By D_LBRS on Nov 03, 2022

22  801  8

I am new to this hobby. I have a few BNFs but this is my first build...the gold accents on the motors and the red TPU parts reminded my of Iron Man...hence - Mark I. I wanted to build something for long range. I was inspired by Scott Tomlinson's BlackOpalUL6. Originally I was going to use his frame parts as a point of departure for my custom design. However, I stumbled across the TBS Source One v4 and it was so cheap I decided to start with it. I cut the top and bottom plates down. The picture of the CAD model is close to what I ended up with. I ended up having to leave a little more material on the aft end of the bottom plate to have a feature to secure the battery strap. I had to lengthen the motor mounting slots on each arms because these motors are on a 12mm diameter hole pattern. I installed M2 brass threaded inserts into the arms to receive the screws that secure the FC/ESC stack. The motor wires were too short for this 7" frame so I had to use the race wires - probably not a bad idea since this is my first build and I am likely to have a few hard landings (read, "crashes") as I work out the tuning :-) I mounted the Caddx Vista to the underside of the top plate by replacing the factory 1.6mm screws with longer ones. I will probably tweak the designs for the top and rear TPU parts and reprint. Things got a little crowded in the rear because I didn't really have a good plan for how I was going to route the battery cable, position the capacitor, and manage the rat's nest of wiring. I worked all this out in a stream of consciousness. Also, the iFlight beacon/buzzer has to be disarmed by pressing a button each time the battery is disconnected. If I don't end up swapping this for a different option I will add a little access hole/guide to press the button with an allen wrench without having to remove the 'hood'. Also, the hood idea is just what resulted from trying to design something to hold the GPS/compass, the beacon/buzzer, the Vista antenna, and the GoPro. I was also trying to elevate the GPS/compass to hopefully get more satellites and minimize magnetic interference. I am running iNav 5.1. I might upgrade to 6.0 soon for a couple reasons. I want to map a Tx pin to a User mode to start/stop GoPro recording. I am also disappointed at the OSD. I'm running the FPV.WTF root hack but I don't like that I can't move the OSD elements to the edges of the screen. From what I have read, I think both of the issues are addressed in iNav 6.0. I have not flown it yet so fingers crossed that the stock tune is forgiving.

Just had my maiden flight. I had a couple rough take-off attempts. It felt very different than my other quads. My thrid attempt yielded success! I flew for over 33 minutes. Nothing too taxing....kept it low to the ground and stayed around the neighborhood. I flew very smooth and quiet. The pack shown in the pictures is a Full Send 4000mah 6s Li-ion. When the mah gauge got to just under 2700 I noticed it took more throttle to hover. And about as quick as I noticed it - it seemed like it just floated to the ground. I was watching the voltage for most of the flight and it was holding around 3.5V/cell forever. I thought it was going to fly for a while longer but it dropped off very quickly. I never noticed any warnings (low battery or otherwise) in my OSD. I will need to look into that. I have some new batteries ordered and I will update this post once I have some data to share.

5/15/23 Update: I've made some significant changes to this bird. I swapped in the DJI O3 system and removed the option to mount a GoPro. I'm going to see if the O3 4K recording is a suitable replacement for a GoPro. I also designed in a servo tilt to dynamically dial in the angle for the speeds I'm flying. I switched away from iNav to Betaflight 4.4 since it claims to have decent RTH function. The OSD for the O3 looked terrible in iNav. I like the HD look of the WTFOS with custom fonts. Hoping to fly this weekend to do some tuning and see how the footage turns out.



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jdmkramer   May 13, 2023  

This is so cool! Great idea and nice and tidy execution. :)
Do you have any flight footage?

SQunX   Nov 17, 2022  

really like it!
I've build a similar lightweight 6"
inspired from Scott too

Jodie Froster   Nov 04, 2022  

Awesome build.
So many well thought out decisions.
You seem a little unsure of your canopy design, and I can see how you might think it's blocky demeanor seems simple. I think it's more interesting that it houses so many functions/devices. I think the weight you have saved by accomplishing this with one print, when often you see it taken care of by a host of different prints, is significant.
I like that you went all they way with diversity, and full size antennas on your receiver, can't really get better than that, and you stashed the antennas without resorting to mounting on the arms (why do I we care??... but we do...)
I have to ask: what was the thought behind using the zip ties to hold the battery strap? Were you thinking that you would save the weight of the battery pad, by using the battery strap to replace it? I love the idea there, but if you come in hard, or miss a gap at speed, zip-tie is toast, what will happen to your solder joint where the battery lead joins the 4 n 1? Will you be able to recover the ESC, or will the metal pad rip off the power input? Roll the dice!
I'm only giving you a hard time because you put so much thought into the frame, and decided to shun the super nice battery strap holder that you are literally touching with the battery strap, it makes my OCD twitch.
I really admire what you did with the dremel (clean cuts!), and I hope you have amazing flights with this bird, it's a REALLY sick build!

(P.S. SUPER light. I have reasonably light 5" freestyle builds that I'm STILL proud of, that are 10 grams heavier)

D_LBRS   Nov 04, 2022 

Thank you for your thoughtful assessment .
I'm not following your comment about a super nice battery holder touching the battery strap. I think you may be referring to the two curved pieces of rubber pad I cut and stuck on the frame on the sides of the strap? That was the only real estate left to add friction to the battery. Otherwise, maybe I'm missing something.
I did use high tensile strength zip ties...but you are correct...it is a bit of a dice roll But compromises were made to get the weight down :-) I plan on using this for a long range docile explorer. No ripping or gap-shooting for this bird.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment I have loved this process and already have some ideas for my next

fpvItree   Nov 04, 2022  

love what you have done to this frame. One of my birds is a 7" source one. I bet yours just glides!

D_LBRS   Nov 04, 2022 

thank you! I was surprised how well it handled on the first flight with stock tune

Copter_monkey   Nov 03, 2022  

were can i get this frame?

D_LBRS   Nov 03, 2022 

It is an RDQ Source One v4 7" deadcat that I cut down with a Dremmel.

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