Quad Setup Choices and Compatibility

First time poster; thanks in advance for your patience.

I’m experimenting with my WL Toys v959 to work out all my learning curves (in both flying and mods) before spending more money on a superior platform.

A.) Can anyone point me in the right direction for the best hardware option? I’d like telemetry for programmable flight patterns.

B.) If I’m also modding my v959 for FPV, will the video TX interfere with the APM system?

Fly or die.

[color=#008000]Your WLToys 959 is neither a 3DR product, nor does it run on any software which is related to this forum.
For questions about your copter, please contact the manufacturer for technical support.[/color]

A.) Can anyone point me in the right direction for the best hardware option? I’d like telemetry for programmable flight patterns.
An APM 2.6 or a PX4/ Pixhawk would be a good choice, along with a 3DR radio for telemetry.

B.) If I’m also modding my v959 for FPV, will the video TX interfere with the APM system?
No, many people operate their vehicles with a video transmitter on board.

You should determine if the motors and ESCs on your vehicle are compatible with these autopilots. They output a PWM signal to the ESC. The ESCs on your small vehicle may not accept PWM.

Thanks for the knowledgable replay. I was somewhat confused by StefanG’s original reply above since this site’s homepage says, “Almost any mobile machine can be transformed into a robot, by simply integrating a small hardware package into it.”

Marvelous. Thank you. Does the Pixhawk need a proprietary 3DR radio? Or can I use a third party (Futaba, Taranis, DEVO, etc)?

Again, thank you. I’m investigating possible computability issues now. (I’ll let you know what I find out if you want).

I might have been a bit too fast judging in this case, but the thing is that the WL959 is a micro-copter and I have my doubts that it would be possible to convert it to APM, because it’s simply so small.

Anyways, that’s not so much a software support question (the APM:Copter is mainly a software support forum), so I’m moving it to the “Frames” subforum.

The “proprietary” 3DR radios are for telemetry only. For Remote Control, you can use any R/C system which has a CPPM out, for the Pixhawk additionally SBUS and Spectrum Satellite.

Absolutely no worries, mate. I presume your knowledge is far superior to mine here, so I can understand the quick jump to a sound conclusion; guess it just went too fast for me. And I’m guessing the WL Toys series is definitely too small. As such, I’m already looking into a larger platform that I can build on; any suggestions for newbies that won’t break my bank (or get my wife mad at me) but gives me some room to build?

Makes loads more sense.

So my radio RC transmitter would connect to Pixhawk-related piece of hardware? (Guess I’m not sure what CPPM actually is, either in terms of code or hardware).

Thanks again for your patience. I’m on a steep (but fun) learning curve here.

Of course, an RTF copter from 3DR would be the easiest but they’re not the cheapest, unfortunately.

If you can live with crappy service, I’d suggest the following setup made from Hobby King stuff:

Cheap but sturdy frame (you will crash many times):
Hobby King H4 Frame $29,99
hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor … duct=35908

Here’s a good and cheap speed controller for quadcopters which will save you tons of wiring work. Additionally, Our developers found that those all-in -one ESCs produces less EM interference which would mess with the compass than using a PDB and 4 separate ESCs. NOTICE: It does NOT have a battery connector. You need to solder the right one for the battery you buy.:
Q Brain 4 x 25A Brushless Quadcopter ESC 2-4S 3A SBEC
hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor … =q%20brain

These motors are pretty ok. I built my first quads with them.
4x NTM Prop Drive 28-30S 800KV / 300W Brushless Motor (short shaft version)
4x $15,29
hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor … sion_.html

Then you need prop adapters:
4x NTM Prop Drive 28 Series Accessory Pack
4x $1,89
hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor … ntm%20acce

Then some props. Although you will crash and break them, you should buy better props right away because bad props cause vibrations and flex and then the whole copter won’t fly nice!
2 Packs of those are minimum (=4 props). Buy more - you’ll need them!
2x 10x4.5 Carbon Fiber Propellers 1pc Standard/1pc RH Rotation
2x $6,61
hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor … ation.html

The battery should be good quality too. The setup I wrote down for you here is for 4S. I’d recommend something like this:
Turnigy nano-tech 4000mah 4S 25~50C Lipo Pack
hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor … _Pack.html

So, all in all, you’d spend $198,99 and you’d have a very nice beginner-friendly quadcopter. Of course, then you still need the APM/Pixhawk and GPS/Compass and maybe telemetry radios.
Once you got the basic flying skills, you can start looking e.g. into mounting a camera and a video transmitter to you quad and go autonomous. With those props and motors if you stay under 1,2-1,5kg you should get about 15-20 minutes flight time out of a 4Ah battery. At least I got :slight_smile:.

CPPM is a signal variant which transmits the position information of all channels over one cable.
With a classic R/C, you have 5-8 cables going from your receiver to the flight controller. With CPPM, you have only one cable. APM supports the old-fashioned system, Pixhawk does not. If you want to use an old-style system with Pixhawk, you need to buy the PPM Encoder. In addition to PPM, the Pixhawk accepts a directly connected Spectrum Satellite receiver or a receiver which uses the Futaba SBUS protocol.

Taranis should work. I think I remember that the new FrSKY RX which comes with the Taranis supports CPM out. But anyways, a PPM-capable FrSKY RX costs something like $15 or so.