This is getting frustrating

I did something to my VTX and it has turned the BPEX into a motor destroying machine. I am really not sure what I have done but it feels as though the VTX won’t go above 200 mW, despite reporting otherwise. You can’t really tell this until its too late. It works fine up to a sudden point, where it then works a lot less fine when you turn around, presenting obvious challenges. Basically once you get beyond a distance that you could reasonably define as your yard, that’s the distance. For better or worse, this has been manifesting itself on my Y axis.

I don’t usually worry much about EMI because I don’t currently have any real issues with my video, in general. I’m not doing long range, and I don’t have any spots that are super challenging for RF so if I crank up a freestyle-oriented VTX, even on an OEM Fat Shark diversity module, it’s pretty fine. JZBL’s video is pretty phenomenal in my book and the BPEX has the same VTX installed in the same way. In trying to solve this, I’ve ended up with what should be a super clean build. I’ve even moved my cap up to the nose, which I’ll probably be doing from here on out. All my leads are twisted. Everything is that right distance between too short and too long. It just doesn’t work, though.

At this point, I think it is physically damaged. It came out of another quad and I was pretty damn sure that it was fine, but something isn’t right and now that I’ve lost my third motor in a row to this stupid issue, hopefully replacing it will finally solve it. Perhaps it has a fleck of solder stuck in it somewhere.

That said, holy crap what an annoyance this has been. When the BPEX first went together, it was like…magical. All of the electronics Just Worked straight away, no issues. It went through some arms on the first frame I chose, survived all of that. Got frame swapped, was fine, but had an issue where the stack was too tall. I took it apart to address this and since then it has never been the same and in fact has been such a horrible little turd that it’s almost an entirely new, pretty damn nice 5″ now, and in no way a beater. And it still doesn’t work!

New motors should be here soon. The mf of all of this is that I have another VTX sitting right here already. I really hope this is the last time I have to do this for a while. I was really excited about this current build…I finally made the move to 6S and was trying out 2207s for the first time. The thing flew fucking amazing for 3 minutes until I dropped it 50 ft into asphalt. I’m really ready to give BetaFlight 4.3 a proper go.

Hot damn

I blew up an ESC the last time I took the BPEX out and decided that it was time to go ahead and give it a proper stack. BPEX was built out of parts I’ve taken off other builds and which weren’t likely to see use again if I didn’t create a beater build. Thus, the BPEX was born. It was conceived of as a quad that I wouldn’t mind flying directly into a volcano.

It was fun as hell in that capacity! I gave it sort of an I-think-this-ought-to-work style tune while it was still on the bench. I essentially just gave it Rosser’s base tune for clean builds and pushed my sliders around until the PIDs were pretty close to how I’d probably have set them manually, which wasn’t really very far off from the defaults, and had a really good result with that. Can we say “BI-DI-REC-TION-AL D-SHOT”? Because that was that star of that show.

I’d simultaneously been working pretty hard at matching up Velocidrone and JZBL’s feel, which meant that I had some rates I was pretty happy with to throw on there, and all in all, from the first time it was armed it has been ready to go. It’s been such a fun quad.

I assumed that I would end up replacing the FC in the BPEX well before I did in JZBL and that turned out to be true. The plan has been, since it’s ok if the BPEX goes in the volcano, while it exists it’ll be my test platform, and then what works from it can move over to JZBL, which is my tested platform. In turn, this meant that I’d be testing BetaFlight 4.3 there before flashing it to JZBL.

When the ESC blew up and I was shopping for a new one, I figured it’d be good to go ahead and get a whole stack because the Apex frame is pretty slammed and the 30×30-20×20 adapter I was using for the FC, which had come out of a micro Apex, just barely fit. Lo and behold, Diatone’s out here with a dual gyro H7 FC with a 24-128K ByRPM BL32 ESC for like seven dollars. Ok. Test platform? Let’s mf test.

I’m having some issues with the VTX and the weather, so I’ve only been able to put about 3 packs through it so far but holy crap. I really mean it when I say BetaFlight 4.3 is a whole new thing. That quad went from “better than it should be” to “jfc dude” in a snap. I gave it essentially the exact same tune – Rosser’s recommended defaults, sprinkled with Bardwell and slightly tweaked to my preference.

I can’t wait to have some video to share from it but for now, I’ll have to leave you with this slowed roll from Jez: