When Randy Moody from RC Dude hobbies had offered me the opportunity to write about a Next Level multi rotor ( 500 Size ) quad copter that he and Lucien Miller from Innov8tive Designs had been developing, I simply became too excited (not) to take him up on the offer and of course it was extremely hard to refuse. We had exchanged emails back and forth as I was very curious about making a purchase of a multi rotor machine , however , I had to wait a few months before he was able to get a review unit in my hands. In one of the emails he had sent me a video of the machine he was looking to have me write about , here is that truly awesome little teaser video that was sent to me. As you can imagine, this made me even more curious !
Needless to say, I was pretty excited that I had an opportunity to review a product that was still in it’s infancy before it really hit the masses. The frame and the shocks were sent to me, I had purchased all the other necessary electronics to get this thing into a reality. The photos that Randy had sent to me showing how he had set up the quad I had to admit were pretty impressive, this machine looked solid ! Here are a few of the pictures he had sent to me .
The NLM 500 Quad.
The mounting plates for FPV and video cameras.
More mounting plate ideas.
Go Pro mounting plate.
I had ordered the all the electronic parts as well as the props since the frame and the shocks were offered to me at no charge. It had been the week before Christmas that I had everything ordered and by the end of the first week of January 2012 on the friday, my wife had texted me at work to let me know the package had arrived. The fun was about to begin !
The package in its unopened state.
I open the box with eager anticipation.
The NLM 500 kit in its clean looking packaging.
Never would I have ever thought I would become so fortunate to receive a quad copter review unit from another part of the world but I have to tell you, I for sure am very grateful for this opportunity ! Throughout this page I will be also including pictures and video of the build process and as well, giving you some tips on the build and how you can go about setting up this machine with your radio. The radio I will be using on the NLM 500 quad will be the Spektrum DX7. I have to say, I have gone through the entire build without any trouble and it is a very simple unit to put together. When you receive your NLM 500 or 650 frame you will notice that the packing is excellent and professionally put together as well as the fact that EVERYTHING in the box was accounted for by the fact that there is a packing slip in the box signed by the person who packed the box. I was really impressed.
The manual in the box is very straight forward, follow the instructions closely and you won’t have any problems.
I also have a list of all the components that I had purchased in order to complete the build, it includes all the electronics as well as additional mounting plates and prop sizes. The controller board I had chosen to go with is the FY-90 Q Pro.
Here is a list of all the components …
- Cobra 2217 / 20 , 960 kv brushless motors ( x 4 )
- APC Slo- flyer props 10 x 3.8 SF ( x 4 because I wanted to have 2 extra ) but you will only need two of them.
- APC Slo-flyer Pusher props 10 x 3.8 SFP ( x 4 because I wanted to have 2 extra ) but you will only need two of them.
- FY-90Q Pro controller board
- Hobbywing 30 amp ESCs ( x 4 )
- RC Dude lipo battery 3s 11.1 5000 mah 70c burst
- Spektrum AR 6115e 6 channel 2048 resolution receiver
- 2 payload mounts from NLM multi-rotor accessories for 500 and 650 quad , size of mounts are 7.5 x 2.5 inch
- 1 blank center plate from NLM multi-rotor accessories for 500 and 650 quad
- 4 inch lead extensions (x 4 ) – note they attach to the motor wires and also connect to your ESC wires through the frame arm.
Here are the pictures of some of the accessories …
DO NOT forget to order the Y harness from Randy at RC Dude, it is used to connect all of the four ESCs together and connect them to your lipo, if you don’t have it your quad will NEVER fly. Randy built mine for me, and it is nicely done.
The shock kit is an absolute must have if you plan to mount a video camera or camera of any sort on your quad. Helps deal with potential impacts from hard landings. They are 85 mm oil filled shock absorbers.
The items I have listed above are exactly what I will be using on my NLM 500 quad and I have not swapped out any parts for another (yet ), so when the time comes to show you the quad in a hover you can see it will be all stock from what I had listed which will give you a pretty good idea of how well it performs. Keep in mind , good components and a good control board will give you very good results. A crappy frame with crappy components with a good control board will still give you crappy results.
As I said before, this is a really well put together package and Randy was really helpful with any questions I had as this was the first quad copter I had ever built.
To start off , have a look through the manual and become familiar with all the accessories in the box before you start slapping things together as this will make it very easy for you during the build process. Here is a copy of the PDF for you to download and read up on : 500Q Assembly Low The manual is put together well and is very comprehensive. A list of tools and supplies needed to complete the quad are listed in the manual as well. Here is how I went about it step by step.
The first thing I started with was learning how to solder the bullet connectors to the ESCs and the motors, I used a 40 watt soldering Iron being sure to apply the flux on the ends of the wires to the ESCs and the wires to the motors.