Chinese Carbon Fibre 250 Mini Quad Frame
250mm size mini quadcopter exploded in popularity this year. Both high end and low end mini quad frames seem to be selling very well. Because of the high demand, there are almost one new frame comes out every month. I reviewed the FPV250 frame not long ago, and this time I am going to try this Carbon Fibre 250 mini quad frame, which look very much like the blackout mini-h frame.
Some people call this frame the blackout clone, this frame seems to have many names, I am not sure which one is the correct one. Maybe they were made by different manufacturers but with the same design, or maybe branded differently by the re-sellers. You might see them on the market as ZMR250, H250, Mystery 250, QAV250 (there is another mini quad frame I know called the same name) or the C250.
I build a mini quad using this frame, build log.
It was really quick delivery, only took one week sent from China! You can also get spare arms for replacement.
One very important point is, arms from Gearbest has 3mm motor mount screw holes, those of Banggood are 2mm.
- Size: 220mm diagonally, 175mm wide, 130mm motor-to-motor distance; about 1/2 the size of a regular 450 quadcopter
- Maximum Propeller size: 6″
- Motor Mount: M2 12mm – 16mm (Tiger MN1806 2300kv, RCX 1804 2400kv), M3 19mm (Tiger MT2206 2000kv, Sunnysky X2204 2300kv)
- Flight Controller Mount: 30.5mm x 30.5mm
- Board Camera Mount: 32mm x 32mm
- Frame weight: 138g
The above information is from my seller, this frame is about 40g lighter than the FPV250 V3 frame, slightly wider, and slightly shorter.
It uses M3 bolts and nuts, apart from the motor mounts can only take M2 bolts. That is inaccurate in the product description where it says it also take M3, it CANNOT! Which is a bugga because I use the Cobra motors and they have M3 bolts. I guess I need to drill the holes to make it bigger.
The main plates are around 1.5mm thick, and the arms are more than 3mm thick.
Close up look of the arm, you can see the layers.
Pictures supplied by my frame seller.
While not compulsory, it’s suggested to use the below parts for this frame. If you are new to this hobby, and have no idea what motors to use or not sure what ESC is, this would be a good starting point.
- Propeller : GemFan 5×3
- ESC: 12A Blue Series with SimonK firmware
- Battery: 3S 1300mah – 1500mah
- FPV Camera: SONY Super HAD CCD 600TVL Board Camera w/ 2.8mm lens – Settings to use on camera
- Recording Camera: Mobius Action Camera, GoPro Hero Camera
- Video Transmitter: ImmersionRC 5.8Ghz Video Transmitter, Boscam 5.8Ghz Vtx
- Flight Controller: CC3D Opnepilot, Crius AIO,KK2, Naze32, Flip Pro, Naza Lite
This info is from my seller as well. Of course there are now so many choices when it comes to components, it all comes down to your budget, and personal preference.
This frame seems to be very tough after assembly, the arms seem to be very sturdy, and don’t have the flex as the FPV250 frame has. However the arms do look a bit narrower than the blackout arms, and likely to crack in crash.
I think I should replace the metal bolts and nuts with nylon ones, so those nylon screws break first and take some of the impact in a crash.
The millings do look a bit bad.
RCModelReview on Youtube talked about this frame too, and compared it to the blackout minih frame. As you can imagine, the quality difference would be considerable, since this Chinese carbon fibre frame is only 1/5 of the price of the blackout (US$30 vs US$150).
He compared two sample frames, one was very well made, the other one had bad milling which isn’t very well cut and drilled. Obviously the quality control isn’t there. That might be to do with their cutting machine parts wearing out, to keep the cost and price down they didn’t replace them. Maybe that’s why you only see this in some of the frames. These “bad quality” frames seem to be only fractional, many people commented on this video actually express positive feedback on this product. He also expressed concerns on the frame plates not being flat.
When it comes to the quality of product, it is not all about where it’s made, it’s how much you paid for it. Most products nowadays are made in China, from top notch expensive products to cheap craps. It’s a stereotype that people always think of Chinese product being crap, while they are only willing to spend so little on it.
Anyway, this seems to be a tough little frame that should last a while. Let’s see when and how I managed to break it, and I will report back here!
Frame Stress Test
Not a proper stress test, but I did have a few hard crashes when making this video. It’s still in once piece.
Carbon Fiber? Fiber Glass?
On the two frames I received from an eBay Seller and Gearbest, the skin patterns on the frames look different, and the Gearbest frame feels more “bendy” (not as stiff as the eBay one). Both are conductive as Carbon fiber should be, when I put my multimeter probes on the frame surface.
Out of curiosity, I made a very simple comparison by snapping two landing gears (I don’t use them anyway), and see what they are made of. Very surprisingly, they look like to be two different type of materials inside.
This is from eBay Seller.
This is from Gearbest.
Hi, sorry for this late comment but…
If this frame has 130mm motor-to-motor distance (that is 5.12 inches), how can it support 6 inches propellers?
Maybe this is a very newbie question but it’s driving me nuts.
Thanks for your help!
i am making the same quad by Ardupilot apm 2.8 , but after all calibrations and settings when i am flying my quad it flips backward dont know why and not lift off , can you please tell me who to configure the radio ( flysky 6 channel ) and what settings are recommended .
quad fpv mini
ecs simonk 12 amp
controller ardupilot apm 2.8
radio fly sky 6 channel
Thanks in advance.
BTW thanks for all the info that your post keep you the great work
I also found that the screws for the stand off are very short. but other than that for what we pay its good. I think the arms could be designed better a little narrow towards the motor end.
Well that’s Ebay for you. I deal with G10 FR4. I am a supplier and a CNC routing service. I am based in the UK but ship worldwide.
I also have one of these from Ebay, it too is meant to be CF. When i have the time i will do a snap test of the arms compared to a G10 / FR4 one and compare and post my results. I think it will prove “CHEAP” CF is no better but more likely worse than QUALITY G10 /FR4.
I am thinking about having a swinging weigh from a set height that will swing down on to an arm which it held in a machine vice, that why the height and force that the weight produces will be constant over all the test.
I have a Youtube channel keep an eye out there youtube.com/user/gaatech
Cheers for now
I could make you some arms out of black 4mm FR4 these would be super tough.
gaatech.com “i am not your normal online store” have a look and see
Hi Andy, thanks for dropping by. surprisingly the eBay frame I reviewed is full carbon, just not the one from Gearbest.
Great channel you got there, subbed!
Is FR4 tougher than carbon fibre ? It would be awesome if I can test it out, how are you charging for mini quad arms?
Thank you Oscar for a great article, and videos…
I just purchased one of these, and am following your advice on the motors. I found some other fast code 12 A speed controls by ZTW, that are getting popular also.
There is also a PDB board that is being manufactured to save weight, and add some practicality to the wiring mess any quad can be.
I was also thinking of doing one of the new mini APM 2.6 to get the full spectrum of flight capabilities, as I like to make things complicated….
looking great Ted :D
One quick question: I’m looking at some nano-tech batteries in the 1300 – 1500 mAh range, I’m just not sure what C rating should I aim for. What do you recommend?
what motors are you using, and how much does your quad weight?
As a general rule for picking Lipo for mini quad, I usually assume the max current draw is 48A (max of four 12A ESCs current allowed), so you can calculate the C rating for your battery.
1300mah – 37C
1500mah – 32C
This is the safest way to get the C rating required, you can probably get away with slightly lower C rating.
Hows the frame doing?
I haven’t test fly it yet due to bad weather.