lumenier qav-r build

Lumenier QAV-R Build

In Build, Review by FlightClub94 Comments

Luminier QAV-R Build: Dream Machine

No joke, this Lumenier QAV-R build has made me a better FPV pilot.  The control and feel of this QAV-R build is insanely good.  Not to mention it’s pretty fast.

It’s taken a while to get this post done because I’ve been trying many combinations of different components until I found one I liked.  Some of the parts I tried are Lumenier LUX, RedRotorRC Pro Mini PDB, Naze32, OSDoge, QuadRevo PowerOSD, FrSky D4R-II, X4R-SB, XSR, Cobra 2300kv, 2100kv and EMAX RS2205 2300KV.

So I finally settled on a build I loved.  When I say love, I mean it’s taken my FPV quad addiction to a new level.  This quad is so much fun to fly!  It almost makes me look like I’m a good FPV pilot.

qav-r build

Parts used in this QAV-R Build
Custom 3D Parts
Build Kit

I’ve put together a kit with the components and all the miscellaneous parts needed to build this quad.  It will even include the cheat sheet* used in the video along with the Cleanflight BetaFlight and Taranis bin file that already has telemetry and all the switches programmed.  Check out the Lumenier QAV-R Build Kit in the store.

*The cheat sheet is only for people who buy the kit or the frame from the store.

Adaptability

On 4s and 5050BN tri blade props this QAV-R is pretty fast.  The good thing about custom drones are they are easily adaptable for any skill level.  By using different combinations of batteries and props, you can slow it down if you are just beginning.

Flight Controller

dodo flight controllerI tried many flight controllers before settling on the Seriously DODO including the Naze32 and Lumenier LUX.  The LUX flew great but the way the pads are laid out it actually makes it difficult to make a clean build.  I considered the Seriously Pro SP3 but I’ve read a lot of people complaining about quality issues.  The KISS FC was another option but they are having supply issues.  It’s pointless to make a build using the parts if you can’t even get them.  Maybe for the next build, once Flyduino can increase their supply.

The Seriously DODO by ReadyMadeRC files like a dream on Luxfloat, 4s and tri-blades even on the default pids.  It’s so locked in the quad does exactly what you want it to do.  Full review on this board coming soon.

quadrevo powerosd proOSD

This QAV-R build is all about speed.  I wanted a simple basic OSD to show me flight time and battery voltage.  The RSSI warning will be setup in the telemetry.  I thought about the OSDoge but it’s got much more features than is needed for a race quad.  I tried the RedRotor RROSD Pro Mini PDB but didn’t like microscopic font that was hard to read.  The QuadRevo PowerOSD is a PDB with basic OSD.  It shows battery voltage, current draw/use, RSSI and actual flight time.  The flight timer is only activated when the throttle is above zero.  The best thing about this PDB OSD is that there’s nothing to set up.  Simple plug and play OSD.

Motors

I believe we have a new king of 2300kv motors.   The EMAX RS2205 2300KV are monsters.  Capable of producing over 1,000g of thrust, each motor.  It’s no wonder they won the Dubai Grand Prix and becoming a favorite of many FPV racers.  They’ve surpassed the Cobra 2300kv.  I use these motors in every one of my builds now.

*1/16/17 UPDATE

I’ve been using the new T-Motor F40 version II 2400kv and now this is what I run.  The new version F40II are monsters.  They are smoother and have noticeably more power than even the EMAX motors.  Dont bother with the original F40, the F40II are now my new favorite motors.

Receiver

I love this tiny FrSky XSR!  Despite it’s tiny size, I haven’t noticed any range issues.  The range is pretty much the same as the larger X4R-SB and d4r-ii.  The XSR can do PPM or SBUS.  Of course we’ll be using SBUS and telemetry with the Smart Port wire.

Let’s get our Build on!

Note: the way this post is made is for people who are building form the kit.  You can still build this quad without the kit.  It will just take extra steps in measuring how much wire to cut.

QAV-R BUILD SCHEMATIC

 

The diagram above for the ESC and motors connections are for EMAX RS2205 2300KV motors.  If you are using Cobra, the diagram is opposite.  Motors 1 and 4 are crossed, motors 2 and 3 are straight.

First, install the arms using the included hardware.  Instead of using all M3x10mm screws, I’ll use M3x8 on the holes for the flight controller.  If you use M3x10 on these holes you won’t have enough thread space to mount the standoffs on the other side.

qav-r build

There are actually two ways to mount the arms, on top of the bottom plate or under.  If you are using the bottom brace or the LED power board, mount the arms under the board.  If you want a lower profile quad lower center of gravity (4mm lower) mount the arms on top of the bottom plate.

qavr-build-1030

qavr-build-1030 qavr-build-1030

 

Cut the heat shrink from the XM20A and de-solder the signal and ground wire.  Once again, we will not be using the ground wire from the ESCs.  I know this is a commonly debated topic in the forums, ground or no ground.  The ground wire is not needed from the ESC.  I’ve built around and worked on around 50 quads without ESC grounds and not once did I have any issues from not running a ground wire.  If you want extra work, go ahead and use the ground.

qav-r build

Most of the “issues” I’ve run into were bad solder joints, flight controller vibrations, too long motor screws and the most common, tuning issues.  When I started experimenting with the LUX I ran across an issue where the quad would have small YAW twitches.  I couldn’t figure out the problem so as a last ditch effort I soldered on the ground wire.  Guess what, it didn’t do anything.  I removed the ground wire and calibrated the ESCs a different way.  The problem went away and the quad is buttery smooth now.  Once again, it was a tuning issue.

The QuadRevo PowerOSD comes pre-installed with the vtx header pin already installed.  Since I’ll be direct soldering the camera and vtx cable directly on the PDB I’ll remove the header.  The easiest way to remove the header pin is to cut the black guide on the header then remove the pins one by one.  If you are uncomfortable soldering tiny wires you can use the header pins and connectors.

qav-r build

Wrap the XT-60 cable in wire mesh and solder it on the board.  Don’t forget to put the rubber grommet before soldering.

qav-r build

It makes soldering much easier if you pre tin the wire and battery pads on the PDB.  Once soldered on, the joint should look smooth and shinny.

qav-r build

Cut the FPV camera wire and solder it in the PDB.  Run the cable under the PDB.

qav-r build

Mount the PowerOSD using with the standoffs.  Motor vibrations cause a lot of issues with flight controllers so I started double mounting with small o-rings.  Use 4 o-rings under the PDB and 4 more for the flight controller.

qav-r build

Since the QuadRevo PowerOSD only has one big set of solder pads, positive on the right and negative on the left, to clean up the build we’ll be running some of the wires under the PDB.  If you have the kit, use the cheat sheet to measure how much wire to cut for ESCs 1-4.  If not, see the diagram below and cut the appropriate length wire for the power wires.  Mark the ESCs 1-4 because the length of wire is important in this build.  For ESCs 1 and 2, run the negative wire under the board.  For ESC 3 and 4, run the positive wire under the board.  This helps keep the top of the PDB clean and leaves more room for other wires.

lumenier qav-r build

Use the cheat sheet, measure and cut the VTX cables and VBAT.  Solder the wires directly to the PDB.  See the diagram above to see where to solder the wires.

lumenier qav-r build

Solder a 1×4 right angle header for the esc and 1×2 right angle for the buzzer and one for the VBAT on the DODO.  The good thing about the DODO is that it doesn’t need a separate 5V input.  The DODO can be powered directly off the battery (2s-6s).

We’ll be using SUB on the FrSky XSR.  Remove the green wire in the XSR harness.  That’s the PPM wire we won’t be using.  The white SBUS wire will go to pin 3 (U3RX/3) and yellow wire is the Smart Port Telemetry wire will go to U2TX.  You can use header pins or solder directly on the DODO.

lumenier qav-r build

Remove the wires from the ESC signal housing.  I’ll use a 4 pin housing for the input signals.  Use cheat sheet to measure the lengths for ESC signals 1-4.  Solder the correct input leads into the correct ESCs.

lumenier qav-r build

Slip on the heat shrink for the ESCs and arms but don’t shrink the heat shrink until after we test the motor direction in CleanFlight.

Mount the motor guards and motors.

lumenier qav-r build

Cut the appropriate length of motor wire.  Keep in mind motors 2 and 3 need to cross two wires.  Pre tin the motor wires and ESC pads with solder.  Solder motors 1 and 4 straight, motors 2 and 3 cross two of the three wires.

lumenier qav-r build

 

lumenier qav-r build

Do not shrink the heat shrink until you test the motor direction.

Thread the XSR antenna wires through the antenna ports on the XSR mount.  The mount has small tabs on the top that will help keep the XSR in place.  Mount the rx on the frame using the rear standoffs

lumenier qav-r build

Mount your VTX using the QAV-R VTX mount and mount on the frame using the same rear standoffs.

lumenier qav-r build

The HS1177 camera comes with 4 small self tapping screws for the case.  Use the correct size screwdriver and screw the included screws into the case.  Note the screw holes on the case do not have threads.  Use firm pressure and make some threads.

lumenier qav-r build

Install the top plate using the M3x5 screws.

lumenier qav-r build

At this point all of the physical build of the quad is finished.  All that’s left to do is flash the flight controller with BetaFlight, setup CleanFlight, test the motor direction, calibrate the ESC and set up the Taranis.  Check back soon in part 2 of this QAV-R build soon!

If you found this post helpful, it would be super cool if you purchased the components from my store or purchase items from my Amazon links.  These posts are expensive and take a loooong time to make especially this one!  Some of the segments in the video I had to reshoot 3-4 times because CleanFlight was messing up my screen recording and making the separate audio tracks not sync up.  The purchases make it possible for me to keep making them.  Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂

 

 

Comments

  1. James

    That is an awesome little quad. Great work friend, keep up the great work. Love the site.

     
  2. Todd Kurtz

    Fantastic post! Can’t wait for it to come in stock. Note that in your wiring schematic you have 2 black wires coming out of esc#3. I believe the one on the left should be red, minor but likely worth correcting.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      nice catch! my brain is fried. I just corrected it, thanks!

       
      1. Author
        FlightClub

        you can use the ground if you want. it doesn’t do anything. i’ve never used the ground wire in any quad i’ve built

         
  3. Jim

    Your vtx mount is excellent but has one design flaw. The logo cut-out makes it easy to break on the one side. It would be great if you could just make the logo embossed instead of a cut-out. Thanks – and hope you don’t mind the suggestion.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      hi Jim, thanks for the feedback. When did you get the vtx mount? I made a version 2 that’s slightly beefed up. I haven’t had any complaints since I made the revision.

       
  4. Anthony

    Awesome build, looking forward to part 2. I been looking into the QAV-R for a while now and I’m glad to hear you like it. I will be building one for sure, thanks for all the info and hard work!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      you’re going to love this quad. it’s very well balanced and pretty damn tough

       
  5. Frank

    Will you have an option for the 6″ frame in your kit? I’ve been eyeing the qavr for a while. What differences do you notice when flying this vs the qav210?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      it’s hard to pinpoint the differences in frames because I’m running a different flight controller. the dodo fc feels more locked in and faster. i’ll have 6″ frames later

       
  6. Mark Johnson

    I too had the xm20a/emaxx 2300 yaw twitch. I ended up changing ESC’s to another brand. Curious how you were able to fix it.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      i had to calibrate the esc with oneshot off. i’ll cover this in part 2

       
      1. Mark Johnson

        Cool. Can’t wait. I found an interesting thread on the yaw twitch. It appears the gyro that the naze rev6 and the Lux use (MPU6500) is the culprit with these powerful motors on a unibody frame. 0-rings seem to be the fix for most.

        https://github.com/borisbstyle/betaflight/issues/322

        I really appreciate the way you break down and really test individual components. I have learned a lot and appreciate all you do for our little community.

         
          1. Frank

            where can I get the little rubber O-rings to fix the twitch?

             
  7. Jason Rouse

    Hi Mike, great build. Can you tune PIDs through the goggles using this OSD/PDB combo? And what size o rings are you using for vibration dampening?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      no there’s no pid tuning with the PowerOSD. I think they are 2.5mmx6.5mm o-rings

       
  8. Paul Steffen

    Can’t wait to see the Dodo video. That’s next up for a build. I just finished a QAV210 and set up my Taranis thanks to your great videos!!!

     
  9. Mark

    The QAV-R looks like a great little quad! The custom 3D parts just make it such a tidy setup. Now that you’re not including the receiver any longer, is it still possible to get the FrSky XSR mount as part of the kit or do I order that separately?

    I can’t wait to build mine. Look forward to your update re: availability of the kit!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      hi mark, if a receiver is purchased with the kit we will include the correct mount for the receiver 🙂 The kits should be available in the next few days. We have everything but the PowerOSD. They are on their way!

       
      1. Mark

        You actually replied! Wow. That just doesn’t happen on many other sites… Thanks, I’ll be buying two XSR Rx with my QAV-R kit, one to go on my current quad and one for… you guessed it. So, I’ll pay you extra for the one additional XSR mount, if that’s OK. Can’t wait to get that order in now…

         
        1. Author
          FlightClub

          no problem mark, I can add an additional mount for you. you’ll have to remind me. I’m on my way to my wedding, haha.

           
  10. Oscar Hagström

    thanks for this build. just what i was asking you for!!!! You are a great guy in the quadcopter community!

     
  11. Frank

    Excellent post, as usual. I am still flying the 250 and the parts and 3D stuff from your site. I think this would be my next build. BTW, where did you get that stainless steel tweezer? I got a cheap one from China and it is crap. The metal is so soft and I tried to pick something up and it bends. Thanks.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      the tweezers i’m using are from school. can’t remember where i got them it’s been so long!

       
  12. pukas

    I am planning to purchase the build kit. Curious when is part 2 coming out?

     
  13. David

    Hi Mike, another question for you. Recently watch a video testing the motors used in this build, and to get the full thrust they had to use 30A little Bees ESCs. So my question is, will the DYS 20A be OK?

    Thanks

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      mine run fine. after a hard flight on 4s and tri-blades the esc and motors are only faintly warm.

       
      1. Pablo Contreras

        What is the best prop size for this quad on tri-blade?

         
        1. Author
          FlightClub

          My fave are the DAL 5045 tri v2 or the gemfan 5050 tri

           
  14. Aly Virani

    One of the best fpv drone websites around, keep up the great work!!!

     
  15. Joel

    Will you be adding the Luminier LED package anytime soon? I’m very interested in seeing that with your setup If you had it I would immediately buy my second one from you.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      I will in the future. I’ve been too busy with the wedding to play with any new equipment. thanks

       
  16. Larry

    As I’ve come to expect, this is a great post as I just like to get perspective on another’s build. Question for you: any tests on a 3s battery? I’m assuming on 4S with 5″ props this thing pops when you hit the gas. I’m assuming that I’d hit my range limitations quite quickly! Thoughts on 3S vs 4S?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      I fly 3s sometimes and it flies just as good. 4s is when I wanna go really fast 🙂

       
  17. Pablo Contreras

    Any alternatives to mounting the FPV camera? I’m concerned about simply using using screws, maybe a 3D printed stand? it’ll be difficult to know exactly how much until there is etc.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      i haven’t had any issues with the screw mount method

       
      1. Larry

        I’ve also had no issues with the camera being mounted with screws. Makes it easier to adjust in the event you don’t have the angle you want (good for beginners like myself). The frame keeps it fairly protected – trust me on this! I’ve had hardcore crashes face first into concrete and the cam is fine.

         
  18. SaGô

    Mike’s tutorials on this QAV-R build made my first ever build possible. He was very helpful throughout the process. Congratulations on your recent marriage, too, dude! and keep up the great work!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Double thank you! Happy flying 🙂

      build fly crash repeat

       
  19. Slipstriker

    Have you had any regulator issues with the PowerOSD? Mine works fine on 3s but my vtx has issues on 4s… The vtx Is connected to the 10/12v regulator (I don’t remember exactly y what it is) and I’m using almost the exact same setup as you… Quadrevo won’t respond either so idk what to do

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      i haven’t had any issues on 4s. I’ll send them a note and i’ll update you

       
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      the powerOSD doesn’t support RSSI. just set up a low RSSI alert through the telemetry and you’re good to go

       
  20. John

    I’m at the final steps of this build, using the recommended Lumenier TX5G6 transmitter I purchased from you. I notice the transmitter has printed on it the – (minus) on the left and the + (plus) on the right, but the wires that came with it plug in opposite that. So, which is it? Check out the pictures on your page: http://fpv-flightclub.com/product/lumenier-600mw-vtx/ Picture 4 shows negative on the left, picture 7 shows positive on the left.
    I’ve got everything else working, but I’m not powering up the transmitter until I get an answer. I’d cry if I fried something now!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      go with what is printed on the case you have. they make updates to these vtx all the time.

       
      1. John

        Actually, that’s not true. Here’s what it says on the getfpv page for that transmitter: The label for our current shipment of this transmitter has been mis-printed. They are currently labeled “-+AV-“. The true pinout is “+-VA5v”, as shown in our pictures. The included cables are also correct, you do not need to modify the cable.

        I have plugged this in and nothing blew up. That said, the transmitter works on a 5.8 receiver monitor I have, but not on my Dominator googles with a Nexwave receiver. I’m open to suggestions if you have any theories on why that would be.

         
  21. Nathan Peterson

    question regarding the motors, i noticed that they are all CCW so if i were to follow the tutorial should they work or will i need to purchase a CW motor?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      hi Nathan, We only carry the CCW motors. These are the right to tighten, normal prop nuts. The different directions CW and CCW only refers to the threads. We use regular nylon locknuts on the props and we’ve never had an issue. The reason for that is if you lose a CW (left to tighten) locknut you can’t use any off the shelf locknut, you have to get a specific type. Sometimes it’s hard to find.

      all motors used in my build videos are ccw motors.

       
  22. Matt

    I’m new to the hobby and so far I have just flown a micro quad to work on my piloting skills. I’m just about ready to dive into my first build. The QAV-R looks awesome and your posts and videos make it look like something I can tackle. Thanks for the great content! Which 2 blade and 3 blade props do you recommend and what kind of flight times are you getting with this setup? Also, have you tried an 1800 lipo, would it work or fit on the QAV-R? Thanks for your help!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      I actually would recommend the DAL tri blade T5045. These props are so tough it should last you several batteries and crashes. You can pair this prop with a 3s and it will fly nicely. When you get better switch to a 4s and it will scream.

      I wouldn’t recommend a 1800, it’s really heavy.

      http://fpv-flightclub.com/product/dal-5045-tri-blade-prop/

       
  23. Oliver R

    Hi, was wondering if possible to set up the Dodo FC to work with my Spektrum DX6 and AR7700 receiver?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      The DTFc supports Spektrum but I don’t know how to use that system. Perhaps a reader can chime in and help.

       
  24. Wayne

    As always great job with the QAV-R video and build. The idea and concept for using the small O-rings for vibration dampening was brilliant! Any chance getting the sizes and source of supply. I would like to tear down and place them in the rest of my quads. thanks

     
      1. Larry

        If you go to your favorite hardware retailer ask for a #60 o-rings. These are usually found in the plumbing section.

         
  25. Paul

    Great Article! Thank you for taking the time to write it.

    Do you have any ideas/suggestions on how to add lights to this build?

     
  26. Alex

    Awesome stuff. Thanks for spending all the time to share your knowledge. I just purchased a few items from the store and plan on buying more soon 🙂 One question: The “V-Bat” cable. What gauge is this wire? 2 pin male servo 22ga? Where can I purchase this? Thanks again! PS. Where is the Dodo review 😛

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      i have the vbat cables but just haven’t listed them. send me a message.

       
  27. gregors861

    Mike,
    Thanks for all the great information here and on this site in general. I am building my first quad and have referenced much of your written material, photos and videos and I am almost ready to begin connecting the PDB.
    My set-up is this so far:

    QAV-X Charpu 4mm
    RROSD Pro (I wanted the powerOSD but it’s not available right now)
    Tattu 1550 4s 75c
    Seriously Dodo FC
    X-Nova Hyper Racing 2205-2300kv
    DYS 30a ESC BLheli
    Foxeer HS1177 – NTSC – 2.8mm
    Foxeer 5.8G 40CH TM25 Switcher 25/200/600mW VTX
    FrSky X4 RSB TX

    I also ordered a couple things from your store- hope they get here soon-

    One question- here do you get you’re mesh for the wiring? I suppose I could leave the wires bare but I like
    the sanitary look and extra protection.
    Also, would your 3-D protectors work for the X-Nova motors?

    Greg

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      thanks greg. yes the motor guards will work for any 220x series motors.

       
      1. gregors861

        Thanks again, one more question- getting close to testing- I have been searching to find the default direction of the X-Nova Hyper 2205-2300kv motors- hoping that it is CCW spin- can you confirm?

         
  28. Marvin

    My cheat sheet looks different than in your video. The ESCs are grouped into 1&4 and 2&3. Both pairs of wire lengths are very short, so not like in your instructions.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      your cheat sheet is the current one for the PowerOSD V2. The cheat sheet used in the video was for the old PowerOSD v1. I had to update the cheat sheet because they improved the esc power pads by moving them to the 4 corners on the PowerOSD v2.

       
    2. John Batchler

      Don’t need a cheat sheet just measure the wires to appropriate spot on the board and cut it.

       
  29. Chris

    I’m new to this and was looking at your build and had a question about the amperage. Plugging the info into ecalc it shows a max motor current of ~30A with a full battery. Have you had any issues with your 20A ESCs keeping up?

     
  30. David lewis

    Hi, finished the build, went outside and tried to fly. My quad flipped. No idea what is wrong. Ive checked all the normal things like motor rotation, prop rotation, and cleanflight settings. Also the Roll, yaw and pitch are twitching in cleanflight. What are some more things to check?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      spin the motors individually and make sure you have the correct motor signal connected to the correct motor. i’ve done this and it will make it flip violently

       
    2. T-Wrex

      Hi, make sure that you “change the YAW correction to 90 degrees because we have the DODO facing the right side of the quad.”

       
    3. Larry

      Had this issue recently and it was all user soldering error: I had PPM1 signal wire going to PPM3 on the Kiss FC. It flipped everytime. As soon as I rectified it was smooth sailing.

       
  31. Sébastien

    Hi, I followed your article and it’s very interesting ! I created a similar configuration based on yours, but I nstead of DYS XM20A, I ordered DYS XMS30A. Do you think that it’s unnecessary ? Maybe it’s to heavy ?

     
      1. Larry

        Sebastien I also use the 30A escs. I’ve had to 20As catch on fire/spark up for me in the past. The 30A are a little more heavy but not too bad. Shouldn’t impact your flights whatsoever.

         

Leave a Reply