How to: Build a Quadcopter (Complete quadcopter guide) by MultiCopterBuild

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Posted: May 26, 2012  |  13,189 views
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Complete quadcopter building guide:

Hello everyone!

The first thing you need to do is to get the parts you need for your quadcopter. You could of course take a look in the "Parts" section above and look what i used for my quadcopters, or you could just look at the links below:

Quadcopter v2.0

Motors:

hexTronik DT750 Brushless Outrunner 750kv

ESC's:

HobbyKing Red Brick 25A ESC

Battery:

ZIPPY Flightmax 2800mAh 3S1P 30C

Props:

Slow Fly Electric Prop 11x4.7SF RH Rotation (4 pc)

Slow Fly Electric Prop 11X4.7SF (4 pc)

Prop savers:

Prop Saver w/ Band 4mm (10pcs)

Radio (Rx/Tx):

Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx V2 (Mode 2)

Charger:

Turnigy 2S 3S Balance Charger

Control board + power distribution board:

KK multicopter controlboard v5.5 with Xcopter configuration.

Frame:

15,2 mm Aluminum. Got it at my local hardware store.

Now, lets get on with the actual building shall we? Great! The first thing you are going to do is to make your power distribution thing. This could either be a wire harness that provides power to all the ESC's, or it could be a so called "power distribution board" where til solder on some wires that goes down to your battery, and then sold the 4 ESC's to the board. Here you should be very aware to the polarity. And example of a power distribution board could be this:

This is the option i did use for my quadcopter. And here these leads should symbolize the ESC being soldered on or the ESC should be connected to these leads.

The next thing you need to do is to solder on some bullet connectors to the motors and the ESC's. And always remember put the male connectors on the motor and the female on the ESC. Otherwise you could get a pretty bad "shock"! I use 3.5 mm bullet connectors and soldered them on like this:

When you soldered all the Bullet connectors on check all you motors and ESC by connecting you ESC's and motors (1 and 1) and plugin the ESC to the receiver channel 3 (throttle) and connect a battery.

The next thing you need to do is to make a frame - (unless you bought a frame of course!) You need to cut 4 arms in aluminum - (or whatever material you are going to use) - which is the equal length.

As you can see my arms are almost 34 centimeters (33.8 to be exact). You also need to figure out the width/height of your square arms. Mine are as you can see in the picture below 15 mm.

the next thing you need to do us to cut out 2, 120 mm * 120 mm * 2 mm aluminum plates. Now you need to drill a hole 20 mm up each corner. and again a hole 20 mm from that hole. The middle of these holes should be at a 90 degree angle. You of course have to drill some matching holes in the 4 arms.

Now you need to lay out the KK-board in the middle of the upper aluminum plate pointing the way you want to be the front of the quadcopter. Mark up the holes of the quadcopter and drill the as 3 mm holes. This way you can take som 3*16 mm nylon screws a little piece of some soft foam, and mount the kk board that way.

Just like that.

Now you need to use hot glue and mount the power distribution board on a small piece of rubber to avoid anything being disconnected as it is being mounted on metal. After that simply just glue the piece of rubber on to the inside of the bottom plate and mount the arms with some 4*25 mm bolts and locking nuts.

Your frame should look something like this at this moment:

Beginning to see the light at the of the tunnel now? Great! The next step should be pretty straight forward. Mount a motor on each end of the 4 arms. Connect the motors and ESC's don't worry about how to connect the now, just do it we'll take care of the directions and connections later. Now connect the ESC's power lead to the power distribution board.

Right now we need to connect the ESC's to the KK-board. In the below illustration the numbers on the motors indicate which pin set they should be connected to at the KK-board. NOTE!!!: this setup is for the X-copter configuration with the v2.5 firmware.

Xcopter v2.5 by Minsoo Kim:

Motor 1 - should be at the upper left corner of the quadcopter (Clockwise rotating propeller)

Motor 2 - should be at the upper right corner of the quadcopter (Counterclockwise rotating propeller)

Motor 3 - should be at the bottom right corner of the quadcopter (Clockwise rotating propeller)

Motor 4 -should be at the bottom left corner of the quadcopter (Counterclockwise rotating propeller)

Xcopter v4.7 by KapteinKuk:

In this configuration the motor setup is a little bit different from the v2.5. The setup is now:

Motor 1 - should be at the upper left corner of the quadcopter (Clockwise rotating propeller)

Motor 2 - should be at the bottom left corner of the quadcopter (Counterclockwise rotating propeller)

Motor 3 - should be at the upper right corner of the quadcopter (Counterclockwise rotating propeller)

Motor 4 -should be at the bottom right corner of the quadcopter (Clockwise rotating propeller)

You now need to Connect Aileron - channel 1 on receiver, Elevator - channel 2 on receiver, Throttle - channel 3 on receiver, and Rudder - channel 4 on receiver.

Connect it all up and put the right propellers on the right motors, and you are almost able to fly your new HOMEMADE quadcopter!

Setting up the KK-board for the quadcopter:

Now comes the tuning and setting up the KK-board which can be a pretty nasty deal to figure out your self.

Step 1 - calibrate the throttle range on the ESC's:

NOTE!!!!! Do not do this step with the propellers mounted!!!!

1. First you power your KK-board off.

2. Then you turn on your transmitter and put the throttle stick to maximum.

3. Move the "YAW"-pot on the kk board to the minim position.

4. Turn on the KK-board " should beep twice to tell you, you have entered "programming mode".

5. Quickly after you heard the two beeps, move the throttle stick on the transmitter to the minimum position. The KK-board should say one beep to tell you throttle range calibration as ended.

6. Check if your motors start at the same time.

Now you just need to make sure everything is going in the right way (if not reverse the channels) and go fly!

Please comment or like this article to tell me if my work is good. Both positive and negative feedback will be read! Thanks!

/Martin

Comments

ABQ Bobcat September 16, 2012
Thanks for putting up the video - next time you make a video, it would be helpful to see what your hands are doing more than what parts you are using.
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patolin May 30, 2012
How does it fly with that esc? I have almost the same setup, but using the hobbyking SS 18a escs, and my quad is very very unstable.
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MultiCopterBuild May 30, 2012
It actually flies pretty good. Only my kk board is a bit bashed up, so it keeps tilting backwards, but i am getting another FC soon :-)
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Shadow74 May 30, 2012
Patolin, a couple things that could cause your copter to fly "unstable". Have you done stick centering? Have you set throttle endpoints? Do you have expo's and dual rates dialed in? any combination or all of these things could cause your copter to fly unstable.

Eric
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dadi3 October 3, 2012
Nice work. How much money did you spend for complete building. I will soon try to build one by myself
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MultiCopterBuild October 3, 2012
Around 280 dollars roughly memorized. Not much more if more, and not much less either. :-)
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