iFlight XL5 V3 - The Easiest Build I've ever Done

By Whiffles on Jan 15, 2019

100  15,995  183

The iFlight XL5 V3 is a fantastic freestyle frame for the price. It features chamfered edges on some very nice quality carbon fiber. My goal for this build was to use high quality components at a relatively low price. Not only that, but I managed to reduce the number of solder points to the bare minimum. I've never built such a plug-in-play quad! The flight controller has an integrated VTX and doesn't require any soldering. All you need to solder are the motor wires, the power leads and the receiver. Very cool!

I reached out to XT-Xinte to sponsor this build because they've been going above and beyond to stock the products I request and their prices are second to none. They also set up a $5 coupon for RotorBuilds users by following this link.

Features

  • F4 flight controller
  • 600mw video transmitter
  • Eagle 2 CMOS camera
  • Current sensor
  • Quality 2306 motors
  • Only 17 solder points

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Tools

While this is a fairly easy build, you'll still need a number of tools. The most important is the soldering iron. I recommend a good quality iron like the Hakko 888D. While it's a little pricey, it's well worth it if you plan to stay in the hobby for long. Here's what you'll need:

  • Soldering iron
  • 1.5mm and 2.0mm hex drivers
  • Industrial Tweezers
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Scissors
  • Heat gun or lighter
  • Ruler and cutting mat
  • Multimeter

Additional Supplies

  • A variety of heat shrink tube sizes
  • Blue Loctite
  • Zip ties (small)
  • 63/37 leaded solder
  • Liquid soldering flux pen

Hardware

I used countersunk washers and flat top screws to attach the top plate, but these aren't necessary. I just did it to add a little color. The frame includes button-top screws, so these embellishments aren't required. Also, the motors don't come with screws, so you'll need to buy some M3x6mm hex screws. I recommend buying a set of 100 as they're really handy to keep around. Also, I didn't use the hardware intended to mount the stack. Instead I combined some screws from the frame with the anti-vibration mounts listed below in the part list.

Frame Assembly

The frame comes with great instructions, so there's not much more to add here. The press nuts don't grip the carbon, so I needed to use my prop wrench to hold them in place while I tightened the screws. Also, pay attention to the pointy bits at the tip of the arms. Its easy to screw an arm in backwards if you aren't paying attention.

To mount the FC + ESC stack use the 15mm screws included with the frame. Use the black rubber bits that came with the stack to isolate the 4-in-1 ESC from the frame. Finally attach the anti-vibration standoffs to fix the 4-in-1 ESC into place. Don't add the flight controller until later.

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Motors

While it's optional I like to sleeve my motor wires with 1/4" Para-Max. It's also a great way to add a little color to your build. Keep in mind that the traditional 550 Paracord is too narrow for all 3 motor wires.

  1. Cut 4 pieces of cord to 7 cm lengths, remove the inner core and, with a lighter, melt the ends to prevent frays.
  2. Sleeve the motor wires and add a couple 2cm pieces of 12mm shrink tube to cover the ends.
  3. Screw your motors onto the arms using M3x6mm screws and blue Loctite.
  4. Flux and tin each motor pad ensuring each is completely coated with a bubble of solder.
  5. If you're right-handed start from the rightmost motor pad and solder all 6 wires from right to left.
    • If you're left handed start from the left.
    • Cut each wire to length as you go, not all at once.
  6. Position the shrink tube over the ends of the cord and melt it. You can use a heat gun to make quick work of this, but don't hold it over your FC too long.

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Power Connector

The flight controller comes with a little capacitor, so we might as well use it! These help with voltage spikes and can clean up interference in the video feed. Ensuring the polarity is correct you can cradle it into the main battery lead grooves at a downward angle. Apply a bit of solder to hold it into place then snip the ends so they don't protrude. Then you can fill the gaps with more solder to cradle the main battery leads on top. Just don't fill it so much that the solder leaks out through the bottom.

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Binding the Receiver

This flight controller is great! It comes with a wire connector for your receiver. I used the FrSky XM+, but you can use any SBUS compatible 3.3v or 5v receiver.

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  1. Unless you're using a 3.3v serial receiver remove the green wire from the RX wire harness.
  2. Solder the 3 wires to the correct pads on the receiver.
  3. Add your flight controller to the stack and connect it to the 4-in-1 ESC with the included wire harness.
  4. Now you'll want to attach your VTX antenna because the next step requires powering it up. You never want to power your VTX without an antenna as that could lead to overheating and damage.
  5. Bind your receiver
    • Plug your receiver into the flight controller.
    • Be sure to double check that you don't have continuity between your main battery leads.
    • Hold your receiver bind button and plug your main battery in.
    • Put your radio into bind mode to get the bind.
  6. Now that you're bound you can tuck your receiver away under the stack.
    • Loosen your 4-in-1 ESC
    • Cut a piece of shrink tube to the length of your receiver and loosely melt it on.
    • Slide it under the 4-in-1 ESC so the antennas diverge in both directions.
    • Attach small zip-ties to your front arms and shrink tube the antennas to the zip ties.
  7. Put it all back together and secure your flight controller with a set of nylon nuts.

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Camera

The Runcam Eagle 2 is no longer available, but the Runcam Micro Eagle is a fantastic alternative. Since this frame requires a wider camera, you'll need to use an adapter such as this to mount the Micro Eagle.

Before you plug your camera in you need to attach the side plates. Use the M2 screws included with the camera and a single nylon spacer. Sandwich the spacer between the camera and one of the side plates to get the spacing right. Use the camera plug that came with the flight controller to plug the camera in and seat it onto the frame.

Now that you've wired the camera you can adjust your camera settings. Plug your battery in and check that the video feed is functioning. Then, using the included joystick you can plug it into the connector on the back of the camera. This is entirely optional though. I'd test the default settings to see if you like them and make adjustments later.

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Finishing Up

Now all you need to do is mount the top plate and fasten the VTX antenna. Screw the standoffs onto the top plate first. You can either use the included 6mm screws or the countersunk washers like I did. To secure the VTX antenna it's a good idea to hold it in place with a ziptie or two. I just used the hole in the back to hold it in place.

The frame came with a foam battery pad, but I opted to use a sticky pad. These grip the battery much better and reduce the chances of an ejection. I linked a sticky pad below in the misc parts, but you'll need to cut it to size. It doesn't have adhesive on the back so you may want to adhere it with some VHB tape or you could just buy something like Ummagrip.

Attach the top plate to the bottom plate and the build is complete!

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Betaflight Configuration

If you don't already have them, you'll need to download Betaflight Configurator [Download] and the BLHeli Configurator [Download].

  1. First go to the Firmware Flasher and choose "OMNIBUSF4SD" as well as the latest stable release of Betaflight.
  2. Click "Load Firmware [Online]" and then "Flash Firmware" to update your flight controller. Once complete, click "Connect"
  3. On the Ports tab
    • On UART6 click Serial RX for your receiver.
    • Set the UART3 Peripherals to "IRC Tramp".
    • Click Save and Reboot
  4. On the Configuration tab
    • Under ESC/Motor Features select DSHOT600
    • If want to fly "props out" with reversed motors, select "Motor direction is reversed" below the illustration. (This is optional)
    • Under System configuration set PID loop frequency to 8 kHz.
    • Under Receiver choose your receiver mode. For the XM+ choose "Serial-based receiver" and "SBUS"
    • Under Arming set the Max arm angle to 180 (Only if you keep the accelerometer turned on)
    • Under Other Features enable: Airmode, OSD, Anti Gravity and Dynamic Filter
    • Under DSHOT Beacon Configuration enable the beacon
    • Click Save and Reboot

To complete the remaining steps you'll need to apply lipo power to your build:

  1. On the Receiver tab ensure your pitch, roll, throttle and yaw are being applied correctly. Adjust your transmitter and Channel Map as needed.
  2. On the Modes tab
    • Assign an Aux switch to arm and disarm your quad.
    • Assign another Aux switch to enable Horizon or Angle mode if you need them.
    • Assign the Beeper and "Flip over after crash" to a 3rd and/or 4th switch. I like to assign them both to a single 3 point toggle switch.
  3. On the Motors tab enable the motor test and apply a small amount power to check the rotation of each motor. Take note of any that need to be reversed.
  4. Disconnect from the Betaflight Configurator and open BLHeli Configurator
    • Connect and Read Settings
    • Flash all ESCs to the latest firmware available.
    • Reverse the motor direction of any motors that need it. (The numbers correspond to the same numbers in Betaflight)
    • Save and reconnect to Betaflight Configurator to test the motor direction.
  5. On the OSD tab
    • Check all of the features you want and arrange your OSD as desired.

And that's it! The default Failsafe settings are generally fine, but make sure they work by arming your quad, applying a small amount of throttle and turning off your transmitter. It should shut down after a short moment.

Maiden Flight

When installing your props make sure to pay attention to the directions illustrated on the Configuration tab in Betaflight. If you are flying "props in" then the leading edges of each prop needs to rotate toward the front and rear of the quad. If you are flying "props out" then the leading edges need to rotate toward the sides of the quad. Make sure the lock nuts are tight, but they don't need to be extremely tight. Conduct your first hover test in a safe place where you won't damage anything or hurt yourself.

Photos

Part List

Frame

iFlight XL5 V3 240mm FPV Freestyle Frame Kit Carbon Fiber for RC Racer Quadcopter DIY Drone
Xt-xinte.com
$36.99

Flight Controller

LDARC KK Super Fly Tower 30.5*30.5 F4+OSD+VTX 40A BLHELIS 4 in 1 ESC 600MW Adjustable Transmmitter for FPV Racing Drone Quadcopt (4 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$72.78

Motors

4 x LDARC XT2306 2500KV CW CCW Motor for FPV Racing Drone Quadcopter Lightweight Design Silver Plate Line (2 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$43.60

Propellers

Gemfan HULKIE 5055S 3 Blade PC Propeller CW CCW Propeller Prop For GT2206-2300KV Brushless Motors FPV Racing Drone Quadcopter (3 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$1.58

FPV Camera

RunCam Micro Eagle FPV Camera 800TVL 1/1.8 CMOS Sensor NTSC / PAL 16:9 / 4:3 Switchable 5-36V for FPV Quadcopter Racing Drone (236 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$40.49

Antenna

Newest EMAX Pagoda 3B by Maarten Baert VTX Antenna Pagoda Pro (2 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$4.74

Receiver

Frsky XM+ Plus Micro D16 SBUS Full Range 2.4ghz Mini Receiver Up to 16CH for RC FPV Racing Drone w/ Double Antenna for Taranis X (1140 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$13.86

Batteries

AHTECH Infinity 4S 14.8V 1500mAh 85C Graphene LiPo Battery XT60 Support 15C Boosting Charger (78 builds)
Banggood.com
$24.67

Radio

Jumper T12 PLUS Open Source 16ch Radio with JP4-in-1 Multi-protocol RF Module With HALL Gimbal for RC Drone Car Boat (4 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$109.00

Hardware

Suleve™ M3CH4 M3 Carbon Steel Countersunk Hex Socket Screw 6-20mm Flat Head Hex Screw Metric 100pcs (5 builds)
Banggood.com
$4.07

Hardware

2 x 10pcs M3 Aluminum Alloy Colorful Countersunk Screw Gasket Washer Hexagon Socket Head Washer for RC FPV Racing Drone Decoration (4 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$4.96

Hardware

Diatone M3x6 Inner Hexagon Screw Pack 20pcs For RC Drone FPV Racing Multi Rotor (3 builds)
Banggood.com
$1.76

Hardware

JMT 4pcs M3 Flight Controller Anti-Vibration Fixed Screws Mounting VD Rubber Pillar For CC3D FC FPV Racing Drone (2 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$0.78

Misc Parts

2Pcs Drone Camera Fixed Mount TPU for Runcam Swift Foxeer 1177 Arrow Micro FPV Camera 3-5 Inch iX5 V2/ Xl5/iX3 RC Racing Mini Dr
Xt-xinte.com
$1.01

Misc Parts

6 Pcs 3M VHB Adhesive Sticky 3 Concave 3 Flat Sticker for Gopro hero 1 2 3 Helmet Mount Red GITUP GIT1 GIT2
Xt-xinte.com
$0.36

Misc Parts

1 PCS XT60 Male Connector Female Connector With 10CM 14AWG Silicone Wire Cable (4 builds)
Xt-xinte.com
$0.31

Misc Parts

Car Dashboard Sticky Magic Anti-slip PU Pad Non-slip Mat
Xt-xinte.com
$0.17

Soldering Iron

Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station FX-888D FX-888 (blue & yellow) (7 builds)
Amazon.com
$99.42

Tools

DYS RTM10 Motor Bullet Cap Aluminum Quick Release Wrench Tool for 4MM 5.5MM 8MM 10MM Screw Nuts (4 builds)
Banggood.com
$5.32

Misc Supplies

Kester 24-6337-8800 50 Activated Rosin Cored Wire Solder Roll, 245 No-Clean, 63/37 Alloy, 0.031" Diameter (2 builds)
Amazon.com
$25.09
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Discussion

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MTopp   10 days ago  

This build versus your newer wizard killer 4? Also, are the AIO boards worse than a seperated stack or is it a personal preference type of thing?

I've been flying a trashcan and sim to get practice. Also wanted to try a toothpick or build a 5" for proper freestlye flying. Still need to learn more about the GPS stuff and long range r9m stuff.

Thanks, MT.

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MTopp   9 days ago 

Right, I suppose unless you're doing a ton of flying, the 4in1s shouldn't fail you in the long run. Good to know.

Whiffles   9 days ago 
1

In fact an arm ESC is more prone to damage being exposed like it is.

MTopp   8 days ago 

true, that's why some pilots put extra protective plastic over them. All adds extra weight too.

mstancl   13 days ago  

I put this all together and it was flying perfect. I wanted to add GPS so i soldered it to UART 6. After connecting it to betaflight i noticed the same UART is for receiver . So i desoldered it and now i dont see any stick input and after powering it i see VTX, all looks fine but i am unable to see any stick input in Betaflight and it wont also arm. Is it possible that i just burned the FC ? I am a total beginner :(

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Whiffles   13 days ago 

May I see a photo of your UART1? It should be salvageable by scraping back to the trace.

mstancl   12 days ago 

Hi Whifgles, thank you very much for your time. Really appreciate it.

The pads look like this : https://imgur.com/a/8tizqVu

I know, horrible soldering!

Whiffles   11 days ago 

Which receiver are you using? If it's FrSky you need an inverted pad and you can use UART6 via the connector like I did. Then you can just use TX1 and RX1 for the GPS since UART1 is not in use.

CM17X   19 days ago  

My parts arrived today, finally, but i'm facing some missing pieces, i guess. There should be 8 press nut (metal ones) but there are none, instead i got only 12 nylon nuts. What?

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Whiffles   19 days ago 

It looks like you need to flip things around so the press nuts don't touch the carbon.

CM17X   19 days ago 

Yes, but that way the pressnut will get into the inner space for place the stack. I think my version is different because in the pictures of this guide, and the video, the nuts are outside the inner part. I'm kinda lost but looking at the paperwork included, it seems the right way.

Whiffles   19 days ago 

That'll be fine. The stack has plenty of clearance. I think I got an earlier version so the press-nuts weren't in the frame already.

CM17X   28 days ago  

Hi Wiffles! I'm waiting for the parts to arrive and i can't wait for them. I wonder which are the Betaflight settings for it, mostly speaking about pids. Does the Betaflight common pids works or there are some special tips for this one?

Whiffles   28 days ago 

I'd just use the stock PIDs for the latest version of Betaflight. You probably won't need to adjust them until you're sensitive enough to notice a need to adjust them.

CM17X   Jul 14, 2019  

Hi Everyone!
@Whiffles i'm already half way of getting the parts you suggested with some changes, specifically on the FPV Camera. THe Runcam Eagle 2 pro is available now instead of the micro, but i'm seeing others cameras which seems to be good and for a lower price. I'm considering the Runcam Swift 2, how do i know or check if this camera will be compatible with the LDARC Superfly Tower KK VTX listed on this guide?

Thank you for the help and time!

Whiffles   Jul 14, 2019 

At this point I'd probably get the Caddx Ratel and a bracket to make it fit the space.

freezurbern   Jun 12, 2019  

Whiffles, thanks for the detailed introduction to building for FPV! I too am using this build and video for my first build. I have everything working, but am also trying to add a GPS module ( https://rotorbuilds.com/part/10050 ) to the build. Do you have any suggestions on connecting the GPS to the Super Fly Tower stack? I have figured out power.. my GPS lights up both status LEDs, but I am unable to get any data. Thanks again for the build and any input you have!

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Whiffles   Jun 16, 2019 

Great to hear! Did you set up emergency recovery mode?

freezurbern   Jun 17, 2019 

Yes, and sadly I lost my first drone build due to wind and my own misconfiguration of rescue altitude. I certainly learned my lesson on wind at 200ft.

Whiffles   Jun 18, 2019 

Oh no! Did you have the GPS coordinates on your OSD or were you recording them with your radio? Hopefully you've got a way to find it!

Walshphil   May 18, 2019  

hey Whiffles.....thanks for sharing this build.....it was my first build and I‘m pretty new to fpv. I have a couple of questions......how do you hook up the 4 pin camera wire to the 3 pin board connection. i used the 3 pin connector that came with the board but i keep loosing video signal.....it looks like the video wire is getting loose at the 3 pin side.
the more important question is about battery life, I‘m only get less than 2 mins out of each battery....4S 1500mAh Lumineer ....about a min or so of flight. i have 4 seperate batteries and have recharged them, the OSD say full before flight but they just drain so fast. I followed your instructions but i used the Xing 2207 2450KV motors. im at a loss.

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Whiffles   May 22, 2019 

Wow, that's very peculiar for 4 batteries to be bad. Did you contact the seller?

Walshphil   May 23, 2019 

turns out I‘m not good at charging batteries...☹️........my charger had a max o/p set to 600mAh so when parallel charging they never got close to full charge.....so yeah.....a little embarrassing but at least it’s an easy one.

Whiffles   May 23, 2019 
1

Just be careful parallel charging. Make sure you check each cell of every pack before charging. If one is too low you could cause a fire. Each cell should be around the same voltage. If one is less than 3v while the others are 3.7v then you've got a bad cell.

DroneyMcDroneFace   May 15, 2019  

Hey Whiffles,

This is my first build and i'm not yet a wizard on the soldering iron like you but some day I'll get there

So I plugged my build to bind it heard a pop. I unplugged it right away and I'm pretty sure it was the capacitor. It looks very slightly deformed and as far as i can tell the rest of the stack looks good. I haven't plugged it in since.

Would you recommend un-soldering it and then redoing the battery leads? There's a bunch of solder on there and I don't relish digging back in there if leaving it as is wouldn't matter. I have no capacitor to replace it with and i could order a few but I know they aren't mandatory. Anything in particular I should check in addition to the stack?

Whiffles   May 16, 2019 

Was your capacitor polarity correct? Did you have the striped side soldered to negative? Desolder the capacitor and plug the FC in via USB to make sure it still works. Also check your main power leads to make sure there's no continuity.

DroneyMcDroneFace   May 18, 2019 

Thanks for the advice I missed the capacitor having a positive and negative. I'll resolder and check the stack.

Thanks for the help

Shadowplay   May 06, 2019  
2

Hey Whiffles - just wanted to shoot a out a thank you for the thorough build. I am a 100% beginner in the hobby and was able to take your directions and make a fully operational quad, learning a whole bunch of stuff along the way. Just had my maiden voyage this past weekend. Some seasoned flyers that were out at our local fly zone also took it for a spin and they really thought it was a fun build. Of course they had it flipping around all kinds of things I can't do yet, but it was really cool to see in action after the labor of love putting it together.

I realized early and often that a major part of the hobby is working around the many roadblocks you'll just run into. I had a bad motor shipped to me from China, which I didn't want to wait for a replacement on so I bought some other motors with expedited delivery (I still ordered a replacement for the bad motor so I'll have 4 LDARCs ready for my next build). Then I ended up having my motor order switched around in Betaflight, so spent some time figuring out the software fix, etc... I also ordered the wrong receiver and the one I got was not thin enough to fit under the stack, so I had to tie it to the top of the frame. Some minor changes, but almost everything else was step-by-step with the guide. Thanks again man!

Whiffles   May 07, 2019 
1

Looks great! Those Xing motors are much nicer than the LDARC motors, so you've got a solid rig there. Be sure to post it to the site!

Cavebrand   Apr 24, 2019  

Hey Whiffles, I recieved all the parts for the build yesterday, but I realized with the tower stack I bought the wrong product option and only bought the flight controller and camera/reciever wires. I've purchased a seperate 4n1 esc today. I plan on making a custom connector to connect the two if necessary. I've been trying to find a diagram of the kk super flight controller with a pin out for the esc connecter and I haven't been able to find one with the specific pin out. Do you know what that pin out is or where to find it? If not, what would you suggest I do?

thank you!

Whiffles   Apr 26, 2019 

Did you buy the 4-in-1 that normally comes paried with the LDARC flight controller? If so, it should have the connector and will hopefully connect out of the box.

Cavebrand   Apr 26, 2019 

I did not. But, I noticed that there was a pin out etched into the LDARC 4n1. I assume the flight controller mirrors that read out, which is everything I need. I bought a connector kit to build a new connector that'll fit. I hope it works!

Whiffles   Apr 26, 2019 

Just be sure to check and double check the pins before you power up and you should be fine.

FusionHM   Apr 19, 2019  

Hi Wiffles, currently in progress with this build. One of the anti vibration standoffs that I was sent is missing thread and can't be used :(. Was wondering if it's fine to use the nylon spacers that came with the frame to mount the flight controller?
Think will be better than using a screw but won't be as effective as the soft mount dampeners at absorbing vibrations. Was going to source some replacements from a local hobby store once Easter is over and hopefully the nylons will do for time being. Cheers

Whiffles   Apr 19, 2019 

You should be fine with the nylon standoffs. If you do experience twitching or erratic behavior then you can buy them locally at RMRC for a decent price, otherwise you might as well just order some spares from xt-xinte as they've got a great price on them.

Morgan51   Apr 12, 2019  

How can we fix a GoPro on the top of the drone ? A support fixed with straps or can we screw one ?

Whiffles   Apr 12, 2019 

You'll want to 3D print one in TPU. If you don't have a printer you can buy them printed at a variety of shops. Here's the mount I use: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3100379

Morgan51   Apr 12, 2019 

ok ! Thanks Whiffles

GazpachoZen   Apr 10, 2019  

I decided to pull the trigger and place an order for all the parts about a week ago. Nothing on the Xinte web site suggested that anything was out of stock, but I've also not heard anything back from them regarding a possible ship date. How long should I expect this to take?

Whiffles   Apr 10, 2019 

They're usually pretty quick. Try their messaging system and give them your order number. They're really good about responding. If you haven't already ask for $5 credit for the keyword "Rotorbuilds".

CM17X   Apr 09, 2019  

Besides the LDARC motors you've used which others that can be found on Xinte are good for this built or in quality? There is one review about the LDARC and doesnt give confidence. Thank you for the insights.

Whiffles   Apr 09, 2019 

I recommend the iFlight Xing 2207 motors. They're great motors and Xinte has a really good price on them.

CM17X   Apr 08, 2019  

Found this guide while looking a more complex prpject and this is so perfect for a newb like me!
I am waiting for my FrSky XLite to come,would i be able to use a receiver for the R9M Lite that comes with my controller different to the one you have in this build? If so,which one you recommend?

by the way,i have to import everything, the site Xinte is reliable? Sorry for ask,i just know GetFpv and Racedayquads.

Thank you.

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CM17X   Apr 08, 2019 

Sorry for the question but i got confused; which type of anthenna should i get? I know what RHCP or LHCP stand for, but not sure which part or component should match with it. Thanks for your time.

Whiffles   Apr 09, 2019 

Most people just buy RHCP for both their quad and their headset.

CM17X   Apr 09, 2019 

I knew i read that somewhere but i totally forgot what was the combination. Thank you!

ApplesMan   Apr 08, 2019  

Whiffles thanks for this incredible list and guide. I am using this for my first build and have a question
I have a taranis x7 already and am looking for a reciever the one listed is back ordered i believe.

Whiffles   Apr 08, 2019 

I'm glad you found it helpful! I haven't tried this one, but it should do the trick, Jumper R1 Receiver.

gilesclement   Mar 24, 2019  

I've put this together and have been unable to get the motors to arm and the VTX to work. The OSD showed up initially and there's been a couple of brief seconds when i saw the camera view in the goggles but now the OSD is compeltely gone and I can't seem to get the VTX to work at all.

I've monkeyed around with the VTX selector button which seems confusing at the very least. Any suggestions on how to select the channel?

I can spin the motors when it's attached to betaflight and the blue light on the FC blinks rapidly for a second when I flip the arm switch to on but the motors won't spin. Any ideas of why that may be?

Thanks

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Whiffles   Apr 01, 2019 

I have not used a servo on a Betaflight board before, which one is it? Does it require constant power or does it require an open or closed circuit? The buzzer pad will only complete the circuit when the buzzer is active, so you'll need to incorporate a buzzer switch if you want to use that.

gilesclement   Apr 01, 2019 

I managed to connect it to the LED wire and re-map that to a servo control. Not exactly sure how I did it but messed around long enough that it finally gave up and decided to work. God I fucking hate electronics.

on the bright side, my BrownieCopter now works!

Whiffles   Apr 01, 2019 

Awesome! Be sure to post the build!

marco_pol0   Mar 27, 2019  

Hey! This look like an awesome build. Would it work the the Taranis Qx7?

Whiffles   Mar 27, 2019 
1

Certainly. You can use any receiver you'd like. I put the XM+ on mine which is compatible with the QX7.

mindsailor   Mar 26, 2019  

Hey Whiffles, Thank you very much for this build guide! This is my first build and your documentation was excellent. One question though, I seem to be unable to get RSSI data to my osd correctly. From what I've read it sounds like the xm+ may broadcast this on Aux16? Currently I have my Tarranis bound on D16 Channels 1-8 w/telemetry. Am I right to assume I'll need to pull the reciever, and rebind on channels 8-16 W/telemetry in order to get this to function? Thank you!

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mindsailor   Mar 26, 2019 

That makes sense. What's the furthest you'd personal be confortable with in terms of range with the XM+? I've seen mixed reports online.

Whiffles   Mar 26, 2019 

I rarely fly more than 200-300m away. It's capable of going much further, but it's hard to find that amount of space without flying over private property.

mindsailor   Mar 26, 2019 
1

Awesome, thanks for the tips man, you've saved me a tremendous amount of time and research!

maximus   Mar 03, 2019  

Already got all the parts in the cart, only some questions left :)

  1. Will the receiver work with Taranis QX7?
  2. Should I get a longer VTX antenna? I'm planning to mount the battery on top..
  3. If the RunCam Eagle 2 is back in stock, should I get that one instead of the micro?
Show 7 more comments
maximus   Mar 22, 2019 

Hey, build is coming along great, just waiting for the camera and paracord!
And a question if you don't mind - the FC comes with a MMCX cable that can be attached to the iFlight frame (in the hole in which you put the ziptie).
Would you recommend fixing the antenna connector in the said hole and attaching a Stubby antenna (like the Foxeer Lollipop or something similiar) instead of the pagoda?
If you would, do you have a Stubby antenna preference? Thanks!

Edit: now that I'm thinking a bit further then I probably won't have an issue as long as I don't slap on another camera on top because then I can move the battery a bit forward to accomodate for the antenna. If I do put a camera though then I would probably need to do what you did anyone to have place for both battery and camera.

Whiffles   Mar 22, 2019 

I'm not sure a stubby would work very well because it'll get in the way of the battery. Generally you don't want to mount your antenna vertically because it's prone to damage and it could potentially snap the top plate if you hit it just right. The preferred method is to mount it horizontally and bend up beyond the top plate.

maximus   Mar 23, 2019 

Gotcha, will do. Can't wait for the remaining parts to arrive :D

magiccak   Mar 18, 2019  
1

Hey,
I'm new to FPV Drones and would like to build one. I'm looking into this one, Rotor Riot CL1 or Wizard Killer Mark III. This will be first build ever. Do you recommended sticking with the easiest and the cheapest one for the first time or do you think that the older and more expensive versions are well worth the extra $60 or so..?
Also I would like to get some better Radio since I'll use it for some more projects in the future, but I guess some other radio will be probably compatible with this very drone too, right? I don't really know how these things work yet, sorry for my misinformation.
Your guides looks really high-effort and I appreciate it, so far looking awesome and I hope I'll have great time building my first machine! Have a good day!

Show 5 more comments
Whiffles   Mar 21, 2019 
1

The Commander V1s are the most proven, but the FOV is quite small. The Commander V2s have a massive FOV, but they do suffer from a little edge blur. They really need at least -2 diopters to address that. They're really comfortable and nice goggles though. The EV200D has the richest displays of the bunch at a pretty decent 42 degrees. The blur isn't as bad as the Commander V2s. It's only on the far edges and only on 16:9 mode. On 4:3 mode they have no blur at all. The only problem with the EV200D is the DVR. It's far from great and tends to wash out the video a bit on some cameras. That being said it's definitely the best value of the bunch. See if you can find some used HD3s. They also suffer from edge blur like the Commander V2s, but you'll have the option to use a rapidFire at some point if you desire, but I believe it requires a small internal mod.

magiccak   Mar 22, 2019 

As far as I know DVR stands for digital video recorder, and if I'd want to record something I'll use my action camera, so that doesen't really bug me. Looks like I'll go for the Eachine. Thanks again!

Whiffles   Mar 22, 2019 

DVR is important for reviewing footage to find a crashed quad and it's nice to be able to share footage from micros that don't necessarily carry an HD cam.

Miadrone   Mar 18, 2019  

Any pros or cons to this? https://www.xt-xinte.com/iFlight-XL5-5-Lowrider-V3-FPV-Racing-Frame-Kit-Stretch-X-V3-251mm-Wheelbase-for-RC-Drone-Quadcopter-p571818.html Wpould I hsve more problems getting arms if I needed them it it's not as common? Thanks!

Whiffles   Mar 19, 2019 

It'll be a tight fit, but you might be able to make it work if you mount the arms under the bottom plate.

Miadrone   Mar 17, 2019  

Thanks for the build and time it took. I have a question when you went to the 20 mm standoffs what happens to the side plates by the camera if they're made for taller stock standoffs? Many thanks!

Whiffles   Mar 17, 2019 

I didn't use 20mm standoffs on this one. I just wanted to keep the stock standoffs which I belive are 30mm.

Miadrone   Mar 18, 2019 

wow looks lower.

ico01x   Mar 15, 2019  

Thanks for the great tutorial. Is it possible to add a GPS module to the ldarc tower to get telemetry data? (for example https://www.banggood.com/Smallest-Mini-Dual-GLONASSGPS-BN-180-Micro-Double-GPS-Antenna-Module-UART-TTL-For-CC3D-F3-p-1208587.html?rmmds=myorder&cur_warehouse=CN)

Whiffles   Mar 15, 2019 

You generally want your GPS to be out in the open, so people will usually either mount it on top of the battery or out the back. Have a look at some examples here: https://www.brain3d.co/search?q=gps, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2982373, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3196985

johnlennon   Mar 14, 2019  

I like your post. It really useful with me. Thanks for sharing these useful information! Instagram video downloader

Aurora130   Mar 12, 2019  

Would it make more sense to buy the lowrider XL5 or to buy the regular frame and shorter standoffs? Is their even any other differences between the lowrider and the regular besides the extra cutout in the front plate?

Whiffles   Mar 12, 2019 

The lowrider is very tight. I don't think this stack would fit unless you mount the arms under the bottom plate. You also won't be able to fit a full sized camera in there. You need a micro with an adapter. It just may work, but it'll be tight.

Kiwihaze   Mar 08, 2019  

Would this build work with the iFlight XL5 Lowrider frame?

Whiffles   Mar 08, 2019 

I believe this stack might just fit if you mount the arms under the bottom plate.

freerider101   Mar 10, 2019 

the lowrider is weird though. It fits a regular camera on the width but not the height. You'd have to use an adaptor to the microsized cameras. I'm building a long range xl7 lowrider and was quite disappointed that I can't use my normal eagle 2. I'm probably going to put a micro eagle from my other quad.

Whiffles   Mar 11, 2019 

Yeah that's a bit odd that the camera mount isn't designed specifically for a micro cam. Usually these lowrider frames need to add a "chin" to support a larger camera.

Flashstar   Mar 10, 2019  
2

My first build ready for her maiden flight!  special thanks to Whiffles for answering my stupid question along this journey!

Ulezzzz   Mar 06, 2019  

HI and thank you for your work. Quick question..
What is the screw size for the line item
Suleve M3CH4100pcs Metric M3 Black 10.9 Carbon Steel Flat Countersunk Head Hex Socket Screw
Thanks again

Whiffles   Mar 06, 2019 

I'd get the 8mm, but those are only necessary if you want to add the anodized countersunk washers.

Hoamou   Feb 19, 2019  

Hi, im want to build my first quand and im wondering which one would be the best to start. This one or your wizard killer mark 3?

Show 1 more comment
Hoamou   Feb 27, 2019 

Sugested batteries?

Whiffles   Feb 27, 2019 

Just added a battery to the list, thanks for pointing that out!

Hoamou   Feb 28, 2019 

I saw that you recommended those with your mark 3, wasn't sure they were still good. Thanks!

Smellulater   Feb 22, 2019  

Thanks, this looks cool. where do you mount the battery on this build, can you post a pic?

Whiffles   Feb 23, 2019 
1

It mounts on top. I'll take some photos and do a video about prepping it for flight.

Chump.Fpv   Feb 20, 2019  

what would be the best flysky 2a reciever too usep

Whiffles   Feb 20, 2019 

You could try either the Fli14 or the larger X6B.

Chump.Fpv   Feb 20, 2019 

Will i be able to just plug them in no problem

Whiffles   Feb 21, 2019 

You'll probably need to solder the wire ends to one another.

Chump.Fpv   Feb 20, 2019  

Also if i run in to an issue is there a way to reach you

Whiffles   Feb 20, 2019 

Feel free to PM me here or ask on the Rotorbuilds Facebook group.

Torch007   Feb 20, 2019  

Another beautiful build bro. Any thoughts on using the lowrider version of this frame? Too tight? I notice HecticFPV slammed his with 20mm standoffs..

Whiffles   Feb 20, 2019 
1

With the right stack it can be done. The Diatone Mamba stack is 19mm, so it just may fit.

Hectic_FPV   Feb 17, 2019  

Sweet build! I love my XL5, slammed it with some 20mm standoffs, CL Racing F4S, DYS 30a 4 in 1 ESC and some DYS Samguk Wei 2207 2600kv motors. Wish I could have afforded some different motors but right now that's all I had money for but it flies like a dream and has plenty of power.

Whiffles   Feb 19, 2019 

The Samguks are still a great value, but the bearings just start to go bad a little earlier than most motors.

Hectic_FPV   Feb 19, 2019 
1

Yes the bearings are definitely the weak point of the DYS Samguk motors which is why I purchased some better bearings so when they do go I can replace them :)

Aurora130   Feb 14, 2019  

Very cool! Very clean build and a great price point. I am currently flying a build that is around $150, and this sort of setup will definately be in the future for me.
I was wondering were to by the covering you used for the wires from the ESCs to the motors.
Thanks in advance.

Show 2 more comments
Aurora130   Feb 14, 2019 

Sorry for asking a question that can be answered by reading a little! ;)

Aurora130   Feb 14, 2019 

Never mind. . .

Whiffles   Feb 14, 2019 

Have a look at the video. You can see how I did it. Also, don't use Paracord 550 because it's too narrow. You need "Para-Max".

alexandersmith89   Feb 07, 2019  

random question but how did you get such nice photos of this build?

Whiffles   Feb 07, 2019 
4

It's all about lighting and camera settings. I always shoot in ISO 100 with bright 5000k LED bulbs in a light box. Here's a photo of my setup.

Popeye63   Feb 05, 2019  

Hi there! I am new to the site and to drone building, so far I have just been running car bashers & crawlers, from 1/12th to 1/5 in motors & engines, a lot of them my own designs & customisation. Now I would like to start into building a drone and I really liked the (iFlight XL5 V3) you showed. Would you consider this a good build to start off with. I would apprecate and input and advice you would give me, Thank You very much and I hope to here from you soon.
Regards.

Popeye63

Whiffles   Feb 05, 2019 

Welcome to the site! Yes, this is a perfect first build. I chose the parts specifically with that in mind. Watch the video to get an idea of the process. I'll be doing a configuration video next.

LunaFPV   Feb 01, 2019  

Are the holes in the front and the back for mounting 20x20 boards?

Whiffles   Feb 01, 2019 

Unfortunately they are not. I don't know why they didn't space them out to 20x20.

W4SMT   Jan 27, 2019  

The motors are currently out of stock at Xt-xinte.com. Could you recommend an alternative? Also would a Runcam Split Mini 2 fit?

Whiffles   Jan 27, 2019 

I was going to recommend the iFlight Xing 2207, but that's also out of stock. Another couple suggestions are the iFlight Xing 2206 or the iFlight Tachyon. I believe the Split Mini 2 will fit as there are 20mm mounting holes under the camera, but you may also want to look at the Caddx Turtle V2. I think it's got a slightly better board design.

W4SMT   Jan 28, 2019 

I ended up ordering the KK's from Banggood @ $14.95!! Also went with the Eagle 2 camera for now. The Caddx Turtle looks good.. I like the idea of having the HD DVR on board rather than recording the transmitted video. This will be my first build. I assume a 4s 1500mAh Lipo strapped to the top would be adequate? Thanks much for the help!

Whiffles   Jan 28, 2019 

Yep, I'm still waiting on a mount for my Hero7. I'll be sure to post some photos when it's all suited up for flight. Just a strap or two on top with a battery pad should do the trick. You might also want to zip-tie the XT60 up against one of the rear standoffs so it doesn't get into prop-strike range.

JC250   Jan 15, 2019  

How are the motors? Never seen them before

Whiffles   Jan 15, 2019 

I haven't flown it yet, but they sound really smooth on the bench. They're certainly a huge step up from any other $10 motor.

JC250   Jan 17, 2019 

I'd be curious to find how it performs compared to the RCX LS2207

Whiffles   Jan 17, 2019 

I haven't tried the RCX LS2207, but these definitely have a premium build quality to them.

daich   Jan 17, 2019  

cheap and clean build! this hobby has come a long way!

Whiffles   Jan 17, 2019 
1

No doubt! But what I like about this stack is the connectors for the RX and camera. This isn't anything new and we've even seen a trend away from that for the past couple years. What's old is new again.

Whiffles   Jan 17, 2019 

Remember the Sirin? This FC reminds me a lot of it, but that board was way overpriced.

daich   Jan 17, 2019 

Don't remember, must have been before my time :P
Well I dabbled with multiwii in 2014 but then came back mid 2017

JazzXP   Jan 15, 2019  

Any thoughts about using a pigtail and stubby antenna?

Whiffles   Jan 15, 2019 

That can work, but it's ideal to have the antenna reach as high as possible. I kinda wish this antenna was a little longer.

JazzXP   Jan 15, 2019 

It just seemed like it was embedded a fair way in. It looks pretty nice that way though!

thumbtwiddler   Jan 15, 2019  
1

nice build! have you tried soft mounting the motors? I've found that it helps a lot in vibration reduction and gets you some really smooth footage

Whiffles   Jan 15, 2019 
1

I've tried it in the past, but it didn't seem to make any difference. The soft mounted FC and capacitor should be more than enough.

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