GEP-tx5 Chimp Frame Review

By AcroFPV on Jan 24, 2017

7  673  7

This frame was provided to me by at no charge for my review. They also provided me the video Transmitter. I purchased and supplied all the other parts.

This is a pretty unique frame in the way it incorporates its FPV camera mount & HD Camera mount. I say unique, but I did not say great. The frame does come complete with the LED bar, the PDB with a XT60 plug included. A lipo strap and a sheet of "GEP" decals. The carbon cut and finish look great and all of the main frame edges have been beveled. This looks good and feels good in the hand as well. I was surprised with the quality of the carbon fiber for the $55 price tag. Especially since you get a power distribution board and programmable LED bar for that price too.

The build went relatively smooth with only a couple minor issues. This design is your basic Pure-X with a short stack which means you have just enough room for your flight board and PDB to stack, and what little room remaining will be occupied with your vTX & receiver. One of the biggest issues I came across while building this frame was the hardware provided to mount the PDB. The screws are not long enough and stick out of the PDB by only a few threads. This makes it impossible for the nylon stand-off to thread on. The nylon hardware has an internal bevel and the threads only grab for maybe 1/2 a turn. Which obviously will not hold. I had to dig through my personal M3 hardware stash and found four aluminum 5mm standoffs which I was able to thread on 3-4 turns. This made it possible to continue the build, otherwise I would have been stuck.

The video Transmitter that provided fit well into the space dedicated on the frame, and i was left with just enough room between my flight board & vtx to squeeze the FrSky XSR. Care must be taken when choosing components for this build, as any larger vTX would not fit, and a X4R would be a very tight squeeze. The LED board fit snug into place and gives the rear of the quadcopter a very stylish look. The LED has a button you can use to switch the colors from Red, Green, Blue & White. There is a toggle switch on the LED panel as well, and if you flip the switch it turns into a programmable LED panel which can be connected to the LED port on your flight control board & programmed through cleanflight/betaflight. I was able to program my LED panel to do some pretty cool things!

After the build was completed I began its maiden flights & tuning. The quadcopter flew great with the MRM Mantis F3 board & Betaflight. The MRM Zeus 20A ESC run BLHeli_S and are silky smooth with the DYS SE2205 motors. This is by far one of my favorite combinations to date. It is always guaranteed to fly, and fly right every time.
However on my initial flight I noticed something very strange with my FPV Video feed. A ton of noise in the picture which could only be a fault of the power distribution board :( The noise quickly turns to a distorted picture when you arm the quadcopter and begin to fly. It is unbearable and makes FPV impossible. After three short tuning flights, on the fourth Lipo, one of the ESC's failed to initialize and appears to have gone bad. I am not sure what may have caused this failure, as the quadcopter appeared to fly perfectly fine for lipos one, two & three. So now this quadcopter rests on the shelf. It awaits a new PDB & ESC and then it should fly again.

Overall I give this quadcopter frame a 6 out of 10. The carbon fiber is as good a quality as I have seen, with special touches like beveled edges. If the hardware provided for the PDB were 2mm longer, and the power distribution board did not suck so bad I would have given it a higher mark. The HD Camera mount is borderline useless, as this is more of a race-frame. But it is practical and if you wanted to capture HD footage the option is available to you.



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TinysLEDs   Jan 28, 2017  

You need to get that XT60 off of that PDB and put it on a lead.

AcroFPV   Jan 28, 2017 

naw it actually works really well right here. Its the one thing about this PDB i like.

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