DJI F450 Quadcopter FPV Build

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HPIguy

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Well, I've been wanting to get into FPV / aerial videography flight for a long time now, but just couldn't swallow the cost of it. But, I've recently sold off some other RC stuff that went a long ways towards paying for it, so I decided to take the plunge. I've been gathering stuff up for about two weeks now, and I think I have everything here for the build of the quad itself. Going to get it flying and dialed in, then add FPV gear in the next few weeks.

The Goods

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First step was to mod the radio I picked up for the build as I don't like ratchet throttle setups

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Time to get building, updates to come
 

hamz9561

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Keep us posted. I've been looking at building one myself after playing with my mQX.
 

HPIguy

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Thanks guys! I made some good progress tonight;

First thing before starting the build, was measure for center and drill a hole for a GoPro tripod mount, as I'm not crazy about just velcroing the camera on without the housing, which is the recommended mounting method.

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Got all the wiring and soldering, and electronics done. Airframe is fininshed, everything is mounted up and ready to go. Tomorrow night will be radio and flight controller calibration, and checking for correct motor direction, etc. From there, setting up the GPS system, mounting up the props, and hopefully flying on Sunday.

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HPIguy

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IT'S ALIVE!! After some minor issues in radio and flight controller programming (read, ID10T error :D), I got it all working. So naturally, being that I fly helis and micro quads, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to hover it in the living room.

I mean it's a quad, little kids can fly these things, your Grandma can fly this thing, right? Wrong! Way twitchier than I thought it would be, so I set it back down, swallowed my little pride and will play outside tomorrow, and get the gains dialed on the NAZA so I can let it rip on Sunday at the field.

To give you an idea of size, that's a 3S 2200mah pack on the quad, and those are 10 x 4.5 props

P1110400Medium_zps9f9be3d1.jpg
 

hamz9561

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Definitely not an indoor toy. You can get rid of some of the twitchiness by setting up dual rates that use a steeper expo curve. I had to do that with my mQX so I could fly it in the small courtyard by my apartment.
 

HPIguy

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Yeah hamz, I'm currently running 75% DR and 25% expo on it for my low rates. BUT, I forgot that on a flight control system like the NAZA, you have to add that after setup and not before like I did. Reason being, the flight control system has to have 100% travel available to make corrections when you're telling it the limits in setup. So I'll put everything back to 100%, redo setup, then tone it down with those numbers and try it again.
 

HPIguy

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After a week of digging around on the internet, reading manuals, and running the battery dead in my radio while praising it with kind words, I FINALLY managed to get all three flight modes (manual, attitude hold, and GPS hold) mapped to one three position switch. My brain hurts now, and I now know why modern radios allow you to remap channels to different switches. That would have been much easier than moving my flight mode output on the NAZA to a different channel on the receiver, then assigning two different program mixes to offset the endpoints and mapping them to a position on the switch, then yet another mix to disable the adjustment knob for CH7 so that if it gets moved I don't lose all three flight modes in flight. Sheesh :hehe:
 

hamz9561

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I was talking to a guy @ my lhs a few days ago and he built one for a job he had to do that required it. He had one of his co-workers who has lots of experience with these birds help him set up the electronics on it. They got it set up and were test flying it on manual with no problems. They flipped on the GPS mode and the thing went nuts. It went to max power and headed up, way up. To make a long story short, They ended up having to turn off the radio and let it crash. He says that they have been having troubles with NAZA GPS units either immediately failing or failing after a short period of time (2-3 months). He said that 90% of the units they have sold there have failed.
 

HPIguy

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Yeah, that would suck big time, huge thanks for the heads up hamz. I haven't used my GPS unit at all yet, to be honest for two big reasons.

1. The setup on it is incredibly involved, and I just haven't had the time, and every little step must be spot on, or you will have a fly away in fail safe mode, no question about it.

2. The manual is extremely lacking IMO, and most others as well. But hey, what do you expect, it's cheap and affordable just like we all want. Never mind it's written by 7 year olds at gun point, and they're also the same one's that build this stuff :D So I think it's safe to assume that QC on it isn't exactly job one.

I've also read of many reports of getting TBE (toilet bowl effect) when in GPS mode, which ends up sending a multi copter into a death spiral if not corrected quickly, this is fixed via the offset from center in the setup software, or so the 7yo tell us. I've also heard of fly aways due to setting up an aircraft to carry FPV / Video / photo gear, then in testing they take all that stuff off and they're throttle setting in fail safe mode shoots the unladen bird into the sky like a rocket. I'm not saying those guys are at fault, please don't misunderstand me at all, I'm just saying there is a lot on my personal setup that will have to be accounted and pre-planned for, and if the unit simply fails even that won't save me, but I'm going to try my best anyway. I WILL make sure to test my fail safe / RTH (return to home) via a switch on the radio so I can simply return to manual mode if it goes astray. Assumin' I can pick um them there satellite thingies up here in the sticks that is.
 
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REVO-5309

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Heres mine. its a hex, which has a heap more room for mounting and car handle the extra weight. i have everything on there atm that i could need. telemetry module, video tx, apm2.5 board, gps, reciever, gopro hero3, voltage sensor and soon a OSD for the video, i also have a set of fatshark gen 3 preds on the way, was hoping they would turn up today, buts its pissing down this weekend in brisbane, australia so i dont think ill be flying.

ps, there is a AA battery on top and they are 2x2200 3s packs and a 1000mah 2s pack for video tx.
 
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HPIguy

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^^That thing is a beast!! Nice setup man, I'm running that same receiver with a Futaba DFT module also. My FPV gear should be here really soon too. If it makes you feel any better, it's supposed to snow here. :D
 
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HPIguy

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Fabbed up a much better antenna mount

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And, my FPV gear is here!! Got it all wired up and tested, now if the weather will just cooperate.

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Fatshark Attitude SD

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Also picked up a set of Alex Greave's circular polarized blue beam cloverleaf antennas from readymaderc, they come highly recommended. Waiting on my 90* adapters to use them.

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Man I can't wait for my first FPV flight!!
 

tmaxxfreek

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After a week of digging around on the internet, reading manuals, and running the battery dead in my radio while praising it with kind words, I FINALLY managed to get all three flight modes (manual, attitude hold, and GPS hold) mapped to one three position switch. My brain hurts now, and I now know why modern radios allow you to remap channels to different switches. That would have been much easier than moving my flight mode output on the NAZA to a different channel on the receiver, then assigning two different program mixes to offset the endpoints and mapping them to a position on the switch, then yet another mix to disable the adjustment knob for CH7 so that if it gets moved I don't lose all three flight modes in flight. Sheesh :hehe:
After trying to understand all that.....My brain hurts!!!
 

HPIguy

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^^LOL, imagine how I felt.

Made some landing gear extensions that are quickly removable for AV work, which allowed me to mount the GoPro upside down to get the props / arms out of the view.

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