My first 250 size quadcopter frame was a ZMR250 which I have been told is a clone of a Blackout 250. The Blackout costs $150 from GetFPV while the ZMR is available for as low as $20 from various sources. I got my first one from Banggood in May 2015, it required some drilling to get the 2204 motors to fit the arms and the SMA VTx to fit through the top plate, but I was pretty happy with it overall.
My initial build included:
- Banggood ZMR250 Carbon Fiber Frame
- SimonK 20Amp ESCs
- SunnySky 2204/2300kv Motors (I think they were knock-offs)
- 700tvl Sony Board Camera
- ImmersionRC 600mw VTx and Spironet Antennas
- Naze32 Flight Controller
- Home-made Power Distribution Board
I chose black and orange as a color scheme using orange shrink-wrap and propellers. After making a lot of mistakes and burning myself with the soldering iron a dozen or more times I decided to name the plane “Orange Pain”.
Since May I have rebuilt the machine a number of times due to burnt out or broken parts. I have gone through a Naze32, two 600mw VTx, a very expensive board camera, a top plate, three motors, three SN20a ESCs, and a ton of props. I bought an FPVModel ZMR250 and built it as a second plane but have since parted it out.
The current iteration of Orange Pain includes:
- A mixture of Carbon Fiber parts from the original Banggood frame and a FPVModel ZMR250 V2 frame
- RotorGeek RG20A ESCs
- SunnySky 2204/2300kv (I think these are real)
- Fatshark 250mw VTx
- 600tvl Sony Board Camera PZ4020
- Naze32 Flight Controller
- DYS Power Distribution Board
I think this is a great setup for an intermediate racer or daily basher. I am currently struggling to get the tune on it right and am ready to pay someone else to tune it for me.
After rebuilding the machine a number of times I have learned a few things.
The expensive FPV cameras are not worth it, stick with the $30 Sony PZ4020 or PZ4020M with or without a case.
600mw Video Transmitters are not needed and the extra heat can greatly shorten the life of the unit. A 200mw or even 25mw transmitter may last a long longer and provide a signal that is comparable to the higher-powered transmitters at racing and public park distances.
If you short out a flight controller it is probably ruined. It is good to have an extra on hand.
Spend the extra money on 2 sets of drivers, keep one set in a toolbox at home and carry the other set with you.
I really enjoy my ZMR and recommend them for people getting started who want to build their own. The FPVModel ZMR250 V2 is made of a much higher quality carbon fiber than the Banggood frame, but the cheaper frame is not a bad buy.