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?


You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • 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.


This reply was deleted.


DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: You can see this in person in two weeks for our next live event with real cars. It's great fun for adults and kids alike, and…
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: The final race (1:24) at yesterday's @DIYRobcars virtual event was our best. It's only two minutes long but it has everything,…
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: The monthly @diyrobocars virtual race is starting now!
Mike Whitney liked Mike Whitney's profile
Jul 19
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Jul 2
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Jun 26
Abdulatif Tlaib liked Ryan's profile
Jun 24
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: First time at @wsraceways. After tuning @HokuyoUsa lidar signal and camera sensor on @NVIDIAEmbedded, my car was able to…
Jun 20
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @breadcentric: The handy bit about racing with self-driving cars is that one can type while the car is racing. Report from #AWSDeepRacer…
Jun 18
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: Our Bay Area @DIYRobocars meetup is now at 2,700 members. Next in-person events (in Oakland) are training day on July 17 and…
Jun 18
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Videos from the ICRA autonomous racing workshop are now available:
Jun 10
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: Prepared race track for Warm Spring Raceways @wsraceways and looking forward to test my new car at RAMS RC @ramsaicar fa…
Jun 6
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @f1tenth: Trying out some nasty blocking maneuvers 🏎️🤖 #f1tenth #autonomousracing
Jun 5
DIY Robocars via Twitter
May 27
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @araffin2: I will talk this Saturday from 18:00 to 19:00 Paris time for the @diyrobocars community about learning to race in hours using…
May 27
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: Luckily the infeasible hairpin problem was easily reproducible in simulation and I could test the fix before bringing the car ba…
May 26