ImmersionRC Vortex Setup, Maiden Flight and Issues

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about setting up the Vortex. It sounds like some people can’t even get their quads to fly. My Vortex was pretty much plug and play but I did encounter an issue while setting it up. Keep reading to find out.

[x_video_embed type=”16:9″][/x_video_embed]
I’m using a Taranis X9D transmitter and FrSky D4R-II receiver.  Check out the video above to see the set up.

vortex pidsThe video above was flown in preset 1 with the PIDs that came with the Vortex.  I didn’t get a chance to tune any PIDs because the mosquitos were out in full force.  With these PIDs the Vortex had some crazy yaw drift.  It was hard to fly in a straight line.  I’m not too concerned about it thought.  It can be corrected by tweaking the PIDs.  I can’t blame all the shaky video to the PIDs, some of it was me stomping my legs and swatting mosquitos, sorry.
[custom_headline type=”center” level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]Good Stuff[/custom_headline]

Overall the Vortex flew great!  Even with the stock T-Motor 1806 2300kv motors and 5030 props it felt like it had plenty of punch and was really smooth.  I’m thinking about going beast mode and swapping the motors out with Cobra 2208 2000kv motors but I’m not sure the stock ESC’s will handle it.

The dampened camera mount on the Vortex works great!  I had to ghetto rig my GoPro on it with a folded post-it note for the tilt in the meantime.  I’ll be making custom GoPro and Mobius mounts for it.  Check back soon.  I love how the FPV camera is mounted in a way you can adjust the angle by just moving it with your fingers.

immersionrc-vortex-1010There is a C.G. (center of gravity) line on the bottom of the Vortex that helps you balance the quad.  Having the battery mounted directly on top of that line helps give the Vortex a smooth balanced feeling.  You can adjust the forward/backward position of the battery with the velcro straps to help counter balance the GoPro or Mobius.

I had a minor crash and all it did was bend one of the arms back and broke the prop.  The build of the Vortex feels great, the frame feels rock solid.  All the parts on the Vortex feels like they spent a lot of time developing and are top quality.

[custom_headline type=”center” level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]Bad Stuff[/custom_headline]

During my setup of the Vortex I did have something weird happen.  After I did my settings in Cleanflight, unplugged and powered back up, nothing worked!  My rx was bound but no stick movements, video feed in the goggles but no OSD, and no rear LED’s.  It would connect to Cleanflight but it wouldn’t let me select any of the tabs.  Sometimes I could arm the Vortex with stick movement and the LED would change green but the motors wouldn’t spin.

Sometimes the LED’s wouldn’t even come on.  I had to reset the Vortex several times to fix it.  To reset the Vortex, plug in the battery (and hopefully the rear LED’s will come on) and push the button on the top right of the LED board for 8 seconds.  Resetting the quad will return the Vortex to the factory state in PPM rx mode.  Not sure what happened here but hopefully it will be fixed in the next firmware update.

The Vortex is not full carbon fiber.  The arms, top plate and camera mount is carbon fiber.  The bottom plate is fiberglass reinforced circuit board.  I wouldn’t say this is bad or good.  It’s super stiff though.

The Fatshark 600TVL CMOS camera is not so great.  I prefer the Sony 600TVL CCD camera.  I haven’t flown the Vortex at night but I’m guessing the CMOS will not perform as well as a CCD.  It’s going to be tricky trying to swap out the camera because the CMOS is 5v and the CCD is 12v.

fatshark 600tvl
Vortex 600tVL CMOS camera
sony 600tvl camera
Sony 600TVL CCD Camera

I’ve only had the Vortex for less than a week but so far everything except the minor programming glitch has been great.  With just some minor PID adjustments the ImmersionRC Vortex is going to be a smooth flying beast!







38 responses to “ImmersionRC Vortex Setup, Maiden Flight and Issues”

  1. Matt Avatar

    Can you show us how you tied up your receiver antennas?

    1. FlightClub Avatar
      1. Jim DiEdwardo Avatar
        Jim DiEdwardo

        I have the vortex with the D4R and the mount. It’s all good until I start doing flips and rolls. The plastic pipes on the mount bend and get chopped by the props, along with the receiver antennas. I’ve gone through several now. Any tips on how to better protect the receiver wires?

  2. Jim Linder Avatar
    Jim Linder

    How did you get the motors to completely stop spinning with the failsafe ? I still get spinning.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      Did you have the throttle set at minimum and press the failsafe button briefly, under 1 second?

    2. Shawn B. Avatar

      If you yaw left and full throttle down,when setting up wizard make sure your transmitter end points are correct ,if you see white lines when doing wizard when it ask you to yaw left then add more end point just to the point where white line disappears ,do that for all channels in wizard and you can disarm yaw full left throttle diwn

  3. Russell Avatar

    is it possible to do initial setup without the wizard through the OSD? Was hoping to do all initial settings through CF as I dont have a vrx as yet.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      I’m not sure you can do that. The wizard is how you calibrate your TX and configure it as mode 1 or 2.

  4. epi Avatar

    Hi Russel, apparently you can’t.. See the thread here: which made it very clear that unlike many people’s expectations (and no explicit mentioning of this requirement) you absolutely do need FPV goggles or some other video receiver to go through the TX Wizard. If you don’t follow the wizard through, the cleanflight settings are reset to defaults on every power cycle.

  5. epi Avatar

    @FlightClub: I noticed also (especially under windows) that the USB cable makes a lot of difference.
    1. If you have the USB cable connected and plug your LiPo: often the lights don’t go on, cleanflight can’t connect, etc.
    2. If you plug the LiPo in, wait 2 seconds, plug the USB cable in: it always works (as far as i can tell)
    3. If you plug the usb cable in, the OSD stops working and your FPV goggles only show the raw video feed

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      Thanks for the info! I’ll try that next time

      1. epi Avatar

        very welcome 🙂

  6. jon Avatar

    did you manage to work out the rssi i dont get the height come up in goggles either

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      I don’t think the RSSI works on the Vortex with the D4R-ii.

  7. Ben S. Avatar
    Ben S.

    Thanks for the review. Are you going to be doing a part 3? How does flight performance compare to a similarly setup qav250?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      To be honest I’ve been so busy I haven’t flown this much. But I can tell you I prefer a custom built quad, escecially right now. Vortex spare parts are still hard to find and not very strong. QAV250 parts can be found everywhere and are an easy swap.

  8. Jim DiEdwardo Avatar
    Jim DiEdwardo

    I’m on 64-bit Windows 7 and can’t get Cleanflight connected to the quad because the ImmersionRC USB to UART drivers are not being recognized (exclamation point next to line items in Device manager). I ran the correct exe from the link you provided for CP210x USB to UART Bridge VCP Drivers, and it appeared to install correctly.

  9. peter Avatar

    hey did you allready tune the quad? i’m lost guys, i have new lipos (4s 45c) and now th quad is shaking when given more them 50% throttle.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      No, no tuning was done in this video. If your quad is shaking, lower your P value in the pitch.

  10. Rdl77 Avatar

    I tried loading ummagawds profile, it lost the horizon and angle mode, its stuck in acro mode, is that normal?

  11. Shawn B. Avatar

    Use acro mode and ammugod setting,it’s precision

  12. Genetics Avatar

    OMG- I am so glad I read all these entries before ok’d pay pal got this purchase! Overall it “LOOKS” cool but as we all know “LOOKS” don’t keep you in the air! There are just too many problems with this POS! I can’t believe it actually made it into production AND AT THE COST – LMAO! That’s absolutely INSANE! What is wrong with people that they don’t have the patients to wait for a SOLID platform.

    Either way I thank each & every one of you for your honesty & I’ll stick with the Totem Q-330 ! Although it doesn’t have all the little gadgetry it spools up every time & does its job ! As far as I can see & from what everyone has mentioned , this platform is really just an overrated piece of ???

    1. Mofoe Avatar

      I have a vortex…I luv it. I have had some issues. Albeit, becuz I’ve flown it and learned Acro with it thereby having many crashes. At this point its been a tank. The LED lights go out relatively easy without restraining the arms. But the Vortex has allowed me to stay in the air while having to work thru issues with my other drone. This post on flight club helped me a lot. The Vortex tho, I can vouch for.

  13. nick Avatar

    I know you later installed that mount and thanks for the link but can you still show us how you manually made your FrSky antenna stand up please?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      I just used zip ties and heat shrink tubing in this video. But that’s before I designed a d4r-ii mount for the Vortex.

  14. nyartboy Avatar

    A couple questions. Can this handle 6045 props on 3S? Also where do you find replacement parts? Specifically the arms and ESCs? What size motors does the ‘race edition’ come with? Thanks in advance. Great vid. Im close to buying one but a little worried about repairs.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      I sold mine so i’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure 12a esc’s with 2300kv motors can’t handle 6045 props. You’d need something like 20a esc with 2000kv motors to push that kind of thrust. 2300kv’s are really made for 5″ props only.

      1. nyartboy Avatar

        Thanks. You say you sold it. Would you still recommend it? My skills on FPV have gotten quite good but I don’t have a lot of time to build anymore. I was also considering the new Emax Nighthawk Pro 280. Thoughts?

        1. jimd Avatar

          I also sold my Vortex recently. I’m new to the hobby and wanted to ease-into it with a pre-built quad. However, after crashing a few times I became disillusioned with the ‘folding arm’ feature because it seems that the plastic parts holding the mechanism in place are easily damaged. I purchased both crash kits, fixed it up like new, and sold it on Ebay. I have to say though, the Vortex did fly very well. Now with the help of these great FPV-FlightClub tutorials I’m feeling ready to build my own. (QAV210). I’ll post up my build on YouTube when done.

          1. FlightClub Avatar

            I’ve got the QAV210 on the way with build video coming soon 🙂

        2. jimd Avatar

          By the way, check out FPV Freerider it is an awesome sim, and only costs $5.

        3. Jimd Avatar

          I strongly recommend building your own (I would go with the Alien). It will fly far better than any prebuilt quad.

          1. Nicholas Goss Avatar

            Oh rubbish. I have a mix of pre built and self built quads and some of my pre builds fly the best of all.

  15. Serhey Hohna Avatar
    Serhey Hohna

    I am going to buy this copter and use with Fatshark Dominator V3 goggles. Do I need to buy also an antenna and receiver module for the goggles?

  16. Victor Edwards Avatar
    Victor Edwards

    I just bought mine I don’t care yet to use the goggles. I don’t have a computer to set the wizard up. I just want to play with it for a while to get comfortable before I get into that. Can somebody give me a heads up as I got zero instructions or directions with my model.

    1. Nick Avatar

      You can’t fly the vortex until it’s been setup. To set it up you need a screen either goggles or LCD screen, both of which will need a video RX. It won’t fly until that’s done.

      1. Victor Avatar

        Thanks Nick.bought a tablet for it.. So i push the button on the led bar to reset wizard but how does tablet come up with the wizard screen? Sorry for the ignorance but I am fairly new. Thanks Nick!!

        1. Nick Avatar

          Stop buying stuff and do some reading first. Your making common mistakes. You don’t want or need a tablet for the vortex. You need either a set of goggles that come with a 5.8ghz receiver or an LCD screen that comes with a 5.8ghz receiver. For example screen from Hobbyking or set of goggles from Banggood (I use these)×800-HD-Video-Glasses-with-HDMI-Input-p-1041124.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *