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Nov 08, 2017, 02:21 AM
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JdogAwesome's Avatar

Generic F550 Hex Photography Build

Hello everyone im Justin and this is my first post on here, but im looking into building a new drone for some aerial cinematography. Ive been building racing quads for a while now but as im getting a Yi 4K action cam pretty soon for the 11.11 sale (only $150 for the camera on AliExpress) I've been thinking about building a drone so I can get some awesome aerial shots. I use to have a Phantom 3 Pro which I flew quite a lot and got pretty good with, but thats no longer with me (no it didnt crash , its just a long story) and ive been wanting to get back in the air for a while now. Anyways ive bee looking around at some parts and frames and I think im going to go with either a S500 quad or F550 hex for my build. Im planning on mounting a standard 3 axis gimbal for the the camera on the bottom so I want to make sure that it can take the load. The rest of the parts below.

F550 Hex Frame $21.50 LINK
6x Racerstar 2312 960Kv Motor $47.67 LINK (Buying a 4x pack and 2x individuals)
6x Racerstar 20A 2-4S ESC $35.98 LINK (same as above)
6x Pairs Gemfan 1045 Carbon Nylon Prop $15.30 LINK
Pixhawk PX4, GPS, OSD, Telemtry Combo $93.15 LINK

That pretty much the entire part list, I already have a few RX's im planning on using my FS-IA6B and a spare 600mW FPV transmitter. For the FPV aspect the Yi 4K camera has a AV out port so I bought a cheap adapter that takes the AV signal so I can connect it straight to the FPV transmitter. Im pretty sure this should work though if it doesnt please let me know. Battery wise I have 2x 4S 3000mAh LiPo's I use for my EDF Jet which I think should work either by themselves or wired in parallel. I have a 3D printer and im pretty good with 3D modeling in F360 so im planning on printing mounts for the GPS and gimbal and anything else ill need. Other than that is there anything big im missing? If so please let me know, thanks! FYI pic attached is how I plan to setup FPV.

EDIT: Also I just saw THIS awesome thread on how to control a GoPro via an ESP module, obviously this is for a GoPro though the Yi cameras have there own SDK so im going to see if I can modify the code for the Yi camera.
Last edited by JdogAwesome; Nov 08, 2017 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Camera Control Addition
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Nov 08, 2017, 09:19 AM
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ariaAQ's Avatar
Everything seems ok, except:

Use smaller props if you want to use 4S batt.
- 2312 960kv + 4S + 8-9" props, or
- 2312 960kv + 3S + 10" props, or
- 2216 800-900kv + 4S + 9-10" props..

I don't have F550 frame, but I heard about some F550/F450 nylon arms not so good, too flexy..
Nov 08, 2017, 12:19 PM
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JdogAwesome's Avatar
Thanks ariaAQ! So do you think I should go with 6x 2216 810Kv motors instead with the same 1045 props? I would think I would get more thrust with them instead of the the 2312 yeah?
Nov 08, 2017, 08:06 PM
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ariaAQ's Avatar
Sure, better with 2216 810kv, I have two 2216 motors:
- ZTW BW2216 900kv + 4S + 9.5" = powerful and still efficient combo. I've made some bench test last year with 10" + 4S => more than 1.5kg max thrust, motor hot but ok, so prop reduced to 9.5" for safety. I will post the test result if I can find the video test files, forgot about the storage.
- Emax MT2216 810kv + 3S + 12", tested with 10" and 12", I will post the test video later, too lazy to edit the videos..
Nov 08, 2017, 09:34 PM
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ariaAQ's Avatar
I think i lost 2216 + 4S test data, inside my broken 2TB hard drive i believe.
But here's my newer test result, 2216-900 and 2216-810 with 3S batt:
Nov 09, 2017, 12:49 AM
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JdogAwesome's Avatar
Thanks for the info! I think im set on going with the 2216 810Kv motors with the 1045 props. I dont plan on doing any to aggressive flying cause it will be for capturing videos not racing so I dont think the motors should get to warm.
Nov 10, 2017, 05:32 PM
Micro Boat Forum Founder's Avatar
I have to agree with the rigidity statement. I recently got the 450 quad variant which has the same arms. If you want to fly aggressively in any way, stay away. They should be fine for a camera platform though.
Nov 10, 2017, 09:58 PM
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ariaAQ's Avatar
Here 2216-900 video test, 2216-810 later.

ZTW Black Widow BW2216 900kv Thrust Test 3S 1050 1150 (4 min 1 sec)

You can see other test here:
I've made many video tests for various motors, instead of getting buried in my computer, i will edit some video test and share in my rcg blogs, should be useful for someone, but I need time to do video editing.
Nov 11, 2017, 07:36 PM
Registered User
hi there! i have a question:
ive been going back and forth on this 3s vs 4s situation for a few days, so my question : which lipo should i buy? ive been running Ecalc for a few days and i just cant wrap my head around it lol.
heres my setup:

f450 clonewheel
dji e300 motors/esc
dji 9943 and 1045 props
AUW 1.4kg (single 5200mah lipo) 1.7kg ( two 4000mah lipo in parallel)
i plan to use this rig for AP and generally slow flying but i dont understand the throttle portion of this whole thing, if i use 4s i have to stick with smaller props and throttle is 60% ish but if i stick with 3s the throttle goes up to 70% ish and thrust to weight drops to 1.4~1.6.
so what lipo setup do you guys recommend? my goal being at least 15min flight time.


oh! i forgot to ask, does the thrust to weight REALLY matter in a AP quad? what should the minimum be?
Last edited by ansarogu; Nov 11, 2017 at 07:39 PM. Reason: more info!
Nov 11, 2017, 08:00 PM
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ariaAQ's Avatar
I think dji e300 motor = 2212 920kv, with 9443 or 1045 props should use 3S batt, can use 4S with smaller props (8-9") if ESC rated for 4S.
1.4kg = should be ok, but if hover near 60% throttle = try too reduce weight.
1.7kg = too much for the motor combo = not safe. use bigger motor if you want

My quad:
- XXD A2212 1000kv 1045 5200-3S = 13xx gram, hover 50% throttle, 15+ minutes slow flying
- ZTW BW2212 1000kv 1050 5500-3S = 14xx gram, 50-55%, 15+ mins
- ZTW BW2216 900kv 4S 9550 5000-4S = 15xx gram, 45%, near 20 mins
Last edited by ariaAQ; Nov 11, 2017 at 08:05 PM.
Nov 11, 2017, 08:16 PM
Micro Boat Forum Founder's Avatar
When it comes to the 1s, 2s, 3, etc., you have to look at is as a function of power. This is one of the most expansive part of everything electrical, from rc planes, helis, boats, cars, to real world electrical grids.

If a motor runs at a 100W power rating, that is 9A on 11.1V (3S), and 6.76A on 14.8V (4S). There are a few key ideas behind this.
1) Higher voltage travels at a lower resistance, although it doesn't really have a serious effect at our voltage levels.
2) More current usually translates to more heat.

What we focus on is the "more current" part. Operating at a lower current means that you can use lighter components. It also means less heat, which means that cooling becomes far less of a concern. The perfect example would be the boating side of RC. A 36" high performance cat can easily pull over 300A. At that point, most people are running 6S. Can you imagine what that would be on 4S? That would be 450A. Now you're putting a much larger load on the batteries. There is a lot more to it than that, but that's the general idea.

There are two ways to implement this.
1) You can have two motors, one with a high kv and one with a low kv, operating on different voltages to generate the same rpm. That would apply to a situation where you have to run a specific prop size.
2) You can run the same motor with a larger prop and lower voltage, or with a smaller prop and higher voltage. This will generally give you the same power output, but then you start to get into efficiency numbers of both the motor and the prop.

Thrust to weight matters on EVERYTHING, but you also have to balance current. Depending on the application, more isn't necessarily better though. I'd rather fly a 150g model at 250g thrust for 10min than at 350g thrust for 6min. If your routine only needs to be 3min, then go for it. Otherwise, I'd rather have less power on a lighter quad. That allows me to use smaller (and cheaper) batteries, as well as being able to adjust easier and crash softer due to a lower inertia. I designed and built a little 130X when the 1104 motors first came out. It weighed 125g with a 450mah battery while others where building more powerful setups weighing near and over 200g that required 800mah batteries.

That's all I got.
Nov 11, 2017, 08:28 PM
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ariaAQ's Avatar
As a build guidance, motor size and thrust at 50% throttle:
2212 = 300-350g (900-1000kv, 3S = 9-10", 4S = 8-9")
2216 = 350-425g (800-900kv, 3S = 11-12", 4S = 9-10")
Read mfr motor data if you can find.
Nov 11, 2017, 10:22 PM
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ariaAQ's Avatar
Originally Posted by ansarogu
oh! i forgot to ask, does the thrust to weight REALLY matter in a AP quad? what should the minimum be?
as mentioned: Thrust to weight matters on EVERYTHING

System need spare thrust to keep flying, remember you need to move, also wind factor = need more thrust = need more power.
At the end of the flight your battery getting low = thrust vs weight ratio getting lower.

My 480 quad, XXD 2212, 3S, 10", finely tuned APM, 13xx gram, with gimbal and xiaomi yi cam, can hover at 50% throttle (maybe a little more),
Based on my test (near fully charged batt), max thrust : weight = (820x4) : 1300 = 3280 : 1300 = 2.52 : 1 = should be ideal for AP (better if 3 : 1)

Let me show you:
- First flight around 8-10 minutes, strong wind = OK
- 2nd flight with the same battery, strong wind = CRASH.! .. battery getting lower, not enough thrust to combat strong wind, should be ok for the next 5 minutes if no wind.

Here 2nd flight video:

Bad Wind Bad Accident (0 min 19 sec)

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