Tangra Build

Tangra is my second mini Quadcopter build. I decided to check out Cleanflight with a Naze32 controller. I got the full version since I was curious about the altitude hold and compass lock modes. With this build, I also explored ImmersionRC’s 600mW transmitter and upgraded to 4S batteries. I also switched to 1080p 60fps with the Xiaomi Yi. Lastly I added OSD on this build for the first time. Overall tons of fun!

Parts list:

  • Frame: Usmile® 260 folding miniquad 3K Carbon Fiber (http://amzn.com/B010JF11MQ). I’ve had a lot of mixed feeling about this frame: +cheap; +builtin spacers; +/-folding (turned into one of the major problems); -hard to assemble with a lot of ambiguity; -different parts arrived than what I ordered; +the frame is though and has survived a lot of nasty crashes; ++great motor height, I mounted the arms on the higher of the bottom plates, the props easily clear most grass without need of legs.
  • Flight Controller: Afroflight Naze32 Full (http://amzn.com/B014M582CQ). Nothing against the CC3D, but the Naze32 is a very proper controller. I enjoyed soldering my headers, just how I wanted them. I really appreciated all the builtin features like buzzer, telemetry and OSD support, voltage meter etc. Cleanflight had a bit of a learning curve, but now I really dig the flexibility of it over OpenPilot (again nothing against, I am a big OP fan, CF just feels more hardcore)
  • Motors: DYS BE1806 2300KV (http://www.banggood.com/DYS-BE1806-2300KV-Brushless-Motor-2-3S-for-Mini-Multicopters-p-933192.html). Yeah I went with 1806 again, but those are quite feisty little devils, especially on 4S. They are also pleasantly tall and with a lot of clearance above and below for screws. Very pleased with their performance, especially for the cost. I also love the fact that they are universal, I am tired of reverse CCW threads. Simple 5mm locknuts do a perfect job here. Did I mention these run great on 4S, with a 2200mAh LiPo 8 minutes of flight and barely lukewarm.
  • Props: I’ve flown most Gemfan configurations with this build 6045, 6030, 5045, 5030. The 5045BN on 4S seem to be the best combination. These props also come nearly balanced, are stiff and very crash resistant. (http://amzn.com/B012C7R6M8http://amzn.com/B012C86HF4)
  • ESCs: Ztw Mantis 12A BEC 2-4S LiPo 600Hz SimonK (http://amzn.com/B00KK7DAHS). No OneShot by default, but forums indicate that these are easy to program. I left them with default firmware but they are quite fast, the 600Hz is not a joke. I run Cleanflight with looptime of 1600 and have never experienced any problems.
  • PDB: ARRIS CC3D Flight Controller Mini (http://amzn.com/B00UFK8VJ2). Very pleasantly surprised with this board. I short-circuited both of its 5V and 12V regulators during the build (by accident), some smoke from solders coming undone, but no lasting damage. Having both regulators in such a small PDB is fantastic. Some complain about the pads being all on the same side of polarity, I don’t consider it a problem.
  • RC RX: d4r-ii with telemetry – same as first build, fantastic little wonder of a radio equipment.
  • Video TX: Immersion RC 600mW 5.8GHz (HobbyKing). I recently picked up a small RF power meter, due to range concerns with my gear. The Immersion RC 600mW as a clear power winner. It clocked over 900mW on some channels. Overall this is a solid board and I can see why most FPV builders use it – best power and thus range, proper radiator size so no over heat, smaller than some (tho bigger than others), wide range of input voltage with a good built in 5V filtered output. On the downside, changing channels is a major pain, those dip-switches are microscopic and often end up covered up. A friend of mine ripped the dips clean off the board trying to change channels. The antenna plug is also easy to rip off during a crash – never fly with a stick antenna and always use a coax cable extender to protect the plug.
  • FPV Camera: RunCam PZ0420M-L28-R (http://amzn.com/B00T5LLBX0). Great camera. I 100% agree with its review by Oscar Liang’s excellent review of this camera.
  • HD Camera: Xiaomi Yi (http://amzn.com/B012I6GPOS) Yes, the 1080p 60fps video quality is impressive. Yes, it’s the closest to a GoPro for under $100. Yes, it came completely unfocused, I had to crack it open, melt the hot-glue off the lens, refocus and re-glue. Worth it? Totally, but I also enjoy building these quads. Again great review and focusing tutorial by Oscar Liang for this camera.
  • OSD: MinimOSD with MultiWii firmware. Verbatim followed Oscar’s tutorial (Thanks) http://blog.oscarliang.net/minimosd-micro-setup-naze32-pid-rssi/Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 3.35.15 PM
  • LED Strip: Ordered a strip of WS2812, soldered and added a layer of silicone for protection. Tuned out pretty good 🙂 Again big credit to Oscan Liang’s blog


I feel this has been a great build. Once I got used to Cleanflight and got some basic flyable PIDs this became my default flyer (Sorry Zax) It has pushed my piloting skills and FPV glee to a higher level.

2015-10-22 22.34.41 2015-10-22 22.34.49 2015-10-22 22.35.03

Sample flight video: