In May 2018 TeamBlackSheep announced an „open source frame” called Source One.
Raphael „Trappy” Pirker offered sending his own Source One 7” version across for testing purposes and in this article I will take you through testing and share my thoughts about it.
Open Source Project
Source One files are available via GitHub
It is very unusual project in FPV world where frame design is basically shared to the people to make it better. At the same time frame at the current revision is being sold under the TBS brand for very cheap – around £25 in UK – same price as the chinese’s no-name or cloned frames!
Very different approach to the frame design compared to anything else currently on the market currently.
My colleague and fellow blogger Philipp Seidel is the guy who manage this project.
Source One 7” RTF
Source One quad I was testing had the following specs:
Frame: Source One with 7” (6mm thick) arms
Motors: TBS Endurance
ESC: Flycolor 30A 2-4S blheli-s dshot
Flight Controller: TBS Colibri Race
Video Transmitter: TBS FPVision with TBS Triumphs
RX: TBS Crossfire Nano with Immortal-T antenna
FPV Camera: TBS ZeroZero (replaced by me with RunCam Swift V2)
Quad came completely ready to fly, so I had to bind my radio with crossfire nano and it was all ready to go. Trappy mentioned during TBS couch episode that he crashed this quad from rather high altitude and I saw the marks on arms ends 🙂 FPV camera wasn’t working properly so I replaced it before my first flight. I can only assume it stopped working after the crash.
Lipo on this particular machine is meant to be attached at the bottom. S1 came with Ethix lipo strap and battery landing protector taken from Oblivion – clever solution. There are also foam pads isolating battery from the frame.
Immortal-T antenna was attached to the underside of the arms by 3D print. Video pigtail antenna was also attached to the frame by 3D print and zip ties. Very neat and functional .
Source One with 4S 2200mah lipo attached weights 664g. Around 750g with GoPro Session 5 and 3D printed GoPro mount.
I can’t say a bad word about carbon fibre quality in this frame. Top plate is 2mm thick, bottom plate 3mm and arms have impressive 6mm thickness. Plates looks very solid and I haven’t seen any imperfections in carbon fibre or anything that would indicate cheap quality or cutting corners.
Frame is very very stiff thanks to thick arms
Before flying Source One I’ve added a GoPro mount and TBS GPS puck. I had to make the BST splitter harness.
Also, in addition I’ve added the 25V 470uf caps to all ESCs. It was fitted just in case to remove unwanted electric noise.
Flycolor ESCs dictated lipo voltage I could use and it was 4S maximum. Normally I fly 5S on my 7” Reverb but I gave it a go.
- Turnigy Graphene 1500mah 4S and
- Turnigy (blue, cheap) 2200mah 4S
Firmware: Butterflight 3.5.1 / Betaflight 3.3
- HQ 7×3.5×3
- HQ 7×4.5
- Gemfan Flash 7042
In my tests Betaflight performed better actually. Strangely enough quad experienced much less oscillations. Don’t ask me how 🙂 I have flown in both cases with all filters on and PT1 enabled. ButterFlight had fast-kalman turned on.
With HQ 7×3.5×3 quad was shaking pretty bad. There was no jello in the footage, just shakes. PID tuning, filters had no impact on that.
After putting HQ 7×4.5 on I have immediately noticed that shakes were gone and I had a silky smooth footage on that one.
Gemfan 7042 gave me a little bit of visible oscillations (in FPV cam and GOPro footage) but it wasn’t too bad overall.
HQ 7×4.5 (strangely) won this test. On this prop quad was flying „sharp” if you know what I mean. I enjoyed it.
As for flight times. I had 11 minutes from 2200mah pack when pulling 8-10amps and with cruise speed of around 50km/h
I managed to fly 7-8 minutes on 1500mah 4S pulling the same amount of amps.
Those were very satisfying flight times. Looks to me that it is possible to have 15-20minutes flight time with 3000 or 4000mah lipo. I haven’t got one that big yet, so can’t prove it though.
Flying experience with this machine depends greatly on props used but overall, compared to my other 7” rig I was very satisfied with it. Endurance motors are not super powerful but this is not actually needed in the machine that is made for a mellow cruise and not floppy floppy ripping 🙂
Oscillations are common on 7” builds but the right prop / motor combination can make it to work. Oddly enough I had nothing but just bad experience with HQ 7×3.5×3 on this quad. Maybe there is a weird resonance between frame and that prop on Endurance motors causing it? I don’t know – it simply didn’t work for me.
Flight video will be posted as soon as I get some nice material to share.
I would like to say big thanks to Trappy for sending his quad across to Scotland for testing. This allowed me for first hand experience available before frame even hit the shops.
Overall I was happy with how it flies and there will be more flights (and videos) published here as the summer goes on.
It is great to have a frame at this price point and with such good quality. It may not be to everyones taste when it comes to look but design DXF file is available to download so literally everyone can make it to desired look. Sky is the limit 🙂
To the Source (Infinity) and beyond! / Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story