Instructables
Picture of Sturdy Quadcopter Build
This is my first instructables that I decided to post. I was obsessed by these amazing flying machines for quite a while until I ended up coming across some fantastic How-To guides on YouTube that made me realize building a Quad wasn't as hard as it sounded. After many days of in depth research and creating my detailed shopping list I ordered all of my parts (mostly on http://www.hobbyking.com but I also ordered  some other small items such as the bullet connectors and Velcro straps off eBay and amazon) and then I decided to share my own build. I hope this helps other eager Quadcopter pioneers in making their own Quads. 

Prerequisite skills:
- Basic Soldering
-General Electronic Knowledge
-How to operate a Dremel (this is optional)

This guide should be pretty simple for any beginner Quadcopter designers because most of the construction and programming is almost all plug-and-play meaning that you don't have to worry about building your own flight controller and receiver to operate the Quad! 

All the programming that is done in this project (If you follow the shopping list) is done by the flight control board and a Ready-Made programming card for the ESC's.

Another option you have in this guide is the choice between soldering your own power distribution set-up or buying a compact power distribution board. The power distribution board really simplifies life because it cuts down on the amount of soldering required and its then incredibly easy to swap out broken ESC's if you have a wicked crash. 

!SAFETY! The last thing I want to say before we jump into building the Quad is that some of these steps require inferno like heat and razor sharps blades! Therefore please be CAUTIOUS I actually cant stress this enough after almost slicing my foot after not properly calibrating my ESC's and then testing my Quad. 

Any and all feedback/comments would really be appreciated :) 

EDITS:

Edit #1


Added prop balancer to the parts page.
- Added Gorilla glue option to the optional supplies list.
- Added new explanation to the final paragraph in wiring/programming page.
- Added explanation on parts page about prop & motor problem.

GOPRO Mounting has received a fair bit of questioning lately so I figured I would give a little bit of an explanation as to what is and isn't possible. And answer some frequently asked questions.

Can this setup carry a GOPRO camera?

 - 
Yes it can. This setup has more than enough power to take a GOPRO up into the air.

How do I mount my GOPRO on this particular Quadcopter?

 - 
Right now you can't.

Why can't I mount my GOPRO on this Quadcopter?

 - 
Because currently I do not have the time to think up or figure out a way to attach a mount on the baseplates.

This summer I plan on figuring out a way to mount my GOPRO on the Quad but for now (to me at least) it's really not that big of an issue. If this seems like too long for all of you "FPV" and video enthusiasts then by all means you are free to find a way to do it yourself, or you can buy a Quadrotor with pre-installed mounts.  But I unfortunately do not have the time.

END of EDIT
 
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Engin3333r5 months ago

By the way, it is indeed capable of carrying a gopro.

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Chris_Schroeder (author)  Engin3333r5 months ago

That's incredible, really nice looking Quadcopter you built. Glad you figured out a way to mount the gopro! I'm very impressed.

Engin3333r5 months ago

Hi! I built my first quadcopter with the help of your instructions. Thank you! Greetings from germany!!

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Chris_Schroeder (author)  Engin3333r5 months ago

Congratulations! That's looking awesome!

kingWu20142 hours ago

would like to go one notch up and get the Turnigy 9X Transmitter would that work?

mmar25 days ago

Hello Chris,

Thank you for this wonderfull tutorial. Sadly enough i misread and forgot to buy 4 speed controllers and bought one. I'm looking for a replacement and found this one: http://www.helipal.com/skywalker-quattro-20a-x-4-speed-controller.html Could this be a good replacement for all of them?

jsierra416 days ago

How much weight do you think the quadcopter can hold?

Flying =)

Chris_Schroeder (author)  viktor.hromyk1 month ago

Congratulations! This is fantastic! Great work.

Thank you - here are some pics =)

sq49-WrLQI8.jpg2XSb7A2__Oo.jpgDSCN0002.JPG20140901_185129.jpgScreenshot (35).png

I plan on making a variation of this quad, but I wanted to know if GPS (position hold and return-to-home) is compatible with the KK2.0 board. If not, what board should I use?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB4cg37U7hU

what type of remote we can use..

HI CHRIS!! I couldn't figure out how the recieveris to be binded with the transmitter

and where to place the reciever. could you pl help me(you could send me a image).

GREAT PROJECT!!!!!!!

abhishek.vaka2 months ago

i need ur help ... i have all the connections .. but all the motors are not starting at the same time but one after other when the throttle stick is moved slowly upward ... there is a time lapse between their starting ... how do i fix this ?

JoooostB5 months ago

Hello,

I'm kinda new to quadcopters so here is my question:

The KK 2.0 isn't available anymore. Is the KK 2.1 as good as the KK 2.0 and does it work the same? Thank you!

Chris_Schroeder (author)  JoooostB5 months ago

I am not sure that I can properly answer this question because I haven't used the KK2.1 but I believe it should work the same.

Thank you for your answer. Gonna order my parts tonight, great instructions btw

did the kk2.1 end up working?

Akhil Panmana2 months ago

is it remote controllable..?

are you serious? no it's not. you'll build one and then it will decide if it likes you or not. just like a cat. it may like your neighbour more and leave you to belong to them or it may fly away to Africa for the winter. you never know, these quads have strange personalities, therefore cannot be controlled. people are strange sometimes, don't you think guys? :D
chewdog3162 months ago

This is a great build, so informative. I have two questions.

1. Do you reccomend any additional videos, like you mentioned above, or instruction links that you may have used.

2. Have you considered adding the gps function, gyro stabilizers, or any other item that the high end drones use. To make it autonomous, if you will.

Chris_Schroeder (author)  chewdog3162 months ago

To answer your questions:

1. I used to have quite a few videos on hand that I used while making this guide. The only one I remember at the moment is this one: Its a tutorial to understand the auto-level settings on the KK2 board.

2. Yes, I have given lots of thought into making this build autonomous but unfortunately I have lots of other ideas in the works that are over-ruling this desire.

Thanks so much for your feedback and questions! I appreciate them.

Chris_Schroeder (author)  Chris_Schroeder2 months ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Bh3fMGHbM, The last link didn't work here is the video link.

lburton34 months ago

Thank you for the help on the charger. However i have been having some trouble with flying. It seems that two of the prop are stronger then the other two. (1 and 2 are strong the 3 and 4) Because of this it just spins out and I'm unable to fly it.

lburton3 made it!4 months ago

Hello, Thank you for making this Instructable. I have just finished making the quad copter and was wondering what power supply did you use to for the charger?

Screenshot_2014-05-21-22-30-56[1].png
Chris_Schroeder (author)  lburton34 months ago

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewIt...

This is the power supply ^ works great, no issues.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewIt...

And this is the Balancer/Charger ^ for your batteries, also no issues.

Both of these should be in the guide, if not let me know!

Thank you for the help on the charger. However i have been having some trouble with flying. It seems that two of the prop are stronger then the other two. (1 and 2 are strong the 3 and 4) Because of this it just spins out and i'm unable to fly it.

cribmax234 months ago

Do you have any recommendations regarding FPV on your build? Does a bigger battery, like more mAh mean longer flight time? And can you upgrade the range for the radio transmitter/reciever so I could take it farther distances? I'll appreciate your feedback.

Mech_Eng4 months ago

Great guide! Ordered my parts 2 weeks ago and here it is. Had some rocky first flights, but some easy trim adjustments on the flight controller were all I needed to get a super stable, self-leveling quad! It was quite gusty when I took this video and yet the quad flew no problem. I took the video using my gopro hero 3, which I hung from the bottom of the quad using a velcro strap.

quadcopter.jpg
First Park Flight.wmv(516x290) 18 KB
Chris_Schroeder (author)  Mech_Eng4 months ago

Awesome awesome awesome! This is fantastic! Very well done. Really glad you had a flawless build.

zach3008 months ago

I am thinking of making this copter and I was wondering what the average flight time of it is?

Chris_Schroeder (author)  zach3008 months ago

I get an average flight time of 15 minutes. Longest I've ever flown is half an hour, this is currently my longest flight on record so far.

can i use a bigger battery

Chris_Schroeder (author)  Coolnventions5 months ago

Yes you can, you just need to make sure that the ESC's can still handle the higher power output if you UP the discharge rate. And if you want to keep the number of cells and discharge rate the same then look for a battery with a higher mAh.

8-10min.

fish_dude5 months ago

How much can this quad lift?

I wanted to mount fpv gear on a quad and also carry a payload of one or two pounds and just wanted to know if this quad could lift that much.

Thanks

zimbo_ouen5 months ago

Hi Chris. What type, size and length screws did you use to mount the motors on the frame bracket? I have the same frame as you and was hoping to get these from you rather than try loads of different ones to find which fits?

I'd really appreciate it and thanks for the guide. I'm making my very very similiar to yours!

coubnoob6 months ago

hi,

I followed your tuto (thx) but I think something is not good. Indeed when I try to calibrate the ESC the board card stays on "calibrating esc" and doesn t ring once but the esc ring 3 times. (Not like the video).

Is there something I missed?

Thx

coubnoob coubnoob6 months ago
*Smthg is not good on my drone :)
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