QAV-S 5" - DJI O3 - Semi Slammed Lightweight - 339g Dry Weight

By wrong17 on Nov 29, 2022

12  851  5

This is rebuild of another quad that I build ( Before converting this to the DJI O3 system this quad weighed only 334g dry (no battery or HD camera mounted). After removing the GoPro mount and Caddx Visita system and swapping it out for the 03, the new total weight is 339g. The O3 camera is the standard 20mm in width but with the short lens it poses a problem for this frame because it will not fit in-between the 2 standoffs in the front. This is not really a huge deal because I plan to eliminate the GoPro so now I will need try and push the camera as far forward as possible to I will not get the prop in view.

Similar to some of the previous build I have done in the past, I will remix the mount that we originally designed for a Floss 2 frame. After some tweaking of the mount, like making it longer and taller it seems to do that trick. The FPV view still has a little prop in view but the HD footage has none.

Switching between the O3 and Vista/Air Unit v1

As of Nov 30, 2020 you will need to rebind your quad every time you switch between the 2 systems. Since I have over 20 different Vista/Air Unit v1 quads this will be a very big problem. However, there is one trick you can do to minimize the amount of re binding you will need to do. After you switch over to the different system (regardless which one) all you have to do is bind one quad and all the other quads will work.

For example, I just switch from the O3 to the Caddx Vista. All I need to do is rebind one quad that is a Caddx Vista/ DJI Air Unit v1 and all the other quads air units will work. Some of my quads are difficult to access the bind button because it tucked away, so just grab any quad that has an easier access to the bind button and bind with that one instead. Yes, it is still a pain to do, but what choice do we have or else get another pair of goggles.

The Range

Alt Tag
Here is my flight path and the number representing the time in the youtube video, what I am trying to tell you at these times:

  • 0:36 sec - in the past, I do not go further than the point
  • 1:09 - Still can go further but afraid to
  • 2:38 - I usually turn around because I lose line of sight
  • 2:54 - Got scared again so I turned around.

What I find impressive about the O3 is the penitration compared to the old system. I do not have line of sight plus I have multiple homes in my path and still have good signal. In most cases, I video sign was still good but I was worried so I turned back around.


This is the DVR footage from the DJI Goggle V2


The same flight as above but recorded with the on board DVR in the Air Unit in 4K 60fps.

Update 1 (Dec 04, 2022) - Different Props - Ethix S3 Watermelon Props

One of the reasons why I want to try the DJI O3 air unit is to be able to record HD footage and eliminate the GoPro to reduce the AUW (all up weight) of the quad.

Here is a weight comparison of the quad with and without the GoPro

QAVS with Caddx Vista: 334g
GoPro 7 Black: 126g
CNHL 1000mah 6s Lipo: 185g
Total: 645g AUW

QAVS with DJI O2: 339g
NO GoPro: 0g
CNHL 1000mah 6s Lipo: 185g
Total: 524g AUW

Weight Difference: 121g

The reason why it is not a simple 126g weight loss because I gained some weight when converting the quad like the 3D printed parts for the camera mount. Even though I did save some weight by removing the GoPro mount, but it still weighed less than the camera mount.

The point of all this is that even though the quad is now 121g lighter, there are lots of benefits and a few negatives. That is why in the video below I switched to a different prop, the Ethix S3 Watermelon (5x3.1x3). Without a doubt the quad is a lot easier to mange because the throttle is not as sensitive when compared to the HQ R42 (5.1x4.2x3) that I was originally using. But with the S3 props it seems to be floatier too. I think I will need to try out a few props to see which ones I like better.

Update 2 (Dec 13, 2022) - Betaflight 4.3.2 - HQ R38 5.1x3.8x3 Props

In order to use the Canvas Mode with the DJI Goggle 2 you need to have Betaflight firmware version 4.3.0 or newer installed in your flight controller. For those who does not know what is Canvas Mode, that allows you to view the full Betaflight OSD through your goggles and the best part of all, it will record all the OSD info on the DVR too. Because I had to switch from Betaflgiht version 4.2.X to 4.3.X, that means my will need to retune the quad. As a starting point I tried the AOS tune and even with some minor adjustments to the filters. As for the PID tuned I ended up bumping up the Master Multiplier to 1.3.

Here is a test flight with the changes I made (DVR footage recorded from the Goggles 2):



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Silverwing   Jan 06, 2023  

How do you typically go about remixing existing designs? I use Fusion 360 on a regular basis, but I've never been able to get the editing function to work properly.

wrong17   Jan 08, 2023 

Typically if you do not have the original 3D file, it is best to use a Mesh Mixer type of 3D App. I personally use the free app by Microsoft called 3D Builder. You will need to get creative and think in the way of Frankenstein, where you hack different parts and piece it back together. You have to throw out the traditional 3D modeling out the window. :) I hope that helps.

airrage   Dec 12, 2022  

nice build. I'm butchering the same frame jb edition as we speak to cram the o3 in there. stay tuned

wrong17   Dec 12, 2022 

How are you butchering it? The O3 is working well with this frame but you need to push the camera forward if you want the keep the props out of the HD footage.

airrage   Dec 13, 2022 

I'm not a fan of pushing the cam out with 3d printed material, looks funny and is more prone to breaking the cam in a crash. not bothered with a little prop in view imho. so I took 1mm off both oem cam sideplates to accommodate the 20mm cam in its oem position. filed 1mm off the front standoffs too. awaiting some small parts like gps n buzz and I will slap it together and publish

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