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  1. #1
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    x230 Mini Quadcopter

    Hi,

    I am building the x230 Mini Quadcopter sold at Hobby King as a combo kit without FC and receiver. The model is also sold at Xheli as a frame only or kit with various FCs like the older KK board (without LCD and ACCs) or the MWC board. My plan is to use the KK2 board with LCD.

    Xheli also sells the CRY6-170 2222/1800KV motors and ZTW 12-amp Programmable Brushless ESCs.

    For a starter kit, the $80 version at HK is a better value than the $122 equivalent parts at Xheli. That being said, I have ordered some spares at Xheli and had great service!

    Spare GWS 5x3 3-blade props can be purchased from Innov8tiveDesigns.com.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    Some additional images from Xheli.com
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  3. #3
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    I started the assembly by installing the frame arms to the middle board. The bottom board was then connected along with the arm supports. Not only did everything fit perfectly but all the hardware was included!
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  4. #4
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    My goal for this project is to create a safe indoor or calm weather outdoor quad similar to Rolf's "annoying mini UFO". I started with an 18.25" square piece of EPP foam that was about 2" thick. Knowing that the motor-to-motor shaft cross distance was 230mm and the prop size was 5", I marked up the foam for openings that allowed a 1/4" gap around the props.

    So far, the foam block is just rough cut using a hobby saw. The EPP foam is fun to work with and I can bounce the cut block on a hard floor without damage.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    I tested each motor/ESC combination, one at a time, before installing them on the x230 frame. In this manner, I could calibrate the throttle range on each ESC to my JR x9503 transmitter and set the proper motor rotation for M1-M4.

    The EC3 connector on my ParkZone 3s 1300mAh pack made it easy to temporarily hold the ESC battery pins inside the barrels for testing. Labeling the control cables with M1-M4 makes it easier to plug them into the FC later on. The green tape on the frame arms denotes the front of the quad.

    4 screws for mounting each motor to the frame arm were also supplied in the kit.
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  6. #6
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    I didn't like the design of the supplied ESC board so I used another approach. The 4-barrel connectors for each side, + and -, were soldered together along with the main power cord. Although the kit supplies a male Dean's Ultra connector I choose to use an EC3 connector on this project to mate with my ParkZone 3s 1300mAh packs.

    The completed assembly is then taped and secured to the bottom board with a single tywrap. The ESC board will not be used and the battery board will be installed over the cable assembly instead. My plan is to mount the battery pack on the outside of the battery board.
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  7. #7
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    The appropriate props were installed for the proper rotation. M1 and M3 spin clockwise. M2 and M4 spin counter-clockwise. The KK2 board was mounted on top. It will be recessed for protection but still allow for easy configuration.
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  8. #8
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    Here are some photos of my initial frame fit. The frame provides great protection for "bumping" into things and has allowed me to perform considerable testing indoors. The initial frame, as shown here, weighed 7.5oz so I have since widdled it down to 3.9oz.
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  9. #9
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    Here is my current test frame that was cut down to 3.9oz. I added some green tape on the front for orientation and the KK2 LCD is topside. The 3s 1300mAh ParkZone battery weighs 3.2oz and also acts as the base until I get a successful setup. The flat carbon bar allows me to tape the frame to the quad.

    The 18oz mini quad has the following weights:[ul][*]Quad Frame RTF = 10.9oz[*]ParkZone 3s 1300mAh pack = 3.2oz[*]EPP shell = 3.9oz[/ul]
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  10. #10
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    I found this ZTW A-Series 12A Brushless ESC w/1A BEC MultiRotor Version w/SimonK at Quantum Hobby. This would suggest that they are programmable like the Plush series ESCs. A-ZTW12ABEC-MR

    Further investigation revealed that this ESC is Also-Known-As (aka) the Mystery 12A or MY12A as shown here. The MY12A can be found in Tom Snow's Compatibility List for SimonK firmware.

    Here is the big RCG thread on ESC Firmware Flashing. Unfortunately, there aren't any pads to attach a programming connector which elevates the difficulty of re-flashing the ESC.
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  11. #11
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    Hobby King comes to the rescue with their Atmel Atmega Socket Firmware Flashing Tool. No longer do you have to make your own claw tool or deal with an ESC without pads (like above). Mine should arrive in a few weeks and we'll compare the new Multistar ESC performance with the "Simonized" Blue Series ESCs.
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  12. #12
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    While I wait for my flashing tool to arrive, I made some modifications to my EPP frame. The KK2 board was dropped lower by removing a set of nylon standoffs and I moved the Spektrum AR6100 receiver between the top plate and unused ESC board. The area provided a great place to hide the wires too!

    By adding a small EPP frame around the top center area and some legs underneath, I can drop the x230 from any angle without hurting the components.

    I'm surprised that there are not more designs that utilize a foam frame for safety. The frame not only provides safety for the quad itself but for the people and objects around it. As far as I know, only the Parrot AR.Drone and this rather large quad frame below at HK utilize this method. I was hoping that we would eventually see a production version of Rolf's "annoying mini UFO". An optional EPP frame for the Turnigy Micro Quad would be very cool!

    Extra Large EPP Quadcopter Frame 450mm (835mm total width)
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  13. #13
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    When my HK 12-amp Blue Series ESCs arrived quickly from the USA Warehouse I decided to prepare them for the arrival of my Atmega flashing tool and see if they are really the same as the ZTW "Mystery" A-Series 12A Brushless ESCs that came with my x230 kit from HK.

    They appeared to be identical with the exception of connectors on the more expensive ZTW ESCs.
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  14. #14
    Moderator Greg Covey's Avatar
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    RE: x230 Mini Quadcopter

    I successfully flashed my ZTW and Blue Series ESCs using the HK Atmega flashing tool and bs_nfet.hex file from SimonK. Both of these ESCs are all n-FETs. The older "Mystery" A-Series 12a ESCs use both n-FETs and p-FETs so they would use the bs.hex file, but these ESCs are not what comes with the x230 Mini Quad Combo from HK.

    The performance increase was fantastic! I flew indoors in my gym and the foam shell provided excellent protection when touching a wall. The green tape designates the front of the quad for now. I also added some feet cut from the light flooring material sold at home improvement stores to protect the battery from getting hit.

    I'll make a video soon...
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  15. #15

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    Would love to see the video if you have it up someplace. Just ordered this kit myself.

    Thanks for for the good documentation!


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