NOTE TO BATCH 1 USERS:
If you want to update your front end to the new more robust front end, you will need all body parts. Not just the front end.
Recommended build parts:
Motors - FPVCycle 5"
Battery - GNB 1250mah 6S or 5S version if 2200kv motors
Props - Gemfan 51433
Vista + Nebula Pro and long antenna
Rear antenna mount for DJI antenna
ESC - Any F3 32bit ESC
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
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: ~109g (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.
Let me first say, this thing flies amazing with the recommended build spec! Never have I had better throttle control, but really that's more about proper motors, props, battery, and tuning than the frame.
The frame went together tight and feels super solid! Those arms aren't going anywhere. Really it's ideal in a lot of ways: Mass is kept pretty tight in the center, deck is the perfect height, camera protection is great, carbon shapes seem well optimized for strength, strap slots and fouride antenna mount are A+. I have some rather minor gripes though: Silver press nuts are absolute trash - black ones are fine. Nebula nano in the rear cam holes shows side plates in the FOV. The forward holes don't look like they would offer much protection though. I think holes in the middle would be ideal. I wish I could mount an immortal T in the center between the arms, arm brace, and bottom plate like I've seen on the Glide. It's a tad too tight though and there's no hole in the bottom plate there. I was tempted to bust out the dremel, but reluctantly opted for zip ties to an arm instead.
As far as durability goes, I've crashed once - a relatively gentle fall onto an I-beam and then a 15ft fall onto asphalt. I do think I got unlucky, but this one crash cracked the bottom plate, broke off a 'devil horn' and took out two motors. From the looks of it, the devil horns may have actually 'funneled' the beam into the motor. Like I said, I think I got unlucky, but it does have me wondering if a single point rather than the two horns might make more sense. The cracked bottom plate also leads me to believe the thickness of the arms with respect to the bottom plate needs to be adjusted. I'm a firm believer that for a quad with replaceable arms, the arms should always break first when subject to 'up/down' bending. This should be easy enough to test. I'd either up the bottom plate thickness or reduce the arm thickness depending on whether durability or weight is more important.
That said, it's still a solid frame, and I plan to keep using it as my primary. Even with the cracked bottom plate, it feels solid enough to keep flying, although I haven't actually had a chance to get it back up in the air yet so here's hoping!
So I bought two of them,
first frame went together fine,
but I realized I had the press nuts backwards...
so On build 2... let me do the press nuts correctly..
stripped screw first one...
I'm going to need drill it out...
I love this frame, the build layout is perfect for dji vista nebula pro. Makes for a light and tough 5 inch quad. I used the recommended components, and I am more than happy with the performance!
Fpv cycle prototype 5 v2
Holybro tekko 32 f3 45a
Foxeer f7 v2
Vista nebula pro
Gnb 5s, 18.5v lipo
The actual carbon frame itself is flying great, super solid. The silver press nuts provided are trash, use the seperatly provided black ones. Only problem is there aren't enough black ones for your GoPro mount so.... Good luck on that one I guess... Currently I'm using poorly seated silver ones for my go pro, meaning I strip the threads off any hardware I use for the mount. Eventually the press nuts will be totally stripped so hopefully Bob can get me more black ones soon.
I'm confident the final version will be a "five star frame" but, as shipped, the frame I got showed up with 4 star quality because of hardware problems. Would also really prefer that the pressnuts came pre-installed. My source one had them pre-installed. My toothpick top plate had them pre-installed, having the user do it really complicates the build, especially when they are defective. Also, for a frame of this quality, sort of expected chamfered carbon, but that isn't a deal breaker.
That said, I am thinking this (and the eventual production version) will be my ride for the foreseeable future. Flies like a dream.
This is my new favorite and need more. Very strong and well thought out nothing unnecessary, easy to work on and change arms if you do ever break one they are thick also great camera protection for the expensive Dji system!!!