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 :) 


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.

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Engin3333r1 year ago

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

Chris_Schroeder (author)  Engin3333r1 year ago

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

Engin3333r1 year ago

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

Chris_Schroeder (author)  Engin3333r1 year ago

Congratulations! That's looking awesome!

BryanS3010 days ago
BartS29 months ago

Did you have any problems attaching the motor? I am trying to use model Turigy L2210A-1650KV motor on the Talon frame. The bolts that came with the Talon frame are size M3, but when I pass them through the plate at bottom of the motor, they are too far apart to pass through pre-cut long oval hole on the aluminum mounting plate on the Talon frame. In effect, the bolt holes on the motor are too far apart to allow the bolts to pass through the mounting plate on the frame. Looking at the photo you posted, it looks like you may have used thinner bolts. Is that what you did?

BryanS30 BartS210 days ago

With the recommended motor mounts, I did have to mill out the slots in the provided motor mounts. I had the v1 frame, not sure about the v2 frame.

BryanS3010 days ago

Thanks for the great instructable!! Followed exactly, but after my first few flights I made some modifications. I have not yet read through the 200 comments to see if they conflict: The motors are too high of an RPM, and with the recommended setup will draw about 20-30 amps or more. This puts quite a tax on the motors. I would recommend a motor that's about 900-1100 KV (rpm/volt) on a 3 cell battery for a "starting out" step. Higher torque, can swing a 10x4.5 propellor, with more than 5 minutes of flight. Unless I did something wrong, the 2210 motors REALLY want a fast winding smaller prop, which might be good for a 250mm sized racing FPC setup, but they draw the battery down in a matter of minutes. (like 3-4) and everything comes down HOT. The original setup, by the way, when you hit the throttle it ROCKETS to the sky and impressed quite a few people on its way up. LOVE IT. If you're more into learning to hover and control a multirotor, I'd go low with the K/V on the motor and enjoy your long duration flights.

smandal1320 days ago

Maximum current for Turnigy L2210A-1650 Brushless Motor is 17.5 A. You are using a 2200mAh 20C battery. That means you will get a maximum if 44 A current. Using four motors each having maximum load current 17.5 A give a total of 17.5 * 4 = 70 A. Don't you thing it will overload the lipo?

BertieH1 month ago

This is a great build, I managed it quickly and easily with very little knowledge. One thing I would say though is to add extra insulation to all the female bullet connectors on the power distribution board. On my first flight two the connections shorted out on the carbon fibre frame (carbon conducts electricity), causing part of the frame to set on fire!

BertieH1 month ago
InfectRam2 months ago

Hey! I loved your instructions. I just ordered the parts and cant wait to start building my own quad. I changed a couple parts such as battery, frame and motors but your guide was very helpful in finding out what I needed. I used ecalc to simulate my design and from that was able to estimate air time and load capacity for various motor propellor combinations. I would highly recommend checking it out!

shubham8753 months ago
sir i am from India and i had tried so many time to order the materials on hobbyking website , but it is unable to proceed the material in India. So its my kind request please provide me any other website.......

I shall ever be grateful to you
psawant44 months ago
what is the flight time?

it depends on the battery, but 10 to 20 mins with a 2200 mah.

OBINNAE3 months ago
is there any other frame design I can use
aaron0127 OBINNAE3 months ago


heres all the frames hobbyking carrys

aaron01273 months ago

I really don't like the frame. the arms keep twisting no matter how tight all the screws are and the carbon fiber tubes crack because of the pressure on them.

Chris_Schroeder (author)  aaron01273 months ago

EDIT #1 Gorilla glue works great instead of loctite for the frame, ensures that you wont have any legs moving around.

^ This is directly from the parts page of the guide. Please make sure you read carefully next time. Whatever you do, DO NOT just try tightening the clamps on the legs, because yes, they will crack under that pressure.

thanks for the tip. ill try super glue cause that's what i have. BTW the motors where a great choice bit powefull but thats good.

AbigailL13 months ago

The Turnigy 6X FHSS 2.4ghz Transmitter and Reciever (Mode 1) is on backorder on Hobby King. Any other suggestions on where to find it?

lburton3 made it!4 months ago
thank you for making this instructable it was a lot of fun making it. I have been trouble flying it though. it might just be me but I think the self leveler isn't configured properly as it just looses control when it takes off. do you know how I can solve this?
Chris_Schroeder (author)  lburton34 months ago

Hey Iburton3!

The self lever needs to be configured properly with your own input and settings. This can be done in the settings of the control board under the "SELF LEVEL SETTINGS" section in the menu. If you need a quick youtube video explaining how this works let me know! I haven't been replying to many people on here lately because i'm quite busy at the moment with school.

Hope this helps! And thanks for using my build :)

Chris. S


Thank you for the reply. I have looked at these settings but i'm not sure what to do. If you could make a video that would be great. Thank you

Chris_Schroeder (author)  lburton34 months ago

Here is a link to the video I used while building the quad,

Hope this helps!


Flying =)

Chris_Schroeder (author)  viktor.hromyk11 months ago

Congratulations! This is fantastic! Great work.

Thank you - here are some pics =)

sq49-WrLQI8.jpg2XSb7A2__Oo.jpgDSCN0002.JPG20140901_185129.jpgScreenshot (35).png
victor , could i contact u on Facebook or gmail
NativeMaxican5 months ago
I'm using the 2200 mAh LiPo you suggested, but I'm only getting a maximum of 30 seconds of flight time. Is this normal?
chewdog3161 year 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)  chewdog3161 year 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.

Will this quad self level and be "easy" to fly, I'm trying to decide if I should go with the blade helis 200 we quad or make my own off of this? Thanks helps alot

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

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
GHawley blackcamo5 months ago
Just made my day^
neopotter6 months ago

Which configurations did you use on the KK board? Can you get me a list of all the configurations? Thanks

0ddoomus0 made it!6 months ago

One of my mounting gold pieces for the center of the frame broke when I torqued it too high. Also, one of the cylinders for one of the legs went missing after it shook loose during a flight. For these setbacks, I bought some machine screws from lowes "4-40x1-1/4" with accompanying nuts. These have worked really really well, very inexpensive, and come in variuos lengths between 1/2'' to 1-1/2''. I also used these to mount my flight control board.

I had some trouble with my carbon fiber arms turning (the motor / prop would end up tilted) after a hard landing, and made the mistake of really torquing down the pieces which hold around the carbon fiber tubes. I ended up fracturing it, not knowing it until I had a hard (not very hard) landing and the carbon fiber arm snapped. To combat this, I got my carbon fiber arms where I wanted them, slid them out, and coated them with a light coat of gorilla glue. Then torqued things down, not so hard this time. With a day of drying everything has held together great.

I am still an awful pilot as this is my first quad. I recommend taking it as slowly as possible to save yourself money, and the shame of wrecking it 5 minutes into your first flight like I did.

When making the 5'' extensions for the esc to motor wires, I think I may have done more like 6'', but even 3'' would have been plenty. Take a look at my pictures and you can see there's quite a bit of excess. It's not that big of a deal, but I think 5'' is too much.

2015-01-24 12.26.08.jpg2015-01-24 12.33.47.jpg2015-01-24 12.34.09.jpg2015-01-24 12.34.31.jpg2015-01-24 12.34.49.jpg2015-01-24 12.34.57.jpg

how much voltage i should fly my quadcopter

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