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Hobbywing XRotor Micro 40A 2-5S 4 in 1 BLHeli_S DShot600 Ready

Hobbywing is a long time player on the market of top-notch ESCs and finally, they have come up with a 4 in 1 40 amp DShot600 ready ESC with a current sensor and support for up to 5S voltage.

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To be honest, if I had seen this ESC half year ago I would have been asking myself why 40A, but as the things are developing we may need batteries with double C rating then the ones that are already on the market, especially for motors like BrotherHobby Avenger

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The build quality is up to the Hobbywing standards. They are using EMF8BB21F16G MCUs with the operating frequency of up to 48MHz. The motor soldering pads are neatly placed on the board and not protruding from the sides as on the Racerstar 4 in 1 ESCs which from other side means that you may need a bit longer motor wires compared to the other ESCs but I don’t think that may be a problem on builds that are up to 210mm. Sometimes even on them if you are unlucky enough you may have to extend the motor wires for motors like Racerstar BR2306S that are almost suitable on 210mm frame (one of the wires could reach the soldering pads, but you will have to extend the other two). There is a dedicated connector for Hobbywing XRotor Omnibus F4 Flight Controller which means far less soldering, you will have to solder the video in and video out wires for the OSD and the SBUS connection wires for your receiver. There is also dedicated type connector on the FC, probably for a VTX, but by the time I’m typing this post it is not out yet and it seems that they will be going the “cube” path too by offering all in one stack.

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One thing to note that the ESC could only provide BEC output of 5V for up to 1.5A,  although there are 3.3V, 5.2V and 12V pads on the board they are only for voltage monitoring and they couldn’t provide the load capacity

Specification:
Brand name: Hobbywing
Item name: XRotor 40A ESC
Cont./Peak Current: 40Ax4/50Ax4
Input Voltage: 2-5S Lipo
BEC output: 5V & 1.5A
Firmware: BLHeli_S A-H-50 16.5
Input Wires: Red-14AWG-130mm / Black-14AWG-130mm
Output Wires: No wires but solder tabs
Support: DShot150/300/600,  Oneshot125, Oneshot42
Size: 42.6x36x4mm
Weight: 10g

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Racerstar TattooF4S 30A BLHELI_32 4in1 ESC 5V BEC w/ F4 Flight Controller AIO OSD BEC Current Sensor

Finally, the prayers of many fpv pilots were answered, Racerstar has come with an all in one solution that that incorporates F4 flight controller, 4 in 1 ESC with ‎BLHeli_32, OSD and current sensor – TattooF4S

Is is currently in preorder on BangGood and it sells for $75 which is almost equal to the price of buying decent F4 FC and 4 in 1 ESC.

TattooF4S

This one seems a super solution for neat light builds and also a much better solution for having current sensor than the one on Omnibus boards.

One of my concerns is that it is rated only up to 30A so you should be careful with the choice of motors and props.

Here are some specs:
BLHELI_32 4in1 30A+F4+OSD
Con.current: 30A
Peak current(10s): 35A
SBEC: 3A/5V
Lipo: 2-4s
Programming: yes

F4+OSD+BEC+CURRENT
Input: 2-4s lipo
Output voltage: 5V/2A
STM32F4 CPU
ICM-MPU6000 Accelerometers and Gyroscopes
MicroUSB socket
Weight: 22g
Size(PCB): 36*36mm

TattooF4S - What's in the package

Package inlcuded:
1* 30A 4in1 ESC built-in F4 flight controller
1* power cable
1* bag of screws

 

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Revo F4 from BangGood.com – firmware update, wiring and configuration

Yesterday I have received the long awaited Revo F4 flight controller board from BangGood, also known as Flip32 F4 and Flip F4. I have ordered it to replace the old Naze32 board that I was using for the past 2 years.

Bang Good revo f4 review ratingIt is the cheapest board on the market and judging by the reviews on Bang Good it seems that there are no complaints about the quality, so I have decided to order it and give it a try.

There is no wiring diagram or manual, only small relatively understandable lettering on the back side and it, so I have done some searching and found that Ready to Fly Quads offers the same board for the same price, the only difference is that they have better description and more pictures of the board and also a detailed wiring description.

My board came with Betaflight 3.0.0 so before starting to configure it I have updated it to 3.0.1
The firmware flashing procedure is relatively simple, hold boot button, connect the board to usb and it should display DFU instead of COM port on the right corner of the Betaflight configurator, if not you should use Zadig in order to update the STM32 drivers. Please refer to this youtube video for the whole process of updating the firmware.

revo f4 wiringI have created the layout diagram on the right for anyone having problems understanding the existing diagrams that could be found on other websites. This is a bare minimum for my setup, no led control or current sensing only SBUS, motor connections, buzzer, VBAT, telemetry and powering the board from the motors rail (PWR).
I’m using X4R SB receiver that is soldered directly to the SBUS, no need for hacking into the receiver in order to get an uninverted signal. The board is powered with 5v from my PDB. VBAT gets the voltage directly from the main battery connector cables.
And I’m using UART3 TX port to send telemetry data to my X4R SB receiver, one important thing to note is that you cannot just plug the telemetry wire from X4R on to the UART3 TX port since it will not work. You should follow the instructions found here (X4R-SB solution is at the bottom of the page) and solder the wire on the SOT23 transistor leg. If you need the technical aspects there is a really good explanation on the link above or you can just find the transistor and solder the wire on the specified leg.

My board came with MSP enabled on UART1, you should disable that and enable Serial RX in order to enable SBUS working  with X4R.
And if you feel lazy and if you aren’t sure if you are setting the board right, here is a dump of all settings that should work with the wiring diagram that I have provided. Stock pids, stock filtering, nothing changed except the rates but you can reset them to defaults.

Let me know if you need any further help or if this blog post had helped you.

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The lucky owner of the Revo F4 flight controller is my modified QAV-R that had the top and bottom plates broken in a crash so I have had to convert it to nearly true X. Hardly waiting to have some more time to take it out on a test flight.

 

365

365 photo project with aerial twist

It has been a while since I have posted something here. Probably because I was waiting for something important or maybe because I have spent much more time with my family and outside than by my computer.

There are few other blog posts that I plan to write in near future like the one for my relatively new stone balancing hobby and pottentionally some reviews of the equipment that I’m using for this project.

For the past 9 days I have posted one aerial photo per day on Instagram, so yesterday I have decided to start a 365 project but done only with aerial photos. For those that need an explanation, it is a photography project that requires you to take a photo a day for a whole year. It will be an interesting challenge to go out and take an aerial photo almost every day with exception of the days when it will rain or snow. For such days I will have to have a backup solution, either an aerial photo taken another day or I will use that day for checking the equipment and have a picture of that. Since this is a big commitment I will start with 30 days first and see where will that take me. I would be glad to hear your thoughts.

Here is one photo that I took today, not so good weather but I will have to work with what I have

Skupi archaeological site

Scupi is an archaeological site located between Zajčev Rid (Зајчев Рид ‘Rabbit Hill’) and the Vardar River, several kilometers from the center of Skopje, in the Republic of Macedonia. A Roman military camp was founded here in the second century BC on the site of an older Dardanian settlement.

All photos are shot with GoPro 3 strapped on my QAV210 freestyle mini quad (drone). There is no gimbal and no GPS positioning so it requires some patience and a bit of circling in order to frame the perfect shot.


I certainly hope that at some point in time I would manage to get some sponsors that will help me replace some of the old parts on my quadcopter.

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Feel free to visit my Instagram profile here and check my progress.

 

DJI A2 Flight controller

Downgrade A2 from 2.7 to 2.1 – GPS pro / GPS pro plus problem

Why would I need to downgrade A2?
It seems that DJI had forgotten that not all their customers that use DJI A2 FC have the latest GPS pro plus module

DJI A2 Flight controller

Recently I have encountered a problem after upgrading DJI A2 to the latest 2.7 firmware. The GPS pro module started acting and I wasn’t able to arm my multicopter.

After doing some research I have found that this is a well-known problem because the latest firmware requires you to have GPS pro plus module and it cannot work with the regular GPS module that came with the A2 when it was bought.

You should downgrade A2 in order to continue using the pro gps module

So you would say, that is easy, just downgrade and everything is back to normal.
That could be done if are keeping previous versions of the Assistant software so you could uninstall the latest and install the one that is compatible with the required firmware.
Unfortunately if you try to find previous firmware versions on the DJI website, there aren’t any. You could only download the latest one. So there is no way to downgrade A2 unless you have an older version of the Assistant software.
I have started searching for an older version of the Assistant software in order to do downgrade A2 and after an extensive search, I have found a link to download the 2.1 firmware – http://download.dji-innovations.com/downloads/a2/A2_1.2_Installer.zip

After the installation, all went back to normal, but I started wondering if I’m forced to use 1.2 version or the link could work for the other firmware version, just by changing one number in the filename. It turned out that all other versions are there,and you can downgrade A2 to any firmware you want, just replace the number 2 in the link with the required version http://download.dji-innovations.com/downloads/a2/A2_1.[enter your number here no brakets]_Installer.zip

Just in case DJI decides to remove the previous versions from their server, I have uploaded the file on 4Shared

 

Saving for P4

Saving for Phantom 4 Phantom 4 Pro

After watching every available youtube video review and some of the early video shots that were taken with Phantom 4, I have decided that it is time to ditch the ideas of DIY multicopter that could carry Sony Nex sized camera and start spending some money to buy myself a P4.

I own a 650 sized quadcopter that could carry a mirrorless camera, but so far I have been using it with GoPro and Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal. Although I get near 30 minutes of flight with it, I have found that it is too bulky to carry it on shoots and almost impossible to take it with me on a hike because of the weight and bulkiness. I could have made it more portable if I have used folding arms, but nothing justifies the weight of the LiPos (1350 grams per battery), so I was stuck somewhere in the middle of decision whether to invest and buy gimbal and mirrorless camera like Sony A6000 or A6300 or go with the Phantom 3 Advanced (P4 was not out yet), since the camera + gimbal equals or it will be higher for A6300 than the price of P3A.

Tarot 650 Sport could not even compare it to Phantom 4 internals

It was a hard decision because I really like the way this quadcopter flies, but in the end, I have concluded that the features, portability, and the camera photo and video quality outweigh the quality  of the pictures that I will get by using A6000 or A6300.
That’s why I have decided to sell this rig and some of the equipment that I wasn’t using so I can have enough hobby funds to buy Phantom 4 which at this moment isn’t available here in Macedonia, but it will be, by the time I collect enough money 🙂

Phantom4 internals

Image from http://drone.farm/consumer-drones-its-all-about-integration/

One thing that makes me a bit uncomfortable after 4 years of making DIY multicopters is the way DJI had integrated everything on one central board. If something fails, there are no spare electronic parts but the whole board must be replaced and that is not cheap. Also, the markings on most of the electronic parts are stripped so you have no clue about the part that needs to be replaced.

Saving for P4

1/4 of the funds collected so far. Sold my old GoPro Hero 3 black and already had some funds from an aerial job that I have done two weeks ago, so far so good 🙂