As with all great projects, this one starts with an unboxing.
Not half bad - all the parts are there, but of course no instructions. Not to worry, they're available in PDF form from HobbyKing's site.
I didn't follow the directions to the letter though, but I did read them first (honest!)
First up was the landing gear. The instructions mention "buckling" the clips on the fiberglass rods. Good luck! I've seen this sort of design before, and trying to clip these parts on will either break the rods, bend the plastic clip, or worse.
I slid the rods through the clips, and set the assembly aside.
The HobbyKing Blue 30 amp ESCs need to be flashed with SimonK's firmware. Unfortunately, whoever designed these ESCs didn't leave the flash pins in an easily accessible position. A clip on TQFP came to the rescue. Using an Adafruit USBtinyISP, and running kkMultiCopter FLash Tool 0.76, flashing the ESCs went pretty quick. The hardest part was keeping that clip steady while the flash and verify ran.
Once the ESCs were flashed, I hooked them up to my lab supply. Adding a receiver, a servo, and motor created a simple test setup to verify everything was running correctly.
One odd thing with this particular setup is the SimonK startup tones seem much quieter in volume than I've seen on previous builds. I have to hold the motor to my ear to actually her anything. Checking across multiple motors and ESCs produces the same results. This could be due to my lab supply having crappy filter caps. Once the batteries are soldered up, I'll give that a test.
The motors do run fine though. No stuttering or bogging, though my lab supply isn't capable of supplying anywhere near the current this system can take.