1. Bartman

    Bartman Hot diggity! Staff Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'd like to propose a group build. We'll start with the process of selecting components, we'll purchase what we need, and then go step by step through the assembly and flight testing. To the maximum extent possible we'll stick with one list of pieces but there will also be room for people to customize things.

    As it is intended to be a learning process we'll pick components typical for a light lift quad or hex and the proceed to add what would be useful for sport flying, FPV, or aerial photo/video use.

    Right off the bat I'd steer us towards a DJI F450 or F550 frame set, Tiger 2216 motors, 10" props, Turnigy Plush 30A ESC's and either the DJI NAZA or XAircraft Super X flight control systems. There's an inexpensive brushless GoPro gimbal we can adapt to the frame and with a landing gear solution you'll be good to go. A simple GoPro mount would be better for FPV and there wouldn't be any camera for just flying around the local park or RC field.

    Anyone interested in something like this? I was going to help a fellow member to get started and just thought maybe we could have some fun with it here. Winter's coming (for us N. Hemisphererers) so it's a good time to kick off a new build project.

    Who's in?

    EDIT:

    We've gone ahead and started the group build. From that I've added a list of abbreviations for multi-rotor helicopters and their associated equipment/hardware/manufacturers/etc.;
    http://www.multirotorforums.com/sho...Heli-abbreviations-acronyms-secret-codes-etc-!

    There is also a tutorial on Lithium Polymer batteries;
    http://www.multirotorforums.com/showthread.php?12819-Understanding-Lithium-Polymer-batteries

    Some points about hardware selection;
    http://www.multirotorforums.com/sho...50-Quadcopter!&p=139675&viewfull=1#post139675

    Outline of initial set-up using NAZA-M Assistant
    http://www.multirotorforums.com/sho...AZA-M-V2-w-GPS&p=149450&viewfull=1#post149450

    About first flights;
    http://www.multirotorforums.com/sho...50-Quadcopter!&p=141416&viewfull=1#post141416

    NAZA Quick Start Guide Review
    http://www.multirotorforums.com/sho...50-Quadcopter!&p=142412&viewfull=1#post142412

    Here are the videos that are posted in the thread covering different aspects of the build process





    DJI NAZA intro video


    Another DJI demo video








     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2014 at 3:25 AM
  2. Bartman

    Bartman Hot diggity! Staff Member

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    The first step would be to discuss frames that are available. The DJI F450 and F550 frames are nice in that they have the power distribution built in. Power distribution just means that the power for the batteries is attached at one point on the frame and then routed to other parts of the frame where the motor controllers would pick it up to power the motors.

    I'm going to use a DJI F450 frame, they're $40 and available everywhere. What else should be considered? I'd like to avoid having the build get too bogged down by there being too much variety being discussed, let's just keep that in mind. fwiw, i'm not a dji dealer.
     
  3. SleepyC

    SleepyC Moderator Staff Member

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    I like the Quadframe US 530mm Medium lift frame.

    QUAD16mm01_1024x1024_large.jpg

    It's more "real' looking tough and can take the electronics you are describing. You can choose a ton of LG for it and fit any kind of gimbal you want.
    just a thought.
     
  4. djw43

    djw43 New Member

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    :nevreness: wow, couldn't ask for anything better as a newbie, get the build yourself prices, get the knowledge of how everything gets put together for fixing, and get support on the assembly. If the final result has the ability to do a decent aerial video for a residential real estate listing, or have the ability to be upgraded to that stage, I am 100% in.
    If this unit won't have that ability, but is a necessary step to getting a craft that will make those videos, then I am still in.

    thanks very much, and no hurry for me, can wait till we have a reasonable number of interested people :nevreness:

    simulator arrives today!
     
  5. PeteDee

    PeteDee Mr take no prisoners!

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    I already have a DJI550 set up with 2 axis brushless gimbal and going to use one of my spare DJ450 frames to build a new lightweight aerobatic quad.

    Already have 18A ESc's, NTM 2826 1000kv motors, will use either Naza Lite or KK2, have both available, probably just use GemFan 10x4.7 props rather than my usual CF 10x5's.

    Pete
     
  6. Bartman

    Bartman Hot diggity! Staff Member

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    we'll wait a week or two and then get started. it'll go slow at first as people will have to order stuff but it should be fun and maybe we'll see a handful of new heli's take to the air as a result.
     
  7. jfro

    jfro Imagination

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    I would suggest the f450 as you described. I built my first multi rotor this year. A 12 lb x8/ xy8 MR that I learned to fly without any major crashes. About 6-8 weeks ago, I built a f450, 2216 motors, 10" props, Naza V2 w/ GPS. Use my 5000mah 4s batteries & Tarot GoPro gimbal.

    Got to say I've flow more hours and had more fun flying and learning to fly the f450. It's going to be my scouting quad, but right now it's my learning / build confidence MR. 90 - 120 minutes for my 8 batteries vs 28 minutes on the big beast....

    I would suggest that your suggested parts based on the F450 for a group build because it is such a solid, cost effective MR, you can't really go wrong and it flies like a dream and is pretty stressless to fly compared to my heavier MR.
     
  8. RobertsUp

    RobertsUp New Member

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    I'm in. I built my F450 hybrid thanks to the help I got at the forum. Next winter I want to build an F550 hybrid but better using the soldering and wiring skills I acquired. I suggest that the group build encompass both the F450 and F550. The only important difference being that one has two more motors. I may get started on my second craft late but an occasional update from me on what I'm doing and why could help the group build. Sounds like fun. And educational. But, ... maybe I should stay out because I already learned and my planned hybrid upgrades might confuse some people just wanting to learn how to build their own first MR any way they can.

    Rob
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2013
  9. AUsome

    AUsome New Member

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    Oh man, you are a savior...this is just what I think I need...I'm definitely in!!! I'd like to go ahead and get a transmitter and also a cheap quad (there are some really basic quads available for under $100). That way, I can learn to begin flying a quad while I get to building a "real" multi. I'm leaning toward either a Spektrum DX8 or a Futaba 8J. I'd be interested in thoughts on the transmitter.

    And I'll stop and check on a soldering iron at the same time. Clearly, both will be necessary...the build can proceed as fast or slow as necessary. I'd be interested in knowing where others who are in, are from. I'm from USA (Idaho).

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2013
  10. AUsome

    AUsome New Member

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    The frame is not as important to me as other items, so I will go along with whatever everyone else settles on...but if we can minimize some of the abbreviations for awhile, it might help all of us as I'd guess we are all pretty new to this. For example, not idea what LG is. Should we first decide on a quad/hex and then go from there?
     
  11. Bartman

    Bartman Hot diggity! Staff Member

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    well, regarding abbreviations, yes we can keep them to a minimum. LG is landing gear, not usually abbreviated that way but in the context he was using it I"m guessing that's what he meant.

    as for soldering irons, being able to set the temperature is a huge plus as there will be things that need to be soldered with some finesse at lower temps and some things where higher temps are better. analog dials, digital read-outs, whatever, just so long as you can get it pretty close to where you want it.

    a quad is a quad, a hex is a hex. if it's a first build then it's helpful to have a kit of some sort to work from. the DJI F450 and F550 frames are nice because the incorporate the power distribution into the frame plates so it removes one big point of discussion from the process. we can discuss it while we build but it prevents our project from diverging as we approach this part of the process. i've got an F450 that I'm going to disassemble in order to reassemble it the way I want it. the pics I post for this group build will be of that helicopter. it's a really cheap frame also, $49 in the US I think.

    landing gear is an issue but we can cross that bridge when we get to it.

    bart
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2013
  12. djw43

    djw43 New Member

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    i have 2 simple radio shack irons, one is 15 watt (420-520 degrees) and a 25 watt which is 620 to 670 degrees
     
  13. Bartman

    Bartman Hot diggity! Staff Member

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    well, the 2nd one might work ok but if you're going to spend the money to build something, a good soldering iron will be used over and over and over again as you go about this little journey. mine sits on my bench and never gets unplugged or put away. it's there to be used at least a few times a day when i'm working on stuff. even when i'm not it gets used fixing Nintendo stuff, I just fixed an old Crate amplifier with it, whatever comes along, i'm on it. :)

    you can use the 2nd one this time around but if i catch you using it on the next build, i'm gonna tell mom.
     
  14. md2020

    md2020 New Member

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    So if building a F450 based machine, approximently how much money do you guys feel we'll have wrapped up in this (at minimum)?
    I'm really impressed with all the features of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision that will be coming out soon, but I'm a guy that would rather build my own rather than buy one out of a box like it is. Plus I'm hoping building one will be cheaper than the $1200 price tag.
    Thanks!
     
  15. AUsome

    AUsome New Member

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    I think the frame can be more personal, in other words, not everyone has to settle on the same frame, but they should all at least be "similar" and certainly all quads. I too am impressed with the Vision, but you might want to look into the 3DRobotics flight controllers, especially the Pixhawk with GPS. From what I have figured out, you get all the features of the NazaM V2 with GPS, but you also get full autopilot (and with over 100 waypoints to boot). I'd put the Pixhawk more in the line of the Wookong with waypoints. And, I assume one of the things you like about the Vision, is the FPV and camera. So, the build would have add quite a bit (FPV/OSD kit, autopilot capability, camera and gimbal)...and I agree with all that, although I plan to learn to fly it without the FPV initially, so a kit would work for me. Not trying to shoot anything down, but short of buying a RTF FPV model (and GoPro at least) like the Vision, we at least need to settle on a flight controller with GPS and autopilot capability, one that will take a gimbal, FPV and the ability to handle that much load and fly for 20 minutes. Doable, but I think only the Pixhawk with GPS and a FPV/OSD kit, will come in under the Vision. As far as price, you can currently buy the 3DRobotics Iris (although still in development, but should be released later this year), with all the stuff I mention (except camera), for around $1000 (and that is RTF). Anyway, not pushing any thing, but look at what 3DR has and compare with what DJI has...and from that, we should be able to come up with a plan.
     
  16. williammiller

    williammiller New Member

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    I have been searching for a solid MR to do aerial photog work and would like to do something more substantial than the typical dji phantom. Building a unit would be very interesting to me. I believe I have the ability to do so but what specialty equipment is needed? Consider me "in". I live in Basking Ridge NJ and Cooperstown NY.
     
  17. Bartman

    Bartman Hot diggity! Staff Member

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    as much as I'd love to support 3DR, there continue to be issues that haven't resolved themselves and they continue to say everything's peachy. i nearly put an APM2.5+ on a customer build which might have been a disaster considering recent comments made about the unit. Before that though anyone close to 3DR would have said all's well.

    we're not trying to help everyone build a pro heli here, we're trying to get new folks to build a heli. the NAZA is easy enough to set up and the F450/550 make building very easy because of the power distribution network built into the frame. anyone is welcome to follow along but please don't hijack the thread when it comes time to go in a different direction with your own builds.

    as for my build, I've got an F450 that has been stripped back to kit form and we'll be starting up soon enough. anyone that wants to can follow from the beginning and get caught up, it really only takes a few days to do the build once everything is on hand.

    Bart
     
  18. md2020

    md2020 New Member

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    Bart, this sounds good. Being a newbie I just want the support this thread will give in helping build a decent quad.

    I could be wrong, but in searching for a deal on the F450 frame I'm finding knock-offs (in reading it appears that way), Does this matter, or is F450 just a generic term?

    Also, there are package deals that includes more than just the frame. Being new to this, can we get a complete list of all necessary parts, maybe with suggestions with if there are upgrade/option possibilites.
    I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, or change your way of thinking for how this post will play out, but it would make sense if I can save on shipping by buying several items we need from one place. Is there a better place to find this stuff?
    md
     
  19. tstrike

    tstrike pendejo grande

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    md, the real f450 is a dji product. There are tons of knock offs but beware most don't have the built in PDB (power distro board) which makes building the f450 simple with the right tools.
     
  20. williammiller

    williammiller New Member

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    Hey there, Bartman... are we ready to order some additional components? Ordered the flamewheel 450 ($32) and should be here in a day or 2. Tks, Bill
     

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