DJI F450 Quadcopter Build

Bill of materials:

1 x DJI Flamewheel F450 Frame

4 x Tiger Motor MT-2216-11 900kv

4 x Hobby King 20A ESC 3A UBEC

4 x Graupner E-Props 9×5 (R and L)

2 x PolyMax 3.5mm Gold Connectors 10 PAIRS (20PC)

1 x Nylon XT60 Connectors Male/Female (5 pairs)

3 x Turnigy nano-tech 2200mah 4S 45~90C Lipo

1  x MultiWii CRIUS SE flight controller (not recommended)


Frame parts.2013-02-22 09.53.33

First solder the XT60 to the built-in power distribution board.
2013-02-22 10.29.47

Prepare the ESCs by soldering the gold bullet connectors to the motor leads and installing heat shrink around the ends of the leads. Next I cut the protective heat shrink off the the ESCs and flashed them with SimonK’s custom firmware (see the RCGroups thread for more info) via an AVR programmer and a custom made adaptor. I then put the ESCs back in transparent heat shrink.

Before modification.
2013-02-02 17.23.41

With the heat shrink removed, looking at the underside. Notice the six pads on the bottom right of the circuit board. These are the ISP pads.
2013-02-02 17.26.44

Next I made a custom adaptor that would align with the ISP pads on the ESC. The black socket is a 10P ISP header socket into which the AVR programmer is plugged.
2013-02-02 20.02.24

With the hardware prepared, I proceeded to flash the ESC via the command line method outlined here. Power the ESCs from a 9V battery (not a lipo) so that if there is a problem, you won’t do as much damage. I chose to have a motor attached so that I could hear the programming, calibration, and ready tones (not required). You will want to have a receiver plugged in (and your radio turned on with the throttle down) so that after flashing is complete you can calibrate your throttle range. Once all of this was set up I plugged my custom adaptor into the AVR programmer (which is plugged into the computer) and flashed SimonK’s firmware. AVR programmer and adaptor not shown.
2013-02-02 21.02.49

All four finished with transparent heat shrink.
2013-02-22 10.00.55

Next attach motors to arms, and attach the arms to the frame. Then trim the ESC’s input wires to the correct length and solder them to the power distribution board.2013-02-22 10.50.13 2013-02-22 11.23.12

With all the arms and ESCs attached
2013-02-22 13.40.19

Install flight controller, receiver, bluetooth telemetry module, foam battery rests, battery strap and the top plate of the frame.
2013-02-22 16.01.07

Complete with camera skids installed.
2013-03-04 13.40.10

Unfortunately, the MultiWii flight controller malfunctioned (for an unknown reason) on my first flight and the quadcopter ran into a wall at high speed, with the following result.
2013-03-06 11.47.30


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