In theory drones aren't complicated; the only moving parts are the motors. In reality, there is far more to them. To build a drone from scratch requires at least a basic understanding of physics, maths and technology; and practical skills such as engineering, wiring and even coding. To then fly the things requires further skill and experience. Obviously the the degree of knowledge and skill required increases with the sophistication of the UAV. Some multicopters come in plug 'n' play kit form, which means you side step a lot of the technical challenges.

My aim here to is to help reduce the learning curve for you, by providing some useful tips that will keep you on track or at least save a headache.

  • Carbon Frames are conductive! If an exposed cable or connector touches the frame you risk an electrical short. Be particularly careful if you’re using a folding frame. If your wiring is tight and routed around edges, the insulation can wear over time as you assembled and disassemble your frame. Therefore it is a good idea to use heat shrink on vulnerable areas to provide an extra layer of insulation.
  • Ideally your multi rotor will operate without vibrations, however eliminating all vibrations is not always possible. Therefore it is good practice to use a thread locking compound on fixing screws to prevent them from coming undone over time. In particular, focus on the critical screw that relate to the motor mounts and prop collets.
  • Use a servo tester when wiring up your motors, it’s a lot easier than plugging in your radio control equipment. If you are wiring up an octocopter you can soon end up with a nest of wires, even a quadcopter can be pretty bad. If you haven’t labeled the wires individually, you can easily forget which each wire relates to. With an inexpensive servo tester you can quickly test which wire connects to which motor and then test whether the spinning direction is correct. Remember if the motor spins in the wrong direction, all you need to do is swap the positions of 2 out of the 3 ESC output wires.
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  • Hi all, I've updated my blog, adding some tips about how to avoid brownouts. I've also written another blog about drone start-ups.

  • Thanks Tomas :)

  • One thing that i cant found its the motors, encounter several sites but none sell motors. Do you know here to buy?

  • Where can i start?

    I know its not trivial, but i would like to have this project on my hands,

  • @rui
    Not really, its more complicated than you probobly think

    As for supplies pretty much anywhere
  • Any tutorial to make diy quadcopter with arduino or raspbery pi?

    Where to buy material to assemble one quadcopter?

  • Please, could anybody suggest the most tinyest (in size) Battery+ESC combination to power 5V servos up to 3 or 5 Amp in total?

    - one option could be 2 Lipo in serial (7.4) + esc

    - another coud be 1 lipo (3.3) + 3 or 5 pololu step up voltage regulator (very tiny)

    What could be the tinyest combination?

  • Thank you for these tips and feel free to share more as I'm just a newbie when it comes to building so I'll take all the help I can get!
  • Heres a fun one:

    When tunimg your pids you can remove two diagonal props and run dowel rods down the center of your frame arms. These dowel rods can be braced and the quad can rotate about this axis for accurate and efficient PID tuning.

    If your motor has longer mounting shafts be shure to mount your props as close to the can as possible to avoid bending motor shafts.

    CG IS IMPORTANT. Tey and get your weight as close to the center of your drone as possible, it will help woth everything from battery life to yaw stability.
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