HobbyWing recently sent me their Arris X-Speed 250 mini quad frame to review, which they only released less than a month ago. I will build this mini quadcopter in another article, this post will mainly focus on the actual frame.
Overview of Arris X-Speed 250 Mini Quad Frame
The Arris X-Speed FPV250 Frame has a motor distance of about 270mm, so I am not sure why they call it a 250. It can fit 5 inch or 6 inch props and It weights 160 grams.
The package is not cheap ($209), but it comes with many screws and parts. When I say many, I mean really, MANY!! In the manual, they listed a total of 27 different items of screws, bolts, nuts, carbon fibre parts, vibration dampening balls, etc.
On their product page they say it’s an assembled BNF quadcopter, so hopefully you don’t need to put this together yourself. Unless you are a puzzle fan, you will probably enjoy it.
Most of the carbon fibre parts are made of 1.5mm-1.7mm CF sheets.
It also has a built-in Power distribution board, making it easy to build and tidy.
Arris Great Design and Frame Assembly
This frame has some VERY unique design elements in it, which I have not seen before. The most impressive design would be the FPV camera mount. The Camera is separated from the main frame by some vibration dampening balls, and on the top plate there is a slider where you can adjust the FPV camera tilt angle, by sliding it back. I have to say, this is a genius idea. :D
Also the Arm has a very special design as well. The two thin carbon fibre sheets are held together with aluminium spacers and bolts, there is enough space to fit your ESC in between. Motor is protected by the top arm plate.
By following the manual, assembly wasn’t particularly difficult, just takes time and effort to sort out what screws / bolts go where.
First of all assemble the bottom plate with the arms
And then the power distribution board (PDB) and the FC mounting plate. The PDB is just simply supply power to the ESCs, and takes signal wire as well. There is no other functions.
Then put the top plate on and we are done!
Suggestions for Improvement
Complicated Frame Construction
First impression when I opened the box was, “This is complicated!”. Too many parts / screws to assemble if you are building it yourself. If they take some of the ideas I have below, it would reduce the difficulties of building this frame considerably.
Bolt Standardization and more spare
I think they need to standardize the bolts they use, for example they are using M3 6mm bolts, and M3 8mm bolts, they could have just use 8mm. And they are also suing M2.5 4mm and M2.5 5mm, Why? Just use 5mm. Bolts also need to be longer especially for item number 7 and 27. This will make assembly easier.
Needs more spare bolts/ spacers as well. I am missing a few screws (26).
Seller’s comment: There is only 2 places using the M3 x 8 bolts and other places are all using the M3 x 6. So, if we change all the bolts to M3 x 8, it might add some weight. As for M2.5 x 5 screws. There is one place, only the M2.5 x 4 screw can be used, the M2.5 x 5 screw will touch the ESC.
Thicker Arms – Or Different Arm design.
I have a feeling the top arm plate (motor protection part) can get damaged in a crash relatively easy. I think the arm plate need to be thicker.
If you can make the motor mount a bit wider that’s enough protection for the motor. Putting ESC inside the arm might look better, and save space, but when you need to replace it, it becomes difficult. Thick, wide, simple single layer arm is better in my opinion, it also greatly reduce the assembly work.
Seller’s comment: Our technician said yes, the arms look like very thick and fragile but they have flied many many times violently, and they have also suffered bad crach, but the arms are still no problem. So, maybe you can try it more violently and see whether the arms will be damaged. As for the ESC installing method, yes they admit it is a little bit complicated. But according to their experience, to crach the aircraft will easily damaged the ESC, so such installing method could effectively protect the ESC. PS: our technician said this is very very good suggestion.
Flight Controller Mount
No need for flight controller dampening. On all of my mini quads I mount my FC straight on to the main frame, and they all fly well. If you are getting vibration so bad that it affects your FC, you should fix the problem, and not to ignore it.
I am also a bit confused about how to mount my flight controller on this frame. There is no screw holes on the mounting plate, so I am guessing they want you to use double sided tape and stick your FC on it. But I prefer mounting FC with bolts and nuts, it is more secure.
Again, This will make assembly easier!
Seller’s comment: For such 250 mini quad, the crach is easily happened thing, so after maybe 2-3 times crach, there would be vibration. For the first a few times trying, we did not add flight controller dampening, the vibration is obvious. But for the another a few times trying after adding the FC dampening, the vibration is greatly reduced. That is the real different.
Power Distribution Board
Not clear what is the max current the PDB supports. PDB needs to handle more functions as well, such as filtered voltage regulation for 12V (in case user want to use 4S LiPo) and 5V.
XT60 male plug on PDB needs to move somewhere else (maybe to the very back of the frame), when use 6 inch prop it’s easy to touch wire.
Seller’s comment: The max current is 40A. As for “filtered voltage regulation for 12V (in case user want to use 4S LiPo) and 5V.” Yes, this is really a very very good suggestion, they said they will consider this for the next shippment.
and as well as the XT60 plug thing. ps: they want me to show their appreciation to you.
FPV Camera Mount
FPV Camera needs to be able to tilt larger angle, espcially so on a power build, where the quad can fly forward at an angle larger then 45 degree. At the moment FPV camera can only be mounted by removing the lens screws. If they can offer standard mounting that would be great (with the 4 screws holes on the corners of board camera).
Seller’s comment: to have larger tilt angle is very simple, just length the slot would be ok (it`s complicated to explain this without referring any picture). As for controller installing method, since now the FC we use comes with an outer case, it is not easy to use the bolt and nut to assemble. But we will consider it and keep some holes next time.
Although it’s a bit complicated, but I got to admit, it looks pretty damn good! And we will see how it holds up to my torture the next few weeks :) Stay tuned for my build log and test flight! :)