I recently finished constructing my XuGong v2/Pro from ImmersionRC and wanted to share the highlights of the build. I did not include the basic cage assembly because some very good step-by-step build videos already exist on YouTube that include that phase of construction and also focus on using ImmersionRC’s suggested radio and gimbal which I have not. For anyone interested I’ve included links to a couple of those below.
|Watch the complete video|
I built a first generation XuGong 10 about a year ago and that one performed so well that I decided to get the Pro and transfer the components from the old frame to the new frame. The Pro shares the basic dimensions and planform of the original but it also differs in significant ways. The Pro model boasts an all-carbon fiber cage and the power distribution board has a host of new features including a video switcher, a clean FPV camera supply, and even ImmersionRC’s EzOSD. As a bonus the fit and finish of the parts are just nicer overall making the v2/Pro a genuinely pretty machine.
With the exception of the flight controller and the battery, everything is mounted externally and that means things like ease of access, cable routing, and weight distribution all require extra thought. The final layout seemed like an efficient use of space and to keep it all tidy I custom made the servo cables to length and of the two round DJI leads only the LED cable needed to be shortened.
The EzOSD provides altitude and battery telemetry but I added the FrSky modules so that I could program audible and haptic alarms into my Taranis.
The ESCs are 30A Blue Series parts from my first XuGong. These are excellent controllers with fast-switching nMOSFETs but before reinstalling them I replaced the wiring and secured the heat sinks with thermal-conductive epoxy. With a 30A rating they’re serious overkill for this build but because they are so understressed they never even get warm and should last indefinitely.
For safety – and because they look awesome – I decided to put lights on the motor arms and flexible LED strips were the obvious choice.
The strips I selected are 12-volt units intended for automotive use and at 5mm wide they’re nearly a perfect match for the motor arms.
Soldering the strips isn’t difficult but you don’t want to linger on the solder pads. I used my 40-watt iron with a fine tip so I could get in and out quickly.
As an aside, the reel of white LEDs came with self-adhesive backing but the red ones didn’t so I used 1mm VHB which is considerably stronger and more durable. In additional I placed 4 white VOLO LED boards on the underside of the cage.
- Very stable flight with the NAZA-M
- Feature rich electronics
- Good vibration isolation
- Perfectly balanced with recommended battery
- Folds to backpack size
- Unfolds to 460mm (vs. Phantom 350mm)
- Good quality materials and finish
- Unique design – not many out there
- FC space is almost too cramped
- PDB blocks access to 2 of the top plate screws
- Manual could be more concise
- Several decorative screws came without threads
- Could prove too challenging for an inexperienced builder
This was a great project and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out, but that doesn’t mean I’m finished. Planned upgrades include UHF radio gear, 1.2GHz video, and a 3-axis gimbal. For anyone interested I’ve provided links to the parts and tools in the video description, and if you have any questions about the build please put them in the comments section.
Overall I think the XuGong Pro is an exceptional value. If built with care it’s a versatile camera drone with very few warts that’s suitable for travel or backpacking.
FYI – In the video I mention that Hobby King had listed the kit for only $92 but it seems they’ve raised the price again. It’s back to $169. If you’re thinking of getting a XuGong v/2 Pro from HK my advice is keep returning to the product page. I’m guessing the site senses your interest and lowers the price after x number of days if you haven’t placed your order.
- XuGong frame kit
- Cobra CM-2217/20 950Kv motors
APC 10×4.5MR multirotor props
APC 10×4.5MRP multirotor props
- APM 9×4.5MR multirotor props
- APM 9×4.5MRP multirotor props
- Hobby King ‘Blue Series’ 30A ESCs
- Multistar 5200mAh 4S LiPo battery
- Aomway 5.8GHz cloverleaf antennas
- FrSky X8R receiver
- FrSky SBUS to CPPM converter
- FrSky normal precision variometer
- FrSky voltage sensor with OLED display
- Pololu RC MOSFET switch
- 5mm Wide 12-volt LED strips
- 600TVL CCD FPV Camera
- VOLO 12-volt white LEDs
- D-SUN 3A adjustable buck converter
- 2-Axis gimbal frame for GoPro camera
- DYS BGM2208-80 brushless gimbal motors
- STorM32 BGC with case and IMU
- HC-06 Bluetooth module for StorM32 board
- DJI NAZA-M Lite flashed to V2
- NEO-NM8 GPS module for NAZA
- Red anodized folding antenna mast
- Black XT60 connectors
* After some experimentation I settled on 9-inch props as the ideal diameter to eliminate jello (I currently have APC 9×4.5 props fitted.) Flight times are slightly shorter, but the higher RPMs at hover don’t have the same jello-inducing harmonics at the larger, slower rotating 10-inch props.
- 8mm Composite non-marring wrench
- BLHeli firmware
- StorM32 gimbal controller setup
- Panduit PLT.6SM-C0 sub-miniature cable ties
Required to perform all-at-once ESC calibration via SBUS:
Tx Gimbal Tilt Settings
For those that are interested I have the gimbal tilt control on channel 9 of my Taranis Plus. An expo value of 60 helps to eliminate overcontrol while gimbal acceleration/deceleration and tilt position offsets are handled by the STorM32 gimbal controller via OlliW’s Brushless Gimbal Controller Tool.
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