It’s not often I do an article about a new frame in the store, but this one I am really proud of and I think you’ll like it. Introducing the R450 Spider Quadcopter…
The R450 Spider Quadcopter is a high permance 100% CNC cut frame that has its sights set firmly on the FPV and aerial filming market. It was designed around the Tarot 2D gimbal for GoPro style camera so that it could compete against the likes of the DJI Phantom and TBS Discovery. So before we go any further you should probably just watch the product video…
So why design it?
I felt that my R630 design (the one with the 12″ props that used the Turnigy Talon hardware) had failed to deliver on its promises. The frame was large and unweildy, it needed larger motors, props and batteries, yet it was still unable to carry a gimbal and even had jello issue with the fixed camera. It could only use a specific FPV camera and I had concerns that one or two good knocks and it would all be over.
In short, it looked great but it wasn’t the high-performance machine I had wanted.
The R450 took it’s inspiration from a number of sources – the SK250 that I produced for a client, the HobbyKing Maltese, the KongCopter AQ450, and of course the Exo440. It was espescially these simple flat-plate designs that just screamed strength and durability.
I didn’t want anything complicated on this frame but I wanted it to be full of options. To keep it as light as possible, and knowing that I was going to be using a hanging gimbal I opted to not use a clean/dirty setup and I stuck with the common 1.5mm and 3.0mm material thicknesses.
After a few false start I finally settled on a design I was happy with. The R450 is not quite an X frame with the front arms raked back an extra 10 degrees to give a clear forward view. That said, with the positioning of the flight controller I have found no mixing was need at all and the frame is perfectly balanced with a quad X layout on my Naze32 Acro board.
For a start the flat design with 3mm arms and 3mm base plate is very tough. Even the legs, despite looking a bit lightweight I designed to be braced by the small standoffs into a strong box section. These then lock into the arms via tabs and steel screws to prevent twisting and shearing.
Multiple Mounting Options
Both flight controller and onboard cameras have plenty of options for mounting.
The top plate is pre-drilled to accept a direct mount Naze32/CC3d size board and also a KK2.1.x size. You can also choose to fit a vibration isolation plate if you wanted to mount something like an APM instead.
For cameras there is holes to screw mount the Tarot 2D Gimbal but if you wanted to fly purely FPV you could always fit the anti-vibration plate for a Mobius style camera. There are even holes to fit this plate underneath! The frame is drilled to suit a cased FPV camera and you can mount that on top or underneath the frame as well.
As you would expect with any multirotor frame you have plenty of space, slots and holes to mount your gear with lots of cooling airflow available with the plate design.
Don’t you just hate it when you build a frame and then realise you need to change something or fit the standoffs for your flight controller and you need to tear it all apart again? I was keen to prevent that happening with the R450 so whenever you see a 3mm screw hole in one of the plates you’ll find that the other plate has a mirrored hole that is slightly larger so that screw heads and screwdrivers can fit right in there!
Being a nice size the R450 doesn’t need anything special to get airborne. For the V1 prototype I used some gear out of another similar sized quad I was taking apart at the time – NTM2826 1100kv motors, Multistar 30A ESCs, 9″ props and a Naze32 Acro board. This setup with a 3600mah 3S LiPo gives me a 50% hover and 8 or so minutes of flight time, which is a good start and something I could certainly improve on with a 10″ 4S setup in the future.
In fact, the V1 was so simple that I didn’t even use a PDB. There is 9mm between the plates so a small PDB isn’t out of the question but I just used a 4-way breakout cable with some extra GST leads to power the VTx and Gimbal.
Well, you’ve seen the video (I hope). The R450 flies like it is on rails. The Naze has not been tuned at all and the frame is so responsive and easy to fly that I had strapped on my goggles within only a few minutes of testing.
The gimbal footage from the GoPro says it all really. The frame is solid and gives you smooth, jello free footage. In fact, before I fitted the gimal I mounted the GoPro directly to the frame and still got rock solid footage with no jello.
What are you waiting for?
This is an unashamed marketing piece but it is done for a reason. The R450 is just one of those frames that ticks all of the boxes (for me at least) and I’d love to see what others can do with it.
At $212 for the pure carbon version it isn’t going to break the bank and you’ll end up with a machine that can compete with the big boys.
I hope you like it as much as I do! You can find it in the store by clicking the link below.