7” Long Range FPV Drone Build with Mode 2 Frame

7″ quadcopters have better efficiency and flight time for long range than 5″. You can use a lot of same components from 5″ racing drones on 7″. It is larger than a 5″, but you can still comfortably carry it around.

Learn about Mini Quad frames in this article.

7″ Frame for FPV Long Range

After consulting my Facebook group (IntoFPV) on what frame I should use, it came down to the Mode 2 Shredder 7″ frame. I really liked it because it’s one of the lightest frames in its class, at only 112.5g assembled.

Where to Buy: https://mode-2.com/shop/shredder/

I will also check out the Martian IV 7″ frame too in the near future. For now let’s take a closer look at the Shredder 7″.

Pro Tip: When we are talking about the size of a racing drone, we normally refer to the maximum propeller size it can take. In this case, a 7″ frame means it can take 7″ propellers. 7″ frame typically have a wheelbase of around 300mm, sometimes as known as motor to motor distance. These are explained in more detail in my mini quad frame tutorial.

I really like the simplicity, great attention to detail, and how easy it is to build.

The replaceable and interlocking arms each takes only 2 screws. There are threaded metal inserts so there is no need for nuts. Not only this maximizes the use of space inside the frame, it also makes assembly effortless. It has good structural strength, the arms are stiff without any wiggles.

Another nice touch would be the carbon fibre edges, all came chamferred with smooth round finish!

The arms are 4.8mm thick, and top/bottom plates are both 3mm thick.

They offer 3D printed TPU camera mount in two colors – blue and green. Very nice printing quality by the way.

The TPU mount works really well with the frame, and it’s designed for mini and micro FPV cameras.

One of the two screws in each arm is used for mounting the FC, so long steel screws are provided for the FC stack.

It’s becoming popular to use long steel bolts for mounting FC / 4in1 ESC stacks, instead of nylon standoffs, because they don’t break in crashes. However I would advise against doing so if your 4in1 ESC and FC don’t use rubber grommets.

Nylon hardware breaks because they absorb some of the impact. With steel hardware, the shock will be completely passed down to the boards if there isn’t any damping from rubber grommets.

The Mode 2 Shredder uses a small piece of carbon fibre at the rear for mounting your SMA connector – a simple and effective solution. But I think it would be even nicer if they use TPU, one that slides into the standoffs. TPU is softer and perhaps more friendly for the antenna’s connector in crashes.

The frame seems to be designed for top mounted LiPo, as you can see, the bottom is full of bolt heads. But it’s not impossible to mount of your battery at the bottom, which I will show you how I did it.

7″ Long Range Build Parts List

I was going to use a 4in1 ESC initially, but it’s going to be challenging fitting 3 boards in this frame (VTX+FC+ESC), given the little space  we are working with (20mm height). So I went with these single light weight slim ESC’s from Holybro instead. Actually they turned out even better, the width of the ESC’s matches the arms perfectly.

I got the Jetstream 2407 motors from Egodrift specially for this 7″ build. Previously running 2207 motors on a 7″ and it just didn’t feel right in the air – very sluggish, not as responsive as I wanted it to be, prop wash and bounce-backs (overshoot) were almost impossible to eliminate with tuning.

My conclusion was that 22XX motors just don’t have enough torque to spin 7″ props. Hopefully these bigger 2407 would be sufficient. You might notice the KV is a bit on the low side (1500KV). My goal is good flight time and efficiency, and I am actually running triblade props so that should be adequate. With higher KV motors I would probably run dual blades instead.

And what kind of long range quad takes off without a self-powered buzzer? :) In case of unexpected “landing” with battery ejected, you would have a bigger chance of finding the quad in the wild if the buzzer continues to beep.

The Mode 2 Shredder 7″ frame looks like it’s little brother – the 5″ version, but with longer arms, the body isn’t particularly roomy for components. Using the Atlatl HV V2 VTX was a good decision as it can be mounted on top of the FC, leaving all the space at the rear for the RX and buzzer (and i was already struggling to fit these).

Mode 2 Shredder 7″ Build

As mentioned, I wanted to avoid steel bolts as the Kakute F7 doesn’t have shock dampeners (rubber grommets). That’s why I replaced the long steel bolts with some shorter ones, and use nylon standoffs for the FC stack.

The build was straight forward. Once I assembled the frame, installed the motors and ESC’s, mounted the FC, and all that was left was wiring them up!

I left more than enough slack in the wires. I will probably come back and trim them all up in the future if I want to go extreme with weight saving.

Put on the top plate, and that’s it!

All-up-weight is even lighter than some of my 5″ builds!

As mention, not much space to work with in this frame. That’s the downside of a simple / light weight / low profile frame. But it’s manageable with a bit of planning.

The FPV camera mount might look a bit big for micro cameras, but none of the mount is obstructing the camera’s view – this is the Runcam Racer V2 with 1.8mm lens.

Here is a side by side size comparison between the 7″ and 5″ quad. I might look big only because of the props :)

I decided to mount my LiPo at the bottom of the frame. To avoid all the bolts, I am using the Ummagrip battery pads. This stuff is very sticky, holds your battery well, and is thick enough to keep your LiPo away from the bolts (3mm).

You might notice there is no GPS! What’s going on? No GPS, how do you know how far you have gone? It will also help you find the quad if you crash.

Well I wanted to fly the quad and make adjustments to hardware until I am happy with it, then GPS.

You can learn about setting up GPS in quadcopters in this tutorial. You can also setup Betaflight Rescue mode.

Flight Footage

The first flight of my GoPro Hero 7 is going to be on this quad, with Mode 2’s official GoPro TPU mounts on Thingiverse. :)

Maiden flight went well. Some shakiness with stock settings. I will play with a few things and report back what helps.

20 thoughts on “7” Long Range FPV Drone Build with Mode 2 Frame

  1. Max Wildschut

    Hey Oscar, I’m running F80 1900 kv motors with 30 amp Esc’s. I have a few 3000 mah 3s 20 c bats, can I use those or do they not give enough power. I’m thinking about long range and not so much freestyle.

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Rune Offerdal

    Very nice build! I’ve built my way up from PnP 1 and 2 inch drones, then DIY 3, 5 and 4 inch drones (in that order). Now I just got a Runcam 5 camera and start to think long range.

    Just one question: You replace the long steel bolts with shorter ones and nylon standoffs. I understand why you do that, but will it not affect the stability of the arms?

    Reply
  3. martijn dekker

    Hi all,

    I flew a martian iv 7 inch with F40pro II 1200KV and HQ7035 on 4s 1800mAH with Inav.

    This week I lost my 7 inch drone because of failing props. It fell out the air with a broken prop. I heard it break via audio. The first two times it was nearby and did not know this was the problem. Otherwise I never got it airborne again with these props. Unfortunately the third time is was lost forever. So be aware with uing these props.

    Reply
  4. Piotr

    Hi Oscar,
    I’m flying 7″ build on iFlight XL7 LowRider Team Edition, Kakute F7, Tekko slim ESC and TBS Endurance. It was flying well, however it took some time to tune BF filters to get what I expected.
    Unfortunately, Kakute failed in the air and quad fell into the water. It took me over 12h to find it – and Endurance motors are generally not as smooth as they used to be. I decided to upgrade to F60 Pro III 1750KV, but noticed, that they are rated 5-6s. I am flying on 4s. Do You they can handle 7″ Triblades (well-known hq prop) ?

    (BTW, I lost two ESCs (shortage on Kakute) and blown-up FC – rest is ok, after over 12h in the water: crossfire, unify evo, gps, vifly finder, eagle. Amazing)

    Best regards,

    Piotr

    Reply
  5. Anton

    Hi Oscar!
    What is your final opinion about Motor: Jetstream 2407 1500KV???
    It is powerfullfor 7″ propellers?

    Reply
  6. Wizzx

    Hi Oscar,
    I’m preparing part list for my 7″ “micro long range” build and looking for a F7 FC with PD.
    as I already own frame with no so much space (Mito F2 275mm) i think that Kakute F7 aio will not fit inside, but seems that f4 aio will. is that still OK to use F4 one?

    Also I can see that you are using 45A ESC, but Kakute F7 is able to delliver only 120A, what is your maximal current with full throtle? can Kakute delliver more than 120A?
    BTW nice build:)

    Reply
  7. richard

    Hello Alex,

    thank you for the information.

    I”m impressed, the Pack Weight is 586g !!! And only 20c…I was not thinking it could work with so much weight and low C…

    What is the total weight of the drone ? something about 800 gr ?

    Again many thanks, I will consider bigger 4s battery with low C…

    Reply
  8. Alex

    Thanks for the comment Oscar. I figured out the problem – antenna wasn’t connected fully on the receiver.

    Richard,
    I mounted a 5000 mah turnigy 20c on the bottom. That’s how I got away with it.

    hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-5000mah-4s1p-14-8v-20c-hardcase-pack-1.html

    Which kind of props do you have ?
    Gemfan 8045

    Here’s my full build
    IFlight XL8
    Matek f722SE
    Holybro atlal hv
    Holybro tekko 32 esc x4
    Beitian 880 GPS/Compass
    Foxeer Mix 1080p 60fps Super WDR
    R9 MM > which i upgraded to R9 slim
    sunny sky x2208 1260 KV
    Foxeer pagoda antenna long range
    Gemfan 8045
    Turnigy 5000 mah 20C

    I get 26 mins if I manage the throttle. Trying to go lighter and extend flight times by making my own 18650 battery pack.

    Reply
  9. richard

    Hello Oscar,

    you recommended a battery between 2500 to 4000 mah, but which voltage ? 4 or 5 or 6s ?

    I guess more 4s for long flight time, because above 2500 mah in 6S is quite heavy no ?

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Currently I fly a 7 inch quad, with T-motor F40 PRO II 1600KV, bi-blades 6 inch and I get about 15 min flight time with 2800 mah 4s Lipo. I’m interested to update my config to gain few minutes more and get closer to 20 min flight time.

    Cheers from France.

    Richard

    Reply
  10. Jesse

    Thank you for the great article. Long Range is a whole new thing. I agree that many parts are interchangeable but I cannot agree more that adding some extra power helps tremendously. I just built a Falcon Multirotor Raggio Lungo. The first ESC I used was way under powered. I upgraded to a 55amp 6s esc and couldn’t be happier. It eliminated noise and now my 7″ flies like an acro quad.

    Reply
  11. Bonobox

    Looking forward to see the footage and to know any issues of propwash, jellos, vibration caused by big props and light/not stiff frames

    Reply
  12. Nikita

    Good day. I assembled a 7-inch FPV DRONE PREFACE on a Martian IV 7 ″ frame with
    FC: Kakut F7 AIO
    GPS: BN-880
    ESC: Holybro Tekko32 35A BLHeli_32 ESC Dshot1200
    Motor: Racerstar 2207 BR2207S Fire Edition 1600KV
    Props: Gemfan Flash 7042 7.0×4.2
    VTX: Atlatl HV V2
    Antenna: Lollipop V2
    Receiver: FrSky R-XSR

    Did you manage to solve the PID problem for the POSHOLD and ALTHOLD modes in INAV?

    Reply
  13. Alex

    Cool build! Report back on how the R9mm works. Just maidened mine and i get very low 20-50 RSSI. Any suggestions on where to start with troubleshooting this? I have both antenna wires mounted perpendicular to one of the arms so i don’t think this should be a problem. Working on finding how to update the firmware next.

    I currently have a 8″ build iflight XL8 sunny sky x2208 1260 KV motors. matek f722SE 5000 mah
    I get 22-23 mins mixed flying.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I get asked quite often how to troubleshoot R9M.. I will make a troubleshooting guide shortly.
      First thing to make sure is you are using the right frequency, and correct antennas (868MHz and 915MHz have different antennas).
      Make sure they are mounted correctly too (see my R9M guide).

      Reply
    2. richard bouvard

      Hello Alex,

      Which kind of 5000 mah battery can you install on this chassis ? I have an XL6 and XL7, and the central part of the chassis is the same (same length & width), only the arms length change. I have already some difficulty to install on top a 2800 mah 4s 45C lipo on it !
      I will be very interested to see your installation (bottom or top ?), battery size and type (C rate, weight, number of cells).

      Which kind of props do you have ?
      I am really interested to know more about your configuration, because I’m aiming to fly 20 minutes too.

      Kind regards

      Richard

      Reply

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