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Questions for the builders out there...


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Mar 9, 2016
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Okay guys, I'm getting ready to put "Frank" back together and then will move on to a custom build. I figured I'd start a thread to discuss building issues, suggestions, solutions, questions, etc.

My first question comes because of the FC I'll be using with Frank and possibly the custom build. The flight controller is the new Betaflight F3 "all-in-one" (AIO) that incorporated the F3, a PDB, OSD and SD card slot for Black Box. It was developed in partnership with Boris B (the creator of Betaflight) and FPV model. RCG has a big thread on it but the guys over there are way over my head.

Anyway, there will be a lot of soldering to this tiny board which will be quite a chore for me (hopefully, I don't screw it up). I'm concerned that if an ESC or something goes wrong I'll be tearing the bird apart and desoldering and resoldering to the FC. I notice that no one seems to use any type of connectors on these birds, everything is soldered directly to the board. I understand that a direct connection will always be the best method but could I use good bullet connectors at least for the ESC's? If not, why?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Edit: Here's a link to the RCG thread on this board for anyone that may be interested:

Betaflight F3 Flight Controller [OSD, PDB, SD card, BEC & current sensor] - RC Groups
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Jerry, Glad you are starting this thread.
I just got my X TALON by neato frames and when I got ready to order this frame I spoke to Doug @X frames FPV (very well known builder on youtube) he has a website on all his builds and he recommended for a first build.
FC: Lumenier Lux v2 AIO
esc: Lumenier 4 in 1 BLHeli S 20 a with bec
VTX: Imersion rc Tramp
check out some of his builds
The reason he said to use these is it would be easier for a "noobie" for soldering

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No reason you can't use bullet connectors. Another option is to use the pins so if you have to change something your not soldering to the board your soldering the pins.
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when you use the bullet connectors is it a good idea to shrink wrap them at the joint for extra protection?
This is my new frame.
Version 1 and version 2 any opinions on the color combo20170222_185319.jpg 20170222_185833.jpg
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I have my ESC power wires and motors soldered, and esc signal wires on DuPont servo connectors to pins. It works good for me. That way I can pull off the FC with no soldering to do repairs on the PDB.
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Yeah, I'll most likely be using pins as well but I can't use them for the ESC's so I'd like to at least use bullet connectors for them (I'll definately shrink tube the connections). I want these new birds to be a little easier to repair.

Here's the way I'm planning to pin the FC. I've color coded them. Red (power), green (ground), yellow (video signals), blue (other signals) and white (TX/RX).



I've had most of my parts for my first build here for almost a month now. I'll be using the frame that Raymon made. It's on it's way now. The biggest issue is getting the Tramp HV's. They're on backordered everywhere.


I love black stuff but the orange is probably better for visibility purposes and for finding it easier when the bird goes down. Looks great!

Yeah, I'll most likely be using pins as well but I can't use them for the ESC's so I'd like to at least use bullet connectors for them (I'll definately shrink tube the connections). I want these new birds to be a little easier to repair.

Here's the way I'm planning to pin the FC. I've color coded them. Red (power), green (ground), yellow (video signals), blue (other signals) and white (TX/RX).

View attachment 415


Looks good Jerry. Personally I wouldn't install extra pins that won't be connected. It is just more stuff to short out and more confusing to rewire.
Thank's for all the tips guy's!!
Neato also just released the "pipsqueak" a 110 version! The company has a 100% guarantee on the frames!
The carbon is the best I have seen 4mm thick bottom plate.

Hey Jerry,
I have just finished building my 2nd RR Alien 5"........
Being an Electrician made the decision to build my 1st quad was pretty straight forward for me, that being said, here is what I can pass along about doing a build from the ground up from my experience:

1- I got hold of some old circuit boards and used them for practice, it gave me a very good feel for what temp to run on different size and thickness solder pads, it also allowed me to learn how to de-solder a joint as well. You WILL make mistakes, I ruined an ESC when I was trying to close the jumper pads to reverse the direction on 2 of the motors, Not a lot of room on some of these components !!

One thing I forgot to pay attention to was the fact that little blobs of solder can end up where you don't want them !, which is what happened to me, and the more I tried to use a solder sucker or the solder ribbon, just made it worse in my particular case !, since then, I've gotten much better !

When I have to solder something that is what I consider "to close for comfort" to other components, I create a "sterile" area bu laying electrical tape over components that are, what I consider, too close to take a chance, like on the KISS ESC's the jumper pads to change direction are very close to some components that are electrically conductive (I was not born blessed with super steady hands !!!), but laying some elec. tape to create a boundary to other components works for me.

I also highly recommend taking some multi meter readings between certain solder pads BEFORE you start soldering, I say this because it is very , very easy to get the solder flowing and if you are not careful, you could actually bridge to pads togetherby accident, for example on the KISS FC , if you meter between the 5volt pad and the ground pad, you will read 4.9 k ohms, where as if you accidentally bridged the pads, you would read a dead short or 1ohm or maybe 5 ohms, depending on meter leads,and where your meter lead is landed, on a solder blob or directly on the header pin.

Knowing what the resistance is between pads, could be very helpful, if you think you may have inadvertently bridged any pads and having the readings of what they were "before" you soldered them can be very useful in trouble shooting, if needed

Also, while I am certainly not an expert by any means building or flying FPV, I do understand how to use a meter, and something I see people doing wrong all the time is this, when checking for a short circuit condition, whether it is with the PDB, or the ESC's or any other electrical connection, most people will use the "buzzer" function of the meter, which in my humble opinion, is not the most accurate way to check for a short circuit condition

Always set the multi meter to the "omega" symbol or resistance, the fact of the matter is, the little buzzer in the meter is not always accurate, I work with electronic circuits in my profession, and lets say for example I am tracing a ground fault on a fire alarm panel, and I use the buzzer feature on my meter, well the fire alarm panel has 2 12volt 25amp hour batteries to push through a ground fault that may be a high resistance ground fault, That little 9 volt transistor battery in the meter does not always have the "horsepower" to push through a high resistance ground, so you COULD get a false positive reading from the meter, when depending on only the "buzzer"....just my 2 cents .

ALSO BUILD A SMOKE STOPPER ( see You-Tube) I did, took me all of 20 minutes, worth every penny spent, which is a few dollars only !

2-I went with the KISS FC because I liked the fact that I could follow the RR Youtube tutorial, it helped a LOT
And while the weather up here in CT has not been good to get out and fly, I have been sneaking quite a few LOS flights, and I must say, with the stock KISS PIDS, I was able to confidently roll and flip the Quad 10 feet off the ground within my 2nd pack, no oscillation or bounce back, as a matter of fact, the dam thing fly's like its on rails which is why I bought the 2nd one.........

Soooooo, here is a question for the group:

I bought a Tiny Whoop, and have been having a BLAST with it, running through the house, out in my back yard , when the wind was calm via FPV.................will that experience transition to flying the Alien ?

I understand the power is wayyyyyy different, but I guess what I'm asking is, will the FPV experience I am gaining with the Tiny Whoop, make transitioning to a 5 inch 3 or 4S machine any easier ?

Danny Z
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Wow! That information is gold to me. Having little to no electrical experience makes this a daunting task for me. The information you provided will be very helpful! Hopefully, I can call on you in the future, when questions arise. Thank you very much for providing such detailed information. I truly appreciate your willingness to spend your time and experience with all of us!


Yes, the Tiny Whoop will translate well, especially, as Green noted in acro mode. I started with the Tiny Whoop but got a little dismayed with the flight time and not being able to use my Taranis Plus with it without jumping through a bunch of hoops.

I bought the JJPro T1 and I love it. The flight times are much better, it has more power, it seems more responsive and accurate and I can use my Taranis with it. The only thing I don't like about it is it doesn't have prop guards so you have to be a little more careful.

Here's a link to it if you want to take a look:

Amazon.com: Usmile JJPRO-T1 95mm Micro Carbon Fiber BNF Quadcopter Features Brushed F3 with built-in Frsky-Compatible Receiver 25mw 40CH AIO Camera VTX Combo for Micro Indoor fpv racing Support FrskyTaranis X9D: Toys & Games

Hi Jerry,
Glad the info helped, i don't know everything, but I'm willing to share what I know, You have my number, call me anytime !!

I know what it feels like when you are at a point and wish there was someone you could bounce a quick question off of !!

Danny Z
So here is a follow up to what we were just discussing:
If I place a multi meter across the XT60 connector of my Alien that I have been flying, I measure a reading of 3.1 K Ohms or 3100 Ohms.

I just metered the XT60 connector on the Alien I just finished, and I measured the same reading give or take 50 Ohms,

So I know that this machine I just finsihed has no short circuit issues, and in the future, I can use this base reading to check against in the future, If I ever notice that reading to decrease (and not just by 50-100 Ohms) but if I notice it say down to 2.7 ish K Ohm, then I may start poking around and looking for a solder joint failing, or a wire breaking at a solder joint, or a wire that may be getting chaffed.

The silicone insulated wires seem like they can take a lot more abuse than the non silicone insulated wires, they have more flexibility.......

Hope this is helpful

Danny Z
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Okay guys, need a little help. I have "Frank" all wired up, everything but the actual motors and the camera, ESC's are bare but protected from shorting. I also installed a capacitor at the power leads. I've been in Betaflight and have successfully bound my TX to my RC. I made my smoke-stopper. I just plugged it all in for a split second and the bulb in the Smoke-Stopper lit up. I got my meter to start checking continuity and I'm showing a reading of 1070 between my positive power lead and the outer edge of my VTX SMA Connector. The smoke-stopper videos I've seen either don't have a capacitor installed or don't say much about how to read things with it installed. Is it possible that the capacitor is causing this? Again, I only left it plugged in for a split second because I didn't want to burn anything up. Where do I go from here? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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