Introduction: How to Build a Quadcopter
This guide will take you from buying all the parts, to building and
learning to fly a quadcopter in no time! The main point of this guide is to successfully get someone with little or no hobby background into flying RC DIY quadcopters.
Here’s all the links to the parts
If you don’t want to use the frame I listed, you can find more here. I also highly recommend getting the Sunnysky motors.
• Transmitter and receiver ($54)
• Frame ($18)
• (Flight controller ($99) linkPower distribution board
• 4 ESCs ($29)
• 4 motors ($60)
• 4 prop adapters ($8)
• battery ($24)
• Charger ($23)
• adapter for any battery
• Power supply ($10)
• Props ($3)
• Tall nylon spacers($0.86)
•3.5mm bullet connectors
PRICES MAY CHANGE
Upgrade parts (more expensive but better quality)
• ESC with SimonK firmware
• Motors with better quality bearings for less vibration (You won’t need the 4 prop adapters from hobby king)
• High performance props (get both 8×5 and 8x5R)
Step 1: Step 1:Building the Frame
This is the SK450 glass fiber quadcopter frame from hobby king. it’s a vary simple and easy to build frame.
Inside the box you’ll get:
the manual4 armsa yellow orientation ballsome screwsall the fiberglass platessome rods to hold the balla plastic screwdriversome black hex threaded spacers for the flight controllerlanding gearand the box (obviously).
Now that we have everything out of the box, we can start by screwing the arms on to the bottom plate for the frame (I’m using a 2.0mm hex driver). on the bottom side, each arm only requires 2 screws (so 8 screws total for the bottom).
After that we can flip the frame over screw the top plate on. This process is almost the same but instead of 8 screws, there are 16.now we can install the mounting plates for the motors, they require 3 screws each.
We’re almost done with the frame, all we have to do now is mount the landing gear. There are only 2 screws for each arm (1 on each end).
Step 2: Step 2:Mounting the Motors and Speed Controllers
In this step we’ll be mounting the motors and soldering the ESCs to the power distribution board.
First, we need to mount the motors on to the motor mounting plates. There’s 4 holes but you can choose to use only 2 screws. The screws are from the NTM accessory pack.
Next, we’re going to mount the motor shaft with the 3 hex screws that also came with the accessory pack.
After that, we can mount the motors to the frame. Use 4 hex screws from the bag that came with the frame.
When you’re done, all the motors should be mounted on the frame with the wires facing inward. Now it’s time to solder the ESCs together. This step is the most annoying!
Get out your ESCs and power distribution board. Place them on the frame as if you were going to mount them, then cut the wires to match up with the correct circuit on the board.
There’s 2 circuits on this board. the red ring represents the circuit that all red wires should be soldered to and the black ring represents the circuit that all black wires should be soldered to. For soldering, I’m using 60-40 Rosin Core Solder. If you need any soldering supplies you can find those links here.
Before soldering, we need to put some solder on all the connections we’re going to use.
after that, we can start tinning the wire. If you didn’t already know, tinning is where you coat the wire in solder so that it bonds better with the solder on the board. Side note: it’s a lot easier if you dip the wire in flux before you tin the wire.
Now we can start soldering the ESCs to the board. Hold the the soldering iron on the connection until it’s hot enough to melt the solder. Then place the wire on the connection and hold the soldering iron on the wire until all the solder is melted.
Make sure your connection is strong by pulling in different directions on the wire. If you hear any type of popping or cracking, that means you have what’s called a “cold solder joint”. If this is the case, then you should re-solder the connections.
Step 3: Step 3: Mounting the Electronics
On this page we’ll be mounting the ESCs, flight controller and receiver.
We’re going to start by taking all of the ESCs and mounting them to the frame using zip ties.
Step 4: Step 4: Flight Controller Setup
Watch the video from the link
Step 5: Step 5: Prop Balancing and Mounting
In this section we’ll be balancing and mounting the props.
What I’m using and why
Before we talk about prop balancing, I’m going to go over what I’m using and why. There are two types of prop balancers you can buy. There’s the magnetic kind which are cheap, but don’t work very well, and then there’s the mechanical kind which work good, but cost more. I personally like the mechanical ones because they’re balanced well and work every time. The prop balancer I’m using can be found on eBay for a reasonable price. If you’re on a budget and you’re thinking about buying the magnetic balancer, I would read this forum before buying one. In my opinion, the magnetic balancers are a waste of time.
First, mount the prop to the balancer. Once the prop has settled, you should notice how one side will always drop down. Whatever side that falls down is the side that’s too heavy.
Once you’ve determined which side is heavier, apply some tape to the opposite side to counteract the extra weight. When you let go of the prop it should no longer fall to one side.
Prop balancing is not always necessary when you buy good props. On the other hand, if you buy bad props it can be tricky if the hub is not balanced.
(See the diagram) If your ESC’s are hooked up correctly and your motors are not spinning in the proper direction, you can reverse any of the three motor wires.
The props should be mounted in this order
(blue) clockwise prop(Red) counterclockwise prop(blue) clockwise prop(Red) counterclockwise prop
The easiest way to tell if a prop is counterclockwise is by looking at the letters and numbers on it.
Hobby King props that come in matched pairs usually have the letters L and R at the end of the name witch stand for left and right.APC multirotor props have the letter P at the end witch stand for clockwise (counterclockwise props do not have the letter P).HQ props have the letter R at the end witch also stand for clockwise.
Another way to tell is by looking at the prop visually.When spinning clockwise, the leading edge should always be in the front.
The next diagram shows a counterclockwise prop spinning clockwise. As you can see, it will generate a little bit of negative lift if spinning clockwise.
Step 6: Step 6: Soldering
Here we’ll learn about soldering
There’s two things you need to be good at soldering, practice and a good soldering iron. If you don’t already have a good iron, check out my review of the Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station for links to the iron and some good soldering supplies.
we’re going to be soldering some 3.5mm bullet connectors on these old motors a have laying around. The motors in my parts list (NTM Prop Drive Series 28-30S 900kv) will come with 3.5mm bullet connectors already soldered on them, but I would check the connections to make sure they’re not going to fall off.
To start off, heat your soldering iron to about 550 degrees fahrenheit. Then hold the tip of the iron on the outside of the bullet connector (works best if the tip is on the little hole on the connector) while placing the solder into the top of the connector.
Now place the wire into the top while still holding the iron to the side of the connector. Hold the iron there for a few seconds so that the solder has time to coat the wire, then release the iron from the connector while keeping the wire steady until the solder is solid and no longer shiny.
Now cut a piece of heat shrink tubing making sure it’s long enough to go over and past the connector by about 1/4 of an inch
After that, heat the connector and tubing with a heat gun or a lighter.
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