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Wanna build my first quad, and was thinking Gremlin...

#1
Hi folks,

I'm having trouble deciding between 1st edition Gremlin (TJ carbon frame), or the new Sidewinder/Turbo edition? The older model is appealing when it comes to price... Also, since I'm a newb, if I get an older model and screw something up with the build, or break it right afterward, i'm out less $$$. However, I wanted to make sure there wasn't something super awesome about the Turbo edition that I'm really going to wish I had. Like, is the Turbo edition more durable? More powerful motors, etc. that makes it really worth the extra $100?

Also, I have a Spektrum DX6e. What model receiver should I be sticking in this build?

Thanks!!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#2
Hi folks,

I'm having trouble deciding between 1st edition Gremlin (TJ carbon frame), or the new Sidewinder/Turbo edition? The older model is appealing when it comes to price... Also, since I'm a newb, if I get an older model and screw something up with the build, or break it right afterward, i'm out less $$$. However, I wanted to make sure there wasn't something super awesome about the Turbo edition that I'm really going to wish I had. Like, is the Turbo edition more durable? More powerful motors, etc. that makes it really worth the extra $100?

Also, I have a Spektrum DX6e. What model receiver should I be sticking in this build?

Thanks!!
LOL let me ask a few questions first to help get you set:

Have you EVER flown a quad before? It's perfectly ok if you haven't; however, they can be a bit of a handful if you're learning. Little things like realizing that you have to pitch forward a little bit and give throttle to get the quad moving, and that there's no glide factor for a quad (if you cut throttle to it, you now have a falling rock, not a gliding piece of foam!) so it's a little...different? style of thinking to fly it.

Do you have access to a quad simulator? Something like Liftoff, or Velocidrone, or FPV Freerider - those are good drone demos to get you an idea of learning to fly a drone. I put in over 40 hours on Liftoff, with my controller connected to my computer, practicing, before I actually took my quad out and started flying it. I would HIGHLY recommend that you do the same; it will get you thinking about how the drone will fly, even if it's not EXACTLY the same as real flying (because in real flight, there are things like birds trying to attack your quad, or gusts of wind, or sun that messes with your FPV camera, etc).

I'm going to make the recommendation that you go with the Gremlin vs. the Sidewinder. The Gremlin is a smaller airframe, meaning it's something you can fly indoors during the winter, but it's also large enough that you can cruise outside with it in light winds. Plus, because of its lighter weight, it's a little harder to break. Don't get me wrong, if you hit the wrong way, you can still break something. That's why the simulator is so valuable.

Also, the Gremlin runs on a 2S battery - this means it's a little slower than the average racing drone. For a starter, you DEFINITELY want it slower, so you can get your reaction times downlirst.

Lastly, the receiver that you want, since you have the DX6e, is a Spektrum Quad RC DSMX receiver with telemetry. That should connect up to your flight controller and allow you to connect nd ru properly!
 
#3
Yep! Haven't been flying them for terribly long, but I have an Inductrix BL (fun!) and a Torrent 110 (also fun, when not randomly drifting...). The Torrent runs on 2S, so I have some lying around. :)

I don't have a sim just yet. I have been eyeing Liftoff on Steam though, and will probably pick it up next time it's on sale. Gotta get the dongle for the DX6e too...which is more expensive than the sim. :/ Guess that's still cheaper than constantly repairing stuff though. :)

Thanks for the tips on the Gremlin vs the Sidewinder! There aren't a ton of of videos on the Sidewinder yet, at least that I could find anyway, so it's kind of hard to make those visual comparisons. And thanks for pointing me at the right receiver!
 
#4
The question now is, which frame. I like the Josh Bixler frame, since it keeps the props out of view...but it doesn't look like the camera is as nicely protected. I also like the idea of carbon fiber over the delrin as well (no real reason other than I'm under the impression it's lighter and stronger) so that leaves the TJ Williams frame, so as to get the electronics package, yeah?
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#5
According to TJ when I was looking for replacement motors and esc's at FFOhio the gremlin is being discontinued in FT store. At that point he stayed there were less the 1500 power packs for that series and when they were gone that was it.

There are how ever plenty of places still selling the power packs and spare parts.

I love my Gremlin and have done much testing, changes, and video updates.

Its a great little quad but it's f3 board where the Sidewinder is an f4 and big enough to use the emax stack or what ever 20x20 stack.

So if you want milder to insane indoor out door get a gremlin, if you are more working up to a 5 inch race quad go sidewinder. Both seem to be awesome luttle machines. I can only atteat to my Gremlin though.
 
#6
Thanks, that's good to know - I'd hate to have to go hunting around for parts in different places a year from now. Any recommendations for an easier DIY quad made from quality parts that hits that "not too big, not too small, can fly inside and outside on a calm day, and my battery lasts for more than 2 minutes" sweet spot? I not opposed to partially-assembled or even pre-built suggestions, but i did find the idea of doing a little tinkering pretty fun.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#7
Oh the emax power pack is still very popular. I have not seen anything from emax about it going away.

The only part in question is the Femto controller bein f3 and support for that waning. Its easy enough to swap out to one of the many 20x20 f4 and above controllers that are in the market now.

I have new esc's on the way for mine as I killed one. Got a tad over zealous on 3s when I changed props from stock to avans and didn't keep an eye on temps. I just tossed it up and ripped it like I normally do.

Gremlins are super modable as they were put out to see what people do with / to them.

Definitely one to have in your hangar.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#8
Oh the emax power pack is still very popular. I have not seen anything from emax about it going away.

The only part in question is the Femto controller bein f3 and support for that waning. Its easy enough to swap out to one of the many 20x20 f4 and above controllers that are in the market now.

I have new esc's on the way for mine as I killed one. Got a tad over zealous on 3s when I changed props from stock to avans and didn't keep an eye on temps. I just tossed it up and ripped it like I normally do.

Gremlins are super modable as they were put out to see what people do with / to them.

Definitely one to have in your hangar.
See, "the" quad guy on FliteTest is agreeing with me about the Gremlin. LOL I've not bought one just because I've got a Blade Conspiracy 220 running 5" props (kind of its limit), an Inductrix Pro, and I just bought a Newbeedrone Acrobee v2 (Killer deal, made in San Diego, so I was able to do local pickup and save myself $10-$15 in shipping), so I haven't wanted to get a Gremlin. It's just not the "fit" for me; I've been mixing fixed wing and quad as of late, and I haven't been able to justify to myself the purchase of yet another quad that's in between my Conspiracy and my micros.

For someone else just starting out, though? It's a GREAT purchase, especially if you're just learning how to fly a quad. It'll fly slow enough for you to get used to it, but as Psy noted, it's able to be upgraded/modded so you can definitely grow with it, and its size is kind of that perfect "indoor/outdoor" size.

On a completely different subject, I saw you were talking about the dongle. This is what I have for my computer (Mac) and it works great:

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/orange-rx-dsmx-dsm2-compatible-protocol-usb-dongle-flight-simulator.html

Also tested on a Windows 10 machine, no issues other than that it seems like every time Liftoff or Velocidrone gets an update, I have to re-bind the dongle (Pull it out of the USB hub, hold the button on the side, insert it so it's flashing, bind on the radio - done). I don't like Hobbyking (I have issues with them after it took them over 2 months to get me product shipped that they had in stock in another warehouse), but this is a pretty decent dongle, and it works for ANY Spektrum radio that has DSMX/DSM2 capability.
 
#9
So I'm going to pick up the Chad Lewis CF edition frame. Since I'm new when it comes to building (only replaced one motor so far - not done a complete build), can anyone make some recommendations about what's good out there that will work well with this frame? FC, ESC, motors, props, camera, vtx, and so on? There seems to be so much to pick from, and parts coming out so fast, that it's rather overwhelming sometimes for a newb. I have no idea what's good and what's not. Heck, I'm not even sure of a site that aggregates this stuff and stays on top of the parts releases...

Anyway, I don't want to break the bank, but I also don't want to buy crap. Being new to building, the easier the better. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#10
I just got mine back in the air and I am still rippin the original emax power pack.

I love this thing. Its fast and agile and I just got done editing a video with it in it flying in the strogest winds I have put it in the air gusting well over 20 mph at times.

There are a bunch of crappy videos on my yt page with examples of how well it flys once its properly tuned and has decent video.

If you go look find vids with Borgling in the name. The video I just made is still ripping and will take hours to load by this phone and its weak connection where I live.

Edit: Here is the video I just did Thursday or Friday with the Gremlin and stock original Emax power pack on 3s

 
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#11
Thanks PsyBorg,

Good vids. :) I like the one of the jungle gym. I don't intend to use the orginal EMAX power pack, but would like to upgrade the parts to some latest gen stuff.

Can anyone recommend a parts list that would deliver a dope Gremlin that can be flown indoors and take tight corners, but can also handle outside? EMAX F4 AIO stack a good place to start? EMAX RSII 1106 6000kV motors work? Should I just look up the guts of Babyhawk R and buy that? I don't know. I have no clue what's new and good, and would work well on this frame being a newb to building....
 
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PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#12
Define indoors mate.

The stock power pack on 2s is more then a handfull for house flying. If you mean indoors like gym or driving range this thing is surprisingly fast on 3s.

Not sure what you would gain going more powerful on something this small.

If you are looking to race indoors then 3,4,or5 inch quads are better as they are far more effecient and have the mass for extreme turns at higher speeds.

You can do tight stuff with the Gremlins but if you think you can do tinywhoop tight in your house at 30+ mph I suggest you invest in shipping blankets and spackle as well.
 
#13
Indoors as in a two story house, and not a gym or driving range. I was thinking I could maybe do some low throttle stuff indoors, like what you see in FT's Gremlin video, where they introduce the quad and then they race around inside the RAC historic building. I don't expect to whoop around the house and squeeze through tiny gaps with it (that's what my Inductrix is for) but it would be nice if it could handle both indoors and outdoors decently well....kinda like my Blade Torrent 110. On 2S, it's gentle enough and small enough to have fun flying inside if you want, but it really shines outdoors.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#15
I was contemplating going with the original emax stack as that is more suited to 2" / 3" quads. That runs 12 amp esc's. Then upgrading to the emax 1104 red bottoms.

The v2 stack is wayyy overkill as that is power for 4" or even some 5" quads. The motors seem ok but the open bottom style motors all seem to be extermely prone to bending shafts

I see tons of people replacing the hypetrains that are open like that not to mention they will clog up with dirt n grass on crashes more often requiring tear down to clean out.

Stock Gremlin power pack on 2s will be more then enough for indoor and properly tuned will rip outside on 3s fine. That last video I just did was in 15 mph steady winds with gusts to 25 when I flew that footage. Look at the big trees in the opening scene and the flags in other parts.
 
#16
gotcha regarding the v2 stack i referenced previously. the only thing i see with the original F3 Magnum stack is that it is rated for 3s-4s lipo...guess we couldn't run 2s for indoor then? the newer v2 Magnum Mini stack is rated for 2s-6s lipo, but it's a constant 35A current, so not sure how fast that would drain a 2s... Maybe the original power pack is what I need, although i can't seem to find what the constant current is for the F3 Femto FC, only that it tolerates 80A, and i assume that means a spike up to 80A. eh, probably doesn't matter since that's what's included with the FT electronics package. i do like the idea of a 4 in one ESC with the orginal F3 Magnum stack though. also, interestingly, i see the ESCs that come with the original power pack are only rated for 1s-2s lipos. how much does that factor in (if at all) when running a 3s battery? you'd mentioned one burning out after a prop change earlier. lastly, any other camera and transmitter to recommend over the Hyperion 600TVL 5.8GHz combo that comes with the FT electronics package?
 
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SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
#17
Define indoors mate.

The stock power pack on 2s is more then a handfull for house flying. If you mean indoors like gym or driving range this thing is surprisingly fast on 3s.
I've been babying mine but I can second this. I took mine outside for the first time and made a few short straight runs. It wants to go!
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#18
It seems you are set on having a stack.

All I can say is thus us a 2 inch quad not a competition machine competing for world domination.
It is what it is.

The stock power pack on stock props is plenty powerful for these lil beasties.

I have run it since its birth. Yes I kilked an esc but I think it had more to do with damp grass then the props. If it was due to a current spike it is because I thumped something while airmode was active and I was at the top if the throttle range already.

Add an eachine atx03 video transmitter and a runcam split micro2 and yer more then set.

Spend your money on a stack if you absolutly must have it or if you wanna have braggin rights for over powered but I have given you the information needed in several ways and its time for me to move on to new issues elsewhere.

Good luck whatever you decide and as always pics n vids piwer the forums.
 
#19
Thanks PsyBorg, I appreciate the help and suggestions. Not set on having a stack, was just trying to minimize exposed parts, amount of wiring, etc to make it easy as possible for a newb. :) Probably going to go the original power pack route.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#20
For Spektrum receiver you can use a satiliet receiver first bind it with a regular receiver or the 4849 or the 4849T but I do not know if your DX6i has telemetry.