Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

N00b needs advice on selecting F550 build component

Discussion in 'Other DJI Multi-Rotors' started by Uncle Meat, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Uncle Meat

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Prattville Alabama
    So I've been flying my Phantom v1.1.1 for a while now and I'm having a blast. It's outfitted with just a GoPro Hero HD & an anti-jello mount. Video footage is okay, but not nearly as smooth as I want or need without a gimbal. I was contemplating adding a new board to the phantom along with a Zenmuse H3-2D and a GoPro Hero3+. However the more I thought about it the more it made sense to go with a larger more stable platform. I think I'll be happier in the end with an F550 all decked out vs a modified Phantom. This platform will be used primarily for amateur videography.

    So...

    I ordered just the F550 Flame Wheel kit off of Amazon to get me started (Frame, ESC's, Motors, Props, $318). However I just read somewhere as of the end of February new F550's are coming with different motors & ESC's. If my F550 arrives with the old motor's & ESC's should I send it back and order from a different source so I can get the newer stuff? Are the new motor's & ESC that much better than the original equipment?

    I chose the NEEWER Fpv Anti-vibration Multifunction Landing Skid. Pro's or Con's for this landing skid? I was hoping to use the skid as a battery mounting location too. I want the top of my F550 to be clean with only the GPS antennae mounted square in the middle if this is even possible.

    I'm planning on going with the DJI Naza-m V2 Flight Controller & GPS. Is there any reason not to use this?

    I also need to make a decision on a receiver/transmitter. I was looking at the Spektrum DX8 DSMX Transmitter and the Spektrum AR8000 8-Channel DSMX Receiver. I know a lot of people use Futaba's, but I'm trying to cut my overall cost a little bit and these are almost half the cost of a similar Futaba setup. What is the general opinion on this radio/transmitter combo?

    Of course I plan on getting a Zenmuse H3-2D and a Hero3+ to hang off of my bird to handle the video recording.

    I will also add a DJI iOSD Mini for FPV. However I have yet to decide on an FPV transmitter/receiver system... There are more than a few choices out there and I'm still researching through them. I haven't even made up my mind as to whether I will use a flat monitor screen or go with something like a set of Fat Shark goggles. Suggestions in this area are more than welcome.

    So that's my plan thus far. Could use some critique from those who have been there.

    Thanks!

    U.M.
     
  2. Uncle Meat

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Prattville Alabama
  3. Uncle Meat

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Prattville Alabama
    Really? Nobody has any suggestions, comments, or other wise words of wisdom? Is this sub-forum that dead? :(

    U.M.
     
  4. chopperflyer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Leeds West Yorkshire UK
    I use a F/W 550 that I have kitted out with a Woo Kong, it has the Blue tooth and iPad version so that I can fly with my iPad, also it has Areoxcraft undercarriage with their Go Pro gimbal and I am just fitting the FPV to my Black Pearl Diversity monitor and using a Taranis radio with X9R receiver with S-Bus, I can tilt the gimbal with one of the 2 rotary knobs. The model was not brought as a kit, I have put on the item's that I wanted but that Is what I wanted, I prefer to build my own way.
     
  5. labmansid

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Uncle Meat, I can't speak with a lot of experience flying the F550, as I have only had mine for a couple of weeks and a handful of flights. I am kind of like you as I came from flying a Phantom v1 since last Fall and got bit by the upgrade bug! I do really like the 550 so far, much more room to work with than the Phantom.

    Check out the big main thread in this section of the forum if you haven't already for a lot of info on what we have experienced. http://www.phantompilots.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=8079

    It seems many of us on here got the RTF kits from Helipal. These have the option for an FPV kit based on the Boscam system, which most of us also went for as well as the iOSD Mini. It seems to work pretty well for us so far for basic videography. It is nice being able to see all that info while flying. I haven't seen much mention of using goggles on here for FPV yet. The landing gear you mentioned is also popular, and allows mounting camera and batteries under the body for a clean top platform. The main problem with that set, if it is similar to mine, is the cross brace on the bottom comes loose very easily, and one solution is to glue it into the connectors. I just drilled a small hole through the assembly and secured it with zip ties. Should keep it together.

    That transmitter should work fine. I don't have experience with it, but have heard of a few who use Spektrum products no problem. There is a thread about the Spektrum setup on RC Groups. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1789552 Also, the Naza M v2 is a solid GPS system in my opinion.

    As far as the new kits with the E300 system, I can't really say if it would be worth returning the old one and getting the new one. On another forum, there are a few who have retrofitted the old F550 with the new E300 kit. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2071830&page=3 It is supposed to be more efficient, that guy reported an increase of 6%, not sure exactly what that translates to for flight times, etc. Also, it is supposed to be quieter. For now I am happy with my now "old" 550. I was able to save a few bucks as they were unloading the old inventory. It may be a while before Amazon retailers are shipping the new systems, Amazon can sometimes be a crap shoot for newer items in the hobby department.

    Anyway I hope I was at least a little helpful with my limited experience, and hope to see some future reports on a new setup.
     
  6. ladykate

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Bellevue, NE
    I really struggled with upgrading my 550 with the e300 system but, in the end, the cost of doing so was simply not worth the gain. I've very happy with my 'vanilla' system. If your system doesn't have it when it comes in, then you might want to return it since getting the e300 should be standard - even Helipal has them now.

    I converted to a Futaba radio and receiver and tweaked all kinds of things on the airplane - including getting the landing gear you are considering, putting on lights, and even a second video transmitter. The thing is fun to play with.

    The Spektrum radio should be fine - others have used it with success. I like the Futaba because there is a lot of user support. Visit the T8FGHS thread on this forum and see what I mean.

    Putting your GPS mast in the center will mean you have to drill some mounting holes. It mounts on one of the motor mounts right now. I had to file the slots on mine so I could get all four screws in without binding but once mounted, it is sturdy and lets you have the top deck for your needs (although I still put my battery there).

    BTW: I just saw your post - I usually visit the standard threads and don't look for new posts daily. Go over the the Flamewheel thread and a few of us are frequenting (and subscribed) to it.
     
  7. labmansid

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Yeah I saw earlier that Helipal had them on their site. I also saw that they were offered for about $200-300 less than what I had seen before, then realized that setup did not include the Zenmuse gimbal in it.