Hibernagen Menel X 5 Mini Quad Frame – BLHeli_S Build

by Oscar

I needed a frame to test BLHeli_S and the Hibernagen Menel X 5 looks like a good frame for the task. It has a minimalist design and very light weight. In this review/build log we will look into the goods and bads.

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Get your Menel X5 from Hibernagen.

Frame Unboxing and Assembling

The packaging is very nice.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 Mini Quad frame unbox

It includes:

  • 4mm Bottom Plate
  • 2mm Top Plate
  • 2 camera side plates
  • 6 aluminium standoffs
  • some steel bolts

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame parts carbon fibre hardware

This is a simple, minimalist unibody design Frame design, yet with a very rigid 4mm bottom plate (arms). Assembled frame weights only 87g.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame feature

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame back

The frame has an exact square motor layout (width = length), motor to motor distance is about 213mm.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame front Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame top

Carbon fibre milling is very clean, no rough edges etc

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame carbon fibre milling cutting

The provided camera mounting side plates is designed for HS1177 / Swift type of cameras. It’s convenient that allows you to set whatever tilt angle you prefer, but you would have to use 2 screws on both sides of the camera to hold that angle, which doesn’t feel very reliable to me. I prefer mechanism like this bracket (picture on the right) that came with the Runcam Swift.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame camera mounting option

Good things about the frame

  • Very simple, clean and minimalist frame, easy assembling
  • Carbon fibre cutting is clean and no rough edges
  • Good slot locations for straps and components mounting
  • No big cut-outs on the top and bottom plates that might weaken the frame

Things that I didn’t like

  • Screw holes on top plate not drilled big enough for M3 bolts
  • Motor mount screw holes not big enough for M3 bolts
  • Top plate is only 12cm long, no mounting for HD camera unless you mount your battery underneath. If this frame is designed for racing and not supposed to carry a GoPro, then I would probably go to the extreme and get a Armattan F1-5 style frame where CG is even more centralised
  • Expensive

Parts List

I am using some of the most popular components at the moment for mini quad. However I am back with the good old Naze32 board :)

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mine quad build se2205 motor aikon 30A esc

DemonRC Core PDB LED Demon Lights

Build Log

Sand down carbon edges

First of all, sand down all the sharp edges of the carbon fiber parts with a file, or diamond pad. Some people also put a layer of CA glue or epoxy on the edges after that to make it even stronger against crash or from delaminating. Also remember to do this under water so you don’t breath in carbon dust.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 mini quad frame file carbon fibre edges

Unfortunately the Demon Core PDB isn’t compatible with this frame. Because of the 2 middle standoffs I had to rotate the PDB 90 degrees to make it fit. The work around is a bit awkward but it worked out nicely.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build pdb

Learning from past experience, I try to avoid using header pins connectors, and just solder the wires on the PDB directly. This reduce the chances of loose wire in crashes.

Notice the exposed solder joints on the left and right sides, I should put liquid tapes on them to make them water proof and prevent electrical shorts.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build demon core space XT60A

Connecting the flight controller to the PDB and the OSD. It’s not a pretty sight :)

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build connect FC ESC pdb

But because all the wires are underneath the FC, there is none visible on top, makes it look like a much cleaner build :)

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build clean wiring

I designed and 3D printed this red piece myself. I use it to protect the FC, as well as mounting my receiver on top of it. If you wish to print this yourself the file is available here. I can also print and send them to you.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build 3d printed fc pdb standoff separation Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build RX mounting on FC

Video transmitter is mounted under the top plate.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build mounting VTX Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build battery strap top plate

The LED bars are mounted on the rear standoffs.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build back XT60 LED Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build fpv camera

Looking at the quad from both sides.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build right Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build left

Some finished build pictures.

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build feature

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build front

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build inside electronics

Mounting HD camera

So I spent some time and worked out how to mount a GoPro or Xiaomi Yi camera on this frame. Because of the short body, it’s challenging to mount anything else on the top plate apart from the battery.

But luckily the way I mounted my VTX and antenna, I was able to move my LiPo back an inch or two to free up some room for an HD camera. (I wouldn’t be able to do so if I used the hole for SMA antenna connector)

Hibernagen Menel X 5 se2205 aikon 30A build mounting HD camera gopro xiaomi yi

Maiden flight with no tuning (27/06/2016)

With the new setup, the quad flew pretty well without any tuning :) First time using DAL 5040 Prop, they scream and seem to be pretty efficient too. But I still want a bit more top speed :) so I might upgrade to 5045 triblades :)

This is the absolute first flight… not used to the rate or quad response at all, but still a joy to fly.

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Zakko 20th August 2016 - 11:14 pm

Hi Oscar! i’m following you with big interest!

I changed my old kiss 18A for the new Aikon 30A, with the last Blheli_S Firmware (16.2). Did you find this issue with yours?


on RC Groups says that there’s a bug on thermal protection. I tried to deactivate the thermal protection, but the issue remains..

in your opinion what could be done? I fly with Cyclone, with the last betaflight firmware.

Thank you!

Oscar 22nd August 2016 - 3:15 pm

No i haven’t had this problem on mine, I think mine are the very first batch, they have altered the hardware/code since then (probably with bugs).. sorry i don’t know any solution, maybe report this to Aikon see if they can help.

Antonio 11th July 2016 - 11:01 pm

Hello, I follow your blog regularly and recently you have built a drone with components like to mine (Hibernagen Menel X 5). I have some questions about demoncore and hope you can help me, please.

These are the components of my drone:
QAV-R 220mm clone
DYS SE2205 2550KV
Lumenier LUX
DEMON CORE Mini Pro V2.3
micro MinimOSD
HS1177 Foxeer
This is a image of wiring diagram that I have thought: (if you can not download, tell me)


The questions I have are:
1. To power Flight Controller, I connect from input of battery or from 5v-12v (of vtx, cam or osd) on demoncore?.

2. I read a post here about the micro minimosd, you say that it has to connect the ground wire of the Vin and Vout of OSD to that not fail,
With demoncore, it is also necessary?
If it is necessary, from where i take the ground wires?.

3. To power the OSD, i use the 5v input as the scheme or the other input of 5v 500mah?.

4. Whats voltage do you use to power cam and vtx?… 5v or 12v?.

5. In the scheme i connect the Vx and Tx from OSD to T1 and R1 of Lux, is possible that i connect to T2, R2 for clean wiring?.

6. For current voltage monitoring, from where i connect to CUR?… whats signal wire?.

If you want, you can share the wiring diagram when well.
Sorry for my english and I hope I have not done many questions.
Thank you very much, great work!, regars from Granada, Spain.

Oscar 13th July 2016 - 12:12 pm

First of all, I don’t use LUX FC so i am not familiar with it’s wiring or connections, but a little googling tells me

1. you can power the FC directly from battery on the BAT pad (6V-24V), it also acts as voltage monitoring so don’t use 12V or 5V on this pin.
2. not necessary as VTX/Camera/OSD all have common ground already on the PDB
3. actually I found powering OSD with the 5V from VTX gives better result (for me)… the 5V form DemonCore is still a bit noisy i found…
4. I use 12V for both
5. i am not sure, i don’t use LUX – But i guess these just are different serial ports? so you should be able to do that, try enable “MSP” in port tab cleanflight for UART2
6. You can monitor current as you don’t have a current sensor…