Chameleon Build

By seiern on Dec 23, 2017

20  2,998  6

Welcome to my Armattan Chameleon build!

Been building drones for many years now and this is my second Armattan Chameleon 5” build with SmartAudio, LUA script and telemetry intended for my son. I love these frames from Armattan, high quality, excellent customer care and good guaranty. That said, this drone is ready for some wet, snowy weather and some really hard crashes.

Protecting the electronics from moisture:
Building drones intended for the Scandinavian harsh weather without conformal coating is like asking for trouble. All electronics were coated with several layers of conformal silicone coating. Keep in mind that you should be very careful with coating close to buttons or they would get stuck. I use Corrosion X inside all connectors and I have also tried to add some inside the buttons as well. You should have all connectors (USB etc) cables connected while adding coating, this would prevent any issues with the connectors afterwards.

Noise and interference recommendations:
My friend and me have struggled to get a clean FPV feed from the RunCam Split, exceptionally on the RunCam Split 2, the first version seems to handle noise much better. We have tested many different RunCam Splits 2, used capacitors, low pass filters etc. Those tests have also been done on several different builds, builds that have close to no noise while using cams like RunCam Swift 2. To eliminate the noise/interference to the RunCam Split I added a 470uF ESR capacitor to the PDB 5V output and also added GND from the VTX to the GND pin on the RunCam Split (capacitor is connected with silicone cables to prevent damage to PBD during crash, learned from others mistakes). To remove as much noise and spikes as possible I used Panasonic FR 25V 470uF Low ESR on each ESC.

SmartAudio and LUA Script
For the audio and SmartAudio I added a 0.1µF film capacitor between the audio pad on the RunCam Split and the UART on the FC. To get the Betaflight tx lua scripts working you would need to flash the R-XSR receiver with the latest firmware (171009).

VTX recommendations:
The TBS Unify Pro HV works just perfectly, used on many builds. I would recommend that you solder pigtails U.FL Connector to the side of the VTX PCB with a little soldering tinning, that would prevent it from ever coming loose. And it is not very hard to remove the tinning if you need to replace the board or the pigtail.

Frame strengthen parts, recommended add-ons and protections:
I protected the ESC with double sided tape, parts/ends of props on top wrapped with self-amalgamating tape. To strengthen the frames camera cage, I have added two additional 20mm M3 aluminum standoff. Chameleon Arm Guards is a must if you ask me, they would protect your frame against carbon tile up/dividing in a crash incident and they also works as motor soft damping. Camera Bumper has saved my camera numerous of times and it also protects the electronics from unnecessary exposure. To get the RunCam Split in a more correct view I use the 3D printed mounting brackets, this would move your camera to a more or less flush position with the camera cage. The 3D printer antenna mount with standoffs would provide you with a really good placement for the receiver’s antennas. Before I found this superb part, I used to use cable ties with heat-shrink tubing. Some useful tips if you intend to use this part with the TBS VTX with pigtail, it comes without holes for the SMA bracket, so you would have to add holes to secure the bracket good enough. I found that the best method for making holes is to use soldering iron tip through the bracket and the 3D part. I also like to add some additional hot glue to antenna tubes to secure them even better (the fit is really tight). All 3D parts were purchased from BMC3D which provide good and personally customer care.

Flight controller:
We have been using the BrainFPV RE1 for quite some time now, these FC are extremely durable and is absolutely one of my favorites. Their baro sensor sucks tho, their support promised that they would solve the issue which makes the baro values varying a lot , but as far as I know there is no solution. Since I wanted to use the RunCam Split there is no room for the Brain mPB (v2) stack, so I went for the Kakute F4 AIO. That said, my friend has had many issues with the Kakute, so we are not sure of how good the quality really is on those FC. Maybe he has been unlucky, but he had close to no issues while running the RE1.

Motors and ESC:
My friend and me have been using these F40 Pro motors from T-Motors for quite some time and on many builds. They are just great, bearings hold up good and they sure perform well. In a few incidents the axle broke on first flight, nor did we over-tight the nut or hit anything, so I would assume there must have been some kind of material weakness or bad batch. We have had no issues with the ESC, but we dislike that T-Motors did not use better quality wires/cables, exceptionally on the signal and GND wire, those should be silicone wires.

Betaflight 3.2.3 with these filter changes:

  • d_lowpass_type = PT1
  • Gyro Notch Filter 1 Frequency (Hz) = 0
  • Gyro Notch Filter 2 Frequency (Hz) = 0
  • D Term Notch Filter Frequency (Hz) = 0

Some final thoughts and tip:
This build is built according to what we have learned from many hours of flying in all weather conditions and numerous of crashes with the Chameleon frame, new builds and rebuilds. As mention earlier, the Kakute I cannot vouch for, and I am really not sure about the RunCam Split. If you want to go for a bullet proof setup, use BrainFPV and RunCam Swift. Final tip, I always use blue lock-tight on all nuts and bolts

Complete parts list is listed below!

Total weight without battery: 452 gram
Weight with battery: 681 gram

Like my build or you found some of my information useful, please like, thanks!

Photos

Part List

Frame

Chameleon (160 builds)
Armattanquads.com
$90.00

Flight Controller

Holybro Kakute F4 AIO All in One V2 Flight Controller STM32 F405 MCU Integrated PDB OSD for RC Drone (42 builds)
Banggood.com
$43.91

ESCs

4 x T-MOTOR FPV ESC F30A 2-4S Dshot Multishot BEC Brushless Motor Electronic Speed Controller for Multicopter (2 builds)
Aliexpress.com
$59.96

Motors

2 x T-MOTOR FPV Racing Motor F40Pro KV2600 electrical brushless motor for mulitrotor( 2pcs/set )
Aliexpress.com
$99.80

Propellers

RaceKraft 5051 Tri-Blade (Set of 4 - Clear Hot Pink) (123 builds)
Getfpv.com
$2.99

FPV Camera

Runcam Split WDR WiFi FPV Camera 1080P 60fps HD Recorder Short Lens/RC25G GoPro Lens Orange/Black (61 builds)
Banggood.com
$66.99

FPV Transmitter

TBS Unify Pro 5G8 HV (SMA) (601 builds)
Team-blacksheep.com
$49.95

Antenna

Raptor 5.8GHz Pagoda FPV-antenne
Dronehandelen.no
See Site

Receiver

FrSky R-XSR Ultra SBUS / CPPM Switchable D16 16CH Mini Redundancy Receiver RX 1.5g for RC Transmitter TX Drone Models
Aliexpress.com
$24.99

Batteries

Turnigy nano-tech 1800mah 4S 65~130C Lipo Pack (2 builds)
Hobbyking.com
$36.77

Misc Parts

5 x Panasonic FR 25V 470uF Low ESR Kondensator (2 builds)
Dronehandelen.no
See Site

Misc Parts

Chameleon Antenna Mount (3 builds)
Bmc3d.co
$5.00

Misc Parts

Chameleon Camera Bumper
Bmc3d.co
$4.00

Misc Parts

Panasonic Electronic Components
Digikey.no
$3.40

Misc Parts

Rotor Riot Kwad Skidz
Store.rotorriot.com
$3.23

Misc Parts

Lyn-Tron, Aluminum, Female, Clear Iridite, M3-0.5 Screw Size, 6mm OD, 20mm Length, (Pack of 10)
Amazon.com
$14.67

Misc Parts

Chameleon Arm Guards (4 builds)
Bmc3d.co
$10.00

Misc Parts

Runcam Split Chameleon Mount by punkkills (2 builds)
Thingiverse.com
See Site

Misc Parts

SANDISK SD CARD MICRO 64GB SDXC ULTRA 48MB/S CLASS 10 UHS-I EXT / MULTICOM
Multicom.no
See Site
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Discussion

Sign in to comment

MikaelOverby   Dec 26, 2017  
2

Thank you guys so much for creating this amazing drone for me :D
Now you guys can feel your fears when racing ;)

hpwold   Dec 29, 2017 
1

Now you can't blame poor specs when you can't keep up my pace. :)

hpwold   Dec 23, 2017  
2

My friend, I must say I feel good having been part in the build process with my own experience. It turned out clean and extremely nice. Let’s hope you son have better experience with the Kaktue F4 FC and that the Split is better than my Split2.

Looking forward to flying with you guys next year.

seiern   Dec 24, 2017 
2

Always a pleasure flying, building drones and exchanging information with you my friend. Seems like the time with our big and more advance drone builds is something in the past. The small ones are just overall more fun. Today it is Christmas, so the build is under the Christmas tree together with the drone parts and the diversity receiver from you. Looking forward to continue our hobby for years to come.

Jodie Froster   Dec 23, 2017  
3

What a tank! Is that 3d printed antenna holder (which is super nice, btw) working as strain relief for your battery wires? This is such an awesome and high-end/cool device to make for your son. You are restoring my faith in humanity a little bit sir (or ma'am).

seiern   Dec 24, 2017 
2

I am flattered having received such a positive feedback on my build, thanks. I have updated the information on the antenna mount!

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