Introduction: Simple Quadcopter, Basic Tools Only.

About: I love making things. I have for as long as I can remember liked to make stuff. Now days I have two kids (Thomas and Emma) and most of the things I do are safe for them! I love electronics and Microchips, I ha…

Easy to make using just basic tools (drill and saw)

This build was created in response to a member of my model boat club saying that my normal models were too complicated! what he meant was that he only uses a jigsaw and a hand plane and doesn't have a Scroll saw! so with that in mind i came up with this model.

You only need a hand saw and drill to make the frame, and a soldering iron to connect all the wires.

Step 1: Step 1: the Wood.

So let's start with the wood bits, you will need the following.

  1. 12mm * 32mm * 250mm long pine strip. 4 required for the arms.
  2. 120mm square 1/4" plywood central hub. 2 required.
  3. Small triangles of wood to locate arms 1/8" plywood
  4. 10mm * 60mm strip of 1/4" plywood to locate the battery. 2 required.

NOTE: if you don't want the arms to fold in then most of this section can be ignored! just line up the arms on the hubs and screw permanently in place.

OTHERWISE do the following!

So take the two 120mm squares and mark out diagonals make sure the two lines are at 90 degrees to each other. Then take a compass and mark out a circle with 56mm radius. If you don't have a compass then just use a ruler but be as accurate as you can. Then with the two bits of 1/4" ply nailed together drill pilot holes where the circle cross the diagonal lines.

Next take the 4 arms and mark out the center line down one end, then mark a line 38mm in from the end. pilot drill these holes and check the arms fit on the hub and that they can be moved to make the model flat for ease of transport.

The next stage is the most import to get accurate. take two offcuts of 1/8" plywood and true up one corner to exactly 90 degrees. make sure the triangle fits in between two arms and trim the corners to allow the arms to fold in. (see the picture) Before glueing (and nailing) the triangles into place make doubly sure all the arms are 90 degrees apart.

You can see in one of the pictures i have used two captive nuts to allow the arms to be locked into place, but i really don't think these are needed, you should be able to get away with just good pressure on the screws and lock nuts on the arms. A little bit of "give" in the arms helps on heavy landings (AKA crashes)

Step 2: Step 2: Mounting the Bits.

In this step we are going to mount all the hardware. Which is basically the motors, ESC's and the flight control board.

The motors come with an aluminium mount which in most cases i discard, but it's the perfect way to mount the motors onto the arms. Just screw the mount to the motor with the supplied countersunk screws and then mark out the holes onto the arms. Then pilot the holes with a 2mm drill. Piloting the holes is very important due to the closeness of the hole to the edge of the wood, if you try to just screw the motors down without piloting then you will probably split the wood. Once you have drilled the holes then screw the motors down using a number 8 * 12mm long screw.

The ESC's are just held in place using double sided foam tape and a tie wrap. just make sure you mount them to allow the arms to fold up.

The flight control board is again mounted using foam tape. Make sure you confirm the motor directions before mounting and align according to the configuration you want (either + or X)

Step 3: Step 3: Wiring.

Starting with the motor wires, my preference is to NOT use connectors. i like to solder the wires together directly. Just make sure that you alternate the motor direction by swapping two wires around every second motor. then make sure you heat shrink over all the joints.

The power wires were joined together in pairs first then the two wires were both soldered onto the deans plug. (check out the picture)

Step 4: Step 4: Setting Up the FC KK2.1.5 Fw 1.19S1 Pro Steveis.

I have chosen to use a KK board on this build as i believe it is the easiest FC board for beginners. All the setup can be done on the board and you don't need to connect via a laptop or via BlueTooth etc.


The first stage is to confirm motor direction and for this i use a servo tester. I connected an opposite pair to the servo tester and confirmed that the pair are both rotating the same way and make a note on the arms as to which direction they are going. Then i repeat for the other two arm which should rotate the other direction.

Now wire up one of the ESC to the output number one on the FC this will allow you to power it up and chose the layout. Connect a battery which should then turn on the kk board. if you have loaded the latest FW then you will be told to load a motor layout, press the menu button and then the down untill you get to "load motor layout" option. you have two options quad in "+" or quad in "X" make your selection and then take a look at the layout. With the directions you marked onto the arms you can now mount the FC board and assign the motors to the relevant outputs (1 to 4). Also with the KK board powered up i set the Self_level to always on.

Lastly you need to mount your receiver and check all channel are operating in the correct direction and giving out the correct pulse. You may also have to set the throttle range on you ESC's i do this by connecting the ESC to the receiver throttle channel then turn on the transmitter and place throttle to max then connect the battery which will power up the esc and make it enter configuration mode. For the HobbyPower ESC's you need to wait for the beeps to sound then lower the throttle to min and again wait for the ESC to confirm the setting. If you need more information then check out the video (10 minutes in)

And that's it! enjoy you flying!

Make It Fly! Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Make It Fly! Contest 2017