First time quad build

I am building a quadrotor for a school project.  For the project I need to have a quad which is capable of autonomous flight.  I would like to be able to do more than hover, but that would be the minimum requirement.  I am on a somewhat limited budget so I don't want to spend a ton of money.  I am looking at hobbyking because of their nice price point.  I understand that their products don't have the best record for reliability, but for a short time investment they are very appealing.


I have purchased and assembled the APM 1 kit and have uploaded the quadrotor firmware from the APM mission planner.


I am looking at purchasing these parts

Turnigy H.A.L. (Heavy Aerial Lift) Quadcopter Frame 585mm


TURNIGY Plush 30amp Speed Controller

D2830-11 1000kv Brushless Motor

Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack

Any thoughts or opinions on these would be highly appreciated.

Also, I was looking over the ArduCopter wiki and the instructions mentioned that you must have a RC unit.  Is the RC unit absolutely necessary even if I plan on only doing autonomous flights?


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  • Your list looks fine to me but you will need to match your prop to the motor and lipo. Turnigy motors have big quality control issues and you could easily end up with a crash due to a motor failure. Look at these Sunnysky motors, a few dollars more but light years ahead of Turnigy in componentry and build quality.

    I have 4 x NTM 2826 1000Kv with 10x45 props on 3S. Good combo for a 550 quad but the NTM motors are from HK. are junk. Out of 5 purchased , 3 have bearing failures, and I am not the only one, wish I had not fallen for the "14 point quality check BS" line they have in the product blurb.

    SUNNYSKY X2212 KV980 Outrunner Brushless Motor (Multi-rotor Version) | SUNNYSKY
    SUNNYSKY X2212 KV980 Outrunner Brushless Motor (Multi-rotor Version) from manufacturer SUNNYSKY, in category Electric Brushless Motors - Outrunner…
  • Moderator

    Hi Logan,

    I'll answer your last question first.  Yes, you'll need a RC unit.  As a stock build, you'll need it to at least ARM the quad.  Whilst it may be technically possible to change code and not require the RC unit to arm the quad, it's certainly not advisable from a safety point of view - especially if this is for a school project. 

    Also, you want the ability to assume manual control of the quad in case something goes wrong.  Nothing would be worse than watching your quad fall from 20 metres and smash into pieces because you couldn't assume control. 

    As for your components - this is like asking the question of do you like vanilla or chocolate ice cream.  Will the components work?  Yes - just depends what you want to get out of it.  If it was me, I would probably decrease the power of the motors [say the 850kv motors from here], increase the battery [say 4000mah] and have say 10 or 11inch props.

    Just a word of warning though - be prepared for crashes and repairs.  Also, if you go into this thinking you want to do it on the cheap, you'll probably end up paying more than if you just did it properly in the first place.

    Just my two cents.


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