Outfitting the Gaui 500X for FPV and Aerial Photography

Unafraid to Crash

Several months ago I picked up a Gaui 500X Quad Flyer kit.  I wanted an inexpensive platform for learning FPV (first person view) flying and light aerial photography.  I have several larger multicopters for professional photography.  But I wanted a small practice aircraft that would be cheap to fix.  I didn’t want to be afraid to crash it, while improving my piloting skills.  This article takes a look at the Gaui 500X for this purpose.

Gaui 500X First Impressions

When I first opened the box, I was impressed with the engineering quality of the whole package.  For example, the ESC’s are amazingly tiny.  They fit inside the quad’s arms, so both wires and ESC’s are hidden.   Very nice.  The wiring harness is an extremely small and simple design, constructed from bullet connectors soldered together.  Reliable.  There’s a very light weight blade guard to prevent blade strikes should the copter bump into something.  The arms of the quad are foldable, so you can pack the whole thing in a small canvas bag (included in some kits).  And there’s an optional lighting kit with LED’s for each motor mount.  This makes day flying easier and night flying possible.

Good Motors, Good Electronics

In case you’re wondering whether there might be overheating problems with internally mounted ESC’s, the motors and ESC’s run warm, but never hot.  Even with heavy loads (over 1600 grams but under the 2200 gram limit), I’ve never had overheating (unlike my larger multicopters).    The Scorpion motors are small, but efficient and ample for the quad plus a small camera.

Gaui 500X Motors and Electronics in an AGL Hobbies frame

Gaui 500X Motors and Electronics in an AGL Hobbies frame

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How To Get Started In Aerial Photography


What’s It Really Take?

Back in November 2009, I posted an article about choosing (radio controlled) helicopters for aerial photography. At the time, I was looking for the cheapest way to get professional quality results for both still and video. Back then,  you’d need about $3k worth of helicopter (or more). You’d also need to hire a pilot, or spend a year or more likely two years learning to fly it yourself.

Well, all that’s changed. There are new helicopter designs with ever more sophisticated electronics. The new designs are cheaper, more stable, easier to fly, stay in the air longer, and are safer and easier to repair than “conventional” helicopters. And as digital cameras get smaller and lighter, the loads placed on these helicopters are reduced. This makes it possible to use smaller, less powerful helicopters to get the job done. Sound good? Here are the details… Continue reading