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Oct 12, 2021, 11:37 PM
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Thread OP
Question

What parts are required to finish this build?


Hello everyone!
One of my clubmates gave me this quadcopter (see pictures) which I am quite happy about. However I have quite limited experience in building quadcopters, I only have experience in flying them. Which is what brings me here. From what I understand I need a flight controller, a receiver, a battery, and something to control the FPV camera (I'm not sure what it's called.) I already own a 4 channel AR410 Spektrum receiver which is compatible with multi-rotors, and a 130C 1300mAh lipo so I think I will use that as I feel it is a good option. I own a Spektrum DX9 tx so I have the tx ,rx, and battery.

I briefly wired all the ESC cables into one three pin cable with 3'Y' braces, and connected them to my receiver, into the throttle channel, and then a red and black 2 pin cable that came from that board at the bottom of the drone, into the "batt/bind port. I had assumed was to power the receiver which apparently it was. Though I am 110% sure that is not how it is supposed to wired, it was simply to test if all the motors worked (which they do), and to see if there were any issues with the electronics. But here is where the problems start, I only fly fixed wing aircraft, and I'm not sure what flight controllers/hardware is a good option for my quadcopter.

So I should perhaps mention what my goal is for this drone; I want a drone that I can use with FPV goggles and will be relatively fast, keep in mind I come from fixed wing aircraft so I am easily impressed by what might be considered a "slow" racing drone for you seasoned drone flyers.

My questions are:
Good budget flight controller?
FPV controller camera thing?
Budget FPV goggles?
General drone setup (how to balance drone, FPV camera angles, how to wire the wiring harness and/or what connectors go where, and anything else I might have forgotten)

Please keep component choices reasonably priced as I am only 14 and don't have a whole lot of money to drop on this drone.
Last edited by Some kid; Oct 12, 2021 at 11:47 PM.
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Oct 13, 2021, 04:45 AM
Registered User
NobatteryNopower's Avatar
First of all, don't power it up without the antenna's mounted. You can fry your videotransmitter in a heartbeat.

You don't need a fpv controller camera thing It's already there.

And by the looks of it, there's also already a flightcontroller installed? Hook it up to Betaflight and see if it gets recognized.

To me it looks like you only need to add a receiver, set it up in betaflight and you're good to go. 4 channels isn't enough though. You need 4 channels for control, 1 channel for arming/disarming and preferably 1 channel for flightmodes.
Oct 13, 2021, 05:13 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Thankyou for the reply first of all! Ok so for the past few hours I have been educating myself on fpv drones, from what I understand, my drone has a VTX, a PBD, and the parts I need are a flight controller and receiver. I'm still getting my head around all of the different pads, and how they relate to other ones, but I think I'm getting there. I still need fpv goggles though, however I'm not sure what ones are compatible with my setup, any help would be appreciated ��
Oct 13, 2021, 09:24 AM
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NobatteryNopower's Avatar
Can you remove this brace so we can take a look at whats underneath? Because i still think its a flight controller and not a PDB (Power Distribution Board)
Oct 13, 2021, 10:21 AM
Registered User
If you want to be one of the cool kids,
buy a AIO FC. Has all the ESC in 1 board.

but if you want to be duper dope.
get the HappyModel 5in1. Receiver and vtx also in 1 board. Only wires you need are to attach camera.
Oct 13, 2021, 01:08 PM
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Ace12GA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NobatteryNopower
Can you remove this brace so we can take a look at whats underneath? Because i still think its a flight controller and not a PDB (Power Distribution Board)
Looks like an AIO FC, not a PDB. If it's not, it's odd that the ESC signal wires are connected to it.
Oct 13, 2021, 06:25 PM
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Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by NobatteryNopower
Can you remove this brace so we can take a look at whats underneath? Because i still think its a flight controller and not a PDB (Power Distribution Board)
None of the VTX cables were connected to this board, and I noticed the VTX module has a connector instead of pads. Anyhow, here is a picture of the underside and top of that board. It doesn't have a micro USB or any means of connecting it to a computer from what I can see.
Oct 13, 2021, 08:30 PM
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Thread OP
Update: The same guy who gave the quad to me found the instruction manual, and I have been flipping through it. I discovered that it was was originally an RTF quad, but the transmitter, receiver, and FC are missing. The good news is, I know what FC and other hardware it was using originally. (See pictures)

I think it is important that I use the original FC as it was intended to work in conjunction with the PBD that is installed right now, but if you have any other ideas, I am open to them too.

NobatteryNopower stated that I need more than 4 channels, and I have one more receiver, an AR7010 7ch receiver (see pictures.) It also has a satellite which can connect to the side of the receiver. However I saw in an image from a listing for the product online, it shows for the DSM setup, the satellite connected to the side of the flight controller (see pictures again) I'm not really too sure what what to make of this whole situation, but any input would be appreciated

https://nz.banggood.com/LDARC-Micro-...r_warehouse=CN I'm pretty sure this is the same flight controller just without the plastic housing, pins, and the micro USB is in a different location.
Last edited by Some kid; Oct 13, 2021 at 08:39 PM.
Oct 14, 2021, 01:28 AM
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NobatteryNopower's Avatar
That board is indeed a PDB & powersupply for 12v and 5v. But it will still work with any Flight controller you can lay your hands on. It makes it easier to connect all ESC's to one powersupply, and provide 5V for your receiver. You don't need the original flight controller. Something like an Omnibus F4 will be more than enough and will work fine with that PDB.

The problem with the AR7010 is that is has 7 separate output/PWM channels. And most flightcontrollers nowadays require 1 serial input like PPM, Sbus or something fancy like Crossfire or Frsky.

A budget friendly option, compatible with your DX9 for a new receiver is something like this: https://hobbyking.com/nl_nl/orangerx...ucts_analytics or https://hobbyking.com/nl_nl/orangerx...ucts_analytics or https://hobbyking.com/nl_nl/orangerx...ucts_analytics

For a goggle, you can do some orientation here: https://www.banggood.com/search/fpv-...v&ab_version=2 For a first time anything with a built in receiver will work with your 5.8Ghz Vtx.
Oct 14, 2021, 03:09 AM
Crash tester
Drunkskunk's Avatar
Betaflight doesn't support an ancient flight controller like that thing had, but there are plenty of cheap, MUCH better flight controllers available that can work. Just match one to the mounting hole size. that looks to be a 30mm spacing, but 30, 25, 20, and 16mm are the common sizes. An F4 is all you need, but sometimes an F7 is cheaper.

Spektrum radios are fine for Quads, but PPM signaling from servo wires is not. The only good "Official" Spektrum Quad receiver I know of is the SPM4650. But the aftermarket makes plenty of them for cheaper. https://newbeedrone.com..beeceiver-v2-dsm-compatible-receiver
I fly Spektrum on my small drones. I prefer it for tiny receivered aircraft. But for larger planes and drones this size, Crossfire would be better. Switching to Crossfire was as revolutionary for me as switching from 72MHZ to Spektrum was, back in ancient times. If you end up loving FPV, you're going to need the range. As is, the 600w VTX you have should have much more range than Spektrum.

That VTX will work fine, but likely won't have SmartAudio. That has nothing to do with sound. SmartAudio is the protocol that a Flight controller uses to talk to the VTX to allow you to use your remote to change settings on the VTX and camera. You won't know what you're missing until you have one with it. The main feature missing will be the ability to set power level to increase when you arm the quad. VTX at full power and no airflow can overheat and burn out in under a minute, and that one powers up as soon as it's plugged in. You'll need to get in the air quickly to keep it cool, and unplug quickly once you land.

That camera is going to be an ancient pile of... functional parts... Expect it to look bad but be usable. Of all the things you should upgrade, this would absolutely be the first thing I would suggest doing. But it should be usable as is.


With an open wallet, there is a lot you could improve on this quad, but I wouldn't go beyond the flight controller. For the money it would take to improve it to be it's best, you could build a newer design that would perform better. But there's nothing wrong with getting this ancient thing up in the air!


you should look up Joshua Bardwell's build tutorials on Youtube, along with his Betaflight explanations. There's a steep learning curve, but it's all info that will circle back around to planes too, once you learn flight controller and FPV capabilities.
Last edited by Drunkskunk; Oct 14, 2021 at 03:17 AM.
Oct 14, 2021, 03:14 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by NobatteryNopower
That board is indeed a PDB & powersupply for 12v and 5v. But it will still work with any Flight controller you can lay your hands on. It makes it easier to connect all ESC's to one powersupply, and provide 5V for your receiver. You don't need the original flight controller. Something like an Omnibus F4 will be more than enough and will work fine with that PDB.

The problem with the AR7010 is that is has 7 separate output/PWM channels. And most flightcontrollers nowadays require 1 serial input like PPM, Sbus or something fancy like Crossfire or Frsky.

A budget friendly option, compatible with your DX9 for a new receiver is something like this: https://hobbyking.com/nl_nl/orangerx...ucts_analytics or https://hobbyking.com/nl_nl/orangerx...ucts_analytics or https://hobbyking.com/nl_nl/orangerx...ucts_analytics

For a goggle, you can do some orientation here: https://www.banggood.com/search/fpv-...v&ab_version=2 For a first time anything with a built in receiver will work with your 5.8Ghz Vtx.

Thankyou for all the help, and explaining why and how things will and won't work!

I have another receiver that was from a project that never ended up flying, an AR620. By any chance are there any FC's that will work with a PWM configuration? I will buy one of those orange RX you recommended if need be, I'm just trying to cut down on costs here. That omnibus FC look great! will definitely look around for one.
Oct 14, 2021, 03:23 AM
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Thread OP
Thankyou Drunkskunk for the reply and advice! I appreciate it. I spent half a year of saving money for my DX9, so whilst a new radio like you say would be better for quads, the DX9 will suffice. I got the feeling that a lot of the hardware was quite old, and not exactly great, but like you said, they are still functional. I have spent the past few days watching FPV drone tutorials etc, so I will definitely check out Joshua Bardwell's channel
Oct 14, 2021, 03:35 AM
Registered User
or...


you buy a 30mm AIO FC.
It has the ESC. Solder motors to it. The battery. No big cluttered mess.

cost.. about $69 (I bought it $45 last year)
https://www.getfpv.com/jhemcu-ghf420...ontroller.html

1. unsolder the motors from ESC.
2. unsolder vtx, camera, power plug from PDB
3. remove PDB and 4x ESC.. dont need it.
4. install 30mm AIO FC.
5. solder extension wires to AIO FC motor pads.
6. solder power plug.
7. solder camera, vtx, receiver
Last edited by romangpro; Oct 14, 2021 at 03:43 AM.
Oct 14, 2021, 04:00 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by romangpro
or...


you buy a 30mm AIO FC.
It has the ESC. Solder motors to it. The battery. No big cluttered mess.

cost.. about $69 (I bought it $45 last year)
https://www.getfpv.com/jhemcu-ghf420...ontroller.html

1. unsolder the motors from ESC.
2. unsolder vtx, camera, power plug from PDB
3. remove PDB and 4x ESC.. dont need it.
4. install 30mm AIO FC.
5. solder extension wires to AIO FC motor pads.
6. solder power plug.
7. solder camera, vtx, receiver
That is quite a tempting option, however, would there be any 5v out pads left for the VTX? My VTX doesn't take 9v as displayed in the wiring diagram. Are there any extra cooling requirements? There are 4x ESC on one board so I imagine there might be some more important cooling requirements. However, this is a very tempting option. Also the fact it supports pwm is quite nice, though I will see, it makes sense to use the ESC's that are already there.
Last edited by Some kid; Oct 14, 2021 at 04:08 AM.
Oct 14, 2021, 04:28 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
After searching around, I am getting my head around things, and I have found this FC: https://www.hobbycorner.co.nz/produc...v6/gf4025.aspx Yes I know Naze 32 is beyond wildly outdated, but it's honestly so tempting because of its PWM compatibility.

I also have been looking at fpv goggles, the ones on banggood look great, but would take over a month to get to me. After looking around on banggood, and getting an idea of what I want and how much I need to spend, I found this one from a retailer in the same country as me: https://www.kiwiquads.co.nz/product/...1-fpv-goggles/Let me know what you guys think!
Last edited by Some kid; Oct 14, 2021 at 05:14 AM.


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