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.


Step 1: Building Materials

The frame - Turnigy Talon Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame 
This is an awesome frame that I found for a relatively inexpensive price considering its almost full carbon fiber. Its sturdy as hell and so far there are no obvious design flaws. 30$

MotorsTurnigy L2210A-1650 Brushless Motor 
These motors are fantastic. They produce plenty of lift if you plan on carrying a GoPro or any other sort of camera and they are relatively cheap compared to some other high end ones. The real bonus though is that they come with prop adapters so they should fit just about any size props you want to put on this drone. You need at minimum 4 of these but i recommend buying a couple extra just to be on the safe side. 11$ each

Electronic Speed Controllers - 25amp Speed Controller
These ESC's are rugged and work really well. ESC's control the motors by varying the amount of current that is sent to them, these are a must for any RC vehicle using brushless motors. Don't buy any that go bellow 25amp because they need to be able to take the high current that the battery is going to be putting out.  You need 4 of these and it is optional if you want to buy extra but they are securely attached to the frame so it is unlikely you will damage them in any crashes. 12.50$ each

EDIT #1 The propellers I have listed bellow are slightly too big for the motors I previously listed above. This is an issue that has come to my attention and that needs some sorting out. If you want to use the props that are listed below all you need to buy are heftier motors. Likewise, If you choose to use the motors listed above all you need to is buy some smaller props, most likely 9*4.7. As Flyingsurfer848 pointed out (in the comment section) it is optimal to instead use motors with a KV rating closer to 1000 and 9*4.7 props. However if you are like me and have already got the props listed bellow and the motors previously listed above, they WILL still work! The risk is only noticeable when you max the throttle and frankly I have never taken it up past half because that's already plenty of power. So there is no reason to panic. 

Propellers10x4.5 SF Props 2pc Standard Rotation/2 pc RH Rotation (Black)
10 inch pros work well with the size of the Turnigy frame. They produce plenty of thrust combined with the motors above and they fit the prop adapters. Feel free to also buy these in different colors Stock up on plenty of these! Because these are what tend BREAK THE FASTEST if you are new Quadcopter pilot like myself. 3$ (set of 2CWR 2CCWR)

EDIT #1 Propeller Balancer - Just Google search some of these. They are very useful in getting all your props weighted nicely so they cause less vibration. Buy some high grit sandpaper to lightly file the props down with. 10 - 25$

Flight Controller -  Hobbyking KK2.0 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board
After scouring the Hobbyking website for more than a couple days I found this board. It comes jam packed right out of the box with all the software needed to fly the quad. Through this board it is also possible to calibrate all ESC's within 30 seconds which i found most impressive since it saves a lot of tedious programming. The LED screen also makes navigating the board a cake walk. I highly recommend purchasing this board if you are new to Quadcopters and multi-rotor craft because it truly simplifies life. 30$ (worth the price)

Transmitter/ReceiverTurnigy 6X FHSS 2.4ghz Transmitter and Reciever (Mode 1)
At minimum to fly a quad you need 4 channels but I'm going to tell you now that it will be much easier if you get one that has 6. This remote also lets you reverse the channels which makes it easy to configure and control your quad. 30$

ESC Programming CardBESC Programming Card
There are a bunch of ways to program ESC's but I figured that this is the simplest way to do it. Make sure that which ever card you purchase is compatible with your ESC's. This turnigy card is compatible with all Turnigy plush speed controllers. 7$

Battery - 
2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack
Of course a battery is essential for your Quad. Feel free to choose whatever brand you want as long as it does not exceed 4S (meaning 4 cells). The higher the C rating the higher the current your battery will put out which gives more power to your Quad but also discharges your battery faster. 8$

Velcro StrapsVELCRO U.S.A. INC  3/4-Inch 12-Feet
To attach the battery to the bottom of my Quadcopter I used these Velcro straps. Its efficient and the straps fit perfectly in the slots on the bottom of the frame. There is probably tons of other ways to accomplish attaching the battery but i found this way to be quick and easy. 6$

Battery Charger - Turnigy Accucel-6 50W 6A Balancer
Most chargers will work with just about any type of battery so you kinda have free reign over choosing your own. This Turnigy one works really well and it allows me to program the number of cells and type of battery i'm charging. (It is also optional to buy a power supply for this charger so you don't need to use a car battery.) 23$

Power Distribution Board -  Hobby King Quadcopter Power Distribution Board
I highly recomend getting one of these. It makes connecting your ESC's to the battery simple and reduces the mess of wires you will have dangling around the Quadcopter. 4$

Bullet Connectors3.5mm Bullet Connectors - 10 Pairs
ts nice to be able to disassemble your quad if you have a malfunction or you accidentally make a wrong connection so use these to make all of your connections on the Quadcopter with the exception of the battery. Buy a couple sets at least because it will be nice to have some extras in the event that one comes off due to a bad soldering job. 5$ (for 10 pairs)

WireWire 16AWG (1mtr)
Its up to you if you think you'll need it or not but it helped me out cause it meant I didn't have to stretch the ESC's as much on the frame. If you get some extra wire, purchase 1mtr of Red and Black (It helps differentiate + and -) plus its cheap.  1$ (for 1mtr)

Servo LeadsMale to Male Servo Lead 
You will absolutely need these (if you don't already have any) to connect the receiver to the KK 2.0 Flight Controller.  5$ (set of 10)

Above is the list of all the parts I needed to order but just in case (bellow) this is a second smaller list for all the extra stuff I used that i'm assuming you already have:

- Heat shrink to clean up soldering connections and prevent short circuiting the system.
- Helping hands to make soldering easier.
- A Dremel to cut off long screws. This is optional but i had to use it on a couple occasions.
- Allen Wrench set because you will not receive any with the frame kit.
- Ratchet for tightening nuts.
- Loctite to make sure nothing would come loose.
EDIT  #1 Gorilla glue works great instead of loctite for the frame, ensures that you wont have any legs moving around.
- Soldering Iron and Solder
<p>By the way, it is indeed capable of carrying a gopro. </p>
<p>That's incredible, really nice looking Quadcopter you built. Glad you figured out a way to mount the gopro! I'm very impressed. </p>
<p>Hi! I built my first quadcopter with the help of your instructions. Thank you! Greetings from germany!!</p>
<p>Congratulations! That's looking awesome!</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>I would like to know. is the programming hard to configure the remote with the quad copter? is there any possible way for me to know about how to code it. </p><p>Im new in programming. Thank You.</p>
<p>This is awesome. Going to help me with my project so much, cant wait to build it.</p>
thanks for your gratest informatoin .please give the site )
<p>wats the budget of the quadcopter</p>
<p>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?</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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 &quot;starting out&quot; 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.</p>
<p>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?</p>
<p>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!</p>
<p>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!</p>
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....... <br><br>I shall ever be grateful to you
what is the flight time?
<p>it depends on the battery, but 10 to 20 mins with a 2200 mah. </p>
is there any other frame design I can use
<p><a href="http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__502__501__Multi_Rotors_Parts-Frame_Kits.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__502__50...</a></p><p>heres all the frames hobbyking carrys </p>
<p>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. </p>
<p><em><strong>EDIT #1 </strong></em><strong>Gorilla glue </strong>works great instead of loctite for the frame, ensures that you wont have any legs moving around.</p><p>^ 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. </p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>The <a href="http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__24901__Turnigy_6X_FHSS_2_4ghz_Transmitter_and_Reciever_Mode_1_.html?strSearch=turnigy%20tran" rel="nofollow">Turnigy 6X FHSS 2.4ghz Transmitter and Reciever (Mode 1)</a> is on backorder on Hobby King. Any other suggestions on where to find it?</p>
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?
<p>Hey Iburton3! </p><p>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 &quot;SELF LEVEL SETTINGS&quot; 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. </p><p>Hope this helps! And thanks for using my build :)</p><p>Chris. S</p>
<p>Hello, </p><p>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 </p>
<p>Here is a link to the video I used while building the quad,</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f0Bh3fMGHbM" width="500"></iframe></p><p>Hope this helps!</p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Bh3fMGHbM</p>
<p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CB4cg37U7hU" width="500"></iframe></p><p>Flying =)</p>
<p>Congratulations! This is fantastic! Great work. </p>
<p>Thank you - here are some pics =)</p>
victor , could i contact u on Facebook or gmail
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?
<p>This is a great build, so informative. I have two questions.</p><p>1. Do you reccomend any additional videos, like you mentioned above, or instruction links that you may have used.</p><p>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.</p>
<p>To answer your questions:</p><p>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:<strong><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f0Bh3fMGHbM." width="500"></iframe></strong> Its a tutorial to understand the auto-level settings on the KK2 board.</p><p>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.</p><p>Thanks so much for your feedback and questions! I appreciate them. </p>
Will this quad self level and be &quot;easy&quot; 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
<p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Bh3fMGHbM, The last link didn't work here is the video link. <br></p>
<p>is it remote controllable..?</p>
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
Just made my day^
<p>Which configurations did you use on the KK board? Can you get me a list of all the configurations? Thanks</p>
<p>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 &quot;4-40x1-1/4&quot; 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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p>
<p>how much voltage i should fly my quadcopter</p>
<p>which part will decide the range of control of my quadcopter</p>
Hi Chris, I'm kinda new to multirotors<br> so my question is if the frame could be replaced with aluminum tubings, the motor a with 1300kv motor, the props to 9*4.7 , the flight controller to a hobbyking kk2.1 and the transmitter to a 9x 9ch transmitter w/ module and 8ch receiver (v 2) and would it still be able to carry a camera?
I also wanted to know if the parts would be compatible with each other<br>
<p>with aluminium tubeing, and a camara, you would have very little control. the carbon fiber booms are worth it. might want to use sunnysky x2212 for carrying more equipment </p>
<p>That would have more than enough power to carry a camera. I built one very similar.</p>
<p>What kind of flight times do you get on this? Calculators on the internet gets like 6 minutes?</p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm currently in grade 12 and learning all I can about engineering. Building/learning about complex machines and computers is one of my passions ... More »
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