Updated Shopping List for 2018

This is an updated shopping list for the quads I’ve built for my 2018 flying season. It’s based on lessons learned during 2017, and I’ll be discussing the results and reasoning behind each part. Hopefully you’ll find this useful if you’re building a new quad or three and want to save some money.

DJI Phantom 5

The DJI Phantom 5 is the anticipated new iteration in the Phantom line, which fits somewhere in the “prosummer” tier of the DJI product spectrum. With so little information out, many websites are cranking up their hype machines to give fans some information.

Updated Catalog

It has been a while since I published my original Supplier Catalog post and things have changed. A lot. This post is an update, listing the parts I’m currently using to build my quads and the reasoning behind each one. I hope you find this useful.

Mounting your Loc8tor

The Loc8tor is a device designed to help you track and find lost items, provided that you had the foresight to attach a tracking tag to it, which is kind of the point of this post. My experience is with the “Lite” version, which relies entirely in RF beacon location tecnhnology to reunite you with your RC model.

Pimping up my ZMR-250

Most people trying mini-quads get hooked pretty easily. Racing and proximity flying gets your adrenaline pumping and encourages social flying. Personally I’ve had a couple of interesting experiences with friends…

My Experience with SimonK vs BLHeli for ESCs

I like using Afro ESCs for my DIY multirotor projects because they are inexpensive and for me have been working well. However as of late I’ve been motivated to research other options after a second model started showing what seem to be random sync issues. Now, the issue with my 250 combined with my discouraging earlier experience with 690Kv motors was something I could not ignore. For me it’s clear now that SimonK’s firmware, while good for many – including myself with some of my mid-sized builds, one of which made a cameo at the video above – really has issues recovering sync for motors in the “slow pancake” and “very fast” spectrum.

Shrinking your ESCs

Particularly in small frames you need to be very careful with space and weight, as well as your cable management to keep things tidy and well protected. A way to make cabling a bit simpler I’m experimenting with consists in getting rid of some of the ESCs cables.

Custom Built Aluminum Quadcopter Frame

In this post I’ll share the details of the design of my custom H4 Quadcopter Frame. It’s a very sturdy yet light aluminum frame designed to use 10″ propellers and 700Kv to 1000Kv motors. I fly 10x4.5 propellers with 800Kv motors on 2.65A 4S LiPo batteries with excellent results. This is perhaps my favorite DIY custom drone frame.

Multicopter Motors: The NTM Series

Turnigy produces a line of motors called “NTM”. Those are low cost brushless motors that are suitable for medium sized multicopters. At the time of this writing, these motors sell for around $15 each on HobbyKing. Since I’ve seen quite contradictory comments at various fora, I’ve decided to add this post to the confusion.

Building PVC Drone Frames

PVC pipes used for plumbing are a good choice for building resilient drone frames. I’ve used it in an H4 configuration and it works. In terms of effort, cost and results, I would definitely recommend you to give it a try, specially if you’re starting to build your own models.

Making Your Own Custom Quadcopter Frames

There’s a certain pride in being able to turn common, every day materials into something that is able to fly. At least that is the impression I get when random people approaches and asks me whether I made my quad myself. While my results are usually far from pretty, there’s a lot to learn from building your own frames.