The Diatone GT-M200 frame incorporates carbon fibre and aluminium into the beautiful design, along with the 6mm arms it’s near “indestructible”! It also looks easy enough to build, so let’s find out how it performs in this review.
Buy the Diatone 2018 GT-M200 frame from:
This frame is also sometimes called “2018GT-M5“.
You can learn more about how to choose a mini quad frame in this guide.
A Closer Look at the Diatone 2018 GT-M200 Frame
The GT M200 is a 200mm true-X frame designed for 5″ propellers. The frame weighs at 108g including all hardware. It looks like the GT2017 we recently reviewed but not quite the same.
The cage is made of aluminium alloy, and I really like the minimalist style and light weight that compensates for the extra weight from the thick arms.
I love to see the “true-X” geometry here. Honestly I am not a fan of the “stretched X” frames that have become popular recently, I still prefer the way normal X frames fly, and I find them to be easier to tune.
The carbon fibre arms have chamfered edges and seems to be excellent quality.
The arm thickness is 6mm and they are replaceable by removing the 2 screws that lock them in place.
This is the first time I see 6mm arms used in a frame, they are so thick, there is absolutely no flex in the frame, it’s just stiff as hell…
The SMA connector hole on the rear of the aluminium cage is a great touch. But make sure to isolate your antenna connector from grounding the frame, since that hole is metal.
The cage can be opened just like other GT series frames, it’s easier for building and maintenance as you only need to remove 2 screws to gain access to the electronics. (compared to 8 screws you have to remove on a traditional frame like the ZMR250, this is awesome!)
On the bottom of the frame, there is another piece of aluminium. Again, great idea as it replaces the carbon bottom plate, yet it has threaded holes for screws to replace the need for extra lock nuts. This just makes assembly and repair so much simpler.
It’s worth mentioning that this bottom plate seems to be identical to the one from the GepRC LSX5 we recently reviewed, not sure what’s going on there, maybe it’s from the same CNC machining supplier?
Building the Diatone 2018 GT-M200
- Betaflight F4 FC
- Betaflight BLHeli-32 ESC’s
- Sunnysky Edge Racing R2306 2300KV Motors
- Runcam Micro Swift 2 FPV camera
- Runcam TX200 VTX
- Frsky R-XSR Receiver
- DAL Cyclone 5045×3 Propellers
The Betaflight F4 FC is very picky about soldering, because you have to solder ESC wires on both sides of the board (power on the bottom, and signal on the top), it’s easier to solder the ESC to the FC first, before soldering the motors to the ESC’s…
First, I soldered the wires to the ESC’s.
I really think the GT M200 frame is designed for 4-in-1 ESC’s, because the arms are so narrow, the wide, standalone ESC will block airflow from the propellers if mounted on the arms. But because I really want to test the ESC telemetry feature that’s why I am using these Betaflight ESC’s.
Then I measured how long the wires needed to be, trimed them and soldered them on the FC.
I didn’t want to solder the FPV camera and VTX directly to the FC, instead, I am using connectors so I can unplug them in case of repairing.
Then installing motors and rubber standoffs on the frame. The rubber standoffs can help reduce the vibration getting to the FC from the frame, find out more info about soft mounting FC in this article.
And here I’d installed everything on the frame. (the RX, receiver is sitting under the FC, and the antennas are mounted on the arms with the help of zip tie and heatshrink)
Finished GT M200 build!
I really like this Runcam Micro Swift + backpack VTX combo! Too bad the VTX antenna is connected by a U.FL connector which has a limited mating cycle. To tackle that issue I decided to tie the antenna to the frame for strain relief.
I tested the range, signal quality is comparable to a normal 200mW setup with cloverleaf antennas within 300m, perfect for racing.
With Cyclone props mounted on. The quads weighs at 360g without battery, a bit on the heavy side due to the big motors.
Test flight here:
Things that I don’t like and can improve
Because of the thick arms, you will need some longer motor screws. Most motors come with 5mm and 7mm screws and these are for 3mm and 4mm arms. You will need 8mm screws (or even 9mm depending on the motor) for these 6mm arms.
The GT M200 frame only supports micro FPV cameras, such as the Runcam Micro Swift 2 or Foxeer Micro Arrow. Normal cameras like the Swift, Eagle, Arrow or Monster wont’ fit in this frame, not even the smaller mini FPV cameras.
Since it has the same metal bottom plate as the GepRC LSX5, maybe they should provide the same Lipo strapping solution, which I like.
But overall I really like the design and how easy it is to build. I will report back in terms of durability and strength in the future.
What’s the GT M200 frame for?
I found this frame to be designed for specific components and purposes…
- It’s best with 4-in-1 ESC with AIO FC stack – you should avoid putting anything on the arms to maximize performance
- It has to pair with the light weight Micro Swift 2 due to mounting limitation – and I found it’s perfect with the Runcam TX200 VTX
- The frame is not the lightest, but it’s really crash resilient! A very nice freestyle frame, can be used for racing practice too
Update (05 Dec 2017) – Replaced some of the electronics
Crashed the quad into a tree trunk, and somehow that fried the BFF4 FC and all 4 BF ESC’s (can’t turn them on anymore). So I replaced them with
As I mentioned this frame is designed for 4in1 ESC and it does look much better. I guess you could fit a 3rd board in the stack if you use shorter standoffs.
But there is really no more space in the middle even for the filtering capacitor so i left it hanging by the side. Hopefully it will survive.