Monthly Archives: May 2016

Build a Performance Quadcopter for under £150 – Part 2

I would like to start off by saying thank you to HobbyKing for their extremely prompt service. I now have in my possession a cardboard box full of quadcopter parts. I wasn’t going to waste any time getting started.

The first task was to assemble the frame. The frame consists of two glass fibre plates, an upper and lower plate, as well as four coloured plastic arms, two red and two white. How you configure of these arms is entirely up to you. I decided I would have the two white arms pointing forwards while the red arms pointed backwards. Attaching the arms is simply a case of screwing them to each plate with the screws provided. I found it easier to attached the arms to the lower plate first before adding the upper plate. If your following along with your own build be careful not to over tighten these screws and I would suggest investing in a decent set of hex drivers before starting.

With the frame assembled I then moved on to attaching the motors. This was simply a case of lining the up the holes on the motor with the holes at the end of each arm and using the screws provided with the frame to secure them in place.

Keeping this post short because I have run out of time for now. Next up I will be preparing the speed controllers and flashing them with Simon K’s modified firmware. So stay tuned.

Build a Performance Quadcopter for under £150 – Part 1

With summer fast approaching I decided it was high time I started a new project. I have been toying with the idea of building a quadcopter for a while now. The internet is littered with websites and videos detailing other people’s builds so I decided to give it a go. What will follow hopefully is a number of successive posts detailing my build process. Which should provide enough instruction for other people to build their own.

From the outset I had a fairly rough idea of what I wanted to achieve but for a little more inspiration I started reading a other peoples builds. One if the best builds I found was from a chap named Daniel J. Gonzalez. He based his quadcopter around a 330 mm frame which seemed like a good compromise to me. Click on the picture below to jump directly to the build on his blog.

Daniel J. Gonzalez My First Quadrotor

Daniel J. Gonzalez’s My First Quadrotor.

Like Daniel I opted to use the Hobby King F330 glass fibre frame. For the flight controller I decided on the Hobby King KK2.1.5 based purely on the customer reviews. Apparently the KK is easy to set-up and flies exceptionally well. It may well do with a competent pilot but time will tell how it copes with me in control. The speed controls I chose were the Hobby King blue series controllers. These are a fairly standard controllers however they can be flashed with Simon K’s high performance firmware optimized for quadcopter use. More on this later. The motors were Turnigy 1100kV outrunners which I am hoping should produce more than enough thrust to get the quadcopter off the ground and maybe even enough to carry a GoPro in the future.

The complete shopping list is shown below:-

Part Quantity Cost ($)
Glass Fiber Mini Quadcopter Frame 330mm 1 11.75
D2822/17 Brushless Outrunner 1100kv 4 20.00
Hobbyking KK2.1.5 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board 1 19.99
HobbyKing 20A BlueSeries Brushless Speed Controller 4 39.40
GWS Style Slowfly Propeller 8×4.5 Black (CW) (4pcs) 1 2.63
GWS Style Slowfly Propeller 8×4.5 Black (CW) (4pcs) 1 2.62
Turnigy High Quality 14AWG Silicone Wire 1m (Red) 1 1.56
Turnigy High Quality 14AWG Silicone Wire 1m (Black) 1 1.56
Turnigy High Quality 18AWG Silicone Wire 1m (Red) 1 0.60
Turnigy High Quality 18AWG Silicone Wire 1m (Black) 1 0.80
10CM Servo Lead (JR) 32AWG Ultra Light 1 2.46
PolyMax 3.5mm Gold Connectors 10 PAIRS 2 4.20
Turnigy 4mm Heat Shrink Tube 1M (Red) 1 0.85
Turnigy 4mm Heat Shrink Tube 1M (Black) 1 0.73
Turnigy 5mm Heat Shrink Tube 1M (Red) 1 0.77
Turnigy 5mm Heat Shrink Tube 1M (Black) 1 0.68
Nylon XT60 Connectors Male/Female 1 3.92

Total spend = $114.52 + $8.09 (shipping) = $122.61 which was approximately £89.42 GBP at the time of purchase. All that was required to complete the build would then be a suitable 3S LiPo battery pack and radio system. I hadn’t decided on which radio system to use so opted to leave that until the initial build was complete.

Parts on order so the next post I shall start the build process.