Removing MK from Cinestar 8 HL please help :)

Discussion in 'Cinestar 8' started by Justin Marx, May 17, 2015.

  1. Justin Marx

    Justin Marx Active Member

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    Hey guys! Long time no speak..

    No offense to the people who love Mikrocopter.. But I have only had bad results with the system.. And it makes me uncomfortable. It's not user friendly, and I don't have the patience for it. DJI is user friendly and let's me concentrate on my job rather then confusing electronics.

    I would like to take take copter and remove the MK electronics and replace with Dji A2.

    My copter was built by Quadrocopter..

    Is there someone that can help my modify my copter to accept the A2 and whatever else I need to do to change it?

    Has anyone done this before?

    What's salvageable besides the motors and the frame?

    Is it financially stupid to do this?

    Any help will be most appreciated..

    Thank you so much!

    This is what I have: http://www.quadrocopter.com/CineStar-8-MK-Heavy-Lift-RTF_p_1156.html
     
  2. Gary McCready

    Gary McCready Active Member

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    2 cents: I know there are users on here who fly the Cinestar frame with the A2. I have an S900 with an A2, and two MK Cinestars (6 and 8). The A2 is MUCH easier to setup and fly, and there has been alot of discussion about making the MK easier to setup. That said it depends on what you are looking for. The MK is well tested, and I think flies better in wind. The A2 is easier to program, setup and fly, it is just not quite as stable as either of my MK Cinestar birds. I've been flying Cinestar 6 MK for a few years, and the S900 for about 9 months now. DJI customer service is really poor, and MK is usually pretty responsive. If I was flying "pro" for $$, I'd stick with proven MK (and the soemtimes steep learning curve) , but I'm a just a retired guy having fun.
    I know the MK Wiki is a morass of confusion, but you can get it in the air on the "easy" settings without too much fiddling.
     
  3. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    The other issue with the A2 vs. MK is the power systems. DJI don't make their own ESCs or motors, so you have to integrate somebody else's. There are lots of good options out there, but you're the systems integrator, and if you're looking for "plug and play" (vs. "plug and pray" :eek:) DJI might not be as good as it seems.

    If you find somebody's build that closely mirrors what you're looking to do, best to just copy what they did. But like Gary said, you might be on your own.

    Or book a ticket to Whitefish and let the guys up there do it for you. Might be the best option. And I've heard it sure is pretty up there. :)
     
  4. Gary McCready

    Gary McCready Active Member

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    It is hard to keep up with all the changes but DJI does have integrated "tuned propulsion systems" now but I think it would be an expensive retro fit. ($236 times 4=$944 ) I've also never seen one on a Cinestar frame. They are supposed to fit 25mm cf tubes though.
    You would also have to buy the A2 control units, another $1200.
    http://store.dji.com/product/e1200-pro
    Take off weight recommenced= 1200~1400 g/rotor @Sea Level > 8 x 1200 = 9.6 kg (does say recommended and not max??)
    Not really sure how that compares to the CS8 HL, but I think is about the same. My CS8 HL is about 6.5lbs (4 kg) and max weight is 12 lbs or 5.5 kg. I did fly my CS8 HL with 10 lbs, it flew fine but was very sluggish, on standard gains with my usual Expo..
    I know of some guys that have retro fitted thier s900 with the e1200 pro, and been very pleased.
     
  5. Alex Fuller

    Alex Fuller Member

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    I converted a Quadrocopter built standard lift MK CS8 into a flat 8 with NAZA V2, and now into a folding X8 configuration. The QC3328 motors I had do not work in an X8 build, so I'm waiting to upgrade to higher quality KDE motors. If you go the DJI route, you will need new, FC, PDB and ESC's. My selection may be a bit dated, but I have a Gryphon Dynamics Octo PDB ( http://gryphondynamics.co.kr/product/power-distribution-board-for-octogpd-1000ctp ) and Maytech OPTO 60a ESC's ( http://www.uavrotorking.com/product/maytech-60amp/ ). I know another guy with the same build but A2/T-Motor 4014 and has had great results, even flying a RED/M10. Also I was running 4S on my MK and now am on 6S, so there's that to consider as well. You also have to factor in downtime since depending on ordering parts and your building skill level, it could be a few weeks with no bird in the air.The DJI route is definitely MUCH easier to tune and fly versus MK, but then again if you learn your MK you will be rewarded with reliability and sophisticated knowledge of an excellent system. Hope that helps, good luck!
     
  6. Justin Marx

    Justin Marx Active Member

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    Wow, thanks a lot for all of the responses!!

    My problem with the MK electronics is that I have had issues with GPS Position Hold and do not trust it.. I can't fly as a professional if I can't count on my equipment.. I understand that a lot of people think you should never rely on the position hold feature for a shot, but I find that to be ridiculous.. I know how to fly the copter, I use PH for accuracy.. It just WORKS with the DJI A2.. As swell as the DJI Inspire, and Phantom 2. There is something inside these guys that is BETTER then MK and less confusing. I'd rather spend my time flying rather then figuring out the OVERLY confusing world of MK.

    --DJI products for me seem to work out of the box and do what they are supposed to when they are supposed to. You can purchase parts easily at most hobby shops, and that is what matters most.. SAFETY.. I feel safe with the copter and therefore can do my job properly and safely.


    OK sorry for the rant!!!!



    Gary, I have had amazing results with my S1000.. I carry the EPIC and MoVI M10. I don't get a long flight time with 2-10000 6S batteries, but It performs REALLY well in wind and it just does what it needs to.
    ALEX!!! Thank you very much.. I will look into all of your info..

    I think I'm getting to the point where I might just sell the CineStar 8HL for a large LOSS instead of trying to throw more money at it..

    Any interest you guys?? Its still in the box after Quadrocopter updated all components!

    Let me know.. I promise I'll give you a KILLER DEAL!!!
     
  7. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Justin,
    You're witnessing what I believe to be the evolution of this field from its RC roots to a subset of the photo/video/film business. And as such, there is a decreasing taste for tinkering among some folks. However, anybody who tells you that this stuff "just works" is misleading you. We're a ways off from this gear really being reliable enough to make that claim. It's definitely moving in that direction, though.
    Steve
    (who sold his MK-based heavy lifter and is on the ALTA waitlist)
     
  8. Alex Fuller

    Alex Fuller Member

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    Here's a photo of how I added the components to the CS frame if you decide to do the conversion. I then made two rectangular carbon plate layers and standoffs to hold the FC parts and the top layer for the battery (not pictured).
     

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  9. Steve Abrams

    Steve Abrams New Member

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    Justin,
    Please keep us updated on your progress. I, too, would like to replace my MK-powered CS8 with controllers from DJI or EagleTree - for the same reasons you outlined in your original post.
     
  10. Ozkan Erden

    Ozkan Erden Distributor

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    Justin,

    I think you already have a pretty reliable system. For a better GPS performance, you can buy the new GPS V3 from MK, which improves the GPS performance a lot.

    I always had the same dilemma over moving to DJI platform but I always ended up keep using MK, mainly because of the reliability and performance. For instance, no one else has the MKs perfect built-in telemetry out there. You need some add-ons and it will not be fully featured as MK offers.

    Only limitation with MKs hardware is, you can't use big motors like KDE's 5215XF-435KV or Tiger's U7 series. If you really need a heavy lifter with MK FC, you should opt for X12 setup (12 motors setup is fully supported by MK) with supported biggest motors (KDE 4014XF, Tiger MN4120-400).

    I will try DJI powered a heavy lifter very soon. Dave has a great machine working right now, that encourages me a lot. Personally, I have lots of doubts about DJI hardware simply because some heavy lifters had unexpected malfunctions with their system; for instance check here: http://forum.freeflysystems.com/index.php?threads/another-a2-crash-pictures-graphs-and-video.5051/ . Josh eventually moved back to MK for the reliability.
     
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  11. Urs Clement

    Urs Clement Member

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    I had a crash maybe one month before Josh crashed his bird with A2 (in the link of Ozkan). A new K130 with a custom Brushlessgimbal i've built (maybe 100hours of work in complete), a totally new BMPC4K and a Tokina 11-16 fell down like a stone. :mad: I never found the lens, maybe its inside the ground :eek::rolleyes:
    it was an A2 on Firmware 2.3, and i guess in august 2014 the 2.4 wasn't out then. Many many MRs fell down on this firmware! After that i built up a "small" Tarot F680Pro and used the crashed A2 to test it again on FW 2.3. Until today i haven't had any failure now. That's why i'm thinking to buy a DJI platform for my A7r. I like the cinestar, but i don't want such a big drone for this tiny camera anymore. Would be a nice bridge to the ALTA to finally get BMPCs and REDs in the air again, but i have to save some money first ^^

    EDIT: I just saw that Josh was running FW2.3 :|
    Now i have to rethink this again... For sure i'd mount a opale parachute on the bird.

    EDIT #2: I was running FW 2.3 too! Sorry for the disturbance, i just checked my crash pics and it was on June 10th 2014, and i was running A2 on 2.3.
     
  12. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    I have both but I don't have a A2 I have the Wookong. Here's my observations of both so far.

    MK
    *Power boards have been hit or miss. I am now flying a redundant version for extra protection for the I2C buss.
    *Service and support is very good. Other than the dual quadro XL power boards my stuff has been very reliable.
    *Datalogging is very good. I also don't feel that there is a good set of motors that match their ESC's. I think there is an efficiency drop off with Tiger motors and even more with KDE motors.
    *I also feel there is more vibrations in the MK ships compared to wookong even after adjusting Gyro D, and making sure all props and motors are balanced and good.
    *I don't trust MK to autoland a heavy copter.
    *I have flown a ton with MK over the past 3 years and I have used it professionally and it has worked 99% of the time. The only real reliability issues has been with the power board.


    DJI Wookong
    *Flies smoother and straighter than MK. Position hold is a little tighter as well (MK PH is good though). In my opinion its my best flyer I have ever built.
    *IF you have an ESC issue you can swap out one instead of replacing the entire power board.
    *Datalogging is terrible and the available in flight telemetry is much more limited. I really miss some important parameters such as energy spent to compare against battery voltage.
    *Wookong is also little harder to initially to setup as you need to determine your COG but it is easier to tune the basic and atti gain setting with a radio knob once you start flying.
    *My wookong has no vibrations in it.
    *Wookong flies straighter and tracks much better in atti non GPS mode
    *Service and support is nearly non existent.
    (Failsafe works better in that it autolands perfect. I don't trust MK to auto land a 25-27 pound payload. I tried a few times and it seemed to me like it was descending way too fast where I had to cancel auto land.
     
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  13. Gary McCready

    Gary McCready Active Member

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    Dave: agree 100%, except I have an A2.
    I do think my MK CS6 defiantly flies better in wind over 12-14 mph than my s900 with A2. Might just be the
    CS frame vs. the s900 frame.
    I've never had an MK BL Esc go out in almost 4 years. I also had my s900 take off very much fast forward into my garden, a couple of weeks back.I just checked the settings on the laptop (fine), added a new prop, another battery, and the very next flight was perfect. (But I was a bit anxious)
    You can see M4, the back motor, getting more gas from the get go. The pitch didn't change until it tipped over in the dirt. Other parameters showed similar results, it "thought" it wasn't level when it took off, zooming forward about 15 ft, and never go above 2 ft up.
     

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  14. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    i just don't trust the A2. I know the newer software has cured some of the issues but I just don't trust it enough to fly it. I know Wookong with 5.20 is very stable and reliable.
     
  15. engin ber

    engin ber New Member

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    Hi again, I have a hexa for nex5...But now I will build an octo..I want to carry a 5D MARK III. I want buy U5 motor and t-motor 16x5 prop. What do you think Can u5 motor 5D MARK III?..What do yuo suggestion octocopter frame and gimbal..Sory my bad english..
     
  16. Charlie Cushing

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    I started out with DJI and really like their ATTI and GPS modes for flying in any windy conditions, smooth and easy. When I purchased my professional system, CS8, M5, etc my biggest complaint was I didn't like how when I tried to fly in GPS HOLD it fought me the entire time, so after some advice from this forum, I started playing with the GPS ANGLE in MK Tool and they has made all the difference in the world, much more like GPS and ATTI in DJI. Before you get rid of your system, give that a try, you might like it.

    All this said, I has my motor control board start on fire mid flight, due to a BL firmware update I had not immediately done, so yes, the MK learning curve can be an expensive one at times. http://forum.freeflysystems.com/index.php?threads/mikrokopter-motor-failure-and-fire.5606/
     
  17. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    Thats interesting. I seem to feel that the WKM on my system handles winds fairly well. Now I am comparing apples and oranges being that most of my MK flying was the 4S flat 8 with maybe a few months flying it as a 4S X8 before putting it back to a flat 8. I have only flown the WKM in a X8 6S config. It seems unless I am getting 10 knot gust factor my WKM stays fairly planted in one place. Obviously the flat 8's by design are more susceptible to wind. It seemed that I could never find a good sweet spot with 4S Flat MK. I never really got to test the 4S Mk X8 in winds when I did the conversion the winds were always fairly subtle which is not a complaint being that I was still running the crappy servo gimbal. As a flat 8 either it was too reactive in the wind stayed in place well but was too aggressive. If I lowered the gains a bit it seemed to solve it but then in real gusty varying winds it would be under-dampened a bit and move around more. I notice my current X8 seems to make fairly smooth corrections to keep itself within tight spot.

    Of course there other factors such as I am using Xoar electric matched pairs 16 inch props on 330KV motors vs the old APC slow fly props. My motors may have better reaction with a 6S then the 770KV 4S motors. I suppose it all depends on pilot preference of course. As a full system I did like the architecture and the data available on the ON screen display better than the crappy OSD for DJI. It was nice to have total current used and the individual motor temps as well. I did feel a little safer flying the MK around I will admit. Maybe down the road I may give Holger another go.
     
  18. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    according to E-Calc you will have enough power to handle a 5DMKIII on a 10,000 for about 8 minutes on a Cinestar 8 airframe
     

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