The SlateRS Story

Slate RS

5/4/2019 | David Jones

The Full Story

The Slate is built on the backbone of our very first, ever FPV frame, the Idein RS. The Idein was designed in a time when we did not have the reliable and well stocked local hobby shops we have today.

Destroying a VTX or a camera not only hit your wallet hard, but you would have to wait weeks for them to ship from international stores if you did not have a spare to replace it. Damaging equipment when you did not have spares would literally ground you for weeks, spares were just not available locally.

Enter the Idein RS, designed specifically to protect your electronics and battery, and be a reliable and fun flying quad.

Lets be honest, if you knew you were not going to break your frame or electronics how much more would you try, how much more would you push yourself to become a better pilot and at the end of the day how much more fun would you have bettering your skills! The RS quickly became well know in our small South African community for its rugged, take a knock, protect your equipment kind of attitude. Unfortunately the Idein RS, what it made up for in protection and ruggedness was complex and hard to put together. 

After conducting a poll in our community and getting feedback from everyone who had flown the RS we set out with a new design spec and goal in mind, of what we actually want from our next iteration of the Idein RS.

The list below is what you guys asked for:

  1. - A tough and reliable frame
  2. -Prepared to sacrifice weight and drag for a stronger more reliable frame
  3. - Multiple pilot camera options (micro, mini, standard )
  4. -Easy to adjust pilot camera
  5. - Protection is a must for electronics, battery and cameras
  6. - Must carry an HD camera
  7. - Accessories are awesome!
  9. With this list always in mind, we started sketching and trying out different configurations, planforms and layouts of components and electronics for the frame. Quickly I realised that adding a big clunky HD camera into the mix and making it compact and still look good proved difficult, yet again. The original RS was designed as a frame separately and then we added the HD camera mount options on afterwards. I did not like the way this had turned out so wanted to incorporate the HD camera option into the frame design itself. 

  10. Something which I remember was mentioned time after time in the poll, was protection for electronics, battery and HD camera. I gave the electronics stack here priority, then the HD camera and then the battery, when it came to protection.
  11. Protecting the electronics stack is pretty straight forward, as long as the frame stays intact you good, battery and HD camera are more tricky. I gave priority to the camera purely due to their much higher cost and fragile nature.
  12. Incorporating HD camera protection into the design and still trying to make it look cool, proved to be the one biggest hurdle in this design. Eventually we came up with the game plan of keeping the sides of the frame fixed, so no moving parts, and then to also use them as protection for the camera itself. Double up on the functionality to minimise complexity and weight. Then instead of raking the front of the camera further up and putting it in even more harms way. We fixed the front of the camera and rotated the rear of the camera further down into the frame, further improving the camera protection. This approach really does make a difference even thought he change is rather subtle, I mean you still have a glass box hanging off the front of your quad but setting it back and into the frame between the side plates really does offer more protection. The number of broken HD cameras we have had since moving away from the conventional GoPro mounting solution has definitely decreased.

Now I'm not hating on fpv camera manufactures, but it seemed almost, without fail, every couple months a new pilot camera would hit the market and it wouldn't fit a frame. this was rather frustrating. We have completely gotten rid of this issue by not making the Slate specific to any camera. There are no adjuster slots or small M2 holes for cameras anywhere on the frame. What we have introduced is a range of different print options so you can print out a camera bracket for what ever camera you have and it will still fit nicely and snugly into your frame.                                                                                                                                                                  Adjusting and getting to the pilot camera is also really simple with this bracket system, removing two bolts you can rotate the entire camera out the bottom of the frame so you can work on it. No need to battle trying to fiddle with a camera of lens inside a tiny space anymore.

The build cavity for stacking boards, is, well, unconventional for us. We have never given so much build space for any frame before. There is a full 25mm vertical build space and enough space to stack three boards and then another three boards behind those. Yes you can stack 6 boards into this frame, so loads of options, possibilities and space to mount any equipment you may want to cram in there. 

There are also a couple cool accessory options for the rear stack space. So in keeping with a neat and simple frame but the flexibility to make it your own, we have added in the option to fit different plates over the rear stack cavity. There is a micro stack with M2 bolt hole option.  There is an option with zip-tie slots for securing oddly sized electronics or VTXs. Finally there is a blank plate (blank slate) with the option to drill and cut to suite your own custom requirements for anything you might want to secure down.

The last rear stack option is also something new for FridayFPV, we have introduced, as an accessory, an aluminium VTX heat sink. Now you can run your VTXs at maximum power and not worry about them cooking themselves and your video quality degrading. Flying bandos or forests at maximum power is now not a concern. Simply secure the aluminium vtx cooler in place and either zip-tie or bolt your VTX into position. The Friday Fridge Block will have you VTX running at a breezy cool temperature in no time. 

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