Gab707, inspirer of the Ichabod, messaged me with a request. He was shooting inside cramped forest canopies for Nat Geo, and he wanted something smaller and more agile than Ichy, for 5 instead of 6” props. I said why not use Gordo, and he said he wanted something with no props in view with no camera tilt. I said why not use Squirt, and he said it might be windy and Squirt doesn’t handle wind well. So I said ok ok let’s do it.
Gab’s first idea was to mount the fpv cam to the face of the GoPro. The fpv cam sits to the side of the GoPro on Ichy, which forces the front props farther apart. Narrowing the two cams would make the frame substantially tighter. He also suggested pivoting the camera through its cg. This would do a couple things: keep the camera cluster from changing angle when jarred, and keep the overall cg of the quad constant on angle changes. This, however, would require a complicated mount that widens the cluster, so I suggested pivoting it at the mid point at the back of the camera instead.
Gab likes the solidity of Ichy’s 10x10mm arms, he gets no vibes in his video no matter how much throttle he gives it. I thought 8x8 would be good here since we’re going down to 5” props.
So with those parameters I got to work. The layout was pretty similar to Ichabod, with one slight difference. The bottom plate runs the entire length of the frame. On Ichabod, an 1800 runs from the main body (between the arms) to the tail section, so that the battery, once strapped in, reinforces the middle plate. On Junior, a 1300 would be entirely on the tail section, so its momentum could snap a single plate in a crash.
I put a hole in the butt, because butts have holes. No, it’s for an SMA in case you want to tuck the vtx between the body plates. There’s another on the top plate. The 8mm arms are milled out to 3mm under the motors, so you can use the 5mm screws that come with motors (and I won’t have to pack 16 m3x6’s with each frame).
Ichabod uses a big ol’ m5 to lock down the camera. Here, with a smaller frame, I wanted to try something lighter. My mount has a m3x30 standoff inserted in the holder. The standoff protrudes from either side of the holder and gets recessed in the cam mount. m3’s screw in from either side. It took a few iterations to get a configuration that’ll hold the cam angle firmly. m3’s with big socket heads instead of button heads helped as well.