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Thread: The TBS DISCOVERY information thread

  1. #1

    The TBS DISCOVERY information thread

    Where to buy?
    Local retailers listed at:
    In the TBS shop:

    What to get? Kits? Sets?
    The TBS DISCOVERY is sold as a kit or as set. Each retailer generally makes their own set with their own, tried and tested, equipment. If you're into tweeking and hacking, start with the top/bottom set and dig your way through available options for motors, ESCs, props and batteries.

    TBS sells 750kV and 900kV motor sets with matching ESCs and 9x5 or 10x5 props. This is our suggestion for general use platforms. The motors are rated between 150 and 220W. Together with our standard 3.3Ah 4S battery (25C, better more!) it will perform in most conditions and fly between 8 and 10 minutes. For added battery life we suggest up to 4500mAh 4S (up to 18mins flight time). The 750kV set is a good budget entry for a "whack around" quad, the 900kV motors produce a very stable flight good for smooth video.

    The sets available at retailer websites are awesome for getting stuff from one source at a reasonable price without having to do guess-work what works and what doesn't. TBS has a STARTER package available as well as an ARF package. The ARF includes pretty much everything you need to get in the air (quad-wise), the STARTER package includes all the ground equipment as well.

    TBS Motors
    The 900kV and 750kV motors have a M5 prop shaft. This is compatible with 9x5 Graupner propellers. For 10x5 you will need 8mm to 5mm reduction spacers.

    Flight control
    The TBS DISCOVERY is compatible with all flight controls, some work better, others require a lot of tuning parameters to be changed to get it working right. CyberPilot360 explains it best here. TBS recommends the DJI Naza-M flight control with the optional GPS add-on (for return-to-home capability)

    FPV Gear
    The TBS DISCOVERY is pre-built for the TBS transmitter / camera eco-system. At the heart of this system sits the TBS CORE which provides a rudimentary OSD and clean power distribution to the camera and video transmitter, regardless of input voltage. The frame already includes a current sensor (50A) that works together with the TBS CORE. To display the current readout on screen, you need to enable the current sensor in the TBS CORE. Soldering the CORE requires some good soldering skills, if you don't feel you're up for the task, better have us do it for you. If you're planning to fly with UHF, we highly recommend the Tin Shield to isolate the CORE nicely from the rest of the electronics on board.

    Frequency choice depends on the ranges you want to fly. 5.8GHz video is an ideal frequency if you don't plan on flying far away from yourself, or behind objects. It's compatible with 2.4GHz remote controls.

    2.4GHz video, our video frequency of choice, will give you nearly unlimited range and far superior link quality, but you can't use your 2.4GHz remote control on the same quad (it's no problem for our R/C buddies to fly with 2.4GHz remote controls next to you!). You will need an EzUHF or any other UHF control system out there.

    1.2GHz works very well in urban environments where the 2.4GHz band is completely polluted. By using the same plug across all transmission frequencies, the TBS eco-system allows quick and effortless switching between the frequencies.

    Typical ranges - based on customer feedback - with omnidirectional antennas:
    Lawmate 2.4GHz 500mW - 4km
    TBS 5.8GHz 25mW - 400m
    TBS 5.8GHz 200mW - 1.4km
    Boscam 5.8GHz 500mW - do NOT buy! bad design
    Boscam 5.8GHz 400mW - 2.5km
    ImmersionRC 5.8GHz 600mW - 1km

    More range can be achieved by using higher gain (directional) antennas. With the 11dbi TBS Yagi on 500mW lawmate 2.4GHz, 9km on the quadrocopter was no problem at all. The battery normally only lasts for 8km of flight (4km and return).

    Assembly guides
    There's a ton of build logs, build reports and other instructions available on the TBS DISCOVERY page down in the middle.

    DJI Naza-M
    To configure the Naza, you need to download the software located and driver located at below link. It also includes the DJI Naza Manual

    The suggested gains for the TBS motor sets are:
    750kV, 30A SimonK, 10x5, 3300mAh 4S
    900kV, 30A SimonK, 9x5, 3300mAh 4S

    Key those into your Naza when you're first getting started. It should give you a good starting point for further tuning according to your preferences. Here's a thread with a collection of gain values to choose from.

    Mounting the camera
    We used to supply screws to mount the camera, especially the TBS69. They broke on hard crashes since they're very small (M2x4). We tried gluing with hot glue, doesn't work in the cold. What seems to work best and the most consistent is zipties. For our builds we went a bit overboard and did a screw/spacer/nut contraption. If you're building the quad yourself, we suggest to use zipties to fasten the camera to front plate.

    Short on TBS CORE pin
    When measuring for shorts on the TBS CORE, you may notice that VIN2 pins are shorted. This is completely ok and per design. Other neighboring pins should not be shorted !

    ImmersionRC / Boscam video transmitters
    These come with their own voltage regulator boards that put out 5V on the 5-pin cable. Do NOT solder the 5V out to the VTX Power pads on the DISCOVERY bottom plate. Instead, remove the red and black cable from the 5 pin plug and solder the red and black cable from the two-pin plug to the TBS DISCOVERY bottom plate. Configure the TBS CORE for 12V. If you don't have a CORE, use one of the + and - pads. Here is a connection diagram.

    Motor doesn't start
    It's probably a lazy start syndrome. Here is some info on that:

    You should calibrate your ESC throttle endpoints. Here's how you do that.

    We have a calibration cable available which speeds up the process. Please remember to remove the props before doing that.

    Screws are too soft
    This issue is fixed with all orders shipped after the 28th December, 2012.

    Bought a TBS CORE and no OSD or only Voltage
    The TBS CORE needs to be enabled. This is done by soldering a bridge on the "ENABLE" pads at the face of the TBS CORE. If you only see voltage, you need to configure the CORE for the right current sensor and for current consumption display. The manual tells you all about that.

    Horizontal lines in video
    If there are lines in the video during flight that disappear as soon as you land, your video transmitter is exposed to too much vibrations. Memory foam in conjunction with the Flamewheel VTx mount will take out the vibrations in an instant and give you crystal-clear video.
    Last edited by Trappy; 5th March 2013 at 10:02 AM.

  2. #2
    I'd like to make the post above a collection of information on the TBS discovery. please let me know what to add to this guide to help everyone getting into TBS DISCOVERYs or multi rotors in general. any suggestion is welcome!

  3. #3
    Navigator Efti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Bryne, Norwayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
    The requested URL /img/gallery/calibration_values_750.PNG was not found on this server.

  4. #4
    thanks Efti, fixed

  5. #5

    The TBS DISCOVERY information thread

    I would link to this too. Found a lot of good info by accident on google.

    Would love to see someone's settings that have gotten a Kk v2 board dialed in so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. I know I could just get another naza but i wouldn't mind saving some money on this 2nd disco.

    On a sidenote I want to have a rocket that I don't have a ton of other stuff on so its super fast and maneuverable. Other thoughts for a disco dialed out like this if I want something super fast but not necessarily super stable? Something faster kv than the 900kv motors? Any thoughts from your own testing? I have been running on 3s and the stock 2212 dji motors until now on my current one. I know 4s will make a big difference and have a couple of batteries on order but I'm on the fence regarding motors and ESCs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Hi Trappy good thread to start, I am a little concerned "The frame already includes a current sensor (50A) " on your web site when I read the speci before ordering it stated I would be getting a "100 amp" sensor fitted which is correct? as I wanted the 100 amp.
    regards - bruce

  7. #7
    99blackss, damn that's more than we could ever do probably thanks!

    bruce356, it's 50A. you can buy a separate 100A sensor for the TBS CORE and replace the shunt on the board. The board is designed to accept 100A and 50A.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Trappy thanks for the reply, time to update your website yes maybe, is there such a huge difference in the purchase price to you (yourcompany) that you have to fit an inadequate 50 amp sensor as standard? I do not think so. The logic of this is confusing, just like how long has it taken your company to sort out the problem with the soft screws? you will have to excuse my disappointment to your reply that I am at liberty to purchase a separate 100amp sensor?
    I mean no disrespect to you Trappy I think you are a great guy and you are always very helpfull and your company has a great product otherwise I would not have purchased.
    Regards - Bruce
    Attached statement on your web page:-
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TBS Discovery 100amp sensor.jpg 
Views:	1327 
Size:	358.2 KB 
ID:	18934
    Last edited by bruce356; 4th January 2013 at 11:59 PM.

  9. #9
    bruce, the screws are specifically molded. it takes a lot of time (and money...) to create a new mold, test samples, do a large-scale production. we threw away about 40kg worth of old screws, most companies would have sold these to the end since it's quite a lot of money to be throwing away (about a grand)

    the 50A current sensor is actually not cheaper at all, the change in design cost us quite a bit of money as well. all the discoverys we saw never went above 50A, using a 50A sensor would increase the precision of the readout. sometimes less means more.

    the website is now updated. we keep it out of date because we get a lot of hits from china.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Thanks Trappy for your reply, most people (I assume) would have known about the problem with TBS screws as it has been widely reported on forums and made other arrangements to purchase genuine black arms and genuine screws elsewhere as I did. At the time of ordering I was not aware that you had finally gotten rid of the old soft screws otherwise I would have ordered the arms from TBS. I know this is irrelevant now but why did TBS not simply buy in the DJI screws as you do with the arms?

    Immersion and Eagle Tree both sell their current sensors rated at 100 amps I have used both and not had problems with accuracy. I estimate my maximum current would reach about 60 or so amps that is why I felt it would be better to have the 100 amp sensor. As it stands I'll probably install the Immersion OSD system, I had hoped to avoid this. What are you charging for the 100 amp sensor including shipping?

    Not keeping your web page up to date is not going to stop the Chinese from copying your product, there is already a lot of none genuine TBS product available.

    Regards - Bruce
    Last edited by bruce356; 5th January 2013 at 07:32 AM.

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