flightclub tokio

FlightClub Tokio X

In News, Review by Mike Tseng61 Comments

FlightClub Tokio X
flightclub tokio

 

After months and months of designing, prototyping and currently testing, I’m proud to present to you our first frame, the FlightClub Tokio X.  (Formerly known as the “FX210”)

Check out the Tokio X page.

Thanks to all the people who contributed in naming of the frame in the last post, Design the Best Quadcopter of All Time.  (Nobody won but don’t worry, I’m going to do a frame give away.)  I decided to call it Tokio X.  Why Tokio?  My other passion besides FPV is travel.  So I think I’ll start naming my frames after some of my favorite places in the world.  Plus it’s a catchier name that the boring FX210.

Details of the Video

The quad flying at the end of the video was a prototype flown by FlightClub team pilot Ivan “EnvyAstro” Rodriguez.  Here’s his race setup:

Reinventing Quadcopter Frames

Be prepared to change your perception about quadcopter frames.  Once you fly the Tokio X, your view of quadcopter frames will change.  The most noticeable change is the protection.  My testers and I have been bashing the crap out of the prototype frames and we have yet to break anything (as of this post) besides the two camera lenses I broke flying into steel poles.  I’m by far the worst pilot of all my testers.  Between my testers and I we’ve put at least 300 battery packs combined through our prototypes as of this post.  We’ve done things to the that would have demolished full carbon frames and it’s electronics.  Tokio X just bounces off and keeps soldiering on.

Edit:  As I’m writing this post, one of my testers has broken an arm.  He was using a quasi-isotropic type carbon fiber.  More on the carbon fiber down below.  I won’t be using this type of carbon fiber in the final frames and the arms will be beefed up.

Innovation
Butter Mount

One feature I didn’t mention in the last post about this frame was the Butter Mount.  It’s an innovative way to mount the flight controller stack.  Up until now, all known quadcopter frames just use 4 – 3mm holes spaced 30.5 x 30.5mm apart in a square.  The problem with that is when you mount your hard screws through that hole is all the vibration from the motors are transferred directly to your flight controller.  These vibrations cause issues in the form of oscillations, poor/eratic flight performance, extra heat in your ESC/motors, wasted energy and more.

flightclub tokio

O-rings and soft motor mounts don’t always work.  In the o rings the flight controller is still touching the vibrating standoff attached to the frame.  On soft motor mounts, the screw head is still touching the frame and the threads touching the motor.  It’s like putting a band aid over your issues.

Butter Mount eliminates or severely squashes the vibrations because nothing hard is touching the frame.  The mounting screws are surrounded by super soft silicon.  It’s been tested with the most vibration prone flight controllers like the KISS fc and LUX and both have been buttery smooth.  The flight controllers were hard mounted directly on the standoffs without o-rings and we’ve had zero issues with oscillations or any other vibration caused issues.  3…2…1 let the copycats begin.

 Tokio X Canopy

The canopy on the Tokio X is the heart of the frame.  Hundreds of hours of design time went into developing it…along with chunks of my hair ripped out.  I literally ate, breathed and slept with CAD on my mind for the past 4 months.  Ask my wife.  Countless revisions and prototypes when into the final version.

(Please do not contact me for the stl file.  No I will not be sharing the file.  A small chunk of my life went into designing the canopy.  Please understand if I don’t want to give away my hard work.)

Canopy Mount

Another innovation is the way the canopy is mounted to the frame.  The major weakness on canopy quads is that the canopy doesn’t stay on the frame.

flightclub tokio

 

Tokio X is using a brand new simple way of mounting the canopy with only two screws.  This makes working on the frame a breeze.  Remove two screws on the bottom and you have access to the entire quad inside.  This was also a high priority when I designed the frame.  I wanted to make it super easy to do any field repairs or changes.  It also makes building a breeze.  Tokio X is by far the easiest quad to build.  Less hardware means weight savings, no more bent standoffs and impossible for the canopy to come off.

Camera Protection

Breaking cameras suck!  I’ve broken 4 cameras in my QAV-X alone.  I’ve put twice as many battery packs through my three Tokio X prototypes and the cameras are fine.

flightclub tokio

Tokio has three layers of camera protection:

  1. Thick protruded lip around the lens.  This is designed so the lens sits inside the frame.
  2. Flexible canopy.  Absorbs the shock of impacts.
  3. Bendable bracket that mounts the camera.

flightclub tokio

Tokio X is designed to be used with the FOXEER Arrow or RunCam Swift using the angle locking bracket.  HS1177 can be used but it won’t have the angle locking feature.  No more over complicated camera mounts.  I didn’t want to mount the camera on the canopy because I wanted to be able to remove the canopy and have all the components on the frame.  This makes building and repairs simple.

Once again, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

VTX and Antenna Protection

flightclub tokio

This was probably the hardest thing to design on the canopy.  I tried so many different ways to mount it before I came up with this.  Most quads mount the antenna pointing up.  This makes it a dominate stress point when it lands upside down or in a roll.  The VTX/antenna on the Tokio X is designed at a 15 degree downslope.  This puts the antenna down below the props and tucks it between the two back motors.  This way the antenna never touches the ground if it lands upside down.

Carbon Fiber Plate

No expense spared when it came to making the carbon fiber plate.  I got prototypes from several manufacturers and compared different cuts and types of carbon fiber before settling on a manufacturer.  Quality of cuts, types of carbon fiber, quality of carbon fiber, tolerances and lead times were the criteria in choosing the manufacturer.

flightclub tokio

Frame Details
  • Butter Mount frame
  • Chamfered outer edges – eliminates sharp edges to cut velcro straps or wires.  Makes the arms less prone to take a hit and fray.  Looks damn sexy.
  • Completely flat bottom.  Countersunk holes and butter mount makes the bottom completely flat.  No more protruding screw heads to tear apart batteries.
  • Hypotense Cut – using 0/90 carbon fiber, the models are rotated 45 degree on the carbon fiber sheet so the carbon fibers run down the length of the arms.  0/90 Carbon fiber lays sheets of carbon fiber in a way the fibers lay in a tic tac toe pattern.  If the frames aren’t rotated 45 degrees, the fibers are cut.  This leaves only the resin and bits of carbon fiber down the arms.  Rotating the model 45 degrees leaves the carbon fibers intact inside the resin.  I tried Quasi-isotropic carbon fiber also.  Quasi-isotropic is rotating each layer of the carbon fiber sheets 45 degree in the manufacturing process.  This way the models don’t need to be rotated 45 degrees before cutting.  Sounds nice but in this application where we need the strongest arms possible, 0/90 is better.  Say if you have 8 layers in a carbon fiber sheet.  On the 0/90 you have 8 layers of fibers going down the arm.  The Quasi-isotropic only has 4 layers of fibers going down the arm.

The broken frame one of my testers had was using the quasi-isotropic.  We won’t be using this type of carbon.  All our 0/90 rotated frames have been going strong.

flightclub tokio

All these details make the frame much more expensive to produce.  Especially the 0/90 hypotense cut.  A normal cut can fit 5 frames on a sheet.  Rotating the frame 45 degree can only fit 4 frames.  It costs more but it’s the absolutely strongest way to make a carbon fiber frame.  No expense spared.

 Dream Come True

This has always been a dream of mine ever since I was little.  To design, manufacture and sell products.  Although I’ve been designing 3D products for the past two years, I consider Tokio X as my first real product.  No joke, it’s been one of the hardest and most frustrating things I’ve ever done.  It was totally worth it.  Tokio X is killing it!

Thanks to everyone who contributed in designing Tokio.  I compiled a list of problems from reader comments, emails, messages and talking with with other pilots.  One by one they were all solved in this frame.  Together, we made a bad ass frame.  Look for it on many podiums this year.

 

flightclub tokio

Pre-Orders

The first batch of frames have already started production.  Pre orders will start Friday, March 10, 2017 with a delivery date of approximately March 24th.  If you are interested in getting a frame, do not wait.  The first batch is small and will probably sell out pretty quickly.

Get it HERE!

 

Comments

  1. Congrats!! Great Job! I loved the design and features! One question: I use Spektrum RX. How would it fit in the Tokyo? Thanks

     
  2. Im all in! Big fan of your work. But I do want to be spoon fed. I was hoping to buy a complete kit from you which I could assemble and then follow set up videos to end up with the same Tokio X that you are flying. Especially if a complete kit saved $ over a frame and DIY project. Well, anyway, I will preorder a frame to help you get in production. Just let us know if you intend to provide an instruction/set up video and the other parts to complete the quad. I don’t want this to fail for me because I don’t know how to set up an FC from scratch. I have seen too many friends go through that with parts projects. I am hoping to learn that stuff doing this project. My other quads are Vortexes and a Toretto so yeah, weak, those are bind and fly. Thanks for keeping me in the loop. I’ll be looking for your email tomorrow.
    BTW I lived in Tokyo for 5 years, awesome-0, good choice.

     
    1. Author

      love tokyo, one of my favorite places in the world!

      yes the kit will be available soon. Ivan will be doing a build from a racer’s point of view with race build tips. I will do a detailed build like my other videos.

       
  3. Congrats! Can’t wait for the entire kit to go on sale.

     
  4. Very very nice! Put it up for sale so I can buy the thing right now!

     
  5. What’s the weight of the canopy, and the weight of the frame?
    I’m assuming there will be canopy’s built for GoPro’s?

    I love the idea of the flat bottom, and the “butter mount”. Great frame!

     
  6. Congrats!! It looks sweet…
    I just got the QAV210 frame a couple of weeks ago, if not I would have certainly got this.. Will have to wait!!!

     
  7. So how did you mount the battery? Can you show a picture as I would assume some velcro straps would wrap all the way around it and it mounts to the bottom of the quad?

     
    1. Author

      yes, it’s a bottom battery mount. The strap will go around the frame under the fc stack. Part of the Butter Mount design will easily allow a battery strap to slip through so it will be very quick and easy to replace a broken strap.

       
  8. Ok, I’m anxious to get started but since I need everything anyway I will wait for you to put a complete kit on sale. Thanks for the quick reply.

     
    1. Author

      it’s coming 🙂 I’ll get to work on it once everything settles down. There will be two build videos coming. One by me and one by my team pilot Ivan. Mine will be the normal super detailed and Ivan’s will be showing you how he builds from a racer’s point of view. It will be 1 of 4 Tokio’s he’ll be using in the coming races this year.

       
  9. Nice one! I’ll be copping this, but where are you putting your ESCs? Looks like they are internal and I am wondering if I’ll be able to toss some KISS 24a in cleanly. Looks like I could just do so on the arms, but the clean build looks really nice. Also didn’t know you had a team, but that guy can race. What’s in his build as that thing was hauling ass?

     
    1. Author

      We are running Cicada 35A 4in1 esc that stack under the flight controller. Ivan’s setup is listed in the post. He will be making a video soon building a quad he’ll be using this year in his races.

       
  10. Most frames ship with PDB and I don’t see anything in the photos or in the descriptions of parts used. Can you provide any more detailed photos or even a build video?

     
    1. Author

      How many times do you actually use the PDB that it comes with? I almost never use them cause not every build needs it. Using a 4in1 esc a PDB is not needed.

       
    1. Author

      I haven’t built one with osd but it can be done. I just use the telemetry from the XSR.

       
  11. Can’t wait for you to do a writeup/build for this frame! It looks awesome!

    So the VTX and Camera are powered by the Cicada 4in1?
    What about filtering (from ESC and motor noise) and OSD?

     
    1. Author

      yes, the fpv is powered by the cicada. I run a 12v regulator before going to the fpv. the build is coming. thanks!

       
  12. What is the weight on the frame? i guess i’ll know soon enought ordered mine as soon as it was available. Lol thanks

     
  13. Still looking like the 24th for delivery on the first batch of preorders? I’m like a little kid on xmas eve!

     
  14. Does the cicada 35A support Dshot without any mods (eg: removing a capacitor)?? Thanks!

     
    1. Author

      yup. it’s pre-flashed with blheli-s. as long as your flight controller can support it, just select dshot and you’re done!

       
  15. A lot of ingenious thoughts and work went into this frame – I like it a lot! But I would welcome a bit narrower and thicker arms (to make the area blocking the air stream from props as small as possible) – especially if 4-in-1 ESC is used. Also, I’m not quite sure about the VTX antenna positioning. The radiation pattern of the antenna which is pointing slightly downwards (meaning it’s pointing somewhat upwards in forward flight but can’t reach vertical position) isn’t quite optimal. But I understand that for racing the durability of such antenna placement is more important than the reach of video signal.

     
  16. When do you expect to have the second run ready for sale? I’m bummed that I missed the first batch sale.

     
    1. Author

      i’m about to put in the order. It usually takes about 2 weeks to get the frames. thanks!

       
    1. Author

      I’m not sure because I haven’t gotten that board yet. I’ll have it soon.

       
  17. First: Woa! This looks amazing, great work!

    Got 2 questions:
    1) Is the sma connector of the vtx held in place by the frame? (I will be using the trampHV Vtx) On the shop page picture 15 it looks like its held in place but had to confirm.
    2) Some of my races require back LED’s where would u place them? Maybe 3D printed LED arm mounts as extra upgrade.

    Oh and I guess u can do top mounted battery as well if u use the gopro mount frame and place a lipo there instead of gopro 😀

    What are ure thoughts on making the quad base plate thicker (7mm+) and the frame arms thinner (4mm)? Have u made any prototypes like this?

     
  18. when are you posting a build vid? I have mine already and would like to see your build process.

     
    1. Author

      yes my video is coming but it won’t be until the next batch of frames around 4/10.

       
  19. Are you going to put together a step-by-step build guide? I’d love to build one exactly how you build yours!

     
    1. Author

      yes my video is coming but it won’t be until the next batch of frames around 4/10.

       
        1. Author

          I don’t know yet. I don’t have the AIO but…i’m designing a frame for the AIO 🙂

           
  20. Got my frame and damn is it sick! I would caution any future (or current owners) on one piece: the buttermounts. While they will give you buttery performance, be careful not to drop them. Unlike butter, they bounce. I was assembling them, dropped one, spent 45 minutes looking for it. It literally bounced/rolled about 20′ away. I did a couple of test bounces to determine how far it could have gotten and was surprised. That’s not a drawback whatsoever, but maybe keep a piece of tape or dish to hold this hardware. Maiden tomorrow. I can’t wait to fly this!

     
    1. I have mine as well. Building it with an omnibus f4 pro, emax 2306 2750kv, cicada 35amp 4 in 1. I’m excited to see those motors on the little tokio. Should make for a decently light build with a bunch of power.

       
  21. OK I see now a build video is coming about 4/10. Time to finish my other projects and be ready.

     
    1. You can use whatever fits! Just depends on the size of your VTX. He recommended something slimmer, like a FX799T. I’m using an adjustable AKK X1, which fits very well. I’m pretty sure any of my VTX’s would fit in there except for the protected boxed ones.

       
  22. Mike will you be selling as a ready to Fly like ive bought in past

     
    1. Author

      thanks brad! yes, they will be available in the next couple of weeks. look for an announcement next week.

       
  23. So 22mm is to high for the stack? That would be to bad, I really like how this frame looks…

     

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