Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hobbyking S500 Frame Review

S500 Quadcopter
I am building a new quadcopter for higher quality photography using the hobbyking s500 frame, which is similar to the sk450, but slightly larger.  It is now flying and I can comment on its pros and cons.


  • Slightly stiffer arms than Sk450
  • Plenty of space for electronics
  • Higher landing gear to allow for camera gimbal
  • Adjustable mount for gimbal - can shift gimbal forward and backward 
  • Integrated pcb for power distribution 
  • Spare parts available
  • Low cost 


  • Landing gear not too sturdy 
  • Landing gear too low to use included adjustable mount with 2 axis gimbal, have to hard mount to pcb
Note Top of Landing Gear, too flexible, not well attached to frame

I used sunnysky 2212 motors and they are much better than the turnigy motors on the SK450 - powerful, quiet, less vibration, smaller. I was also able to use my pixhawk controller which would not interface properly to the turnigy plush ESCs when I tried it on the SK450. For the S500 build, I used low cost Spider ESCs with SimonK firmware, which worked well with the pixhawk. Carbon fiber props and the previously reviewed Flysky i10 radio rounded out the build. 

First outdoor test flight is shown below. 


The S500 is a good frame for a camera quadcopter, but it is not recommended for a beginner builder. Modifications are needed for camera mounting, the landing gear, and perhaps for power wiring so it helps if you have some experience with building  quads. 

S500 fully assembled with Gimbal, Telemetry

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