Zip Freestyle

By elliotdickison on Nov 24, 2019

8  455  1

My first 5" build, but second scratch build. I first got into the hobby with a 3" build - It was a great experience, but I also made a lot of mistakes and wanted to start fresh with a larger platform (easier to work on) and higher quality components (requiring less work). I also wanted to be able to carry a GoPro (my 3" has a RunCam split, but the footage is jello salad).

Key parts

I started with the TBS Source One frame (v2). A sturdy, beginner friendly frame with replacement parts readily available in the US was a priority. I learned quickly with my 3" that relying on Banggood means weeks of downtime between every crash, so GetFPV and RaceDayQuads were my friends this time around. My main splurge was a set of Lumenier Zip 2207 2450kv motors (super pricey at $24 pop, but I really wanted to avoid the motor vibrations that plagued my 3"). I watched a lot of Bardwell videos while doing research for this, and I ended up going with his FC since it's extremely well documented and I like Betaflight. For the ESC the Xilo Stax 4-in-1 felt like a no brainer with 45A for $45, extra-large beginner-friendly solder pads, and a super clean look. I picked up the RDQ Mach 3 VTX, mostly because it was the cheapest thing I could find that boasted 1 watt.

The build process

Putting it all together was a breeze, mostly thanks to Bardwell's FC documentation and the roomy Source One frame. I focused on keeping the wiring as clean as I could and my solder joints looking shiny. I'd seen mesh motor wire wrap here on RotorBuilds before, so I threw that on and was really happy with how it turned out. I added a few layers of electrical tape under the motors for soft mounting because I saw JohnnyFPV do it in a vid, but in hindsight I don't think it was worth the effort.

Things I'd do differently

I think a stackable VTX would be nice - I ended up awkwardly stuffing the Mach 3 sideways between two standoffs and zip-tying it there. The Bardwell FC was great, but I realized that you have to solder a tiny jumper right next to a bunch of pins in order to hook up the current sensor signal wire from the ESC. I didn't want to risk ruining the board, so I went without current sensing. Next time I'd get a smaller soldering iron tip or a different FC (current sensing is a high priority for me). Also I probably won't put a goofy looking long range antenna on another freestyle build ;).

P.S. I actually finished this build about 5 months ago. Unfortunately I have since lost it to an enormous pine tree, but I still wanted to document it here. Hopefully I'll be starting another build soon.

Photos

Discussion

Sign in to comment

DropkickJacks   Nov 25, 2019  
1

awesome bro!

Guides & Reviews

23 1,186  11
16 days ago

Until recently GoPros were delegated to larger quads. A typical GoPro weighs around 125g and we've only recently begun to mount them on 3" cinewhoops. Even that is a stress on the motors. Now we've got the "GoPro Lite". Remove the battery, displays and casing and you're left with a small, lightweight board and sensor. Wrap it in protective TPU casing and you've got a 30g micro GoPro. The Hero6 is..

Read more
42 4,804  47
May 05, 2020

This guide will walk you through the process of building your first FPV quad. The goal with this design was to build a low-cost, lightweight quad, yet powerful enough to safely carry a GoPro in close proximity areas. I chose these parts to minimize the amount of soldering at no cost to the quality. A typical build requires around 30 solders while this only needs 25. It's not a huge difference, but..

Read more