CLARK the Micro Midrange Explorer

By DaveRips on Mar 04, 2020

26  1,463  3

As I've been deep diving into FPV over the past few months I've been learning more about what I love (and sometimes hate) about this hobby. I've realized that I really love flying micros, especially because they are lightweight, super quiet, and fly under the radar of the FAA. Most of my local flying spots are small so I rarely get to make good use of my 5" quad. Also, with micro HD cams these days, the footage is good enough for social and sharing.

After going through a couple 3" Toothpick builds and being frustrated with the durability and reliability of the boards, and props in view, I decided I want something that flies like a 5 inch but is quiet like a Toothpick, has no props in view and is setup for a solid FC stack, and as room for at least a 400mw VTX.

So when I came across Dave_C's designs, I was immediately intrigued. Thanks, Dave! I love the lightweight design, with consideration for 16x16 mounting and 20x20 mounting. Also the Deadcat arms made it even better for capturing HD video.

So, going into this build, I decided it was going to be a Micro Midrange Explorer / Freestyle Cruiser named Clark. I didn't want to add the Buzzer or the GPS yet, as I won't be doing any true long range for a while. So this is a barebones build on Dave_C's awesome lightweight 3" frame.

I had my first test flights last night and managed a 7 minute flight with a few minutes of light freestyle at the end. I was cruising at about 35 percent throttle with the Gemfan 3016 Tri-Blade. Also going to test the Avan Mini's as the Gemfans are feeling pretty mellow. My scale died on me so I don't know what my AUW is, but will update this post next week when I have it.

Quad weight: 131g
Quad + 4S 525mah: 185g
Quad + 3S 850mah: 207g

UPDATE 03/22/2020:

I decided to throw on the Avan Mini Props to see how they would fly, and was surprised to see how much better they performed than the 3016s. I think the AUW is just to much for the slim profile of the 3016s. As stated above i was cruising at around 35-38% throttle on the 3016s, on the Avan Minis I am cruising at 28%! They are also really punchy and much more fun for when I freestyle.

I also started flying on 4S, it seems to fly great on a stock 4.1 BF tune, with an 80% throttle limit added. On 4S 525mah I'm cruising at about 23%, I haven't tried a long range flight on 4S but it's really fun to freestyle on 4S, getting about 3 min flights. I ordered some 650mah 4S to try out some longer flights, we'll see how that goes.

I am absolutely loving this build, the only bummer is the Tarsier V2 is giving me some troubles. Sometimes doesn't record, sometimes records half a session, but stops after a few packs. It sucks to come back and see only a portion of your flying was captured. It doesn't stop mid flight, it just decides at some point to stop initiating recording, so I get all or nothing on a pack. Also seems I may have to format my SD before every session? I'm not sure what to do. Help!

Photos

Part List

Frame

Project #MicroLongRange [3 Inch version] by Dave_C_FPV
Thingiverse.com
See Site

Flight Controller

MAMBA STACK F411 /134 Dshot600 4S NANO (17 builds)
Diatone.us
$39.99

Motors

4 x iFlight XING Nano X1206 4500Kv Micro MotorDefault Title
Racedayquads.com
$63.96

Propellers

GEMFAN 3016-3 PROPS - (2CW + 2CCW) (7 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$2.59

FPV Camera

Caddx Tarsier V2 4K FPV Camera / HD DVR - Choose Your Color (35 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$88.99

FPV Transmitter

Rush FPV Tank Mini 25-800mW 20x20 VTX - MMCX (26 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$37.99

Antenna

XILO AXII MMCX 5.8GHz Antenna (LHCP) (3 builds)
Getfpv.com
$9.99

Receiver

FrSky R9MM Long Range 915MHz RC Receiver - Get Yours Today! - RMRC (78 builds)
Readymaderc.com
$20.80

Batteries

GNB 3S 850mah 11.1V 80/160c XT30
Pyrodrone.com
$13.49

Batteries

RDQ Series 15.2V 4S 525mAh 80C LiHV Micro Battery - XT30 (6 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$11.99

Power Distribution

16AWG XT30 Pigtail w/ Capacitor (3 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$2.99

Radio

FrSky Taranis X9 Lite Pro URUAV Edition 2.4GHz 24CH ACCESS ACCST D16 Mode2 Hall Sensor Gimbal Transmitter (4 builds)
Banggood.com
$99.99

Goggles

Fat Shark Dominator HDO 2 FPV Goggles (6 builds)
Getfpv.com
$499.99

3D Printed

Project #MicroLongRange [3 Inch version] by Dave_C_FPV
Thingiverse.com
See Site

Hardware

Project #MicroLongRange [3 Inch version] by Dave_C_FPV
Thingiverse.com
See Site

Misc Parts

Ummagawd UMMAGRIP Universal Super Sticky Battery Pad (120 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$4.99

Video Receiver

ImmersionRC rapidFIRE w/ Analog PLUS Goggle Receiver Module (124 builds)
Getfpv.com
$149.99

Radio Module

Frsky R9M Lite - Radio Transmitter Module (Black) (12 builds)
Getfpv.com
$44.99

Battery Charger

HOTA D6 Pro Dual Channel 325W 15A AC/DC Battery Charger w/ Wireless Cellphone Charging (11 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$118.99

Soldering Iron

TS100 Portable Programmable Smart Soldering Iron (135 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$51.29
Show stores (7)

Discussion

Sign in to comment

Yinka_Brasil   4 days ago  

Hi, how durable are the parts? I was going to order one, but wanted to know if I'd be ordering a broken arm (or something else) after a minor crash.

DaveRips   21 hours ago 

I've found it to be more durable than expected so far, and I'm using it for a lot of freestyle and have had some decent crashes. the arms are thin, but the motors and props are also so lightweight it all feels proportional. I'm sure you could request extra arms with your initial order for a small upcharge also.

Yinka_Brasil   13 hours ago 

thanks bro!

Guides & Reviews

22 5,192  24
Nov 30, 2019

In late 2019 DJI made inroads into the FPV scene with their remarkable low-latency digital system. It gave us a 720p video feed with latency on-par with the status quo, analog video. Traditionally we've used analog video systems for low-latency video, but the video quality is far from ideal. It's a trade-off we've been willing to accept for the control. Now we've got the best of both worlds and what..

Read more
3 4,633  14
Sep 18, 2019

When the FatShark HDOs hit the market in 2018 the FPV community rejoiced for the new Sony OLED displays. While they lacked further upgrades like an updated DVR and power button they were still a market success. With the 2019 announcement of the Orqa FPV.One the community finally had a potential HDO killer on the horizon. With only weeks before the release of the Orqa FPV.One Skyzone came out of left..

Read more