I am trying to get into the whole drone scene and just want to see if anybody here has any suggestions for a good place to star.I want to build a drone that can hold a gopro or something similar mostly for taking nice stable shots, I dont mean anything super great but it would be nice to maybe use it for my high school film class and make some of my own stuff on the side so 720p or 1080p. Does anyone have any good links on where I can learn more about the whole idea of building one?  I have watched a few videos already but I am not really sure about how to make sure everything will work together, like a frame and its motors and what type of controller to get. I guess what I need is to be pointed in the right direction if you could. Thanks

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First you have to understand that DIY is going to cost you more - and give you a lot more trouble - than buying something mass produced. But I assume you already know that and are interested in learning about what makes these things tick....

Even if DIY is your thing, it may be tough to start with the idea of building a stabilized camera quad. There are a lot of systems involved - the quadcopter itself, the remote (TX), then a gimbal and its control and the camera/fpv. You will likely tear your hair out putting this all together. 

Before you go further you should really clarify what your main goals are. If taking pics and video is what you want to do, the DIY route will likely not be the best way to get there quickly and inexpensively. If, on the other hand, you want to learn all the technology pieces - bit by bit - and in the process make all the mistakes that many of us have, then explore DIY further. But you may want to start with a simple copter powered by an inexpensive Flight Controller.

Note that many sites like Banggood list out most of what you need....


that's a frame - but scroll down the page and they say you need:

Required (package not include):
4 x Motors 1506~2208
4 x 10~15 Amp ESC
4 x 5030~5045 Prop (2CW & 2CCW)
1 x Multi-Rotor Control Board (Recommend KK2.1)
1 x 800~1300mAh 7.4~11.1V (2s or 3s) Lipoly battery
You also need a TX and a Receiver.
So if you study those various pages on banggood and elsewhere, you can come up with a component list of everything you need. Actually, I think for the basic machines the list above with my additions is pretty much the materials list. You would need soldering equipment and skills as well as a lot of time and patience also....and the ability to dig deep around the internet for how to set up your TX, etc.
As with most other pursuits, a lot of initial study will help you decide where you want to go - and how to get there!

Thanks for the detailed reply, I will do more research before I make a decision. Thanks for the imput.

Hi, building a drone by yourself is exciting, here are a few links to a resource with some DIY stuff:





I hope these can help you. Here you can also read about how to forge aluminum parts instead of buying them. Good luck!

Sounds like you are really interested in a flying camera.

The videography aspect is one part, keeping a machine in the air is another part.

Do you have any building experience or any RC aircraft experience? If none, you should locate local flyers/builders to help you. You will find them usually very happy to assist.

What  is your budget?


I don't really have a set budget, I am open to upgrading in the future and I can always save or buy parts as I get the money. I want to build something that is good or has the ability to upgrade without having to completely start from scratch later.

Hi Donovan,

According to my own experience, where I also started from scratch with about zero knowledge about drones, I started with a 3DR quadcopter kit to assemble. With the help of this community I learned to build it and make it fly (I should say take off , because I could not fly that thing really).

I bought that kit two years ago for about 500$ ; I do not know if 3DR still sells them. I hope they do because they were excellent kits and easy to build.

Thanks, good info. Starting to build drone!

I agree, DIY is definitely going to cost you more but you will have the opportunity to make this your own. 3DR quadcopter is a basic start up for beginners. I would check that out of you have enough money. Good luck!

Donovan i got into drones by way of the 3DR Iris which is an all ready to go platform designed to work with gopro hero3+ and gimbal. I modified mine for mapping because as a photographer I've always wanted to capture the complex textures and shadows of land from above.

I have to warn you that u should clearly define whether your interest is 1) learning how drones work 2) using drone for aerial cinema

The reason I say this is because I learned quickly how the drone worked simply by taking the time to read about the components as well as one major crash that required rebuild. That's when I realized I was glad that I started with something ready to fly bc my soldering skills were not at all developed.

Looking back on it, the best decision I made was to practice flying early by keeping things simple. If your serious about this, take the time now to buy a mini/micro drone, something that won't hurt you badly if something goes wrong and easily flies inside your garage or living room. The one I linked to is what I started on. I logged at least a handful of hours on that before I bought my Iris.

Ultimately the more u know the greater at peace you will be w/ whatever you do in the air. That will always pay off for when your in a risky situation.

Ok, thank you, maybe these will be interesting for you too:

Build landing gear at home:


Build a laser engraver out of a good old CD-ROM:


And the abovementioned forging stuff:





My local hobby shop is very knowledgeable about building drones, they seem to like chatting about them too.  

They're discontinuing them, if they haven't already, but the Iris + is both ready to fly & you need to tinker with it enough to learn about the parts.  It's kind of a hybrid drone, I can fix it.  I have a DJI Phantom 3 pro I'd have to send in. 


The easiest way to get a do it yourself autopiloted drone into the air is with the Bixler 3 foamy.    The bixler will easily carry a gopro.  I do it all the time.  Once you get the autopilot tuned up on the bixler you can put the gopro on it and be very confident that it will come back.

Bixler 3 Trainer/FPV Foamy Almost Ready Fly  $ 65.34

The Bixler is a fixed wing aircraft and a little harder to get the shots you want, but much more reliable than a quadcopter.   There are some tools like Microsoft's Hyperlapse that can make the unstabilized Gopro footage quite spectacular


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