Musings of Captain Justice a/k/a Gil Jones


(page under construction)

Whazzat? It’s a not-a-helicopter with multiple fixed-blade rotors, ergo “Multirotor.” Alternate definition: A geek addiction that flies on battery power. Quad mod front quarter Mine is also termed a “quadcopter” as it has four rotors, then you will see hexacopters and octocopters in a variety of configurations. All are referred to as multirotors.
Here is a photo of an almost latest incarnation of the beast that is nothing like it started out in life. Beginning with a stock DJI FW450 multirotor, it is now equipped with longer arms, bigger motors that run bigger props, and a lot of electronics that go way beyond simply going up, around and back down.

For the sake of getting some details going I will use a description I recently posted on Facebook.

It now has longer arms, bigger motors, runs bigger props, has a GoPro Hero 2 for photography, and I’ve just added a “pilot cam” and video transmitter which send video back to me to view on a 10″ LCD monitor. I can switch between what the pilot cam sees (it’s a view as if you are “in” the quadcopter) and what the GoPro is filming. I recently added and On Screen Display (OSD) which superimposes data on the video screen such as speed, height above takeoff point, distance away from you, direction back to home, battery voltage (i.e. how soon is it coming down!), and more. The most recent addition as of April 2014 is a gimbal so I can tilt the camera up and down and compensate for roll to give a steadier image.

For those interested technically, it is:

(BTW, my initial gear came from HeliDirect, one of many good dealers)
DJI FW450 frame (their Flamewheel series)
DJI NAZA-M V2 flight control system with GPS
Amdroix extended (by 50mm each) aluminum arms
SunnySky 3508-16 700KV motors from BuddyRC
Batteries include a 4100, 4500 and 5500 mAh plus small ones for the Video receiver & monitor, and video transmitter.
Props range from 10-12 inch – shown with 12×3.8 pitch
Video package from ReadyMadeRC, LLC with the 5.8Ghz system, pro700 camera, Fatshark 250mw transmitter w/ independent 450 mAh battery
DJI iOSD mini on screen display. iOSD mini image on screenHere is an example of what you see on the screen
ATG generic landing skids
Lots of LEDs (Jennifer says too much)
12 volt BEC (dc to dc converter) for lights and gimbal controller
5 volt BEC for cameras
Gimbal is the Beholder by Team Rebel Design from CNChelicopters

Futaba8FGSuperThe transmitter  is a Futaba 8FG Super with 14 channels and Futaba receiver. Mounted on that now is the 10″ LCD monitor for the First Person View (FPV) flying. I have not yet been brave enough to fly solely FPV (i.e. without also having eyes on the quad) and you need a separate spotter if you are going to do that properly and safely.

Quad frontal gimbal annoQuad frontal gimbal lights

Here is the finished product including the GoPro in the gimbal. Well, finished until I start tinkering again. Probably tomorrow.


The gimbal was tested today (4/17/14) very successfully, I think. Here is a video with just a compilation of scenes designed to show if the gimbal was steady and the shot jello-free. Flickr video.

There you have the nuts and bolts. Literally. Action shots and more details to come.

And then there were six

Arms and motors, that is.FW550

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