xHover R5X Build

by FliteTest | October 21, 2016 | (0) Posted in How To


The xHover R5X frame is designed to be painless to work on and repair.

The xHover R5X can be built with any of our Power Pack E options. We used a Power Pack E (Better) with the Emax red bottoms for this build. If you choose to use Power Pack E (Good) or Power Pack E (Best), follow the same process from the build video.

We start off with frame assembly.  Using the plate that has the blind nuts installed, with the nut portion on top, we sandwich the arms between this plate and the smaller bottom plate and secure in place with short screws.

Using the longer screws and standoffs we can secure the arms into place.  With this method if an arm does break you can replace the arm with only removing 2 screws.  You don't have to install the standoffs at this point, we just chose to do this step now.

Although we did not use it in this build, the included power distribution board you receive with the frame is an excellent choice if you need to use a PDB.

Since we are using the FuriousFPV Kombini we do not need the included PDB.  The Kombini has a power distribution board and flight controller all in one. 

To attach the Kombini to the R5X frame we use the included hardware in a bit of a different fashion in order to accomodate the single board build.

Use the longer M3 screws, slide it through the bottom plate and secure in place with a nylon nut.  After the nylon nut is in place then we top it off with a short nylon standoff.

At this point you can install the FPV Transmitter wires to the underside of the board to save a headache later on in the build.

Depending on your VTX you can jumper the pads to select whether the board feeds your VTX 5v or 12v.  We selected to keep it as a 12v out for our purposes.

We tin all the pads that are required for the build on the Kombini.  Power, ground and signal for all ESC's, the power and ground for your lipo connection and the power and ground for the VTX connection on the bottom of the board.

Shorten your lipo connector to the desired length.  Strip and tin the leads and solder them to the Kombini at the lipo points.

Mount the Kombini to the frame using the nylon screws and secure the lipo connector in place using a zip tie.  This relieves any stress to the Kombini board from the battery connector.

At this point we can install our motors and ESC's.  In this video we remove the heatshrink and direct solder our motors to the ESC's.  Doing this will void any type of warranty the ESC's have so do this at your own risk.  If you want to plug and play using the included bullet connectors you can and this part will be done quickly for you.

Remove the heatshrink, label and motor wires from all four ESC's.  Remove the solder and re-tin the ESC's to prepare them for the motors.

Mount the motors onto the frame using the shorter screws that are included with the motors.

Line up the ESC's midway between the motor and the body of the frame.  Use double sided tape to hold the ESC in place.  Lay the motor wires over the ESC and cut them just on the back side of the ESC motor pads to allow enough flexibility in the motor wires.

Strip, twist and tin all the motor wires and solder them directly across to the ESC pads.  We will change the direction of the motor wires later in the BLHeli software.

After we have all of the motors and ESC's together then we can connect the ESC's to the Kombini.

We only need to connect the power, ground and signal wires between the ESC and the Kombini.  Just as we did with the motor wires to the ESC, measure out the wires to the Kombini and leave yourself some slack.  Cut them to size, strip, twist and tin.

Once all ESC's are connected, if you have a multimeter, now we can check the continuity of the positive and ground to ensure we don't have any shorts in our wiring.  Not hearing any tones we know we have no shorts.

Now that we are finished with the ESC's and we are sure there are no shorts we can move on to the FPV gear.

To start we line up our RunCam Swift and Lumenier VTX to measure our wiring.  Leaving a little extra length we cut them to size.  The power and ground from the Lumenier VTX to the Kombini and the power, ground and video from the VTX to the Swift.

Leave a little extra length to allow your camera to tilt as you need and cut, strip, twist and tin all wires.  This is where we connect the camera and VTX wires together and heatshrink them.

Now we install the power and ground to the VTX to our Kombini board.  It would be much easier to do this part before we mount the Kombini to the frame, however if you waited until this point to install them it is OK!  It is harder but not impossible to install.

With the bottom of the frame pointing up the power wire attaches to the pad on the right side under the board and the ground attaches to the left side pad. 

We use a drop of hotglue on our VTX power and ground to help relieve the stress induced by the sharp edge of the Kombini.

To install our FrSky X4R receiver the servo connection attaches to the SB port with ground to the center.

Use doublesided tape to secure the X4R receiver to the top of the Kombini ensuring you don't obstruct the boot button on the Kombini.

Connect the power, ground, serial and s.port wires to your Kombini.  Reference the diagram to ensure you are in the correct through-hole connections.

 Plug the connections into your X4R to complete the receiver install.

 After the receiver is installed we can move on to the FPV Camera.  The xHover R5X camera plates are a friction fit, meaning you can install the camera onto them and into the frame and the plates will hold the camera in place.  We choose to use the small screws included with the RunCam Swift as an added security measure to hold the camera in place.

On the camera plates the holes are just off center so ensure you have both plates orientated the correct way before installing them onto the camera.

We install the camera into the center hole on the plates and secure using the small RunCam screws.

Plug in the camera OSD cable into the RunCam Swift to make it easier to adjust the camera settings later in the build.

Plug the camera cable from the VTX cable into the camera.

Plug in your VTX and connect your VTX antenna.

Dry fit the top plate in place to assist in lining up the VTX.  This helps us determine where we want to install the zip ties to secure the VTX to the frame.

Once the VTX is zip tied in to place it is time to complete the frame by installing the camera and top plate.

Use the last 4 long screws to secure the top plate in place.

Now we install our antennas off the bottom of the standoffs on the back of the frame.  This allows the prop thrust to keep pushing the antennas down instead of trying to pull them into the prop. 

 Wrap them around the bottom of the standoff a couple of times to help shorten the length.  We then use zip ties and heatshrink to secure the antennas. 

 Download the PikoBLX file from the betaflight website: https://github.com/betaflight/betaflight/releases

Open the betaflight configurator.  Hold down on the boot button on the Kombini as you plug in the Kombini to the computer.

Betaflight will boot into DFU mode. 

Click "Firmware Flasher"

Click "Load Firmware" and locate the PikoBLX firmware that you downloaded.  Double click and click "Flash Firmware".

After the firmware installs, click "connect".

Lay your quad level and click "Calibrate accelerometer".

Click "Ports".

UART3 is our Serial so click the SerialRX on, UART2 under the drop down menu click SmartPort.

Under the configuration menu:

  Click RX Serial button and below that click SBUS.

  Change minimum throttle to 1000. 

  Gyro update: 8k and PID loop: 4k

 Near the bottom turn telemetry ON.

  Save and Reboot

PID Menu:

  Adjust rates and expo to how you like or leave stock until you decide how you want to change yours.


Modes Menu:

  Set Arm and Airmode to the same switch.  We use AUX1 for both and high range.

On the “Motors” screen:

            ***Ensure you have NO propellers on your quadcopter***

            Click the switch that says you understand the risks.

            Move the “Master” slider all the way to the top so all 4 motors show 2000.

Plug in your battery to your quadcopter and listen for the series of tones.

When the tones have finished move the “Master” slider all the way to the bottom where all 4 motors read 1000. 

Listen for the tones again. When the tones have finished this second time, cycle the quadcopter by removing the battery and plugging it back in again.

After the tones finish click on the “Master” slider and by pushing the UP arrow on the keyboard one click at a time you will walk all 4 motors up.

When the motors all are spinning smoothly (in this build that was at 1021) you can turn the “Master” slider back down and unplug your battery.

Go back to the “Configuration” screen and change the “Minimum Throttle” to the number we just found, “1021”, and click “Save and Reboot.” 

To test our Motor Direction, go back to the “Motors” page. Plug in a battery and click that you understand the risks. Click on the “Master” slider and walk the motors up until they start to spin at 1021 again.

We are looking for Clockwise on Motors 1 and 4 and Counter-Clockwise on Motors 2 and 3.(In our build motors 2 and 3 were reversed).


Setting up the transmitter:

Turn the Taranis on and go to “Model Selection”. You can get back to Model Selection at any time by pressing EXIT a few times then MENU.

Go down to an empty model number and hold “ENT”. Click (push “ENT”) on “Create Model”. Push the – button to scroll over and push “ENT” on the quadcopter.

To change the Throttle push – to highlight CH1 and push ENT to select it and – again to change it to CH3 and press ENT to save. Press PAGE to go to ROLL. Assign ROLL to CH1 using the same method we used to change Throttle and press PAGE to move on to Pitch. Assign PITCH to CH2, YAW to CH4, and hold ENT to confirm changes.


On “Model Selection” push PAGE. On “Model Setup" scroll down to [Bind] and push ENT and the radio will start to beep. 

While the radio is beeping push the button on your X4R-II receiver and hold it while plugging in your battery.

Your receiver will have a solid green light and flashing red. At this time press EXIT on your radio and unplug your quadcopter.

Setup arming switch:

On “Model Selection” click PAGE until you are on “Mixer”. Scroll down to CH5 and hold ENT. Scroll down to “Source” and press ENT. While the box beside Source is flashing toggle the switch you wish to use and it will change on Source. 

If you want to change the switch direction:

Press EXIT until you are back at the “Mixer” screen and press PAGE once to get to “SERVOS”. Scroll down to CH6 and press ENT. Press – to scroll over to the arrow and at the top it will read “Direction”. Press ENT and it will change the direction of your switch. Press EXIT until you are back to the main screen. 

To verify your radio is sending the correct signals:

Plug your quadcopter back in to your computer and open the Betaflight Configurator. Go to the “Receiver” page. Plug in a battery to your quadcopter. Ensure all inputs are correct.

Setting Mid-Points:

On the Taranis Press Menu, PAGE to “Servos”. To change the Mid-point on each channel select the channel by pressing ENT. Scroll over to “Subtrim” and press ENT.

Use the + and – on your radio while watching the corresponding channel on the Betaflight configurator and get the number right on or as close to 1500 for each channel.

For Throttle you want it to read as close to, or right on 1000.

Setting End-Points:

Hold left on your ROLL stick on your radio. While watching the Betaflight Configurator screen you want the Minimum number to read 1000 and the Maximum number to read 2000 on each channel. Scroll over to Min on the “Servos” screen for each channel and press ENT. Use your + and – buttons to change it so that it is reading as close to 1000 as possible. 

Press EXIT. Press – to highlight “Max”. Press ENT and while holding your Roll stick to the Right, change it so that it is reading as close to 1000 as possible. Repeat this for each control input and press EXIT once you finish. 

Open BLHeliSuite. Click on “Select ATMEL / SILABS Interface at the top and ensure (E) SILABS BLHeli Bootloader (Cleanflight) is selected.

Plug in your Kombini to your computer. At the bottom click on the drop box beside “Port” and select the COM port you are plugged into it will read Silicon Labs.

Click “Connect”. Plug in your battery to your quadcopter (PROPS OFF!) and click on “Read Setup”. Click OK twice.


If you need to flash your ESC's:

Click “Flash BLHeli” at the bottom. It will automatically select the ESC's you are using and the most current firmware you have downloaded.


Go through the screens clicking “Yes” and “OK” and it will flash all 4 ESC's.

In order to switch motor direction on motors 2 and 3:

            At the bottom where it shows 1 2 3 4, this is how you select your ESC's.      

With all 4 numbers lit up it will change all 4 motors. If you want to change one ESC, unhighlight the numbers you don't wish to change and leave only the number you need to change lit up.

With the ESC lit up that you wish to change at the top change “Motor Direction” to “Reversed” and click on “Write Setup”.

Do this for each ESC that needs to change direction. Click “OK” on ESC: Write OK. Click “Disconnect” and unplug the quadcopter from the computer. 

Cover your ESC’s if you haven't already. Using a piece of propeller, cover your ESC and secure with electrical tape.

Check the FPV and ensure the video is coming through.

Use the OSD remote we have plugged in to adjust the camera settings.

The only changes we make are to Contrast at 105 and Sharpness all the way up.

Remove the OSD cable from your quadcopter.

We will set the Voltage alarm on the taranis at this point. 

Turn on the taranis and plug in the quadcopter.  Hit MENU and hold PAGE. 
On the telemetry screen scroll to the bottom and click "Discover new sensors"
Let it discover sensors and click "Stop discovery"

Page until you get to "Logical Switches"
For L1 click enter and change it to a<x, enter to save, next box we change it to VFAS, enter to save and next box change to the voltage you want the alarm to go off at, we use 14.3
Enter to save, Scroll over to "Duration" and change it to 0.2, enter to save and over to Delay change it to 0.2
Page to "Special Functions"

On SF1 hold enter and select Logical Switches.  Select L1.  Enter

Over one and change it to Play Track.  Enter

Over to value and change it to "lowbat".  Enter

The final selection will be how often it tells us the battery is low.  We select for it to tell us every 3 seconds.
We also set a switch to tell us what the voltage is. 
SF2 hit enter  to select, enter again to select your switch and just toggle the switch you want to use.
Enter to select Play Track, the next window select VFAS and select to tell us 1x when we click the switch.

There are more options with the Kombini when it comes to telemetry but for the sake of this build we are keeping it simple.  Keep an eye out in the future for a more indepth guide to the Kombini.


Plug in your battery, and test that your FPV gear is working. Install your propellers, battery strap and go FLY!



Aviator_12 on December 4, 2016
What battery and props do you use for this quad?
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Rc Aviation on October 27, 2016
Nice quad, do you think your ever making a quad that doesn't require any soldering but still a kit because that would be great for beginners :)

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ETBrown on November 5, 2016
Hi, great build :) I have a similar set up with the same motors. I was under the impression the bare motors wires had a difficult to remove coating on them, is that not the case? Would love to shorten the wires but am would rather not ruin a good set of motors.
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brotatochip on May 13, 2017
Hey guys,

Great job with this build! I liked it so much that I built it myself and copied it to the T. I've run into a hiccup however and that is when I go to set a voltage alarm on my taranis, I can get the VFAS sensor to show up and the flashing asterisk for only about 2-3 seconds before the numbers get bracketed and the flashing asterisks disappear on VFAS and all the other sensors leaving static numbers instead of updated readouts. Can you guys think of anything I'm doing wrong?
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xHover R5X Build