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Jan 23, 2019, 03:38 AM
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Comparing the Guardian to other devices

The attached sheets are not really full product reviews. They are written for fliers familiar with the Eagle Tree Guardian. The basic assumption is how the subject device compares to a Guardian for the line-of-sight fixed wing sport flying for which the Guardian was designed. Only features relevant to that application are included. The Vector, for example has many FPV and multirotor features that have no counterpart in a Guardian or this type of flying so these are not covered.
Last edited by choochoo22; Jan 23, 2019 at 03:56 AM.
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Jan 23, 2019, 11:11 AM
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Galand's Avatar

Holy Grail

I own some 15 Guardians because I prefer to leave them in the models all wired up.
This ends up somewhat expensive.
Therefore I also looked at the Frsky as being a lot cheaper combination, but found it too complicated, plus needing a different Tx or module.
I recently was able to buy a Micro-Vector from HK for a very good price
I was attracted by the similarity it has to Guardian as to stabilization with RTH for FPV a very nice plus.
But the wiring and soldering task is a not just an "intellectual" challenge and it is physically quite big (notwithstanding the name) with all the wiring attached.
My conclusion, so far, is that a Guardian with just an elementary RTH function added at a price not too much above the current Guardian, is still my holy grail.
Pending that, I stick to the Guardian or to a Bigaole if I need RTH.
Jan 25, 2019, 03:42 AM
Thread OP
I have a Micro Vector but haven't tried it yet, the one I tried was a standard Vector. The hookup should be the same though.

For use in a sport flyer as a Guardian substitute, the wiring doesn't seem to be an issue. Just plug the harness leads into the rx the same as you would a Guardian, and plug the servos into the Vector the same as you would a Guardian. If you have a rx with s-bus output, even simpler. The GPS is also just a plug-in. Soldering shouldn't be needed unless you hookup camera, vtx, audio, etc., which aren't needed for this kind of application. Even FPV can be hooked up without soldering if you use a Immersion RC camera/vtx and the compatible harness from ET.

For the kind of installation we are talking about with a sport flyer though, the easiest setup is with no video and use the InfoPanel if you want to make field changes.

EDIT: Scratch most of the above, it applies only to the Vector. The pins on the Micro Vector are completely different. You're right, it would take some soldering to do much of anything. The Vector is much simpler in that way, you can pretty much just plug things in. Attached a shot of the Vector test installation. This is using s-bus so only one connection to the rx is needed. There was no soldering.
Last edited by choochoo22; Jan 25, 2019 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Took a closer look at the Micro Vector pins
Jan 29, 2019, 06:01 PM
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Galand's Avatar
It takes some study to get the wiring right and soldered.
The final product is not small but it will fit into the 2M Bixler test bed.
A smaller plane will take some fiddling.
Jan 29, 2019, 06:54 PM
Thread OP
Unfortunately FPV tends to get that way.

When I did the Vector test in my Zazzy I used a full sized Vector which just plugs in like a Guardian, as in the last post. Installing that Vector in the quad with FPV was easy too. ET sells a harness that fits the IRC cameras and VTXs so it just plugged in also and I'm lovin' s-bus with flight controllers. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do with the Micro Vector but after this discussion it will probably go in the quad so the Vector can be used in a fixed wing.

Where did you get that pin breakout board? I didn't see it on the ET website. And what's the board in-between with the power connector?

That Vector write-up should probably be edited to suggest using a regular Vector in a sport plane installation to simplify wiring.
Jan 29, 2019, 07:48 PM
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This is the servo pin breakout board:

The other board is a PDB:
Really a quad board. Bit of overkill here, but should give some clean power for FPV, all in a nice package.

It still needs an ESC to drive the motor.
Jan 29, 2019, 08:03 PM
Thread OP

I would have thought the ET PSU would have been a simpler option. It provides 5V and 12V for the camera and VTX and also provides pack voltage and current information to the Vector for the OSD and alarms.
Jan 30, 2019, 09:04 AM
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Except for the alarms (not sure which), this PDU also provides all that (5V ,12V and pack voltage).
If you would also hook the motor up to it, it has four 35A pads and a 140A current sensor to provide draw info.
Current info, IMO, has limited information value beyond the initial set-up precautions.
Remaining amps could be nice.
I feel better using an ESC directly to the battery because my Super SkySurfer draws almost 70A at full throttle and to keep the FC power clean.
More importantly, the Vector PSU is almost four times the price.
Jan 30, 2019, 06:43 PM
Thread OP
How does the board feed pack voltage and current data to the Vector OSD?

I agree current is mainly useful in validating battery-motor-ESC-prop choices during setup but having MAH remaining data on the OSD can be useful too, and certainly pack voltage.

I had a Super SkySurfer. As I recall it would loiter at about 7A or less. That seemed pretty good for a 5lb plane. Don't recall the max amps but I'm pretty sure it was well below 70A even with the slightly higher kv motor I installed. Kept having crashes with it, some clearly my fault, some less clear. Finally there was one too many and I decided it was jinxed and trashed it, rather regret that now.

ET has broken some new ground here and there but price isn't their strong point. If you get the PSU with wire leads you can solder directly to the ESC so the only connector in the path is on the battery.
Last edited by choochoo22; Jan 30, 2019 at 07:07 PM.
Jan 31, 2019, 06:09 PM
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Galand's Avatar
In my set-up, the battery feeds the ESC and also the PDB board in parallel.
That gives you pack voltage but not current draw by the motor and therefore not the remaining amps.
I am somewhat afraid to draw 70A through that PDB on a single connection, even if it provides for 4x30A for a quad set-up. Maybe I am wrong because David Bitton clearly plans to do this as per the attached picture..
I use the Super SkySurfer for FPV because, barring the Radian, it is the most stable, docile platform that I have (always flown with a Guardian). Apparently different from your experience.
With an NTM 3635 1800kV on a 3S with an 8x6 prop it draws 69A at WOT.
Overkill indeed at approx 150W/Lb, but I like a bit of spare power and it has a big cargo carrying capacity for additional battery power my for long range intentions.
The wiring is essentially as in the attached diagram by Glassairdriver.
The micro Vector, which I got from HK in a sale for $ 49.98, was a too good exercise for the wallet, the brain and the soldering skills to pass up. The GPS antenna at $56.94 is a rip-off. The normal Vector is too expensive, IMO.
Jan 31, 2019, 08:18 PM
Thread OP
Originally Posted by Galand
In my set-up, the battery feeds the ESC and also the PDB board in parallel.
That gives you pack voltage but not current draw by the motor and therefore not the remaining amps....
Nice diagram.

Apparently I'm a bit dense. That gives you pack voltage -- where? I'm not seeing how the pack voltage (or potentially current) gets to the Vector OSD for display to the pilot.

My thinking on the Skysurfer was the same as yours, though I was more conservative on the motor upgrade. I was only looking for a small boost and went with a Turnigy 3542 1450kv. I think the prop was 9" though and the max current was in the 50A range IIRC. I also have one of these to use a much bigger prop but never installed it.
Last edited by choochoo22; Jan 31, 2019 at 08:28 PM.
Feb 01, 2019, 08:08 PM
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Galand's Avatar
Hooking up the "Volt Mon" wire (upper right corner of uVector) to Batt+ gets you the battery voltage displayed in the OSD.
Like wise hooking up the "Current" wire to the "CURR" position on the PDB gives you amp draw, but in my case that is only the current drawn by the Micro Vector itself, the Rx, the camera and the VTx, not the flight motor, which would be more relevant.
A bigger prop with a lower kV motor would make it less noisy.
I found that the sound helps you locate the plane when you pull off your goggles in a panic

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