Diatone GT-M200 Plus - DJI Build

By Jayembee67 on Jun 02, 2020

14  343  2

I was digging through my Big Box 'o' Spares and came across a Diatone Normal Plus frame that I had forgotten that I had. I built out a 4S SD version of this quad a couple of years ago and had really liked its inherent strangeness (as might be guessed, I have a soft spot for the more unusual flying machines one can build), and so had got a spare frame 'just in case'. But apparently never needed it.

So this seemed like a good opportunity to finally try out a Caddx Vista since there was no way I was getting an Air Unit into that frame. I have avoided the Vista thus far as I don't like the lack of on-board HD recording, and no matter how good the goggle feed is, the footage is still 720p and often fuzzy at the edges (at least where I fly it is). But this frame basically required it, so it forced my hand and was a good chance to find out if the Vista is any good.

And the build went OK. I spent a long time printing and reprinting parts and trying to work out where everything was going to go. In the end I did have to raise the frame cage by about 4mm to get enough clearance for the FC and Vista. And I actually didn't realise that the Vista has 20x20 mounting holes, so I did need to put it onto an adapter board which added a bit more stack height. I was going to replace the long stack bolts when I discovered I didn't actually need them, but then decided to keep them in place as a tiny bit more protection for the Vista. The FC is an iFlight All-in-One with both FC and ESCs on the same board. It's rated for 40A and 6S, but we shall have to see how much punishment it can take before it bursts into flames...

I was originally going to use a GoPro Session on top for the HD recording, but changed my mind and went back to a RunCam 2 to get a bit of a lower profile. But whether I gain anything is doubtful since the quad is pretty tall when sitting on a 5S 1300mAh pack. Still, I prefer the look at least.

And it hovers and scuds about the back garden just fine. But I suspect that I shall have to wait until the weekend to actually test it properly.

UPDATE 2020-06-09 - Maiden Flight
I've had a lot going on of late, so I have only just managed to test fly this machine. And I am pleased so far. It's a bit rattly and bouncy at higher throttle, but it is not tuned at all, other than running RPM filtering, so hopefully I will be able to do something about that. And it's only running 4.1.2 - I didn't want to flash it yet as iFlight boards are often very idiosyncratic (that is to say, irksome) when you flash them, so I was going to wait for 4.2. But even still, this is flying as I hoped it would; quick and with a really odd-but-appealing handling - there is something snake-y about it, it whips about so smoothly as it yaws.

And I am very pleased with the Caddx Vista, this is just Vista-to-goggle DVR footage for demonstration purposes, and this is good. I was a bit worried that the single antenna might be a compromise, but apparently not. In fact I may well lose the top-mounted camera entirely and just stick with the DVR footage, save myself a handful of grams, and I think the lower profile would be good for the handling (I did run this with a GoPro Session on top as an experiment, but it makes it too high really, and messes with the moment of inertia a bit; and you can feel it in the flips and rolls.)



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dafunk   Jun 04, 2020  

well done fitting so much stuff in this tiny cage.
I have the same frame and couldn't fit an XSR receiver in it :)

Jayembee67   Jun 04, 2020 

Thank you! Yes, it was a struggle at the end; I kept closing the cage and discovering that components still needed another 2mm clearance or whatever. Still, got there in the end. :-)

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