Introduction: Simple Lightweight Hexacopter (A2212 Motors, 30AMP ESC, AIOP FC, 3000mAh 11.1v Lipo)
Here we have instruction for a very simple and relatively cheap Hexacopter. This is a very easy method of construction using just basic marking out tools a hacksaw and a drill.
The parts are as follows:-
1 off 12” * 6” 1.6mm glass fibre sheet.
3 off 500mm 12mm Diameter carbon tube (eBay)
6 off aluminium clamps for the above tube (eBay)
6 off motor mounts for 12mm carbon tube (eBay)
For all the eBay items if you search for “12mm carbon tube” you should find them all.
6 off A2212 1000Kv 13 turn Brushless motors and 30A ESC to suit. I buy these as a kit which includes the motor, ESC and propeller adaptor and the 1045 propeller (one of each clockwise and anti) (eBay)
1 off AIOP CRIUS (All In One Pro) Flight control board.
1 off GPS board (optional).
2 off 55mm * 55mm copper clad board for shielding EMF’s generated by the motor wires which effect the digital compass.
1 off 300mm Velcro strap to hold battery.
400mm 14AWG red and black silicon wire
100mm 12AWG red and black silicon wire.
1 Deans plug (or whatever fits your Lipo’s).
8 off 20mm female-female M3 spacers
4 off 20mm female-male M3spacers.
4 off 5mm female-male M3 spacers.
M3 screws and Nyloc nuts.
Step 1: Construction
This is a Hexacopter configured to a “+” you can turn the Flight control board 90 degrees then fly it as a “X” then the centre fibre glass sheet would be width way (not sure if that makes sense?).
Start with the fibre glass sheet, this comes 12” by 6” but I cut it down to 100mm wide. Then mark out and drill all the holes as shown in the pictures, all the holes are drilled 3mm. If you can’t find the same tube mounts as I have used then just adjust the drill as necessary, the main dimension is the tubes should be mounted with 265mm centres. Then mount the 4 corner tube supports and fit the 12mm tube which should be cut down to 434mm. (the important dimension here is the distance between the centre of the two motors on each tube (459mm), in my case the motor mounts take up 12mm each. ) all the screws are M3 and nyloc nuts are used. The centre carbon tube should be a little more than 500mm (506mm) but since the tubes come 500mm it has to do and the centre tube is mounted on top so the propellers could overlap (but they don’t) have a look at the drawing to see where the dimensions come from.
Step 2: Wiring and Flying
Now you have the 3 tubes in place you can fit the 6 motors and wire up the motor wires to the ESC’s make sure you have 3 that run clockwise and 3 that run anti-clockwise. Make sure when you mount the motors that you alternate them clockwise then anti-clockwise and when you mount the Flight control board then you should check that the front motor runs ANTI-CLOCKWISE.
Next the Flight control board and GPS if you are fitting one. I like to use stand-off to fit these items and I also use copper clad below and above the flight control board to shield the board against the motor wires. (More on that later). Check out the picture to see what bits I used to mount the flight control board and GPS.
Then I wired up all the power cables to each ESC. I choose to connect the 3 ESC’s at each end then run a cable to the middle and then to the main battery connector. The ESC’s are wired using 16AWG, I then used 14AWG wire to connect the 3 at each end and 12AWG for the battery. I use NON INSULATED in line crimps and solder all the connections together then heat shrink over the joints. What I wanted to avoid was putting a power distribution board under the middle, so by doing the connections at each end then running the cable down the edge I should have a happy compass on the FC. Oh and by the way I didn’t have any 14AWG black wire so had to use red for both cores.
Once you have done all the power cables you can connect all the ESC signal wires to the FC and then connect the Receiver.
A few tie wraps to keep everything in place is all that’s left to do.
The weight minus the battery is 950grams!
If you wish to add an undercarriage you can pick them up from eBay cheaply, if you managed to find the same one as me then it will mount via the holes drill already. The position of the holes was chosen to make sure the battery fits in-between the fixings.
Flying this hex is really fun, it is so light it takes off with very little power and is very manoeuvrable, my test day wasn’t ideal as it was very windy but hopeful the wind will drop tomorrow and I can try out the GPS.