The DJI 550 Hexacopter Review
Hobbyists have been the original drone enthusiasts, working with various components to build drones of varying specs to suit their flying needs. In the beginning, this was quite a difficult undertaking that involved researching the most suitable parts and sourcing them from diverse suppliers. People who do this love the challenge of discovering cool parts and assembling them into a functioning drone.
However, the hobbyist drone industry has changed over the years. Companies that traditionally sell ready-to-fly (RTF) drones are now catering for the DIY market with superb kits ready for assembly.
Now you don’t have to go about looking for the diverse components from all over the place. Some drone manufacturers like DJI make it easier for you by selling you fully disassembled drones with all the required components to satisfy your hobbyist cravings.
If you are an avid hobbyist, the DJI 550 Hexacopter is the perfect drone for you, allowing you to DIY all the basic components that it comes with and launch your own customized hexacopter. It offers great possibilities to extend the functions of your drones with various affordable modules.
This drone falls under a series of DJI drone designs referred to as the Flame Wheel. The Flame Wheel drones come in three main versions, namely the F330, F450 and the F550. The F550 is the hexacopter that we will review shortly. The other two are quads. However, all the versions offer you the same features including similar parts that you can use in your assembly. The design of the F550 differs remarkably, however, and will provide you with more stable flights compared to the other two. It also allows you to extend the functions of the drone into other realms such as drone photography and videography.
This is a unique product because the DJI line of drone models is generally ready to fly. This hexacopter was manufactured for a unique niche market. Nicknamed The Flame Wheel, it is a complete DIY hobbyist solution. You can use it not just for your hobbyist flying but also for other fun drone activities such as aerial photography and cinematography.
The Specifications for the DJI F550 Hexacopter
- Has a diagonal wheelbase of 550mm
- Uses a 3S or 4S 5000mAh LiPO battery
- Recommended motor of 22mm by 12mm
- The frame weight is 478gm
- Recommended size for propellers is 10 x 3.8in or 8 x 4.5in
- Comes with a DJI DT7 flight radio
- F550 landing skids
- There is an F550 PDF user manual
- Choose between a Naza V2 or DJI WKM autopilot system
The F550 is the hobbyist’s dream come true. It is a barebones kit that drone enthusiasts can build up from scratch to suit their desired specifications. Unlike in the past when you had to order different components from diverse suppliers and attempt to make them work, the F550 comes with all the required components as well as the DJI quality guarantee. Assembling should be a breeze even for novices. All components are properly labeled and the most difficult tasks such as mounting of the PCB has been done for you. It comes with a combined PCB so you only need to proceed with the mounting of the easy parts such as the autopilots and ESCs.
The Flame Wheel drone can be used with either of these two autopilot systems: Naza M V2 or DJI WKM. These systems will incorporate various flight functions into your DIY drone including hovering, cruising, rolling and numerous other kinds of flight maneuvers. This being a DIY drone assembly, you can extend the functions of the drone as much as you wish even including a First Person View (FPV) for more precise flying and powerful aerial photography.
You can easily reconstruct the frame of the F550 hexacopter thanks to the easy practical design of the DJI components. There are shouldered bolts that you can use in holding the frame in place. The frame plates have holes through which you can pass and fasten the bolts. Every arm of the frame will require 6 bolts to hold it in place.
One aspect of the F550 that simplifies the assembly process is its large center plates. If you are not technically inclined, then you don’t have to worry as the drone comes with the pre-built printed circuit board that you only have to screw in place. The assembly process is fairly simple and straightforward and you will be able to accomplish this in under two hours since it comes with all the needed components.
The Main Features of the DJI F550 Hexacopter
If you are a DIY drone enthusiast, the F550 has everything you need to build a high powered drone that will take the flying fun to the next level. Avid drone hobbyists will love the detail included in this kit and the fact that you have a sort of quality guarantee. This is a DJI drone after all and all the parts included in the kit will fit nicely in place. If you have been involved in drone assembly in the past and have experienced the difficulty faced in sourcing compatible parts, then you will definitely appreciate a kit that simplifies everything for you.
The F550 has an attractive frame that is made to DJI quality. It is highly durable so you can use it for the long haul. The frame will largely resist the falls for quite some time. The panel of the frame is also crafted from a tough and resilient PCB material that gives the drone very good strength and support.
Gas Powered Drones are also made of high-duty materials.
Comes with a Pre-Built PCB Wiring
You might be a drone flying hobbyist but you are probably not an electronic or electrical engineer. DJI makes the assembly easier for you by offering you a kit with built-in PCB wiring. This also simplifies the process of wiring the ESCs and the battery, allowing you to assemble your drone a lot faster and launch it in flight.
Ample Space for Assembly
The design of the DJI hexacopter is optimized to give you plenty of space to do the assembly. It also gives you lots of wiggle room to install an autopilot system in the drone. You can use the Frame Wheel with either the DJI WKM autopilot system or the Naza M V2 autopilot system.
Get Attractive Flight Arm Options
Want to a turn a few heads with your DIY drone? Pick from the vast array of attractive colours for the drone’s frame arms. You can pick from a host of attractive colours such as white, black and red.
The DJI F550 kit comes with various components including six motors, a single drone frame and 16 propellers. Also included in the package are 6 ESCs along with M2.5x5 and M2x8 screws. There is also a battery strap and power leads.
Choose the propellers based on the type of batteries you are planning to use. Keep in mind that the props that you will use for a three-cell battery are different from those that you need for a four-cell battery. If you will be using a 3S LiPO battery, you can go with the 10-inch propellers. On the other hand, for the 4S LiPO batteries, you can use the 8-inch propellers.
For the assembly of hexacopter, you will need tools and materials such as a soldering iron, flux and solder. Don’t be intimidated by the PCB. Even if you are relatively new to drone assembly, you have an easy time working with the F550 PCB because it is well marked including with the relevant instructions clearly showing where the respective connections are to be made. It is also combined with the board so you don’t have to worry about the delicate process of mounting it onto the board, especially if you are not technically inclined.
Make sure you test each of the connections before you proceed with the other installations. Remember that you will likely fly your drone very aggressively with lots of flips and turns and it is likely to encounter certain obstacles so every solder joint that you make must be strong and solid. If joints are not properly soldered, they will fall apart during those high speed and aggressive flights and your drone will come tumbling down.
For the assembly of the DJI F550 kit, there is a manual which can be downloaded from the DJI website that has a set of instructions on how to attach the autopilot and various other components such as the ESCs to the board. The legs of the quadcopter should be attached at the bottom part of the board where the important electronic connections have been soldered onto the board.
Next, attach the motor onto the ESC and then install the controller in the kit onto the middle bottom part of the board. Take precaution to mount this controller in the right direction. The inputs of the controller should be facing the rear part of the hexacopter.
After mounting the controller, download and install the latest version of software and firmware that will operate the drone. This can be easily done from the DJI website. If everything is working fine at this point, congratulations! You are almost there.
Next, mount the battery and the GPS onto the board. Inspect the installations done so far and ensure that the propellers are working properly and moving in the right appropriate direction. There is a system to installing the prop blades on a quad or a hexacopter. You must match the props of the same type. They are usually labeled so you will easily know the right props to pair with one another. If the props are not paired properly, the quadcopter will simply not fly.
The GPS installation is usually simple and straightforward but could be complicated by the type of controller installed on the board. Before proceeding with the installation, please read the instructions included on the manual on how to mount the GPS properly.
At this point, you are practically done with the drone assembly. The next step is to simply calibrate your compass and begin your test flight.
If you are looking for extra functionality, you can take it a step further by adding a gimbal and a Bluetooth data link from DJI. For extra functions such as photography and videography, you can also go ahead and attach a compatible GoPro camera for capturing high quality images.
If you are a hobbyist, this is the perfect drone for you. The DJI F550 is a fully kitted DIY hexacopter kit that is suited for both beginners and professional hobbyists who would like to build a drone to their liking. Flexible design means that you can add components to extend functionality to meet your desired needs.
The DJI F550 is suited for the professional user who wants a custom drone design. That is always the case with many experienced and highly professional flyers with very specific requirements which they may not find in pre-designed drones. A kit like this allows you to build your own drone with precise specs.
The DJI F550 kit comes with the latest high quality drone components as well as sensors that will help you optimize on its capabilities and get the best flight performance. The kit also includes brushless camera gimbals that allow you to use your DIY drone to shoot professional looking photos.
The drone is optimized not just for the best video performance but also for good flight performance. Once you have assembled it, you can be sure of very stable and smooth flights. You can even take your drone to the extremes of performance and still get the best results and durable performance.
We would highly recommend this kit to a beginner(Drones for beginners) who is just inducting themselves into the art of DIY drone assembly hobby. You can use this to hone your drone assembly skills before you try out more elaborate drone kits as per your needs.
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