My EasyStar FPV

Obsolete – The Easystar is no longer in use.

This is my Easystar FPV (First Person Video) model aircraft project.

The Multiplex Easystar is the favourit choice to build an FPV aircraft. Cheap, easy to build, easy to fly and because of the pusher engine there is no propeller in front. It’s fuselage and wings made from Elapor foam is easy to handle, nearly impossible to destroy and a good base to modify the aircraft for FPV needs.

The following documentation shows some steps during my construction progress and may you get an idea about the modifcations I did on my Easystar.

First a list of components I used for the aircraft:

STEP 1 – Making space for the hugh LiPo battery, the motor and brushless controller


Step 1

More space for the LiPo battery, the motor and brushless controller.

In the lower part of the inner fuselage there is enough space now
for the battery. The correct position of the battery will be determinated later to adjust the COG. Since I want to add the FPV equipment where the canopy should be, the battery can be moved also behind the defined COG for better adjustment possibility.

The motor frame is already glued in one half of the fuselage and you can see the space where the BLC will be placed – directly in front of the motor. The advantage are the short motor wiring (to keep EMI as low as possible) and the BLC will be situated in the cooling air flow which goes through the motor nacelle.

I also enlarged the canopy opening by 1cm cutting the front part a bit. For the reason to get the battery out of the fuselage more easy.

STEP 2 – Brushless controller fixed and place for receiver found


Step 2

Brushless controller fixed and cables are routed.

A bit hot glue keeps the BLC in place and fixes the cable routing.

There will be some space left and right of the BLC to be able to reach the screws which fix the motor to the frame even when both fuselage frames are glued together.


Step 3

Battery and receiver on there place.

The battery and recever are temporary put on there foreseen places. The battery will move fore or aft to adjust the right COG.

STEP 4 – Tail reinforcement


Step 4

Tail reinforced with carbon tube.

The tail of the EasyStar is reinforced with a 10mm carbon tube. Also the space for the 8″x4.5″ folding prob is visible.

STEP 5 – Ailerons


Step 5.1

Aileron


Step 5.2

Aileron Servo on top of wing.


Step 5.3

Aileron lower side of wing.


Step 5.4

Lower part of aileron servo. will be covered with a layer of glass later.

A very popular modification of the EasyStar are ailerons. The main reason for this modification is the small rudder, so people either making a bigger rudder or adding ailerons. Ailerons making more sense since you add another control option to the aircraft. I will use them not with an Y cable but each servo connected to a separate channel which give the full mixer authority of the transmitter.

Each aileron servo is placed vertically in the airfoil with the control arm on the top side of the wing. There are two reasons for this, first to keep the air flow on the lower side of the wing as laminar as possible, and second to protect the servo in case of landing in high grass. (Based on experience from people in the EasyStar forum)

STEP 5.1 – Make the wings more rigid – recommended!

The standard wing spare which comes in the kit is nice, but not enough. During a hard landing one of the wing half broke right where the spare ended.

On a new wing I glued 55cm long, 8mm diameter, carbon tubes in each wing half. The original slot has to be extended for this.

A 6mm carbon tube, length like the original wing spare, is glued half in the 8mm carbon tube of one wing. The remaining half of the 6mm carbon tube will slide into the 8mm tube in the other wing.

Result is an incredible rigid, unbreakable wing.

STEP 6 – Power to the fuselage – the motor


Step 6.1

Motor and probeller installed.

The two halfs of the fuselage are now glued together and the AHM 23-10 ES BL motor is installed.Since the BLC is directly behind the motor the cables are very short, but long enough to pull the motor out for soldering the wires. The wires are rolled beside the BLC when the motor is fixed to the frame.


Step 6.2

The space in fuselage made for the probeller is now finished with some layers of glass. Note the size of the prop.

The space cutted for the prop is now covered by some layers glass to cover all holes from cutting, stabilize the section a bit more and for good airflow. There is enough space for the actual installed 8″x4.5″(20-11) propeller. Performance with the CAM prop is ok so far and drives the EasyStar very good.

Now I use a APC 7×5 prop with the AHM 23-10 and this is a real performance boost. Also the prop is less noisy.


Step 6.3

The screws to fixe the motor to it’s frame a reachable through the NACA inlet in front of the motor, left and right of the BLC.

Two screws, secured with Loctide, fixing the motor to the frame. They are reachable through the NACA inlet in front of the motor nacelle, left and right of the BL controller. A bit tricky to install but not impossible – hopefully no need to remove them to often. 🙂

In the middle of the air inlet you can see the BLC sitting directly in the airflow, so very good conditions for cooling.

STEP 7 – Ready to fly

Finally my Easy is ready to fly.
Fuselage and wings are ready, servos and receiver connected. Before maiden flight I need to setup the right COG which will be tricky I think. Since I modified the motor and propeller the performance will be much higher than the basic power set.


Step 7.1

My Easy, finished with flaperons fully set.

My Easy, ready to maiden flight, just canopy is missing. The ailerons are mixed to flaperon mode and fully set.

Step 7.2

EasyStar on simple COG scale.

With the motor just turning in idle the nose is already pushed down. So for full power the COG must move far back than the recommended setting of the instruction.
The Easy is sitting on a simple wooden scale for estimating the COG.

By the way, take-off weight measured in this configuration is 831g.

STEP 8 -Painted

Finally the EasyStar is really finished. I put some paint on it, light grey and orange, and black on the nose to reduce shutter effects for the FPV camera.

EasyStar painted

FPV Step 1 – The carrier

The fix part of my FPV camera carrier is finished.

Made from 2mm and 1mm plywood the carrier hold the pan part of the camera, a place for the video transmitter and also a GPS receiver. A Wi.232 will be added later for telemetry down-link to a ground station.

FPV Carrier fix part

FPV Carrier with GPS, video TX and pan servo

The FPV carrier is already made and tested. Unfortunately the pan servo, a Hitec HS-55, is not able to make a 180° turn. I already tried to modify it put the potentiometer inside the servo is the limiting factor here.

EasyStar painted

The antenna is a self-made coaxial type, tuned with a Vector Network Analyzer for best VSWR results at the desired video channel.

I’m just thinking to add a clear plastic ball around the camera for protection and better aerodynamics. Now it’s like a brick in the wind.

EasyStar painted

My EasyStar ready for operation:

FPV Easystar ready for operation

Take-off weight of the full operational Easystar is now 1060g.

FPV carrier with Pan&Tilt, Video transmitter and Wi.232 module. The GPS is integrated below the square field in the nose. An air-intake is needed to keep the Remzibi OSD cooled.

FPV Carrier on Easystar

The Remzibi OSD is fixed below the FPV carrier. The FPV equipment is powered from the main battery through an EMI filter made of a 100uH/2A coil, two 100nF capacitors and a 100uF capacitor. GPS is powered through the OSD. An analog input of the OSD is used to show the RSSI level from the Schulze receiver.

Bottom of FPV carrier with Remzibi OSD and EMI filter

Easy Star FPV Carrier
Easy Star FPV Carrier
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7 thoughts on “My EasyStar FPV

  1. Thank you for posting your modifications, tips, pictures, and parts list. I’m contemplating building something similar myself, and it helps to read up before making an investment.

  2. Michael
    Your Easy Star looks really good, I am currently building two of them, I will be using your wing spar mod. Can you tell me what brand of paint you used, wether spray can or airbrush and did you do any prep work ?
    Thanks
    Rich Tomanek

    • I used standard water based acryl paint, just used a brush, no special preparation.

      However, I wouldn’t paint it again. Paint is sticking not that good, if you put some tape and pull it off later the paint is gone. Also the paint goes off when the foam is scratched or squeezed.
      So just use some colored tape and keep the rest as is.

      • Hi,
        Iam currently rebuilding my old Easy* for FPV use and i really liked your FPV pod that has the GPS holder attached.
        Is there a way that you share the pod plans with me as i would love to build one for myself too?
        Thank you for the tutorial.
        Teo

        • I could share the plans but there are at least two problems zou will run in:

          1. The pod will not fit in an orignial Easy*, the acces to the fusolage on mine is around 15mm larger to get my big batteries in and out.
          2. The GPS on this place will not work if you run a 1.2/1.3GHz video TX direct in front of it. I ended up to place the GPS in the nose and the video antenna out on the wing using coax to connect the VTx.

          If you would like to have the plans anyway then let me know.

          • Hello, Michael.

            Thanks for the excellent tutorial. I built a platform for my Easystar to hold an ardupilot, but your design is much better. If your plans are still available, could you send me a copy?

            Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks and …

            Regards … Fritz

          • See file attachment of this page.
            Use 2mm plywood.
            Do not scale while printing!

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