Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bought another HK Quanum Nova Quadcopter

While HobbyKing had them on sale last week (at extreme discount) I went ahead and picked-up a second PnF Quanum Nova. While I originally bought it for spare parts, I'm thinking I might set-it-up in an alternate configuration, and fly it for a while (until I need the parts). I ordered from USA East Warehouse (in Arkansas) and it arrived 5 business days.

While my original Nova was one of the first off the assembly-line a year ago, this one has more updated-revision components.

Flight Controller: APM_252 v5.0 (now with pre-installed Molex Pico-Blade sockets for Telemetry, Compass, and Power-Module)
Power Distribution Board: v1.7
ESCs: 4x v1.6 (no sockets to PDB connection)
Compass: Original small one, hot-glued inside puck
GPS: BeStar BS-280 (different than first Nova, but likely still comparable to an uBlox 6-series)

Looking forward to finally having a Power-Module on an aircraft and I'm hoping the barometer on this FC is more precise than my old one.

Compass socket came pre-bent (pulled-away from board) so I hope it's ok. Is still comes with special ArduCopter v3.1.2 pre-loaded. I pulled boards apart to check I2C port and general soldering. Not great but checks with ohm-meter. I installed black-tape insulation between USB-port case and lower PCB before re-assembling. General soldering on ESCs and stuff looks ok. I will fire it up soon and test log-memory, barometer, and general functions.
The supplied silver and black prop-nuts seem to be from a different vendor than old ones. They have more of a matte finish now. One of the new black ones starts to bind if tried to screw all the way down (without a propeller installed). However, it only happens on ONE of the CCW motors (not the other). That seems to point to a slightly out-of-spec motor thread. However, if replace both black ones with older (glossy finish) spares, binding goes away. Definite varying thread tolerances on both the motors and nuts ... might be why some people have "props-flying-off" problems at first.

As a quick test, I hooked up a X8R-RX, loaded some stock params from MissionPlanner, and got it to Arm. Motors seem to spin. Sensors seem to work. Logs (ram memory) are working. BEC is outputting 5.25volts under load. All looks good so I will start my mods and build-up (using tips I have learnt on first one).


  1. Got the same one. Killer sale. Looking forward to seeing how you hookup power. Telem and all with the new plugs

  2. I thought about it to long and didn't get the second one. Arg. Damn good price too.
    Like you I have the model with the updated electronics. But I have to fabricate a Telemetry cable, as my cable has a servo connector at one end, not pico type.
    At the lower price, a second one would have been a great project unit, perhaps to take the electronics and motors to another frame... Like a HK450!

  3. Is the UART port the telemetry port?

  4. I bought one of these about the same time as you bought your second one. I'm glad to hear about the port. Was dreading the thought of soldering to those tiny pads. I think telemetry is going to be my first upgrade. By the way, thanks for these posts, I have found them to be very informative and useful.

  5. Will you post the stock second nova's parameter here?

    1. It was just a PnF, so I doubt those params were even programmed accurately or checked. Isn't this what you are looking for instead?

      Also, see this:


The stupid spammers have now forced me to approve each Comment before it appears (but I am usually pretty quick about it).