Introduction: How to Build a Racing Quadcopter

Picture of How to Build a Racing Quadcopter

Hello, today I will teach how to build a racing quadcopter!

What is a quadcopter?

A quadcopter is multi-rotor copter with four arms, each of which have a motor and a propeller at their ends. Quadcopters are similar to helicopters in some ways, though their lift and thrust comes from four propellers, rather than just one. Control of vehicle motion is achieved by altering the pitch and/or rotation rate of one or more rotor discs, thereby changing its torque load and thrust/lift characteristics.

What is a "racing quadcopter"?

Quadcopters are very useful and have many different types, for instance quadcopters can be made for filming and lifting cameras or built for doing mid air acrobatics. Well a racing quadcopter is a quadcopter meant to go fast. Extremely fast. Racing quadcopters can also be entered in competitions where they are put into different classes, the most popular is the 250 size.

Are they expensive or hard to make?

It depends, a typical cheap quadcopter will cost you about $120 - $200. However a more expensive quadcopter could easily cost you around $1000. Anyone with some previous electronic background should have no problem building on.

If you don't want to risk building one, message me or comment below. I can build you a reliable drone for a reasonable price!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

Picture of Watch the Video!

Dont forget to like comment and subscribe for more!

Step 2: What Do I Need?

Picture of What Do I Need?
  • 4x 1806 motors, My motors were extremely fast at 2400kv,
  • 4x 12a ESC
  • 1 RC transmitter and receiver
  • 1 Flight controller (Flip 32, Naze 32) You can even use an Intel board!
  • 1 Lipo battery (3c)
  • 250 Quadcopter frame
  • Wires
  • Computer with Clean Flight
  • Assorted tools

Optional

  • Fpv Camera
  • Fpv transmitter and receiver

Step 3: Frame

Picture of Frame

Now its time to start!

Start by rough building you frame and attaching motors to the arms of the quadcopter.

When you are done, You should end up like the last picture.

Step 4: Solder on ESC

Picture of Solder on ESC

Now trim away excess wires and attach the motors to the esc's by soldering them.

I recommend using flux to stick the wires, because I did not (see pictures) and my soldering ended up terrible, I had to restart later and solder them again.

Hold the esc in place with a ziptie

Step 5: Program Flight Controller

Picture of Program Flight Controller

Now its time to program the flight controller

Flash the board using cleanflight, and make sure all the settings are correct. Its very difficult to explain this process in writing but Its not that hard, If you are still stuck there are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube.

Step 6: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

This is where things might get confusing.

I have added a diagram (not mine) that helped me when I made my quadcopter, Ignore the part about the leds

Notice how two wires have been reversed. This switches the motors direction on the quadcopter in order to lift it into the air.

Step 7: Testing and Debugging

Picture of Testing and Debugging

Now its time to test and debug the quadcopter.

using the assorted tools on clean flight, check everything is working

Most important:

  • Reciever
  • Motors
  • Mode

Step 8: Add Battery

Picture of Add Battery

Now simply plug in your battery and let the flight controller calibrate itself for about a minute.

Most people put their battery inside the middle of the quadcopter, however I dont like to. I like to keep the more sensitive electronics inside the frame for when you crash (Yes, you will end up crashing at some point). Also I like to believe that it makes it faster, but that has not been proven yet.

Step 9: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

You're done with you quadcopter! Go and fly it!

Some tips

  • Most transmitters have a motor lock and unlock
  • Fly in open fields
  • Use a Lipo alarm
  • Charge Lipo in Lipo safe
  • Be careful

Thats it go and fly your quadcopter!

Please vote for this instructable in the many contests!

Remember If you dont want to build one. Message me, I can build you a reliable and cheap quadcopter!

Comments

DanarP1 (author)2017-05-24

So can i using Android for cotrolling that Quadcopter
I'm totally noob

ZoeC7 (author)2016-11-05

I am a total noob, so this question might be really stupid. I am wondering what I plug the battery into? I have the battery and the flight controller and the RC receiver. How do I connect them? the receiver has 7 rows of 3 pins, the rows are ch1-ch6 and BAT. what does that mean? I am using the Naze 32 flight controller, how do I connect it to the receiver? Do I just solder jumper wires from one to the other? Also where do I plug in the ESC wires on the flight controller? Thanks again!

Ryan Whitsett (author)ZoeC72017-03-30

What Props did you get?

Ludivico17 (author)2017-03-08

how much would it cost to make it?

Wiskro (author)2017-01-24

Hi, could you recommend me, a good kit to start, I already bought my soldering iron, but I'm not sure what size soldering to use.
Thanks

_abdullahsaqib_ (author)2016-12-28

hi im interested in this drone, kindly email me at abdullahsaqib619@gmail.com

btw i wanted to ask that if u deliver overseas

patrick02 (author)2016-12-20

hi,im interested in this,so kindly email me at patrickscott502@gmail.com
thabks..

KeatonB3 (author)2016-11-28

I would like to mount a go pro hero 5 season on it. I want it to be stabilized but could I have some help with what I would need to throw on to make this work???

AidanC7 (author)2015-09-13

Do you make security drones? If you do how much would one be if it was tethered and had a weather proof infrared camera and could comfortably cruise around 15 meters? Please let me know, thank you.

ToolboxGuy (author)AidanC72016-08-23

If you are tethering a drone, then you should consider making the tether into an umbilical, providing power from the ground. 15 meters of cabling will not be light either, but may offset battery weight. Of course, extending flight time thanks to more power may overheat motors, but it would be fun to try.

Constructed (author)AidanC72015-09-13

I have never heard of a security drone. I understand what you are tryin to say but the longest the battery would last for would probably only be about 10 minutes

How much would it be for you to build me a fpv race drone

AidanC7 (author)Constructed2015-09-13

What I mean by security drone is a drone with a camera that is well, meant for security. I was just wandering if you had some sort of pricing for that. If you could do that sort of thing.

EricJ19 (author)AidanC72015-09-15

Thermal imaging cameras are pretty expensive. They have a NoIR camera module for the Raspberry Pi, but I'm not sure how well that works.

baecker03 (author)AidanC72015-09-13

not sure if they exist, but an integrated board with the controller and four servo controllers might be useful since it would save on weight and having a lightweight camera.

Sooncheng (author)AidanC72016-02-20

build a bigger size octacopter or hexacopter , and u will also need a bigger prop , if u need a longer flight time with about 20_30 minutes, add 2 5000 mA battery on it , there are contoller now days which can controller up to 1km (i am using a MC6B which can control up to 800 metre and 900 metre without obstacle ) , i suggest u to use the apm flight controller with gps so that u wont loss ur copter easily , and also apm come with a feature that u could use them as a gimbal controller , so u could have a greater vision from ur fpv

Drone Vandalism (author)AidanC72015-09-18

You don't have to keep the batteries onboard if it's tethered. This has been done before but probably not in instructables. I know at least one that makes tethered drones with camera like this but it's for military applications only.

Mr innovative (author)2016-08-09

how many cell in your battery....

i mean voltage level of battery.

i am going to make one need suggesting regarding battery selection

how much flight time you achive ..??

Ebrahim KalifahA (author)2016-07-19

hi pro

can you build for me custom racing quadcopter with Specific specifications ?

and can i cuntact u on whtsup to Discuss the matter ؟

teylerhurst (author)2016-06-23

Im interested in your pricing...

Zanderfritzbuilder (author)2016-06-11

Oh you can messae me on zanderfritzme@gmail. Com. This is for the purchase of the quad copter

Zanderfritzbuilder (author)2016-06-11

You say you are willing to build a reliable quad copter what kind of price are you thinking. If its reasnable i would buy a quad copter from you

MosincatC (author)2016-05-23

Hello all you enthusiasts there, i am a newbee in this field, have some experience with dornes and rc 6 channel helis. I want to step up a little . Can you guis help me ? I want to buid my own fvp drone for aerial filming and one for fvp racing. The thing is that i am a noob ...when it comes to the parts inside and the other thing is that ...its expensive. So i woud like to buy some pieces this mont...some next month... You get the picture. Please you can relpay on my gmail or here domnup@gmail.com

Thank you very much and sorry for my bad english. Cheers

SimonH92 (author)2016-05-04

Cheers for the video. Just got an A250 FPV frame, 2204 motors and 2 different sets of props. Wanting to use tx and rc ect... from a slightly larger drone (Tarantula X6) so just working out the configuration etc...I know I may have to play around with ESC's, PCB and the rest but going to have fun building it whilst I am waiting for spares for my Tarantula. Not used to all 3 motor wires to be the same colour but having a look at your site should walk me through it. All the best.

DavidC609 (author)2016-04-19

I built a racing hexacopter with cc3d openpilot flight controller. Openpilot is no longer available online. Can you recommend an excellent 4s hexacopter flight controller if it had side horizontal facing pins; it would fit way better. Greatly appreciate any advice that is available. Thank you.

JohnE142 (author)DavidC6092016-05-03

you can use LibrePilot in stead, that is the new project for OpenPilot

kennybatista (author)2016-04-19

Is there a way to live stream the video data to the web?

WilliamS239 (author)2016-04-13

I would like some help making a race drone for $400 or lower

balachandrakoduru (author)2016-04-09

Hi could you please help me to build my own racing quads and i am new to this topic and am interested in this .. how to start ?

what is required for this?

please help me.

imrx9090 (author)2016-03-10

Could you give me the list of parts that you used?

pegaxsus (author)2015-09-13

Bro have you tried using a 1300mAh battery? I discovered that flight time was the same on this type of quad than a 2200mAh battery due the weight/capacity ratio

Tell me what you think ;)

Sooncheng (author)pegaxsus2016-02-20

1300mAh battery is lighter , i think its perform greater , if both of the battery have the same flight time, why dont u use the lighter one ?

pegaxsus (author)Sooncheng2016-02-22

In fact I prefer 1300 ones, not only because it is lighter, but also more stable and responsive

Sooncheng (author)2016-02-20

hey i am a beginner of racing quads , could i make a racing quad with 1400kv motors and a 4200mAh battery with 500g weight ? i don't need some speed but not very fast , i am currently using a cc3d flight controller

DEEJAY642 (author)2016-01-06

it looks pretty big!! what are the dimensions of it?

rsmith79 (author)DEEJAY6422016-02-09

I'll guess 250mm across motors centres - actually pretty small.

03bubbaj (author)2016-02-01

how much does this cost to build

rsmith79 (author)03bubbaj2016-02-09

building it would just cost you time... buyiny a kit with everything you need (excluding the radio gear - would be 2-300 dollars (my kit was £150 in the UK - radio gear on top of that)

MitchR5 (author)2016-01-07

The battery is the only part tripping me up, I have an xt60 plug, but every other guide seems to have some sort of wiring harness for the battery, how did you achieve this?

rsmith79 (author)MitchR52016-02-09

normally by using a power distribution board (PDB) you have the battery connector going to the board, and the ESCs connect to that, somewhere in the centre of the quad.

gives a lot neater build and a lot less wires.

MitchR5 (author)2016-01-07

The battery is the only part tripping me up, I have an xt60 plug, but every other guide seems to have some sort of wiring harness for the battery, how did you achieve this?

sgranneman (author)2015-10-04
tigr87 (author)sgranneman2015-10-25

Your link is broken.

gtulley (author)2015-10-01

Hi, can you tell me what ESCs you used?

Ta

sgranneman (author)2015-09-30

Need the link to buy the parts

Anthony4521 (author)2015-09-24

what is the frame called

samson43341 (author)2015-09-15

Need the link please

Rajkumar29696 (author)2015-09-15

Where to buy

samson43341 (author)2015-09-14

where can u buy the parts

About This Instructable

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Bio: Maker from USA. Follow me to stay up to date on my projects and possible kickstarters! Business email: constructed@mail.com
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