Armattan Gecko 4 - DJI Sidegrade

By Jayembee67 on Jan 13, 2021

14  532  5

This was a frame-swap build, to scratch the build itch whilst keeping the expenses down. Plus I wanted to try something.

I have been flying my Acrobrat less and less, and this is partly because it has ended up being a bit of an awkward configuration. When I first built it, I put motors on it that were far too small and fast, and it just killed the battery. So I replaced those, but I rather over-compensated, and ended up with motors that were a bit too big. And so performance killed efficiency and vice veras with that machine. It was really pretty darned good, but perhaps a bit less fun than it should have been.

I got to thinking that perhaps 4" props might be something to try - would they better suit the 1507 motors...? Obviously you can't squeeze 4" props onto the Acrobrat, so it was time for a frame transplant, and as my favourite 3" machine is a Gecko, well, the Gecko 4 seemed a good choice. Plus I have seen some nice Gecko 4 builds on here, and I am very easily led.

The transfer of parts was easy enough, although I couldn't get away with leaving the motors as they were; I had to unsolder and swap them about to get the right lead length. And of course there needed to be some TPU parts printed, so the whole project took a couple of evenings, but required minimal effort and came out quite clean. Also all of the mass is closer to the centre in this frame, which has got to be a good thing. Plus there was no tedious firmware updates, multiple bindings, or BetaFlight setup - everything was already bound and configured, so I just changed the craft name, reset the sliders and was good to go. Which was actually very nice; setting up a DJI quad for the first time takes an awful lot of watching progress bars creep across the screen...

I got to take it out this afternoon for a quick test flight, and it is apparent that it needs a bit of a tune - there is some rattle going on at higher throttle, and was that some bounce-back there? So a bit of work still, but for a first outing, this is looking encouraging. At first go around, I would say that already it is flying better than the Acrobrat - it's not a major difference, but it's a bit quicker, and the sqatter form-factor makes it a bit snappier. And I did get a bit more efficiency, it's looking like I will get just under an extra minute in the air out of an 850mAh 4S. So I think this has been a worthwhile sidegrade, upgrade, brain transplant, recycling, whatever project.

Maiden Flight


Part List


Gecko 4 (36 builds)

Flight Controller

iFlight Succex-D Mini F7 TwinG 20x20 Flight Controller for DJI (12 builds)


iFlight Succex-D Mini 32Bit 40A 2-6S 20x20 4in1 ESC (14 builds)


4 x IFlight Xing 1507 3300KV Brushless Motor - Get Yours Today! - RMRC


HQProp DP 4x3x3 (Set of 4 - Light Blue)

FPV Camera

Caddx DJI Digital HD FPV Camera (164 builds)
See Site

FPV Transmitter

DJI Digital HD FPV Air Unit Module (121 builds)
See Site


DJI Digital FPV Air Unit Elbow MMCX Antenna 2 Pack (44 builds)


TBS Crossfire Nano RX (SE) (2 builds)


Tattu R-Line 14.8V 4S 850mAh 95C LiPo Micro Battery - XT30 (70 builds)
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Martin   Jan 16, 2021  

Nice build. Looks tidy, how much does it weigh?

Jayembee67   Jan 16, 2021 

Thank you. So of course with an Air Unit it's not going to slip under any arbitrarily applied weight limits, unfortunately, but dry it's 249g, and with an 850mAh 4S and Insta360 Go it's 366g.

RotorHead   Jan 16, 2021  

Very nice position for the AU antennas.

Jodie Froster   Jan 14, 2021  

This came out beautiful! I would DEFINITLY call it an upgrade! Better thrust, more flight time, and better looking!
I really dig your fitment, especially the vertical rx placement, and the zip-tie "belts" in the middle of the top and bottom plates. The beeper wiring is super tidy (though I secretly hope you put a dab of something on it to arrest vibrations). Your color co-ordination with your TPU and the zip-tie "belt" on theh top plate is really nice. I feel like you have a micro 5" here, as strange as that statement is. Most micros try to be like a 5" and arent, this seems like it's not TRYING to be, but still somehow is.

Jayembee67   Jan 14, 2021 

Thank you so much, I very much appreciate your kind words! :-)

And yes, I need to put a bunch more packs through it and get a better tune worked out, but I'm with you - it really is not that much bigger than the 3" Gecko, and definitely does not present as a 5", but it got about much like a 5", and the handling felt like a bigger machine. But still much quieter. So yes, I think this is a winner!

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