Beta95X HD with Caddx Vista only 98 grams!

By wrong17 on May 17, 2020

14  593  6

The Build

Initially I thought converting the Beta95X from an analog 4K quad to a DJI digital HD was going to be easy. I was planning to swap out the GEPRC 12a AIO for a BetaFPV F4 AIO 20a because I need 2 free UART and the GEPRC only had one. I need one UART for the TBS Crossfire Nano RX and the other for the Caddx Vista. Most of the earlier tinywhoop AIO boards only have 1 open UART so they will not work with the DJI digital systems unless and Crossfire. If you use something like Frsky XM plus, you should be fine.

After removing all the old electronics, I noticed the BetaFPV 20a AIO board is way too big to fit on the Beta95X frame. Now I only have 2 options. Either get another 12a AIO tinywhoop board that has 2 UART or the BetaFPV 16a tinywhoop 16a stack. I wanted to use the BetaFPV 16a board because of the higher amp rating and it uses BLHeli32 ESC. But I could not find any stores in the US that had them in stock. So, I went with Pyrodrone’s Micro F4 12a AIO instead.

Next up is the canopy. Once again, I could not find anyone who carried the BetaFPV v3 canopy, other than BetaFPV so I went picked something that I already had. I am going to use the BetaFPV Tarsier 4k Canopy because I like how it moves the camera forward, so I will get less prop in the camera’s view. I need to do more testing to see if I can eliminate the prop view entirely. With a little bit of heat and massaging to the canopy, I was able to get the vista to fit. With the release of the Caddx’s new Nebula camera, it would make it even easier to install the vista in the Tarsier canopy. As of now the Nebula is only pre-order, so it will be a while before I get my hands on one of them.

I did a weight comparison with the Caddx Tarsier to a Caddx Vista. To my surprise, the Vistal setup is about 8g grams more than the Tarsier! Look at the pictures in my gallery to see the weight comparison. Please keep in mind that I am comparing the whole setup with includes the VTX and Antenna. I might be able to save some weight on the Vista if I used the same antenna as the Tarsier.

I have to say, the most difficult part of this build is soldering the motor wires to the Pryodone 12a AIO board. The soldering pads are so small that I can barely see if there is a gap between the wires. I am very grateful that the motors wires are small, because if there are any thicker, I do not think I would be able to solder them on. Even when I was tinning the pads, I was flowing from one pad to another…. Grrrr. I know I am not the best at soldering, but this was defiantly challenging. All my years in the hobby I always used a huge wedge type soldering tip. But ever since I started building toothpick quads, I am forced to use a smaller tip on the TS100.

The final weigh is 98g but I forgot to add an 350uf 35v cap on it, so the extra cap and xt30 Wafl Cap Cap push me over to 101g. But I swapped out some screws and props and now I am back to 98g. The new Gemfan Flash 2540 props are a bit lighter and I switched the m2 socket head motor screws to titanium button head that are 1/3 the weight. The last thing are the 2 brass nuts I was using to hold down the caddx vista air unit, I replaced those with plastic nuts.

First Flight

I do not have any flight footage to share yet because it was not fun watching me fly outside with 12mph winds. Yes, it flew fine in the winds but it took some effort when fighting with head wind and it took off like a rocket when I turned around. So the video looks kind of rough during my test flights, but when I flew inside the garage it looked butter smooth. I also tried flying with 2s and it was not too bad. I am going to try flying inside the house with 2s and see if this can replace me TinyHawk. If it does, I will be officially all digital!

Typically I fly 4s with this quad and I like the Tattu 650mah 4s 75c the most because I get the best flight time and least amount of voltage sag. Even though the 650mah lipo weighs 70g, it performs better than the GNB 520mah 4s 80c that weighs 55g.

It is finially nice and calm outside with 4mph winds so here is my first test flight with Tattu 650mah 5s 75c lipo:
Side note, the HQ 2.5x2.5x3 are my favorite props. It is way better than the Gemfan Flash 2540 props because the HQ props more thrust and better grip in the air. I am pretty sure I get better efficiency with the HQ props too.

Photos

Part List

Frame

Beta95X Frame Kit (6 builds)
Betafpv.com
$9.99

Flight Controller

PYRODRONE MICRO F4 AIO (2-4S) (4 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$39.99

Motors

4 x 1204 5000KV Brushless Motors (9 builds)
Betafpv.com
$55.96

Propellers

HQ Prop 2.5x2.5x3 Tri-Blade 2.5" Prop 4 Pack - Choose Your Color (12 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$1.60

FPV Camera

Caddx Vista (32 builds)
Caddxfpv.com
$149.00

Receiver

Team BlackSheep TBS Crossfire Nano RX - Heli-Nation (699 builds)
Heli-nation.com
$24.99

Batteries

GNB 4S 520mah HV 80C XT30 Lipo Battery (12 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$12.99

Misc Parts

WaFL’s XT30 Cap Cap (Set of 4)
Pyrodrone.com
$4.99

Misc Parts

BetaFPV Tarsier Canopy for Beta85X 4K - BlueDefault Title (3 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$4.19
Show stores (5)

Discussion

Sign in to comment

Felias   4 days ago  

Hi James, thank you for sharing this build. Looks great, and it's amazing you managed to fit everything below 100g! I'm also working on something very similar, but i'm having trouble finding the right tune. Could you maybe share your PID settings? "diff all" on CLI would be amazing to share here.
Many thanks in advance!

wrong17   1 day ago 
1

Sorry, I missed your comment because someone else asked me the same thing about the PIDs and I thought you were the same person. I will post my PIDs in the image gallery above too. The PIDs I am using is for Betaflight version 4.1.7 and the rates works best with 3s lipo because the throttle cutoff % is set at 85. When I use a 4s lipo, I set the cutoff to 75%. Also be aware that I what to fly this quad indoors only so it is NOT suppose to be super fast and powerful.

DrewFPV   May 17, 2020  

Any videos?

wrong17   May 18, 2020 
1

No videos yet, I will post some soon.

DrewFPV   May 18, 2020 

ok

wrong17   May 19, 2020 

@ZuBee I just added a video.

Guides & Reviews

26 1,241  11
17 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 4,827  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