. Because I planned on using the smartport and LUA scripts I also changed my UART for TX3 to smartport. I reverse my motors on these smaller frames because it helps with Yaw shudders especially on deadcat frames such as the Atom V2. Because I soft mounted my motors I have never had an issue with turning off my notch filters even flying with torn up props. I also set up Betaflight's OSD.


Updating the Firmware of the FrSky XSR receiver.
If you unfortunately have the XSR receiver and want to run smartport, you will have to update the firmware of the receiver. Now that the R-XSR is out I would just buy that instead. If you are running a F4 flight controller and don't want to fight with the stupid inversion that Frsky loves to use, then you can modify the receiver to get rid of it.


Final assembly


Now that everything is prepped, modded and updated, I started to get ready for soldering. I use 63/37 thin solder and usually set my iron to 400 degrees C because this allows me to quickly touch the wires and pads and get a good solder joint. When soldering on these small boards, it's never a good idea to leave the soldering iron on the board for too long. Also be careful of where the flux of the solder goes! It could flow between pads and under ICs which WILL short them out!






I mounted the Zeus with the plug harness and the TX-20. Cut the camera plug wires to size and tinned the ends. Cut the RX plug harness wires and tinned the ends. Cut the battery leads and tinned the ends and connected the XT-30 connector. Cut the three wires to go from the back of the Zeus to the VTX and tinned the ends. Cut the motor leads a little long for some slack and tinned the ends. I tinned the ends of the capacitor as well and shrink tubed the wires just enough so there was some wire left for soldering to the battery pads. I also pretinned all of the pads on the Zeus. FYI.. A good source for shrink tubing is Home Depot. They have a great kit in a nice plastic box they sell there that will give you all of the sizes needed for these small builds.




I got some shrink tubing that would slip over the ends of the frame arms and put them in place. I wanted to use the front arms for my RX antennas and run the RX antennas along the front part of the arms through a small tube under the shrink tubing. I cut the small tubes so they are the same length of thin part of the arms. I bolted down the motors with soft mounts and ran the motor leads under the arm shrink tubing also with the antenna tubes. It was tough but I slowly applied heat to the arm shrink tubing while holding the RX antenna tubes and motor leads in place.


I after the motors were in place, I then soldered on the camera plug, RX plug, and the wires for the TX-20 VTX. The TX-20 wiring diagram is NOT a typical connection! Do NOT hook up the TX-20's 5v pads to the FC! It will smoke it because the 5V connection pads on the TX-20 are 5V out not IN. The 7-28V connection pads on the TX-20 is where the wires should be connected to and the V in pad is for video that is between the 5V out and 5V out ground. Posted the TX-20 diagram above





After I got the sub components connected I then connected the motor leads to the Zeus at an angle instead of straight out to make more room for the Atom V2's canopy. I stuffed the motor wire lead slack under the Zeus.





I then mounted the XSR RX on top of the TX-20 using a little piece of double sided sticky tape. When using double sided sticky tape be careful NOT to stick it on things that may lift off of these little boards! I did that once and it cost me a FC because it pulled up an IC right off of the board. Because of the light weight of these components you don't need very much sticky tape. If you use the R-XSR version you shouldn't need any.


I then mounted the camera and plugged it in, screwed down the canopy and hooked up the quad to betaflight to finish setting up the ports, checking my receiver's operation and make sure everything worked. I also used this time to check the placement of the betaflight OSD settings. I checked the motor operations and rotation. I adjusted the motor rotation in the BLHeli configurator, mounted my props and took it for a test spin around the basement and in the back yard.




Flight performance


This is a much lighter build than before!! It's much more agile and has much more power. I was using the rates that I had used on the build before and they were way too much now, as I was overshooting all of my rolls and flips. The final weight of this build was a little over 200 grams with a 850mah 3s battery as opposed to the 240 grams it was before. With a lighter battery this thing would be VERY fast for a 3inch. I don't race so all I'm looking for is it's ability to do freestyle and having fun in the park and this build works well for that.


I hope you enjoyed this build, if you have any questions you can please post them here or on my youtube videos. I'm more than happy to help if I can.

This build's cost is about $230 but for what you get, it's a great deal



Videos covering this build


Atom V2 HGLRC F4 ZEUS PART 1 (7 min 2 sec)


Atom V2 HGLRC F4 ZEUS PART2 (15 min 54 sec)


Atom V2 HGLRC F4 ZEUS Flight Video (8 min 38 sec)
Last edited by Deserteagle; Oct 22, 2017 at 01:13 AM. Reason: editing it
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Oct 31, 2017, 02:59 AM
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Hey man,

I love the build. I would like to use it for racing. What amps do you draw if you go full throttle on this thing with 3s?
Oct 31, 2017, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 43shawn43
Hey man,

I love the build. I would like to use it for racing. What amps do you draw if you go full throttle on this thing with 3s?
I'm not sure to be honest. I only have the pack voltage on the OSD. For all out racing... I would shoehorn the F428,R-SXR,1407 motors and a 4s 500mah. If you were able to build that on this frame it could go almost as fast as a 5 inch.
Nov 01, 2017, 08:01 PM
Registered User
What's the betaflight build target for this board? OmnibusF4?
Nov 04, 2017, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rumuru
What's the betaflight build target for this board? OmnibusF4?
Yup
Nov 10, 2017, 06:45 AM
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Great write-up, thank you!
Nov 10, 2017, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by benz11
Great write-up, thank you!
Thank you for taking the time to read it
Apr 06, 2018, 01:12 AM
Registered User

Hglrc zeus


Nice artical, I just built a "massive droner" with the hglrc zues fc and when I arm it the props spin for about 1 second then shut down :-/ I tried adjusting min check and calibrating my evolution controller to see if that could fix but no luck! The only weird thing I have noticed is the quad on the Betaflight screen turns on its own without me moving the actual fc board? This is pretty much my first build along with another qav250 one I just got in the air tonight but I'm out of guesses for the massive droner?
Apr 08, 2018, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Built
Nice artical, I just built a "massive droner" with the hglrc zues fc and when I arm it the props spin for about 1 second then shut down :-/ I tried adjusting min check and calibrating my evolution controller to see if that could fix but no luck! The only weird thing I have noticed is the quad on the Betaflight screen turns on its own without me moving the actual fc board? This is pretty much my first build along with another qav250 one I just got in the air tonight but I'm out of guesses for the massive droner?
Hey Ed, it turns on it's own? on the main screen or on the PID screen? It's weird that they spin for one second and shut down... Can you show me screens of your settings in Beta please?


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