We get questions frequently asking what multi-rotor gear do we use and fly. Here in this video I touch briefly on our heavy lifters and ground station hexacopter, but explain mostly about our quad FPV racer.
So what is an FPV racer? FPV stands for First Person View. So a FPV racer is a small multi-rotor (a.k.a drone) that is built for speed and has a small camera in the front along with a video transmitter on board for the pilot to fly by.
These small drones are a lot of fun to fly once you gain experience. Now, we wanted to accomplish two things with our FPV racer. First, we enjoy mastering our flying abilities in manual mode. Most multi-rotors fly in an “auto leveling” flight mode (such as attitude mode) which allows the air ship to stay upright automatically. This makes flying a multi-rotor a lot easier for beginners. However, just like anything, we’re always wanting to advance our flying skills to better ourselves as pilots. With all of that being said, we use our quad to practice flying in manual mode (no auto leveling). That way, if we crash, we don’t crash an extremely expensive ship.
Now a lot of multi-rotor kits are RTF (ready to fly) or ARF (almost ready to fly). Now if you’re a newbie, I don’t recommend building your own quad by yourself. You’ll need someone with building and soldering experience.
Now those of you who are interested in the parts we used to build our quad, they’re listed below. So where is the best place to order parts? There’s a great RC shop here in the USA called 2DogRC. These guys are great to work with mainly because they’re a one stop shop. They pretty much carry everything that you’ll need to get your FPV racer built.
Another bonus about 2DogRC is they’re currently offering a promo code to give you a 10% discount on your order. Simply use the promo code: “vidmuze300” in your shopping cart on their website to apply the discount.
[table caption=”Quad Parts” width=”600″ colwidth=”20|500″ colalign=”left|left|center|left”]
1,“Inversion” Carbon Fiber 2dogrc 300 Size Folding Arms Quad,1x
2,Emax MT2204-2300 Motors (2x CW & 2x CCW),4x
3,ZTW Mantis 12A SimonK Brushless Motor Multirotor ESC (1x spare),5x
4,EP 6030 HD Carbon Fiber Propeller (carry spares),12x
5,Open Pilot CC3D Board,1x
6,Power Distribution Board,1x
7,5.8 GHz 600 mW FPV Wireless AV Transmitter,1x
9,Futaba R6303SB 2.4G FASST 3/18 Channel SBus,1x
10,3S 11.1V 25C DJI Phantom Li-Poly Battery, 3x
11,Boscan HD19 FPV Cam,1x
12,High Intensity LED Lights – 1 foot of 18 LED’s (choose 2 colors),2x
Now remember, if this is your first time building a multi-rotor, try to have someone who’s done it before, help you. The process can be tricky and confusing at times. Take your time and go slow. “Haste makes waste,” or in this case, “Haste makes you crash.”
Below are some photos during our build process.
1). One main thing to remember when building your drone is to have a game plan before assembling. Have all of your components laid out and plan what goes where. It’s a bad feeling when you’ve assembled some or worse yet, most of your ship parts and something was done incorrectly. Lot’s of wasted time.
2). Thinking ahead…a.k.a. bullet connectors. Consider using bullet connectors on your ESCs rather then soldering them directly to the power hungry board. I’ve had ESCs go bad on me throughout the years, and its always nice to swap ESCs out in the field and get back to flying. The bullet connectors will add some additional weight to your quad, but it’s worth it in my opinion.
3). Use the correct solder. I used to use flux while soldering which worked well for a while. But as you may or may not know, flux is a pain to use mainly because it leaves a sticky residue and is messy to work with. So I use solder with flux built in. This allows for less mess and less heat is needed when soldering. It’s a win win. For my solder I use 60/40 Rosin-Core. You can get it at any Radio-Shack. It works great!
4). Soldering. There are certainly different ways for soldering. I’ve seen various methods used for different things. The main thing to remember is use high heat when soldering. I always use between 700 – 875 degrees F. You can tell your solder joint was done correctly because the solder becomes shiny and reflective. If the solder joint is dull and has a matte or flat color finish to it, it was a cold solder joint and you didn’t use enough heat. This is bad for two reasons, 1) the solder joint won’t transfer electrically current well and 2), the joint itself will break down the road and this will certainly lead to component failure/crashes.
5). Securing your airframe… a.k.a…”Lock Tight.” Yes, you probably guessed it. Once you’ve completed building your quad and everything has been tested (flown successfully), it’s time to go back and add lock tight to all of your bolts
on the frame. This will prevent any motor vibrations from vibrating your bolts loose. Be sure to use the blue lock tight. Not RED! Also double sided tape such as 3M tape is great for mounting small ESCs, transmitters, etc. Then be sure to use some small wire ties for addition security.
Building and flying multi-rotors is always a lot of fun. There is a lot to learn so take your time. You’ll be up in the air soon enough!