NOX5 is a simple 210 Mini Quad frame that is designed for 5″ propellers, with replaceable arms.
Get your NOX5 210 Frame from DemonRC. There is also a NOX3 available, which is a 3″ version and I will soon review and build it as well.
NOX5 Frame Review
So here is the package, and the parts that come with it.
As usual, the carbon fibre from DemonRC is top notch quality and the milling is clean. The edges are sharp, so I recommend filing the edges of all carbon fibre parts before building it, to prevent the cables and velcro straps getting cut in crashes.
The construction is very simple: the 4 arms are sandwiched between the bottom plate and the centre plate. This makes the arms super stiff, compared to unibody design.
Each arm is held in place by 3 screws. The bolts and nuts are all blue light weight aluminium.
The body of this frame is actually pretty short as you can see compared to other “X quad frames”. This will benefit the quad’s flight performance, especially to pitch as the mass is now more centralised.
NOX5 offers 2 FPV camera mounting solutions, which I find really handy.
First way is for cameras that come with a case, such as the Runcam Swift or HS1177. However it won’t fit the Runcam Sky as it’s slightly too big.
The 2nd way is for board cameras such as the PZ0420M (essentially the Runcam Sky without the case).
I notice my first person view is blocked little by the frame, probably because the 2.4mm lens i am using, you probably won’t have this issue using 2.8mm. Also you can see spinning props and frame, because of the short frame body. This is pretty common on many compact 5″ frames, it’s not an issue and you should get used to it quickly.
And the extra top plate is for mounting HD cameras, such as the GoPro or Xiaomi Yi, with Velcro Straps. Compared to the Speed Addict 210, this frame has got more room to work with.
The Good news is the NOX5 also fits the TBS PowerCube, if you switch the bottom plate and centre plate. (This FC + ESC combo is known to be too big for many 5″ frames)
I don’t use the Powercube, but I also prefer this way as it gives me extra 5mm in height to work with. (as you can see in the build log below)
Its a good solution if additional space is needed, but it will change the COG and mechanical strength it’s designed for. Adam, the frame designer, commented:
I recommended solution like in manual because if you lowered your CoG around those 5mm it would sacrifice performance a bit.
In addition stress spreading is different, lower plate works always (almost) as stretching – upper one as compressing. Mostly lower one require more mechanical strength that’s why centre plate is smaller.. I can not guarantee that in this configuration, NOX will survive as much as in original configuration.
The arms are beefy! And the shape is similar to the previous EVO250 frame from DemonRC.
I like DemonRC’s sense of humour in the naming of this mini quad frame. NOX apparently stands for “NOT X”, which is saying this type of frame isn’t a “true X” frame.
- I like the frame quality, especially the carbon fibre. But I would love to see they use bolts with larger sockets. Aluminium is soft it’s easy to strip the small sockets, which have happened to me on other frames a few times.
- Use re-seal-able bag for screws :)
- Last thing in mind would be the FPV camera mount for HS1177. Probably because I just reviewed the Speed addict 210 frame, I found their FPV camera mount a very neat solution. It allows you to turn the camera tilt angle by hand even in the field. I find it very handy as I could adjust the tilt really easily depends on the environment. You also can with the NOX5, but you just need to use your screw drivers :)
- KISS FC
- KISS 24A ESC Race Edition
- EMAX RS2205 2600KV Motors
- PZ0420M FPV Camera
- X4R-SB Radio Receiver
- Hawkeye 200mW VTX
- Micro MinimOSD
- Demon Core PDB V2.1
- Propellers: Gemfan 5030, 5040, 5045
After testing this motor/prop combo, I really like the flight characteristics. The high RPM makes the quad super responsive yet it can maintain high speed at straights. It’s also super efficient as well as you can see from the thrust data I posted in the Red bottom motor review. I get about 4 to 6 mins on a 1500mah 4S.
I get slightly more oscillations using Gemfan 5030 and 5040 props, and I have better result with 5045. My theory is the 5045 props are a lot more stiffer and doesn’t deflect. 5030 props has much higher RPM as well than 5045 so that would make deflection worse i think. But still all these props are fun to fly with.
FPV Gear and PDB
The PZ0420M I got is a new version which comes with 2.4mm Lens. Some people find 2.8mm a bit too narrow and 2.1mm too wide, having something in between is great!
First of all, I planned how all the wires go, and start soldering.
I started with the power distribution board first. All FPV equipment will need to be plugged into the PDB, so there is no direction connection between them which makes wiring cleaner and easier to plan.
Notice I soldered an external microphone there as well, which is powered from the PDB 12V, and the signal is connected to the VTX audio input. Read up here to see what the pros and cons are using audio in FPV.
And here I plugged in the VTX and camera to the PDB and tested my FPV setup was working fine.
Here is the Micro MinimOSD.
The camera mount on the frame gives you 20 degree tilt already (confirmed by calculation below). However I wanted to have 35 degree of camera tilt, so I needed to add some spacers between the mount plate and the FPV camera.
Using the this calculation I found the spacer needed to be around 6.5mm long, to give me 15 degree, combine with the 20 on the frame, it gives me 35.
Flight Controller and RX
I soldered wires for SBUS RX and Smartport, as well as the serial port for MinimOSD and Buzzer.
Next thing I wanted to test was the KISS FC, and the SBUS receiver, with Smart Port connected (yellow cable).
The KISS FC can be powered directly from the 4S LiPo I am using, it also works as the VBAT pin that reads the voltage level.
And here we have the serial port (TX, RX) connected to the MinimOSD. I plugged in everything on the PDB (FPV gear) and tested all the electronics before moving them in the frame.
ESC and Motors
I soldered motors on the KISS 24A ESC’s directly.
In the following image, there are 5 wires on the ESC, from left to right: + power to ESC, GND for signal, Telemetry, signal, – power. I am using 18AWG wires for ESC power, and 26AWG wires for signals.
With direct soldering of motors on ESC, one thing you need to be aware of is the motor rotation. Don’t put the heatsrhink tube on until you confirm which way the motors are spinning.
If they spin the wrong way, change motor rotation on ESC settings (in my case with the KISS ESC there are 2 solder pads I need to bridge to change motor direction). On the EMAX RS2205, the motors spin counter-clockwise with the way I soldered them.
Mounting Electronics on the Frame
You might notice, I flipped the base of the frame over! :) So the centre plate is actually sitting at the bottom. That saves nearly 5mm height inside the frame.
As I have soldered and tested everything already, it’s just a matter of mounting them on the frame.
Measure how long the signal wires need to be, and cut them.
I don’t really like the pin-outs on the KISS FC, the motor pins are all located at one side, on both top and bottom of the board, making the wiring a bit of a mess.
I mounted the VTX and RX on the top plate, and it’s nearly done!
As always, my final touch is the LED bar. This is the last thing my opponents would see in a race, so make sure they are bright enough hehe :)
I strongly recommend this simple mono colour LED bars. There are 4 bars in a pack (only $1.5), all different colour (white, blue, green, red). Most importantly they can be powered directly from 3S to 4S! Making the wiring much simpler.
And done! Here are some pictures of the build.
The NOX5 sitting side by side with the Speed Addict 210, currently they are my favourite 5″ quads :)
Speed addict 210 has a lower profile, longer body, slimmer arms, and it uses unibody design, so it looks a bit thinner and more aggressive.
But on the arms on the NOX5 don’t flex at all although being 3mm arms as well.
This is my weekend flight:
This is my Maiden flight: