Tarot 650 Sport quadcopter drone build – part 1

Toward the end of 2016 I decided that I wanted a large ‘copter for aerial filming & general ‘heavy lift’; something with a full GPS autopilot with plenty of configuration flexibility/component support, some sort of standard mounting system for equipment & enough power to safely lift arbitrary payloads of maybe a few kilograms.

Continue reading Tarot 650 Sport quadcopter drone build – part 1

Taranis X9D Plus 6 Position Switch Mod

I’m currently building a 650 size aerial photography quad with a Pixhawk controller & discovered via a Painless360 video on YouTube that a common approach to switching between the multiple (more than 3) flight modes common to a Pixhawk AP setup is to install a 6 position switch into a Taranis using the spare port S3. This has the benefit that you don’t need to combine two of the normal switches on the Taranis, which just sounds confusing to me.

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Wooden Dowel Quadcopter Drone

I realised one evening that I had enough spare/unused electronics for another entire quad build, but no frame. So the following morning I went to the hardware store & bought a piece of 12mm square hardwood dowel & to make myself a frame the ‘old fashioned’ way.

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HobbyKing ‘Spec FPV250’ Build

After some simulator time in Liftoff & FPV Freerider using my Taranis, learning how to fly rate mode, I bought a Fat Shark FPV setup to go on my ZMR. I figured having a second frame with no FPV gear on would be nice, so I could be reckless without worrying about breaking the VTX or whatever, so I grabbed the cheap ‘Spec FPV250’ kit from HobbyKing.

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I was attracted by how simple the kit looked, what with the (almost) one-piece frame & bullet connectors on everything. But the design of the frame, which has almost no ‘internal’ space, meant that it was actually a bit of a pain to build while trying to keep components safe from crash damage.

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The receiver’s antennas were a particular problem. Ideally they should be vertical, but I couldn’t think of any way to mount them vertically where they wouldn’t be at risk of damage (mainly from being pushed into the props) in a crash. In the end I resorted to mounting them horizontally along the rear arms, which isn’t ideal when it comes to maximizing reception, however as this is going to be a purely LOS frame I don’t imagine I will ever fly it far enough for this to be an issue.

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Still going to do a range test before I fly it though! Hoping for some dry weather (& free time…) this weekend so I can go maiden it in the park :)

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