Hi everyone,

I have not been on DIY for a while.  I moved on to racers and mini drones.

But I missed playing with Mission Planner and Tower.

Since I have been on this site the new FAA regulations were introduced.  But thats 250g and above.

I like doing odd things with drones, I made the first APM LEGO drone,

So I decided to try to build a Sub 250g Fully Autonomous + Racer APM Based FPV Micro

Disclaimer:  I know its not a real racer, I have a Vortex Pro 250 but I mean one I can race around not compete ;-)

I wanted Waypoints and also to be able to use ACRO mode to do freestyle.

Chris Anderson, I think sub 250 has a new market and something like this build could sell well at best buy, on the box it can say "no FAA registration needed", just an idea for you ;-)

I have not flown it yet because of a bad motor, but thought I would share what I have so far.

Below is the timeline of my build, enjoy

I started out with a 3d printed frame but went to a CF one for the light weight.


Adding the ESCs


Designed and printed a stand for my APM that sits above the Power Distribution Board


Adding the APM Mini


Adding the motors


Battery on the bottom


Added GPS and FPV, Fits in the palm of my hands


Checking the weight.  First battery was too heavy by 12 oz, so I changed to a smaller battery.   I need to find something with a weight in between,


Sub 250g, no FAA registration needed completed with FPV


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  • Got a brand new GPS, still getting GPS: No GPS

    No idea why.

  • I have to say, yours is way cooler than mine. So small and compact. I never did any auto way point flights with mine have you? I used a 2200 3s so I figure yours may need as much as 1300 to get a good flight time. That will be interesting to see what batteries give the perfect ballance of weight and flight time.
    • Perfect balance for me is "flight time while maintaining less than 250g", for me the bigger battery the heavier although more flight time, so more time in the air is not as important as staying under 250 gram, as that is the focus of the project.  If you did not care about 250g then you can get longer flight times for sure.

    • For my proyect isn't essential be under 250 grs but I want to have a little quad to easy transport and like flying time so your proyect is very usefull for my objetives, ligther components=more flying time,  and your mini looks lovely, thank's for share Edgar.

    • I will try to throw a larger battery on it when I get the new stuff for you and get some times since that does not matter to you :D

      My Vortex 250 racer only has a listed flight time of only 3 minutes but when I used oversized battery I can get more, thats one things with racers is you want to get as much power as you can and that 2-5 min will be tons of fun.  I have started to move to higher C rating and get some crazy bursts fast ;-)

      Heres one with a 60C rating, you can see my little racer on the left in the video below with all 4 on the back of the truck.  The flights are the Vortex's, first half is my buddy, second is me

    • :O you are an expert pilot, I hope crash under the first obstacle so five seconds perhaps is enough for me.LOL

      Thank's nice video.

    • hehe, far from expert ;-)  Just started flying a couple years ago, Randy and the other guys here at DIY were so helpful getting my first APM working, then last year I moved to the racers and my other buddy Nick helped me get much better at flying.  Also the racing simulator lift off helped me out a ton to learn the flips and gates crashing.  http://www.liftoff-game.com

    • I have not done waypoints only because GPS was not responding, I have done tons of way points with my TBS  and it flies so well i really see no issue whatsoever in it at all.  GPS should be here next week or so.

      Yeah man, its way cool for sure, I FPV inside and out ;-)
      Also can keep it in my car so I can use it anywhere.

      I ordered a few more micro things

      Lighter Tx. 6g to replace the one I have

      10g real time digital recorder to get some fpv videos to share

      4 in one ESC, this alone took 20g off, those other ESC were way to big and heavy

      and the Pixracer to replace the APM mini
      I have been taking pics for the changes, i will give some updates when I get closer to making flights with the new hardware


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    • Brian how flying time you have with yours? I'm going to build one for 2.200 3s batt too, 270 frame, I have to choose motors esc, etc.yet. I'm going to try to buy a pixracer for it.

  • Flight times were only about 4-5 min but I had a small 450 mah 3S battery, i ordered a 1000 mah 4S and I changed to the lighter 4 in one ESC instead of the 4 individual ones, also ordered a pixracer so these should help a lot.  The ESC were way to big for it and heavy.  Ill update once I get it all back together with the lighter stuff and bigger battery, but it does fly fantastic as is.

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