FPV Drone Racing Frame Review
With over 30 different mini quad frames out there, what is special about this FPV Drone Racing Frame?
Specification and Feature List:
- Multiple setup options available in one kit (Quad or Hex)
- Multiple props sizes accepted (5″, 6″ or 7″)
- Very rigid design allowing high power setups (6s power!)
- Crash worthy design keeps you in the air and out of the pits
- Accepts Gopro or Mobius cameras
- Innovative and effective aniti-vibration design for jello free live and recorded footage
- POV camera mount angled up 20 degrees for proper track view during fast forward flight
- FPV camera mount angled up 20 degrees for proper track view during fast forward flight
- POV camera is housed in a crash cage
- FPV board camera is housed in a crash cage
- ESC tray fits up to 6 standard sized speed controllers
- High quality very durable 3K Twill weave gloss carbon fiber construction
- Stainless steel fasteners
- High quality black anodized aluminum standoffs
- Plenty of space for electronics
- High amperage distribution board included
- Spare parts are inexpensive and always in stock
- EVERY KIT includes enough fasteners to build ANYconfiguration
- Optional 11 degree forward tilt motors for uber fast forward flight capability (tilt motor mount pads sold separately)
- Three SMA VTX holes for optional FPV transmitter location
- Flight controller mounting accepted – (45mm x 45mm) or (30.5mm x 30.5mm)
- Motor mounting accepted – (M2 @ 12mm and 16mm) or (M3 @ 16mm and 19mm)
- 37mm top and bottom frame plate separation
- 1.5mm high quality carbon fiber frame plates
- 3mm high quality carbon fiber arm plates
- Speed Addict Fearless weight numbers = CLICK HERE
FPV Drone Racing Frame Overview and Assembly
This is a “Speed Addict FPV Drone Racing Frame” full kit, which includes parts for all 3 configurations: 265mm quad, 320mm quad and 330mm hex. You can choose which particular configuration you want for a cheaper price.
There are also the antenna holder and tilted motor mounts, which can be purchased separately as accessories.
The FPV drone Racing Frame is made from high quality carbon fibre and some 3D printed parts. The standoffs are black aluminium which is light and strong.
The arms are just under 3mm thick. The thickness of body plates are 1.5mm.
In picture 3 below, the first arm is for the 265 quad, second arm is for the 320 quad, and the 330 hex uses both second and third arms.
The provided manual for assembly is excellent, lots of super clear diagrams and the instructions are concise. Took me only 20 mins to learn and put this thing together, I am sure most of us can do it quicker.
Camera Protection Cage and FPV Camera Mount
It’s always been a concern to people who use HD camera such as the GoPro or Mobius on a Mini quad. As often seen they are mounted on the top of the frame, in a crash these cameras will inevitably take some impact.
Putting GoPro Hero4 Camera in the cage.
And it’s also compatible with the Mobius/Runcam HD camera, with some different 3D printed mount.
The camera mounts have a fixed angle of 20 degrees. It’s disappointing that you can’t change it. You could 3D print one yourself if you need a smaller or larger angle.
Just bear in mind that because of the position of the cage and camera, the LiPo battery has to be placed far back to maintain a good COG. Otherwise your front motors will run a lot harder than the rear motors, and causing instability to your quadcopter.
The FPV camera mount is easy to install, and the camera is well protected. But unfortunately you can’t change the tilt angle and it’s the same as the Gopro cage that has a fixed angle of 20 degrees.
Or you can replace the FPV camera mount with one of these camera that comes with a swivel mount.
Multi Configuration Frame
This is a very unique feature on the Speed Addict frame. The small form factor 265mm mini quad configuration is probably my favourite. However it’s not a lot lighter than the other 2 larger config. It still weights 225g with the frame alone.
Frame designer Neill reminded me that the ESC tray and camera cage can be removed to reduce weight.
- 265 Quad base weight = 190 grams (same of the new ZMR250 V2 and Zuul Superbeast)
- 265 Quad with FPV cam cage = 200 grams
- 265 Quad with ESC tray and FPV cam cage = 225 grams
This frame can be turned into a 330 mini hex, by replacing longer arms and adding two middle arms. The frame weights 290g, and it fits maximum 6′ props.
It can also be converted into a larger quadcopter (320mm), which allows you to run 7 inch propellers. This configuration weights 241g.
Antenna Holder and Tilted Motor Mounts
Antenna holder is not compulsory but it makes your build look slicker, and protects your antenna well in crashes.
The motor mounts offer 11 degree tilt, which is really great for those who fly fast. With these motor mounts you can see better what’s in front of you in a full throttle flight, rather than just ground.
Definitely a high end mini quad frame, very good quality and very strong. The convertible frame configuration gives you much flexibility, if you want to try a different config you can just buy additional arms for it rather than a whole new frame. The camera protective cage is not 100% guarantee of the safety of your camera, but it just makes me feel much more confident to fly faster.
There are many small, thoughtful details in this frame that make building/setup easier, such as the ESC tray and the 3 holes on the top plate for VTX antenna.
However there are a few things I think can be improved on this frame:
- The tilt angle of FPV camera and Gopro/Mobius is not changeable.
- Frame is pretty heavy for a mini quad, especially if it’s for racing.
- Maybe Arms can be made 4mm? I haven’t crashed hard enough to break one, but I am sure many people would be concerned 3mm might not be enough, maybe 4mm arms can be offered as an option in purchase.
- With the GoPro and camera cage installed, it gets really heavy at the front and requires the LiPo to sit far at the back, to keep COG in the centre. I guess this is a common issue for all the mini quad frames that has a Gopro cage like this.
- Even the ZMR250 has dedicated PDB now, which makes building so much easier! I think Catalyst can look into developing a full PDB for this Frame.
- Wider camera cage for some GoPro protective lenses such as the LayerLens.
The owner of Catalyst, Neill, is truly passionate about his products. He is extremely helpful, so if you have any question about this frame, just drop him an email on info AT catalystmachineworks.com