Bottle Cap Microquadcopter




Introduction: Bottle Cap Microquadcopter

Because I couldn't wait for the new body shell for the hubsan x4 to come, I had to have an alternative to fly!

So, after some hours thinking and trying several scrap objects, I finally found out that I could tight together 4 black paper clips and a part of a 5 liter water bottle. The clips clamp the 4 coreless motors. The flight controller it is protected by the botle tap. The leds are glued to the paper clips with hot glue.

Step 1: Remove Components From Crashed Hubsan

Unscrew 3 screws to remove the cover.
Take a photo of the bottom of the flight controller.
Unsolder the motors.
Remove the feet of hubsan.
You should be able to get off all the parts after this steps.

Step 2: Remove the Grip Part of the 5 Liter Water Bottle. You May Use a Sharp Nife. Be Aware to Not Cut Your Self. the Part You Have to Save Is the Part That Holds the Grip to the Bottle

Step 3: Attach the Motors to the Paper Clips.

Open the clips and grip the motors.

You have to do it otherwise it will be a bit difficult to attach the the tap grip.

Step 4: Remove the Paper Clip Metallic Parts

You have to do it to attach to the bottle tap grip.

Step 5: Attach the Paper Clips to the Bottle Tap Grip

Should be something like the picture but without the flight controller

Step 6: Solder Back the Motors to the Flight Controller

This is a very tiny circuit board. You may have to use a magnifier len. I had to!
If you don't remember the wiring. Check the photo you take in the 1st step

Step 7: Glue the Leds to the Side of Each Clip. Just a Little Bit of Glue Is Enough. Try to Have Them to the Front and Back to Be Easy to Understand the Position in the Air.

Step 8: Final Touches

Adjust the flight controller to be on the top.

Guide the wiring through the side of the clips not to be cut during landing.

Attach the battery with duck tape.

Optionally use the bottle tap to cover the upper part.

Attach propellers

Step 9: That's It

Test and fly.

The setup is a little bit heavier than the original, more 9g. You will note that during the flight.

Also the grip (the blue circle) is not very rigid and you also notice that is not so balanced.

Behind this 2 issues, it works and you can still fly while waiting for the spares to come☺

Have fun

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    I think this would be a perfect application for 3d printing. You could custom print an extremely minimal body that would be perfectly balanced and very light.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your comment. Absolutely! I'm crazy mad to have one 3d printer. I'm thinking to build one prusa i3. I've to check if it fits my DIY budget :D


    7 years ago

    Good build, but Why not thermo vacuum form a body you cold make hundreds before you print one. And see how thin a plastic you can use to keep it light


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. Video flying or building it?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow. I wonder whether a "decent" (longer-life) drone could be build from scraps? How much of it actually needs to be bought?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your feedback. The part I replaced with scraps was only the body shell of the hubsan x4 107L which costs 3$. All the rest is needed:

    -Flight controller with speed controllers, 6 axis gyroscope sensor, receiver etc 12$

    -Transmitter 18$

    -4 motors 10$

    -4 propellers 2$

    A new complete quad costs arround 40$.

    I think that to build one just with scraps it quite difficult, because the FC is quite complex electronic part to be build from scrap. But I cannot say impossible, because I don't believe that word :D

    This was the first solution I found to keep flying while waiting the body shell spare to come. I've one body now made with "technic LEGO" :D with the same based setup.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    if you start from a broken quadrocopter, you won't hit any obstacles when building it. if you want to do it properly (from ground up), you will have a bit more work and the cost of your project may raise drastically. you need 4 brushless DC motors and 4 controllers snd some sort of communication interface for controlling your quadrocopter. all motors have to be same, which makes finding appropriate scrap parts difficult... also scrap batteries are called scrap for a reason: they won't have enough capacity...

    in conclusion: quadrocopter 100% from scrap is doable but hard and relatively infeasible... you can do it for fun but don't expect much (I am talking from experience)