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Need help buying the correct parts for my first racing drone.

1ikhan

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Hi,
So I have not been keeping up with the fpv drone racing world for quite some time now (3 years? been a while), but now I have some free time to build something.

Here is what I know I want for my drone: fast, smooth, and efficient.
- A 250 size drone on the zmr250 frame. Is there anything wrong with this kind of a frame? Have not seen much recent youtube activity on this size.
- A 6S lipo. Is this going to fit the frame, and if it does, what is the capacity and C value I want?
- A Matek F722-SE flight controller. I really like the quality of it.
- 4 in 1 Racerstar 60A ESC board. Is this the wrong amps, company, etc?
- Frsky X9 lite. I feel like this is all I'll every need. I might do a r9 lite pro wing sometime in the future.

What I have no clue about:
- Motors. Tf are those, totally lost. I want the best speed potential for the 250 size.
- Props. What size, blade number, etc?
- GPS. Does this thing need a gps?
- Antennas. Is cloverleaf still the best for racers?
- Receiver. Frsky RX4R or RX6R?
- VTx. Also kind of overwhelmed on this, could use something with a bit of range while still being 5.8 and small enough to fit the 250.

Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers.
 

HighTechPauper

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Hi,
So I have not been keeping up with the fpv drone racing world for quite some time now (3 years? been a while), but now I have some free time to build something.

Here is what I know I want for my drone: fast, smooth, and efficient.
- A 250 size drone on the zmr250 frame. Is there anything wrong with this kind of a frame? Have not seen much recent youtube activity on this size.
- A 6S lipo. Is this going to fit the frame, and if it does, what is the capacity and C value I want?
- A Matek F722-SE flight controller. I really like the quality of it.
- 4 in 1 Racerstar 60A ESC board. Is this the wrong amps, company, etc?
- Frsky X9 lite. I feel like this is all I'll every need. I might do a r9 lite pro wing sometime in the future.

What I have no clue about:
- Motors. Tf are those, totally lost. I want the best speed potential for the 250 size.
- Props. What size, blade number, etc?
- GPS. Does this thing need a gps?
- Antennas. Is cloverleaf still the best for racers?
- Receiver. Frsky RX4R or RX6R?
- VTx. Also kind of overwhelmed on this, could use something with a bit of range while still being 5.8 and small enough to fit the 250.

Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers.
Hi @1ikhan, welcome to the forum!

Some of those parts sound great, others are a bit outdated, like the ZMR250 frame.

I would suggest...
A TBS Source One 5 inch frame
6s battery of 1050-1550 mah and 70C minimum
Racerstar ESC is fine
The X9 Lite is fine, but you will not be able to get any D8 receivers and you will need to either flash the X series receivers with the new ACCESS protocol or flash the X9 Lite with the firmware to support D16 on the X series receivers (R-XDR, XM+, or XM, research carfully so that you know what to do since the Lite radios are a bit weird with ACCESS instead of ACCST protocol)
Motors, too many good ones to pick just one, if you want great reliability just go to one of the oldest names in the motor world, Brother Hobby, I would look for a 2207-2306 and 6s KV of between 1250kv and 1850kv.
5 inch, and again too many good ones, I like HQ V1S, DAL Cyclones, Azure, or maybe Ethix or Gemfan's. All in the 5x4x3 or 5x5x3 range.
Cloverleaf - You mean the vTX antenna, yes pick either RHCP or LHCP and make sure you have the same type on your goggles too, both need to be RHCP or LHCP or they will not work together. I fly the original TBS Triumph V1 but the V2's are good also.
Receiver - LOL, the 4 and 6 series have been ancient for awhile, they are too big and heavy by today's standards. You want an R-XSR if you want Telemetry or a XM+ if you will rely solely on OSD.
vTX - I fly mostly TBS Unify HV, but also have IRC Tramps and some AKK. The Rush Tank and RDQ Mach 1 are also pretty good but I can't recommend the AKK's they are a bit fragile and don't stand up as well to crashing.

IMHO
 

1ikhan

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Hi @1ikhan, welcome to the forum!

Some of those parts sound great, others are a bit outdated, like the ZMR250 frame.

I would suggest...
A TBS Source One 5 inch frame
6s battery of 1050-1550 mah and 70C minimum
Racerstar ESC is fine
The X9 Lite is fine, but you will not be able to get any D8 receivers and you will need to either flash the X series receivers with the new ACCESS protocol or flash the X9 Lite with the firmware to support D16 on the X series receivers (R-XDR, XM+, or XM, research carfully so that you know what to do since the Lite radios are a bit weird with ACCESS instead of ACCST protocol)
Motors, too many good ones to pick just one, if you want great reliability just go to one of the oldest names in the motor world, Brother Hobby, I would look for a 2207-2306 and 6s KV of between 1250kv and 1850kv.
5 inch, and again too many good ones, I like HQ V1S, DAL Cyclones, Azure, or maybe Ethix or Gemfan's. All in the 5x4x3 or 5x5x3 range.
Cloverleaf - You mean the vTX antenna, yes pick either RHCP or LHCP and make sure you have the same type on your goggles too, both need to be RHCP or LHCP or they will not work together. I fly the original TBS Triumph V1 but the V2's are good also.
Receiver - LOL, the 4 and 6 series have been ancient for awhile, they are too big and heavy by today's standards. You want an R-XSR if you want Telemetry or a XM+ if you will rely solely on OSD.
vTX - I fly mostly TBS Unify HV, but also have IRC Tramps and some AKK. The Rush Tank and RDQ Mach 1 are also pretty good but I can't recommend the AKK's they are a bit fragile and don't stand up as well to crashing.

IMHO
This is very helpful, thank you!
-That frame is looking good. Do I need the dampeners?
-For the receivers, if I were to flash the XM+ and the R-XSR with the proper ACCESS firmware, which would be a better buy?
-2306 seems like it for me. Would 1850 kv be the best choice for 6s in this case?
-And for a "stack", what am I missing? I got the fc, the esc, what else? And do I need to put a noise filter somewhere in there?
 
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HighTechPauper

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@1ikhan, I got an email with a reply from you on this thread, but now I don't see the questions, did you delete it?

This is very helpful, thank you!
-That frame is looking good. Do I need the dampeners?
-For the receivers, if I were to flash the XM+ and the R-XDR with the proper ACCESS firmware, which would be a better buy?
-2306 seems like it for me. Would 1850 kv be the best choice for 6s in this case?
-And for a "stack", what am I missing? I got the fc, the esc, what else? And do I need to put a noise filter somewhere in there?

Regards,
Randy (HTP)
 
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1ikhan

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@1ikhan, I got an email with a reply from you on this thread, but now I don't see the questions, did you delete it?

This is very helpful, thank you!
-That frame is looking good. Do I need the dampeners?
-For the receivers, if I were to flash the XM+ and the R-XDR with the proper ACCESS firmware, which would be a better buy?
-2306 seems like it for me. Would 1850 kv be the best choice for 6s in this case?
-And for a "stack", what am I missing? I got the fc, the esc, what else? And do I need to put a noise filter somewhere in there?

Regards,
Randy (HTP)
Nah its awaiting moderators approval for some reason. But damn man you took the time to mention it so kudos.
 
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HighTechPauper

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This is very helpful, thank you!
-That frame is looking good. Do I need the dampeners?
-For the receivers, if I were to flash the XM+ and the R-XSR with the proper ACCESS firmware, which would be a better buy?
-2306 seems like it for me. Would 1850 kv be the best choice for 6s in this case?
-And for a "stack", what am I missing? I got the fc, the esc, what else? And do I need to put a noise filter somewhere in there?
OK, the Mods approved your post it looks like...
Dampeners usually come with the FC now so I don't think you will need them, but you might, most only "soft mount" the FC to isolate the gyro from too much vibration, but make sure you don't tighten things or else it defeats the purpose of soft mounting.
There is only a few dollars difference in the Receivers, I fly both but do like the R-XSR better, but it is your call. I also would likely flash the TX to be compliant with BOTH the ACCESS and ACCST protocols and just flash the RX's to the latest before installation because I haven't heard anything about the new ACCESS protocol being an improvement, seems like a whole new set of undocumented functionality that no one can help with because it is so new. Frsky isn't the best about documentation.
1850kv would be great for 5 and 6s
For the stack, it only consists (traditionally) of the ESC and FC, so I think your good.
Any other questions, just let me know.

Randy
 
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1ikhan

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OK, the Mods approved your post it looks like...
Dampeners usually come with the FC now so I don't think you will need them, but you might, most only "soft mount" the FC to isolate the gyro from too much vibration, but make sure you don't tighten things or else it defeats the purpose of soft mounting.
There is only a few dollars difference in the Receivers, I fly both but do like the R-XSR better, but it is your call. I also would likely flash the TX to be compliant with BOTH the ACCESS and ACCST protocols and just flash the RX's to the latest before installation because I haven't heard anything about the new ACCESS protocol being an improvement, seems like a whole new set of undocumented functionality that no one can help with because it is so new. Frsky isn't the best about documentation.
1850kv would be great for 5 and 6s
For the stack, it only consists (traditionally) of the ESC and FC, so I think your good.
Any other questions, just let me know.

Randy
I see, so no need for the motor soft mounts. And for the vtx, that tbs is kinda pricey considering i can get an 800mw eachine for much less. Is eachine garbage and is the tbs worth the money over the eachine?
Also, no need to buy a gps module for a craft this size?
 

rtkDarling

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I see, so no need for the motor soft mounts. And for the vtx, that tbs is kinda pricey considering i can get an 800mw eachine for much less. Is eachine garbage and is the tbs worth the money over the eachine?
Also, no need to buy a gps module for a craft this size?
I'll chime in :) .
The motor soft mounts aren't as necessary as they (may have) used to be. Chalk it up to better motor and prop balance, as well as better software filtering from the flight controller. They can be useful, but I haven't needed them yet.

The VTX is a super important part because it keeps you visually linked to your quad. TBS does have better quality control than eachine in general. Yes they are more expensive, but they're worth it IMHO

GPS isn't something I use either. In theory you can even work return-to-home into a race quad, but I don't even use it on my DJI! I use a beeper called a "Hellgate" that has it's own battery built in. Even with GPS it can be hard to find a quad deep in the bushes or hung in a tree over your head. The beeper is a relatively cheap and foolproof solution.
 

1ikhan

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I'll chime in :) .
The motor soft mounts aren't as necessary as they (may have) used to be. Chalk it up to better motor and prop balance, as well as better software filtering from the flight controller. They can be useful, but I haven't needed them yet.

The VTX is a super important part because it keeps you visually linked to your quad. TBS does have better quality control than eachine in general. Yes they are more expensive, but they're worth it IMHO

GPS isn't something I use either. In theory you can even work return-to-home into a race quad, but I don't even use it on my DJI! I use a beeper called a "Hellgate" that has it's own battery built in. Even with GPS it can be hard to find a quad deep in the bushes or hung in a tree over your head. The beeper is a relatively cheap and foolproof solution.
Understood, thanks. Which tbs unify pro hv should I be looking at? Theres a billion lol
 

HighTechPauper

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If the gummy's come with the FC you're good, if they don't you will definitely want to order some.
To get an 800mw capable vTX is at least 20-40 dollars, if the TBS is a little too rich for your blood try the AKK before going to Eachine, but, many people actually have decent luck with both of those brands.

RF power is not linear concept, 400 mw is not 2x better than 200 mw, and more power is rarely the right move unless there is a lot of RF noise or interference, the best course of action is most cases is a better receiving antenna.

GPS, what you can actually do with a GPS is fairly limited at this time, and is only of value if you plan on flying till you lose control as it can be configured to start heading home so that you can regain control. RTK is correct, your money is much better spent on a Hellgate or Vifly recovery beeper.

I think you asked about adding a cap to the build, the short answer is it never hurts and can only help. I only add one if needed (video noise) but some add one on every build whether it is needed or not.

AKK


The IRC Tramp is only $30, but only goes up to 600 mw, but to be fair, I almost never go above 500-600 mw.


TBS
One of these 2 will be fine, they only take 5v in and not battery voltage like the HV models, so just be aware. It is always critically important to know the input voltage range for all your pieces, and best practices for where to hook them up to power and ground
1569434527884.png
 

1ikhan

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If the gummy's come with the FC you're good, if they don't you will definitely want to order some.
To get an 800mw capable vTX is at least 20-40 dollars, if the TBS is a little too rich for your blood try the AKK before going to Eachine, but, many people actually have decent luck with both of those brands.

RF power is not linear concept, 400 mw is not 2x better than 200 mw, and more power is rarely the right move unless there is a lot of RF noise or interference, the best course of action is most cases is a better receiving antenna.

GPS, what you can actually do with a GPS is fairly limited at this time, and is only of value if you plan on flying till you lose control as it can be configured to start heading home so that you can regain control. RTK is correct, your money is much better spent on a Hellgate or Vifly recovery beeper.

I think you asked about adding a cap to the build, the short answer is it never hurts and can only help. I only add one if needed (video noise) but some add one on every build whether it is needed or not.

AKK


The IRC Tramp is only $30, but only goes up to 600 mw, but to be fair, I almost never go above 500-600 mw.


TBS
One of these 2 will be fine, they only take 5v in and not battery voltage like the HV models, so just be aware. It is always critically important to know the input voltage range for all your pieces, and best practices for where to hook them up to power and ground
View attachment 3569
Gotcha. I'll get the HV, @rtkDarling made a good point about the video feed being critical enough for me to spend the extra money.
As for the battery chargers, what would you recommend for a 6s 1500mah lipo? I am looking for something that can be plugged to a wall, without spending a ton of money. Would a simple B6 do?
 

HighTechPauper

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Gotcha. I'll get the HV, @rtkDarling made a good point about the video feed being critical enough for me to spend the extra money.
As for the battery chargers, what would you recommend for a 6s 1500mah lipo? I am looking for something that can be plugged to a wall, without spending a ton of money. Would a simple B6 do?
Yes, a B6 will do, but I think that is a bit shortsighted, let me explain why and you decide...
In the beginning, you have a battery or 2, you are treating them well so you only charge at 1C which is approximately 1 hour of charging from empty.
So you sit there babysitting the charge for each battery because Lipo's are dangerous while charging, when fully charged, and when very low on charge, and burning down your house is just not worth leaving them alone.
Now one day you get more batteries and a good parallel charge board, because you can charge them all at once and only spend an hour babysitting the charge.
BUT your B6 isn't capable of putting out enough amps to do so, and you are right back to spending a lot of time babysitting the charge.
Now you have wasted money on a insufficient charger and need a better one, why not get a better (and safer) one in the beginning?
For anything decent you will pay about $50 per charging port, so about the cost of 2 batteries for a decent charger.
I would urge you not to cheap out on your charger and get something you can grow with. I would recommend this one.



By the way @1ikhan, make sure you understand SMA and RP-SMA difference and order accordingly.
You need to probably stick to SMA and RHCP (Right Hand Circular Polarized) to be safe
 

1ikhan

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Yes, a B6 will do, but I think that is a bit shortsighted, let me explain why and you decide...
In the beginning, you have a battery or 2, you are treating them well so you only charge at 1C which is approximately 1 hour of charging from empty.
So you sit there babysitting the charge for each battery because Lipo's are dangerous while charging, when fully charged, and when very low on charge, and burning down your house is just not worth leaving them alone.
Now one day you get more batteries and a good parallel charge board, because you can charge them all at once and only spend an hour babysitting the charge.
BUT your B6 isn't capable of putting out enough amps to do so, and you are right back to spending a lot of time babysitting the charge.
Now you have wasted money on a insufficient charger and need a better one, why not get a better (and safer) one in the beginning?
For anything decent you will pay about $50 per charging port, so about the cost of 2 batteries for a decent charger.
I would urge you not to cheap out on your charger and get something you can grow with. I would recommend this one.



By the way @1ikhan, make sure you understand SMA and RP-SMA difference and order accordingly.
You need to probably stick to SMA and RHCP (Right Hand Circular Polarized) to be safe
I really appreciate you taking the time to write this out, but the moment I saw the price tag, I don't think I can buy it just yet chief lol. I will definitely bookmark this and buy the deluxe charger in like 3 months, don't want my dorm to burn down, but I can make do with the b6 till then.
As for the battery, is URUAV reputable?
 

HighTechPauper

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As for the battery, is URUAV reputable?
It depends on what kind of battery you are buying, for 1s, they are ok, but you can do better for the same price usually.
If you are talking bigger 2s+ batteries, I don't think they break the top 50%.
Depending on what you can get where you are, I think the best bang for the buck is CNHL (ChiNa Hobby Line) and Gaoneng/GNB are some of the top rated in testing. We are nearing the holidays and there are always big battery sales around this time of year if you keep your eyes peeled. One of the best is the annual CNHL buy one get one free, I usually try to wait until one of the big sales on batteries that have performed well for me at a good price.
 
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HighTechPauper

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Also, there are a lot of new chargers on the market now that didn't exist when I got in, one of them may be a better buy for you, so the Hitec may not be the one you want when the time comes.
 
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1ikhan

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It depends on what kind of battery you are buying, for 1s, they are ok, but you can do better for the same price usually.
If you are talking bigger 2s+ batteries, I don't think they break the top 50%.
Depending on what you can get where you are, I think the best bang for the buck is CNHL (ChiNa Hobby Line) and Gaoneng/GNB are some of the top rated in testing. We are nearing the holidays and there are always big battery sales around this time of year if you keep your eyes peeled. One of the best is the annual CNHL buy one get one free, I usually try to wait until one of the big sales on batteries that have performed well for me at a good price.
Understood, adding the cnhl black to cart. Going back to vtx's, I see that matek has a new 800mw one for $30. Good buy?
 

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I see that matek has a new 800mw one for $30. Good buy?
Matek has been a strong player in the market, I don't see any reason not to give it a try, but I can't speak to durability. After all you can break anything with enough crashes or a bad crash, so I think on a budget the Matek or the AKK would be your best bet. I have a number of friends who swear by the AKK so just because 1 of mine failed probably shouldn't be a deal breaker for you.
 
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1ikhan

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Matek has been a strong player in the market, I don't see any reason not to give it a try, but I can't speak to durability. After all you can break anything with enough crashes or a bad crash, so I think on a budget the Matek or the AKK would be your best bet. I have a number of friends who swear by the AKK so just because 1 of mine failed probably shouldn't be a deal breaker for you.
Got it, yeah that's what I was thinking about matek, seems like they make quality stuff so can't go wrong with the new 800mw vtx considering their old vtx's were good. Now I wish they had a baller 4 in 1 esc haha.
Alright, so almost done with collecting parts list, last things are left are camera and goggles.
-For camera, thinking foxeer arrow 3.
-For goggles, thinking eachine 800d.
-as far as stray wires and screws, do I need to buy anything extra? I'm already buying 14awg and xt60 connectors.
As usual, thanks a ton for the help!
 

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The EV800D is a great box goggle, you may want to see what the TobyRich TR1 goes for, it is a clone of the EV800D and people have been raving about it as an even cheaper alternative with the exact same feature set and quality.

Bet budget camera has been the Caddx Ratel for a while now, you may want to look at that too, while it is budget it performs very very good and compares to cameras almost 2 times it's cost. Make sure you get a 1.8 to 2.1 lens, most people want the larger FOV even at the cost of some fish eye.

Most wires and some screws will come with the various pieces, but you will likely need things to complete the build and over time. Look for a good M2 carbon steel assortment and you will want some nylon too, nylon can be a good sacrificial in the stack area, when you crash it is better to break the nylon and reduce risk to stack damage, with carbon steel it can much more easily survice at the cost of the stack. You will want some zip ties and some heat shrink to finish up your RX antennas, and likely a small heat gun to shrink things, using a lighter is doable but will leave black soot and be hard to get into areas without burning othr things.

By the way, there is nothing wrong really with the Racerstar ESC, Baller ESC's blow up plenty compared to Racerstar. While Racerstar is budget, they have really upped their game in the last year and MANY people swear by the ESC's.
 
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