X4 Owners: How long did assembly take you?

Pending updates on part availability, I am considering purchase of the X4. I am taking a trip in about two months to which I would like to take this unit. I am wondering how much time I should allot for assembly in deciding whether the parts will ship in time. I.e. if the parts arrived the same day I planned to leave then it would be a no go. But what about a week before? Is ~12 hours enough time to assemble?

I know this will vary from person-to-person. I have some experience assembling electronics through repairing older devices and design/development classes and my roommate has ample experience with electronics and soldering. Wondering what the pain points are in building and how many work hours it takes from beginning to end.

Also, wondering if there are any necessary tools or materials not mentioned in “OpenPPG Open Guide”. The only thing I’ve noted is that people say to invest in a high quality soldering iron and wire cutters, so I would probably replace my ~$20 unit I’ve had for almost ten years :).

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I will suggest that planning to have an X4 shipped, built, and flown a few times, is not possible in only two months; unless your day job is building X4s. The batteries will take that long to ship. If you had everything ready at hand to start right away, then two months is probably plenty of evenings and weekends to put it together. Twelve hours isn’t enough.

Beyond the time frame its just a bad idea to have a looming deadline for a project like this. It’ll make you rush something or cut a corner somewhere to see it ready in time. “Gottaflyitis” kills aviators.

Where my schedule went long was sourcing and waiting for parts to do the second main switch with the spark protection, and waiting for the bonkas. After that I probably spent more time thinking about how/where to run wires than soldering them. Also, mounting the batteries took some thinking. Finally my kit was short a few M3 bolts so I waited for Paul to send me some rather than ordering them online or finding them at a specialty hardware store.

The soldering iron doesn’t need to be so much of high quality as simply big. The wires are big, the connectors are big. You need to transfer a lot of heat quickly and that means a big piece of copper. I used a torch. A big soldering iron is better.

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I was a batch 3 I think. I found it to be a task that required a dedicated area and I did many upgrades done with the 3D printer.
I traded all my PPG for Flexwing - Looking back and comparing if I was still doing PPG I would go with SP140 - so much more a cleaner set up with less wiring and components…less chance of an issue happening.
Once you take the cage/net of the SP140 you a almost as small a unit as a folded X4 IMHO

Did mine over 3 days not to bad once you get going

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It’s been over a year & still not completed!
There’s many many design choices to be made. For instance the main power switch, surface mounting connectors, battery mounting. You could do a workable unit in a few weeks but to build a high spec x4 with great attention to detail & safety will take a long long time. At the moment it’s taking me ages just to enlarge 4 holes in the back plate for grommets to protect the props, but I could have just bought some prop covers. The kit could be made a lot easier: for instance more 3D parts included, aforementioned holes cut bigger, better anti-spark switch included (maytech). As it is, the basics are there and it really is an impressive & unique design. If you have a lot of spare time & enjoy the tinkering & the achievement of building it I would recommend the X4. It’s a little lighter in weight than the xp140 & no torque & less money.

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Jesus on a bicycle – and my wife says I’m slow :rofl:
That thing better have anti-grav when your done :+1:

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I didn’t originally built my X4. However I’ve rebuilt it twice now (I had a short that burned a lot of things…). Every time it gets faster.

If you have a drill with the correct bit, there is no reason why it would take more than a couple of evenings. Takes me less than 5 minutes to take off the back plate, four arms and leg assembly. About the same going back on. Really easy to work on.

Go find Paul’s thread though and pre-order the pre-start resistors and extra capacitors for the ESC’s. Makes life so much easier to do it from the beginning than to go back and take it all apart.

I looked back over my build album…and from the time I started building until I fired it up in the park, it was almost exactly a month. I was trying to still have a “life” during that time and was also waiting on an order or two to arrive so I could finish. I had to order a bit of #8 wire, the heavy duty bronze ends, the hand press to install them and a resistor for the priming circuit. I really enjoyed the build process and have continued to make minor modifications over time.:slightly_smiling_face: I love this machine.


I built mine in 3 days and test flew it in the morning of the 4th day. Then I spent the next several months designing little 3D printed improvements for it while flying it every evening that had good weather.


…and I spent the next several months adding some of GliderPilot’s mods! :+1::+1: