First Quad DIY build considering T4 quadcopter

Discussion in 'First Build' started by voidstar, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    My daughter is curious to build a quadcopter robust enough to operate outside, and I do have an engineering background so I think I can help her out.

    We're printing a standard T4 quadcopter from Thingiverse (thingiverse item 261145). Brendan may have moved on from the scene, and the parts list posted is mostly dead links now -- that's understandable, it's now a 4+ year old design, parts vendors move on.

    My main question is -- how efficient or suitable is that T4 design versus what is available today? Obviously the videos prove it can be made to fly, but how "strong" and stable is it really?

    We're not looking for a super fast racer. I see some nice commercial kits for under $400 (even at Fry's and elsewhere). I don't mind a heavier build that is more stable when flying outside, prefer >20 minutes flight time, and has decent range (maybe 1/4 mile in both flight and video stream). I am experienced with the cheaper (<$100) FMV mini-drones, so I get the idea of them jumping into the air on startup, trimming out the rotors, basic idea of the challenges of lift versus current draw, and how that class of quad is just battery limited to 5-10min flight time (afaik).

    So given all that -- should I bother to continue investing in the T4 Quadcopter as a body/frame? Or as a learning platform, is it as good as any (for its price)?

    The T4 appears to be about the largest body my 3D printer can support. If I need to go larger in order to have something that's a bit more than just 10 minutes cruising around in the backyard, then I better know that sooner, rather than later?

    I don't mind spending a little $$$ if there is a much better/improved body to start with (in terms of weight, or supporting more payloads/electronics "out-of-the-box", etc).

    Steve and Amy
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  2. Jackson

    Jackson USA member at large

    Is this it?


    Looks decent, kinda got a dead cat vibe to it. BTW stay with the color contrasting arms.
  3. RENOV8R

    RENOV8R Well-Known Member

    As far as DIY projects go, that frame looks just as good or better than anything on the market, love the color contrast and all-in-one type construction. If you could give us an estimate of approximate bare frame weight in grams and corner to corner dimension of motor to motor (I'm guessing maybe around 450mm?) then we could give you some suggestions on motors, props etc. But I'm pretty sure we can get you more than 10 minutes flight time
  4. Jackson

    Jackson USA member at large

  5. wafflejock

    wafflejock Well-Known Member

    If you are doing this as a project to build skills for building and fixing the quadcopter then it makes sense but otherwise if you just want to dip your toes into this hobby would suggest doing something like @Jackson suggested and just get something small/cheap ready to fly (make sure this isn't a quickly passing phase/fad that you'll regret spending hundred of dollars and time on). If you do decide to go the print it yourself route I know that this one works and flies pretty well moving to a bought frame from Amazon or elsewhere is pretty easy as well since it's a pretty standard style for most modern 'racing' or 'freestyle' quads. The links for the motors etc seem to still be active there as well. Currently F4 is basically old news and best to have at least an F4 based board since F3 can't support all the features Betaflight offers anymore (basically the software/cpu time for functions has become too much for F3 boards to handle without disabling some things). Regarding ESCs the 32-bit BL-Heli based ones are I think relatively fresh and from my experience so far have worked well, mostly you need ESCs that will deal with the amperage the motors will pull at peak for whatever time you expect to be full throttle, I believe 35-40A is "good enough" for most applications/hobbyists. Motors are spec'd based on the diameter and height so 1806 is 18 mm diameter and 06mm height, they are also labelled with a "kv" value for the rpm per volt applied, so a 2300kv motor with 4S (14.4 nominal voltage) then you get 14.4*2300 = 33,120 rpm. Most racing/freestyle quads I've seen on YouTube are using somewhere between 2000 and 2600kv motors.

    This is the common go to calc here to help figure out what you're looking at in terms of flight time/characteristics but you'll need to have some general idea of what you're looking at piecing together before punching numbers into there.


    One more thing to add, I printed and learned to fly on this frame, you will almost inevitably break the arms and have to replace them but on the plus side this isn't that difficult to do. If you can print out of Nylon it will have a better chance of surviving while learning to fly but nylon can be really a pain to print any sort of big parts out of I only ever made 1 arm out of Nylon, the rest were PLA which is better with regard to rigidity and easy as pie to print but not as durable in impacts/crashes (also you will go through props like toilet paper at first)
    voidstar likes this.
  6. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    Thanks all for the replies! Yes, that is the right T4 imaged above.

    My daughter has flown some (minis, inside; she can do good landings), but no I don't think I'd put her hands on a larger or more expensive drone just yet. It would just be a build exercise at this stage. Thanks for the E33C suggestion, that may be a good entry into "affordable" outside practice, and it will help having more charged batteries ready to go to continue the practice sessions.

    Thanks for the Peon link, I do want to try that eventually. Maybe there is a set of components that would be interchangeable between the Peon and T4 (aside from prop and battery changes)?

    My personal goal is something that flies slowly and smoothly, like for survey work (looking at house roofs or exploring large tunnels). And could carry a couple cameras (visible and IR), possibly a spotlight (again, thinking tunnels -- like large water drains), and support streaming FMV. That biased me towards using a larger body. And with a 5 acre lot to fly on, I also wanted some reliable horizontal range.

    I now have two T4 bodies printed, using 40% infill; one with ABS and another with PLA. The weight is consistent with Brendans original post: ~394g just in pure plastic body dead weight (the ABS print is about 10% lighter). This doesn't include an electronics "dome" that mods of the T4 tend to have -- all total, I think the build ends up in the 1000-1200g range. I think my nozzles are limited to 250C, so not sure if I can do Nylon printing or not (I've done wood at 220C, which was fun).

    Brendan's notes also say 18min flight time using a 3S 6000mah (but using 880kv motors instead of 850kv's). That seems sufficient; it can also use a 4S 5000mah if it made sense.

    The arms I have printed support up to 30mm. I could design or scale larger. There are some 43mm arm designs readily available (that's the inner diameter of the cup used to hold the motor, not the length of arm itself!). But it's all that balance between weight, thrust, and heat from the current pulls versus battery life. I guess for this first build, I'll stick with the 28mm class of motors.

    I have a set of these to start with: 2830 850Kv (Brendan's original recommendations)
    And a set of 10x47 props.

    So the next step is a cohesive set of electronics!

    And now that's my basic question: I need a parts list recommended for the T4 updated for 2018 :) I don't mind soldering for a 4-in-1 ESC, but I would like to avoid wasting an ESC if a motor happens to get jammed.
  7. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    For instance, if I want to base around:

    Holybro Kakute F4 V2 Flight controller Atlalt HV 25-600mW 40CH VTX Tekko32 35A 4 In 1 Blheli 32 ESC


    FrSky 2.4G ACCST Taranis Q X7 16 Channels Transmitter White
    FrSky X4RSB 3/16CH Telemetry Receiver Full Range

    Which antenna, battery, GPS, camera from there?

  8. RENOV8R

    RENOV8R Well-Known Member

    The fact that you want GPS (and who wouldn't on a craft this size and for your purpose) changes a few things on your list. First off is the flight controller, you have two options: Go with an F4 type as you've listed (which BTW is more designed for mini race quads) and it will work but you'll need to run iNav firmware which is going to be a very large learning curve for someone just getting into the hobby. The other option and the one I'd go with, is to go with a GPS type flight controller. The Naza-M V2 would be the go to, reasonably priced and can be installed and configured in an afternoon. I'll post a link to the iNav wiki so you can do a little investigative research, everything you need to know is here.
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  9. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    The Naza-M looks great. I noticed in the manual it also had interfaces for tilting a gimbal in 2-axis. What would be the difference between the following components? (I can't put links yet, sorry)

    [ is basically super expensive because it Ultra Long Range? ]
    Hex Technology Pixhawk 2.1 Full Bundle with RFD900x Telemetry

    $210 (is the $60 add-on module like a telemetry device?)
    DJI Naza-M V2 Flight Controller Newest Version 2.0 with GPS All-in-one Design
    DJI iOSD Mini On-Screen Display for Real-Time Flight Information (Black)

    (would this support additional things like the camera gimbal pivot?)
    Hobbypower Pixhawk PX4 Flight Controller W/ Shock Absorber +NEO-M8N GPS 915Mhz Radio Wireless Telemetry set OSD Module PPM Module I2C Splitter Expand Module Power Module for FPV Quadcopter Multirotor

    And would any of the above work with this 4-in-1 ESC?
    $59.99 (myairbot) Typhoon32 4in1 ESC 4x35A v2.1
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  10. RENOV8R

    RENOV8R Well-Known Member

    Both the Pixhawk and the Naza-M have their pros and cons.
    -truly plug and play
    -super stable flight
    -fast, easy install and setup

    -open source firmware, always being improved and updated
    -customizable ESC outputs
    -mission planner

    So if you want a stable bird that's easy to set up and fly for aerial photography I'd go with the Naza-M
    If you're a tinkerer and want to do all the fun stuff like programming, planning flight paths, etc then Pixhawk's the way to go.

    Note: If you do decide to go with the Naza-M, the iOSD mini is basically a must have.

    Sidenote: Check out the Eagletree Vector. Simply better than both the Naza or the Pixhawk IMO, especially if like to tinker!

    4-in-1 ESCs don't really work with any of these systems, they don't play nice with BLHeli_S for some reason. These are my go-to ESCs for any GPS qud:
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  11. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    Thanks for the heads up about the 4-in-1 ESC. I kind of got that impression since I didn't see basically any tutorials on matching a 4-in-1 to those FC's. Unfortunately I've already printed the arms versions without slots for ESC's -- I think that's ok, it just means I'll have to tuck the ESC's into the body somehow? But the arm-mounted ESCs would just be cleaner, easier to maintain (like if needed to replace or upgrade them), and probably run cooler (being external mounted, but inset into the arm). I could just print the new arms, but I'll press on for now -- because there might be cons to the arm-mounted ESCs, like weird weight balance or induced turbulence?

    Regarding the Eagletree Vector, I saw this note: "giant scale fixed wing models, turbines, or multirotors larger than 650mm are not recommended." What is the 650mm referring to? I mean what is the convention for saying what class-size a quad is? I've seen like 450, 550. The arm-to-arm width of the T4 I've printed is ~470mm (I measured 210mm arm to battery chamber, then a 50mm wide slot for the battery chamber; so 210+210+50 = 470).

    I do like to tinker! However, at least for this first build, I'd like to go with trusted/proven and repeatable components (but I understand as a hobby things are evolving always). The mission planner sounds neat, but I guess not essential to my needs (I don't have a large 200acre farm or park where I'd like to have a consistent search path to monitor herds or look for fires).


    STAGE 1:

    4x 850Kv AC2830-358

    DJI Naza-M V2 Flight Controller Newest Version 2.0 with GPS All-in-one Design
    DJI iOSD Mini On-Screen Display for Real-Time Flight Information (Black)

    4x Tiger Motor Air ESC 40A 600Hz 2-6s (uh, which appropriate wiring?)

    For radio/receiver, I'm thinking of going with:
    FrSky Taranis X9D PLUS 2.4ghz Radio Transmitter with Mode2 for FPV
    FrSky X4RSB 3/16CH Telemetry Receiver Full Range
    (and still need an antenna, right?)

    Brendan's original notes state: "designed for a single 3S or 4S battery located right in the center of rotation/thrust with room for up to a 6000mah 3S or 4200mah 4S battery (155 x 50 x 30mm capacity)."

    So given the above components (and future growth to a video transmitter), any battery suggestions here?

    STAGE 2:

    Zenmuse H3-3D 3-Axis Gimbal for GoPro HERO3/3+/4
    Which video receiver?
    EACHINE EV800D FPV Goggles with DVR 5.8G 40CH 5 Inch 800x480 Diversity Video Headset Build in Battery
    EACHINE LCD5802D FPV Monitor with DVR 5.8G 40CH 7 Inch OSD Dual Receiver Build-in Battery

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  12. RENOV8R

    RENOV8R Well-Known Member

    I'm impressed, you've certainly done your homework. As for the X4R receiver, it comes with dual antennae, none required. As for mounting the ESCs, you can easily mount them on your arms. Find some fairly firm closed cell foam, cut to the shape of your ESCs and fasten it to the back of your ESCs. Zip tie them to the bottom of your arms close to your motor and as you tighten down the zipties, the foam will form to the arms and the ESCs will be held in place quite firmly. I'll take some pics tonight to give you a better idea of this.
  13. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

  14. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    I've decided to go with the Eagle Tree Vector. I like their manual and community. But I'm having second thoughts about the ESC....

    The Eagle Tree Vector manual says "ESC Output... 400Hz". But... What about the NO BEC versus BEC? I'll have more homework to do.

    What about these ESC? (I'm thinking I don't really need over 30A)

    Crazepony BLHeli_32 35A ESC(Mini Version 2),BLHeli 32 35A Wraith32 3-6S Input Support DSHOT1200 Electronic Speed Controller ( Auto Timing Feature ) for FPV Racing Multirotor Drone Quadcopter

    nidici BLHeli-32 30A ESC 32bit Brushless Electric Speed 2-4s Controller for DShot1200 FPV Racing Drone(Pack of 4)
  15. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    Haven't given up yet :)

    A friend suggested these ESCs: Castle Creations Talon 25-25 Amp Electronic Speed Controller (they make a NO BEC version also, but I think you can also just cut the red wire on the BEC version as needed).
    These might be a reasonable alternative ESC: 30A RC Brushless Motor Electric Speed Controller ESC 3A UBEC with XT60 & 3.5mm bullet plugs

    I did get the Eagle Tree Vector and paired it to Taranis X9D.

    Unfortunately I've burned out one of the motors, trying to "test" it before the ESC's showed up (smoke came out of the housing of the motor).

    The other 3 motors and ESC's are working (with the BEC ESC on the 4th motor, where that motor won't spin). "working" in that I can use the radio transmitter to arm and get them spinning.

    I have ordered a replacement for the burned out motor, but I don't think I can guarantee it to be an exact match.

    So, I've ordered another set of motors as well, which are these that I will be trying: Turnigy D2836/11 750KV Brushless Outrunner Motor
    (a set of 4, to help ensure they are from a consistent batch of motors)

    Still waiting for various screws to show up, and a re-printed a different bottom tray than the original T4 to give a little more space for the ESC's and associated wiring.

    Will report back after the new motors show up.
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  16. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    I got confirmation from Eagle Tree: "The Vector is only compatible with standard PWM ESCs or oneshot 125. " (I suspect so, just wasn't 100% clear from the manual). So, I'm going to switch over to the Micro Vector -- it's smaller profile and supports BLHeli ESC's (which I might not need now, but perhaps in a future build).

    The 3 motors I have working now -- they "twitch" sometimes when I arm. I enabled "Fast Arming" on the Vector and that helps a little bit (more likely to get them all spinning, but still not always). One motor seems to spin faster than the other two, not sure why yet (ground testing, you can "hear" this and also see it if you record the rotors in slow motion and play it back). I'll order the Castle ESC USB programming gizmo, because I think there are additional ESC settings beyond what the Throttle-flip settings can do.

    These video parts wire in easily, I had to 3D print extra brackets to hold them stable onto the T4 body (still temporary, will add a proper anti-vibration mount for the camera):
    5.8GHz Fatshark spiroNET Antenna Set Cloverleaf and SPW - FPV 5.8 - ImmersionRC
    ImmersionRC 600MW 5.8 GHz A/V Transmitter (confirmed that this does get fairly warm)
    Fat Shark FSV1204 - 700TVL CMOS Fixed Mount FPV Camera (think this is 4:3, still waiting for video receiver to show up)

    And still looking for a suitable microphone (thinking it might be nice to "hear" the motors, don't imagine it would hear much of anything else -- the Vector has a pass-thru for audio, but I think it is mono-only, while the ImmersionRC transmitter supports stereo). Low priority since obviously I have to get the thing to fly first.

    The Taranis radio and X8R receiver are pretty awesome:
    FrSky Taranis X9D plus 16-channel 2.4ghz ACCST Radio Transmitter (mode 2)with X8R
    No real complaints. The X8R will have extra channels for more stuff in the future (maybe the gimbal for a camera, or a remote light switch)

    Attached is a reference photo (yes, I'm aware the front arms should have been a contrasting color, TBD; and motor 3 is not attached because it's busted). Still just test fitting things (I'll clean up the ESC wiring one I'm sure they all work properly). DSC09884_crop_small.jpg DSC09887A.jpg
  17. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    I'm just glad I got the radio/receiver and flight controller to work at all :) Ofc, wish I hadn't burned the 1 motor, since still really curious how much weight they'll support.

    Speaking of, as-is, it is at 1662.8g weight (with battery, etc.). A tad heavy, hopefully I can shave 200g at least when optimizing the cabling (original estimate was about 1200g total).

    New motors coming:
    Turnigy D2836/11 750KV Brushless Outrunner MotorSpec.Battery: 2~3 Cell /7.4~11.1VRPM: 750kvMax current: 20A No load current: 0.8AMax power: 220WInternal resistance: 0.160 ohmWeight: 71g (including connectors)Diameter of shaft: 4mmDimensions: 28x36mProp size: 7.4V/12x6 11.1V/9x6Max thrust: 800g

    That ecalc site is really nice. But some of the options I couldn't pick -- like I had to pick D2830-11 (1000) instead of D2836-11 (750) -- it listed the 750, just wouldn't let me select it. User error on my part, or it doesn't think that motor will work?

    Also had to pick 3S 6000 30/45 instead of 3S 6000 50C.

    As long as I can shave that 200g and unless I've really missed something, I think it has a chance of getting off the ground :)

  18. wafflejock

    wafflejock Well-Known Member

    Regarding the questionable motor it could also be the esc or signal between FC and esc that is broken would swap the motor to another esc to be sure the motor is a problem, generally have had more issues with esc and signal connections than motors. For the different speeds make sure to calibrate the escs, usually this involve setting the motor power to max in betaflight then hooking up power then dropping signal for motors back to 0, just search esc calibration.
  19. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    I had to put things on hold for a bit due to work, and waiting for other various parts to arrived.

    BUT... First flight (for me) has been achieved! 9/1/2018!!

    Recap, this is based off the Thingiverse T4 3D-printed body design. It is approximately a "450" class quad. The T4 (to me) is identified by a "guitar" style body that is symmetric left to right, but not-symmetric front to back. The back arms are more angled than the front. The only advantage I see of the arms not being in a traditional true X configuration is that you get a wider field of view in the front (i.e. without the props getting in the camera FOV).

    I'd like to thank the person who originally recommended the EagleTree Vector, it has worked out great. While wiring is a bit of a chore, it was fun having my daughter help me with some of the soldering.

    I did order a MicroVector (the smaller version of the regular Vector), but decided to not use it (I may use it for my next T4 build). Turns out the regular Vector works so well, I don't want to bother rewiring things.

    I've swapped to different motors and ESC, as described below.

    So, here is a "2018 Parts Guide" for the T4 Quad that I used to get this thing off the ground with OSD video feed: (search these by name on

    - 4x Turnigy D2836/11 750KV Brushless Outrunner Motor
    NOTE: I actually ordered 6 of these, since I broke the wires on one of them (literally tugged them out of the motor housing, so be gentle with those!). They came from different vendors and what I eventually noticed is that the motor shaft is longer on some of them, or the metal collar they use to mount the propeller is slightly different between builds (resulting in different heights of where the propeller sits). This concerns me as far as repeatability, so something to watch out for. Also note that these come with short cables (like 4 inches) using mini-bullet connectors. To reach down the arm of the T4, these wires need to be extended.

    - 4x 30A RC Brushless Motor Electric Speed Controller ESC 3A UBEC with XT60 & 3.5mm bullet plugs
    NOTE: The first set of Castle ESC's I tried were used and maybe had some sync problems. All I can say is these "RC" ESC's worked flawlessly. They include mini-bullet connectors, so they match the motors in that regard. My issue is that the wires on both ends of this ESC are longer than necessary (like over 2X as long as they need to be). Since you're always going to have an extension or intermediate wire between the motors and the ESC, why not just let the ESC wires be as short as possible? This is just a nit note to the vendor of ESC's in general. Be prepared to chop wires and slice/solider extensions.

    - 2x XSD MOEDL 12 PCS 300mm Motor to RC speed controller ESC Extension Cable with 3.5mm Bullet Connectors
    alternate: Homyl 4.0mm/3.5mm Gold Bullet Banana RC Brushless Motor ESC Extension Cable Wire
    NOTE: These are the mini-bullet extension cable I used between the motors and ESC. They are stated as 300mm long, and I estimate them being about 3 inches longer than needed. The alternate described probably would have been better (but still need to order 2x copies).

    - TecUnite 20 Pieces 3-Pin Extension Cable Cord Female to Male Lead Wire Connectors for Servo Extension Connection Control Board Remote Control Parts(4 Sizes)
    NOTE: I actually got an alternate to this locally at a Hobby Store (3-pin extension cable). These are needed between the EagleTree Vector pins and the ESC's (and have to drop thru the body of the quad). 4 inch might work, 6 inch to be safe.

    EDIT: If adding top body cover and larger landing gear, I now recommend going with 4S 4500mah 50C instead.
    - HRB 3S 11.1V 6000mAh 50C RC LiPo Battery Pack with XT60 plug For RC Helicopter RC Airplane RC Hobby
    optional: Fireproof Explosion proof Lipo Battery Safe Bag(7.28″x3.3″x2.5″) with 2 Packs of LiPo Voltage Checker + Warning Buzzer
    optional: Tenergy TB6-B Balance Charger Discharger 1S-6S Digital Battery Pack Charger for NiMH/NiCD/Li-PO/Li-Fe Packs w/ LCD Display Hobby Battery Charger w/ Tamiya/JST/EC3/HiTec/Deans Connectors + Power Supply
    NOTE: A "fireproof" container to hold a Lipo battery is up to you. In this case, I also wanted the Warning Buzzers. The interesting thing about this particular Tenergy charger is that it comes with an interesting wiring hardness. My local Hobby Store had a similar wiring harness for sales seperately (~$10), which is what I ended up using. Basically by cutting the misc. power connectors on the harness and just soldering back in XT60 connectors (listed below), you can make this harness work as a power connector to the ESC's via the EagleTree Vector Current Sensor (or Battery Adapter).
    EDIT: (update) XT60 connectors help for starters, but rather recommend avoid them (too bulky) and using more direct wiring. A single external XT60 connector for the main battery is fine (but not internal for the ESCs).

    - Amass XT60+ Male and Female Connector Plug Set for Battery, ESC, and Charge Lead 10 Pairs
    NOTE: Used these on the "wiring harness" to make it work with the ESC's. These are larger connectors and not ideal for the size of this quad, but they work well and make it easier to swap out ESC's as needed in the future.
    EDIT: (update) Again, I now recommend avoiding XT60 connectors for the internal ESC's.

    - Fat Shark FSV1204 - 700TVL CMOS Fixed Mount FPV Camera
    NOTE: This becomes the "eye" of the quad. Not the best resolution, but it worked "out of the box" with both the EagleTree Vector and the EMACHINE EV800D (listed below). It's not clear in the specs, but I later realized this is a 4:3 output instead of widescreen. Still, I can report this item integrates and works fine.
    EDIT: No plans to do Acro/Angle mode for this class/size, so widescreen may have been preferred.

    - ImmersionRC 600MW 5.8 GHz A/V Transmitter
    - 5.8GHz Fatshark spiroNET Antenna Set Cloverleaf and SPW - FPV 5.8 - ImmersionRC
    - SMA Male to Female Right Angle 90-Degree Adapter Gold Plated Contacts Pack of 2
    NOTE: Solid antenna and a great video transmitter (easy to follow instructions). Haven't tried the Microphone/Audio pass-thru yet (little confusion on my part since Vector seems to be mono-only while the ImmersionRC supports R/L stereo). Not sure why it comes with 2, I only needed 1; I'll use the 2nd on another T4 build in the future.
    EDIT: (update) Two antenna are included for the vTX transmitter on the quad in the air, and then the video receiver on the ground (so they have matched polarity).

    - EACHINE EV800D FPV Goggles with DVR 5.8G 40CH 5 Inch 800x480 Diversity Video Headset Build in Battery
    NOTE: I tried to find a USB adapter to allow my laptop to receive these kinds of video signals, but it didn't work. The EV800D worked out great, since we can dissemble the head-gear parts and use it as a regular standalone screen. And the EagleTree Vector OSD overlay displays fine.

    - FrSky Taranis X9D plus 16-channel 2.4ghz ACCST Radio Transmitter (mode 2)with X8R
    NOTE: the X8R might be a tad over-kill, but I do have thoughts of expanding into remotely controlled lights, or a cargo drop option. The X9D transmitter is very nice, just a tad intimidating on the setup.

    - Eagle Tree Vector FPV Controller with Color OSD (XT60)
    optional: Vector Cable Set
    NOTE: I ordered the extra cable just in case, but not really needed since the Vector kit I ordered already included one.

    - Eagle Tree InfoPanel
    NOTE: This is kind of an optional part. It has helped us realize some basic user problems.

    - Nyloc Nuts & Washers Zinc Plated M3 Forge Pack 60
    - TOOGOO(R) M3x40mm 0.5mm Pitch Bolts Socket Cap Head Hex Key Screws 20pcs
    - optional: 100pcs/lot M3(3mm) A2 Stainless Steel Phillips Pan Head Self Tapping Screws DIN7981 (M3 x 10mm)
    NOTE: The self tapping screws are for attaching a top housing or a lower covering; I have to print larger version for what I need, so I don't have those attached yet at the top or bottom.

    - Lowe's: M3-.5 x 6mm machine screws (philips head)
    alternate: M3 x 5mm Hex Socket Head Cap Screws,Pack 100-piece,Stainless Steel,Full Thread,Metric,Knuled Head

    Now, I did NOT tighten up the wiring, so that part is a bit of a mess (with extra zip ties to secure bulky cabling). But I can confirm: the controller transmitter talked to the EagleTree Vector, the Vector powered the video transmitter, the Ev800D received the video, I was able to arm the motors, and applied enough power to lift everything above the house! (and I could pivot left/right, move in all 4 directions, and land).

    BUT, it wasn't a smooth flight and I had to "stay on top" of the controls quite a bit. Specifically it had a tendency to drift "left" despite trim adjustments. Granted, it was a bit windy. The quad did stay level at least, it was just drift issues that I had to compensate for with the controls. But I think most of the trouble was having not really calibrated the compass and other aspects of the flight controller. The main point so far was that there is enough thrust to get this bulk off the ground, and that things are communicating properly.

    Next I'll work on the calibrations and tidy up some of the layout.
    (I'll try to get the current weight later this weekend). The wiring of the Vector is a little vague and I used printed label stickers to help remind me which wiring goes where (or supports which motor). The Vector video pass-thru and OSD was also a little tricky at first. I may try to prepare some diagrams of the setup.

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  20. voidstar

    voidstar Active Member

    Preview of some of the reconfiguration: These ESC and motors are reliably starting every time, all 4. Still a little curious about the two different shaft heights (across same models), I'll try to get a better shot of those later (only 2-3mm difference).

    - I moved the FrSky X8R and Vector Current Sensor to the back side. A little tacky but I just didn't like covering the bolts for the back arms.
    - Did away with mounting the X8R on the same pillar as the GPS. It ended up covering the tab that secures the battery, making it annoying to swap batteries.
    - Figured out the X8R SBUS, so just need 3 wires between the Vector FC and receiver. Also configured Mode, Submode, Gain, Killswitch channels, and calibrated the compass.

    The X8R has another 3 pins just for RSSI and I made a header to connect that to the Vector's RSSI input -- but it doesn't seem to do anything (at least nothing different on the OSD). But I read an article that lets me monitor RSSI on the X9D radio transmitter ( ) which I think is working.

    EDIT: My following was user error on my part on the X9D transmitter, I had a wrong "Switch" setting specified on Input setting -- Vector OSD configuration is working fine now with Mode toggles as expected.
    I couldn't figure out how to configure the Vector using the OSD -- what I read mentioned a sequence of Mode toggles (2, 4, or maybe 7?), but I just couldn't get it to recognize those properly. Not critical since everything can still be configured across the Vector USB with their PC application, but still curious what I'm doing wrong there (just means no configuration adjustments in-the-field). The Vector is recognize the mode and submode changes (there is a message on the OSD stating the mode changes), but what's not working is trying to enter one of the Vector configuration modes (where you use the OSD to flip thru its various menus and options).

    Thunderstorms rolled thru, so no more flight testing. Maybe next weekend...

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018

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