ImmersionRC Vortex

 

Ok, I could not resist anymore, after reading some early feedback, I decided to plunge…  Except a few early problems, I think that it will be a good quad…  I can confirm now after a few flights with mine! The Vortex is amazing!

Update:  I ordered the version from Getfpv.com…  It come with Luminier motors that is the equivalent to the T-motor, with 5mm prop adapter…  No more crash kit! Also come with a protection for the LED board in case of a crash when the back arm fold…

Breaking news!  As Nov 2015. the Vortex PRO 250 is out, more info here, when will it be available for all?  Not soon enough is my guess!

Key Features

  • 285-sized foldable Mini-Quad
  • Carbon Fiber and custom injected plastic design
  • Tiltable, Vibration-free Camera mount
  • Integrated Flight Controller and full-graphic On-screen Display
  • Integrated 40-channel NexWaveRF 5.8GHz Video Transmitter 350mw
  • Flexible Camera Mounting Options

Overview

The ImmersionRC team set out to create a unique foldable mini-quad frame and the result is the Vortex Race Quad. The Vortex includes an integrated full-graphic OSD (on-screen display) and custom 5.8GHz video transmitter which feeds your video signal to headsets and monitors without interfering with 2.4GHz transmitter signals.

The integrated flight controller, with 3 axis Gyro, 3 axis Accelerometer, and barometer, is pre-programmed with CleanFlight, and is future-proof, supporting future updates via a USB port on the back of the quad for programming and updates. A set of 8 24-bit RGB LEDs sit on the tail of the Vortex, sandwiched safely between the upper, and lower frame plates. These LEDs are controlled by a dedicated 32-bit ARM processor.

The flexible Vortex camera mount supports both a flight cam and an HD camera such as a GoPro or Mobius. The flight cam is protected from impacts and is suspended from a vibration-dampened carbon-fiber plate. An adjustable bracket allows the camera to be tilted to ensure a good forward view during high-speed racing. A 3A switching regulator allows any HD camera to be powered from the flight pack, allowing unnecessary camera batteries to be left at home.

An on-board NexWaveRF 5.8GHz video transmitter, with 40 channel support, ensures compatibility with any 5.8Ghz A/V receiver on the market. ImmersionRC’s exclusive RaceBand allows 8 pilots to fly together. The on-board OSD allows video transmitter channels to be chosen using the R/C transmitter and is compatible with all ImmersionRC/FatShark, Boscam, Team Black-Sheep, DJI, and ImmersionRC RaceBand channels.

The Vortex includes tuning parameters from Pro-Racers right in the box. Just select the racer, prop size, HD camera choice along with other parameters and the Vortex OSD will set up the flight controller for you. Custom 12A ESCs (16A Peak) with OneShot125 and regenerative braking for crisp-responsive flight using CleanFlight. A 32-bit ARM processor runs each ESC ensuring plenty of processing power to drive even the most fussy brushless motors. The ESCs are so thin that they fit completely into the arm tubes, protected from the elements and the occasional passing tree.

After a weekend with the Vortex:

Pros:

  • OSD with amazing function…  Especially the power consumption.  It calculate your flight time and warn you when you have a minute left of flight time…  I find that I have 20% left of battery left when it tell you to land, it’s perfect and safe for battery…
  • Fly amazing out of the box
  • Jello free HD camera platform
  • PID presets that work good as a base start!

Cons:

  • Vtx antenna attach direct to the board(I correct with an antenna extension, see photos below)
  • CMOS camera are not the best for me anyway…  (I changed mine with a CCD camera, look at the photo)
  •  Do a firmware update! in my case anyway, I couldn’t do anything in Cleanflight and I couldn’t arm the motors.  But after firmware update, everything was working fine.
  • Do yourself a favour and give the prop that come with it to your dog to chew on them!  I’m using Gemfan 5045 with way better result!

 

It just look amazing!

It just look amazing!

 

Taranis Logo

Taranis Logo

You can use this logo image with your Taranis as your Model Logo, just put it on your model folder on the SD card.

CCD camera fit perfect in place with no modification required. Just make sure when you plug the connector that you match it with -/+/v. The connector for the camera is with 4 pins but the Vortex plug fit fine. After a few flight, everything is still in place for me.

CCD camera fit perfect in place with no modification required. Just make sure when you plug the connector that you match it with -/+/v. The connector for the camera is with 4 pins but the Vortex plug fit fine. After a few flight, everything is still in place for me.

CCD Camera fit perfect!

CCD Camera fit perfect!

Antenna mod with an SMA extension. I'm not a fan of having the antenna plug direct to the board.

Antenna mod with an SMA extension. I’m not a fan of having the antenna plug direct to the board.

Check your PPM cable, mine came loose on a flight... Also have a failsafe program with your radio with power off or you could be a witness of your Vortex flying away on you!

Check your PPM cable, mine came loose on a flight… Also have a failsafe program with your radio with power off or you could be a witness of your Vortex flying away on you!

antenna extension

antenna extension

Tested by Jerome! What a job! Flying Vortex... All day long! Where do I sign for a job like that!

Tested by Jerome! What a job! Flying Vortex… All day long! Where do I sign for a job like that!

 Good video on how to get it going:

First video with the Gopro mounted with 15° tilt wedge:

If you are using an EZUHF 4 ch lite rx and want extra protection for it, I got a solution for you:

ImmersionRC EZUHF 4ch Lite Protective Case

ImmersionRC EZUHF 4ch Lite Protective Case

 If you are using a Gopro and don’t have access to a 3d Printer, I got solution for you:

Tilt wedge for GoPro

Tilt wedge for GoPro

A good option to mount your D4R-II on the vortex, available here for you:

If you want a D4r-II mount, again I can get that for you:

Mount for the FrSky D4R-II Receiver

Mount for the FrSky D4R-II Receiver

Vortex Service Bulletins

Reference (FPVlab)

Bulletin 1:

There is a problem with a number of vortexes which prevents the motors from spinning up.

Background – we appear to have exposed a bug in cleanflight which can kick in when the OSD wizard forces the FC to reset. The symptoms are an otherwise perfectly well behaved quad which just refuses to spin the motors when armed. The error state can also make the tabs in cleanflight configurator inaccessible.

I had hoped the firmware fix would be available yesterday, but the NTSC bug that 1.0.0.5 was supposed to address is proving a tricky beast to completely nail down and has resulted in the firmware being pushed back.

Having spoken to Yann, I wanted this fix out there as soon as possible and we agreed that the firmware should be made public in its current state. To that end, this will fix the firmware related motor spin up bug but will not address the NTSC issue, so keep those cameras on pal setting.

So what do you need to know….

First go here, click on “firmware/downloads” and download the firmware file.

– Next make sure you have the latest immersionrc tools software (available at above link)

– Follow the instruction manual (pg 33) for how to update the OSD firmware.

– IMPORTANT in order for this fix to work you MUST reset the wizard by holding down the LED board button for a good 8s. From there run through the setup again and your vortex should come to life.

EDIT – if you are still having issues after this update it is likely you are actually having a problem related to end points. Cleanflight wants to see 1000us at low stick, and 2000us on high stick. Procedures will vary according to your tx, but basically you want to adjust your end points until your sticks reach 1000us at the low end and 2000us at the high end. If you can’t get exactly that, then go slightly below and over (eg 998us and 2002us for example). Some radios will allow you to see this in the monitor page, but if not then you’ll need to go to cleanflight configurator and verify as you adjust.

Bulletin 2:

We have seen a problem where a couple of USB connectors have pulled clean off the traces. The problem has been tracked down to the fact that the USB connector slightly overhangs the PCB at the back, and when pushed tight into the foam packaging this can lever the connector off the board.

What do you need to know? The problem, now identified, has been addressed by adding a tiny bit of material to the lower PCB on all future parts to remove the small overhang. Unfortunately this didn’t come up in beta testing as the final packaging wasn’t used to send them out, and this only became an issue due to the packaging.

To all current owners, if you are using the foam packaging the vortex came in for storage or transport then please just notch the back part slightly to ensure the USB connector lip isn’t being caught as you press it down into its tight fitting home. It shouldn’t cause any issues after that.