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Versacopter Of Today?

#1
Hey there all,
I've been a flitetest enthusiast for a number of years. Took a bit of a break for a while but I'm trying to get back into flying, building, etc. I've built and flown at least 10 different flitetest plans/kits and plan to build more!

The versacopter was my first 'real' quad. Before that I'd had a few super tiny toy-like devices. I really enjoyed building the vc from the ground up, tuning it in cleanflight, strapping a gopro to it and getting some great high-altitude panorama footage of local parks and stuff.

After sitting in my closet for a couple of years now I tried knocking the dust off of it to see if I could get it airborne again. The flight controller may or may not actually be bricked, but I've lost patience with it and don't feel like struggling with it anymore.

I want to build a new quad. I'm not really into racing and never really got into FPV although I'll certainly give it more shots. I want a quad that is big and stable enough to get nice footage with a gopro-like camera. It would be nice if it came in a kit like the versacopter did, but that's not a deal breaker.

My main thing is that I don't want to cobble together a solution and read a million forum posts to get it working. I'd like it to be compatible with my current spektrum transmitter, maybe even reuse my orange receiver. Heck if I can reuse these motors that the versacopter uses I'll do that (or maybe at least choose one that could use these vc ones as backup motors).

Is there a good, simple, non-expert-friendly large-ish quad kit that you could recommend me?
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
Just switch the FC for an F4 board. Most of those have the 3.3v out for Spektrum satellites. Spektrum now make a dedicated quad receiver as well. Look for a board with really good documentation that you can understand.
You could also buy something pre made, they have got a lot better and cheaper in the last few years. Many of the versacopter features can be had in a sub 250g micro for about $80!
 
#3
Just switch the FC for an F4 board. Most of those have the 3.3v out for Spektrum satellites. Spektrum now make a dedicated quad receiver as well. Look for a board with really good documentation that you can understand.
You could also buy something pre made, they have got a lot better and cheaper in the last few years. Many of the versacopter features can be had in a sub 250g micro for about $80!
all the plastic parts on my versacopter are broken in various ways. it's dead. I need a new frame.
still looking for a complete kit that I can assemble myself. if that just doesn't exist anymore, so be it.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#4
Some of the kits have really bad components.
My recommendation would be to buy a good frame like the TBS Source 1, then get a Flight Controller and ESC stack, plus 2306 or 2207 motors from a decent supplier, avoid Emax and cheap clone motors. Xing and T motor have good entry level lines out right now. That just leaves a camera and VTX. I like the Caddx Ratel, I have 3, all have been excellent. VTX wise the Rush Tank Mini is very good, there are lots of 20x20 VTX’s that will go in the slot on the Source One.
All those components are very simple to wire and you can fly a GoPro easily on the Source One.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#6
Anything using a Naze32, F3 or old flight controller. They also have rubbish ESC’s on, bad cameras and cheap clone frames. Buying from an FPV hobby supplier like RDQ will help avoid ending up with poorly flying junk.
 
#7
I actually got my old versacopter off the ground this evening!
after failing over and over to flash the 'afroflight' board to the latest naze update, I tried instead to use one from ~2018 and it successfully update so I could configure it, etc.
After making sure the receiver inputs are mapped the right way, and the motors are all assigned and spinning the right way, I reattached the props and headed outside for a test.
No catastrophic failure, I was able to get the thing up to eye-level. It didn't control well, I had only set up 'horizon' mode, other than 'no mode' and 'no mode' controlled more usefully. All flight was extremely wobble with the motors seemingly fighting each other for control too much. Back when I flew this thing a lot, I remember having this weird oscillating behavior when I dropped down from altitude but I'm seeing it now constantly.

So now I'm back in the world of PID tuning. I'm led to flitetest's saved settings for 4 cell versacopter, but it's in a hard-to-decypher quasi-json format that I'm struggling to interpret, and I don't see a way for me to 'just load it' in cleanflight.

Does anyone care to just tell me what appropriate settings are for me in cleanflight? Running this ancient flight controller? It's an afroflight naze32 rev6 fc, and I'm flying the old-school versacopter w/2300 kV motors and 6" props. Pardon my lack of specifics, I bought this stuff like 4 years ago?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't have the bandwidth to do trial and error with this. Just looking for a good 'base' settings profile.
 
#8
Anything using a Naze32, F3 or old flight controller. They also have rubbish ESC’s on, bad cameras and cheap clone frames. Buying from an FPV hobby supplier like RDQ will help avoid ending up with poorly flying junk.
If I did want to piece together a nice quad, with an aim more toward a stable platform for video/photography and programmed routes than racing, do you have any frame recommendations?
 
#11
Ft has their 270 frame that can hold a GoPro session on a gimbal...
Thanks this looks like as close as I'm going to get. I like flitetest and want to support them so I'm likely to choose this over similar products elsewhere. There's even a nice build video to help me.

Something I'm wondering, I remember there being options for Gremlin kits and having FT build it for you or not. There don't seem to be any options like that any more on the site. Has FT moved away from selling quad kits in general?
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#12
Thanks this looks like as close as I'm going to get. I like flitetest and want to support them so I'm likely to choose this over similar products elsewhere. There's even a nice build video to help me.

Something I'm wondering, I remember there being options for Gremlin kits and having FT build it for you or not. There don't seem to be any options like that any more on the site. Has FT moved away from selling quad kits in general?
I’ve also wondered about what happened to the quad building service. It doesn’t appear that it’s still something that’s going on unfortunately.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#13
It’s easier just to buy a decent pre made now. There’s lots of great small size quads from Happymodel, Diatone etc now.
 
#14
It’s easier just to buy a decent pre made now. There’s lots of great small size quads from Happymodel, Diatone etc now.
My main goal is to get a system running that can be programmed with routes, possibly react to different things from its sensors, and send back telemetry data to a workstation. I'm not really into FPV racing. That's why I'm still looking into DIY builds.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#15
If you are automated flying a fixed wing UAV with iNav, Ardupilot or Pixhawk will be much more efficient and easier to set up for about the same price as a quad.
Most pre built quads are not for racing. Most are for fun flying and freestyle.
 

ElectriSean

Eternal Student
Mentor
#17
Cool but I don't want a robot plane, I want a robot quad. I'll keep looking!
iNav and Arucopter both work well on multirotors. Arducopter is more developed for autonomous flight, but only runs on certain FC's. There are mini pixhawk complete systems available for under $100 - https://www.banggood.com/PX4-Pixhaw....html?rmmds=search&ID=517418&cur_warehouse=CN

The learning curve is real though :) Definitely the way to go for truly autonomous flight, iNav doesn't even come close.