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Thread: Developing the LKTR120 Micro FPV Quad / LKTR100 / LKTR090

  1. #1
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    Developing the LKTR120 Micro FPV Quad / LKTR100 / LKTR090

    LKTR120 - read: ELECTRO-ONE-TWENTY

    Updates (04/2015)
    frames available here: http://www.overskyrc.com/micro-quadc...ries-c-15.html
    LKTR120 recommended components http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post678520
    LKTR 090 recommended components - coming soon

    Latest PIDs as of July 2015: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post721570

    I’d like to share my latest project: The development of a range of micro-sized FPV Quadcopters from 120mm down to the smallest possible brushless acro FPV setup I can get to perform to my requirements. It all started about 2 years ago when I build my first micro (non-FPV) quad. This one was build around HP03T brushless motors that were commonly used as brushless tail upgrades on micro helicopters like the Walkera 4#3 or 4G3. I used parts of a Walkera Ladybird Quadcopter frame as well as Ladybird props (56mm or about 2 “). NanoWii FC, XP3A ESCs, running a 1S 300mAh lipo. Dry weight about 27g, AUW around 35g. This was a nice micro quad with about 5min flight time and a thrust-to-weight ratio of just over 2:1.

    Some weeks ago I decided I wanted to continue down the micro road but with a more powerful, full FPV build with the following requirements:

    • As small and light-weight as possible, max. 120mm diagonal motor-to-motor
    • Powerful enough for acro FPV
    • brushless motors
    • Prop-free camera view, onboard HD recording would be cool
    • 5+ minutes flight time

    So with these points in mind I broke the project down into sub-topics:

    Powertrain (motors, props, escs, lipo)

    • Minimum of 3:1 thrust-to-weight,
    • smallest props possible (Ladybird 56mm or smaller)
    • 5+ minutes minimum flight time
    • brushless
    • SimonK or BLHeli ESCs

    Frame (Geometry, material, layout)

    • As light-weight as possible
    • Simple design, easy to machine on a CNC mill, small number of parts
    • 2-plate sandwich with standoffs for torsional strength
    • Fully symetrical
    • Prop free view
    • RF transparent
    • (mostly) crash proof

    Video System (FPV Cam, VTX, onboard HD recording)

    • Total weight of video system below 10g
    • High enough VTX output power for indoor range / wall penetration
    • Antenna size (1.2 CP is almost as big as the copter itself)
    • 2.4G is out because of 2.4 RC link
    • HD recording would be nice

    Flight Control and RC
    Naze Afro Mini was set from the beginning, at only 1.7g I think it will be perfect, RC will be Spektrum DSM2 for now because I have some Orange R100 sat receivers that are only 1.5g. I might go for FrSky.

    I will get into these topics in detail in the below posts.

    As of now I do not have much to show for except CAD files, Excel calculations of weight, motor test data and lots of parts purchased for this project -

    So I decided at least I need a proper Logo - here it is:
    all logo artwork, transparent png's here: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post643468
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Update: latest version 120 frame here: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post652984
    Update: first prototype 120 frame
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 2nd August 2015 at 04:40 AM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    Powertrain Props, Motors, ESCs, LiPo

    In order to find the perfect setup I started out with a brief idea of the size of motor I wanted to use: A brushless motor between 1g and 4g.
    As for prop size I started out with the Ladybird 56mm as a maximum size.

    Regarding brushed motors: These seem to be the standard on micro designs at the moment, probably due to their low price and high RPM. Some measurements I saw on RCGroups suggest that brushed motors might be more efficient for micro setups. I might look into this a little more later. For now I decided to go for a brushless setup only because of the rather short life span of brushed motors. Not saying brushed motors might not be a good option but for now I will look into brushless setups only. Only drawback is the rather high price of brushless micro motors (25-30 USD each).

    In order to come up with performance (thrust) requirements I took the following steps:

    • Estimate AUW of the quad (component weights and estimates in Excel)
    • Calculate maximum thrust per motor required for a 2:1 and 3:1 thrust-to-weight ratio
    • Take measurements of various motors and props (amps, voltage, thrust, efficiency g/W), especially looking at the estimated hover-thrust power requirement
    • Calculate flight time from hover-thrust power for various lipo (mAh) sizes)

    I am aware that thrust would not be measured in g but rather in N but using g seems to be the common way for this application and makes test results much easier to read.

    At first I made some rough calculations in Excel to determine the AUW of the copter which came out around 60-80g incl. lipo for a 120mm frame with dual cams (fpv/HD rec), resulting in a required maximum thrust per motor of 40-53g for a 3:1 thrust-to-weight ratio.

    Problem was that I knew from test with my 1S micro that the 56mm Ladybird props on HP03T 8100kv motors would only produce a maximum of about 20g – way below my requirements. So the two options: Increase prop diameter (or pitch) or increase RPM. Prop diameter was out because of size, pitch is not even stated on micro props.

    So I needed more RPM on the prop. As at first I only had the 8000kv motor at hand and only later got some 12000kv motors I decided to go from 1S to 2S. The micro motors are mostly rated for 1S only but I decided to give 2S a try. Using a Plush 6A esc I was able to generate well over 50g at max from the HP03T running the Ladybird prop.

    During the test I used and HK Wattmeter to take notes of amps and voltages as well as thrust in g from a digital scale. These figures might not be super accurate but I repeated the test multiple times and feel confident that the measurements are quite accurate, at least accurate enough to compare efficiency figures of different motor/prop combinations.
    Below are some some measurements I took, starting with maximum thrust, then testing in 5g increments, especially looking at the hover thrust area around 15 to 20g.
    Bottom line is that I never saw g/W significantly above 4 g/W with Plush 6A Timing High which is pretty unefficient. Update Feb. 7: With YEP 7A ESCs, BLHELI flashed I'm now seeing around 5 g/W for DP03 6500kv and Ladybird prop, test data here: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post649111

    Regarding Test Setup, see this post: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post645101

    Motors tested:

    HP03T 2,9g 8100kv

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.chinesejade.com/walkera43BLMotorEsc.htm
    Specs:
    Kv: 8100
    actual weight: 2.96g
    Shaft: 1mm
    Mounting: 5.5mm round plug / no screws / tail motor style

    Test Data:

    56mm Walkera Ladybird Prop, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    55mm HK Mini X Prop, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    HP02T 2,1g 7600kv(?)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.chinesejade.com/walkera43BLMotorEsc.htm
    Specs:
    Kv: 7600 (?)
    actual weight: 2.4g
    Shaft diameter: 1mm
    Mounting: 5.5mm round plug / no screws / tail motor style

    Test Data:

    45mm HK Pocket Quad Prop, MU-3A ESC, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    45mm HK Pocket Quad Prop, Plush 6A, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    45mm HK Pocket Quad Prop, YEP 7A timing med. low., 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    50mm Nano QX Prop, Plush 6A, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    55mm HK Mini X Prop, Plush 6A, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    56mm Walkera Ladybird Plush 6A, Prop, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    DP03 3,5g 6500kv

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.overskyrc.com/dp03-35g-br...ter-p-556.html
    Specs:
    Kv: 6500
    actual weight: 3.47g
    Shaft: 1.5mm
    Mounting: M1.4 - 4 holes - 8.5mm distance

    Test Data:
    56mm Walkera Ladybird Prop, MU-3A ESC, 2S
    Test Data here: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post665101

    56mm Walkera Ladybird Prop, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    55mm HK Mini X Prop, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    59mm HK X Dart Prop, 2S
    Click image for larger version. 

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    MR-03-H 3,5g 6800kv

    Attachment 57798
    http://www.overskyrc.com/mr03h-brush...ter-p-524.html
    Specs:
    Kv: 6800
    actual weight:
    diameter 13.6mm
    Shaft: 1.5mm
    Mounting: M1.2 / 3 holes triangle / ?mm diameter;
    Test Data:
    coming soon


    Hobbyking 3,1g 12000kv

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...X_FBL100_.html
    data coming soon

    ADH30S 2.9g 7500kv

    coming soon.

    AP03 3,?g 4000Kv
    data coming soon


    Props tested:
    Oversky 75mm
    Parrot Rolling Spider 66mm
    Walkera Ladybird (aka Vitailty H36?) 56mm
    Hubsan X4 / Traxxas QR1 55mm
    Blade Nano QX 50mm
    HK Pocket Quad 45mm

    ESC Options
    XP3A (1S only)
    Plush 6A (1-2S)
    YEP 7A (1-2S)

    LiPo Battery Options

    HK Nanotech
    260 - 450mAh 2S
    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 15th March 2015 at 02:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    Frame

    I've decided to go for a flat-arm, all-in-one design (plus top plate for electronics).
    Geometry will be fully symetrical semi H to allow for a prop-free view.

    Hardware for joining main frame with top plate will be:
    for 120: M2 spacers/bolts or 3mm round plastic standoffs w/ screws 2.2mm
    for 100mm and below: 2mm round plastic standoffs w/ micro screws 1.4mm


    LKTR120

    Frame Body: G10 1.5mm
    Top Plate: G10 1mm

    here are the dimensions of the 120 version (millimeters):
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    It will be tiny

    UPDATE Feb 16
    new version 120 frame, see this post: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post652984
    Click image for larger version. 

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    UPDATE Feb 1
    Frames cut
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    LKTR100
    G10 1mm
    UPDATE Feb 2
    Frame was cut but further development is stopped for now.
    I do not see the need for a frame sized between the 120 and the 90 at the moment.

    LKTR090
    G10 1mm

    UPDATE Feb 16

    new version 90 frame, see this post: http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post652986
    Click image for larger version. 

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    UPDATE Feb 2
    Frame cut, looks promising. This will be either FPV cam only or Hubsan H107C 2MP HD Module using live out for video link. This frame is only designed for the no screw, round plug type motors (HP0xT etc)

    LKTR090 with 2.1g motor and Hubsan H107C
    This frame allows max. 45mm Props only (HK Pocket Quad Props)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    with top plate (spacer will be added of course)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 16th February 2015 at 03:28 AM.

  4. #4
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    Video System

    VTX Options
    5.8G


    1.3G


    After some testing of both 5.8 and 1.3 I decided to use 1.3 for the beginning - much better wall penetration, only antenna size is a challenge, still looking for a good solution


    Camera Options


    I want a 120 FOV so I will use the 600 TVL with the Wing Cam Lens for now. I need to see if the 808 D-Lens also fits.



    HD Camera and Recoding options


    Still thinking about trying live out as FPV camera option - but with only 2.6g for the additional FPV cam this would only be necessary on the smallest builds (90mm frame)


    Step-Down/Step-Up, filtering
    For the 2S setup I will use a Pololu 5V step-down to power cam and (if necessary) VTX

    I hope that the step-down will suffice and I will not need additional filtering.


    UPDATE Jan 31

    Hubsan H107C HD Cam Module tested - live out working, changed lens to wider FOV

    Just got the Hubsan HD Cam and did a quick test.
    As in this pic its only 2.93g, so crazy light weight. Micro SD will probably need some securing because the card slot is also very "light weight".
    Click image for larger version. 

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    FOV on the stock module is rather small, so I changed the lens to this one:
    http://www.banggood.com/M7-1_8mm-Wid...-p-962825.html
    with some small pliers the stock lens can be removed.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Live Video out is on this pad, as seen here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=1905
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Heres a screenshot from the HD recording, on the LCD is the live video out. Already with wide angle lens.
    The latency looks pretty low even while recording, the live out is 4:3 but has black bars top and bottom because the sensor is 16:9. It shows time recording in the live out.
    The recoding is 720p (1280x720 pixels) my first impression is really good, i can not see any difference to a larger cam like the key chain 808 - but this is only indoors and first impression.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Video comparison between the 808 #16 key chain cam and the H107C cam by bang komit
    (these are not my own videos)


    here is another video from the H107C HD - both HD recording and live out
    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 15th March 2015 at 01:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    Flight Control and RC

    For Flight Control I decided to use AfroMini Naze32 - simply because I really like the Naze and its firmware options. With 1.7g only the AfroMini also fits perfectly into my weight budget.

    RC link will be 2.4 Spektrum for now because I had a bunch of R100 Orange Sat at hand. The R100 is only about 1.5 g.
    I might go for an FrSky RX if I see issues with RC range.
    UHF seems out of the question for now because of the weight of the RXs - I calculated the weight of a IRC 4Ch RX without SMA and Pinheaders: still about 6g, seems to heavy for me.
    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 28th January 2015 at 12:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    Goodies...

    LKTR120 Flight Vids





    - PELI-style case micro-sized
    Click image for larger version. 

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    with LKTR120 Logo
    Click image for larger version. 

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    - Logo Artwork
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    1920x1080 Logos

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 30th June 2015 at 01:22 PM.

  7. #7
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    tldr; heres what I want to do:
    - develop micro fpv quad (120mm M2M and below)
    - brushless
    - acro performance (over 3:1 thrust-to-weight)
    - AUW under 80g for 120mm
    - AUW under 50g for 100mm
    - prop below 60mm (=2 1/2 inch)

    achieved so far:
    - non-fpv brushless 1S prototype, 120mm, auw 35g, 5min flight time
    - tested various motors and props on 1S and 2S - results look good
    - CAD designs for 120 and 100mm frames done
    - almost all components sourced
    - detailed weight estimation/calculation

    to be done:
    - CNC'ing the frames from G10
    - flash YEP 7A ESCs with BLHELI firmware (waiting for some pogo pins...)
    - building
    - testing flight performance, naze pid tuning
    - testing video and rc link performance

    challenges/open issues:
    - LiPo true vs. spec'ed C-rating / high-current performance
    - actual weight of build vs. calculated weight
    - long term performance of micro brushless motors on 2S
    - overall handling and performance
    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 7th February 2015 at 07:02 PM.

  8. #8
    Navigator Captain Dirtblender's Avatar
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    This sounds like a really cool project! Sub'd
    "Pretending to know everything closes doors to finding out what's really there..." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [TBS Discovery, E-Flite UMX Radian, Airfield P-51 (confiscated from destructive brother), Syma X-1, ZMR 250 Carbon w/CC3D, Lanyu ASW-28 ( Flying work in progress - FPV Brain powered soon! ]

  9. #9
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    Cool.
    Maybe we can put in the micro fpv cam/vtx from Horizon in there. Runs on 1s.

  10. #10
    Navigator LKTRSMG's Avatar
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    I have not tested the spektrum VA1100 unit - from the specs it might be an option but I will go for a custom camera / vtx combination for now.

    See above post on Cam / VTX options http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....l=1#post643404
    Last edited by LKTRSMG; 29th January 2015 at 05:56 AM.

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