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Upgrading my FlameWheel F450


sud0nick
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Hey everyone! I want to upgrade my current quad as it is very stock right now but I need some advice.

First here is a picture of my FlameWheel F450. It is the first quad I've ever built which is why it has a lot of stock parts. (I wanted to make sure I could get it flying before trying anything else)

h197Uqu.jpg

As you can see I have the standard DJI plastic props on it. I would like to move to carbon fiber but don't know exactly what to get. I see the name Graupner everywhere and have looked into their e-props. Does anyone have experience with them or prefer some other props over them?

I also want to start using some 4S batteries. I currently use two 3S batteries, one at 4000mAh and another at 5000mAh. They give me great flight times but even in atti mode I don't get as much speed as I would like (this is with the pitch gain set to 400%). I have read that you can only use a 4S battery with 8" props on the F450 otherwise the motors will burn up. I've also read on some other forums that some people have had success with a 4S 10" prop setup. So, will moving down to 8" props with a 4S battery give me more power?

One last question. I also want to upgrade from a 2.4 GHz setup to a 5.8 GHz setup. This should obviously give me a longer range with the quad (I've flown out of range with my 2.4 setup but luckily the NAZA-M V2 brought it back within range). Does anyone have any recommendations for a 5.8 GHz setup?

Thanks.

Edited by sud0nick
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I can't get to that article from work but I found the same answer elsewhere. It makes sense that a higher frequency would decrease the range. I was hoping to get more range out of my quad but if 2.4 GHz is better for control then I guess I will leave it.

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I don't know what your current max range is, but if you go for 72 MHz you might be able to go that much further. I've found this page with discussion and a link to more info where it's suggested 72 MHz should be your way forward, at least in the US (certain countries don't allow use of this band for this purpose. See Wikipedia).

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I don't know how reliable 72 MHz would be and I would need a larger antenna.

I mostly fly in my neighborhood which is highly saturated with 2.4 GHz bands from WiFi. How much of an impact do the wireless routers have on my quad? I assume I would be able to get a much greater range out in the middle of nowhere.

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Well I guess it would be similar to other transmitting devices, right? It's the same reason that wireless routers transmit on different channels within the 2.4 GHz band; so they don't drown each other out. I don't know which channel aligns closest to what my DEVO 7 transmits at but if I get away from the city completely I should have less interference.

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Ah, like so. I personally can't quantify the impact of home wifi's but when you're in the middle of nowhere and preferably elevated too you should get some pretty impressive range regardless, at the very least relative to the residential area you described. The plus of 72 MHz is better penetration and your signal should carry further, but on the minus side there's the fact that it, as you noted, requires you to have a larger antenna (no idea how much larger though) and that would be on both the drone and the controller. There's also less bandwidth so you might need to consider how much data you need in order to fly the drone but since I don't believe these devices require a lot of it things should be fine.

What might be an important factor is that with all the component integration absolutely everybody and their dog is focussing on the 2.4 GHz band so it might be that you simply cannot find a 72MHz transmitter at a suitable price point or suitable size/weight for your drone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

yeah your prop sizes do sound right. My 1000kv motors would work good on 8" props. When you increase the voltage make sure you drop down in prop size. The 4s should give you some power. I have a flamewheel with a 3s and 8" with 1000kv, and it was pretty quick, I can see 4s would make it fairly fast. I since am parting out the flamewheel and building a tricoptor.

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yeah your prop sizes do sound right. My 1000kv motors would work good on 8" props. When you increase the voltage make sure you drop down in prop size. The 4s should give you some power. I have a flamewheel with a 3s and 8" with 1000kv, and it was pretty quick, I can see 4s would make it fairly fast. I since am parting out the flamewheel and building a tricoptor.

I've never seen the appeal of tricopters. What do you like about them?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well it's taken forever but I finally got the prop adapters I ordered almost 2 months ago. Since starting this thread I've added some Graupner E-props and FPV gear. I've had a couple of chances to fly FPV in the last couple of days using my new Fatshark Attitude V2 system and it has been pretty good. The video glitches quite often and I think it has to do with my current power setup on the goggles. Since it didn't come with a battery (I have one ordered and on the way) I've been using a bunch of AA batteries in series out through a JST -> banana plug -> DC barrel jack connection. The video is good enough to fly but it's just not as good as I'd hoped it would be. I'm sure once the power issue is resolved it will be better.

I just got the prop adapters about 30 minutes ago in the mail so I put on my new e-props and tested them out. So far I've noticed the lift is amazing. I didn't perform any extensive tests because I flew earlier today and haven't recharged the batteries but I'm sure it will fly faster once I get a fully charged battery on there.

Here is an updated picture:

wer0BOv.jpg?3

Edited by sud0nick
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