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.
A solid frame. Plenty room to build. I wish there was an option to place the stack in the middle. For that reason, I might go with the Glide frame on the next build.
So after I experimented with a bunch of frames and ideas last summer this is the one I landed on and it’s been great. I like that there is no wasted space and it’s generally easy to work with. The only thing that bugs me about it is that I always seem to have trouble adjusting the FPV camera. Basically I learned that you need to remove the motors to really get that sorted out. But, that’s a pretty minor issue.
This frame is amazing, everything you need fits on it and it is also super stable. I use the iflight beast AIO, KO Method F and a Caddx Vista. I am very satisfied and think this copter will be my new daily driver, next to my 5" Fouride. :)
Put this together with the 25mm motors. Flies great. It is now my daily driver with my apex with the 25mm motors in a tie for my best flying quad. I hope Bob keeps up with this frame and continues with it.
I just finished building my second quad with this frame, and it probably won't be my last. It looks fantastic and you can feel how well the center of gravity falls right at the center of the build. It also has great resonance characteristics.
Only downside I can think of is the fact that both frames I've bought came with M2 instead of M3 standoffs, but that's not to hard to fix.