qav250 build

How to Build a Lumenier QAV250, The Correct Way

In Build by FlightClub101 Comments

How to Build a Lumenier QAV250, The Correct Way.

Update January 1, 2016

Please watch this video before starting this build.  Some things have changed since I made this post.  It will show a slightly different but easier build method and updates on the Naze32 rev6.

Time for another build!  In part 1 of this post I explained why you should do some research and choose your parts wisely.  This time I’ll show you how to build a Lumenier QAV250 the correct way.  There are several ways to build a QAV250.  When I say the correct way I’m referring to choosing your components.

The first time I built a QAV250, my first quad not including the Hubsan X4, I had no clue what I was doing and wasn’t even sure what I was buying.  I just bought whatever recommended by GetFPV.  A year later and 2 broken frames, 2 fried ESC’s, smashed LED’s and a bent Lumenier motor, it sits in my quad parts graveyard.  It was getting too expensive buying Lumenier replacement parts.

This was before I really learned how to build a quad.  As you can see from part 1 of this post, by building this way you not only get a better quad but you also save $140!  Take it from someone building their 2nd QAV250.  This is the way to build.

Parts List
Other Parts Needed for this Build
  • Batteries – I like the Nano-tech 45-90c batteries, 3s or 4s.
  • Battery Charger.  I use the HiTec X4, it’s basically 4 chargers in one with a built in power supply.  Good if you fly a lot.  It can charge 16 1300mah batteries in about 1 hour.  Or if you don’t need a big beast like the HiTec, I started with this Tenergy Balancing Charger and works fine.  You can use a balance board and charge 3 1300mah batteries at once.
  • You’ll need some M3x6 or M3x10mm (depends on how you mount your signal header pins) nylon standoffs to mount the Naze32 to the frame.  I like this kit.  It has every size and spare you’ll ever need.
Miscellaneous Items
  • M3x5mm button head screws.  The Cobra motors I’m using came with phillips head screws.
  • Heat shrink for the BL20A ESCs
  • LiPo battery checker.  Needed to calibrate the OSDoge voltage.  Plug this into the balance lead to read the battery voltage.  Leave it on the QAV250 and it can double as a low battery voltage.  This thing is freaking LOUD!  If you are using this indoors, cover the two buzzer holes to muffle the sound.
  • Wire wrap for the motors and power cable
  • Soldering clamp – this little $6 tool makes soldering so much easier.  Helps a lot when you are soldering the motor wires to the ESCs.
  • Since the Naze32/OSDoge stack is extra tall, it’s a good idea to protect it from the battery.  If you hit a tree the battery will shift forward and break the standoffs holding the Naze32.  If you don’t have spares you’re done for the day.  Even if you do have spares it’s a pain to do a swap in the field.  I recommend a flight controller firewall.  It prevents the battery from flying through your Naze32/OSDoge stack in front collisions.

*Motors – If this is your first quad, I would recommend going with 2300kv motors such as the SunnySky 2204 2300kv or the Cobra 2204 2300kv with 5030 props.  These motors will allow you to fly smoothly and give you good flight times on 5030 props.  This setup will let you use a 4s battery for good power and speed.  Whatever motor you go with, I highly recommend the 2204 motors over 1806.  The 2204 are lower profile (pancake like) than the 1806 so they are much less susceptible to damage during crashes.

I’ll be using the Cobra 2204 1960kv motors because I’ll be using 5045 props on 4s.  This setup will give you 6″ prop power without using 6″ props.  Do not use this motor if you are running 3s battery on 5030 props.  It will fly but will feel very under powered.  This motor is designed for more aggressive props such as the 5045 and 6″ props.

Tools

People are asking so I thought I’d include a list of tool I use.

  • Soldering Iron – I use the Weller Digital Soldering station.  I love this soldering iron.  It heats up super fast and is very precise.  If you don’t solder everyday like me, an iron like this will do fine.  Get one that has adjustable power.
  • If you watch my videos you’ll see me use these all the time.  These sharp tweezers make soldering so much easier and less burnt fingers. It’s also good when you need to string wires or plug connectors in tight spots.
  • This little clamp is very helpful when soldering.  Good for tinning wires or just when you need a 3rd and 4th hand.
  • Using a soldering vise makes soldering so much easier.
Basic schematic for our QAV250 build with OSDoge.

build qav250 diagram

 

Here’s a quick summary of this schematic.  The BL20A ESCs (electronic speed controller) used in this build are OPTO, meaning they do not have a built in BEC (battery eliminator circuitry) to power the Naze32.  The ESCs will get the power directly from battery off the PDB (power distribution board).  Only the signal wires will be used coming out of ESC’s 1-4 into the Naze32.  The 5V required to power the Naze32 will come from the OSDoge coming in on the power and ground on channel 6 on the Naze32.  The D4r-ii will be powered off the Naze32.  The OSDoge has a built in LC filter to clean up the power and signal for the video transmitter and FPV camera.  Connecting the TX/RX on the Naze32 to the OSDoge will let you tune PIDs from your OSD.

Notice how the ESC’s are connected to the motors.  On the BL20A’s, if you connect the motors without crossing any wires, the motor will spin CCW.  If you cross 2 of the 3 wires it will spin CW.  If you solder it this way you won’t have to reverse the motors in BlHeli Suite.

OK, if this is your first quad build, that must sound super confusing but don’t worry.  We’ll go step by step and I’ll try to explain what all this means during the build.

Let’s get the Build on!

Just a quick note before we start, My OCD is in full effect when I build quads.  I want everything as clean as possible with minimal wires.  A lot of the steps I’m doing may not be totally necessary.  As long as you follow the schematic above you’re golden.

build qav250

Place the ESCs on the power distribution board and cut the positive and negative wires where they will connect to the PDB.  I’ll be using the pads across from the ESC’s because the + and – on the BL20A’s are reversed on the PDB.  I want the solder side up on the ESC.  It will make things easier later.

build qav250

I removed the heat shrink on the ESCS to make soldering easier.  Since I’ll be soldering the motors directly to the ESC’s to cut down on weight, I’m going to remove the motor leads on the ESC.  Unsolder the signal and ground wire also.  It’s easier to do it this way rather than try to cut and re-solder at the tiny connector end.

Build-QAV250-1005

Four BL20A ESC’s ready to be mounted on the PDB.  BTW these only weight 3 grams each as is.  That’s 1/4 the weight of a normal ESC with BEC.

build qav250

Solder the positive to positive and negative to negative on the ESCs to the PDB.  Make sure the solder joints look nice and shinny.  If you have a dull/bumpy joint redo it.  That’s a bad solder joint and can come apart mid-flight.

build qav250

In my build, I’ll be facing the Naze32 to the right so I can have easy access to the micro USB.  If you mount your Naze32 any other way than the arrow facing the front, make sure you make the correct YAW adjustment in Cleanflight/Baseflight.  If you don’t do this your quad will flip violently on takeoff.

build qav250

Soldered a 90 degree 4 pin header on the bottom of the Naze32 for the signal wires.  This will keep the wires out of sight once mounted.

build qav250

 

Signal wires cut to length and ready to solder on to the ESCs.  It helps to label the signal wires 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Cuts down on confusion.

build qav250

This is what the PDB should look like once all soldered.  Signal wires soldered to their corresponding ESCs, battery cable installed and a 2 pin connector soldered directly on the the PDB.  This will connect to the VBAT on the OSDoge.  It will power the board and let you monitor your battery voltage.  I also soldered the negative leads back on to the ESCs.  Since we will be directly soldering the motors on the ESCs, we might need to reverse the motor direction or do some tuning in BlHeli.  I forgot to show it in the video but be sure to temporarily cover the negative leads on the ESC’s with some tape or heat shrink.

build qav250

 

Putting wire mesh around the motor wires is optional.  It makes the build look cleaner and protects the wires from the sharp carbon fiber edges.  I like to use heat shrink that’s a little smaller and stretch it to fit.  That way when you shrink it you get a tighter fit.

qav250-build-1016

Now solder the motors on the ESCs.  Don’t forget to put the heat shrink for the ESC through the tube before soldering.

qav250 build

Motors with wire mesh soldered on the ESCs.

OSDoge

I will go over the highlights of the OSDoge install here.  To keep this post and video shorter I made a separate post on how to install the OSDoge with RSSI.

Now we prepare the OSDoge to be mounted on the Naze32.  The OSDoge comes with male/female header pins that connect when you stack it on each other.

qav250 build

qav250 build

This is one of the reasons why I love the OSDoge board.  It stacks on top of the Naze32 and eliminates a lot of wires.  The 5V, TX/RX AND VBAT connection points are circled in red above.  Put the male/female pins together and put them through the holes.  Use the included standoffs to make sure they line up before soldering.  Once they are soldered it will stay in place and line up perfectly when you stack them.

qav250 build

 

Once you have the male/female pins soldered this is what the QAV250 will look like with the OSDoge stacked on top of the Naze32.  I like to put the OSDoge on top.  That way there is more clearance for the FPV cables and it’s easier to remove if you need to troubleshoot anything.

That’s it for part1 of this build.  Check back on part2 when we setup the Naze32 with Cleanflight, program the Taranis, hook up the FPV camera/transmitter and set up the OSDoge with…..brrrrr (drumroll) RSSI!  This took me 6 months to figure out so I’m super stoked about it!

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

 

 

Comments

  1. Jason

    What did you do with the negative leads from the esc’s? Where is part 2???!!!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      I’m going to end up taking the negative leads off. If you pay attention to how the motors are connected to the ESCs you shouldn’t need to connect to BLHeli Suite. Part 2 is coming in a couple of days.

       
      1. Troy

        Why do they put a negative lead with the signal wire twisted pair of the esc’s if you just cut it off and not use it? What is the point of the negative wire? Are the esc’s effected by not being connected to ground on the negative lead?

         
        1. Author
          FlightClub

          The negative lead is needed if you want to connect to a USB programmer. Say if you wanted to flash your ESCs or connect to BlHeli to change any settings.

           
  2. Mattt O

    First I can wait for part 2 of the video! Also got a few questions for you 🙂

    What size wire mesh cover and heat shrink do you use for your wires and the ESC?

    What header pins would I need to by from your site with the naze 32 and osdoge to mimic you setup?

    Are there any disadvantages for flashing the ESC instead of crossing the wires for CW motor spin?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      The wire mesh I used is 6mm and I forgot what size the heat shrink size. Both will be in my store soon. The pin headers is a 90 degree 1 row for the esc inputs and a 90 degree 2 row for the buzzer. I include them if you buy the Naze32 and OSDoge from my store. The advantage for just crossing the wires instead of doing it in BlHeli is that it’s easier. If you don’t have a esc linking tool you have no choice but to cross the wires 🙂

       
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      This one that I’m building will be for sale after I post part 2. Send me a note if you are interested.

       
  3. David

    Im building a Racehound and Im doing this same basic set up. Im using the 12a Afro ESC’s that say BEC on them. What do I do different to install these?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Hi David, if you are using the OSDoge board you can build it the same with as this post. Just remove the red and black wires off the 3 wire connector until you are left with just the signal wire from the ESC.

       
      1. David

        ok great I think I did it right. Also In order to connect the low voltage buzzer do I connect to the telemetry pins on the naze? I have a discovery buzzer already on the buzzer pins.

         
        1. Author
          FlightClub

          Nope, the telemetry pins are not needed. All you do is connect the buzzer and set the threshold in Cleanflight. I’ll go over it all in part 2 🙂

           
      2. Trent

        Alternatively, can you use the 6×3 pin header on the naze32 and connect signal, power, and ground without issue?

         
        1. Author
          FlightClub

          are you talking about the esc signal leads? If you are using the OSDoge do not connect the power wire from the esc signal. Either use the power wire or use the OSDoge to power your Naze, not both.

           
  4. Jason

    How much for the whole kit with the orange 3D printed parts it looks great
    Plus the mesh etc
    Great video 👍🏻

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Hi Jason, thanks! I’ll have everything in the shop this week including the mesh 🙂

       
  5. Jason

    Great if you could give me a price that would be perfect
    I live in UK 😃👍🏻🇬🇧

     
  6. Dominic

    Hey! Very inspirational, and a great way to make me go over budget! So I have everything you have specified besides the OSDoge, sadly I missed the point that this powers the naze. so due to work commitments I won’t be able to get one of these, what would you reccomend?
    Thanks again for the brilliant right up!

     
  7. Sherwin Santos

    Hi Jason! Love your Youtube videos(they have really helped me in my first quad build)! And I purchased some of your 3D printed accessories. But I wanted to ask, I’m building my first quad(with the guidance from you videos). But when I bought my Taranis it came with the X8R transmitter which has SBUS. I know you use the D4R-II. How would you set the X8R if I wanted to use CPPM/PPM like in your “build the correct way video”? Thanks for any advice you can give…and if you could make a video I would be 1000% grateful!!!!

     
  8. terry

    Let me start off saying this the best build video i have ever seen any one do. Very clear and decisive. Both the video and sound quality outstanding! As far as the build goes, this one of the cleanest build Ive seen!! Keep up the outstanding work!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Those ESCs have a built in BEC, that’s what the extra red wire is for. If you are using the OSDoge I recommend powering the Naze32 off the 5v (coming in at the +/- on channel 6). So the only wire you need from the ESCs are the signal, usually white wire. The red and black wires on your esc are not needed.

       
  9. Jimd

    Would it be accurate to say that I can follow your wiring diagram and build directions as-is, or are there any other differences? (I’m using all the same parts except for the 210 frame and Lumenier esc’s.)

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Yes, you can apply that diagram to almost any build. I’ve got QAV210 frames on the way. Build video coming.

       
  10. Arya

    I have a qav250 and I’m gonna upgrade my ESCs to 20amp is it possible for me to power my naze from the blheli ESCs, and not have the OSD.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      yes you could. you would need a 20a esc that has a built in BEC to provide the 5v to your naze.

       
  11. Jimd

    After placing the blob of solder on the 3s or 4s leads of the OSDoge, what would be the consequence of not using the corresonding-cell battery?

    Also, is there a way to easily switch it back and forth without having to re-solder? (for example, a software setting)

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      There’s no real damage that can be done by flying 3s or 4s on either of the 3s/4s jumpers. I have mine set at 4s but I fly 4s and 3s on the same setup.

       
  12. Jimd

    Thanks.
    How do you trigger the OSD menu for the PIDs and for the FPV camera? (I have a Lunenier 650 mini)

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      with the naze disarmed, move the tx sticks yaw right, pitch up. this brings you into the menu

       
  13. Mike

    NICE !!!! Great build – you need to put these kits together. When can we see part 2?

     
  14. Mark

    Thanks for the great videos and information on your website. Also thanks for the quick delivery of the items I purchased through your store. Awesome!!!! I’ll be a returning customer.

     
  15. Neil

    I have a question… On the ESCs removing the ground wire any adverse flight performance during flight without ground wire

     
  16. Neil

    On the osdoge the rssi jumper is required? didn’t notice it on your build video.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      no it’s not required. the RSSI info comes from the PPM stream from the Taranis

       
  17. Cole

    Im curious how to you change your battieries with the HiTec? were there any extra parts you needed to buy to charge the battieries? It only comes with 4 ports. How do you charge 16 batteries at a time?

     
  18. David Manni

    I bought the Naze32 Acro right angle and it looks just a little different from what you have on the site. Now when I am connecting the FrSky I am not getting any response from the LEDs. I checked and I have 12 volts at the power line. Do you know why they look different, the flight controllers and how can I trouble shoot the FrSky without buying a second?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      you have the newer rev6 naze32, the ones using in the build are the older rev5. everything is the same except the header to connect to the rx.

      if you have 12v at the power line you probably just fried the Naze32. the naze uses a 5v power either from a BEC or the OSDoge.

       
  19. CDMichaels

    Have you considered using paracord instead of wire mesh for the motor and battery cabling?

     
  20. Larry

    Have you posted your pid’s anywhere for this build, I am using Cobra 2204 2300 with 3S, I would like to see your MWIIrewrite or Luxfloat settings

     
  21. Ronnie

    Do you see any disadvantages using the the Naze32 Full instead of Naze32 Acro, except for the higher price? I’m thinking about using its BARO meter in the OSD (using OSDodge).

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      i’ve never had success with the full naze32. the barometer is highly unreliable because it’s not sealed. the turbulence from the props will give it false readings, even if it’s covered with foam. if you try to hover using altitude hold, the quad will shoot straight up in the air then drop and bounce up and down for no reason. I would not use it.

       
  22. David

    I got the motor protectors and the longer screws it comes with seems to have touched the motor coil and burned it out. I got a little smoke at first power up with the guards on. I didn’t have any troubles with the other three motors. Any suggestions on how to avoid frying the motors in the future? Has anybody uses washers with them?

    Thanks,
    David

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Yes, I use the washers all the time. Different tolerances in motors windings and screws sometimes it touches.

       
  23. Jairo Liberato

    Did you use NAZE32 ACRO with right heder pins? i just ordered on your store the straight heder pins. Is there anyway i can change the NAZE32 ACRO order for the pins you used?

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Yes sir! I will include the header pins you’ll need for this. Thanks!

       
  24. jimd

    I built a QAV210 based on this video, and it came out great! I finally have it tuned to perfection, however after my last crash the FPV video breaks up and goes out as soon as I start up the motors. It’s fine otherwise… any ideas?
    Naze rev6
    OSDoge
    Lumenier TX5G6 Mini 600mW
    CM-650 Mini Cam
    FrSky X4R-SB w/ SBUS
    Cobra 2204 2300kv
    Lumenier Mini 20A ESC w/ SimonK AutoShot, 5V/1A BEC
    FatShark Dom V2

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Hey Jim, the QAV210 is fun huh?

      It’s hard to troubleshoot if the broken video happens after a crash. It sounds like to me the crash either knock a cable loose or there is a bad connection somewhere. Since you can get video but it goes out after the motors start up. Check all the cables and the SMA connector on the antenna.

       
      1. Jimd

        There’s no apparent damage, but I found someone with the same symptoms who reported it was a loose motor->ESC wire. I’m going to take the props off, connect to Cleanflight and use the motor tab to power up one at a time to see if I can narrow it down. I’ll let you know.

         
  25. Jairo Liberato

    Hey FC, im starting this building buying the parts from your shop! Where can i find the copy of your wire cut cheat sheet? thanks a lot.

     
  26. Dave

    I found an image of the wire guide but don’t know if I printed it to the right size. Same here, would love a copy of the guide and plan to follow the same build and secured many parts form here.

     
  27. Sean

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU! Your videos are the only reason I was able to summon the courage to build my first racing quad. I’ll support as much as possible and try to buy from your store in the future.

     
  28. Ed Greene

    Thanks for the build instructions for the QAV250. I recently purchased the majority of the components from FlightClub and I am currently attempting to troubleshoot the controls. My D4R-II binds with Taranis X9D+, however when I am on the receiver tab of cleanflight/baseflight none of the controls will respond. Roll, Pitch, and Yaw are at 1500, and Throttle is stationary at 885. My channel map is set to TAER1234 and RX-PPM is enabled. Any hints on how to troubleshoot and determine the cause of the fault.

    Also, as I was researching I learned about the firmware upgrade for the D4R-II that changes the timing on the PPM channel from 18ms to 27ms. Do you know if newer D4R-II modules already have this adjustment applied? If not, is this firmware upgrade recommended.

    Thanks for any clues that you can offer in my troubleshooting.

     
      1. Jimd

        …also, I know this is basic, but just in case: did you plug in the lipo after navigating to the Receiver tab?

         
  29. Ed Greene

    Yes, Lipo is connected. Keep the suggestions coming. I am stuck and don’t know what else to do to troubleshoot the PPM connection. Not sure if I am overlooking something or have bad hardware.

     
  30. Steve Carter

    Whats the scoop with ‘PID’ tuning? Looks like that’s how I control the roll rates etc, but how do I know which values to change in cleanflight? Is there resources to use? I need more! Oh by the way, your videos are top notch! Built my QAV 250 using all your reccomendations, and I mean every one lol, and it flies like a bat outta hell! Thank you! Ive been flying 3d helis for many years, but the process going to acro quads is a big step. Thank you for making it so much easier!!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      Hi Steve, glad things are working for ya! Part 2 of the QAV210 setup video should ease any PID problems 🙂

       
  31. Steve Carter

    Hmm, looks like from I’m researching that if you want to have a higher roll rate, use the receiver tab in clean flight and adjust the RC RATE value. Higher value is faster rates. Can anybody confirm this? Its raining here currently :(. I will hit the field this weekend when the weather is nice.

     
  32. Jeff

    Thinking of doing a nighthawk 250 as my first build since it’s a much cheaper frame, and you also have a video covering that one. If I don’t buy one of those combos like you used in that video, will the component list you use here (engines, ESCs, etc) work well on that frame as well?

     
    1. Steve

      I chose a qav frame because the base is a solid piece of carbon fiber. seems like a great way to go for the rigidity needed in a high performance quad. Ive read nothing but the best reviews for that frame. From being in the arial rc hobby for many years, you generally get what you pay for. There are certainly exceptions like in motors stamped with different labels and sold at different prices being the same components, but dont short cut corners. you will be back to replace them anyway! the price difference in a quality frame is minimal to the overall price you will soend on a build!

       
    2. Steve

      To flightclub; cleanflight. Im literally just regurgitating info from a you tube video :-/… not sure if its accurate or the right way to adjust parameters, looking for about at least twice or even three times the current flip/ roll rate. using your baseline setup ( all your reccomended components and 4 cell) its very smooth and locked in but i can handle much more sensitivity and faster rates. ive been flying 3d 450 size helis for many years.

       
    3. steve

      Ohh, PLEASE make some angled mobius mounts for the qav 250 camera mount!! id pay top dollar!! I can make the vortex one work but i have to modify it and it would be nice to have a purpose built set!

       
  33. Lerroy Jenkins

    Hi I am wondering if I can use a different video transmitter and receiver with the OSDoge, I found one on GETFPV.com and I amd considering this because I dont want to have to pair two different video components together, meaning I dont want to have to try to bind two different companies products, an answer would be nice, first drone for me and I would like to not screw up!

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      the brand doesn’t matter, only the specs matter. just make sure you have the correct voltage settings and compatible bands with your rx.

       
  34. Nate B

    is there anywhere i can 3d print the orange parts you used in your build? Im building a QAV250 now and some of the parts seem super useful

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      hi, all the parts are available for sale in the store 🙂

       
  35. Butch Portell

    My Emax 2300 KV motor wires are to short , according to your cheat sheet . Its no problem lengthing them for the build ? Doesnt seem to be enough wire in the kit . And is that 18 guage wire that are on the ESCs ? Went to Wal Mart and there 18 guage seems bigger ?

     
  36. Tom Wolves

    I would like to build the QAV 250, BUT!, I am using a Spektrum DX7 transmitter. What receiver would I use to replace the “FrSky D4R-ii” I know I am not the only one that use’s a Spektrum Transmitter. Thank you for your time.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      i’ve got a customer that’s going to show me how to set that up. I’ll try to do a write up on spektrum.

       
      1. Tom Wolves

        This would be great!, thank you for your response. Your video are great too!

         
  37. Andy Burrows

    I was thinking of building this quad or the 210, but likely to do this one as I like the larger model. Is there anything in your kit that you would change today? I watched your Quad-X build video and you seem to like some newer stuff.

     
    1. Author
      FlightClub

      yeah, right now I favor the Armattan SCX200 build. With each new build, parts are getting better and better. It’s the natural progression 🙂

       

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