Welcome To DroneVibes

DroneVibes is a COMMUNITY of drones enthusiasts. We are experts at drones for all professional and consumer applications. We welcome you to register and join the conversation.

Frog Race Frog Lite 218mm Quad Build

Discussion in 'Drone Builds and Kits' started by Diven, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Diven

    Diven Member

    Apr 18, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posted by Diven, Jun 7, 2017 #1
    Frog Race Frog Lite is a beautiful frame with Carbon Fiber 4mm Arm, it's an easy build and weighs in at only 286g. I really liked this frame, and I decided to build a Frog Race Frog Lite 218mm quad. This build supports Dshot600 and offers OSD for voltage monitoring and a built-in blackbox for tuning. It can easily carry a Session or Runcam 3 with a bottom mounted drone lipo battery, but you can top mount at the cost of an HD cam. These motors are great middle-tier motors, so you've got a wide variety of prop options. I'd probably avoid running 5051s, but you should be fine running up to 5048s.

    Apart from the parts listed below you'll need a few additional items that no bench should be without:
    • A nylon nut set with 2mm nuts and 1mm spacers
    • Shrink tubing
    • 20awg wire
    • Double sided tape
    • Zip ties
    • Blue loctite
    Part List:
    Frame: Frog Race Frog Lite 218mm Carbon Fiber 4mm Arm X Frame DIY Frame Kit (4 builds) $27.99

    Flight Controller: Omnibus Betaflight F4 Flight Controller V1 STM32 F405 MCU Integrated OSD (17 builds) $24.49

    ESCs: TATTU 30A BLHeli_S ESC (2-5S, w/Dshot, No BEC) for FPV RC model (4pcs) $67.96

    Motors: 4x Emax RS2205S 2300KV Racing Edition Brushless Motor for FPV Racing (25 builds) $74.00

    Propellers: DAL Cyclone Tri-Blade 5″ Prop – T5046C 5″ (50 builds) $2.99
    RTF Premium 5040 QUADBLADE Prop (Smoke) $0.99

    FPV Camera: Runcam Swift Mini 130 Degree 2.5mm Micro FPV Camera Build in OSD PAL/NTSC Orange/Black 22*22mm (8 builds) $34.99

    FPV Transmitter: Eachine VTX03 Super Mini 5.8G 72CH 0/25mW/50mw/200mW Switchable FPV Transmitter (70 builds) $13.99

    Receiver: Frsky XM+ Micro D16 SBUS Full Range Receiver Up to 16CH (66 builds) $12.99

    Batteries: Tattu R-Line 1550mAh 95C 4S1P lipo battery pack with XT60 Plug $44.88

    Misc Parts: RunCam RC21/RC23/RC25 FPV Lens 2.1mm/2.3mm/2.5mm FOV 165/150/130 Degree Wide Angle for Swift Swift2 Mini $8.99

    5 Pairs Black XT60 Bullet Connector Plugs for RC Battery (2 builds) $4.99

    2 x 4 PCS Realacc M3*7+4.5 Flight Controller Anti-Vibration Fixed Screws for FPV Racer (3 builds) $5.58

    550 Paracord Black Jet Black Made in USA (2 builds)
    Making it Fit


    The frame is a little tight, but they offered some extension pieces to raise the stack area by about 4-5mm. If you have a large RX you may need to use them, but an XM+, X4R or Spektrum Satellite should fit fine without them. There’s very little documentation, so it’s not obvious what these are for. I’ve seen these extensions used on the back of the frame where the LED panel goes for stack protection and possibly a resting place for a larger antenna. The longer pieces only add about 1mm above the stack, so I don’t see much reason to use these.


    Finding the right standoffs to build the stack was a challenge, but I found the perfect combination. If you aren’t using the extensions you can use the 10mm screws to start to the stack. I added 2mm nuts with 1mm spacers. The spacers are important because you’ll end up with too much threading for the vibration dampening standoffs. These also offer just enough room to run a battery strap under the ESC board. While the 4-in-1 ESC came with an assortment of nylon standoffs, they’re all far too tall for this frame. You’d probably end up with a 30mm stack if you used those.

    Wiring the Motors



    Unfortunately EMAX hasn’t caught on to the 4-in-1 trend, so the motor wires were too short. Dig through your wire bin for some 20awg wire as you’ll need only about 12 inches of it. If you need to buy some, be sure to pick up some 14awg and 16awg just to have around for future builds. First you need to screw the motors onto the arms. Use some blue loctite to ensure the screws won’t wiggle loose. Now to extend the wires you want to lay each wire down onto the arm to get the length just right. Touch the end of the extension to the nearest ESC pad, snip, solder and repeat. Finish each joint off with some shrink tubing and you can optionally add some 550 paracord for added protection.

    This 4-in-1 ESC is great because it has a 5v regulator that can handle up to 3amps. The Omnibus F4 also has a built-in 5v reg, but it doesn’t support enough amperage to run both the VTX and camera. The ESC plugs directly into the FC using the included connector and the 5v power is passed through the red wire. Now if you’d like a voltage reading via OSD you’ll also need to send power to the vbat pins, but the FC will favor the 5v from the ESC to power both itself and the RX. You’ll need to bridge the RAM and 5V pins to pass power to the VTX/camera.

    One thing to note is that this FC uses a linear regulator to produce 5v from vbat. Since we aren’t using the 5v from the FC it will produce unnecessary heat. I didn’t do this, but it is an option if heat becomes a problem. You can also exclude vbat if you don’t need the OSD voltage reading. This would also reduce the heat.

    One thing to note is this frame doesn’t come with an XT60 connector, so you’ll have to buy a set of them. I used the black ones listed in the part list. Snip the wires short enough that they won’t pull the battery leads into prop strike range, but not so short that your shrink tube shrinks before you can sleeve it over the terminals.

    Mounting the Camera

    I chose the Runcam Swift mini for the size and weight reduction, but the frame isn’t necessarily designed for it. You’ll have to use the included conversion bracket which offers a nice snug fit. It should be pretty clear which screw holes to use here, but if you have any questions review the photos below. The only thing I’d like to add is that you should use the nylon washers included with the Runcam outside the aluminum plates. This gives you a nice tight fit.

    Wiring the Flight Control

    This is a fairly straightforward wiring job, but be sure to pull up an Omnibus F4 board diagram to follow along. Mainly what you need to do is wire the camera and VTX and jump the 5v/RAM pins to send them power. Check the photo below for the big blob of solder just below the RX wires to see where to jump the RAM pins. This mainly passes the 5v from the 4-in-1 to the RAM pins along the VTX/camera rails. Also, I soldered the RX to the inverted UART which functions as UART1 in Betaflight. Finally, I passed power straight from the battery to the vbat pins to monitor voltage via OSD.



    Mounting the RX and VTX

    Since the XM+ antennas are extremely long I rotated the U.fl connectors to send the antennas back around the RX. This reduced the length by a few cm which offered the perfect length to send the antennas behind the front arms. You can see how I passed the antennas under the motor wires along zip ties secured with shrink tubing. To mount the VTX I added about 3 layers of double sided tape beside the display, added a wad of hot glue to the U.fl connector and taped it to the bottom of the top plate. I used a zip tie to keep the little dipole antenna from falling down into the props.



    If you wire the motors as illustrated they won’t be in the proper positions in BetaFlight, but BF 3.1 has a great resource command which lets you swap motor positions. You never need to worry about motor wire positions or swapping wires to set the rotation. All of this can be changed in software and allows for the cleanest wiring possible. Here’s a short checklist to follow before you maiden:

    • Flash firmware to the latest version of BF.
    • Use resource commands to order the motors.
    • Use BLHeli Configurator to set motor rotations.
    • Bind TX/RX and set inputs and ranges.
    • Set switches to arm and change modes.
    • Configure OSD.
    • Set your rates.
    • Use camera OSD to adjust your camera settings

Share This Page