Introduction: ELECAM 360 - BLADE 200 QX - FRP QUAD CHASSIS
The idea of this instructable is to build a FPR-chassis for the Blade 200QX.
The Elecam 360 has a blind-spot in its view, where it stitches the two half-spheres together.
That means with the right frame, you can make the quad disappear on the footage, which looks extremely cool (see video)
Step 1: BILL OF MATERIALS - BOM
Beside the cam and the 200qx you will need the following parts:
A sheet of 3mm FPR
Nylon standoffs in M3
I bought a set with 300 standoffs for 12€/$ on amazon. If you wanna buy them seperately, you need:
The shorter ones for the second deck, and the longer ones as landing gear.
I also used three 12mm standoffs to secure the battery. If you want those too, make sure you got 6x 12mm in your sortiment.
A 20x20mm L-profile, 40mm wide for the camera mount
A tripod screw
Step 2: TOOLS NEEDED
7mm drill (motormounts)
stepped drill for holes up to 20mm
sandingpaper for the edges
You can seal the edges of the FPR-board with clear acrylicpaint or nailpolish if you want.
Step 3: COMPONENTS - ELECAM 360
The Elephone ELECAM 360, is a very cheap (140€/$) full spherical 360° camera, and its only 100g with batteries.
Its not only cheap to buy, its also cheaply made, with a cheap customer support, with a firmware coded by (i guess) the cheapest programmers available.
This makes it a nice gimmick, but the company stopped the support a year ago, and it still doesnt even do what the claim in their commercial.
All of its flaws, like beeing 960p when the package says 1080p, freezes, jumps in the footage, no equirectangular output, no HDMI port, even if it says that on their page, and on the package (!!) etc, doesnt stop it from beeing the cheapest 360° camera on the market.
The rant is over!
So what it DOES do, is beeing a cheap and small test-plattform, if you wanna test 360° footage without investing money for a KODAK or NIKON 360° camera. Both beeing at least twice as expensive, but offer 4K per half-sphere (Kodak) or full-sphere (Nikon).
What you need
- The ELECAM 360 - iOS app
- The ELECAM 360 - macOS app
for downloading and converting the footage
- The SPACIAL MEDIA METADATA INJECTOR - macOS app
as youtube doesnt recognize the footage, you need to inject the "its a 360° footage"-data into the file
Useful technical informations
The elecam is 35mm thick, measured from lens-base to lens-base.
As i said in the intruduction, the elecam basically stitches two half spheres together, creating a blind-spot (around 40mm wide).
That means, that all stuff thats "between" the lenses, meaning in this 40mm corridor, will not be recorded, which makes it possible to make the whole quad invisible aka not recorded by the camera.
Step 4: COMPONENTS - BLADE 200QX
The Blade 200QX, is a relatively cheap(140 $/€) 200-class brushless quadcopter, that comes with everything except remote.
As you can see in the video, it has a lot of stability modes, even switchable during flight (depends on your remote)
There are already a few frames out there, like the carbon tube frame, but none of them is based around beeing a camera plattform.
The copter has very few components, which makes porting them to a new chassis a breeze.
- Flight controller - the small board
- Power distribution board - also hosts the ESC - the bigger board
- 4x motors - mounted with a centerscrew
It uses very common 2S 20C 800mAh LiPo batteries, i use 1300mAh versions, but 800mAh should be fine, even with the additional weight.
Step 5: CHASSIS - DRILLING
First of all, print out the attached pdf file on a DINA3 printer.
If you got no DINA3, just make sure you print it at 100%, even on DINA3, make sure you print it at 100% magnification ratio.
After you printed the plan, you can proof your print by measuring from the outside of the black squares in the corner of the drawing.
The two horizontal squares, are supposed to be exactly 400mm from their outer edges, the verticals are 280mm.
After that, use thin doublesided tape to glue it on the FPR board.
Start by drilling all holes, beginning with the 3mm drill on all holes, even if they are supposed to use bigger drills.
This makes it easy for the bigger drill to find the exact spot.
Also, drill the the outer radiuses (eg 20mm) and also predrill them with 3mm.
You dont have to use a 20mm drill on the silhouette, it just makes it a cleaner build, and makes it easier to follow the lines with a saw afterwards.
Step 6: CHASSIS - CUTTING THE FRP
After you pre-drilled all holes, take a jigsaw and cut out the frame.
If you have chosen to drill the 20mm radiuses, it should be pretty easy to get a clean cut.
When you finished with cutting out the frame, use som 120 sandpaper, and sand all the edges.
Use clear acrylic paint to seal all edges and drillholes, so that the fibre-cloth cant't open.
Step 7: CHASSIS - ASSEMBLING
Use the obvious tools to de-assamble the 200QX quad.
For the motormount, make sure you keep all the nuts, as we need them for the new frame too.
Watch the photos, assembling is pretty straight forward, as it's a simple chassis, without seperated arms etc.
For the tripod mount i used an aluminium l-profile thats 20x15mm and 40mm wide.
I planned to use a block of aluminium and mill it till it fits, but i had none.
Also in the renderings above, i used a 20mm high C-profile, which is also a, probably even better, option.
The tripod screw is from amazon and was 5$/€ for four screws. They are in metal, not aluminum which might play a part in getting CG right.
By the way, the CGs are on the drawing, so it makes sens to very sensible drill them.
By sensible i mean drill two (as exact as possible) 2mm deep pocket-holes with a 2mm drill.
This should make it super easy balancing it on to needles etc.
Step 8: ADDITIONAL FRAMES
I designed other frames, on the way to the final version, tha are based on the elecam, but can be used with all small action cameras that can be mounted via 1/4" thread (aka tripod screw).
I did not test the chassis, as i am very happy with the version i got, but feel free to use and experiment with them.
Step 9: TESTING, FLYING AND RÈSUMÈ
I will update this Instructable from time to time, as soon as i find design flaws.
Also i will add footage, but the possibilities are a bit endless, and also is the field of view, which makes uploading stuff that i filmed in my private and/or work environment not an option.
But weather is clearing up, i hope i will get stuff uploaded till weekend.
EDIT 05302017 I added a lot of detailed shots of the quad, so you can see the assembling better
5 years ago
Neat! I'll stay tuned. By the way, there are a bunch of newer,cheaper 360 degree cameras like the elecam on gearbest.com, but from what I can tell they are worse video quality.
Reply 5 years ago
i just saw by chance that the elecam still has a beta firmware haha.
i wont buy another cheap one, i just finished a quad-frame with a built in zenmuse gimbal, and i will try to use a kodak camera to get stabilzed footage.