qav-x build

QAV-X Build: How to Build a Lumenier QAV-X Part 1

In Build, Review by Mike Tseng34 Comments

How to Build a Lumenier QAV-X

Time for another build!  The Lumenier QAV-X build is one of my favorite quads right now.  It’s no secret I really like the Lumenier frames.  Their designs are all really well thought out using the highest quality components.  The QAV-X is no exception.  The frame comes in 3mm and 4mm versions.  Both the frames are exactly the same except the thickness of the main bottom plate.  The QAV-X is a true X pattern frame meaning the distance between all the motors are exactly the same.  This makes it perfectly balanced on all axis and it shows when you fly.  A really nice feature is the built in fixed 35 degree GoPro mount.  The flight video is just a GoPro directly mounted on the frame with some velcro straps.  It works great!

Testing

I built two QAV-X before I settled on what parts to use in this build.  Let’s take a look at my two test quads.

qav-x build

QAV-X Blue is running the KISS FC, DYS XS20A ESC running BLHeli-s and EMAX RS2205 2300KV motors.

QAV-X Red is running the KISS FC, KISS 24A ESC and Lumenier 2206 2350kv motors

*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.

After flying both quads I’ve decided to go with QAV-X blue.  Both QAV-X fly very similar.  Great control and balance with plenty of power.  I was very surprised the XS20A flew just as well as the KISS ESC which cost double.  Unless you plan on running ESC telemetry, I don’t see a need to run 24A esc on such a light quad.  The Lumenier 2206 2350kv motors are great and run super smooth but the EMAX are hard to beat.  Crazy powerful and cost less.  One thing to keep in mind is the casing on the Lumenier motor is pretty thin on the bottom.  That means less threads for the motor screws to grab.  I had one motor come off the arm and ripped off the ESC after I crashed into a metal soccer goal post.  How’s that saying go? If you aren’t crashing, you aren’t flying hard enough?  Or I just suck at flying…

So QAV-X build red is no better or worst at flying but QAV-X blue costs about $85 less.  Your choice.  Both QAV-X are built almost exactly the same.  If you build with KISS FC and KISS ESC you can skip the ESC calibration part.

qav-x buildParts used in this QAV-X Build

3D Parts

The QAV-X Build Kit will include everything listed above plus a bag of misc parts (heat, shrink, buzzer, vbat cable…), backup files for the Taranis and KISSFC and the cheat sheet.

Tools Used in this Build
Suggested Other Parts Needed
Let’s get the QAV-X Build On!

Just a quick note, if you are using this guide to build with parts you bought from another retailer which is fine, but please contact them for support.  I can only offer support for my customers.  Otherwise I’ll be answering emails all day long.  Thanks for understanding 🙂

If this is your first quad, check out my other post on soldering basics.  Also I highly recommend building the quad yourself rather than buying a pre built quad.  Part of flying FPV is crashing.  There’s no better way to learn how to repair a quad than building it yourself.  This guide and kit will be the easiest best way to learn how to build a QAV-X.

The QAV-X is a small frame so there’s not much room to work with inside the quad so direct solder is the cleanest way to build.  Everything in this QAV-X build will be direct solder.  This will help reduce problems that can arise by eliminating the possibility of connectors coming loose.  There’s not really any room for header pins and connectors.  This frame uses 27.5mm standoffs rather than the standard 35mm so it will be a tight build.  Get a nice pair of tweezers.

Build Schematic

qav-x build

So here is the schematic for this build.  If you get lost during the build just refer to this schematic and it should clear things up.

Once again, a lot of the steps I do are not totally necessary.  I do them because I’m OCD when it comes to my builds.  I value clean builds because it makes troubleshooting easier and looks better.

qav-x build

First prepare the ESCs for mounting.  Remove the heat shrink and unsolder the signal and ground. Cut the motor wires and pre-tin the leads and ESCs with solder.  Pre-tinning makes soldering much easier.  Solder two motors on the ESC straight across and two with a crossed wire.

qav-x build

Since everything will be direct solder on this build, we need to remove the header pin on the PowerOSD.  Clip the headers and remove the pins individually while the solder is melted.

qav-x build

Cut the camera and VTX cable and solder them to the PowerOSD on the bottom. Solder on the battery cable on the bottom also.

qav-x build

Slip the ESC and bigger arm heat shrinks on.  Install motor motors on the frame with motor guards if you are using them.  I highly recommend using motor guards on this frame because it’s an X pattern frame with short body.  That means when you fly into something the motors will be the first thing that gets hit.

qav-x build

Solder on the ESC power leads on the PowerOSD.  All the positives on the right pad and negatives on the left pad.  I find it easiest to solder the ESC power cables two at a time.  Cut and install a VBAT cable for the KISS FC.

qav-x build

Cut the wires on the FrSky XSR and solder on the KISS.  Add a 2 pin 90 degree header on top of the KISS FC, buzzer and ESC signal leads 1-4.

kiss fcMount the KISS FC and solder on the signal leads.  Pay attention to the motor layout.  The KISS layout is different from CleanFlight.

qav-x build

At this point you are done with all the soldering.  Easy enough right?  Do not close the heat shrinks just yet.  You will do that after you verify the motor spin direction.  The KISS FC needs the XSR bound and the Taranis switches set up before you do the settings in the KISS Configurator.  Check back for part 2 of the QAV-X build soon for the Taranis setup, KISS Configurator setup and test flight video.

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!  The purchases make it possible for me to keep making them.  Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂

 

Comments

  1. Another great, detailed build video! After watching your builds, I am almost ready to take the leap into this type of quad. Question: is the QAV-X something you would recommend to a noob? Another: could the kit be operated as line of sight to start and then add the fpv goggles at a later stage- with all the equipment on the quad without issue? Thank you again- these builds are great information for all ( especially one like me just getting started). Look forward more builds, reviews, etc.

     
    1. Author

      Hi Jeff, if you know how to solder than this build will not be an issue. Although this is a tight build but I wouldn’t say it’s hard. The QAV-R kit is an easier build cause the frame is bigger so there’s more room to work with.

      http://fpv-flightclub.com/product/lumenier-qavr-build-kit/

      Yes you can build this without FPV gear to start with then add it later without issue.

       
      1. Great, thank you for the response. When it is time- soon- I will be placing an order with you.

         
  2. I use a DX7 TX. Can I use the SXR RX provided? If not what would u suggest?

     
  3. How does the XS20A compare to the XM20A? I just ordered 4 XM20A’s and then I see these. I like that the XS gives hardware PWM and multishot..

     
    1. Author

      the xs20a feel smoother than the xm20a. they break harder too.

       
  4. DONE!!! I’m excited for the maiden flight tomorrow morning. Another excellent build video and kit Mike!

    Maybe I missed it, but DO NOT FORGET to install the battery strap before you mount the PCB. Also, the bottom plate for the battery strap is a bit interesting so make sure you get it right before you mount the PCB. I had to disassemble the electronic stack and top plate to install the battery strap. Everyone learn from my bad! It only took 15 minutes to correct, but if I can save someone 15 minutes that would make me happy. 🙂

    Best.

    Todd

     
    1. Author

      awesome Todd! good tip, I should have mentioned that in the video. thanks!

       
  5. I have several Runcam cameras and was wondering if this quad can hold that type camera?

     
  6. Hi there just ordered my parts late last night. One thing I forgot to order though are props and I don’t think you mention which ones you used for this setup. Do you have a recommendation on tri blades to use? I have a bunch of 5045 tri’s laying around but I think I saw somewhere that these motors on 5×4.5×3 put out over 20a on peak current. I followed your lead on ordering the parts for this bird, including ESC’s. Do you think this is fine?

     
    1. Author

      I run DAL T5045 triblades and it’s fine. ESC are just slightly warm after a hard run. No issues.

       
  7. I’ve purchased many of the parts except for Frame and Motor from you. The reason I didn’t get them was you were out of tock of the 4mm frame. Would you please share with me the blue versions pids and the wiring diagram if I give my word i will not share them with anyone? You can see I placed 3 orders with you for items the past week.

    Thank you…

     
  8. Hi Mike any idea when the ‘QUADREVO POWEROSD PRO’ boards will be back in stock?
    Thanks
    Charlie

     
    1. Author

      i’m not sure. they’ve been on order for 3 weeks now so anytime soon.

       
  9. I am building one of these with 2205/2300 motors and 30a ESCs- what battery that is available in the US would you recommend? (First FVP Build)

     
    1. Author

      You could always use 4s with some less powerful props like 5030 to learn.

       
      1. Yes I will use 4s but what brand would you recommend that I can buy in US and what C rating and what Mah?

         
  10. Hi, what is ESC telemetry? Would I still be able to see mah and volt in the OSD or from the Taranis?

     
    1. Author

      yes, the PowerOSD will show timer, voltage and mah. The telemetry will give you voice promps via Taranis. ESC telemetry is for the KISS esc. Shows you rpm and ESC temperature. This is very unnecessary imo.

       
  11. I wonder if a Connex Prosight HD could be fitted to the QAV-X? Camera fit? Transmitter placement?

     
    1. Author

      I don’t think so. It’s hard enough to fit regular fpv equipment in this small frame.

       
  12. hey does anyone know where I can find the measurements cheat sheet for the qav-x build as shown in the video

     
  13. New to this sport, never flown or built before,I am sparing no expense in building two drones so I want to get this right. I am currently ordering parts to build my son a QAV 250r and I ordered a QAV x for myself. Below is what I have ordered for parts and I need some help with eCalc configurations to give me some specs on what I am building. I am looking for optimal prop size and pitch with the motor and size I chose along with optimal ESC to handle the motors on a 4s 95c 1300MAH Luminier battery.
    OEM Lumenier QAV X and QAV 250r will have PRO Tmotor F40 2600KV motors, Kiss 30 AMP ESC, 4s 1300 MAH 95c Batteries, 5045/3 Props. I seeking to get out of the 250r to 80-90 MPH and my QAV X to 95-100 MPH if not faster with decent fly time!
    My eCalc configurator shows that I am not even close to desired MPH and fly time for both QAV X and QAV 250r and shows my ESC’s, (KISS 30 AMP) are too small and I,need a bigger AMP ESC’s, it also shows my Pitch is way off and shows low MPH for both QAV’s. (I could be entering the wrong information based on lack of experience which is why I need your help)
    Can someone configure both QAV’s for me and let me know the following
    a) What optimal ESC and Prop size/Pitch would be for both build configurations and what prop would you sugest?
    b) What Max Speed will be for both QAV’s QAV 250r for my son and QAV X for myself?
    c)What is the fly time for each?
    d) What is your experienced opinion about the Motors ESC, Battery and Prop selection I choose for each the QAV 250r and the QAV X builds. Is there a more efficient, more powerful lighter better combination you would have gone with to make each QAV sick performing drones? if so what would you have chosen?Please email me product info and why you would have gone that route so I can research and change products before I build.
    e) What is it you would do to maximize each QAV with the Motor, ESC, Battery and Prop to get the most out of each QAV.
    You can email me at [email protected] or text me at 989-359-1026 I will be building these QAV’s this week and parts are arriving dailey so time is off the essence and I need an experienced FPV Drone builder to help.

     
    1. Author

      it’s going to be hard to build a quad that can fly 100mph out of the QAV-X and still get a long flight time. I would just build a Tokio X. We haven’t clocked it yet but you can see in the flight video it’s pretty fast using this setup.

      http://fpv-flightclub.com/flightclub-tokio-x/

       
  14. What AWG wire have you used for the XT60
    battery connection?

     

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