My lovely wife gave me a Cheerson CX-20 quadcopter for Xmas, and I’ve been tinkering with it, and adding stuff to it, ever since. The only problem now is, that I’ve run out of room. I had to mount the FPV transmitter to a landing skid, which is a really bad place for it.

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The FPV transmitter sends video back from a camera mounted at the front of the quad. The receiver sends the video to a pair of video goggles, and I fly it as if I was on board. FPV = “First Person View”.

When I wanted to add the OSD board (On Screen Display) so that I could have a HUD superimposed on the video, driven by the telemetry output from the flight controller, I found that the only place to put it would be to stack it on top of the FPV transmitter. So, a bad idea suddenly became a lot worse.

I didn’t really want to hack up the airframe of the quad, as it’s an “exoskeleton” and its strength comes from its structural integrity. Then I had an idea: why don’t I get or make a new quad frame, and just move all the gubbins from the Cheerson onto that? I can design it with all the room for crap that I want.

This design looked good, as it’s cheap and easy to build, and has a lot of space for stuff: Formica quad with FPV

I mentioned this to my wife, and she said, “Why not keep the Cheerson as it is, and build a whole new one?”

This was a great idea. Quadcopters don’t have to be expensive to make, and this would be great fun.

Then she said, “I think you should build an octocopter!”

This seemed like a bit of a crazy idea, so I suggested a hexacopter as a compromise. “No! You must build an octocopter!”

Well, my wife is always right, so the octocopter project began. Despite this massive escalation from the initial project, things were going to get even more crazy. Little did I know the rabbit hole of madness that I would shortly descend into.