Flying Skate with Gimbal

By N00bly on Aug 17, 2019

10  417  6

My Favorite Martian. Not that I've had more than one, but that I've rebuilt this frame countless times. I finally settled on a design worth sharing. Awhile back when I got into the hobby, I wanted to build a rig for aerial photography. Unfortunately, I never succeeded in building a stable big rig. My Alien F450 frame wasn't stiff enough. And I discovered DJI was much better at aerial photography, so I picked up a Spark.

Although I still fly the F450 on occassion, it is more of a big, slow, shaky, freestyle bird. I used parts from the original F450 plan, such as the legs and gimbal, and found better success on my Martian II frame.

My first attempt had the gimbal upside down, on top. That lasted about 2 flights until a hard crash fried the gimbal board.
Alt Tag

I rebuilt it with the gimbal below, with the legs from my F450 zip tied to the Martian arms.
Alt Tag

The motors were the cheapest set of 4 I could find on eBay. They are surprisingly good value. The shafts are a little snug, so I had to drill out my props with a 13/64" bit. The triblade Racerstar props were what I had on hand. I am going to try some 6" bullnose to see if I get longer flight times.

The original Xiaomi Yi Action Camera was another eBay pickup. It fits the gimbal well because I can secure it with a tripod screw instead of a velcro strap. I installed the waffle script for Day mode, Superview (SuPoorView), Standard Colors, 35 Mbs.

Of course, posting this build would be pointless without flight video, so here you go. Enjoy!


Part List


Martian II 220 220mm 4mm Arm Thickness Carbon Fiber Frame Kit w/ PDB For RC Drone (90 builds)

Flight Controller

Flip 32 - F3 - Omnibus v3 ( w/ BARO OPTION) (32 builds)


4 x Racerstar Racer22 22A 2-4S 32bit DShot1200 Ready FPV Racing Brushless ESC


2PCS Mini 1306 3100KV CCW CW Brushless Motor for DIY RC Quadcopter Drone


10 Pairs Racerstar V2 5042 5x4.2x3 3 Blade Propeller 5.0mm Mounting Hole for RC Drone FPV Racing (20 builds)

FPV Camera

Caddx Turbo S1 1/3 CCD 600TVL IR Blocked FPV Camera Yellow/Green NTSC/PAL DC 5V-40V Wide Voltage

FPV Transmitter

AKK X2 VTX(Smart audio ) (27 builds)


Spedix Pagoda 5.8GHz SMA Antenna - RHCP or LHCP (29 builds)


FrSky XSR 2.4GHz 16CH ACCST Receiver Board S-Bus CPPM Output Support X9D X9E X9DP X12S X Series (480 builds)


CNHL 14.8V 4S 1500mAh 100C G+ Plus LiPo Battery - XT60 (50 builds)

Power Distribution

2 x Matek Micro BEC Step-down Module 5/12 V Adjustable Output 2-5s Lipo Battery


FrSky ACCST Taranis Q X7 2.4GHz 16CH Mode 2 Transmitter Blue Orange for RC FPV Racing Drone (205 builds)


Aomway Commander V1S FPV Goggles - Gloss Black (37 builds)

HD Camera

GoPro Session (60 builds)


Xiaomi YI 1080P Sport Action Camera High-definition 16.0MP 155 Degree Angle WiFi


FPV 2 Axis Brushless Gimbal With Controller For DJI Phantom GoPro 3 for RC Drone FPV Racing (4 builds)

Misc Parts

Xenon Remoted Strobe Flashlight with Bright LED Navigation Lights for RC Airplane

Misc Parts

4PCS Tall Landing Skid Gear Drone legs for DJI F450 F550 SK480 FPV Quadcopter UN 8318820523138

Misc Parts

2 x LED Strip with 4 WS2812B RG85050 Colorful LED Lamp for Naze32 CC3D GL

Battery Charger

ISDT SC-608 150W 8A MINI Smart LCD Battery Balance Charger AU Warehouse (9 builds)

Soldering Iron

YIHUA 908+ 220V 60W Electric Iron Soldering Station Welding Rework with Soldering Stand + Cleaning Ball + 5 Tips
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FissionBomb   Aug 29, 2019  

I did something similar without the Gimbal. I've since reconfigured it to be more gentle on the camera.

FPVisioning   Aug 22, 2019  

You should pick up a set of non-bullnose six inch props. Makes a whole lot of difference.

Whiffles   Aug 19, 2019  

When I saw those legs I thought it was an F450, but you did it on a Martian! Just be careful not to crash. Those gimbals are incredibly fragile.

N00bly   Aug 19, 2019 

Oh, I've definitely found that out. The gimbal weight and front mount really affect the performance and response. I've had to repair the gimbal now a few times, but usually it's just a matter of bending the aluminum back into shape, and maybe resoldering a wire.

0blivious   Aug 19, 2019  

Brings me back to my old 450 with the same gimbal. Great job!

Mehul Shocker   Aug 18, 2019  

wait that's

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