Multiplex Easystar Bath tub, belly hatch, OSD, hidden GPS, hidden camera and more
Multiplex Easystar Bath tub, belly hatch, OSD, hidden GPS, hidden camera and more
Aug 20 2011 by FaTe
Quick jump
The EasyStar is an amazing plane for FPV but stock it doesn't offer lots of room, in part 3 of this project we will change all that.

We will be creating a much bigger nose area with a bath tub modification, the belly will be opened up to give more space for anything you want. I didn't like the video transmitter up front in the pod so it'll be moved too the tail along with the GPS chip.

Lastly the camera up top is nice but I'm not picky on view point so I'm opting for a nose camera installation but not just up top but hidden in the nose itself.
The Bath tub mod
First step is cutting the nose top off, however the nose is quite thick so a hobby knife is no good you will need a fresh blade Stanley knife.
You can see once you cut it off there is massive amounts of space inside, lots more than can be accessed with the nose still in place.
I used balsa wood to frame the edges of the inside flat, at this point I am only using UHU por glue.
Note the front bulkhead block is upright and also straight not angled, this is important for the camera later.
Obviously some balsa wood by itself won't be very strong. So add in a piece of PCB plastic which fits inside the balsa frame area, it is 20CM by 4CM if using 10MM balsa.
Now to bond the frame all together by using Bell Zell glue. This glue is meant for foam and plastic but it bonds just as well too Balsa. Fill the gaps inside and out, wait about 40 minutes until the top is tacky dry then push the Bell Zell down flat, it will then hold that shape.
Now I'm using the camera mount I made in the Pod project, this allows me to change the angle of the camera if it's slightly off. Using Bell Zell again to fix the mount into place.
The camera lens is just above foam level, when the nose goes in place it will hide the camera.
The whole nose once the Bell Zell is dry becomes solid and provides an excellent mounting surface for anything you want!

I am waiting for a new camera arriving, I plan on cutting out a "cone" shape into the nose front too the camera lens, this means the camera can see out but they will be very little side light to effect the camera.
VTX tail placement
I created a slot area for the Video Transmitter (VTX) and aerial to sit in place, ignore the red velcro I replaced it with a bigger black one which fills the whole area.
You can see the VTX in place with it's Clover-Leaf antenna, now for the lines.
I ran the video and power lines down through the tail boom into the belly hatch area. Now all that can be seen on the entire plane too indicate it's a FPV model is the VTX itself!
Hidden GPS installation
I wanted the GPS unit too be water proof for snow in winter, I cut out an area in the boom big enough for the entire chip too sit in.
I the cable down a hole I made into the belly hatch area using an aluminium pipe I heated with a lighter and then quickly poked through. Worked perfect
To hide the overlay and chip I cut out an unused decal from the EasyStar.
Now the Chip head shows through the star middle and the rest of the construction is nicely hidden under the decal.
Belly hatch
The belly hatch mod is not the easiest at all, because of the design having solid/void hatch area's you will find suddenly the knife has no resistance, so take your time!
I made my belly hatch 20CM long! You can see I used the same balsa/ply method as in the nose using Bell Zell.
First I wanted the OSD (On Screen Display) installed, so I used velcro on 2 sides (bottom and side).
Next its time for the radio receiver (RX) which I place right up front. This leaves enough space in the middle to house either a HD photo camera OR 1300mAh size Lipo battery.
It's still a bit of a wire jungle but I've got more tidying up to do yet.
Using PCB I made a cover. I made an angled piece on the bottom which slots under the balsa wood frame side which holds the front side in. On the top is a carbon fibre rod
I replaced the standard white aerial tube on the bottom with 6MM carbon fibre tube for the entire length, re-enforcing the tail boom.
Now the hatch cover rod on the top can slot into the other carbon fibre tube then bending the PCB slot in the front creating a good hold. I plan on putting magnets in also.
This is the bulk of the build, I'll post a part "b" later when the camera, magnets and COG is balanced.
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