How to Make a Quadcopter Drone At Home (Very Easy)

How to make a simple drone with camera at home

How to Make a Quadcopter Drone At Home (Very Easy)

When I was six, my father curved toy cars for me using wires. Soon, I could do it myself. It wasn’t so difficult, was it? But toys are much more advanced these days. We don’t just drive them, we can also fly them as a hobby or for sport. With the right tutorials, making a quadcopter drone at home or for a school project is very easy.

To make a quadcopter drone at home, collect all essential components from a nearby drone retailer and online. Build a 250mm drone frame first, then assemble the rest. It should take a few hours up to a week to complete. Normally, it is time-consuming due to your skillset and lack of some components.

However, with the correct knowledge and all the components, it should take you about one hour to build a drone. Drones offer a unique and sensational flying experience. Install a camera on your drone and fly it to get a first-person view of aerial images.

Read also: First Time Buying a Drone? 7 Questions to Ask

What do I need to make a drone?

Although most people prefer buying a ready-to-use drone, assembling it from scratch is cheap and a perfect DIY project with the kids. If you like traveling and taking eye-catching videos, buy a drone instead.

Here are the things you need to make a drone:

  • A micro SD card
  • A mounting pad
  • An RC receiver
  • Batteries
  • Camera (if you want to build your own camera drone)
  • Connectors
  • Electronic speed control
  • Flight controller
  • Gimbal
  • Motors
  • 9-inch metallic propellers
  • The drone frame

These are the most essential components of any drone you may want to make at home. You will find them in tricopters, hexacopters, and octocopters. In this article, we will build a quadcopter. Meaning you should have four rotors for the project.

Most components come with datasheets. Read them to make the connections easier and faster.

How to make a simple drone with camera at home

Making a simple drone at home is less costly than buying a ready-to-use drone. However, that may depend on the type and purpose of the drone you want to build. For instance, you might build a unique and personalized drone for professional filming and mapping projects. These require some previous flying experience.

It is also important to compare the quality and cost of the components before making a purchase. Know your budget. That’s because you might end up spending more on assembling a drone than you’d have spent buying one that’s ready to fly. Also, you want to end up with a quality and reliable drone.

Read also: Warning! These 7 Mistakes Will Destroy Your Drone

Follow these steps to make a quadcopter drone at home:

1. Construct an ‘X’ shaped metal, plastic, or wood frame

Quadcopters have four rotors, so the frame should be in an X shape. Depending on your intent, plastic frames are easy to build, but a metal frame is more durable.

The best drone frame size should be 220 to 250mm. You can skip this step by ordering a pre-built quadcopter frame.

2. Assemble the four motors and 5″ propellers 

Drill four holes, one inch away from the four corners in your frame. Position the motors and fix them with screws and a screwdriver. Also, assemble and fix the 9-inch metal propellers.

3. Install the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)

An ESC is an essential element of a functional drone. It controls and adjusts the speed of individual motors. I would suggest trying the SpeedyBee F7 Flight Controller Stack 30×30, which is very great and stable.

Use zip ties to mount it to the bottom of the frame to free more space for assembling the other elements.

4. Cut four half-inch landing gears from a PVC or metal pipe

Be diligent in cutting the landing gears to give your drone a good look. Use duct tape or glue to attach them to the four arms of the frame. This should also be at the bottom of your drone.

The landing gears will facilitate the safe take-off and landing of your drone.

5. Mount the flight controller 

If you are a drone technician you can make a flight controller from scratch. But for beginners, I prefer buying one that is ready to use like the OpenPilot CC3D

A flight controller promotes the stability of a flying drone, allowing you to change flight path and direction. It determines the yaw, pitch, throttle, and roll. Attach a sound absorber such as a sponge to the bottom of the flight controller to reduce vibrations from the motors.

6. Mount the battery and power distribution board 

Mount them on the frame next to the speed controllers. Use zip ties to secure the battery. There is no problem mounting other components like the power distribution board on top of it. Just ensure that the weight is close to the center of the drone as possible.

7. Connect the remote control receiver 

Remote control systems work differently. Some are specific to flight controllers. Charge the RC receiver and the drone battery before connecting and calibrating your drone. Run the wires to their respective components.

8. Calibrate the drone

First, link the RC receiver to the flight controller. Read the datasheets for instructions to make the connections easier and faster. Bring the devices closer to each other, then press and hold the sync buttons on them. Ensure the drone is standing on level ground. 

Calibrate the drone by slowly spinning it horizontally and vertically. Ensure the calibration light turns green. If it flashes red, you have a wrong calibration. Nevertheless, the connection is pretty easy to establish. Software like LibrePilot will help you configure and see if everything is working.

9. Attach the gimbal and action camera to your drone

A gimbal will give your camera smooth turns. The homemade drone can carry loads between 0.3 and 2 pounds. So it can fly with a camera or an average phone. Attach one to it.

10. Test and fly your drone

Ensure everything is connected well. Turn on the RC controller and the drone. Use the left joystick for yaw and throttle, i.e, flying in the direction the drone is facing, and forward and backward. The right joystick controls the roll. Pilot your drone in an open space free from crowds and buildings to avoid potential accidents.

Final thoughts

Unless you are a drone technician, making some drone components from scratch can be difficult. In those cases, order the pre-built components.

With all the parts available, it should take you a few hours to make a quadcopter drone at home. The more you assemble a drone, the more it becomes easy. You can build more sophisticated ones in the future.

Have you built a drone before? Or is it your first time? Leave a comment below.

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