This article provides an extensive list of brands and components for FPV mini quadcopters and racing drones. It’s an ever growing resource to keep you updated on all the new and exciting parts available for mini quad running 5″ and 6″ propellers.
Update (2018): I have started using spreadsheet to document new products so I have stopped updating this post:
The “Almost Complete” 250 Mini Quad Parts List
Are you new to mini quad? Make sure to check out our drone racing beginner’s guide first.
FPV Drone Racing is a fast growing industry, making it difficult to keep track of all the products that get released every day. This guide is here to help you stay up to date with the latest in the hobby. For Brushed Micro quad: brushed micro quad parts list
New products are added to the top of the lists in each category on a monthly basis, make sure to come back and check the list regularly. I will endeaver to keep the lists up to date, but if you spot any missing products please drop me a product URL link on our forum thread.
- TX & RX – Radio System
- Flight Controller
- ESC (Electronic Speed Controller)
- LiPo Battery
- FPV Camera
- FPV Transmitter / Receiver
- FPV Antenna
- FPV Goggle / Monitor
- Recording Camera
- OSD (On Screen Display)
- Voltage Regulator / Power Filter
- Miscellaneous Items
- RTF ARTF Quadcopters
- Dec 2014 – Article created
- May 2015 – Edited
- Nov 2015 – Edited
- Mar 2016 – Added 20+ new products
- Aug 2016 – Added 100+ new products; Removed 30+ obsolete products
- Feb 2017 – Added 70+ new products; Removed 10+ obsolete products
- Aug 2017 – Added 60+ new products; Removed 30+ obsolete products
- Dec 2017 – Edited; Added 70+ new products; Removed 70+ obsolete products (BLHeli 1st gen, board FPV cameras, 1st gen motors, etc)
RC Transmitter and Receiver
One of the first items to get before flying a mini quad would probably be an RC transmitter. We have already compiled a list of popular RC transmitters for racing drones, and the considerations when selecting one for your specific needs.
Frame – Mini Quad Parts List
A good frame should be crash-resistant, rigid and have a well thought-out design. Choosing a reliable frame can give you an enjoyable building experience, keep your downtime to a minimum, and save money on replacement parts.
In addition to protecting your electronics, the frame plays a key role in the flight characteristics and performance of your quadcopter.
Here is a beginners guide to help you understand the basics of mini quad frames.
|Name/Purchase||Image||Price||Material/Arm Thickness||Weight||Review URL||Builds|
|Diatone GT-M200||$47||CF + Aluminium / 6mm||108g||Oscar|
|Armattan Rooster||$95||CF + Titanium / 4mm||TBC||IntoFPV|
|Ummagawd Remix||$100||CF / 4mm||109g|
|HyperLite Floss||$45||CF / 4mm||59g|
|XHover Stingy||$115||CF / 4mm||110g|
|3B-R 211||$52||CF / 5mm||72g|
|CT SuperLight 5″||$60||CF + 3D print / 3mm||56g|
|CT Meriac 5″||$56||CF + 3D print / 5mm||62g|
|BlackPearl Pro||$120||CF / 4mm||93g|
|Tribute True X||$93||CF / 3.5mm||77g|
|AstroX TrueXS Switch||$95||CF / 4mm||TBC|
|Martian II 220||$26||4mm CF||120g|
|ZMR250||$31||Carbon Fiber||145g||Oscar, RCG||Oscar|
|Realacc X210 Pro||$34||4mm CF||96g|
|Rotoracer RR210||$57||carbon fiber||98g|
|Tweaker 5″ 220||$65||4mm CF||136g|
|Mixuko 5||$70||Carbon Fiber||79g|
|Ragg-E WBX 205||$72||HDPE||152g||Oscar|
|Lumenier QAV210 CHARPU||$75||Carbon Fiber||91g|
|Mako 225||$75||4mm CF||101g|
|DemonRC Fury||$80||4mm CF||80g|
|EpiQuad 210X||$83||4mm CF||unknown|
|Krieger 200||$90||Carbon Fiber||104g|
|QAV-X 214||$90||4mm CF||93g||Artur|
|Skitzo Dark Matter||$90||4mm CF||96g||Oscar|
|Armadillo 223||$92||4mm CF||109g||Biggles|
|Dquad Obsession||$100||4mm CF||94g|
|DemonRC NOX5||$105||Carbon Fiber||83g||Oscar|
|Orca 215||$100||4mm CF||99g|
|MQC Fusion 210||$100||3mm CF||124g|
|ImpulseRC Alien||$109||Carbon Fiber||125g|
|QAV-R 210||$115||4mm CF||99g|
|Stigg 195||$145||CF & Aluminium||120g|
|Helix ZX5 200||$199||4mm CF||58g||Oscar|
|Sparrow Knight R220||$170||CF(3mm)||149g||Oscar|
|Hyperlite Evo HD 5″||$60||CF(3mm)||77g|
|TransTEC Frog 5″||$28||CF(4mm)||95g|
The standard size of a racing mini quad flight controllers is 36x36mm (with 30.5×30.5mm spaced M3 mounting holes).
Smaller boards (with 20x20mm spaced mounting holes) are becoming available, which save weight and space by sacrificing certain features. Most 5″ and 6″ frames currently are designed for 30.5×30.5mm mounting holes, so you might need adapters to use these smaller FC’s.
You will most likely to only use one of the 3 major firmware that are developed specifically for FPV mini quad.
The majority of FC’s run the open-sourced Betaflight firmware these days, which is compatible with all F1, F3, F4 and F7 flight controllers. Both KISS and Raceflight are close source firmware and only compatible with their own flight controllers.
Further Reading: FC Firmware Overview
(Dec 2017) – Betaflight has recently announced to end update of F1 FC due to the lack of resource, also neither KISS nor Raceflight support F1 FC, therefore we have excluded all F1 FC in our list.
|I compiled the specifications of all FC’s for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.|
** “AIO” in the features column means integrated PDB and 5V voltage regulator.
|Name / MCU||Picture||Price||Features & comment||Review/Discussion|
|Betaflight F4||$45||AIO + OSD||Oscar|
|KISS FC V2 F7||$77||KISS firmware only||IntoFPV|
|Omnibus AIO F7 V2||$60||Two soft mounted gyros, OSD|
|CL Racing F4S||$35||AIO||IntoFPV|
|Matek F405 AIO||$40||Built-in PDB, OSD||Oscar|
|Kakute F4||$40||AIO + OSD + soft-mounted Gyro||Oscar|
|Emax Magnum Stack||$110||FC + VTX + PDB + ESC + RX|
|Lumenier F4 AIO||$45||built-in OSD and PDB|
|HGLRC F4 V5||$46||Integrated OSD, PDB and VTX|
|FrSky XSRF4PO||$60||built-in PDB, OSD and Frsky XSR RX||Oscar|
|Asgard AIO V2||$88||AIO with Integrated OSD and ESC|
|Serious Pro Racing SPRacing F3||$65||Designed by Cleanflight Developer|
|Motolab Tornado F3||$29|
|RMRC Seriously Dodo F3||$50|
|Sparky V2 F4||n/a|
|KISS FC F3||$35||Runs ustom FC firmware by Flyduino||Oscar|
|SPRacing F3 Mini||$60|
|Skyline32+OSD FC||$30||integrated OSD||Oscar|
|XRacer||$30||MPU6000 with SPI||IntoFPV|
|TBS Powercube F3||$140+||ESC/PDB integrated stack|
|Motolab Cyclone F3||$37|
|Singularity F3||$69||Built-in VTX|
|SPRacing EVO F3||$37||Oscar|
|Piko BLX F3||$39||Integrated PDB, small size – 26x26mm||Oscar|
|BrainFPV RE1 F4||$79||Integrated OSD, only support dRonin software|
|DTFc F3||$45||Integrated PDB|
|Sirin FC F3||$99||Built-in VTX, OSD, MicroSD|
|Motolab Tempest F3||$40||Integrated PDB|
|Rotoracer Racebase F3||$55||Integrated OSD, BEC, video filter|
|BG AIO v1.1 F3||$23||Integrated OSD, SD card logger|
|Racecube F3||$66||Integrated OSD, RX, ESC, PDB, logger, Buzzer|
|BG AIO v4 F3||$53||One board, integrated VTX, OSD, PDB|
|Radiance F3||$30||5V/12V output||Oscar|
|Betaflight F3||$43||Integrated PDB, OSD, designed by Boris B||Oscar|
|Raceflight Revolt F4||$40||Official Raceflight FC||Jimmy|
|Omnibus F4||$40||MPU6000, SD card logger, designed for BF|
|Rotorgeeks SSD F3||$33||SD logger|
|LUX V2 F3||$40||MPU6000, SD logger|
|Flytower F4 PRO||$100||OSD, PDB, ESC, VTX in 2 boards|
|DYS F4 Pro||$36||Integrated PDB, OSD||Oscar|
|Matek F405 OSD||$27||Built-in OSD|
|CL Racing F4||$30||Integrated PDB and OSD|
|TBS Colibri F3||$30|
|BrainFPV RE1 F4||$65||Integrated OSD||Oscar|
|HGLRC F4 Flame||$35||AIO with built-in OSD|
Choosing a motor is a major decision when building a mini quad, it is one of the the main factors determining the speed, flight time and performance of your quadcopter. There are just as many options for motors as there are for mini quad frames.
|Motor Name /Size||KV||Picture||Weight||Max.Thrust/g(cell:[email protected])||Input Voltage||Price|
|T-Motor F60III 2207||2750kv||34.5g||1436 (4S : 5040×3 @ 36.4A)||3S-5S||$25|
|T-Motor F40 Pro II||1600KV
|Emax LS2207 Lite||2400KV||30g||TBC||3S-5S||$23|
|DYS Wei 2207||2300KV
|DYS Shu 2306||2250KV
|DYS Wu 2206||2400KV
|Returner R3 2207||2550kv||30.8g||1450 (4S : 5040×3 @ 33.5A)||4S-5S||$26|
|AOKFly FR2205||2650KV||28.4||1350 (4S : 5040×3 @ 31.7A)||$14|
|Returner R5 2306||2450kv
|28.7g||1469 (4S : 5040×3 @ 34.7A)||4S-5S||$26|
|RotorRiot Hyper Train||2450KV||30g||1342 (4S : 5040×3 @ 39.8A)||3S-5S||$26|
|MB Primo 2207||2450kv
|30g||1533 (4S : 5040×3 @ 37.2A)||3S-6S||$23|
|ZMX FinX30 2207||2640kv||30.8g||1571 (4S : 5040×3 @ 39.6A)||4S||$26|
|ZMX FinX23 2205||2600kv||24.6g||1405 (4S : 5040×3 @ 36.1A)||4S||$21|
|Sonic Pro SP2205||2600KV||28.5g||TBC||$45|
|31g||1504 (4S : 5040×3 @ 37.1A)||$23|
|Tornado T3 2306||2450kv||31.6g||1385 (4S : 5040×3 @ 31.7A)||TBC|
|T-Motor F40III 2306||2400KV
|32.6g||1450 (4S : 5040×3 @ 35.2A)||$25|
|Garila J2506||2750kv||38.3g||1536 (4S : 5040×3 @ 36.3A)||TBC|
|Tattu 2305||2450kv||29.7g||1256 (4S : 5040×3 @ 27.7A)||$18|
|Cobra 2204||2300 KV||25g||436 (3S : 5030 @ 8.6A)
559 (3S : 6030 @ 11.0A)
|Cobra 2204||1960 KV||23g||330 (3S : 5030 @ 5.7A)
533 (4S : 5030 @ 8.1A)
587 (4S : 5040 @ 11.2A)
|Xnova 2204||2300KV||29g||1090 (4S : 5045BN @ 22.8A)
1134 (4S : 5040×3 @ 24.7A)
|EMAX RS2205||2300KV||30g||1069 (4S : 5045BN @ 22.7A)
1167 (4S : 5045×3 @ 25.4A)
|EMAX RS2205||2600KV||30g||1282 (4S : 5045BN @ 28.8A)
1357 (4S : 5040×3 @ 32.4A)
|Lumenier RB2204 SKITZO||2500KV||22g||989 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.4A)
991 (4S : 5040×3 @ 25.3A)
|DYS SE2205||2300KV||30g||1066 (4S : 5045BN @ 22.5A)
1164 (4S : 5040×3 @ 25.7A)
|ZMX 2205 V2||2300KV||n/a||1109 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.5A)
1167 (4S : 5040×3 @ 25.7A)
|Cobra Champion 2205||2300KV||30g||1161 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.8A)
1229 (4S : 5040×3 @ 27.4A)
|DYS SE2008||2300KV||33g||1255 (4S : 5045BN @ 27.4A)
1328 (4S : 5040×3 @ 31.2A)
|Edge R2204||2300KV||26.5g||994 (4S : 5045BN @ 20.4A)
1031 (4S : 5040×3 @ 23.1A)
|Gemfan RT2205||2300KV||31.5g||1150 (4S : 5045BN @ 24.6A)
1218 (4S : 5040×3 @ 27.9A)
|LDPower 2206||2200KV||30g||1108 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.4A)
1179 (4S : 5040×3 @ 26.4A)
|Lumenier RX2205||2400KV||24g||1013 (4S : 5045BN @ 21.2A)
1037 (4S : 5040×3 @ 24.4A)
|RCINPower GT2205||2300KV||30g||1097 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.6A)
1169 (4S : 5040×3 @ 26.1A)
|RCTimer FR2205||2300KV||29g||1134 (4S : 5045BN @ 22.8A)
1190 (4S : 5040×3 @ 25.0A)
|RCX SE2205||2400KV||40g||1050 (4S : 5045BN @ 22.6A)
1091 (4S : 5040×3 @ 25.1A)
|Rebel Pro 2206||2600kv||pending||1168 (4S : 5045BN @ 24.1A)
1257 (4S : 5040×3 @ 27.6A)
|Storm M2205||2350KV||25g||1096 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.3A)
1127 (4S : 5040×3 @ 25.8A)
|T-Motor F40 V2||2300KV||27g||1041 (4S : 5045BN @ 21.1A)
1088 (4S : 5040×3 @ 21.8A)
|T-Motor F40 V2||2500KV||27g||1117 (4S : 5045BN @ 25.1A)
1165(4S : 5040×3 @ 27A)
|T-Motor F60 V2||2450KV||33g||1230 (4S : 5045BN @ 25.8A)
1400 (4S : 5040×3 @ 32.0A)
|T-Motor F40 II||2400KV
|30g||1153 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.9A)
1208 (4S : 5040×3 @ 29.4A)
|Tornado T1 2205||2300KV||29.5g||1152 (4S : 5045BN @ 23.8A)
1223 (4S : 5040×3 @ 27.7A)
|Lumenier RX2206||2350KV||27g||986 (4S : 5045BN @ 19.1A)
1050(4S : 5040×3 @ 21.6A)
|EMAX TS2306||2300KV||34g||1200 (4S : 5045BN @ 25.4A)
1295 (4S : 5040×3 @ 30.0A)
1500 (4S : 6040 @ 36A)
|ZMX Fusion 2206||2300KV
|30.5g||1250 (4S : 5045BN @ 26.1A)
1300 (4S : 5040×3 @ 30.0A)
|Tornado T2 2206||2300KV
|30g||1213 (4S : 5045BN @ 25.7A)
1300 (4S : 5040×3 @ 29.8A)
|Multicopter Builders 2207||2400KV
|30g||1250 (4S : 5045BN @ 27.1A)
1335 (4S : 5040×3 @ 31.5A)
|DYS Fire 2206||2100KV
|32g||1099 (4S : 5045BN @ 22.0A)
1157 (4S : 5040×3 @ 25.5A)
|Hyperlite V4 2206||2300KV
|28.6g||1209 (4S : 5045BN @ 25.2A)
1271 (4S : 5040×3 @ 28.9A)
|28.8g||1251 (4S : 5045BN @ 31.7A)
1232 (4S : 5040×3 @ 28.8A)
|RMRC Rifle 2206||2300KV
|30.5g||1180 (4S : 5045BN @ 24.3A)
1256 (4S : 5040×3 @ 28.0A)
|TBS Steele 2306||2345KV||28.5g||1141 (4S : 5045BN @ 24.3A)
1194 (4S : 5040×3 @ 28.2A)
|T-Motor F40 Pro 2305||2400KV
|30g||1349 (4S : 5045BN @ 29.8A)
1441 (4S : 5040×3 @ 35.4A)
|T-Motor F60 Pro 2207||2200KV
|34g||1232 (4S : 5045BN @ 25.5A)
1325 (4S : 5040×3 @ 29.4A)
1711 (4S : 6040 @ 36.4A)
|DYS Storm 2207||2300KV
|T-motor AIR 40 2205||2450KV||24.5g||$14|
|RCX RS2206 V3||2400KV||33g||$14|
|ZMX Fusion X30 2207||2300KV||33g||$21|
|Returner R4 2206||2300KV
|Cobra VEK CP2207||2450KV||36g||$26|
|DYS Mars 2306||2400KV
|DYS Thor 2408||2200KV
You might see varying thrust test results for the same motors online, this is because of the different testing equipment and environment. Some thrust data shown here were obtained in my own testing, while the rest was pulled from MiniQuadTestBench.com.
Thrust is not everything! :) There are many other factors to consider when selecting the ideal motors for your build. Remember that the quality, responsiveness (how quickly can RPM changes), and efficiency of your motors, as well as performance under different throttle levels are just as important as peak thrust.
Here is our guide to highlights some of the important things to consider when choosing quadcopter motor.
You should check out my article to learn about the basics or quadcopter propellers.
Get plenty of spare props
Propellers should be considered the “consumable” in this hobby, especially so for flying mini quad because we crash… A LOT!
Breaking or bending props are inevitable, how many you break depends on how much you fly and how much fun you are having :)
Propellers are generally fairly cheap ($1 to $2 a pair), therefore it’s a good idea to get a bunch of them, so you can order more before running out.
Always get “durable props”
When I started flying mini quad back in 2013, mini quad props were mainly made of ABS or some other brittle plastic, and were extremely easy to break. Luckily new material was introduced in propellers, and these are commonly referred to as “durable” or “indestructible” props.
These durable props are slightly flexible, but extremely hard to break, they will also save you money in the long run. However there are downsides to “indestructible” props though
- Durable props often bend in a crash and if incorrectly straightened, they can cause vibration in flights later on
- When a propeller maintains its integrity in a crash, more of the force from the impact is transferred to the motor bearing which can result in shorter motor life
The number of blades in a propeller
Theoretically, the more blades a propeller has, the more thrust it’s capable of delivering at the same RPM, but it will also increase current draw dramatically because more energy is required to spin it.
Fewer blades equates lighter props, which means that the motors don’t have to work as hard to spin or stop them, making them run more efficiently and can response (change of RPM) more quickly.
Bi-blade and Tri-blades propellers are both excellent options: bi-blade is more efficient while tri-blade has better “grip” in the air. However in my opinion, Quad- and Hex-bladed props are designed for very specific motors and applications, so unless you know what you are doing it’s best to avoid these props.
My Favourite Props
Popular brands of propellers are:
- DAL (or DALProps)
If you are a just getting started flying a mini quad, I would recommend Racerstar, Kingkong and DAL props. These are cheapest and yet perform very well.
|DAL Cyclone T5045C||Durable||$1.5|
|DAL Cyclone T5040C||Durable||$1.5|
|DAL Cyclone 5050C||$1.5|
|Gemfan Flash 5152×3||Durable||$1.5|
|Gemfan Flash 5152×2||Durable||$1.5|
|Butter Cutter Props 5x5x3||$2|
|HQ 5x4x3||CF Reinforced Plastic||$1.7|
|HQ 5x4x3 Skitzo||Durable||$1.75|
|HQ Quad Blade Prop||$3|
|HQ Hex Blade Prop||$3|
|HQ 6045||Glass Fiber Composite||$3.5|
ESC – Electronic Speed Controller
After making the choice of motor and prop combination, you should now be able to estimate the amount of current your mini quad will draw. If your motors draw more current than your ESC’s can handle, the ESC’s will eventually fail.
To find out the maximum current draw of your motor, check motor thrust data provided by the manufacturer or online reviewers. One excellent resource for that is MiniQuadTestBench.
For more detail, check out my tutorial on How to choose ESC for racing drones.
Nearly all the newest ESC’s are running BLHeli firmware, except KISS ESC’s, who has their own close-sourced firmware.
Further Reading: ESC firmware and Protocols
These ESC’s can be running either BLHeli_S or BLHeli_32 depending on what their hardware can support.
In a nutshell, BLHeli_32 is the latest ESC firmware and it allows you to run DShot1200 protocol, and has many other new features such as higher throttle resolution, ESC telemetry and current limiting.
I’ve personally found that ESC’s these days mostly perform similarly well, so it’s hard to go wrong with any latest ESC’s from a brand name (except a very few that might have terrible noise issues,anyway you will hear that from my blog or from the community).
|I compiled the specification of all ESC’s for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.|
|Name||Current Rating (Burst)||Picture||Price||Cell Allowed||Weight||Firmware / Fastest Protocol|
|Gemfan Maverick||30A (40A)||$12||2-6S||2.3g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|KISS ESC 32A||32A (40A)||$34||2S-6S||5g||KISS – DShot2400|
|DALRC Engine 40A 4in1 ESC||40A (50A)||$60||3S-5S||16g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Hobbywing XRotor Micro||30A (50A)||$16||2S-6S||6g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Typhoon32 4in1||35A||$60||3S-4S||TBC||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Wraith32 V2||35A||$17||2S-6S||TBC||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Aikon AK32 ESC||35A (45A)||$17||2S-4S||9g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|T-Motor FPV F30A||30A||$16||2S-4S||5.6g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Spedix GS30||30A (40A)||$13||2S-4S||5g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|UFOFPV 30A||30A (35A)||$13||2S-4S||6g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Airbot Ori32 4in1||25A||$45||2S-4S||TBC||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Hakrc 40A 4-In-1 ESC||40A (50A)||$46||2S-6S||9.6g||BLHeli_S – DShot600|
|Racerstar Tattoo_S Mini 4-In-1||25A (30A)||$40||2S-4S||8g||BLHeli_32 – DShot1200|
|Betaflight BLHeli_32||35A (45A)||$19||2S-6S||6g||BLHeli_32 / DShot1200|
|Littlebee Summer||35A (40A)||$15||2S-4S||8g||BLHeli_32 / DShot1200|
|Quadrant BLHeli_32||35A (50A)||$19||2S-6S||3.3g||BLHeli_32 / DShot1200|
|KISS 24A ESC||24A (30A)||$26||2S-5S||3.6g||KISS Custom – 32bit DShot|
|TBS PowerCube||20A (45A)||$150||2S-6S||70g||SimonK/BLheli|
|Littlebee Pro||20A||$14||2S-4S||6g||BLHeli, F396|
|Littlebee Pro 4in1||20A||$53||2S-4S||20g||BLHeli, with 5V BEC|
|Aikon SEFM 20A||20A (30A)||$14||2S-4S||6g||BLHeli_S|
|Aikon SEFM V2 30A||30A (40A)||$16||2S-4S||9g||BLHeli_S DShot|
|ZTW Flash 30A||30A||$16||2S-4S||11g||BLHeli_S|
|Sunrise Cicada||30A||$18||2S-4S||9g||BLHeli_S DShot|
|Racerstar RS20A||20A (25A)||$11||2S-4S||5.7g||BLHeli_S DShot|
|Racerstar RS30A||30A (35A)||$13||2S-4S||6.3g||BLHeli_S DShot|
|V-Good FireFly||18A||$17||2S-4S||5.7g||Custom – 32-bit|
|Gemfan Maverick||25A||pending||pending||pending||Custom – 32-bit|
|TBS Bulletproof||25A||$17||2S-4S||3g||BLHeli-S DShot|
|Emax Bullet||30A||$13||2S-4S||pending||BLHeli-S DShot|
|T-Motor F30A||30A||$15||2S-4S||4.3g||BLHeli-S DShot|
|DYS XSD||30A||$17||3S-5S||7.2g||BLHeli-S DShot|
|Armattan DShot||30A||$13.5||3S-6S||7.8g||BLHeli-S DShot|
|XRacer Quadrant||25A||$13||3S-6S||2.5g||BLHeli-S DShot|
|Spedix HV||30A||$12||3S-6S||5.5g||BLHeli-S DShot|
|Foxeer F25A||25A (40)||$11||2S-4S||4.5g||BLHeli_S DShot|
|DYS Aria||35A (40A)||$16||3S-6S||4.5g||BLHeli_32|
|Tattu BLHeli_S||30A (40A)||$17||2S-5S||6.5g||BLHeli_S|
|Sunnysky R30A||30A (40A)||?||2S-4S||6.8g||BLHeli_S|
|KISS 24A Ultralite||24A||$30||3S-4S||WEIGHT||KISS|
Once you have determined what motor, props and ESC you are going to put on your mini quad, you can now look at choosing LiPo batteries. The decisions you need to make revolve around:
- Cell count
- C rating – max discharge rate
Further Reading: the basics of LiPo batteries.
Cell Count – 3S or 4S?
Manufacturers of motors and ESC’s state how many cells LiPo you should use with their products. Motors can run faster (higher RPM) with higher voltage, and that’s why 4S is preferred over 3S for racing and freestyle flying.
Now 5S and 6S are also getting popular, but it’s so new there aren’t a lot of hardware can support voltages that high yet. We will recommend some 5S and 6S gears when technology becomes more mature.
For beginners, I would recommend 4S because it’s the most widely supported battery voltage, and yet it’s a lot more powerful and fun to fly than 3S.
The most popular capacity range for mini quad is between 1300mAh and 1800mAh for both 3S and 4S setups. You will need to find a good balance between flight time and battery weight.
Larger capacity batteries give you more time in the air, but are also heavier. When it gets too heavy, the aircraft starts to feel sluggish and flies like a tank. For serious racers and free-style pilots, you want the aircraft to be as light as possible, making 1300mAh and 1500mAh the most popular packs to pick.
Safe peak current draw = C-rating * capacity
For example, if a mini quad draws 48A in total at 100% throttle (12A per motor), any 1300mah battery that has a C rating higher than 37C should suffice.
Some people believe batteries of lower C rating work just as well, so why bother? That’s because if the C rating is below requirement, the quad will have no punch due to voltage sag under load.
Drawing current faster than your battery is capable of safely supplying it, can cause a battery to overheat and “puff”, eventually it can permanently damage the pack. Extreme cases can even result in fire!
Note that higher C rating batteries tend to be slightly heavier as well.
|Popular LiPo Brand Names|
|Tattu (Gens Ace)|
There is a new type of battery called HVLi (or sometimes LiHV), which stands for High Voltage Lipo battery. These batteries have higher energy density, and allow you to charge up to 4.35V per cell, giving you a higher initial voltage. Check out this post for all the pros and cons about LiHV batteries.
However, it’s been reported that HVLi has issue with longevity, and their performance and capacity degrade faster than regular LiPo batteries after the same amount of usage.
Fo special racing events the HVLi can still be considered because it gives you an advantage of higher initial voltage, but for everyday practice it’s still better to use regular LiPo batteries.
FPV Goggle / Monitor Display
To get a basic understanding on how FPV system work, please check out my FPV guide.
You can’t fly FPV without display equipment!
FPV Goggles give a better flying experience, but a cheap alternative such as a small LCD monitor can also work and doubles to show others what you see while flying.
I started with a 7″ monitor, it’s great for people who wear glasses. It also allows you to switch between line of sight and FPV quickly. However, I quickly grew out of it, not to mention it was hard to see what’s on the screen in bright conditions. I moved onto a pair of FPV goggles and have never looked back.
For a full list of FPV Goggles, check out this shopping guide for FPV goggles.
If you prefer monitors, here are some good choices.
|FPV Goggle/Monitor Name||Picture||Price|
|4.3 inch LCD Monitor||$14|
|5 inch LCD Monitor||$29|
|7 inch LCD Monitor||$30|
|Eachine 5802 7″ Display with Built-in VRX||$86|
|Skyzone HD02 7″ Display with Built-in VRX||$115|
|Aomway HD588 10″ Display with Built-in VRX||$186|
It’s worth knowing that some FPV goggles come with great features, such as built-in video receiver, DVR (digital video recorder), head tracking, etc, which you don’t get on a monitor. Some box goggles even have a removable screen to double as goggles and monitor.
Originally, CCD security board cameras like the PZ0420 was used on quadcopters, but nowadays everyone is turning towards well protected cameras that are design specifically for FPV, like the Runcam Swift or Foxeer Arrow.
Modern FPV cameras are easy to install in a mini quad frame, and have similar if not better performance than those board cameras.
For day time flying, my current favorite is the Runcam Eagle 2. It’s also a really good all around camera that works well at night too.
For night and extremely low light FPV flying, check out the Night Eagle 2.
|I compiled the specifications of all FPV cameras for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.|
All the cameras on this list have a 4:3 aspect ratio unless specified otherwise. I try to point out the FOV of the lens whenever I can, otherwise I will state the focal length of the lens.
|Camera Name||Picture||TVL||Price||Spec/Feature||Input Voltage|
|Rotor Riot Swift 2||600TVL||$45||CCD, 4:3, 140° FOV, OSD||5V-36V|
|Caddx Turbo Micro SDR1||1200TVL||$35||CMOS, 16:9 & 4:3, 2.1mm||5V-40V|
|Caddx Turbo Micro F1||1200TVL||$20||CMOS, 16:9, 2.1mm, OSD||4.5V-40V|
|Caddx Micro Turbo S1||600TVL||$29||CCD, 4:3, 2.1/2.3mm, OSD||5V-40V|
|Caddx Turbo S1||600TVL||$29||CCD, 4:3, 130° FOV, OSD||5V-40V|
|Foxeer Predator Mini||1000TVL||$42||CMOS, 4:3, 112° FOV, OSD||5V-40V|
|RunCam Nano||650TVL||$20||CMOS, 4:3, 160° FOV||3.3V-5.5V|
|Eachine 1000TVL||1200TVL||$13||CMOS, 4:3, 112° FOV||5V-20V|
|RunCam Night Eagle 2||800TVL||$80||CMOS, 4:3, 140° FOV||5V-36V|
|RunCam Sparrow||700TVL||$30||CMOS, 16:9, 150° FOV||5V-36V|
|RunCam Micro Sparrow||700TVL||$30||CMOS, 16:9, 145° FOV||5V-36V|
|Runcam Eagle 2||800TVL||$45||CMOS 16:9 (170° FOV) & 4:3 (140° FOV)||5V-36V|
|Micro Swift 2||600TVL||$35||CCD, 2.1mm/2.3mm, OSD||5V-36V|
|Foxeer Night Wolf V2||700TVL||$43||For low light flying||5-40V|
|Runcam Swift 2||600TVL||$45||Built-in OSD||5-36V|
|Runcam Night Eagle||800TVL||$80||Night Vision / B&W||5-17V|
|Runcam Swift Mini||600TVL||$35||Smaller Swift||5-36V|
|Foxeer Monster V2||1200TVL||$39||Low latency CMOS 16:9||5-40V|
|Foxeer Arrow V3||600TVL||$39||2.5mm, built-in OSD||5-35V|
|Arrow mini||600TVL||$39||2.1mm, OSD||5-40V|
|Arrow Micro 2||600TVL||$32||150 FOV, OSD||5-40V|
Video Transmitter / Receiver
There are many choices for video transmitter (vTX) and video receiver (vRX). There are even different frequencies for FPV such as 1.2GHz, 1.3GHz and 2.4GHz (but some frequencies are restricted in some countries, so check your local regulations). The reason we prefer 5.8Ghz for a mini quad and micro quad is mainly because of the tiny antenna and VTX unit. A mini quad isn’t usually designed for long range either, so 5.8Ghz is enough for most people.
Here is a more detailed guide on how to choose a video transmitter.
|I compiled the specifications of all 5.8GHz VTX for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.|
It’s important to know that there are 5 common frequency bands used in 5.8Ghz video transmission for FPV, they are known as the A, B, E, F and Raceband bands. Some new VTX supports even up to 80 channels across 10 different bands
Here is a 5.8Ghz Frequency band table that explains what the frequencies (channels) are in each band. Beware there might be frequencies in certain bands that are illegal to use in your country, make sure you check your local regulation before broadcasting.
|Video Transmitter||Power||Picture||Price||Input Voltage||Channels||Review|
|Matek VTX HV||5mW, 200mW, 500mW||$30||7V-27V||40ch|
|RDQ Mach 2||25mW/200mW/500mW/800mW||$30||7V-24V||37ch|
|Atas Raceband||600mW||$45||7V-20V||40 ch||Oscar|
|Foxeer TM25 Switcher||25mW/200mW/600mW Adjustable||$33||7-24V||40ch|
|Immersionrc Tramp HV||1mW – 600mW linear power control||pending||2S-6S (HV)||48ch|
|TBS unify pro||25mW – 800mW Adjustable||$50||2S-6S (HV)||40ch|
|DIATONE SP3||25/200/600mW, integrated OSD||$40||10-25V||48ch||Grisha|
You rarely have to buy the video receiver separately these days, it’s usually built into the FPV Goggles, or comes with it as a module. Even on some FPV monitors there is integrated video receivers.
But when it comes to selecting an external, standalone VRX, make sure it’s compatible with your choice of video transmitter (uses the same frequency band).
|Video Receiver||Picture||Price US$||Support Bands||Input Voltage||Review|
|Eachine RC832||$15||48 channels||12V|
|Boscam FR632 Diversity||$50||40 channels||6V-28V|
|Quanum RC540R Diversity||$73||40 channels||6V-18V||Oscar|
VTX and VRX normally come with dipole antennas. They work fine, but to get better range and penetration it’s always advised to replace them with some circular polarized antennas.
Here is a tutorial on how to choose the best FPV antenna, and my recommendation.
To further improve range, directional antennas like helical and patch are used on the video receiver. These antennas can give you longer range, but they also have a narrower beam of reception. That means you will get weaker signal on your left and right, even worse behind. They come with different gains, the higher gain, the more directional it is.
Here is a guide about how antenna gain affects range in FPV.
|Realacc Triple Feed Patch||VRX||CP||$13||9.4dBi|
|Lumenier AXII MMCX||VTX||CP||$20||1.6dbic|
|Realacc Pagoda||Both||CP||$8||5 dbi|
|Boscam 5.8GHz Cloud Spirit||Both||Clover-Leaf||$26||TX1.1dbi,RX1.4dbi|
|ImmersionRC Spironet||Both||Skew Planar Wheel||$40||na|
|IBCrazy Bluebeam||Both||TX – 3 lobe Airscrew5 lobe Mad Mushorrom||$65||na|
|Aomway 7 Turn Helical||RX||Helical||$14||11dbi|
|Fatshark SpiroNET Patch||RX||Patch||$68||13dbi|
|TBS Triumph||Both||Circular Polarized||$40||1.26 dbic|
|Foxeer Antenna||Both||Circular Polarized||$10||3dBi|
|ProDrone Diversity||VTX/VRX||Omni & Directional||$43||Helical=8dBi|
|TrueRC X-Air Crosshair||VRX||Directional||$30||10dbi|
Lastly, when choosing antennas for video transmitter and receiver, make sure the type of connectors are compatible. To learn the difference, check out the guide on SMA and PR-SMA connectors.
Converters are also available if you do get the wrong type, but you will lose some signal strength for every adapter you use.
OSD – On Screen Display
OSD is an optional device that displays flight information on your screen. For most mini quad pilots, we only need the basics like battery voltage and a timer. Of course you can also use Telemetry for the same purpose, but it’s useful to have the information on your FPV screen.
On many latest flight controllers and FPV cameras, even on some VTX, there is integrated OSD that works out of the box. This saves the users time and effort to wire and configure external OSD modules.
Check out this OSD Guide.
|OSD Name||Picture||Price||Display Data||Support Voltage Monitor|
|Hobbyking E-OSD||$14||voltage, timer||7.2V-12V (2S – 3S)|
|Super Simple Mini OSD||$9||voltage, timer||5V-26V (2S – 6S)|
|Micro MinimOSD||$15||Voltage, timer, GPS, etc||2S-4S|
Out of all these external OSD module, my favourite is the Micro MinimOSD. It’s cheap (only $7), small, light weight, and powerful. It allows you to display many types of data such as voltage, RSSI, current, GPS info etc. With MWOSD firmware you can even change your PID/Rate settings on your quad. However some find it easy to break, and it’s known to be vulnerable to voltage spikes in the power system, so additional power filtering is required.
PDB and Voltage Regulator
A PDB is used to distribute power to all the electrical components, inclduing the FC, ESC’s and FPV gear. I would recommend getting a good PDB (power distribution board) that comes with power filters and regulated 5V & 12V outputs.
But many FC these days have PDB and BEC integrated so you might not need to purchase a PDB separately.
It might also be beneficial to know about LC Filters, which are used to reduce noise in the power when there is interference in the your FPV feed. You can buy them or make one yourself.
|Voltage Regulator||Image||Input Range||Output||Price|
|3A Mini Voltage Regulator||4.5V-28V||0.8V-20V @ 3A||$3|
|Atas Mini PDB||3S-6S||5V, 12V @ 3A||$25|
|Matek Mini PDB||2S-6S||5V, 12V @ 2A-3A||$5|
|RMRC 12V Step-Up||2.5V-12V||12V @ 1.4A||$3.5|
|DemonRC Core||3S-8S||5V @ 0.6A
12V @ 1.0A
|Matek 5in1||3S-6S||5V @ 3A
12V @ 0.5A
|RROSD Pro Mini||3S – 6S||$35||$35|
HD Camera For FPV
Check out this HD Action cameras buyer’s guide for mini quad.
There are usually two cameras used on the same mini quad. One is the FPV camera, which is used for the real-time, onboard view while flying. The other camera is used to record your flight footage in HD (e.g. 1080p 60fps). Most high quality drone videos you see on Youtube/Vimeo are filmed using one of the HD cameras listed below.
The best known camera here is probably the GoPro. The Runcam 2 and Xiaomi Yi are also popular due to their affordibility. Compared to the GoPro, they are only a fraction of the cost, lighter, and yet still capable of capturing decent footage.
|FPV Recording Camera||Picture||Price||Weight||Max Resolution|
|GoPro Session 5||$300||73g||[email protected]
|GoPro Hero 4+ Black||$300||88g||[email protected]
|Runcam Split 2||$75||21g||[email protected]|
|Foxeer Box||$170||73g||[email protected]
|Foxeer Legend 3||$150||67g||[email protected]
|Xiaomi Yi||$100||72g||[email protected]|
|Runcam 2||$99||49g||[email protected]|
|GoPro Hero5||$400||117g||[email protected]30fps
|Mobius 2||$89||45g||[email protected]|
|Mobius Mini||$69||27g||[email protected]
|Runcam 3 HD||$99||66g||[email protected]|
There are many other parts and tools you might consider adding to your shopping list.
LiPo Battery Charger
Soldering Iron and Equipment
Electrical wires and XT60 connectors
Loctite glue is used to secure the motor screws in your quadcopter, for more detail and what options to buy, check out this article.
Liquid electrical tape
Where to buy: Amazon – http://amzn.to/2AmnirP
Buzzer (lost model alarm)
There are so many types of buzzer, it takes a whole article to explain! :) Check our my tutorial on buzzers and learn about where you can buy them.
Mini Quad Kit | RTF | BNF | ARTF
Some mini quads are pre-built with the majority of the parts that you need, e.g. motors, ESCs, FC, etc. Although i do recommend you to research each part and build the quad yourself, some beginners might still prefer RTF (Ready to Fly) option. Here are some nice RTF/ARTF Mini Quads:
You’ve Made It!
I hope this post gave you some insights into what components are involved in a mini quad, and all the popular options out there. If you still have questions, don’t worry! Join our forum: IntoFPV.com, we have a great community who are always there to help.