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$125 F330 Quadcopter - Is this too good to be true?

Discussion in 'Other DJI Multi-Rotors' started by jckmcgraw, May 14, 2014.

  1. jckmcgraw

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    Hi Everybody,

    This is my first post on this forum, and I'm pretty new to the quadcopter world. A family member of mine just recently got a DJI Phantom 2 Vision, and is letting me borrow it for a while. Anyways, I've started looking online and discovered some insane FPV flying videos. The dilemma with the Phantom is that (in my opinion), it's a little too expensive to crash doing close-quarters FPV flying.

    After some more searching and coming across this website, I feel like the F330 would be a perfect fit for the type of flying I want to do. After doing some more searching I found this article on fpvcentral.net:

    http://fpvcentral.net/2013/03/high-perf ... ping-list/

    The grand total of the quad was, astoundingly, only $125. Of course this is excluding a GPS system. So I guess my question is, are the parts provided in this article "quality"? Are DJI parts significantly better than others? For those who have an F330, how much did your entire build cost?

    Thanks in advanced for any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas!
    Jack
     
  2. ladykate

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    You pretty much get what you pay for. No receiver or transmitter means you will stick at least another hundred in it for a very basic one (Devo 7 or similar). No GPS or OSD. Performance and flight time would be interesting and I suspect not fantastic (but I could be wrong). So, $250 at least.

    For $350 you can pick up a P1 or a Blade ($420 for that) that will do much more. You won't have made it, though.

    Overall, it looks interesting and might be a way to satisfy your curiosity but if you haven't flown a Phantom or similar, you might want to find someone who will at least show you what they are like. I think one reason Phantom owners like them is that they are so easy to fly and capable of several things. Also, there is a huge user base and you can find many people to help you through any issues.

    Having said all that, I have built a multi-rotor and I learned a lot doing so. That is fun, too.
     
  3. jckmcgraw

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    Thanks for the quick response!

    Although the P1 and Blade look like pretty good options, I definitely want to build my own quadcopter. So from my understanding, I will be somewhere around the $500+ range to include GPS, OSD, and any other "upgrades"?

    Also, how did your multi-rotor turn out?
     
  4. Gizmo3000

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    I guess it depends on what kind of flying you plan to do.

    I'd probably skip the 330 unless you just plan to do little sport flying,
    but if you eventually want to carry a payload and such, I'd recommend a 450, as it would allow you to use larger 10" props that will be more efficient (not even sure if 9" props will work on a 330).
    even the Phantom is 350 in size I believe.
     
  5. jckmcgraw

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    As of right now I just want to do some "sport flying" with an FPV system. Assuming you had the same quality-grade materials and parts on both the F330 and the F450, how much more expensive would the F450 be? I have a relatively limited budget, and if it is significantly more expensive then I don't know if it would be worth it to have the larger quad. Sorry if some of my questions seem pretty basic, I'm still very new to quadcopters.
     
  6. ladykate

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    I would go with the 450 recommendation in that case. You can stick a lot of money in a 450, too. However, the basic airframe will be bigger, more stable, and able to lift much more.

    If you want FPV and OSD then figure $350 for just that - not including the camera although you can put a $25 camera on it for basic FPV - no real movie ability but perfectly adequate for FPV flying.

    An 'almost ready to fly' 450 with e300 motors and NAZA 2 is $499. You will still need battery, charger, and rx/tx. So $650 - $700. You would have GPS and a very stable airplane that can be extended quite a lot. http://www.helipal.com/dji-flamewheel-f ... cp8kech537

    The biggish problem is that you can't gradually buy into the GPS. You either get it or you buy something that doesn't have it and probably never will.

    If you want to abandon the idea of OSD (fun, useful, but not mandatory - you can still have GPS and FPV), then get a 450 with NAZA-lite. That is $200 cheaper. http://www.helipal.com/dji-flamewheel-f ... 7AodEx8AmA You still need rx/tx and battery charger to get it up in the air - plus shipping and incidentals figure $450. Add FPV (no OSD) and you probably have another $300 in it. You cannot add OSD later to this setup - you would have to buy a NAZA 2 which would cost almost as much as the basic system.

    My build thread for my larger multirotor is here: http://phantompilots.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10744
     
  7. jckmcgraw

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    That info helped me tremendously, thanks! I also read through your entire thread on your hexacopter. The thing looked absolutely insane.

    As of right now, it looks like I'm probably going to be building an F450 with a NAZA lite system. On DJI's website, it says that you can hook up a 3rd party OSD system to NAZA-M lite. Is there something else I am missing?

    For the transmitter and receiver, can I use my DJI Phantom 2 vision transmitter for my F450? If so, what can I use as my receiver?

    Thanks again so much for all of your help and input!
     
  8. ladykate

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    There was a post on the forum the other day that had an add-on system that would do OSD. https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/sto ... emote.html It also says it does GPS but I don't think that includes flight control. You would be adding a bit more weight but your 450 should handle it when it comes time.

    I'm not sure about using a Phantom transmitter with an aftermarket rx. I have Futaba rx that probably would work but they cost as much as a complete transmitter and receiver combined if you go with a Devo 7. The Devo is a PITA to program but there are instructions for it out there. Some people don't like the range it gets but I was happy with one I used for a short while.

    You could probably get one on eBay, with Rx, for the cost of the Futaba rx. I just jumped out there and they are less than $100 for both. New.

    I also did a quick search on 350 machines and saw a couple of used Walkera QR 350s for around $200 BIN. Have to be kind of careful about buying a used machine but PayPal is your friend... mostly...
     
  9. FangsCPO

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    I've got a hardly used DEVO 7 and receiver. $50 plus shipping and handling.
     
  10. ladykate

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    Yes, if it is like mine, it has already been programmed for a 550. It would work 'as is' for the 450. No need to fight the programming of the tx/rx - it will already be done. Just wire it up and fly it.

    I'm saving mine for a park flyer. Trying to decide which one I want.
     
  11. jckmcgraw

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    Wow $50 + shipping and handling sounds like a steal. With that said, I'd like to be able to hit distances of up to 2000 ft with my quad, and I'm pretty sure the DEVO 7 cannot do this (correct me if I'm wrong!). What transmitters and receivers would be able to hit these distances?

    Do you guys think that the DJI transmitter and receiver would be optimal for the range I am looking for?

    $159 - http://www.helipal.com/dji-phantom-dt7- ... fgodLgoAIg
     
  12. FangsCPO

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    For the distance you want, I would feel more comfortable with a high end radio. Personally, I wouldn't go that far with any radio just because of the risk involved. I've gone about as high as 880ft and that was scary enough. I can't see going 2,000 feet but it does sound exciting. Good Luck!
     
  13. ladykate

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    The 450 - at least in the basic configuration - won't be a long range machine but 2000 feet (not meters) should be doable. I've put my 550 out that far before - I was using the Futaba radios on it, though. The Devo might make it that far, too.

    Look at the Taranis setups. Ol Photography (and others) are using it and it is less expensive than the Futaba but high quality.

    That DJI radio you linked should work perfectly, too. The DR16 is fairly nice. My understanding is that they are based on Futaba - just trimmed down to the basics.
     
  14. jckmcgraw

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    Thanks! Sounds like the DJI transmitter and receiver will be a good starting point for my flying.

    Another question.. Do you know of any (hopefully) cheap systems that will give me a battery warning when low? Ideally a battery percentage or something like that? I don't think I'll have enough money to get a full OSD system in the beginning, but if possible, I would like to know what my battery is at during flight. I can always do some flight time tests and then time my flights, but that seems a little sketchy — especially if I'm flying some distance away from me.
     
  15. ladykate

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    The NAZA will give you flashing lights that show your approximate battery life left. You can set it in the administrative assistant (software you run on a PC to configure the flight system) to start flashing at different times but the defaults are probably the best to start with. You have to be close enough to see the lights but that shouldn't be a big problem... the led is bright.
     
  16. jckmcgraw

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    Ok that's good to know. Do you have any other recommendations for if I'm flying outside of LOS?
     
  17. ladykate

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    Nope, not for your case. OSD is what makes outside LOS predictable. You can see heading, height, azimuth and battery state (and many other things). You can use FPV without it - especially to line up shots for the camera - but I wouldn't venture far without OSD.
     
  18. jckmcgraw

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    It looks like I'm venturing into a pretty expensive hobby. Through this forum thread, I think that I've pretty much narrowed down what I'm going to need for my F450 quad..

    - $309 Helipal f450 motor, ESC, frame, naza-m lite + GPS kit OR $500 Naza V2 (undecided)
    - $279 Fatshark Predators V2 kit
    - $159 DJI transmitter and receiver
    - $50 Turnigy 5000mah 4s lipo battery (I don't want to order more than one of this kind incase I want to try out some different batteries)

    Total: $797 or $988

    I'm having a very difficult time deciding if OSD would be worth it right off the bat with the NAZA V2. Do you have other last thoughts or suggestions?
     
  19. ladykate

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    Have you used the Fatshark? I have one but I didn't like it. The diversity monitor is the only thing I use right now. The goggles are great for some and others don't like them.
     
  20. FangsCPO

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    Strongly recommend iOSD. It makes life so much easier and it will also show you your battery remaining. A great $70 investment.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk