Introduction: Cheap and Easy Micro Quadcopter

Picture of Cheap and Easy Micro Quadcopter

Fpv (First Person View) is one of the best experiences in the rc world. I love building 250 size quadcopters because of their speed and fpv capabilities, but they're too big! I can almost never fly them if there is anyone nearby because of the bulky size and dangerous props. In addition, a bad crash with a 250 size quadcopter can leave you hundreds of dollars down the drain. My solution was to build The Worlds Smallest Drone, however it was too small! The tiny motors couldn't muscle enough force to lift an fpv camera off the ground. To solve this I went a little bigger in size, using the impressive 8.5mm motors. The result was amazing! I can fly fpv inside my own house and not have to worry about nasty crashes! Overall I spent about $40 on this quad (Not counting the parts I had) and let me tell you, its worth every penny!

Heres the complete build process in a quick video

Parts you will need

  1. Micro Scisky Flight Controller This is the standard flight controller based of the Naze FC many people use for micro quads, is light its powerful and fun to fly!
  2. 8.5mm Motors + Prop Combo A very good deal, You get 4 Coreless motors 2x Clockwise Motor(With Red Blue), 2x Anti-clockwise Motor(With Black White) and 8 Propellers.
  3. 3.7v Battery You get 7x 750 Mah Batteries! It even comes with a charger, You will not find a better deal than that
  4. A DSM2 TX I use the MKron T - SIX i6S It was a lot cheaper than buying a Tyranis dsm2 module

FPV Gear

  1. FPV Goggles A great deal and it comes with its own battery. Its a little difficult to shange the channels, I actually ended up snapping the DIP switch with my genius idea to use a mini screwdriver to flip the switches.
  2. FPV TX and FPV Camera Although this turned to be quite heavy, had I done it differently I would have used the Spektrum FPV Micro Camera. Ive heard its a great overall deal and had I built this quad again I would use the Spektrum

And various tools im assuming you already have (Soldering Iron, Hot glue gun, Heatshrink)

I also used a 3d Printer for the frame, But if you wanted to I've seen people make micro quad frames out of Popsicle sticks! It doesn't have to be perfect, any rough shape of a quadcopter will work if its light enough.

* Side note you may have noticed a sudden jump in my video quality, I attribute that to my new tripod . Untill November 24 there is a deal and you can get it 10% off! (use the Coupon: 7617f5 before the deadline:Nov 24th)

Now lets get to the build!

Step 1: Print Your Frame

Picture of Print Your Frame

To start, I went on thingiverse and found a 105 quadcopter frame I thought looked pretty cool. I decided on Paintballmagics design because of the added supports (I crash ALOT), its saved me a many times knowing an other frame would have snapped

No 3d Printer? Just print using 3d hubs for a cheap and easy way to get the frame without printing it yourself (Special thanks to Paintballmagic for creating Beefy Remix Micro 105 FPV Quadcopter)

Settings I used:

Height: 0.2 mm

Thickness: 1.0 mm

Fill: 20%

Speed: 50 mm/s

Temp: 210

Printed using 1.75 PLA filament.

Below is the File I used

Step 2: Soldering

Picture of Soldering

First I decided on which way my quad would face, then using the picture guide on clean flight,

I set my quad into a quad x, which means the motors are oriented (Bottom being the front Top being the back):

4 2

3 1

Motor 4: Clockwise

Motor 3: Counter Clockwise

Motor 2: Counter Clockwise

Motor 1: Clockwise

Depending on where you buy your motors, most motors follow a typical Blue/Red: Clockwise Black/White: Counter Clockwise Format. If your unsure, I would check with you dealer or read the items description. Normally Red is Positive and Blue is Negative, White is Positive and Black is negative. But once again if you buy your motors from somewhere else, you could be on your own. Check and double check to make sure you dont create a short on accident

Wiring the Flight Controller is quite easy. The board is clearly marked with a 3.7v positive and negative in the dead center for the battery. Using a female JST connecter, I soldered the wires to the respective terminals The Motor terminals were also clearly marked, with make wiring a breeze. Simply solder motor 1 to the motor 1 mount, motor 2 to the motor 2 mount and so on... And that was it! With the pack of 3.7v batteries that came with a charger, however they came with a different connector. To solve this, I cut the leads of the lipo (Making sure not to short it out) and soldered on a male JST connector,since the FC got a male JST connector.

To add the FPV camera I plugged the camera into the fpv tx and soldered the 3.7-5v input straight to the flight controllers input so they "shared" the battery in parallel. The fpv Tx operates on 3.7, that's the same voltage were using. Perfect!!!

Step 3: Programming

Picture of Programming

This is the most difficult part of the build and requires patience (You will get through it!)

First I plugged the fc into CleanFlight and began the programming Be sure not to plug in the battery at the same time as the USB plug as it can fry your board. Once I plugged in the board, I flashed the fc with the latest NAZE software and connected to cleanflight. In CleanFlight, first I choose Quad X and enabled motor stop. I wandered on over to the Receiver page and checked RX_PPM and the channel map TAER 1234, if the channels are out of order you can rearrange the order by clicking and typing something like AETR1234(I hope that saves you the annoyance that caused me). I set minimum throttle 1000, mid throttle 1500, Maximum throttle 2000, Minimum command 1000. Strangely I used a failsafe drop on this quad. I decided the frame was sturdy enough to take a drop and didnt want it to slowly hover down.

In the Modes tab, Click add range and then using the channels on your TX add modes. Keep in mind you must add an Arming Switch for the micro scisky. Next I chose a flight mode, Normally I stick to acro (No flight modes enabled) However this is your quad! Choose any mode you like to fly in. I recommend Horizon to learn to fly. In the CLI tap Type: set motor_pwm_rate=23200 (others use 32000) Then: save press enter Then Tune PID to your likings and save! Dont forget to save on every page or your work will be lost!

Step 4: Bind N' Props

Picture of Bind N' Props

Next it was time to bind the fc and the TX. Plug in the Scisky and wait 10 seconds for the red light to begin flashing. This means your in Bind mode, so Power on the TX and hold down the bind switch on the back. Once the light turns solid red, your ready for Props!

The Props I used were tri blade for better thrust and came with the 8.5mm motors. An easy trick to know with propeller goes to which motor is to envision them spinning. Imagine the propellor is a spinning threaded bolt, and the air is a nut. find the trailing edge and imagine which way to "screw" the propellor into the air Clockwise or Counter Clockwise. Then take those and place them onto the corresponding motors! All four should screw the quad upwards through the air on their respective motor

Step 5: Fly!

Picture of Fly!

Plug the battery in, connect the fpv camera and your goggles and let the throttle rip! Remember your not flying around a massive quad, take the micro in tight spaces and indoors!

If you have any questions or suggestions for a future project, ask me in the comments below

Dont forget to like comment and subscribe to both my instructables and youtube channel to stay updated

Thanks for reading!


Constructed (author)2016-11-01

Before you comment, read the full sentance "Overall I spent about $40 on this quad (Not counting the parts I had)."

SennaB (author)Constructed2017-04-13

Can you connect this FC to Any controller?

gtulley (author)2017-09-23

Hi - The RX free micro scisky seems a bit hard to come by these days. Do you have any alternative recommendations? Have found this one for example -


JanD145 (author)2017-05-02

Hey man! I'm going to build it:D

I've printed the frame a little while ago, and have just ordered the parts! With a little ebay and changing some FPV-parts for cost-reduction, I came in on a total of about €170,-.

Below my shoppinglist:

I'll let ya'll know how it went!!

Foxnevermore (author)2017-01-27

sry im a newb

Foxnevermore (author)2017-01-27

the camera is not needed right

cladeport (author)2017-01-15

@Constructed get the eachine Tx02 instead for a cheap fpv camera, works well, has 200mW and is even lighter than the one you recommended. (source: have used several AIO cameras for eachine h8 mini and other micro quads)

paladin66 (author)2016-12-27


can Someone help to connect
Saitek Joystick X56 + Scherrer Tx700 Pro + Rx700 LR +PSU
in order to fly a quadcopter ?

And if it is impossible
How to connect the TX700 Pro and the Quanum V52 Ground Control System, please?


harkejuice (author)2016-11-01

I'm sorry its neat you made a small quadcopter, but this is not a $40 build. Please stop posting misleading titles like this, its annoying. Robotics, which includes Drones is not a cheap hobby.

GamersU (author)harkejuice2016-11-01

Well guess what. The parts were probably $40 when he bought them

harkejuice (author)GamersU2016-11-01

I find that hard to believe.

GamersU (author)harkejuice2016-11-18

Quit complaining

Constructed (author)harkejuice2016-11-01

Believe it. :)

zencuke (author)harkejuice2016-11-11

Unfortunately this has become the new standard for Instructables. "I paid only $X bucks plus what I had on hand. Of course I'm a pro so I have an unbelievable amount of stuff in my junk box that I don't have to buy but will cost you plenty big bucks."

Just ignore the cost promises. For all Instructables! Assume they are garbage and move on. It is not worth the hassle. After all it is not a lie. That's probably what he spent. And it is about what someone else would spend if they have been doing quads for a while. He didn't promise that's what it would cost a beginner. Besides he spent his own time and effort to post this. Instructables are free and provided by volunteers. Maybe you think his salary should be cut or something?

It is a great Instructable otherwise. The "cheap" and the "easy" parts are both right, compared to a full size quad anyway. And we benefit from his experience. Even with his experience he had to try twice before he got it right so we don't have to, It would have probably taken me at least 3 or 4 builds to get it right so it is a winner for me.

harkejuice (author)zencuke2016-11-15

I suppose you're right, not a bad instructable at all, I just hate seeing misleading titles in the featured emails I get. I would hate to see the site devolve into the realm of clickbait like lifehacker.

manuelmasc (author)2016-11-18

nice result! voted

Photonik (author)2016-11-06

How big are the propellers in mm?

DanielS678 (author)2016-11-05

Is the quadcopter able to handle a camera? It seems pretty small to me, or is it just the distance of the camera from the quadcopter?

IamUprise (author)2016-11-02

"Overall I spent about $40 on this quad" Kinda misleading you know

Constructed (author)IamUprise2016-11-05

Keep reading... :)

IamUprise (author)Constructed2016-11-05

Well When the title states "Cheap and Easy Micro Quadcopter"

alex456 (author)2016-11-03

Hello!Tell me, please quadcopter can be controled from android phone ?

JimI8 (author)2016-11-01

I am new to copters, but am an electronics engineer with many years of programing and bench time. However the terms and language of the hobby leave me mystified.

This looks like the perfect project to get me started. Not so simple I dont learn anything, but not so complicated I will fail. But I need more details...or more knowledge.

Can you point me to a book to get the basics of language and concept?

What is the real cost of this project if I start with nothing but a clean bench and tools?

theonlyjoe (author)JimI82016-11-02

I'm actually really new to the hobby as well. Personally I have found one of the most useful resources to be It is a entire community of quadcopter builders and FPV racers. I have been able to answer almost any question just by searching through the database.

SteveFamilyMan (author)JimI82016-11-02

Hey Jiml8. I've been dabbling in RC helicopters and quads for about 5 years, but only dabbling occasionally due to very limited time and budget. I'm an engineer by trade, but not an electronics engineer--and based on my experiences I'd say you'll have no trouble whatsoever except for the basic RC hobby learning curve (as you pointed out). A couple tips:

• A decent (though still towards the lower end of the spectrum) radio transmitter/controller (TX) is typically going to run you around $100 (give or take $20), even used in good condition. So instead of locking yourself into a single protocol and vastly limiting the brands and models you can control, I suggest getting one of the many TX out there that can be modified to control many protocols rather than just one or two. There are a handful out there--different groups of enthusiasts contributing to different ways of accomplishing the same goal. The one I chose was DeviationTx ( What they're doing there is SUPER cool, and yet accessible for novices and newbies with a little engineering knowledge or knack (or at least the ability to follow directions well). Even within DeviationTx there are 4 or 5 different ways to do it, each with its own pros and cons. Message me and I can give you some more tips about it. It's been a really cool and useful project for me.

• For your general RC hobby (or RC quads) knowledge, just Google search for "how-to" or "beginners" or whatever terms you can think of coupled with "rc quad" or "micro quad" or whatever. You'll find LOTS of info, and you just need to filter through them for the ones that are clear and understandable to your mind and at your level. I'm not saying this is your best starting point, but this guy has put a lot of effort into his website and is focused primarily on those new to the hobby. This page is worth 5 or 10 minutes to read through it, and then go from there looking for other info.

• Finally, with regards to DIY micro-quads, it's currently HUGE in the RC quad hobby. Tons of resources (and way too many options) currently out there you can tap into, and many of them are very, very inexpensive. Here are a few places to start looking:

JimI8 (author)SteveFamilyMan2016-11-02

Thanks, lots of good information. One of my biggest complaints has been a lack of secs. No one mentions the load capability, or the run time, or the forward speed. All of which I am interested in.

SteveFamilyMan (author)JimI82016-11-02

Part of the reason you're not seeing that info may be the lack of need or interest in specific circles. RC Quads (even the subset of RC Micro Quads) aren't one pool of fun...there are lots of little purpose-built segments within. If you nose around in racing quad forums you'll probably learn much about the speed of their quads, but it won't have much or anything to do with the speeds of general micro quads. And load time and run time are tied so intimately to the individual configuration of every quad that the specs will be different for virtually every quad out there...different control boards, different ESCs (if they use ESCs), different motors, different batteries, different weights, different props, different programming/flight characteristics, etc. Again, if you would look specifically in places where people are building quads for utilitarian purposes, I suppose they will be talking often and in detail about their payloads and run time capabilities, but in micro hobby quads those aren't the characteristics that people often quantify. Don't get me wrong...everyone wants to be able to lift more and do it for a longer time, but it's more loose--more individualized to the specific build, the specific configuration, the specific type of flying (level/degree of acrobatics), etc.

Constructed (author)JimI82016-11-01

I cant think of a book right now, but I learned from instructables other people made and mostly visiting the remote control page on instructables. The real cost will be a lot more expensive, but there are shortcuts; Ive seen people carve frames out of popsicle sticks glued together for instance. I would recommend not adding FPV to the quad on your first build, just buying the micro scisky, the motors, and a dsm2 TX (about $120). Setting up the scisky might be difficult for your first quad build, but with an electrical engineering degree, somehow I think you'll manage :) Let me know how it goes!

ZeeshanR3 (author)2016-11-02

sorry bro it is not at all cheap........... :|

JPearsonMac (author)2016-11-01

Nice write up!

Constructed (author)JPearsonMac2016-11-01


TomcastHD (author)2016-11-01

what printer do you have?

TimothyJ999 (author)TomcastHD2016-11-01

That's a Prusa A8. There are a zillion kits available for about $250. Nice printer after it's correctly adjusted, with an active user community and a bunch of printable upgrades available.
For a few bucks more consider the A6 model--basically the same mechanicals, but a bit bigger print area and nicer interface.

TomcastHD (author)TimothyJ9992016-11-01

awesome, I ordered one a couple days ago, I'm looking forward to putting it together and using!

Constructed (author)TomcastHD2016-11-01

Your going to love it! I use it way more than I thought I would. TimothyJ999 is right though, I had no idea the build instructions were on the micro sd card. I had to build it looking at the websites picture it was a nightmare!

TimothyJ999 (author)TomcastHD2016-11-01

Quick tip--it took me a while to figure this out: There's a micro-SD card included with the kit; the assembly instructions are on the card in video and pdf format. Don't skip the first step: connecting the motors, sensors, LCD,and power supply to the controller and running tests BEFORE assembly. Have fun!

TomcastHD (author)TimothyJ9992016-11-01

the tip is appreciated! I will be sure to do that

redsunmtm (author)TomcastHD2016-11-01

so do I...

IsmaelK1 (author)2016-11-01

These propellers aren't aerodynamic right? And there are 3 blades for them.

Wouldn't be more efficient if you change them? A better use of the energy.

Nice drone btw.

Constructed (author)IsmaelK12016-11-01

The increaded blade area means better thrust but more energy. Plus it looks sweet.

suncoaster2 (author)2016-11-01

I didn't make it. Didn't have the 3d printer and the several hundred dollars in parts needed in addition to the $40 you said you paid to build the cheap(?) and easy micro quad. Nice idea tho.

MexoplexJ (author)suncoaster22016-11-01

unless he's edited this 'Ible since he clearly states: "Overall I spent about $40 on this quad (Not counting the parts I had)"

Sooooooo, first rule of Instructables..... READ everything.

Constructed (author)MexoplexJ2016-11-01

Finally someone smart...

allangee (author)2016-11-01

VERY MISLEADING "$40" description.

MexoplexJ (author)allangee2016-11-01

unless he's edited this 'Ible since he clearly states: "Overall I spent about $40 on this quad (Not counting the parts I had)"

Sooooooo, first rule of Instructables..... READ everything.

MexoplexJ (author)2016-11-01

unless he's edited this 'Ible since he clearly states: "Overall I spent about $40 on this quad (Not counting the parts I had)"
Sooooooo, first rule of Instructables..... READ everything.

ScottE33 (author)2016-11-01

What is you flight time?

AzBishop (author)2016-11-01

This feels like more of an advertisement than a how-to

duriezal (author)2016-11-01

Very nice

Camperinho (author)2016-11-01

I would love to see one with brushless motors as the brushed ones are already dying after 6-8hours flighttime.

About This Instructable




Bio: Maker from USA. Follow me to stay up to date on my projects and possible kickstarters! Business email:
More by Constructed:Building a Massive Tarot 690s Hexacopter!Dubai 225 Quadcopter Build - Stop MotionHow to Make a Remote Controlled Spy Rover
Add instructable to: