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Jun 03, 2020, 02:54 PM
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GEPRC CineQueen 4K with Tarsier FPV/4K Camera

After a few years of learning with Proto-X quads, Eachine FatBees and E-Flite Inductrixes (original, Plus and brushless), I decided to give this guy a try:

F54 (4 min 6 sec)

3 BLADE GREEN 3S 4 3 C x264 (4 min 11 sec)

I don't really expect anyone to read or comment here, but if you do then great.
Regardless, this blog will serve as my notes as I discover and figure things out.

It's been years since I messed with CleanFlight, now it's BetaFlight, so here we go ...
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Apr 21, 2021 at 08:16 PM.
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Jun 03, 2020, 03:08 PM
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Well it finally arrived, however I was concerned when I removed the box from the plastic shipping bag:

I assumed I'd be placing a call to DHL regarding the damage inside. Luckily there was enough space in the box and nothing was damaged

Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 03, 2020 at 03:41 PM.
Jun 03, 2020, 03:21 PM
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After watching Bruce Simpson's videos of this quad on YouTube, and then many others, I realized that this was the quad I had been looking for:

Jun 03, 2020, 03:39 PM
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So this quad not only is capable of beautiful video footage, but with the low profile prop guards it is aerobatic as well. No GPS or auto-pilot stuff, you have to fly this one.

After researching more I discovered this quad had everything I'd been quietly tallying up in my head:
  • Brushless
  • Props that bolt/screw on
  • Power source greater than 1S lipo
  • Decent power connector
  • VTx greater than 25mW
  • Circular polarized VTx antenna
  • Durable
  • HD video recording capability
  • On Screen Display
  • Flight times > than 2-3 mins
  • No props in HD video
  • No video jello
  • <= 250g
  • Not too big, but can handle some wind
  • Maneuverable, but not crazy
  • Reputable design & support
  • RSSI (?)
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 11, 2020 at 01:01 PM.
Jun 03, 2020, 03:48 PM
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I have a Spectrum DX6 G3 transmitter, but I didn't see DSMX as an option on GEPRC's website. After sending them an email asking they promptly responded indicating 1) Yes it was, and 2) They would install a DSMX receiver to their PNP version for me, for a small charge. Done!

I'm still a newb to the world of non-RTF quads, so every little bit helps! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by board stacks, various connections, software & drivers, etc.

There isn't really a central location for all of the details of this quad (i.e. user manual) so I began the process of watching videos, buying lipos & XT30 supplies, soldering some adapters, downloading files and gathering various links and PDFs that provided various clues.

After receiving the quad the first thing I needed to do was identify the DSMX receiver GEPRC installed. I could have emailed them but decided to search on-line first. I quickly discovered it was a RedCon R720X 6Ch DSMX/2 Receiver:

This Rx only has one antenna wire; I was hoping for two. That's okay, this is fine for getting me started. I can always change it out later.

I created a new quad model memory on the DX6i and following RedCon's instructions I was able to bind, after only a couple failed attempts After binding I could see that flipping flight mode and lock mode switches caused the quad's LEDs to change and beeps to sound, but no throttle action (I did remove the props first). I guess this meant it was time to install BetaFlight and a couple of drivers.
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 23, 2020 at 09:25 AM.
Jun 03, 2020, 04:28 PM
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After watching some more helpful on-line videos I installed:
  • SiLabs Virtual COM Port Driver
  • STM Virtual COM Port Driver
  • BetaFlight v10.6.0
Luckily, I had a USB-A to Micro-USB cable lying around that allowed me to connect the CineQueen to my PC.

BetaFlight loaded and I was able to 'connect' to the quad

Then it was DeJaVu from the CleanFlight days (some 4 years ago). In short, I had to adjust the "Travel Adjust" on various DX6 channels from 100 to 147 (to get 1000, 1500, 2000 values for the channel sliders in BetaFlight). Then I had to reverse a couple of DX6 channels so Yaw and Roll would work correctly using the real-time animated quad display in BetaFlight. Finally I remapped the Flight Mode and Throttle Lock functions to different switches on my DX6 as the defaults were not the typical flight mode and throttle hold switches.

And then, the quad came to life !!! So I put the props back on (these are reversed for some reason). A couple of nervous test flights and test videos showed that everything was in working order

Now, to get familiar with all the 'knobs' I can turn for:
  • The Caddx Tarsier Camera (there's push buttons, control board and phone app to play with)
  • The 0mW/25mW/100mW/200mW/400mW/500mW video transmitter
  • The On Screen Display
  • The DSMX Receiver
There's all kinds of extra connectors, buttons, and LEDs scattered around the board stacks. I've got no idea what they're for yet, so this should keep me engaged for quite a while
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 03, 2020 at 04:41 PM.
Jun 04, 2020, 12:54 PM
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Got the iPhone app working for the Caddx camera. Changed from loop mode to normal video mode. Switched back into 4K 30fps. Thought I could turn off auto-recording-start when power is applied, but didn't see anything in any of the menus.

I think (no documentation to back this up) the camera LED colors go like this:
  • RED 3840x2160x30fps
  • GREEN 2704x1520x60fps
  • BLUE 1920x1440x60fps
  • LTGREEN 1920x1080x90fps
  • MAGENTA 1920x1080x60fps
  • CYAN 1280x720x120fps
I think I figured out how the hidden button (under the Rx) and LED flash sequence works. I think it was preset to 25mW, and I think I changed it to 200mW. Hard to tell for sure (no documentation to back this up) but I think:
  • Red LED Constant On = 0mW (PIT Mode)
  • Red LED 1 Flash = 25mW
  • Red LED 2 Flashes = 100mW
  • Red LED 3 Flashes = 200mW
  • Red LED 4 Flashes = 400mW
  • Red LED 5 Flashes = 500mW
Now the Red LED flashes 3 times, which I'm hoping is 200mW.

I tried to change the OSD font to a larger size (didn't take for some reason). Might try a few more that are easier to read (I'm using a monitor not goggles).

I backed up the quad using BetaFlight (diff all, then save to file).

I checked FailSafe settings by (removing props first) shutting Tx off while motors are spinning. Takes a few seconds but then all motors stop.

The power output of the VTx doesn't display correctly on the OSD. No matter what I have it set for it displays a 1 or 0, not 25, 100, 200 (for the mW setting) (?)

Still don't know if I can get RSSI out of this receiver - waiting for GEPRC's email response.

Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 23, 2020 at 09:31 AM.
Jun 04, 2020, 09:01 PM
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Today I set the VTx for 200mW - WHAT A DIFFERENCE !!!

12 flights so far. Had two crashes - one into a bush, and one into a tree, up high, then a 20 foot fall straight down into the grass. Other than having to clean it up (like a dirty lawnmower) it was perfectly fine. This thing is a TANK.

So here's my newbie setup, minus the various chargers, XT30 adapters, parallel charge/balance cables, etc.:

Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Mar 28, 2021 at 05:32 PM.
Jun 06, 2020, 04:07 PM
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Looks like no RSSI on this setup. Damn - the elusive RSSI.

I see it's due to the receiver GEPRC installed. Can't find any info other than binding for the RedCon R720X. Looks like it's only outputting 6 channels, even though it says its a 20CH receiver ??? This one simply plugs into the FC - doesn't use the bi-directional Tx pin on an open UART.

Looks like that new Spectrum Receiver SPM4650 is the key, but then like mentioned in the thread, the new V4 BetaFlight is needed to support it (SRXL2) and new firmware needs to be flashed on the quad, and (insert whatever else here). I'm definitely not ready for all of that, yet ....

Well, this will be a project for me after I get some more experience with all of the pieces /parts that are hooked together. I will have RSSI !!!!

100mW works very well too. Much better than the default setting of 25mW.

AUW: 235g with GForce 4S 600mAh 80C lipo. 4min flight time (3.8V per cell post flight).
AUW: 239g with GForce 3S 800mAh 30C lipo. 5min flight time (3.8V per cell post flight).

Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 17, 2020 at 02:41 PM.
Jun 06, 2020, 09:28 PM
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DSMX Receiver.

Ok, after more searching on the internet, I see there are two different RedCon R720X receivers floating around out there:
  • A 6-Channel version
  • A 20-Channel 'upgraded' version
Both are PPM. Both sold under the R720X model number. Sorry, but W T F ?!!??

The one on this quad (from GEPRC) is the 6-Channel version. I see this now after finding a pic online that does NOT have 3 extra holes next to the connector on the PCB, just like the one on the quad.

So, I decided to try the OrangeRx R617XL. It's a 6-Channel CPPM, but has diversity antennas, which I really wanted in the first place. It should arrive next week.

Sigh ...
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 06, 2020 at 09:41 PM.
Jun 09, 2020, 06:32 PM
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Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Mar 28, 2021 at 05:32 PM.
Jun 11, 2020, 10:34 AM
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Got some blue props from Race Day Quads. And a free battery strap
Got another 3S/800mAh lipo. Had to remove the Dean's-like and install an XT30.
Got another 4S/600mAh lipo. Have to use an old Paraboard until a 6x balance cable can be purchased.
Got 20ft of red and black 14Ga silicon wire.
Made two more XT60 to XT30 adapters. This time with XT60's that include shrouds. Had to remove some plastic from the centers of each shroud. They came out really nice.
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 11, 2020 at 01:52 PM.
Jun 12, 2020, 10:36 AM
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DSMX Receiver #2 arrived. OrangeRx R617XL.

Looks like it will fit fine (with the enclosure removed).
Need to add heat shrink around the board and the tiny RF connectors.
Looks like I can use the cable from the RedCon to the flight controller as the connector and pinouts (or wire colors and locations in the connector) appear to be the same.

I need to make a Y-adapter cable so I can bind the receiver. There is no bind button on the tiny PCB.

I'm curious if it works with the FC, what kind of range it has, and how it's susceptibility will be being so close to the VTx and antenna.
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 14, 2020 at 05:58 PM.
Jun 14, 2020, 11:49 AM
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I enabled a few extra things on the OSD including Core Temperature and Warnings.

I noticed while messing with FPV camera setup and/or OSD menu (with the battery plugged in) that the Core Temperature gets too hot. I turned the VTx down to 25mW but still got a warning on the OSD for Core Temperature of 164F after a minute or two. When it was set to 200mW it was up to 178F. I can put the VTx in PIT mode, but then can't see anything on the monitor (obviously).

This is also odd, using my DX6 G3 I can change VTx bands and channels, and toggle PIT mode on and off. But I can only change the power to 25mW, even though the options are 25mW, 250mW and 500mW. Is this a Spektrum bug ? Or is it normal for some things to work, some not to work, some kinda work, etc. with all of this stuff ?

Ok, I figured out how to use the OSD Parameter Setup for the VTx - now I can change VTx power levels using the transmitter sticks !!!!

Also, set vtx_low_power_disarm = ON VTx runs at 25mW while disarmed, then runs at whatever setting is active (i.e. 200mW) when armed - NICE.

And, now I see the VtX info on the OSD does report the power setting, but only as 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 (for Pit, 25, 100, 200, 400, 500mW). When disarmed it shows 1 (for 25mW). Once armed it changes to 3 (since I have the VTx set for 200mW).

Not 100% sure yet, but I think changing VTx channel/band resets the VTx setting to 25mW, since I had to put it back to 200mW during today's first flight (?) It was set for 200mW prior to going flying, and I changed to the race band once I got to the park.

Let me say setting VTx parameters via the OSD & transmitter sticks is awesome. The only other way to change power levels on the VTx is to remove the CineQueen's top CF plate (8 screws), cut the zip-tie holding the receiver to the stack, peel back the receiver, and then do the push-button/LED flash dance to change VTx settings.

Changing the font previously on the OSD didn't take. I'll try again, this time with props off and the battery connected to the quad. I like my current OSD setup but the font is a little too small.

Changed OSD font to Clarity. Had to have battery plugged in for it to stick

I noticed my FPV camera was set to PAL and was going to change it to NTSC. But then I realized the additional vertical rows that PAL provides (576 vs 480) which allows for a bigger picture and more OSD text. Also, my FPV monitor must auto-detect that as the DVR creates 720x576 size videos for this quad. For my Blade Inductrix BL it creates 720x480 videos, without me changing anything. The CineQueen will stay PAL for now.
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 16, 2020 at 09:22 AM.
Jun 15, 2020, 07:51 PM
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Time for a simulator ...

I got the Ultimate Bundle
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 16, 2020 at 10:24 AM.

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