Dead Cat Parts

Buying anything from Hobby King is a bit hit and miss with regards to product availability, even more so if using the local warehouses.

Yes you could buy it all direct from the Global warehouse in Hong Kong, however you are likely to be hit with some fairly hefty shipping charges when the weight goes above about 500g.

I have been limiting the contents of each purchase to 5-10 items totalling less than $100.00 and weighing less than 2kg, this way I can make use of the 48 hour Parcel Force shipping option at $5.50 and also build up my number of orders towards Platinum membership at Hobby King at which point I am automatically their cheapest price, rather than waiting to see if an item will be offered at a one time purchase price.

As a result acquiring all the parts for this build has been spread across 4 or 5 orders and 3 different warehouses (UK, EU and Global), as none of the warehouses had all the required items in stock.

I considered making my own frame several times from aluminium tube and acrylic sheet, however based on the low cost of many of the available frames, I doubt I would actually save much and it certainly would not look as “pretty”.

Originally I was going to use an Hobby King X525 frame, partly because it is cheap at $14.30 (about £8.50)

However this was almost never in stock in the UK warehouse, so after about 6 months of dreaming about this one, I eventually gave up on it.
I also considered the Turnigy Talon V2, however this was quite pricey at £54.59 (£32.88) and the reviews I had read talked quite a lot about the arms snapping on heavy landings, plus parts availability in the UK was pretty slim and also costly.
In the end I settled on the Hobby King SK450 Dead Cat Conversion. $18.99 (£11.40) from the Global Warehouse, (out of stock in UK and EU warehouses) it has plenty of positive reviews, many talking about the strength of the frame.
This is based on the Hobby King SK450 $19.94 (£12.00) from the UK warehouse
You actually need to buy both items as the Dead Cat conversion is just the carbon fibre plates, the conversion makes use of the legs, motor mounts, screws, etc from the main frame kit.
Ideally I wanted some different coloured legs, these are available in red, black and green but only from the Global warehouse at $6.15 a pair (£3.70), however at the time of purchase all of these were out of stock – ah well an item for a future purchase.
The dead cat idea is most likely Hobby King cashing in on the media success of Dutch artist Bart Jansen converting his dead cat Orville into a quadcopter.
One big benefit of the dead cat layout is that the 2 front motors are moved out of the way so that they do not show up in camera footage, plus it has loads of room for mounting all your electronics.
I also carried out months of research on motors and making extensive use of eCalc to eventually settle on the Turnigy D2836/8 1100KV Brushless Outrunner motor at $12.68 (£7.60) each.
The Hobby King 30 ESC 3A UBEC speed controller, 3 of which were bought on a “buddy code” from the EU warehouse at $8.89 (£5.35) each and one at $10.48 (£6.31) from the UK warehouse.
I already have all the parts to make my own MultiWii controller, which I still intend to do, however I thought I would give myself a fighting chance and build my first full sized quad with an off-the-shelf KK2.1.5 controller for $29.99 (£18.00) again from the Global warehouse (as it is not even listed at any of the others).
I also bought a selection of 10×4.5 and 8×4.5 propellers from whichever warehouse actually had them in stock to give me a few options.
So now let’s frighten myself and add up the parts cost.
Item $ Each Qty $ Total
Hobby King SK450 Quadcpter Frame 19.94 1 19.94
SK450 Dead Cat Conversion 18.99 1 18.99
Turnigy D2836/8 1100KV Motor 12.68 4 50.72
Hobby King 30 ESC 3A UBEC 8.89 3 26.67
Hobby King 30 ESC 3A UBEC 10.48 1 10.48
KK2.1.5 MultiWii Controller 29.99 1 29.99
10×4.5 Propellers (4 pack) 3.00 4 12.00
8×4.5 Propellers (4 pack) 2.24 4 8.96
Quadcopter power distribution board 4.18 1 4.18
PolyMax 3.5mm connectors (10 pack) 1.79 2 3.58
Total 185.51
So the total spend is $185.51 (plus about $15.00 in shipping), so let’s call it $200.00 which is about £120.00, which is about half to a the third of the cost of a new Gaui 330X or 500X which retail for around $400-500.00 or £250-300.00.
I am not including the cost of battery, transmitter, receiver, etc, as these can be reused from other projects.

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