Drone Design and help!

I’ve been researching and planning my build. But I’m completely new to the Freestyle FPV world and need some help!

I’ve got a list of everything I think I’d like to use. But unsure if it is all compatible and/ or if there is better equivalent for cheaper etc ?

FC & ESC - £90 Mamba Stack Basic H743 MK4 Stack MPU6000 Dual 55A_128k 6S 32Bit - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop

Frame : £20

Motors : £16.39

FX £30.90

(Transmitter for radio transmitter)£64.90

Camera £32.95

VTX - £44.90

VTX Antenna £17.90

Transmitter / controller
£100 second hand
RadioMaster TX16S

Goggles £100-£200 (second hand cheaper)

I really hope you can help and send advice.

Nice to hear from you :slight_smile:

Your FC and ESC choice is solid. For the frame, the Martian is a tad outdated (though there’s nothing technically wrong with it) - I’d instead opt for a similarly priced but more modernised option such as; TBS Source One V5 Quadcopter Frame - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop

Motors are a good choice - unless you’re going for absolute highest end stuff (which carries a price tag to match), it’s generally an aesthetics and personal preference choice in this category. The Xings are well regarded.

The RX is also a solid choice, though you don’t necessarily need the “Pro” version. You could save a couple of quid with something like this; TBS Crossfire Nano RX (SE) - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop

The Transmitter and transmitter module are also good choices - I myself run pretty much that combo. Forgive me for the shameless upsell, but we do also stock the TX16S and as it’s new it’d come with warranty and support etc; RadioMaster TX16S MKII 2.4GHz 16CH Radio Transmitter (4in1 or ELRS) - w/ Hall Gimbals V4.0 - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop - the choice is ultimately up to you of course :slight_smile:

One other small consideration on that front, TBS do make a radio which supports crossfire with no additional module - the Tango 2 Pro; TBS Tango 2 Pro Crossfire R/C Controller - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop or Tango 2 (regular): TBS Tango 2 Crossfire R/C Controller - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop . It’s a different design compared to the TX16S, designed to fit in the hand more like a game controller. That’s down to personal preference as well, but if the size and shape isn’t much of a concern to you, you could save a little here by getting the Tango 2 as it’s directly compatible with crossfire receivers, no additional module needed.

The camera also is a good choice - it’s another where personal preference comes into play. I swapped cameras a few times over a few months / years until I found one I stuck with. If you wanted to save a little here, you could go for something like the Razer: Foxeer Razer 🪒Mini FPV Camera 1200TVL - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop. Generally, the advice I’d give is to check some comparison videos online if you can find them.

Again, VTX and VTX antenna are solid options. There’s not much beating TBS in terms of quality in the VTX space, so while it is possible to get others cheaper, whether the trade off is worth it would be up to you. I personally have used TBS, Rush, Matek and our own (budget) Chaos VTX’s, all without much issue. The TBS certainly have proved to be the most reliable, but all others have worked. To give you an idea of the sort of price difference, this is our “Budget high-end” option for the Chaos VTX; TheFPV Chaos Pro VTX Video Transmitter (200-1600mW, 2-6S, Smart Audio) - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop.

Skyzone 02O is an awesome goggle at that price - that’s the way I’d go, too :slight_smile:

You’re missing propellers, batteries, and battery charger from your list. Do you have something in mind for these? I can help if needed.

Hope this helps!

Thanks so much Cam!

Especially for the late evening reply !

I think you’re right on the frame front. So have swapped this out for your suggestion.

The TX16S and the transmitter module I’ve selected are compatible ?

I’ve gone analogue, for budget purposes.
But I’m after the best latency and best image possible. Which would be better ?
As the one I’ve selected is only 2mp, whereas your cheaper option is 5mp?

With batteries, propellers and battery charger:

Batteries, I’d like to run this off 6s batteries. Which I assume are Li-on batteries ?
Could you suggest a budget and maybe mid range or personal suggestion?

And maybe a battery charger for these ?

Propellers, I have no idea which to select. I assume the type of flying comes into account as to which to select. Based on my build, would you have any suggestions. Generally they are quite cheap, but as they are likely to be broken cheaper the better !

Thanks again for your time and help!

Good point re. the radio module! No, the TX16S and the nano module are not compatible, you’d need the micro module;

The Nano module you listed is for smaller radios (like the Zorro).

I’ll let you in on a secret re. image quality and latency for analogue cameras; Unless exceptionally dire, I truly, honestly believe that for most if not all “modern” FPV cameras, 99% of people will not perceive any noticeable difference in latency between a 2ms camera and a (for example) 5 or even 10ms camera. Lower is better, of course, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about it unless you’re an experienced racer for example - as long as the camera is well reviewed and is from one of the recognisable brands.

As for megapixel count, this is something else which has become mostly irrelevant for modern FPV cameras. Cameras from the main manufacturers (Foxeer, RunCam, Caddx) are all going to have “sufficient” resolution for analogue video. What I mean by that is that Analogue video resolution is not measured in the sort of format you may be used to (e.g. 1920x1080), and is instead measured in TV Lines (TVL). You can’t really easily convert from one to another, but suffice to say that pretty much any modern camera will have more than enough pixels for any analogue video system.

Rather than focussing on MP count, I’d instead recommend checking out some YouTube videos of the camera you’re looking at to see if the image is good enough for you - for example, for the foxeer razer;

As for the battery etc, if you intend to use 6S, you need a different motor speed. Motors are rated for a particular “cell count” (4S, 6S ,etc) of battery due to the fact that the speed they run at directly correlates to the voltage of the battery, and a higher cell count means higher voltage. Spin the motor too quick with too many volts, and you’ll either blow up an ESC or cook the motor.

You can skip this paragraph if you hate maths, but it’s good to know; As an example, 2450kV is intended for 4S drones - to calculate the actual RPM (revolutions per minute) of the drone, you take the kV (which stands for RPM per Volt) and multiply it by the voltage of the battery. A 4S battery puts out around 14.8V - so, 2450 x 14.8 = 36260RPM. You won’t need to do this calculation pretty much ever, but it’s good to know because it allows you to roughly convert the speed to other batteries for a drone of the same size. You can take that RPM and divide it by the voltage of a 6S battery, for example, which is around 22.2V to get the kV you’d need for 6S. In this case; 36260/22.2 = 1633kV. iFlight sell a 1700kV version of the same motor, which is close enough, and is intended for 6S.

All that is to say, you need the 1700kV version of the motor you linked for use with 6S batteries, otherwise you may blow up something!

The battery you need is LiPo, not Li-Ion. Li-Ion isn’t often used for drones like this, though it does have it’s place for long range drones where less current is needed, and more capacity.

Something like this would be ideal; CNHL Black Series 1100mAh 22.2V 6S 100C Lipo Battery - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop (unmannedtechshop.co.uk)

You can consider this a budget and a mid range option - there’s a lot of hearsay about batteries out there. For your needs, to start with, this will be plenty good enough. For a better idea about my thoughts on batteries in drones, you can read the description I wrote for our own batteries here (specifically the paragraph beginning “As a final side-note”);

(unfortunately out of stock right now).

For a charger, unfortunately the ones which I’d normally recommend are out of stock. However, we do still have a relatively wallet friendly and good quality option available, which would be this; SkyRC iMax B6 Evo Charger - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop

It also requires a power supply. For the batteries you need, you don’t need too much power, so something like this will do; ToolKitRC ADP-100 100w 20V 5A Power Supply with XT60 Output - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop

Finally, propellers. These are a “trial and error” thing for most people - but a good place to start would be with these; HQProp Freestyle 5X4.3X3 V2S PC - 3 Blades (Set of 4) - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop

Or on more of a budget, these; DAL Nepal N2 Freestyle 5.1" Propeller (5142) - Unmanned Tech UK FPV Shop

Hope this helps, and sorry for the wall of text (again!).

First off; many thanks for your help it really is greatly appreciated!
Starting off in this hobby all the information required is a bit overwhelming!

Thank-you! And you’ve managed to answer most of my questions above!

There’s only 1 detail I cannot get my head around so far…:

I like the look of the Radiomaster TX16s but not sure what 4in1 or ELRS means? which should I go for? since I’m going to get Crossfire?

Also by going for 6s will the 55a ESC be able to handle this?

I’ve attached a spreadsheet which shows, with a lot of your suggestions and help! Again highly appreciated!
I’ve got build 1 which is analogue and build 2 which is Digital.

Ideally I’d like to go digital for the HD, as I know that there are new DJI goggles 2 released? (not the V2!) -Do you have these in stock or are able to get them? I’d like to go digital but don’t want to buy the older version if the new ones are about to be released?

Based on the two builds, if I purchase everything for either build 1 or 2; would you be able to work on the total cost with me at all?

I also understand some of the items are not currently in stock, I’m in no major rush to get hold of anything yet; just whenever they all come back in stock.

4 in 1 and ELRS just relate to which receiver protocols (which “language” the receiver and radio speak to one another) the radio is compatible with. 4 in 1, also known as multiprotocol, is compatible with a wide variety of receivers, though the protocols are generally older and becoming less popular. ELRS is a newer protocol, with a modern feature set including Long Range and low latency, however, it will only “talk to” ELRS receivers and it’s a bit more technical.

Technically, either TX16S will do - as you’re adding a crossfire module, it doesn’t matter which internal module the radio has as you’ll be using that crossfire module to bind to your receiver instead.

So that leaves it up to you, you can either select the 4-in-1 module for greater versatility (as it can bind to many different, if nowadays outdated, receivers), or you can go for the ELRS version which would allow you to bind to ELRS drones. It’s a bit of a toss-up, but personally I’d lean towards ELRS as it’s a newer and more powerful protocol, with range capabilities similar to crossfire. There’s also more and more ELRS drones being released, so I’m not sure the versatility of the 4-in-1 is as important as it perhaps once was. There are arguments both ways, though.

The ESC you’ve selected is absolutely fine for 6S - no worries there :slight_smile:

For the HD vs analogue argument - HD is absolutely, 100% a better experience than analogue for nearly everyone, regardless of which system you end up using (DJI, Walksnail/Fatshark Dominator HD, HDZero). The only thing to consider is price - if you can have 80% of the experience for 50% of the price, is it worth it to you? Do you consider HD video to be a justifiable upgrade for the cost? I’m afraid that’s not one I can answer for you, but if you do decide to go HD, read below;

There are a few HD FPV systems - Walksnail / Fatshark Dominator HD (the same thing, two different companies), DJI HD FPV, and HDZero.
We don’t have too many HDZero items in stock, but it appears to be made using an Analogue HD system - a sort of digital/analogue combination. There are some benefits to it, and some drawbacks (image quality is generally better on a full digital system) - it appears most people go the DJI or Walksnail route.

DJI’s Goggles 2 (not the V2) have been around for a short while but they are not compatible, as of yet, with the existing air units. There is a rumoured release of a new air unit, and the current assumption is that it will be compatible, so if you want to go DJI it may be worth waiting for that to be official, assuming the rumours are correct. If you don’t want to wait, the DJI Goggles (V2) do offer an incredible image quality and I don’t think you’d be disappointed, and the competing platform, Walksnail Avata, is also a very viable option with existing, compatible air units. It would be worth checking some reviews to see what works best for you. We do plan to get the DJI Goggles 2 in stock and listed on the site ASAP.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely we’d be able to offer a discount for a sort of all-in-one order, simply as we already do what we can to keep our prices as low as possible, but I would be happy to take a look and see once we’ve confirmed what you plan to go for.

Again, much much appreciate the detail you go into!

I’m just sorting the last bits out then hopefully placing an order (obviously I’ll be waiting for parts to come into stock on a few items)

I’ve taken all your comments into consideration and hopefully got a final build.

But in the last few days I see DJI have released the 03 air unit.

Is this the same as a caddx vista ?

If so, will you be stocking these ?
And the DJI goggles 2 ?

As I think I’d like to go down that route.

Or should I be waiting a little longer for the goggles to be backward compatible with the vista ?

just stepping in here as Cameron has been off support today due to an internal project.

My suggestion would be to read up as much as you can about the new item to make our own decision at the end of the day, but we all think the O3 is a super cool bit of kit, it essentaly combines a gopro with the air unit which may be perfect for what you want.

The O3 is essentially an update version of the vista, but it is larger and heavier, so more of a direct replacement to the full size air unit. We have them on pre order here -

The O3 is backwards compatible with the Goggles V2 but at a lower resolution than goggles 2 (810p vs 1080p) , but we will also get the Goggles 2 when they are officially released.

Its not known at this stage if the goggles 2 will be backwards compatible for use with the Vista air units, but we all hope they do this.

Hope that helps, any other questions just let us know.