Flex RC Simple X-120 2.5" Vista

By bootbox on May 21, 2020

16  542  7

Huge thanks to Bludz FPV for the canopy design. As soon as I saw the Vista I wanted to put it on a 2.5in or 3in Toothpick style build, his canopy design made it possible. The Vista fits in it very nicely and it made the build super simple. He notes on his Thingiverse page that his stack bolts bent, however I used these M1.6x20mm bolts to secure the stack and they've been great. I've crashed pretty hard a couple of times, once on concrete, no bent bolts yet despite them being very thin.

I was concerned at first there'd be no good place for the Crossfire receiver but it fits great between the top of the flight controller and the bottom of the Vista. I wrapped it in a layer of electrical tape to keep anything from shorting.

I've flown this on 450mAh 3s packs and 450mAh 4s packs, both on stock BF 4.1.1 PIDs with JESC flashed to the ESCs and RPM filtering enabled. On 3s it's fine for cruising around, not quite enough power for freestyle, a little propwash I'm sure could be tuned out. but It was much better on the 4s packs. A tiny bit of propwash if I drop it through dirty air but otherwise super smooth and with plenty of power for freestyle. Completely possible to just cruise on 4s too. I flew the last 4s pack of the day as smooth and slow/cinematic as I could and got 5:00min before landing at 3.5V/cell. Typical mixed flying on either the 3s or 4s 450mAh packs got about 3:30min flight time. Next time I make it to the actual flying field and not just my backyard, I'm going to try some 650mAh GNB 4s packs on it, and maybe a few different 2.5in and 3in props. I'll put up some flight footage if I can manage a few consecutive minutes without embarrassing myself too badly.

The frame is a tank, I love it. 3mm of bulletproof perfection from Flex RC. Love the rubber band battery strap too, simple and light and it works great on micros, combined with some Ummagrip. The build comes in at 99g without a battery.

So far I love this thing. The FPV view is incredible in the goggles. It's fast when I want it to be, handles great, it's easy to fly slow and smooth if you're just chilling, has great pop and hang time for freestyle, it's perfect. Easily my favorite micro build so far.

Photos

Part List

Frame

Simple X-120 FPV Drone Frame (12 builds)
Flexrc.com
$14.96

Flight Controller

BetaFPV Toothpick F4 V3 2-4S AIO Whoop Flight Controller w/ 20A 4in1 ESC - XT30 (15 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$62.99

Motors

4 x iFlight XING Nano X1105 4500Kv Micro MotorDefault Title (6 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$59.96

Propellers

HQ Prop 2.5x2.5x3 Tri-Blade 2.5" Prop 4 Pack - Choose Your Color (13 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$1.60

FPV Camera

Caddx Vista Digital HD VTX Air Unit Kit for DJIDefault Title (51 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$149.00

Antenna

Team Blacksheep TBS FpvCycle Minimortal T Antenna (3 builds)
Amazon.com
$3.99

Receiver

TBS Crossfire Nano RX (4 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$29.95

Batteries

Tattu 14.8V 4S 450mAh 75C LiPo Micro Battery (Long Type) - XT30 (4 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$14.44

Radio

LATEST Jumper 2020 T16 PRO Type-C Charge and Folding Handle OPENTX Radio Transmitter PRIORITY US SHIPPING INCLUDED (20 builds)
Heli-nation.com
$169.99

Goggles

(PRE-ORDER) DJI Digital FPV Goggles - Ultra Low Latency 720p 120FPS Digital HD (98 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$529.00

3D Printed

Vistapick Canopy - Caddx Vista Toothpick Mount (Prototype) by BludzFPV (4 builds)
Thingiverse.com
See Site

Misc Parts

Flywoo Frame Arm Micro LED Race Wire - Choose Your Size & Color (9 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$0.75

Radio Module

Team BlackSheep Crossfire Micro TX Module (122 builds)
Airbladeuav.com
$69.99

Battery Charger

HOBBYMATE Duo Lipo Charger Dual Charge Port, Fast Lipo Charger, AC/DC Balance Charger 12A 120-240W W/ AC Power
Amazon.com
See Site

Soldering Iron

Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station (9 builds)
Amazon.com
$39.99

Tools

Moore Ideal Products 9512 Metric Speed Tip Set (4 builds)
Amazon.com
$34.69

Backpack

DroneGuard BP 450 AW
Lowepro.com
$259.95
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Discussion

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Bludz   6 days ago  
1

You are very welcome, your build looks super clean. Only just found this :)

bootbox   6 days ago 

Thanks man, really appreciate it :)

hightidehuts   May 30, 2020  

Hey mate, awesome build. I need a quad that is sub 100g with a battery. I was going to use your build and swap out the caddx vista with a caddx nebula nano. The weight will still be 122g (flying with 3s). I don't have much experience in building quads. Could you recommend any other components in the build to drop it 20g's lower?

bootbox   May 30, 2020 

You would have to deal with greatly reduced performance and reliability in my opinion, but here are some ways you could drop weight if you absolutely must.

Most quads of this size and configuration that are carrying a Vista are already using larger motors (1106 whereas I used 1105 to try to save some weight), so I don't know how much smaller and lighter you could get with the motors. If you just want to cruise around and get Vista footage, no freestyle or racing really at all, you could try some 1103 8000kv motors on 3s. The ones I've linked are half the weight of the 1105s I used.

You could shed some weight going with a thinner version of the frame. FlexRC offers the frame in a 2mm thick version rather than the 3mm version I used, that's a 3g savings. You'd really only want to go this route with the smaller motors I mentioned though. You'd lose too much strength with the thinner frame arms to be able to have any chance of walking away from a failed powerloop or racing gate collision etc, without breaking an arm, especially if you had the heavier 1105 motors still at the ends of the arms.

Keep in mind if you try to drop weight with a different flight controller that the Vista uses a full UART connection on the FC and if you use an external receiver like the Crossfire Nano I used or a XM+ for FrSky, the receiver will need its own full UART too. Finding an all in one whoop flight controller with two full UARTs is hard, there's only two I know of, the BetaFPV I used and the new Flywoo Goku GN413S. The BetaFPV one I used is 6.63g and the new Flywoo is 6g, so a little over a half gram savings there I guess.

I suppose you could also use a short dipole ufl antenna for the vista instead of the omni antenna it comes with. You'd definitely save a few grams but would have to be careful to test the range limit out slowly at first, until you determined how much of a performance hit you took switching antennas. It will work with a dipole, just tread carefully at first that's all.

I've already used a rubber band instead of a velcro battery strap, so no savings on the table there. You could however use the thinner blue version of Ummagrip they make for micros instead of the super thick black stuff I've used for the battery pad. Probably a gram to be saved there.

All that being said, good luck, I hope it works out for you!

hightidehuts   May 30, 2020 
1

Thank you so much you have no idea how insanely helpful this is. i might do some more research before going ahead with this. I'll be trying to film runnerd and road bikes (max 30km/h likely)

dafunk   May 25, 2020  

wow... this thing is so clean it looks as if you bought it :)
also seems easy to maintain

bootbox   May 26, 2020 

Thanks! I appreciate it :)
I hadn't thought about it but yeah it would be super easy to swap out any of the parts, great point. I probably wouldn't be too excited about a motor swap though, I still can't believe I got the LEDs to work on the first try lol, the pads are ridiculously small

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