This all started with me wanting to try out a mini quadcopter, well it is the crazy at the moment right. I first started with a FPV250 from Hobbyking and and some RCX1806 motors with Turnigy 12amp plush ESC's running a Naze32. After an untidy build, there is no room on that frame, I got flying. It took me a while to adjust and tune for a mini quad. So after some pretty hard crashes and broken parts I got an ok flying quad.
Of course I then proceeded to push and had a very hard smack into the tarmac.... I failed to pull out of a triple flip ... It was not pretty.
So this lead me to searching for a new frame, ESCs, Motors .... on a budget still. This lead me to the ZMR250. For $30US I didnt think you could go wrong.
So I embarked on a ZMR250 build, after some trial and tribulations I got a nice little quad build. But I also wanted an acro frame seperate from my learner FPV mini quad. I didnt want to have all my FPV gear on a frame that I was doing line of sight acro learning.
So I ended up with 2 ZMR250 mini quads, both following the same objectives. One is a carbon fiber frame and the other a silver glass fiber frame.
Below I have documented the main differneces to my build of the ZMR over the standard build, which is mostly the inclusion of alloy stand offs and the 3D designed and printed parts. There are plenty of good documented builds the normal way. A few linked below. No need to reinvent the wheel
Builds and reviews for reference
With all my builds I try and do them as tidy as possiable so I had a few objectives.
- Clear arms, ESC's inboard (required spacers)
- Lights for night flying (3D designed & printed light bars)
- Arm protection, as I fly mostly over tarmac (3D designed and printed parts)
- Slim profile, I dont like the look of tall quad
Main parts List
DYS 1806 2400kv
NAZE32 .. anywhere you can get them or a Flip32
Other parts were your general bolts and heat shrink
The build differences
Ok lets get down to the differences in the builds. The main one is the use of standoff to provide space between the lower plates to allow room for the ESCs to sit inside of the frame. I also thought this would make it easier to replace arms if one broke or bent. As there have been reports that this happens easily due ot the ZMR250 arm design.
I used the same 10mm standoffs for both the carbon frame and the silver fiber glass frames, This gives a total of 13mm between the plates to fit the ESC and wiring into.
The next tricky part is getting the ESC and the 35mm power distribution boards in that space. Using the RCX ESC's this was a real push as the ESC are large for a 12amp rated ESC. I would not use these again as the first time I powered them on one burnt out and took a motor with it .... I was displeased. Luckily I had ordered spare ESC's and motors.
Without the 35mm PDB I would not have been able to do it.
Doing the same thing with the Afro ESCs was much easier, they are a great little ESC.
For the top plates I use differnet heigth standoffs, On the carbon I used 22mm this was enough for the Fatshark FPV camera to be sandwiched nicely between the plates. On the Sliver I used 16mm which was enough to allow the NAZE32 to be mounted.
3d Printed Parts
The joy of having a 3D printer is that you can make alot of things that are not available. It has been great for my quad builds, I have made gimbals, anti vibration systems, flight controller cases... pretty much anything. It was well worth the $500 investment.
So for the ZMR250 I wanted some arm protection, Since I fly alot of time over tarmac and gravity is alway trying to make me hit it I designed some arm protectors that fit on the end of the ZMR250 arms. Its a tight fit on the carbon arms, and is a little loss on the silver ones, but once zip tided on they are very secure.
The hole lines up to the ones in the ZMR250 arms
Since I do alot of evening flying, only chance I get most of my quads and LEDs on them. The minis are no different. I wanted something that would allow a decent set of LEDs and was also out of the way so that they wouldnt get damged in a crash. After a little bit of trial and error this is a completed Lightbar with the LEDs on it.
The larger verson is printed in two halfs due ot the limitaitons of the printable size of my printer and then just super glued together. The thickness is 13mm which fits the space between the two bottom plates with the spacers. They use the holes already in the frame for mounting. Longer screws/bolts are used and they go into the top plate standoffs.
A complete large light bar. it has enough space fro 6 LEDs from the common 12 LED strips. I run 3 red, 3 Green same as on a plane to help with orientation at night.
On the Carbon frame FPV I also put a large bar on the back with a multi LED colour controller so I can have alsorts of fun with colors.
I also made a smaller 3 LED sized bar for the silver quad. (Below fresh off the printer)
Since I fly low over tarmac alot of the time that are touch downs and slides so I wanted an easily replaceable skid plate for the bottom of the quads. These are mounted using the same bolts & fame holes that the light bars use.
Over all I think I have ended up with nice tidy quads
The weight differnce between the frames is 4 grams. This is only including the arms and the three frame plates which is all I used.
I hope this perks your interest in what other options you have with this great little frame.
Also of note, yes you can break the arms, a failed double flip onto concrete did it for me ... plus 2 motors ...
You can download the .stl files for the 3D printed parts. Please feel free to use them for you own personal use. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:563190
More info and videos are over on my personal blog www.bluefish.net.nz
I think I have an addiction
Another ZMR buuild this time using 2204 motors and 6045 props.
Here is the build log http://www.bluefish.net.nz/2015/04/zmr250-qbrain20amp-with-emax2204.html
Here is a video of its first flight out ... and me dumb thumbing it into tarmac.