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.