Epic Crash Contest!

Post your best crash reel to YouTube for a chance to win an Epic Mini 280 frame from Multicopter Builders!

Rules and Regulations:
– Videos must use both the MB Intro and the MQC Intro clips
– Videos must be no longer than 1 minute in length
– All videos must be submitted via the MQC Facebook Group “Pinned Post”
– Any videos containing “reckless flying” will be disqualified and reported to YouTube
– Winners to be determined by Richard Shelton (MB) and Nick Miller (MQC)
– All entries must be submitted by February 14th
– Grand prize winner receives an Epic Mini 280 frame
– Second place runner-up wins a selection of props
– One entry per person

Good luck!

Review Announcement: DroneKraft Mach300GT

Hey there fellow mini quad lovers, it’s me, Nick Miller, here to announce my next review: The DroneKraft Mach300GT.

The Mach300GT
 is a high-performance FPV quadcopter frame. 3mm carbon fiber throughout makes the Mach300GT lightweight and impact resistant. Extended arm set accommodates up to 7” propellers. Three separate vibration dampening systems work together for super-responsive flight and smooth video transmission and recording. 

The GT of Racing Drones. The extended arms allow up to 7″ propellers for increased thrust efficiency, giving the 300GT the handling and nimble balance of a smaller acro frame with the added flight time. Room for components allows for extended range and powerful high-speed flight characteristics of a larger multicopter.

 

Structural Vibration Isolation

From the Power Distribution Board up the  Mach300GT’s frame is “clean,” isolated with neoprene dampeners to protect vibration-sensitive components. Vertical and horizontal camera plates are further isolated with PVC and silicone dampeners.


 

Running Lights

Dual-color ultra ­bright LEDs assist in orientation during line-of-site piloting in low visibility conditions, and cast a wide illumination pattern for FPV ground-skimming. Running lights are switchable for super stealth mode.


frame_402a.jpg

Frame Configuration

Modular frame gives you flexibility in positioning and securing components, including an optionally-installed midplate deck for mounting a long-range receiver, FPV video transmitter, OSD or telemetry.

 


Solderless PDB

The Mach300GT’s Solderless Power Distribution Board is built with auxiliary pins, an XT60 battery connector, and standard 2mm gold bullet ESC connectors. We’ve already soldered them onto the board, so you don’t have to.


 

Modular Frame

Flexible configurations for flight controllers, receivers and video transmitters. Mounting holes for APM, cc3d, KK2.0, Naza and Naze32. Tough 3mm carbon fiber construction throughout gives the Mach300GT responsive flight characteristics and high impact strength.


frame_001a.jpgAdjustable FPV Plate

Made for fast forward flight.  Both vertical and horizontal camera plates are vibration isolated. Tighten the bottom screws on the cam plate to raise the view angle.  If you’re extra hungry for speed, move the cam back to the rear slots.  Buckle up.


I have spent the past few weeks building a v1 and consulting with DroneKraft to help bring the v2 to life. To show their gratitude, they have offered to sell the Mach300GT to Mini Quad Club members for only $125! Stay tuned to the MQC for more information!

Product Review: R220 Pro Mini H Quad: Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my review of the R220 Pro Mini H Quad from Red20RC.

Watch on YouTube

This mini quad is 220mm in size and supports 5″ props in its standard configuration – however, arms that support 6″ are now available as well. The frames geometry sits in line with many other Blackout-inspired frames on the marketplace, so I am excited to take this tiny titan for a spin.

Designed to accommodate the most commonly available 250 size multirotor gear each frame kit includes:

– 1.5mm 3K Taiwan Matte Carbon Fibre main plates
– 3mm 3K Taiwan Matte Carbon Fibre arms
– FPV camera plate sized to suit most common 33mm board cameras
– Anti-vibration Mobius plate
– Complete fastener pack

My Setup:
Cobra 2204 2300kv motors
12a Blue Series ESCs
Naze32
Fatshark 250mx VTx
PZ0420 board cam
Mobius
3s 1300mah lipo

Product Page:
http://store.red20rc.org/buy-multirotor-frame/r220-pro-mini-h-quadcopter/

Join the Club!
http://www.miniquadclub.com

The Minion PDB Has Arrived!

We at the Mini Quad Club are no stranger to the Minion frame from Canadian frame manufacturer Pat’s Mini H-Quad. I reviewed the tiny titan last year and had a great time bashing it around. You can see all my coverage of the frame here.

Shortly thereafter, lots of us saw what David Klein of Rotorgeeks was able to do with some 4s power coupled with 2208 2000kv motors on his custom ESCs – which was to turn the Minion into one of the smallest and fastest mini quads in the marketplace today. Checkout the Turbo Minion:

Pretty cool, eh? So how do you make such a good thing even better? Simple – you add a power distribution system, LEDs and all! It appears to have pads to hook up the ESCs, and video pads for the FPV cam and Vtx hookup as well. It even has a line filter hookup. It weighs only 16g. Awesome.

I have a feeling this new product is going to cause quite a few Minion owners to want to upgrade their setups, and will also make the decision to invest into the Minion for newcomers an even easier one. I’ll provide an update when more information is available…

Naze32: Flight Modes Explained

While there are other resources that go into far greater detail than I will on this post, I felt the need to help some of the newer folks just starting to fly mini quads with the most important three flight modes that the Naze32 has to offer: Angle, Horizon, and Rate (aka: manual or acro). While I highly suggest that everyone learns rate right off the get-go, I wanted to touch on what the three modes do and how you can use them (if you must) to foster your abilities in rate mode.

Angle Mode
Angle mode is a stabilized mode that will not allow your mini quad to spin in any direction past a set angle (50 degrees). This means that with your hands off the controls, it will use the accelerometer and the gyroscope to keep the mini quad leveled (as long as you calibrated it correctly in Baseflight/Cleanflight). You may also have to “trim it out” on your radio to achieve the best performance. I only use this mode on an “emergency switch” that I use if I lose orientation during a roll or flip during rate mode flight.

Horizon Mode
Horizon mode is a mix between Angle mode and Rate mode, offering stabilization while the pitch/roll stick is near center, but rate mode at it’s endpoints. This allows a pilot to fly in a stabilized manner, but still perform rolls and flips when really pushing on the pitch/roll stick. This mode is OK to use for a session or two in order to get a feel for what it’s like to be upside-down during FPV. Beyond that – try to leave it be.

Rate Mode (aka: Manual Mode or Acro Mode)
This is the default mode that the Naze32 is in if nothing else is selected when configuring modes in Baseflght/Cleanflight. This is the way mini quads were meant to be flown – and if you’ve ever watched any crazy FPV videos and wondered how a pilot was able to fly so fast and controlled – it was because they were flying in rate.  Rate mode uses the gyro sensor found on the Naze32, which takes the pitch/roll stick inputs speed and angle and translates it into the rate at which the quad rotates on that particular axis. The reason you want to fly in rate is so that you won’t have to fight against the stabilization provided by the other modes – which will lead to smoother flying and better video capture. It will also let you perform banked turns and make small adjustments to get through small gaps much more easily than a stabilized mode.

Here is a video that I made awhile back to show the differences between rate and horizon modes. Perhaps it will help to better illustrate the differences:

Hopefully all this has helped explain some of the flight modes offered by the Naze32, and helps you to take your first steps towards your Rate Mode Enlightenment. Remember: If you’re not crashing, you’re not flying! 🙂

Product Comparison: Fatshark Pilot HD V2 vs Mobius Wide vs GoPro Hero 3 Black

This video compares the recording capabilities of the Fatshark Pilot HD v2 cam, the Mobius Wide Lens cam, and the GoPro Hero 3 Black cam.

Special thanks for MQC Member & Contributor Ben See for grabbing the footage.

Product Links:
Fatshark Pilot HD v2
Mobius Wide
GoPro Hero 3 Black

Product Review: Hovership Mini Quad Landing Gear

I have tested quite a few frames to date. It’s kinda my thing. 🙂 In my experience, most lack two things: hardware to attach your FPV cam to their respective cam plates, and some form of landing gear. Meet the new Mini Quad Landing Gear from Hovership – which looks to solve the latter of the two issues.

For those of you unaware, Hovership is the company behind the most successful 3d printed frame in our hobby – the MHQ, and more recently, the MHQ2. While the frames are 3D printed, these landing gear are not – they are made from an injection-molded plastic, which seems to be nearly indestructible (more on that later).

Mounted on the BEE:245

Mounted on the BEE:245

They weigh in at a total of 16 grams – which is pretty light considering the amount of ground clearance they provide.

Don’t think you need ground clearance? Well then perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who live in a climate that may be free from the mud and snow that the majority of us deal with during the fall, winter, and spring. The same majority who have resorted to lugging extra pieces of carpet or makeshift “launch pads” around with us in order to take off and land (if all goes well) in tall grass, mud, and/or snow. But I don’t want to really carry any more stuff around with me when on location, and I really don’t want to worry about landing in a puddle and soaking my ESCs. Mini Quad Landing Gear to the rescue!

Installation
Installation was a snap. Remove the M3 bolts from your motors, match up the landing gear holes, and use the provided ones to attach the landing gear onto the arms of your quad. Simple and clean. Four extra bolts were included with the kit. Kudos for that. There is nothing worse then losing one under the workbench and having to hit the LHS. If you have trouble with the installation process, perhaps you should stick to flying paper airplanes.

gear-grass

Pre-flight. He loves his new shoes…

Testing
It was a crisp 45 degrees on my first day of testing. Not too shabby for the first week of December in the state of Ohio. I set my quad on the ground and instantly realized that I wouldn’t have to hear the sound of fresh props hitting the grass anymore on takeoff or landing. Neat. I flew my first few flights and didn’t even notice that the landing gear where there. There was no noticeable difference in how the quad flew, and landing was no different than normal.

Those of you who have followed along with MQC up until now know how I like to fly. Fast and stupid. So of course I got to put the landing gear through its paces in almost a dozen crashes. During my first day of testing, I had no issues with their durability.

gear-muddy

Look at all that mud! My motors and ESCs were staying nice and dry, however.

Day two was around 35 degrees or less with the wind chill, and the ground at the field was extremely muddy and covered with puddles. This was going to be excellent. As you can see from the photo, the landing gear was working as promised – and it kept the extreme amount of mud and water off my precious ESCs and out of my motors. Most excellent.

I was just about to say that these things were unbreakable after crashing quite a few times and having no issues, and then it happened.

I tried a little roll in the middle of the field and misjudged my height and met the ground at about 40mph. The landing gear didn’t fare as well as it did in the first 15 or so crashes, and one of them went on to a better place. I threw a spare on as was back in the air in less than five minutes.

15 is the magic number. Steve is going to kill me.

15 is the magic number. Steve is going to kill me…

Final Thoughts
4 ESCs – $60. 4 motors – $80. The Mini Quad Landing Gear – $10. The sound of Ben and I laughing as we realized I broke the landing gear? Priceless. It took 15 or so crashes until the landing gear finally met their match on that muddy, cold, wet day in Northeast Ohio. But until then, they managed to protect around $140 worth of gear from the elements.

Knowing that I have spent more than $10 on any given day just in props alone, I’d have to say that if you are looking for a way to add some pretty suave landing gear to your mini quad,  that you should check them out. Just keep in mind that if you fly hard and fast like me, you may want to keep an extra set handy – just in case… 🙂

Buy the Mini Quad Landing Gear:
Hovership / Multirotor Superstore / Multirotor Mania / GetFPV

Product Review: R220 Pro Mini H Quad: Part 2

Hello again fellow mini quad addicts, and welcome to Part 2 of my review of the R220 Pro Mini H Quad from Red20RC.

Watch on YouTube

This mini quad is 220mm in size and supports 5″ props in its standard configuration – however, arms that support 6″ are now available as well. The frames geometry sits in line with many other Blackout-inspired frames on the marketplace, so I am excited to take this tiny titan for a spin.

Designed to accommodate the most commonly available 250 size multirotor gear each frame kit includes:

– 1.5mm 3K Taiwan Matte Carbon Fibre main plates
– 3mm 3K Taiwan Matte Carbon Fibre arms
– FPV camera plate sized to suit most common 33mm board cameras
– Anti-vibration Mobius plate
– Complete fastener pack

My Setup:
Cobra 2204 2300kv motors
12a Blue Series ESCs
Naze32
Fatshark 250mx VTx
PZ0420 board cam
Mobius
3s 1300mah lipo

Product Page:
http://store.red20rc.org/buy-multirotor-frame/r220-pro-mini-h-quadcopter/

Join the Club!
http://www.miniquadclub.com

Crash Reel: Falling Down

Almost all my crashes from 2014! 35 crashes from 5 locations with 6 mini quads. No quads were damaged in this video, but roughly 103 props were!

View on YouTube

Quads Involved:
Spanky
Hyperlite 275
Minion 260
Epic Mini 280
BEE245
R220 Pro