Ideafly 4S

This is an old 550 drone originally sold as ARtF. I picked up one on Ebay for not very much. If it worked out of the box, I’d leave it as was, and if it didn’t, I’d learn a lot more about reconfiguring drones. First off, it has a very robust foldable frame (pics to follow). This is its strongest point.

The FC got very mixed reports from users, and mine wasn’t recognising the GPS/compass module, so it had to go. Support for this model ceased without warning in around 2015…I also ditched the ESCs, which at 10A struck me as likely to be on the weak side, and have put in a Naza M-Lite FC with its associated hardware, with Afro 20A opto ESCs. To come, a brushless gimbal - the original is a rather flimsy and oversize servo setup - an Apeman action cam and HDMI to AV converter hooked up via an N1 OSD module (we’re talking low cost here!) to get some telemetry back as well as providing half-decent photography - I hope.

Preliminary checks suggest that everything’s the right way round and when the wind round here subsides it might very well take off safely. Not sure whether to use the gimbal’s own gyro or take the stabilisation from the Naza. So many questions. To be continued.

Photos ?

1 Like


Good luck and have fun playing with your aircraft - warning - it can become obsessive and you end up with a house full of old and tired kit :slight_smile:

I would use the Naza for gimbal stabilisation. But it’s worth checking how well the gimbal works on its own - is it using a Basecam controller?

Thanks for that. The gimbal is cheap Chinese, possibly throwaway, but I think I’ve identified a half decent one. It comes with its own controller.

I recognised the potential for obsession, and have already set a limit on the kit, - to some extent, the cost sets its own limit. The objective is to build a useable camera platform, capable of adaptation, and with no more DJI input than the Naza ( only intended to be an interim solution suitable for a newbie)

1 Like

Update - (@ admin)

  1. Couldn’t paste photo successfully, maybe because using Linux.
  2. Could your failure to reach my email server be due to the .ws domain being unrecognised?
    (@macspite )
    The gimbal, from Ebay, is described as " FPV 2-Axis Camera Brushless Gimbal For DJI Phantom Gopro 3 4 with Controller YU". It’s as solid as I’d hoped, they haven’t skimped on the aluminium. It has a knockoff of Basecam’s old 8-bit controller aboard. The board has Basecam printed on it, which is cheeky, as it doesn’t look like any of Basecam’s models. However, it works. I only have a Radiomaster T8 Pro transmitter, so no pots and no inflight control for now, but an Eachine Tx16S should be on its way.

Just use the upload button.

1 Like

In the words of Alan Partridge, Aaa-ha!


1 Like

Big bird :wink:

With my aging eyes, it needs to be so I can work on it!

1 Like

VLOS 5 miles :wink:

1 Like

No comment… :innocent:

1 Like

The Apeman HDMI didn’t work with the converter I got, so that idea’s on hold. As a temporary measure, a Caddx Baby Ratel (good in low light) feeding a HGLRC DVR-VTX via a N1 OSD module, all mounted on a nylon plate and spaced off under the fuselage to give a clear view. No cushioning, but I’m not looking for movie quality, just a background for the OSD telemetry. This setup works, but note the camera needs to be separately powered (from the VTX 5v out), while the OSD module needs to know the (3S) battery voltage - connected accordingly.

The RX is a Radiomaster R88, bound to an Eachine TX16s multiprotocol transmitter set up to Frsky D8 mode. I went for Open Tx because I liked its versatility, without actually knowing much about the alternatives. After much swearing it works for me.

The wind died down enough to chance a maiden flight this morning, and initial results are encouraging. Set up to Naza (550) defaults, pitch adjustable on one of the TX16’s pots, got it stable, successfully landed and took off three times, slight rotation so may need the GPS repositioned. Some modification of its folding mount will make realignment more precise.

On the whole the IFly’s much more responsive than a H501s, probably helped by the much better transmitter. Attempted a fourth takeoff on low battery - it fell over and broke two props. Still, proof of concept achieved, my criteria for spending more cash on the thing (Is it going to work at all?) were easily met. Now awaiting props and bigger LiPo. Back to the Hubsans for now!

Well, that was a bummer. Thought I would set up the gains. Perfect takeoff, responding well to all controls, no unwanted yaw, v. slight drift, so into Att mode. Seemed stable for 15 secs, responding properly, then without warning and despite panicked return to GPS mode (enough satellites previously) headed rapidly East, rose to about 20 metres and dropped like a stone.

Hit very hard and broke an arm bracket and all 4 props. Probably killed the GPS module too. But the motors were still running. I have no idea what happened. At which point it seems that the plastic arm bracket is unavailable as a spare - the arms themselves are carbon, and presumably this item was the one which always went - so it gets one last chance - a complete new frame from AliExpress. Grrr.