Micro Quad ESC Frame

In an effort to get content flowing here again posts will probably be higher in image content and short notes rather than long form articles.

As such this is my latest quadcopter build. A micro 1S quad based on the excellent work of http://fishpepper.de.

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I have used the tinyFISH Flight Controller directly so nothing amazing on my part there (thought the FC itself is an amazing accomplishment). My point of difference, and the reason for this post is the ESC frame. I have created a new board layout which uses the schematic of the tinyPEPPER 4-in-1 ESC but laid out on a PCB that serves double duty as the frame for building the copter on to.

Pair

My initial motivation for this creation was to avoid the wait time of a custom carbon frame being cut. With the time spent on this layout and delays in production I could of just as quickly gone down the more traditional route but this was a fun project and I picked up some new skills. With the tiny size of this copter the frame fits within the common 100×100 size limit of cheap PCB fab houses. I used JLC PCB as a test this time around and for $20 I got 10 PCB’s with 2oz copper. Unfortunately the delivered spec. was not what I was after. The board is 1.6mm rather than 1mm (so much extra weight!) and the solder mask could only be green, the sticking point being the 2oz copper.

In any case it flies as is, there were no problems electrically with the PCB. Assembling the tiny components was challenging my first time around but became easy enough even though I’m only using a soldering iron, hot air rework station and wire solder.

As required by the terms of the CERN open hardware license v1.2 my source files (KiCad) are available under the CERN open hardware license v1.2. Feel free to use the design – but make sure to give proper credit and release all modifications under the same license!

github64
ESC_Frame by aTaylor60

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I modelled a new mount for the FPV camera which better suits FDM printing (no support required) and puts the lens on the centre line. There is also a bit more space withing it as I was finding the fishPEPPER designed option just wasn’t fitting the camera I had. A small dab of hot glue in the bottom of the mount ensures the camera stays put. It is available on Thingiverse.

thing_icon_57CM275t mount by ataylor60

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To simplify the routing for the PCB fabrication I mount the battery with a rubber band that loops around the standoffs for the flight control stack.

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I already have parts and plans for another 2 builds. One will be with this same ESC Frame but using 10000kV motors and another will be using the recommended 8000kV motors on a carbon frame (either my own design or the PepperF1SH design). I’d also like to get another run of boards from a different fab house in 1mm thickness and build a 2S version but that is a little further down the track.

I’ve also got a number of other custom designed but larger scale copters that will eventually find there way onto these pages. So many projects, such little time!

4 thoughts on “Micro Quad ESC Frame

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