Can one build their RC quadcopter? This is a question that runs in one mind when they hear about RC building for noobs. Yes, you can build your drone from scratch and it will work perfectly fine.

However, one will be required to purchase the components to assembly the airplane. Besides that this is a learning experience to know what fits where and how the quad works. This, in turn, helps with the repair of the device in case of a crash. Here we’ll talk about the basic steps into constructing a mini quad.  

Mini Quad Parts 

Assembling a quad is not such an easy task, one needs to be careful to ensure all the parts are in place. You wouldn’t want to produce a sub stand drone that is defective. Therefore, we recommend creating a list of the parts that need to assembly your toy. 

Once you have bought all the parts tick against each box to ensure you have everything. For our mini quadcopter here is the list of the items we need to build it. 

  • Frame:                    Martin II Special Edition
  • FC:                          Kakute F7 AIO
  • ESC:                        Holybro Tekko 32 35A
  • Motor:                     DYS Sunfun 2207 2400KV
  • Propeller:                HQ 5.1 *4.1*3
  • RX:                          Frsky XSR
  • FPV Camera:         Oscar’s Phoenix 
  • VTX:                        Eachine TX805
  • FPV Antenna:         Foxeer Lollipop V2
  • Misc Parts:              XT60 Pigtail, Buzzer, and IntoFPV Battery Strap
  • Optional parts:        Low ESC Capacitor and Spare Nylon Standoffs    

There other essential parts that you will need to ensure the Kwad works perfectly. The components include:

  • A radio Transmitter which is used in controlling the device
  • A pair of FPV goggles for real-time footage. You could use FatShark HDO2 or the Skyzone SKY03O
  • Batteries to power the drone which could be 1500mAh LiPo or 4S 1300mAh and a battery charge  

Steps of Building a mini quadcopter 

1.Frame preparation and assembly

Preparation of the frame requires you to sand down the sharp edges that might cut the wires. Ensure all the edges are smooth to guarantee the wires remain in the right shape. Once, this is done you can wash the frame with soap and water to remove the dust particles.

Remember to dry the frame with a towel that absorbs all the moisture. Then begin to assembly frame by installing the bottom plates, arms, long aluminum standoffs, and nylon standoffs for the FC.     

2.Installation of the Motors

The next step will be installing the motors to the plate arms. We recommend using a loctile on the motor screws to lock them in. This is because when the motors are in use they tend to vibrate which sets them loose after awhile. It’s vital to check that the motor screws don’t touch motor winding. 

3.Wiring Diagram and Dry Fit

This is where it gets a little bit tricky, but we will walk you through the whole process. When wiring you will need the Kakute F7 FC Wiring Diagram. The diagram will show you what goes where and how to fix the rest of the component. To be safe we recommend the “dry fit technique’. 

This is where you attach all the components to their respective regions without actually soldering them in. For a newbie do this process checking carefully what goes where. Then check whether there are any parts left out. Always ensure everything is in place before moving to the next step.     

 4.Installation of ESC and FC

When it comes to installing the ESC you will need to do a little soldering for the parts to be attached. The ESC goes on the arms and then cut the motor wires to length. Afterward, strip the wires around 2mm and tin the ends.

However, before placing the ESC we recommend placing the electrical tape on the arm. This will serve as insulation. Then on top of the electrical tape place a double-sided foam tape. You’ll use the tape to stick the ESC to the arm. Later install the ESC on the arm and solder the motor wires.

The next stage is soldering the power wires and signal wires to the ESC. Remember the Tekko32 ESC’S comes with wires which are red and black. These are the 18AWG power wires. On the other hand, there are the telemetry wires which are white and blue. These are what we call 24AWG. These are the wires that need to be soldered. Plus the signal ground wires on the ESC should not be soldered since they are short and won’t be a problem.

When it comes to installing the FC it’s a simple process. The radio receiver (RX) should be mounted under the FC. This means you should purchase 10 mm standoffs. This applies when you want to change the standoff to fit the RX. But if that isn’t the case then you can mount the RX anywhere on the frame as long as there is space.

For the FC to be installed correctly on the nylon standoff it has to be pointed forward. Then cut the ESC wires to a suitable length. The wires have to be fitted correctly to prevent them from transferring vibrations to the FC.

Therefore, they should be slightly loose and no too tight. A little tip when soldering is to cover the area that you are not working on. And then tin all the solder pads which are going to be used on the FC. Lastly, you can solder the XT60 pigtail to the FC. The wire should be long enough to cover the needed distance when mounting the XT60 on the frame.

On the other hand, the capacitor comes in handy when helping to clean up the noise emanating from the motors and ESC. This means your FPV video shall be clear.  

5.Testing the Motors and ESC Setup

The next step will be testing the motor to see if they are functioning correctly. Therefore plug in the battery. Check for electrical shock and also use a multimeter to check for short circuits. The multimeter will begin to beep if there is a short circuit.

Then try to spin the motors to see if they are moving. This should be done without propellers. The propellers are supposed to spin in the right direction, which is clockwise and anticlockwise for each pair of propellers. You can as well reverse the motor directions using the software (BLHeliSuite) if they don’t follow this pattern. 

 6.Setup Receiver

The radio receiver also needs to be soldering in the flight controller. The Red wire (5V) should go with the 5V pad on the FC. The Black wire (GND) should do with GND, white wire (SBUS) goes with RX4 and the Yellow wire (S.Port) goes with TX6. Then carry out a test to find out if the bars move together with the transmitter stick.

 7.Connecting FPV Camera and VTX 

The next stage is soldering the cables from the VTX and FPV camera to the FC. Then power up your device to see if you obtain clear footage on your FPV goggle. Scroll through all the channels to guarantee the footage is clear.

 8.Installing the Buzzer

Mount the buzzer in the frame. Remember the buzzer negative goes with the Z- and buzzer positive goes with 5V. This is a simple process that takes only a few seconds. 

 9.Mounting Receiver Antennas and ESC protectors  

The R-XSR and XSR receiver have two antennas and should be mounted at 90 degrees. The protectors should be installed to prevent prop strike when the propellers are spinning while bent. One could use plastic sheets. 

10.Top Plate and battery mounting

Lastly, your camera is mounted on the frame and the batteries as well. The drone is now ready for a test drive. You’ll be making a few adjustments as time goes by, to ensure the drone is in top shape. 

Conclusion       

Building your drone is a simple process that requires one to be careful and follow each step. A custom made quad gives you knowledge on how to repair the drone in case of a crash. Though there are various ways one can use to build a drone. Therefore, we urge you to be creative and open-minded. Sometimes you can seek advice from the experts to see how they build their kwads.