I have been flying for over a year slowly progressing with my acro flying while trying to unlearn all the bad habits of flying in Stabilised (KKmini) and Rattitude (CC3D). Now that I’m flying alongside the skilled team here at PropNuts, I’m going to have to work much harder.
I have come from some cheap builds, which may eventually get into a galley section, that have served me well. They have taken hard crashes and continued to keep flying, to the point where I was entirely happy flying with the damaged props that others would have thrown in the bin. That quad will remain in my lineup with the possible upgrade to betaflight being the only change in its future.
So on to the new build which will out-shine my abilities, but give me a performance level to build up to.
Introducing the Shendrones Mako 5” X frame with a component selection to keep the build simple and tidy but with offer high performance.
- Frame: Shendrones Mako 5” with Red TPU pod
- Flight controller: Furious FPV Kombini F3 with integrated 6S 150Amp PDB
- Motors: XNova 2205 2300KV motor set
- ESC: Racerstar 35Amp BLHeli-s(H) ESCs
- VTx: Immersion RC Tramp HV
- FPV Camera: Emax Nighthawc camera (with a custom designed adapter plate from Tony)
- Receiver: Airwolf RX-F801 DIY FRSky modified
- Other: Matek WSxxx LED board from and an old Beeper I found in my bits box.
You won’t get the usual build photos in here as I’m not patient enough to wait for all the components to hit the bench before taking photos and planning out component placement.
First to arrive was the Mako frame and the Kombini flight controller.
The carbon all looks nice and the pod has a lovely semi-transparent finish that catches the light. Reading through the setup documentation for the FC I imagined it to be larger than it actually is which surprised me and meant that I would have to take more care soldering it up.
I went with the Furious board as it would remove the need for an additional PDB and has built in voltage and current sensing, capable of handling 6s power up to 150Amps which suits the peak power output of the motors
Second in was the Xnova motors. They look great, feel great, but then they should compared to my older builds using cheap motors. Some of their key features include hollow steel shafts with bolts to retain the motor bells, nice bearings and very strong curved magnets.
Last to arrive are the ESC, as stated above 35Amp 6s capable running the BLHeli-s (high clock speed). They look good, review well on RCGroups where the comments suggest these are copies of the Cicada ESC.
Opening these up for the nail varnish “waterproofing” they look good with a heat sink over the FETs and some nice copper bars running between them to handle the current flow.
I varnished these to reduce the risk of moisture getting and frying a FET which would short out and burn up the motor in use, the secondary benefit is the insulating layer will protect against any small solder particles from entering the workings and causing premature failure, I really don’t want to burn up the Xnovas before they have had a chance to shine.
On with the build
The build process here is fairly straight forward, connect the dots. So the motors are mounted, ESCs positioned to fit outside the pod then the motor wires are trimmed, tinned and soldered. The ESC power and signal wires are routes up to the Kombini and again trimmed, tinned and soldered. Normally I would just run the ESC signal wire to the FC and remove the signal grounds, but as the Kombini has the power and signal wires in each corner I decided to remove one solder operation from the ESC and leave the grounds in place.
The main power wires are soldered up and routed out from the rear of the pod, and the share edge of the carbon plate softened to remove the risk of cutting into the silicone insulation and shorting out the battery.
Time for a test of the build so far, and a test of my DIY smoke stopper (12v 10w filament bulb) to warn and limit any fault current on initial power up and flashing.
All was well ESCs initialised and FC connects to the configutrator. ESCs were setup using the BLHeli tool (chrome app next time).
Control system is up next and the receiver needs to be de pinned after flashing with Midelc’s recent firmware which enables SBUS, Telemetry and programmable failsafe. Once de pinned I added a bind switch and very carefully soldered to the chips pins for SBUS and telemetry.
I have direct soldered all components in this build which isn’t the simplest but saves space which is very limited inside the pod. Receiver, beeper and LEDS are all soldered and positioned after several attempts to install the pod then the connections are varnished to protect the wiring.
Final stages of the build are to install the FPV kit in the pod, this was all made possible thanks to fellow PropNutter Tony for designing a new rear plate for the Emax camera to fit the mounting points for the more common HS1177 cameras. Tony’s first prints were great, but the larger lens installed on the camera meant that the whole unit needed to move 8mm forwards, so Tony redesigned for me and this time I printed it on my own Malyan M200 3D printer, also my first actual functional 3D print.
With the camera installed the TNR patch was placed above the camera block to allow easy access with the Race Wand then the TrampHV and modified VTX tail. Another compromise I made here was to run the Tramp from the filtered 12v regulated supply on the Kombini, this is opurely to enable me to run a 5s or 6s on this quad when I reach that skill level, normally and as proven in Ibiza at the ERSA Euro cup the TrampHV runs perfectly well direct from the 4s supply while supplying 5v to the camera.
I like the TrampHV installation in here as there is only one connection between the Mako pod and the frame, and the wand makes channel selection easy with no dip switches or obscured button/leds, there is a button programming option if the TNR patch fails or the batteries in the wand drain flat.