Apex 5" HD on base frame kit¶
A digital HD build on the Apex Base Frame Kit¶
For my first DIY build ever I wanted a strong 5" frame.
I chose the ImpulseRC Apex Base Frame Kit because I did not want to rely on a HD specific frame and loose the space made for the DJI Air Unit.
It was quite a challenge to get everything to fit properly but I love the result and I hope you'll appreciate the density and great balance of this build.
This ends up as a compact (but not too much) build without sacrifying the space for the electronics. It is clean (to my standards at least) and very powerful.
I enjoyed working on it very much and I hope you'll get a sense of it reading this build guide. Enjoy!
Those links are NOT affiliate links. I just share the links where I actually bought the stuff needed for this build.
- ImpulseRC Apex Base Frame Kit
- T-Motor Combo F7 HD FC + F55A PRO II
- TBS Motor Steele Ethix Stout V3
- TBS Tracer Nano RX
- Cable U.FL TBS Unify Pro/HV SMA
- Caddx Vista HD System (see improvement notes below)
- Apex HD CAMERA SIDE PLATE KIT (see improvement notes below)
- 20cm Coaxial Cable for Caddx Vista (20cm !)
- Support XT60 on standoff - TPU by DFR
- HQProp ETHIX P3 Peanut Butter & Jelly 5.1x3x3 - PC (2x CW + 2xCCW)
- TrueRC Singularity 5.8GHz SMA - LHCP
- Strap Lipo KEVLAR 240x16mm - DFR
Notes to self for future improvements¶
- Switch to the Caddx Nebula Pro Vista Kit so we do not need the Apex HD CAMERA SIDE PLATE KIT any more, save 3 grams and money?
- Drop the ESC capacitor and replace it with TVS diodes RUSHFPV RUSH BLADE Power Filter Board
Follow the official ImpulseRC Apex guide to assemble the frame.
Caddx Vista on the 20x20 rear mounting holes¶
You will need 4 long M2 screws that are not provided with the kit. Nuts are the ones provided with the kit.
The 20cm cable for Caddx Vista is better protected than the standard one.
Caddx Vista VTX antenna mounting¶
Use the U.FL TBS Unify Pro/HV SMA cable with the provided Apex clamp and fix it to the rear for the antenna.
ESC and XT60 mounting¶
Do not fear to cut short the XT60 leads: its TPU support will strain releave the cable on the standoff.
Be mindful of the fact that the ESC mounted in reverse positionto leverage the space at the front for the capacitor. You will need to reallocate the motor resources on the CLI (see the betaflight section below).
Nothing surprising here, wiring the TBS Tracer Nano RX is straightforward!
Use the longest of the provided FC-to-ESC cables (it connects perfectly, mind the wire direction) and connect the Caddx Vista.
Once protected, the RX is stuck on top of the Caddx Vista using double sided tape.
The Tracer Immortal T antennas fit well: one is zip tied in the lower plate by the provided clamp and the other is passing through the remaining hole in the upper VTX clamp.
Finishing the build¶
Finish the build by placing the top plate and the plastic provided covers on the arms.
- Betaflight target: TMTR/TMOTORF7(STM32F7X2)
Bi-directional DShot is enabled and supported natively by the BLHeli32 ESC:
Filter settings to accomodate the bi-directional DShot:
Joshua Bardwell's OSD for DJI FPV Google settings:
Motor resource reallocation¶
Since the ESC is mounted in reverse position, the motors need to be reassigned on the CLI. Depending on your wiring, IDs may change.
# resources resource MOTOR 1 B01 resource MOTOR 2 B00 resource MOTOR 3 C07 resource MOTOR 4 C06 save
Minimal CLI diff¶
This is the minimal CLI diff that I set up without advanced tuning. It flies very well but as I will tune it better I will add a section to this build guide.
# # Building AutoComplete Cache ... Done! # # diff all # version # Betaflight / STM32F7X2 (S7X2) 4.2.6 Jan 5 2021 / 19:08:42 (a4b6db1e7) MSP API: 1.43 # config: manufacturer_id: TMTR, board_name: TMOTORF7, version: e02dd6f2, date: 2020-11-04T11:31:26Z # start the command batch batch start # reset configuration to default settings defaults nosave board_name TMOTORF7 manufacturer_id TMTR mcu_id 002f00263338510639393832 signature # resources resource MOTOR 1 B01 resource MOTOR 2 B00 resource MOTOR 3 C07 resource MOTOR 4 C06 # feature feature -RX_PARALLEL_PWM feature RX_SERIAL feature TELEMETRY # beacon beacon RX_LOST beacon RX_SET # serial serial 1 1 115200 57600 0 115200 serial 4 64 115200 57600 0 115200 # aux aux 0 0 0 1800 2100 0 0 aux 1 1 2 1300 1700 0 0 aux 2 13 1 1300 2100 0 0 aux 3 35 2 1800 2100 0 0 # rxfail rxfail 7 s 750 # master set gyro_lowpass2_hz = 375 set dyn_notch_width_percent = 0 set dyn_notch_q = 250 set dyn_notch_min_hz = 90 set dyn_notch_max_hz = 350 set dyn_lpf_gyro_min_hz = 300 set dyn_lpf_gyro_max_hz = 750 set acc_calibration = 26,3,238,1 set min_check = 1000 set rssi_channel = 8 set serialrx_provider = CRSF set dshot_bidir = ON set motor_pwm_protocol = DSHOT600 set small_angle = 180 set osd_warn_rssi = ON set osd_rssi_alarm = 40 set osd_vbat_pos = 257 set osd_rssi_pos = 2486 set osd_rssi_dbm_pos = 161 set osd_tim_1_pos = 353 set osd_tim_2_pos = 321 set osd_flymode_pos = 2241 set osd_throttle_pos = 313 set osd_vtx_channel_pos = 193 set osd_craft_name_pos = 33 set osd_gps_speed_pos = 161 set osd_gps_lon_pos = 33 set osd_gps_lat_pos = 1 set osd_gps_sats_pos = 65 set osd_home_dir_pos = 2275 set osd_home_dist_pos = 2145 set osd_flight_dist_pos = 184 set osd_altitude_pos = 2177 set osd_warnings_pos = 2441 set osd_avg_cell_voltage_pos = 2516 set osd_disarmed_pos = 2411 set osd_flip_arrow_pos = 65 set osd_core_temp_pos = 248 set osd_log_status_pos = 97 set osd_gps_sats_show_hdop = OFF profile 0 # profile 0 set dyn_lpf_dterm_min_hz = 105 set dyn_lpf_dterm_max_hz = 255 set dterm_lowpass2_hz = 225 set d_pitch = 32 set d_roll = 30 set d_min_roll = 0 set d_min_pitch = 0 profile 1 profile 2 # restore original profile selection profile 0 rateprofile 0 rateprofile 1 rateprofile 2 rateprofile 3 rateprofile 4 rateprofile 5 # restore original rateprofile selection rateprofile 2 # save configuration save