What are FPV Frames?

Every FPV drone quadcopter quarters very intricate yet delicate electrical components. And it is very important to safeguard them in order to increase the shelf life of these drones. We need to provide an aegis to our man in shining armor. Well, the frame is fundamentally that suit of armor that helps in protecting everything that constitutes our drone. Narrowing down to a perfect frame essentially results in getting your foot in the door with drone technology. While deciding a frame, one must go in for a sturdy frame while keeping in their mind that it doesn’t impede an individual’s flight experience. Let’s head into more details to give you a wider perspective.

The size of the frame is measured in millimeters by calculating the longest distance between two motors. And then those frames are put into designated categories. A-frame measuring less than 150mm along the diagonal will be classified as a micro-frame whereas a size greater than 150mm falls into the mini class. While choosing a frame material, one must go in for something that is rugged, strong, durable yet lightweight(one must avoid any extra baggage while flying). Carbon fiber ticks all these boxes and hence is widely preferred. Another material falling into our preferred bracket is HDPE that expands to high-density polythene, although they are not as strong as their counterpart, carbon fiber. They are more pliable than carbon fibers which enhances the overall durability. A lot of frames go in for a more personalized curation by combining aluminum or 3D printed TPU with carbon fiber.

Image credits : Getfpv

The naming convention for the frames is rather interesting(not as complex as organic chemistry, trust me). Let’s simplify it for you. A simple numeric prefix(tri, quad, hexa) is accepted followed by “copter”. For e.g., a tricoptor, a quadcoptor and so on.

Image credits : Getfpv

There are various different styles of frame out there, although all are related to the stance of the arms and the shape and size of the electronics carriage. True X, as the name suggests is in a form of a cross, with motors on the end of each arm. This kind of situation aids in providing maximum balance along all axes as the perpendicular distance between each mounted motor is essentially the same. Wide X is an improvisation on true X, with arms having a wider spread towards the outside. The centre space provides a perfect place to mount a camera and a battery.

                  

Image credits : Getfpv

Let’s rotate a wide X by 90 degrees. What you get is yet another variant of a drone frame, called the stretch X. The stretch X is typically favoured by racers who are seek more stability on the pitch axis, which can improve control when the quadcopter is racing at high speed. So the drones you see while binging on those drone racing clips, have a stretch X variant of frame. Interesting much?

Image credits : Getfpv

Now while mounting an HD camera on your drone, the propellors might block the sight. Worry not, a dead cat frame comes to your rescue. This is achieved by increasing the perpendicular distance between the two frontal motors. It is also beneficial in accommodating uniquely shaped center carriages.

Image credits : Getfpv

Let’s explore an older version of a frame style, the H style, but their demand has sagged lately because of a rather awkward configuration which eventually makes it bulkier that its counterparts. The HX is a new version of the H. Instead of placing the arms at the tip and tail of the carriage, a true X, wide X, or stretch X configuration is applied, most often wide or true X. A Z quad uses two similar base plates mounted on top of each other to produce a stepped geometric configuration between the front and rear motors. It helps in preventing a rush of turbulent air directed towards the rear motors during a forward ascent.

                         

Image credits : Getfpv

A plus frame has the same footprint as an X frame that has been turned around by some 45 degrees. This helps in achieving a finer control as each motor is in charge of rotational motion along a single axis. In order to minimize the drag as much as possible, go in for Vertical arms as they rotate the orientation of the arms to produce as small of a surface area. Durability is not usually compromised as the arm may still maintain width, however, construction of the frame is often more complex than standard horizontal frames.

Image credits : Getfpv

Now, the battery can be mounted either on the top or at the bottom, completely dependent on the discretion of the pilot. Although, freestyle frames are typically created with a top-mounted battery design, sporting a long central carriage that can support a battery and an HD camera.

A pod has a close resemblance to a canopy. It is primarily to provide a protective realm to sensitive elements. FPV Drone Frame pods are 3D printed in TPU or sometimes even created by moulding carbon fibre or polycarbonate. A pod can also confine high power electronics, such as the video transmitter from airflow, possibly causing overheating issues.

Image credits : Unmanned Tech

All that glitters is not gold, often have you heard this told?? Therefore don’t give into appealing aesthetics while choosing a frame, because the primary goal here is to deliver the best flight experience that can only be achieved by keeping in mind the right size, weight, and style of frame that is under your consideration.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *