In this review, build and setup guide we will walk through building and configuring the Q600 quadcopter from Rctimer.
Later, I'll mount an ASP Gimbal on the Q600 to carry my NEX-5T.
For the full review, checkout the Flying Sony NEX Micro 4/3rds Camera article.
Overall, the build quality is great. The integrated PCB / PDB body makes assembly a breeze.
The 30mm OD carbon tubes are super robust. The landing gear is tall enough to accommodate the ASP gimbal and a NEX-5T.
Since there are already good +5v and +12v power supplies on the board, it would be nice if there were also a high-amperage (200a) current sensor built into the PCB instead of having to add one, no big deal though, since we're using the included Rctimer power module, which supports up to 7S, 90A.
It would also be nice if there were a GPS mount, but that's not a big deal. You'll see how I mounted it in the canopy later in this guide. You could probably also use one of these GPS standoffs, but I'm not sure how well it would fit under the canopy.
Before we start building, let's take a look inside the arms at the ESCs.
The ESCs come pre-soldered and pre-installed in the arms. I took an arm apart to find out what kind of ESCs are included.
It turns out the Q600 comes with T40A ESCs, which support blheli and damped light, which could be great for this.
The dimensions, including the capacitor, are 25mm x 53mm x 11mm. They each have a heat sink.
Though it seems unlikely that it will be necessary, you can get replacements here: http://rctimer.com/product-1220.html.
Take note of the included screws, I'll be mentioning the various types and sizes throughout the build.
Here's how it will all go together. The shorter arms are in the front.
The PCB is the main plate. Everything will build off of this.
The PDB has two
MP2307DN 3A, 23V, 340kHz switching voltage regulators. They're coupled with two 22 microfarad 25v Tantalum capacitors.
I'm told this setup can support 6s (25.2v), which seems ok with a nominal voltage of
6 * 3.7 = 22.2 however, when fully charged, this could be pushing the limits with a voltage of
6 * 4.2v = 25.2v.
Install the gray vibration dampening balls onto the side opposite of the yellow XT-60 connector.
Install the black and silver vibration dampeners on the same side as the XT-60 connector. Use the silver M4x6mm screws and blue threadlock!
Install the 5 curved white plates on the same side as the gray vibration dampening balls. Use the coarse thread, sharp tipped, M3x8mm screws. Don't use threadlock on these.
Notice the injection moulded text, make sure it's facing up.
Having a proper 2.0mm hex driver helps a lot as well. I broke 2 right angle allen wrenches before getting out my hex driver.
Let's mount the carbon fiber flight controller mounting plate. I like to use a piece of string to pull the top of the vibration dampening balls through the holes.
Wrap the string around the vibration dampening ball and thread it through the hole in the carbon plate. I use tweezers for this. Pull the string and the thing should pop through.
Next, install the landing gear. Retractable gear would go at the same location, if you've purchased those. I'm using the fixed landing gear included in the kit. They should angle out. Use the black M3x10mm bolts and silver M3 nylock nuts. Remember, no threadlock when using nylock nuts.
These were a tight fit going through the PCB, so I suggest inserting the screws from the side with the landing gear. Once you thread through the PCB hold the nut on the other side with a pair of pliers and tighten it down. If you can't get the nut tight, back out the screw letting the nut spin freely until the nut is snugly against the PCB, then hold the nut with pliers and tighten the screw.
Install the large white nuts on the landing gear mount points. No need to tighten, we'll install the legs in a sec.
To assemble the legs, use the T joins and M3x16mm screws.
It's easiest to insert the larger-diameter rod first, then pull the white piece apart a bit and slide in the smaller-diameter rod. There will be 100mm on each side of the "foot" piece. When you're tightening the two screws, alternate between them, doing a 1/2 or 1/4 turn at a time to ensure a nice even fit.
Put on the rubber feet.
Then repeat for the other leg.
Note the text on the leg, you'll want this on the outside of the quad-copter when mounted to the main frame.
I installed the legs then screwed the final two screws into the landing gear. Use the pointed screws.
Let's assemble the parts that will hold the main body to the cover.
The rubber grommet goes in the white piece.
Use an M4x6mm screw and some locktite to secure the black post. It goes in this hole.
Since the Q600 PDB doesn't have a built in current sensor, you'll want to use a power module to get current consumption (in milliamps). I'm using this power moudle which supports 7S.
Tin the pads on the PDB.
Prepare your power module by removing the female XT-60 plug.
Then solder the power module onto the battery pads.
Use some 2mm heat shrink to protect the wires, then thread it through the frame and zip-tie it down.
Mount the buzzer. I put mine here. I couldn't find two screw holes that fit, so I only used one. The other side rests against the sidewall. I put a dot of hot glue to hold it there.
The safety switch fits in this hole in the top carbon plate.
I'll put it back here, so we can arm without opening the cover.
Drill a pilot hole, I used an 1/8" bit, then use your reamer to make an 8mm opening.
While I was there, I made another 8mm hole for the telemetry. Make sure you ream this hole out large enough to get a solid connection between the antenna and the module's SMA plug. If you don't you may notice your ground station will disconnect and re-connect intermittently.
Since we're going to install the telemetry, now would be a good time to swap the cable. The right cable will fit into
TELEM 1 on the PixHawk. Here is how it should be plugged in:
Use some 20mm heatshrink to protect the telemetry module and install it. Though the antenna is up in this picture, I suggest orienting your antenna down so that it is out of the way of the props during flight.
Grab your MinimOSD (MavLink-OSD) and solder these two sets of pads together to make the whole thing run off 5v instead of 12.
You'll want this cable to connect the MinimOSD to the PixHawk's
TELEM 2 port
Cover the MinimOSD with some heat shrink tube or electrical tape to ensure it doesn't short on the conductive carbon fiber.
I like to make sure the UART ports are easily accessible, so I can upgrade the MinimOSD firmware w/o taking it out of the quad.
Plugin the motor signal wire extension to the back of the PDB. You only need 4 wires, for motor outputs 1-4. Leave
Here's what the other end of the wire looks like:
To mount the compass, I removed the compass' plastic case.
I drilled out holes in the canopy with a 7/64ths drill bit (I don't have a metric set, but a 3mm bit would be better). I reamed out the last little bit with a 3mm notch on my reamer.
I then used some M3x10mm screws to install the compass. You can use the included black steel screws, this works fine, but I decided it would be a little easier on the board if I used nylon screws. These are M3x12mm screws I had lying around from a mini-quad.
This is how the motors will be mounted.
Motor direction is what is important, so the numbers on the arms don't need to match the diagram, just the arrows on the circles. The shorter arms go on the front. Props spin towards the middle when looking down the length of the quad-copter.
If your landing gear is already installed, it helps to remove it for this step.
I trimmed the longer arms' motor wires to 10mm then soldered them on. Plug in the ESCs. It will look like this when you're done.
Start with the front arms, shove the servo wire as far into the tube as you can get it, twist the arm several times to get a nice twist in the ESC wires, to minimize interference with the magnetometer. Insert the white block and put a screw in place. You'll need to put each screw through the top carbon plate first.
Pull the top plate down.
Once you have the front arms in, or at least one screw on each and the thumbscrew on the bottom. Put the rear motor arms in place.
Just make sure you put them in with the motor up!
If you have trouble getting a white block to stay in place, tape it there for a moment while you get it all assembled then remove the tape.
At this point, I re-installed the landing gear, put all the plastic screws into place around the frame and test-fit the canopy.
I also installed the underbody plate without the gimbal mount for testing.
I also installed the prop adapters, because I'll be using plastic props for testing. You won't need these for the carbon props.
Plug in the flight controller. Everything is labeled well. You only need to connect the motor signal pins, leaving the power and ground ESC lines disconnected.
Use some double sided sticky tape and mount the flight controller. Make sure the arrow points forward.
I zip-tied all the wires and velcro-mounted the receiver.