The idea behind this design is balance. Not weight balance, but a balance of features:
- Small frame but not too small
- Durable but not too heavy
- Room on top for a good sized battery
- Easy swap GoPro mounts
- Short height but not so short that the props run into the GoPro
- Suitable camera protection
- Fits the DJI air unit (Vista recommended)
- TWO 30x30 platforms side by side, along with Whoop and 20x20
- Easy to work on
- Motors - FPVCycle 5" Imperial
- Battery - GNB 1250mah 6S, GNB 1100mah 6S or 5S version if 2200kv motors
- Props - Gemfan 51433 OR Gemfan Freestyle 4
- Vista + Nebula Pro and long antenna
- Rear antenna mount for DJI antenna
- ESC - Any F3 32bit ESC
In addition to those, there are two key features that were the main focus.
The structure of this design is such that the main deck assembly is self-sufficient. It’s currently common to use the top plate as a structural element so that the main deck can be reduced in weight. While this still works great, it relies on a number of spaced out joints for structural integrity. If you pull those joints closer together, your structural integrity will improve. This is the same reason why shorter standoffs are more durable in a crash. The structure of the Prototype 5 is designed to pull all the structural elements as close together as possible to create a deck that is rigid, but more importantly cross braced against itself to help manage forces and vibrations. This probably sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo but when you hold it in your hand, you immediately understand and it feels right.
Hauling a GoPro around is an annoying necessity. One of the biggest annoyances is getting the props out of the camera view at low camera tilt without destroying flight performance. In order to achieve this, most designs either have a super tall build height, move the camera way way forward or the frame is enormous and the GoPro sits between the front blades. Any of these methods will significantly compromise weight, weight distribution and control performance. But it is what it is, no? While it definitely is what it is, with this design we’ve carefully positioned the GoPro as close to the CG as possible such that you will get a bit of prop in view at low 20deg GoPro Hero angles but after software stabilization, there ‘should’ be no props in view. This doesn’t immediately seem like a big deal but the resulting performance of the quad in such a small package speaks for itself.
This design was drawn up in 2019 in anticipation of the future electronics we have today. The design has not yet been broadly tested by a large audience yet. Typically, our frames go through initial design and testing, then several prototype batches where copious amounts of feedback are collected and considered. Adjustments are made if necessary and the frame becomes more complete then gets a name. The future adjusted parts will stay compatible with the current parts as well and prototype batches are discounted too.
There is one annoyance with this frame we must point out up front. It uses press-nuts for everything which is much simpler but if you’re using a 20x20 stack, you cannot just replace an arm by undoing the two arm screws. You must loosen two other arm screws to pop the arm out. If using the Whoop pattern or 30x30, this isn’t an issue. Annoying but not a big deal because it only takes an extra couple seconds.
- Fits 5.25” props
- Motor mount pattern: 16x16
- Comes with motor mounting screws
- Frame weight fully built: ~115g (no batt pad needed)
- Premium materials
- 20mm build height
- Two side by side electronic platforms, 30x30, 20x20 and Whoop mount
- No stack screw integration with arms
- Wide X layout
- No props in GoPro Hero view at ~20deg after stabilization processing
- Two screws per independent arm with bracing.
- Motor bumpers on arms ends
- GoPro mount platform compatible with other FPVCycle frames
- GoPro mounts sold on the FPVCycle site will fit
- 12.9 hardness steel screws and steel press-nuts
- Micro and Nano sized FPV camera spacing (20mm wide or narrower)
- Comfortable room for battery on top
- No need for battery pads. Unique batt strap mechanism for less weight
- Fits the DJI Air unit but the Vista is recommended
For assembly of batch 2, look at the product images. The front end is a little different. Otherwise it's the same.
This frame seems great so far, I like the design. It’s lightweight but sturdy once assembled. The frame parts, and screws all just sort of came in the same bag. Also the design has been updated since the posted video, and I have to say this was a bit challenging to figure out how to assemble without updated instructions or at the very least separated parts. Expect to spend some time sorting the screws and standoffs all of various sizes, and playing a little guess work as to what goes where. I get it’s a prototype so not really upset about it. The camera cage is a bit weird and must be kept “loose” when the top plate is disconnected in order to make it “tight” once top plate is on. Also this frame does not come with a vtx antenna mount but the one for the fouride does fit, as does the gopro mount both sold on this site. Battery strap mounting is meh, it sort of holds a 1300 6S pack adequately but I really wish there was a solution for front - mounted battery leads. As it is it sticks out of the side and I foresee prop strikes becoming an issue in crashes. The fouride gopro 8 mount sold here blocks off the “hole” Im assuming is for this purpose so I may employ some dremel work to fix this. Overall I see this with a few more tweaks becoming a real solid contender for best new 5’’ frame. Overall happy with it.
FPVCycle are well past their time of needing a diamond file to get a frame to snap together - this one was effortless and I was amazed at how much space there was to build in, despite it being such a low, compact frame. Super sturdy, but also really light. As they say, a good mix of qualities.
I have a few Glides and I tried this one out - it flies great (but then so does the Glide), although I know I am not the hardest freestyle pilot out there. I think this is perfect for a sort of borderline freestyle/cinematic quad specifically where you need to run a low angle on the GoPro without props in view. A squashed-X like this one probably performs a little worse than true-X like the Glide, but a little better than dead cat, so you have your choice. I really like it with the big 5.2" Gemfan props and the 25mm motors for carrying a heavy GoPro.
It's my favorite 5" Frame.
Very versatile frame in general, but excellent for the HDZero 1w Freestyle VTX.