“DIY Budget Quadcopters: Getting you started on a budget.” – I had this new idea for a series of articles where I help you to choose the right components to build your first quadcopter. What I list here are all budget components, which I have mostly used myself (and reviewed on my YouTube channel) and which I know to work well. In order to keep this simple, I will try to list all components from as few vendors as possible (Banggood and HobbyKing in this case), which is where I buy most of my RC gear.
To go one step further with this, I offer everyone to mail me with questions regarding these components and I will gladly share my experience with you. Just shoot me an e-mail and I’ll try to help you as good as possible. Also, if you need any additional components or if you are not sure if you do so – just mail me. This will also help me to grow these articles with additional information.
In order to keep this completely transparent, please note that some of the links below are “affiliate links”. That means, if you buy something through them I get a very small bonus which helps to keep running my YouTube channel and this website – at absolutely no extra cost to you! It also helps me to continue to support you through e-mail, as offered above.
The aim of this is to list budget components, which I know to work well, with a special focus of not putting too big a dent in your wallet. This is not meant to be a list of high priced components to build your “ultimate” quadcopter. Please keep this in mind.
I assume that you already have the basic components, such as a soldering iron or a lipo charger from your times flying RTF kits. If you need inputs on these components as well, mail me and I will extend the list.
The components listed below are for your basic, very light-weight, 180-size FPV quadcopter build. This will be much smaller than your regular size 250 build and will rely on 4″ props. It will also be much more compact than a 250 and with the right choice of components, which I show you below, you can even keep this one at below 250g AUW. The components listed here are the ones which I used for building my sub-250g FPVModel ZMR180 quadcopter in this video:
This is the setup which I used for my sub-250g ZMR180 build. The small battery will result in flight times of 3-5 minutes, depending on your flight style, but will keep your weight below 250g.
Weight upgrade – make it even more light-weight:
These components will save some more grams, but will require a bit more work. For the lightweight camera update, some (me, for example) might prefer the 170° (which is actually a 120°) camera. Others might rather go for the more narrow 90° version. It depends on your preference I guess.
Power upgrade – give me more “ooomph”:
These components will make it a bit heavier (but it will still be a very light-weight build!), and will result in a longer flight time and more power for pull-outs.
If you do not have a telemetry radio, such as a Taranis, you will want to get a Buzzer to connect to your Naze. This will have the additional beneift of acting as a lost-model indicator, in case of unexpected remote landings :-). You can get just the buzzer and solder it directly (first option) or go for a version presoldered with a cable (second option). In my opinion, just go with the first option and solder the cable yourself.
If you do not have a radio yet, and if you are serious about getting forward in the hobby, get a Taranis. It is the best value you can currently get. It is a quite steep investment at first, but it is worth it.
FPV Goggles & Reciever:
For starting out, the Quanums are a great choice. Even after several years of FPV I still use them. This is the new version of them, which I have just reviewed on my channel. The Eachine reciever is a good choice for a simple and cheap reciever which can recieve all channels and gets the job done.
Anything missing from the list? Please mail me!