Carbon Fiber 250 Quadrotor w/ Ardupilot APM Mini

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Winter is here and it’s time to build something smaller.

I’ve been wanting a setup for racing that can also be used for video in tighter spaces. I decided to go with one of the Emax 250.   So far I’m pretty happy with the value and quality. Here is everything that came in the kit that costs about $130 on ebay.
-Frame w/ anti-vibration mount, stainless screws and alum standoffs
-EMax MT2204 Motors 2300KV
-Simon-12a ESC
-5×3.0 carbon fiber Props

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Here’s how I made a super cheap and easy in-line power distribution board. I used a blank piece of circuit board and first scored out two stripes before cutting it free. The black fiber reinforced demel wheels work best for this.

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Little finish sanding
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Tape It all down in layers to make soldering much easier.
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It came out to be a nice clean harness when finished. There is a JST connector to power the BEC unit on the NAZA and anything else I may want and the board is wrapped in shrink tube now.

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Surprisingly the 4 ESCs and power distribution all fit in the 8mm wide space between the frame and the lower arm support that is off in this picture.

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I like to test my platforms with my NAZA Lite MC because I know it so well and it’s very simple to setup.

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Without a camera the battery balances it perfect on the top.
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With this 3S 2300mha Battery on the back, it’s perfectly balanced with a Gopro Hero3 on the front. It flew so well with that I’m thinking it will have the power to add a micro gimbal eventually.

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OK!  Now on to the APM Mini and FPV!

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Here is a bit of a messy first setup with the APM.

2014-12-14 21.29.10I installed a Bluetooth modem for short range tuning with my Android phone for now.  That is the small white board on the bottom right side of the frame. Very light and easy to setup.