Saturday, January 2, 2016

Armattan f1-5 with integrated Naze

I am a sucker for cool new things, and when Chris from Armattan released a integrated Naze32 / PDB for the F1 range of frames. So order another F1-5 with the additional F1FC.

10days later it arrived in little old New Zealand

The integrated PDB / Naze board.

Time to start the build, base plate with the captured nuts.

Quick mock up, ... frame nearly done ;)

Added the XT60 pigtail. I no longer attach the XT60 directly to the PDB.

Next up was the ESCs, I used littlebees 20s

Next up was the Titan 2204s, wires cut to length then soldered to the ESCs. 

Next I added PPM lead which is a servo extension, the same for the LED strip from pin 5, and lastly the Frsky telemetry.

Finally the buzzer

Call me paranoid, but I then covered the bottom of the board where the carbon arms overlap with insulation tape. 

I also had this carbon top plate that I used to cover and protect the Naze, I used 5mm nylon standoffs to mount to the top plate.

View from the the bottom plate.

Then I it was just a matter of connecting the D4RII.

The LEDs, I use the same method, a servo extension soldered to the naze and the other soldered to the supplied programable LED board.

 Bottom plate all complete.

On the first version I used 2 pins soldered on the board to provide power to the VTX, I later changed this to the servo extension lead method.

I added my 3d printed feet, to help protect the frame.

I also used CA to wick the ends of the arms to help prevent delimitation of crashes. I also wrap each arm in PVC tube, which works really well for protection. 

moving onto the camera mount I made a little chair to hold the camera at a consistent 20 angle. I have found that with how often I crash the cases on the hs1177 dont hold up very well. With the little chair it hold the camera at the right angle and the side screws only have to hold in horizontal movement.

I used 3m double sided to hold to the chair.

I got also designed a case for the ET200 VTX I use, this mounts it over the CG and provides great protection, the lid is just ziptied on. Below is the top plate all mounted with the sma pig tail and the servo extension plugs on the camera and power.

Camera all mounted

Ready to join to two halves

All mounted you can see the clearance from the VTX case to the Naze plate protector.

After a few Flights I decided to not use the camera plates and just use a camera "chair" This allows me to change angle with different "chairs"

Front of the f1-5, Nice and clean.

Love this frame, it may not be the lightest with my mods, but it sure is durable. The integrated naze makes the build super easy and clean. I have ordered another one for my other F1 I was that impressed. 

I will then have two almost identical FPV 5inch rigs to go and fly the heck out of. 

If you are interested in the 3d printed parts they are here. 

Bumpers / VTX case

Gopro mount

Armattan f1-4b Update

After using the F1-4b for a good month I have learnt a few things and completely redid the build from those lessons learnt.

Landed it !!!

Beginner FPV flights

Here is the break down of what I changed.

The major one and I have since gone back and changed this on all my quads is the hard mount of a XT60 to the integrated style PDBs. They work great until you have one or two crashes where a battery is ejected. The pins on the XT60 deform and this then causes a a loose connection. Yes you can just bend then out a little again, but having to do that is a pain and fatigues the pins to the point it will eventually break. I also had momentarily power losses that power cycled the whole quad .... not good when flying !!

So I removed the hard mounted XT60 and then soldered two 25mm lengths of battery lead weighted silicon wire between the XT60 and board. This isn't a new trick and I should have done this from day one.

Now to help prevent the battery cable form wandering into the path of the props I use a large O-ring to hold the lead to the battery strap. Works really well. A rubber band would be just as good.

Next was not a totally necessary one but I wanted brighter rear LEDs. I didnt need the programable ones, its a nice play feature, but I just wanted bright.  Now all the Armattan F1 frames use 30mm standoffs, not the usual 35mm which made for a more challenging problem. 

I wanted to use one of these as they work really well and are super bright, plus I already had a few. But the slots on the Armattan frame are different and if placed inside the rear stand-offs the props hit it. 

So I altered my rear 3D printed bumper and made a top one that held the LED plate outside the frame and also protected it, Worked great. 

Now since I used 35mm standoffs the front camera mount plates were too short, I tried it without them, but that reduced the support for the top plate. Which resulted in to much flex of the 1.6mm carbon top plate. I then designed a 5mm spacer that the camera plates slot onto and is zip tied to the bottom plate. 

With the extra space I was able to mount the VTX at the front and use the provided antenna mount hole instead of the side mounted one I have in the previous build. 

So my current frankenstein build of the f1-4b is now complete, It may not be pretty but is sure is strong and durable, the two things I need as a learner FPVer. 

Here is the link to the 3d files. 

Armattan f1-4b and Tweaker builds

After my experience and the quality of the Armattan f1-5 I decided to get the f1-4b.

I also got some ThugPDBv2 as I like the integrated power connection option. This makes for a nice clean build. They also have the ability to place a 5v step-down polo to provide 5v to the Naze32.

After some searching I also decided to go for some Titan v2 2204s/2300kv from RTFQ. I want durability over all out speed / thrust as I am still a learner FPVer, and will be crashing a lot. These motors have a 5mm hollow shaft and are build tough. I also ordered extra shafts and bearings for maintenance and having the ability to swap out if required. 

Here is the frame and all its parts. 

Since I have 3 different 180s I thought it would be nice to see how the different frame compare, they are all 4mm unibody style. Here's the Armattan over the Tweaker, Motor in identical locations.

 Heres the Armattan frame sitting on the HasteRC n-Trepid. Once again the motor mounts identical.

The fleet before 3 complete rebuilds. ESC swaps, new motors, PCB and the new F1-4b.

The F1-4b get the new Titan 2204s and a thugPCB.

Right first thing is to get the littlebee 20amp ESC's from the Tweaker. The Tweaker is also getitng a motor upgrade to SunnySky 2204s, and ztw 12amp ESC's. Time to strip it down.

One of the reasons I always try to have the complete VTX setup in the top plate and its easy to remove and do maintenance on. 

Time to remove the motors and ESCs, The D4Rii will stay where it is.

Ok, naked ready for the rebuild. I want to strip and get the Tweaker back in the air and then I could focus on the f1-4b.

Say goodbye to the 1806s, they will be going to the n-Trepid.

New ThugPCB test fitted.

So now come the time to strip old trusty. This silver glass fiber ZMR250 started my miniquad addiction and has been rock solid and never let me down, bit now I need motors, VTX and camera.

TheThugPCB with the polo soldered on, all pins beside the SHN pin.

The 5v JST lead soldered on and the first test fit of the ZTW12amp ESC's.

I had to lengthen the power leads as they were very short form the last build.

All the ESCs soldered up and double sided down on the frame. Its now time to try and make it look tidy.

 The Sunnysky motors test fit before wire trimming.

Its always a little bit of a struggle to make a 180 look tidy. 

Time to solder on the SunnySkys

The tweaker all updated, time to work on the F1-4b

Now to focus on the F1-4b, The THugFrame PDB, I used a servo lead to make the polo easy to replace as I have had a few fail on me and this way I makes it easy to replace.

I printed a couple of 4mm rails to mount the PDB from the frame

Hmmm... untidy work space

Rest time... the mini fleet it will be joining... no addiction here ... move along!!

Next step was to place the LittleBees and solder to the PDB and then solder the new Titian motors on. I didn't take to may photos of this as its cover often else where in my other builds.

I did however make sure that the motor wire were crossed on the CW motors to get the correct rotation.

Naze added, all ESC header pins are underneath the board,

The 12mm standoffs to give room for the header pins under the Naze.

This is VTX out of the old ZMR, I just reused it as is. Its a RCTimer Et200

The RCTimer VTX kit comes with an Ok cmos camera that I printed a basic housing for it. 

Its a tight squeeze as the Armattan frames use 30mm standoffs not the usual 35mm.

I used a g10 antenna mount for the RP-SMA pigtail. Just enough clearance. 

VTX system all mounted.

Main frame all complete, ready for the top plate.

As mentioned I like having the VTX system mounted and contained to the top plate, and the only connection is power, make it very easy to take apart and do maintenance and I can easily un-power the VTX system if I just want to fly LOS

To mount the CMOS camera I designed and printed a 20 degree mount that fitted in the gap between the camera mount plates that came with the frame. I will later change out to a H1177s when the budget allows. The tabs allow the mount be move forward and back, I printed a little long so just trimmed with a craft knife.

All mounted up on the top frame and connected. I also have the camera connected to the VTX with a servo extension lead plug and cable, makes it easy to swap since I change the builds all the time.

All buttoned ready for testing and tuning.

Please check out the update to this build after some proper field testing,  A few things were changed.