Build or Buy

This question has probably been asked in the past but I could not find anything recent. Let's assume we all know the pluses and minuses of time and effort, repairs, and self satisfaction of a build and the instant gratification of RTF units.
My question centers around the real costs of a build vs a store bought quad assuming (true in my case) that you have absolutely nothing but a bench when you start.
I want a quad with the capabilities of the Phantom 2+. I don't think I will end up going into the RC hobby culture full force, but others I'm sure thought the same when they started. The DJI 450 ARF seems like a reasonable platform using the NAZA v2 flight controller. From there I have no idea what other components are needed so the build would be similar to the Phantom 2+. For this reason I can't add up the costs of a build to compare it to the retail cost of the Phantom. 

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  • OK, thanks
    sarah lee said:

    Hello Diven!

    With a phantom you'll have a better chance of reselling it so long as it's not all busted up.
    For an F450 build you'll need-
    F450
    Motors
    ESC's
    Flight controller (naza?)
    Props
    Transmitter
    Batteries(3S Lipo battery)
    As well as soldering equipment, bits of wire, heat shrink, possibly bullet connectors, power plug (depends on what's on the business end of your battery. Mostly you'll need the where with all to gather all the right pieces and not get buyers lock with so many choices.

    If they had phantoms when I got into this 3 years ago, I would have gone that route and saved lots of time and money. Plus the phantom line has become ubiquitous in the multi rotor world. That means you can pick up parts at your local hobby shop and in most cases your local camera store.
    Hope this helps!

  • If you buy the 3dr solo, you are going to buy a lot of propellers and replace motors and you will throwing a lot of money to trash. But, this is good platform, but, the only problem was that I describe here. The Dji drones to break are harder but sometimes has limited funtions.

  • I've been building lots of drones from various platform fpr many years but one thing i learned when it comes to multirotor better just buy it in complete package because its easy to acquire spare parts, community support, they already perfectly tuned by manufacturer and out of box comes with application ready for commercial use eg aerial mapping, 2d & 3d, Pix4D and etc.  If you calculate some hidden cost building by hand they are actually equal to buying a ready to fly package.  I used to have a Dji 450 kit after building it cost equivalent to a Phantom 3+ and my setup isn't as perfect as i wanted.  If we build multirotors would take time and money out of our life to make it a flight perfection..save me some mental pain.  But that doesn't mean its true for fixed wing platform.  In my case i'd build my fixed wing UAV by hand but buy multirotors out of the box.

  • Hello Diven!

    With a phantom you'll have a better chance of reselling it so long as it's not all busted up.
    For an F450 build you'll need-
    F450
    Motors
    ESC's
    Flight controller (naza?)
    Props
    Transmitter
    Batteries(3S Lipo battery)
    As well as soldering equipment, bits of wire, heat shrink, possibly bullet connectors, power plug (depends on what's on the business end of your battery. Mostly you'll need the where with all to gather all the right pieces and not get buyers lock with so many choices.

    If they had phantoms when I got into this 3 years ago, I would have gone that route and saved lots of time and money. Plus the phantom line has become ubiquitous in the multi rotor world. That means you can pick up parts at your local hobby shop and in most cases your local camera store.
    Hope this helps!

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