Adding Retractable Landing Legs to Predator 650

I bit the bullet and purchased the 600-class Quick Release Universal Retractable Gear Set to upgrade from the Crab Leg Landing Gear Set on my Predator 650 build.

Upgrading to a servo-driven landing leg set means the legs can be toggled to raise/lower from a spare channel on the receiver, I envision using this for aerial photography where footage is currently obstructed by the crab legs.

I chose the 600-class retractable gear set as I wanted only a single channel sacrificed on the receiver and didn’t want to run two 450-class sets – which is designed for smaller frames – in parallel.

To mount the retractable gear set to the frame I purchased 4 x Shock absorbing CNC aluminum tube clamp (10mm) which will fit the 10mm rails on the underbelly of the Predator 650 frame. A perk of this particular landing gear set is below the servo bar is ideal space to mount a camera gimbal, this be be done without modification.

I’ll update this post when the item arrives 🙂

[5 days later…]

Retractable landing legs arrived and they’re big! I’m thinking the 450-class set would have been fine, but I have not installed them yet so am still confident I made the right choice. Also the 4 additional tube clamps were unnecessary as the frame includes its own set.

The bulkhead that houses the servo’s has holes punched into it to suit a larger frame, they’re too far apart to be usable with the Predator 650 so I’ve drilled my own holes in line with the underbelly rails of the 650-frame.

Additionally since there’s so much space on either side of the bulkhead I’ll move my battery from the underbelly of the frame –  was strapped behind the 4-in-1 ESC and FPV camera – up onto the bar and install a 2nd 4500mAh 4S battery to balance the weight out.

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Michael Visser

I'm a WordPress Plugin developer, UAV & Raspberry Pi enthusiast and general tinkerer. This domain serves as my development playground for non-WordPress Plugin projects.

2 thoughts on “Adding Retractable Landing Legs to Predator 650”

  1. Hi,

    How did you connect the landing gear onto the APM? I’ve been reading allot, but cannot seem to find the correct configuration. I use an external battery to power the retractable landing gear and I’ve got the servo wire connected to either port A07 or A08 but no configuration seems te be working for me. If I hook it up straight to the rX then it works fine, but this way I cannot use failsafe.

    Got any idea’s?

    the Netherlands

    1. Hi Dave, with the type of retractable landing gear mentioned above you connect the servo cable to the radio receiver; APM has no interaction with the landing gear, the landing gear is triggered by high/low signals from ON/OFF pot switch on your radio transmitter.

      I tried to do the same as you using the relay pins on the APM board but had no success, you’re better off setting a failsafe on the transmitter/receiver end to lower the legs; that should be doable depending on your radio.

      Later on I learnt that powering servo’s (or anything extra) via the radio receiver is a big no no with the potential to cause brown outs within APM so I cut the positive and negative wires from the servo cable of the retractable landing gear and connected them to the output rail of the APM board which is powered by a separate 5V BEC.

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