With increasing popularity of 180 mini quad frames there are plenty to choose from. This time I had the opportunity to review and build the AP180 from AirPixFPV.
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This article is written by Artur B.
Here are some videos made using this frame by Artur.
Car Park Fun
AP180 Mini Quad Frame Review
AP180 frame contains:
- bottom 4mm plate
- top 1.5mm plate
- 6 x aluminium 35mm standoffs
- FPV cam plate
- 12 x M3 bolts
It was very easy to assemble the frame thanks to unibody bottom plate design. Frame weight is only 98g. Motor to motor distance is 180mm exactly.
It was the first frame I have came across with 4mm thickness bottom plate. On the bottom plate there are a few cut-outs that can be utilized for cable/component management. There are two holes on the arm where you can put a zip tie through to hold the ESC in place.
Top plate has narrower front section and the second half is wider. There is no dedicated HD camera plate, but there are cut-outs that can fit velcro straps to hold your HD camera in place (GoPro/Xiaomi).
There are two holes for placing video transmitter antenna and two smaller holes at the very back for radio antennas. There is also few holes for fixing 25mm mini cased FPV cam.
The AP180 design is quite unique, futuristic and eye catching. At the first glance it looks like another X config frame but it is not actually a X frame. Carbon fibre cutting quality is amazing. It is Japanese Toray material, which is well known for durability.
Let’s take a look at my build.
AP180 Build Log
The main goal was to build a serious performer in a tiny package. 180 size frames are great for manoeuvrability in tight spaces and also agility. That was exactly the purpose of this build: to be fast, and more agile than my frame.
Parts I used:
- AP180 Frame
- Cobra 2204 2300KV motors
- Naze32 Acro
- LittleBee 20A ESC
- Demon Core PDB
- Aomway 200mw VTX
- D4R II FrSky RX
- Sony Super HAD Mini (25mm cased version)
The heart of this build was the mini PDB that has voltage regulation and LC filter built in. It reduced the cable clutter A LOT. I can’t imagine building anything now without some kind of mini PDB with integrated filter and regulators.
Video and radio transmitters are placed underneath of the top plate. Video antenna is fitted at the back of the top plate. D4R-II RX antennas are put through the pre-drilled holes at back as well.
FPV cam was attached to the top plate. I didn’t use the pre-drilled FPV cam holes, but instead, one of the cut-outs dedicated for the FPV plate (haven’t used that at all). I tried using the holes for mini FPV camera first, but the lens was sticking out too much, and I had to move it back into the body.
All that allowed me to have the top plate connected to the rest with only 3 wires!
Another nice design feature was the two cut-outs on the arms to put a zip tie through to hold ESC on it. It was designed to hold ESC of SN20A size. I noticed that it could have been placed further back toward the body.
On the frame I was building it was holding ESC at about 20% of its length, which was not ideal. I like that feature a lot. On all my other frames zip tie holding ESC was always wrapping around the arm.
In this build I used 1300 – 1500mah 4S lipos. It is possible to fit 1800mah battery as well without the HD camera. Big battery doesn’t make any sense on such a tiny frame anyway.
I had a chance to perform durability test against concrete and pillar during my car park underground video. Apart from usual chipping there was absolutely no sign of struggle for the frame there.
Great things about the AP180
- 4mm thickness of the bottom plate! It’s made to last
- Simplicity of design
- Cool Looking Frame, although it is personal taste of course
- Holes and cut-outs in the bottom and top plate are very handy for using zip ties to organize cables inside the frame
- Very friendly design team, always happy to answer all of my questions
Things can be improved on the AP180
- Mounting holes for Mini FPV Cam could have been placed little bit more away from the front
- Cut-outs on the Arms for putting zip tie through to hold ESC could have been placed little bit further toward the frame
I really like this frame, enjoyed building and flying it. Was amazed by how a 180 mini quad flies. It could have been a combination of the size and setup of course but my impression was nothing but good overall.