Bastard X650f Aerial Video Platform

By unSane on Aug 19, 2015

3  772  37

This is a bit of an experiment -- an extended HobbyKing x650f using Sunnysky x3108s motors and a Pixhawk clone to provide a stable video platform for a 3D gimbal, with decent flight times on 3S. Planning to add optical flow if all goes well, and upgrade to 4S or bigger motors if not. Based on a build I saw on youtube. Pictures aren't final... there's a mess of servo extensions in there to get it calibrated that need shortening and relocating.

Couple notes on the build: this frame is designed to house the ESCs at the ends of the arms but I hate that so I ran the wires to the centre and put the escs around the PDB. It was a tight fit with some headscratching but it turned out well. I increased the height of the standoffs to give a bit more room but it might have worked without doing that.

The trickiest part of the build was the gimbal and FPV TX for some reason. Both require power from the lipo, which I took off the bling port on the PDB and soldered up a pigtail. From experience I know the FPV TX needs an LC filter so I put that in line as well. I had a magic smoke moment when I accidentally connected the hot wire to ground and destroyed two of the ground leads, which was exciting. The Feiyu gimbal worked out of the box, but I could NOT get a video feed from the GoPro. Tried everything, traced continuity all the way from the GoPro to the video TX, resoldered everything. Nothing worked, and then suddenly it did. I have no idea what was going on.

The next conundrum was that I couldn't arm it (after doing full calibrations etc). It would arm from Mission Planner but not from the radio (a 9Xv2 running er9X). After much cursing, I redid the radio calibration, and that finally fixed it.

Now maidened: incredibly stable and smooth. A real flying tripod. Some sample footage here:

Yaw on gimbal still needs a little work.



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unSane   Oct 15, 2015  

Well, sadly, this build met its end yesterday.

All I have managed to salvage so far is the GoPro and the fragments of the gimbal, which were at the bottom of the tree. The rest of it is stuck pretty fast about 60 feet up.

Sad because I had really got it cooking with Quanum 15x5.5 props, which gave it super long flight times and tons of lift.

Not quite sure what to replace it with. Something similar for sure... maybe a Tarot Ironman and a similar build.

I would not use the Feiyu gimbal again.

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Whiffles   Oct 27, 2015 

Woohoo! Definitely worth the time and even the cost of a chainsaw if you didn't already have one. Are you still building the new rig?

unSane   Oct 27, 2015 

I already had one, but my buddy Greg brought two more. I think the new rig will now be a hybrid.

Whiffles   Oct 28, 2015 

A hybrid in what way? Racing AP rig?

Whiffles   Aug 25, 2015  

How's the build coming along? Get all your parts yet?

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Whiffles   Sep 27, 2015 

Did you try a hover test to drain the batteries? I haven't been bold enough to see how long my batteries will really last, but I generally take it down at around 11.1 to 11.3 volts.

unSane   Sep 27, 2015 

It was still hovering pretty happily at 10V under load at the 10'30" mark and the graph shows it hadn't hit the cliff edge yet. Bounced back to around 10.8 to 11V. But I did accidentally drain the battery a while back and it came down like a ton of bricks so I'm definitely a fan of staying in the safety zone. Mine normally comes down with about 11.3 to 11.4V resting.

On the charger it put almost exactly 4000mAH back into the 5200 battery and I landed when Tower said 'battery 20%', so it all looks like its working properly (after some calibration anyway).

Whiffles   Sep 27, 2015 

Okay so I'm about right on then. I try to come down at around 11.1 to 11.3 resting as well. How many minutes are you getting?

Whiffles   Aug 27, 2015  

Nice shot of the ESCs. Looks like a pretty little wire flower :)

Whiffles   Aug 20, 2015  

How about this gimbal. It's far cheaper and it's very comparable to the one you've got listed, newer even. There's a fairly extensive thread about it on RCGroups.

unSane   Aug 22, 2015 

Ooops, nice suggestion but too late! It's a couple of ounces heavier but the Storm32 would have been nice. I'm somewhat battling weight on this build because of the frame. I will keep my eye on it though, may be something for another build or a handheld gimbal.

Whiffles   Aug 22, 2015 

Some folks in that RCGroups thread have built hand-held gimbals with it.

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