DJI F550 ARF KIT – DIY drone | Reviews | Gadgets, gifts and accessories
Multicopters have been one of the most exciting innovations in the last couple of years. Already, retailers and online retailers are noting that this segment is vastly superior to any other RC segment. And this is not surprising, because multicopters are not just entertainment, but a very real device with real use in many areas of professional activity: from territory reconnaissance to the film industry and energy. Last fall, we already had a quadcopter from DJI – DJI Inspire 1 on our review, which received very flattering reviews and can rightfully be called one of the best solutions on the market. This time we got a DJI Flame Wheel F550 hexacopter equipped with a NAZA controller and GPS. This model is distinguished not only by greater power and dimensions, but also by the need for its self-assembly from complete spare parts. What will give users such freedom? Is its cost justified? These and many other questions I will try to answer in this review.
So, first of all, I note once again that the DJI Flame Wheel F550 ARF is just a kit that includes one solid frame, 6 motors and 16 propellers. DJI goes for this move for two quite understandable reasons: 1) due to the refusal to assemble in the factory, the final price for the consumer will be lower, 2) users will have the full opportunity to independently change the configuration of the device, which gives quite a lot of room for creativity. For example, propellers can be selected depending on whether you will use three-cell or four-cell batteries: 10-inch propellers are suitable for three-cell batteries, and 8-inch propellers are suitable for four.
Also included in the kit: M3x8 screws for mounting motors, M2.5×5 bolts for mounting, battery strap, set of power wires. In addition, DJI provides spare propellers and two additional propellers for each size.
During the assembly process, you will need to solder materials, so you need to be able to handle a soldering iron. The bottom uses an integrated printed circuit board (PCB) and power is distributed to all six speed controllers from a single connector.
The board is well described in the manual, which shows where the connections are located. Before proceeding with assembly, make sure that all connections are firmly soldered.
When using a NAZA controller, 12 solder joints must be connected to 6 sources: two for power and two for the universal unit (VU). Next, electric motors are installed on the legs, after which the motors can be connected to the sources themselves.
Setting up the NAZA controller and GPS is not difficult using the dedicated software, but naturally combined with the use of the user manual, which can be downloaded from the website. The most interesting thing is that you can program the controller yourself, so you can make almost anything from this kit.
When you mount the GPS on the frame and secure it to the top of the motherboard, it is important to remember to measure the distance from the center point in centimeters from all three axes and include them as positive or negative as shown in the diagram. After the assembly is completed, the only thing left to do before the first flight is to calibrate the digital compass. This is not difficult to do, everything is described step by step in the manual.
As a result, you will get a hexacopter weighing from 1.2 to 2.4 kg. The distance between the propellers of one axis is 550 mm.
When the power is turned on, the LED indicator located on the VU will show you the GPS connection information as well as the battery status. This takes about 5 seconds. The NAZA launch sequence requires both transmitters to be pushed to the bottom corners. The electric motors will turn on in just 3 seconds, waiting for throttle block input. If there is no input signal, the motors will stop. This great safety feature ensures that the motors won’t start if you accidentally push the throttle.
DJI Flame Wheel F550 has three flight control modes: GPS Atti., Atti. and manual mode. In either flight mode, user input overrides self-correction. GPS Atti.
The mode locks the position of the hexacopter and provides self-correction to maintain its current position. This mode is suitable if you are using the Flame Wheel for photography or video recording. Atti. The mode is best used when you want to enjoy “sport flying”. Manual mode does not provide attitude angle restriction or position lock. The wattmeter displays the highest reading until the battery is disconnected. Another excellent feature of the NAZA GPS controller is the Fail-Safe mode. This mode can be set to cause the Flame Wheel to land at a given point or return to the starting point. Fail-Safe can be activated by loss of signal from the transmitter, if one of the controls no longer responds, when the charge is low, or if it was activated by the pilot himself. Speaking of charging: with a 5000 mAh quad-cell battery, the F550 will be able to fly with a load of up to 1.4 kg for 10-12 minutes.
The Flame Wheel DJI F550, combined with a NAZA controller and GPS, provides a stable platform for pilots looking for a multicopter that is capable of flying short distances. It also provides ample scope for aerial photography and videography, and the price tag will be a pass for low-budget photographers. The safety features included in the NAZA controller, combined with the ability to program the controller through a computer and a complete set of all necessary hardware, should ensure success in building and piloting this multicopter by any reasonably advanced user.
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