February 8, 2016

XJ470, build queue is piling up

I had future plans to build a large multi-rotor for a slightly better aerial photography than what I can do with a 250 racer today. I intended to start planning this build during spring and probably get to work with it during the summer. Being on parental leave, the hobby budget it quite tight and I did envision letting it drop if the build calculations turned out to expensive. A friend of mine built a similar sized multi-rotor a year ago and it turned out more expensive than I expected.

But then HobbyKing had a sale. A real sale. And there was lots of stuff. And I saw the XJ470 that I had never heard of before. So I quickly (maybe too quickly) scanned the forums and made my calculations. And I ordered the major parts for the build as they where on sale. It all comes down to a lot of compromises, I hope it will work out in the end.

The frame itself was at nearly half price, which was great. I ordered the frame for $60 together with a motor/ESC combo for $80. The choice fell on a MultiStar 2216 with a 20A afro ESC. The motor is speced at 3S, but community says it takes 4S and 20A might be a bit tight, but should work fine.

I picked a APM set with everything (GPS, sensors, OSD and cables and shit) for $65. The main drawback here is the lesser GPS, I would have preferred at least a 6H GPS. And it also turns out the kit does not contain a GPS mast, which surprised me as most kits do.

I will use a Mobius 2-axis gimbal. I had this one in the drawer from a previous sale where it sold at $25 (it's at $95 now).

I will be using a Futaba telemetry setup, since I can't really live without it anymore. But only receiver and power sensor will cost at least $150 and therefore I'm planning on rebuilding the Ghost 250 and replace the telemetry system with a cheap OrangeRx receiver and an OSD. That quad is not ready for decommissioning yet.

All in all I should be able to put it together for around $400. I hope. And I hope it works.

I'm looking forward to this build as it includes a lot of new technologies I haven't worked with before;

  • A bigger folding quad, capable of carrying a camera gimbal.
  • Advanced flight controller capable of autonomous flight, I've only used simple FCs so far.
  • A gimbal. With a camera.
  • Head tracking. I have an external head tracker I haven't tried yet.
  • More advanced OSD.
  • 1.3Ghz FPV system, I have the stuff and I have a license. It's about time!

But before that. I should really finish a T-Rex 550 upgrade that has been sitting half-done on my desk since last summer. And the rebuild of the Ghost 250.

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