Introduction: Learn and Build a Race Spec Drone

Today, I'm going to teach you how to fly and build a drone "multi-rotor" in our case a Quadcopter. In this tutorial, I will guide you through the rules and regulations of flying a drone, then I'll start guiding you throughout the whole tutorial.

Before I start I would like to announce that there is a Quadcopter promotional sale in Gearbest . It will also be their 2nd anniversary this March 21, 2016, so expect to get your parts from them during the season.

Drone Racing

Drone racing has been around for about 2 years already and recently one of the biggest drone racing events just ended last march 11 and 12. The event took place in Dubai where 150 global teams competed to win the 250,000$ grand prize. At the end of the game, a 15-year-old teen won the grand prize making him a drone racing celebrity today, so who knows, you might be the next World drone racing champ out there.

Note that the video is not mine

My experience as a hobbyist and a drone racer

I've been into this hobby for 4 years already and I have to say this hobby is no joke, so dont use it for stupid things, other than that this hobby is fun and exciting. As a drone racer starting out will not be easy because you will need to get used to the FPV goggles, and the feel of your quad, you will also need to care less about your quad when flying because, if you are afraid of breaking a proppeller or breaking something on your quad, you will never have the guts to learn the right way.

In step 5 you can see my latest build using 3d printing!

This tutorial will be updated daily untill total completion

Step 1: SAFETY DOs and DON'Ts!

Simple right?

Step 2: Buy Your First Drone

When I first got into this hobby 5 years ago I actually had no clue about what to buy, So decided to go for a small quad wherein i'd learn the basics myself and slowly make my way up to build a bigger quadcopter. I bought a ladybird RTF quadcopter, back then I really had no clue on how to make it fly or how it worked, but in time I got it to hover and slowly improved.

Start small but not too small

Why? Because if you buy a quad that is too small you will not be able to experience the real feeling when flying a bigger or aggressive quad.

Another thing is that this will be your indoor quad whenever you have no time to go out on the fields. Remember that you will always need to practice your orientation first.

Quadcopter ReadyToFly options

It's actually up to you, just make sure that its bigger than the size of your palm and make sure that the controller is similar to those of the professional controllers, because you need to practice with the bigger controllers wherein the feeling will be almost be the same as the real deal.

Here I have a couple of suggested RTF quads, but still in the end it still depends on you

JXD 509G 5.8G 2.0MP Camera RC Quadcopter

Yifei Model XS



Step 3: Read the Manual

learn the quadcopter inside and out

Here is a pdf file that you can print out and read on your free time

I'd like to thank for making my life easier by using their pdf file

Anyways be sure to read the guide.

Step 4: What to Do Next?

to Its really simple actually. Just save money for your next quadcopter, but this time, it's the real deal.

You must be familiar with the parts of a drone at this part so be sure you have downloaded the pdf file from the previous page

So how much would it cost to build your own quadcopter?

It depends, do you want your setup to be normal or for a budget price? or do you want to start racing? My advice here is that if you really want to race you have to make sure that you have all the basics down in flying your quadcopter, and to the point that you would say "I'm bored at flying my toy-grade quadcopter I want something faster" once you can say that I suggest going all out on your next quad because those race spec drones pack a lot of punch and eventually you will need to get used to the power of these little beasts.

You can buy packages available in Gearbest

ZMR 250 Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame with CC3D Flight Controller Brushless Motor ESC Set 88$

EMAX Nighthawk 200 Pure Carbon Fiber Quadcopter - ARF Version 150$


Frsky Transmitter with reciever 209$

Turnigy Neutron 80W DC Touch Screen Charger 19.99$ "sale"

3s or 4s Li-po 1400mah 65c "14-25$"

That makes it roughly 340$

But wait! That is without the FPV equipment

Fpv is the one responsible for giving you a live feedback on your monitor

Here is a package that offers fpv equipment

REDCON Phoenix 210 Assembling 5.8GHz FPV "will still require FPV receiver and monitor"


TS5823S Multirotor Accessory 40CH Transmitter 5.8GHz 200MW

BOSCAM RC805 FPV 5.8G 8 Channel Audio Video Wireless Receiver

Spare WIMAXIT SEETEC FPV Monitor with Receiver


Too lazy to decide?

Kylin KF - 250 - 02 RTF Quadcopter

800TVL HD Camera / 2.4G 9CH / 5.8G FPV / High Level of Integration PCB CC3D + OSD + PMU / 6 Axis Gyro / Brushless Motor / Long Control Distance

All you really need here is a monitor with a built-in receiver

Give me a PM if you need help with budgeting or choosing your parts online

Step 5: My Build With 3d Printing

I will be showing you guys my latest project! It's a 3d printed frame using the parts similar to a ZMR 250 frame

It is one of the classic X configuration frame,

My design is based from

I designed my Quad to have a battery cover at the bottom just to protect it from a hard landing

My parts are for Drone racing so you might think it is too much but I have to tell you guys this setup is a little hard to get used to.


Motors: 4x Cobra Cm2204 2300kv 83.96$

Flight Controller: SP racing F3 "deluxe" 78.99$

ESC: 4x Little Bee ESC 20a 68$

Receiver: FrSky D4R-II 4ch 2.4Ghz ACCST Receiver (w/telemetry) 24.99$

3D printed Parts: 30$


FPV setup 34.8$

TS5823S Multirotor Accessory 40CH Transmitter 5.8GHz 200MW

CCD fpv cam Sony 700tvl

Total 320.74$

That is without the transmitter, charger, and monitor


Step 6: 3d Printed Frame

Again I based my design from something I found in thingiverse.

Parts list for the frame:

4x ZMR arms

4x Arm spacers

2x Bottom plates

1x Top plate

1x side panel

1x Battery cover

8x M3x30mm Screws

8x M3x10mm screws

8x M3 Lock nuts

8x M3 x 5mm screws or 8mm "size may change if your motors are different"

Step 7: Assembly 1

Here we have our motors paired with an ESC for each individual. Here I placed a motor guard for each motor just to protect it from crashes, these guards will avoid the risks of bending the main shaft of the motor.


1. Trim the wires from the motor.

2. Remove the motor wires from the ESC

3. Mount the Motors along with a motor guard for each arm.

4. Apply some 3M double adhesive tape underneath each ESC and carefully place it on top of the arm.

Do these properly and make 4 of these

Step 8: Assembly 2 "ESC Motor Soldering"

These motors actually have a pattern, but always make sure that the center wire of the motor will connect to the center terminal of the ESC. Then for the left and right terminal you can interchange them meaning that there is no polarity, although these motors will rotate in different directions, we can edit the motor direction as we get through the flight controller setup.

Step 9: Assembly 3 "PDB"

Get one bottom plate and put a strap through it, I use a Team black sheep strap, these straps have these rubbery texture, therefore securing your li-po batteries while flying.

1. Put the strap onto the bottom plate "picture for reference"

2. Mount the PDB on-top and screw it in place.

3. Solder the power lines of your ESC respectively.

"Forgot to get a picture... Get an XT60 connector with wire and solder in onto the PDB"

4. Since my ESC is an OPTO version I had to put a 5v regulator. This regulator will supply 5v to the flight controller.


Step 10: Assembly 4 "cover Up"

Looking good here,

This part can somewhat be hard because you will have to route the wires properly then put the other bottom plate on top

1. Screw in the Stand off on the other bottom plate "Picture for reference"

2. without putting the flight controller yet route the signal wires throughout the center of the bottom plate

3. Using the 8x M3x30mm screws place it just the way I did. "us the picture as reference"

4. When everything is in place, screw it up using the locknuts.

5. The flight controller can be mounted at this point.

Step 11: Assembly 5 Power Up

Remember the 5v regulator line?

I hooked it up onto the 5v line of the flight controller

And for the ESC signal lines I just followed the pins according to the picture.

Front left motor to Pin 4

Front right to Pin 2

Rear left to pin 3

Rear right to pin 1

Step 12: Almost Done

Wiring in this part is easier, All that is left to do is to just connect the receiver to the flight controller.

Here is used a D4R-II, unlike the old receivers this one uses a PPM function. PPM is a way for the receiver to transmit signal pulses with just one wire, unlike the old ones which use multiple wire just to control a single channel.

Basically I just used one wire to control the whole quad.


1. Mount the side panel

2. Configure your wire harness for your receiver

3. Connect Respectively.

Youtube is your best friend guys!

4.mount your top plate

Step 13: Battery Cover

The battery cover will serve as your primary landing gear

Using your 4 stand-offs, screw it in based on the picture above

Then screw the bottom cover in position,

We are not yet done!

Step 14: Configuration

Getting it all done does not mean you are finished.

you still need to configure your quad by updating and tuning the flight controller.

Click on the video to better understand how to configure it

This is for naze boards

Step 15:

Hack Your Day Contest

Participated in the
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Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016