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Three Inch Quad Build : FlightClub Phuket

Three Inch Quad Build : FlightClub Phuket

This three inch quad build the FlightClub Phuket is favorite quad to fly right now.  Being so small, light and tough, it just bounces off stuff and keeps flying.  With turtle mode enabled you may never need to retrieve a quad.

The Phuket is a 140mm slight stretch X canopy quad designed for 3″ props.  Think of it as a baby Tokio.

  • Adjustable camera angle from about 30 – 75 degrees
  • Frame with canopy and hardware, 42g
  • Countersink holes for a completely flat bottom
  • Ultra durable TPU canopy
  • Beastly 3.5mm Hypotenuse cut carbon fiber bottom plate
Tools Used in this build
Build List

A build kit is available for the Phuket.  It will include everything you need to do this build including the cheat sheet, Taranis backup file and BetaFlight backup.

Three Inch Quad Build

three inch quad build

** UPDATE **

In the build video I said to remove the TBS smart audio wire.  Some readers pointed out that you can use the smart audio to change vtx band/channel in the betaflight menu.  To do this all you have to do is connect the white smart audio wire to TX6 then in Ports in betaflight set Peripherals for UART6 to TBS smart audio.  See the ports image below.

The Phuket is designed to be built with a single stack FC/ESC AIO.  I’ll be using the Cicada 30A F4 AIO.  There are other AIO board that can be used like the Asgard 30A AIO, Lumenier Alpha 30a or KISS AIO.  I really like the Cicada AIO cause it has built in 5v to power your camera or vtx, BetaFlight OSD, current sensor, buzzer and LED output.  The Betaflight OSD is awesome cause you can configure your osd to display whatever you want and it will let you tune your pids from the Taranis and osd.  You can change the VTX band/channel from the Betaflight menu.

As you can see from the schematic, using an AIO for this three inch quad build is super simple.  Because the ESCs and FC are all on one board, there’s no need to solder any esc wires or signal wires.  All you need to do is solder on a power cable for the battery, solder the RX, camera and VTX then you’re done!

Three Inch Quad Build

The USB on the board has a charge so put a piece of tape on the frame right below the USB on the back.  This will stop the USB from touching the frame and making magic smoke.

three inch quad buildWhen mounting the motors on the frame make sure none of the screws are touching the windings.  This can cause the motors to overheat and burn out.

Cut the motor wires and solder them on the board.  It doesn’t matter how you solder the wires.  We can reverse any wires in BLHeli later.

three inch quad buildInstall a battery cable.

Cut the camera and VTX harness and solder them on according to the schematic.  The VTX will be powered directly off the battery.  Power for the camera will come from the 5v off the AIO.  The video signal from the camera will go to VI and the signal from the VTX will go to VO.

Use some of the leftover wire from the camera and solder the ground, power and SBUS to the rx input on the Cicada AIO.

three inch quad build

Cut 3/4 of the double sided tape that came with the TBS Unify Race and stick the VTX on the AIO.  With the 1/4 tape left use it to mount the XM+ on the VTX.  Try to mount the XM+ towards the back of the quad.  It’s best to leave a little bit of room under the camera.  That way on hard hits the camera won’t move down and hit the RX or VTX.

three inch quad build

three inch quad build

Taranis and Binding the XM+

For the sake of keeping this build post shorter, I will skip the Taranis setup.  For the full setup you can see my other builds where I show how to set everything up.  Or you can get the full Taranis Program files here.  This will have everything setup for you.

To bind the XM+ to the Taranis, go to page 2/12 and scroll to the BIND.  Hit that and it will start beeping.  Hold down the button on the XM+ while plugging in the battery.  Unplug the battery and exit out of binding.  When you plug back in the XM+ should be green.

best race drone

BetaFlight Configurator

In Chrome, search BetaFlight Configurator and ADD.  Download and install the correct CP210x USB to UART Bridge VCP driver for your computer system if you don’t already have it.

Press the boot button on the Cicada 30A AIO while plugging in the USB.  This will put the AIO into DFU mode and let you flash the fc.  Select OmnibusF4 target and select BetaFlight 3.2.1

Watch the video above to configure the BetaFlight.

three inch quad build

three inch quad build
three inch quad buildthree inch quad build
three inch quad build
three inch quad build
BLHeli Configurator
  1. In the Chrome App store, add the BLHeli Configurator to Chrome.  Since you already downloaded the CP210X and VCP drivers for Betaflight you don’t need to do this again.  It should connect as is.
  2. Open the BLHeli configurator and plug in the USB on the Cicada AIO and battery to quad.
  3. Click Connect at the top right on the configurator.  Then Read Setup on the bottom right.
  4. Flash the ESC to 16.63 DSHOT.
  5. Select the ESCs that need to be reversed, if any.
  6. When you are done with the settings click Write Setup on the bottom.  You will hear a restart chime, done!

three inch quad build

These are my PIDs for the Phuket using a 500mAh pack and GemFan 3052.  You can adjust the rates to your liking.  I like to use a lower rate cause I find it easier to navigate on a track.

Time to Rip!

three inch quad build

three inch quad build

The final build weight is about 158g without props or battery.  I’ve been using a Lumenier 500mAh pack but I think a high C 850mAh pack would be better.  With the 500mAh pack you’ll between 1:30 to 4min depending on how hard you fly.

This three inch quad build, Phuket is easily the most fun quad I have.  It’s an absolute blast to rip around a track or freestyle in a playground.  Give it a try.  I guarantee you’ll have loads of fun flying this little beast!

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 🙂

2018-01-22T18:16:14-06:00 News|45 Comments


  1. Eric 10/22/2017 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Ah! I wish I had seen this coming. Just last month I decided to get a 3″ quad but went with the Codered and a bunch of parts. Your build with the body is sooo much cooler! And easier…

    • Mike Tseng 11/08/2017 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      never too late to switch 🙂

  2. Larry 10/24/2017 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Hey Mike – I wondered what temp you are using to solder everything together on the ciada? I’ve had some awful luck with 4in1’s that buying an AIO seems a bit scary to me. Luckily this is well priced, but all have crapped out on me. I’ve heard that I could soldering with too high of a temp and that the manufacturering of AIOs / 4in1s is actually very delicate. I’m questioning whether the temp on my iron is too high (I run at about 645) but I like this build alot. Kudos once again!

    • Mike Tseng 11/08/2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      i use 850 for everything. the ground on the aio is always a little tougher. you just have to add your own solder to get the heat distributed

  3. Ramon 10/26/2017 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Great build guide! You should include wiring smart audio to uart6. That way you can change vtx settings directly from the OSD.

    • Mike Tseng 11/08/2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      dude! I just learned this. i will post an update on this. thanks for pointing it out

  4. Kelly Storm 11/02/2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Mike, was wondering a few things if you have a moment? Will you be including the frame protectors in the full kit, is there going to be access to the camera settings through the OSD and will you be able to tune PID’s also within the OSD?

    Also what do you use to secure the rx to the vtx to the AIO and what velcro do you guys use or where do you order it?



    • Mike Tseng 11/08/2017 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      hi kelly, the frame protectors are an option.

      yes with the betaflight osd you can access the PIDs and vtx settings. i’ll post an update on how to change the vtx channel. i use the double sided tape that comes with the tbs unify to secure the rx and vtx. we use the thin industrial strength velcro

  5. Kelly Storm 11/11/2017 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    Hi again, for the smart audio update will you change the cheat sheet for the wire length or give us a length and can you post a picture on this build page of how it will look when it’s soldered up in relation to the vtx and rx?



  6. David Lewis 11/15/2017 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Mike, is this a 4s or 3S build spec. You don’t say much about the battery in your text on this page. I just ordered a build kit btw. That’s now 4 frames/kits I have got from ya!

  7. Larry 11/20/2017 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Just got a chance to maiden and fly this yesterday/today. This is a super fun and fast quad as well as a straight forward build. This rips! Flies like a 5” with comparable thrust. I built mine to this spec via the kit and I couldn’t be more pleased. I use 850mah 4s 45c batteries and get a solid 2:30/3 minute aggressive flights. I love this thing and need more lipos so I can spend some serious time. Stock pids are great and I’ve just adjusted my rates. I’ve had a couple run ins with trees and it just keeps going. Also successfully flipped it in turtle mode. That was such a feeling of accomplishment as I didn’t have to go anywhere. Thanks for this tutorial and the kit. I’m sold!

    • Mike Tseng 11/21/2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Hi Larry, this thing is a blast right??? Still my favorite frame to fly for fun. Glad you like it! Which props are you flying?

  8. Kelly Storm 11/22/2017 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Mike, how do I enable the beeper. I can see the light blink on the board but no beep?

    Also, is there anyway to get rid of that “foxeer.com” in the center of the goggles when you plug in the battery?


  9. Eric 01/17/2018 at 12:37 am - Reply

    All right Mike, I made the switch, ordered a Phuket tonight and we’ll see who stays in my hangar after I fly it against my Lumenier CODERED. Honestly, I doubt it will be a fair fight, heck, I went through 3 Lumenier FC boards before I got one that worked! 🙁 Lumenier is a great outfit though and saw me through it. Respect! But seriously, the design of your quads is the indefinable quality. Peeps look at my CODERED and see a mass of wires and exposed components and kind of shrug, cool, y’now. But they see my Tokio X and they are like, wow, what is that? Sweet! The Phuket with the stubby will be another like that. I’ll build it while waiting for your long distance PROton kit (and build) to drop. And salt away some reward points toward that purchase. 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for Flight Club quads. Good to see your frames and bodies on the ReadyMadeRC (RRMC) site too. I wish it was obvious to everyone that sees that how much more info is available on your website. To see how much effort you have put in.
    Pride of ownership baby! I even bought a hat, ah, I’m all in. Banging the drum at the flying field too. Cheers!

    • Mike Tseng 01/17/2018 at 9:36 am - Reply

      After you fly the Phuket, you can use the CODERED parts to build another Phuket. You will love this thing, it’s still my favorite quad to fly for sheer fun.

      I’m putting together the 6″ PROton long range/freestyle build video right now. You’ll love this too! It’s so much fun.

      thanks for all your support Eric!

  10. Eric 01/25/2018 at 3:14 am - Reply

    I just got my kit and watched the video to get ready to build it. In the video did you say the FrSky XM+ Rx doesn’t have telemetry? Where I live we are often flying over grasses which makes finding a quad difficult. I use the Taranis RSSI a lot to find my quads in the grass. Will I have RSSI with the FrSky XM+ ? Thanks

    • Mike Tseng 01/25/2018 at 10:25 am - Reply

      the xm+ doesn’t have RSSI telemetry. you can enable the motors to be beepers. after you enable the beeper in the modes, go in the CLI commands and type:

      set beeper_dshot_beacon_tone = 3
      save and enter

  11. Kelly 01/25/2018 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Hey Eric, to have rssi with the xm+ you’ll have to flash it from your transmitter as the RSSI firmware doesn’t come stock with the xm+. You can find the firmware at the Fr Sky website. If you have the Q R7 you literally plug in a futaba type plug into the bottom of the radio and flash it there and of course you have to put the xm+ RSSI firmware on the SD card! I’ve set up a support page at RCGroups if anyone wants to participate…


  12. Eric 01/26/2018 at 1:51 am - Reply

    I looked at the product info page for the FrSky XM+ and it says RSSI on channel 16 so hopefully I will have that feature. Gonna build it and see.

    • Kelly 01/26/2018 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Eric, For my set up the first 4 channels are the sticks channels and my 5,6,and 7th channel are arm, buzzer and turtle mode so my RSSI aux is 4 and is working fine on my Phuket so basically I set my RSSI to aux4


  13. Eric 01/26/2018 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Weird I didn’t see your replies until just now… I will try to do it!

  14. Anthony 03/05/2018 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    Hey Mike – will the Runcam Split 2 fit in the Phuket canopy?

    • Mike Tseng 03/06/2018 at 11:47 am - Reply

      no, it’s designed for a micro camera and single stack aio

  15. James Mccarthy 04/21/2018 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Hey Mike, I have the 4” Phuket and was wondering if a rxsr reciver SmartAudio would work with the cicada 30a aio, if it does what would be the pin out.

    • Mike Tseng 04/21/2018 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      the smartaudio from the unify can be soldered to TX6 for vtx control

      • James 04/22/2018 at 5:59 am - Reply

        Thanks very much

  16. Martin 05/15/2018 at 6:25 am - Reply

    Hey Mike, What a great guide!
    I was wondering whether this can be build with a Runcam split mini? Maybe if one was to use 20mm standoffs instead of 10mm that would do the trick?

    • Mike Tseng 05/15/2018 at 10:59 am - Reply

      I don’t think the canopy will fit the mini camera

  17. Eric 08/03/2018 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Can this FC run Butterflight? I like Butterflight in my new PROton. I don’t know if it would be worth the time trying to switch.

    • Mike Tseng 08/03/2018 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Yes, it can run on butterflight. use the OMNIBUSF4 target

  18. Eric 09/03/2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks Mike. When I built my Phuket I accidentally shorted out the VTX antenna against a motor housing and I think I damaged the AIO. The motors are running erratically. I burned two motors up running them at full power on the bench with the props off. So I purchased another Cicada AIO and I will flash it with Butterflight. Can you recommend any other setup options (software versions for the motors) or is it fine to just use the most up to date stable versions?

    • Mike Tseng 09/03/2018 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      aw man that sux! Yeah the vtx antennas have polarity.

      is there a reason you want to use butterflight on it? I’ve been using betaflight 3.5 and it’s awesome!

    • kevin tatum 09/07/2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

      If you use the metal bolts through the flight controller it creates a positive charge on the frame. That’s why mike says use tape under the usb because it will short between after you use the bolts. I had to use plastic hardware to avoid this. The pcb is unfortunately positive where the hardware runs through it. I wish imthe mounting holes were big enough to put rubber mounts through them to dampen vibration.

  19. Eric 09/05/2018 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Well I don’t care as long as it flies well.
    I thought Betaflight was going away and being replaced by Butterflight.
    If I can figure out how to update my old version of Betaflight to 3.5 I’ll use it.
    It is always a bit confusing when doing a new build from old instructions as to what firmware versions to use. The old versions get buried by the new ones and maybe there could be compatibility issues.
    Do you have a “philosophy” about that?

    • Mike Tseng 09/05/2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      yeah i know it sux. it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. at least betaflight doesn’t put out a new update like every week like butterflight use to do.

      just download betaflight 3.5 and the newest firmware will be on it

  20. Eric 09/07/2018 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Hey I now realized what you meant. My version of Betaflight configuration is 10.4.1 and the version of OMNIBUS F4 I flashed using Betaflight is 3.5.0. So never mind my question about Betaflight versions.

  21. Eric 09/09/2018 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    OK now, I rebuilt my Phuket with a new Cicada AIO and it is flying funtastic! As stated before I shorted my antenna stalk against a motor during my first build which I think killed my original Cicada. It ran but it was glitchy and I fried two motors troubleshooting it 🙁
    Replacing the board was easy and after finishing up I have a sweet flying Phuket with the motor beep function and everything. But seriously this board with steel mounting screws in a CF frame is pretty hairy. After some test flights I went to move the OSD data so I could see it better in my FOV and I guess I touched the frame and the mini USB as I guided the mini USB home into the Cicada and got another freaking spark! Yes, the flight pack was plugged in. Everything is OK but I just don’t think we should be mounting this board with steel screws. Is there a source for flat top plastic screws? I know we put electrical tape on the frame but I think we should all cover the mini USB on the Cicada with tape too. Or the electrical tape should wrap around the edge of the CF frame.
    I have to re figure out how to get RSSI to my Taranis TX from the FrSky Rx. I flashed it and I know it is putting out RSSI data because it was before the rebuild but I have to do something on the configuration page to pass it through…
    This is one cool little quad. Betaflight 3.5 and your PID’s are flying great. Thanks!
    Love the new additions to your website too.

    • Mike Tseng 09/09/2018 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      awesome man! Still my fav quad to fly for sheer fun. yeah i wished they didn’t put a polarity on the screw holes

  22. [email protected] 09/15/2018 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Hi let say i broke my canopy were can i buy another one?

  23. mark.marked89 09/15/2018 at 8:20 am - Reply

    were can i buy another canopy or were can i get the 3D printing file for the canopy?

  24. Tor Skurdal 10/18/2018 at 4:26 am - Reply

    A few things to be aware of if you are using the Rapidfire+ module. The Cicada AIO and the Foxeer Arrow Micro ARE NOT compatible with the IMRC Rapidfire module. The Foxeer Arrow Micro has coupling capacitors with too low values for the analog video. Replace the Foxeer Arrow Micro with a compatible camera (Runcam Micro Swift 2 or similar).

    The Cicada AIO also has capacitors with too low values on the video-out pads. The board uses two 10uF capacitors. The fix is to either replace those two with 47uF capacitors, or add on two new 47uF capacitors on top of the existing ones.

    The issues above exists if you are using the Rapifire+ Modules on your goggles.

    • Mike Tseng 10/18/2018 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      thanks for the heads up!

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