X210 Build Guide

If you’ve seen our Gopro carrying 130 build you’ll know we like to make a statement with out quads. To try to test the limits of the X210 we decided it was time for a build capable of running higher voltage such as 5 or 6S lipo batteries.

Our extremely generous friends at i-Drone got behind the project and supplied a big box of fpv goodies to get cracking so here’s a complete build log and guide for this 5″ Atto screamer.

The Layout

Lay out a tidy work surface with all your parts, wires and tools where you can see them. Obviously your build list and tactics might differ from ours. You can build any way you wish, this is just how we do it.

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Our build kit:

  • X210 frame kit, 30mm standoffs, 3mm Micro plate
  • 4mm F1 3K ZMR 250 Arms
  • SPF3 Flight controller
  • Cicada 2-6S 25A BLHeli-S ESCS
  • Silverdrone X30 2207 2300kv motors
  • Matek PDB
  • HS1190 Foxeer Arrow V2 camera
  • FX668T 25mw VTX
  • TBS Triumph antenna
  • Spektrum satellite receiver
  • Azure Power 5045 Race props

All of these parts are available from i-Drone if you want to build this exact quad and we can highly recommend it.

Build weight 350g

We’ll also need:

  • A temperature controlled soldering iron
  • Fine solder (1 or 2mm)
  • Small cable ties
  • Heat shrink of various widths
  • Helping hands or similar clamp (useful)
  • Circuit/continuity tester

Build the Frame

Place the alloy bolts through the FC mount holes of the X210 base plate and secure with nylon nuts. At this stage make sure your FC stack fits over the bolts. We advise applying some locking compound to the bolts when fitting them for the first time. They should be secure but do not over tighten the alloy bolts. If you are going to use 3 bolts per arm replace the nylon nuts with the 10mm alloy spacers to allow more room under the FC/PDB.

Fit the 12mm Ti frame bolts through the outer holes of the X plate (two for each arm) and place on a flat surface with the bolt threads sticking up.

Place your arms over the bolts so they line up with all four holes. Add the spacers on top of the arms with the curved edge facing the centre and the channel in the spacers facing up.

Add your base plate so the heads of the alloy bolts sit in the spacer channel and secure the arm bolts with the M3 steel nuts.

You can choose to run 2 or 3 arm bolts in each arm. If 2 bolts are used it is easier to swap an arm without disturbing the FC stack. We fly with 2 bolts per arm as it holds the arms securely and is easier to work on. If using three bolts be careful that the nuts clear the bottom of your FC stack.

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Test fit your parts 

Once the base is complete, line up your PDB, FC and camera and loosely fit the standoffs and top plate to make sure everything fits and help to visualise your cabling. The Foxeer Arrow mount must be fitted backwards to put the camera in the right position. A standard HS1177 bracket is not an  issue. We ended up using a different solution anyway as you’ll see later.

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The X210 is a very compact design which stacks the weight of the main components in the centre of the frame for optimum flight characteristics.

PDB and ESCs

Start by placing your PDB onto the alloy bolts and securing with alloy standoffs before tinning the pads you wish to use. In our case that’s the 4 corner sets of + and – pads plus the VCC, GND, and BEC pads. Once done, measure and trim your ESC leads before tinning them too. Be careful to leave enough space to access the M3 Nuts without stressing the ESC wires. For now we’ll leave the signal wires long.

We’re soldering the motor wires direct to the ESC later so before fitting open up the heat shrink and removed the motor wires on the ESC. We then tape the ESC into place on the arms with the motor pads exposed before soldering the power leads to the PDB. If your PDB does not have an extension for the XT60 connector like ours you will want to add your battery connection in now too.

Now it’s starting to look like a quad we’ll prepare our flight controller. As we’re using the spektrum satellite receiver we can solder the connector for that to the FC before attaching it to the quad.

Flight controller

For a satellite receiver we use the GND and RX port from UART3 and the 3.3v supply from the F3 board. The satellite receiver will sit on top of the FC so make sure to cut your cables carefully to get the connector to the right place. The F3 board has a couple of connectors we won’t be using (UART1, I2C) so these can be desoldered and removed, allowing the whole board to be fitted upside down and leaving a very compact stack with plenty of room and a flat mounting surface on top.

The FC can now be fitted to the ESCS and PDB. Measure your ESC signal wires and connect the signal and ground wires to the motor rail on the FC. We’ve set them out so that the FC can hinge away from the PDB and use the minimal amount of wire. At the same time connect the positive of the motor rail to 5V on the PDB and the negative to ground.

Try to keep your ESC wires in twisted pairs as this helps to minimise electrical interference in the system.

FPV GEAR

Before fixing the FC in place we need to add our FPV harness. In this case we’re wiring a split harness from the 12V PDB pads to power our VTX and camera in parallel. The Matek PDB is great quality and we shouldn’t have any problems with noise. Even so it’s best to keep your wiring as neat as possible and take the shortest path away from other components where possible.

We’re using the Foxeer arrow which has a built in voltage sensor so we also need a VBAT cable to one of the spare ESC pads, if you’re using voltage buzzer or OSD you’ll also want to connect a positive ESC pad to the + of the VBAT pins on the flight controller. atto-x210-6s-build-25

Once complete your tidy stack should look something like this. Nylon locknuts secure the FC with the satellite connector out back and the camera and VTX connectors up front.

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Once happy you can solder your main battery leads to your PDB. This only applies if your PDB has an extension like ours. We used cables instead of the supplied direct fit XT60 because a) our XT-60 connectors are awesome and b) the direct fit connectors can break the tab in a crash and ruin your whole day.

If you’re building for 5 and 6S like us make sure your solder joints are solid and you use the correct gauge cable for the Amps you’re going to draw. On the bench these motors pulled around 33A each.

MOTORS

Speaking of which, time to hook them up. Trim your motor cables by loosely attaching them to the arms and measuring the up before trimming and tinning. leave them a few mm longer than they need to be so there’s no tension in the wires when soldered.

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At this point remove the tape securing the ESCs and place some heat shrink over the ESC. Push it right up against the body so it’s away from your heat source and solder the motor wires to the ESC pads. You don’t need to cross any wires. We can sort out the motor direction in software later.

Once secure and with the motor loose, pull the heat shrink down over the connections and shrink it down before fixing the motor to the arms with M3 bolts. Repeat for each corner.

RX, Camera and VTX

Now its just a case of plugging everything in. The Spectrum RX sits nicely on top of the FC, secured by a little foam and a cable tie. For this build we ended up using 30mm standoffs and a piece of foam to wedge the camera. This happens to fix it at the perfect angle for it’s 2.5mm lens and leaves enough space for the VTX to be secured to the underneath of the top plate.atto-x210-6s-build-34

M3 titanium bolts secure the standoffs top and bottom and cable ties are used to attach the antenna to the plate. The prop clearance for the antenna is minimal with a 30mm height but we’re building for speed here and the TBS antenna is stiff enough to stay put.

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And that’s it! One monster 6S capable 2207 quad ready to go. We’ve chosen the new Azure Power 5045 carbon race propellers for this beast. Look out for footage of this powerhouse soon. At 350g fully built and capable of taking 25V we’re looking forward to seeing what it can do.