A new challenger has appeared


Meet Napkin, my new super light FPV quad. Making it was a test of patience and my soldering skills.

Another one?

A week or so ago, I was flying Ripley with all of it’s brand new FPV gear strapped on. First of all, that was super duper fun. I then decided to shoot a gap may just a bit too small as fast as I could make the thing go. Whoops.


No big deal, though. Fixing it was just a matter of ordering a new part plus a bit of soldering, but hey, since this thing was so much fun, why not order a few extra parts and make a second one?

So that’s what I did. I ordered the lightest chassis (that wasn’t plastic) that I could find and another Pico kit for FPV and waited. This time, though, I wanted to try things out that I wasn’t willing to on Ripley. I wanted to remove the need for the second battery and I wanted the wires to be much much shorter.

Tiny soldering


In order to avoid a second battery, I needed (I think) to get a 5v step up that just converts the power fro 3 to 5v. The thing is 30% connector so I removed the connector. This means I had some seriously tiny (and somewhat frustrating) soldering to do.

Not only was the soldering there a bit maddening, but shortening other wires and connectors for the transmitter and camera ended up being a little tricky. If it’s still rocking after a few days of testing, I’ll probably make similar changes to Ripley.

The results

Version 2

I think it came out pretty nicely. It’s incredibly light. From the short tests I’ve done on it so far, it flies really nicely. Will definitely be flying as fast as possible with it this weekend.

Busted chassis

Crash with a busted arm

It took about a month of dozens of pretty hard crashes to do it. there was a slow increase in the amount of cracks around the arms. The biggest cracks were on the front right arm. I noticed how bad it was a few days ago and figured it was only a matter of time until it fully broke. I had a spare chassis, so I wasn’t too worried.

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Gateway Device

This is the video that enticed my brother to buy a Hubsan X4.

I’m thinking the Hubsan X4 is a gateway device into electronics. People who’ve never soldered before are suddenly finding themselves with a smokin’ hot soldering iron in hand, balancing coiled solder and tugging on black and red wires on the circuit board in an attempt to change out motors – all to get it flying again.

X4 power cable repair

Yep. I’m already soldering on Crash again. I fixed it up this morning and everything went pretty smoothly, but it’s a little tricky to get into the top side of the board because of the LED wires. No issues at all and seems ready to go. I’m going to take it out this weekend somewhere nice to celebrate.