In this post I compiled a list of parts and brands for FPV mini quadcopters, that runs 5″ or 6″ propellers (aka Racing Drones). It’s an awesome time-saver for your research of next mini quad build, and keeps you updated on all amazing parts .
The Almost Complete 250 Mini Quad Parts List
Are you interested in and new to mini quad? Make sure to check out this drone racing guide first.
New products are added on a monthly basis, so make sure you come back to check regularly. I will try my best to maintain and keep this list up to date, if you spot any missing products that worth mentioning, please let me know on this forum section.
New products are added to the bottom of the list. I also remove parts that no longer available.
- 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
FPV Drone Racing is an fast growing market. It becomes increasingly difficult to keep track with new mini quad products that get released everyday. Hopefully this guide can help you stay up to date with the latest in the industry.
- For 150-180 size micro/mini quad (running 3″ and 4″ propellers), check out this 180 4″ parts list
- For Brushed Micro quad: brushed micro quad parts list
- Dec 2014 – Created this article
- May 2015 – Some edit
- Nov 2015 – Some edit
- Mar 206 – Added 20+ new products
- Aug 2016 – Added 100+ new products; Removed 30+ obsolete products
- Feb 2016 – Added 70+ new products; Removed 10+ obsolete products
Frame – Mini Quad Parts List
A good frame should be crash resistant, rigid, easy to build and have well thought-out design. By carefully choosing a reliable frame can give you an enjoyable building experience, keep your downtime to the minimum, and save you money getting replacement parts. It does not only protect your electronics inside, but it’s also closely related to flight performance.
To learn about the basics of mini quad frames, I’ve written a guide for it.
Here are a list of popular racing drone frames, from the cheapest, to the more expensive ones. Some frames might not appear in this list, or get removed if they are out of stock for a long time. There is information about price, material (arm thickness), size, and weight.
|Name/Size||Image||Price||Material/Arm Thickness||Weight||Review URL||Builds|
|FPV250 + Cage||$17||Nylon, Fibre Glass||160g||Oscar, RCG||Oscar|
|Lisam LS-210||$18||Carbon Fiber||100g|
|Martian II 220||$26||4mm CF||120g|
|ZMR250||$31||Carbon Fiber||145g||Oscar, RCG||Oscar|
|Realacc X210||$27||4mm CF||88g|
|Realacc X210 Pro||$34||4mm CF||96g|
|X-Speed FPV280||$40||3mm CF & Plastic||210g|
|EMAX250 NightHawk||$46||Glass, Carbon Fiber Mix||190g||lolFPV|
|GEPRC GEP210||$49||3mm CF||98g|
|ZMR250 V2||$59||Carbon Fibre||185g||Oscar||Oscar|
|Arris X-Speed||$55||Carbon Fiber||161g||Oscar||Oscar|
|Rotoracer RR210||$57||carbon fiber||98g|
|Tweaker 5″ 220||$65||4mm CF||136g|
|Mixuko 5||$70||Carbon Fiber||79g|
|Loki-X5 199||$70||4mm CF||58g|
|Ragg-E WBX 205||$72||HDPE||152g||Oscar|
|Lumenier QAV210 CHARPU||$75||Carbon Fiber||91g|
|Mako 225||$75||4mm CF||101g|
|Xhover R5X||$75||3mm CF||82g|
|ZUUL Racehound V2||$75||3mm CF||130g|
|AP5 220||$80||4mm CF||130g|
|Morphite V2 224||$80||CF||unknown|
|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|
|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|
|MQC X 185||$100||3mm CF||89g|
|Xhover Element 5||$106||Carbon Fiber||102g|
|ImpulseRC Alien||$109||Carbon Fiber||125g|
|Armantan F1-5||$110||Carbon Fiber||142g|
|QAV-R 210||$115||4mm CF||99g|
|Speed Addict 210-R||$120||Carbon Fiber||02g||Oscar|
|Sparrow R4||$120||Carbon Fiber||225g|
|MXP230 Elite V2||$140||Carbon Fiber||150g|
|Stigg 195||$145||CF & Aluminium||120g|
|Blackout Mini H 220||$150||Carbon Fiber||123g||Bruce|
|VDQ250 Carbon||$155||Carbon Fiber||141g||Strato|
|Helix ZX5 200||$199||4mm CF||58g|
The standard size of racing mini quad flight controllers are 36mm x 36mm (30.5mm mounting holes). Here is a list of flight controllers that are known to work well with mini quads. For a more detail comparison chart, check out this post about how to choose flight controller, and read about the difference of F1 and F3 boards.
For majority of the FC’s run Cleanflight and Betaflight (F1, F3 and F4). Raceflight is mainly run on F4, although it does support F3 as well. Kiss FC runs Flyduino’s own firmware, and it’s recently supported by Betaflight.
BrainFPV RE1 FC runs dRonin which is a fork of OpenPilot (LibrePilot) like Taulabs, however it now supports Betaflight too.
|Name / MCU||Picture||Price||Features & comment||Review URL|
|Naze32 Rev5 Acro F1||$25||The most popular F1 FC, but outdated not recommended||Oscar|
|Naze32 Rev5 Full F1||$50||Same as Naze32 acro, with extra mag/baro sensors. Outdated.|
|Naze32 Rev6 F1||$20||MPU6500, Built-in SBUS Inverter|
|CC3D F1||$32||Intro, RCG|
|Flip32 F1||$25||Clone of Naze32, a little cheaper|
|Mini APM||$40||Minature version of APM FC||DIYDrones|
|BrainFPV F4||$130||Built-in OSD, only runs Taulabs software||Oscar|
|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|
|Chickadee Polystack F3/F4||$100+||Stackable modular FC system||Oscar|
|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|
|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|
Motor is a major decision when building a mini quad, it is one of the the main factors that determines your quadcopter’s speed, flight time and performance. There are just as many options as mini quadcopter frames if not more. These motors have been selected as they all run 5 or 6 inch propellers.
|Motor Name /Size||KV||Picture||Weight||Max.Thrust/g(cell:[email protected])||Price||Test Data|
|EMAX Cooling 2204||2300 KV||25g||390 (3S : 5040 @ 8.4A)
510 (4S : 5040 @ 10.7A)
620 (4S : 6045 @ 15.7A)
|EMax MT2204||2300 KV||25g||380 (3S : 5030 @ 7.7A)
413 (3S : 5040 @ 8.9A)
579 (3S : 6045 @ 14.8A)
|MultiStar 2206||2150 KV||30g||380 (3S : 5030 @ 7.9A)
460 (3S : 6030 @ 9.4A)
610 (4S : 5040 @ 13.8A)
|DYS BE 1806||2300 KV||18g||415 (3S : 5030 @ 9.0A)
485 (3S : 6030 @ 10.2A)
580 (3S : 6045 @ 16.1A)
|MultiStar 2204||2300 KV||24g||812 (4S : 5045BN @ 17.2A)
814 (4S : 5040×3 @ 18.2A)
|FPVModel 2206||2000 KV||33g||586 (3S : 6030 @ 9.0A)
570 (4S : 5030 @ 10A)
840 (4S : 6045 @ 21A)
|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)
|SunnySky X2204||2300 KV||21g||442 (3S : 5030 @ 8.5A)
539 (3S : 6030 @ 10.0A)
|Cobra CM2208||2000 KV||44g||579 (3S : 6030 @ 9.6A)
912 (4S : 6030 @ 14.4A)
1153 (4S : 6045 @ 22.7A)
|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 RS 2205||2600KV||30g||1282 (4S : 5045BN @ 28.8A)
1357 (4S : 5040×3 @ 32.4A)
|EMAX MT2205 II||2300KV||29g||Pending||$18|
|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)
You might see thrust data different elsewhere, due to these tests were done under different equipment and condition. Some thrust data are pulled from MiniQuadTestBench.com.
Thrust is not everything, there are many other factors to consider to choose the best motors for your mini quad. Remember, build quality, motor response, and efficiency, RPM, current draw under different throttle are just as important as peak thrust.
Here is a guide to highlight some of the important things to bear in mind when choosing motor.
Before you start with selecting propellers, make sure you understand the basics or props first.
Get lots of spare
Propellers is the “consumable” of the hobby. Especially so for mini quad because we crash a lot. It’s inevitable to break props, lots of them. :) Propellers are generally fairly cheap, therefore it’s a good idea to get a bunch of them in in case you run out.
Always get “durable props”
Originally mini quad props were mainly made of ABS or other types of mixed plastic, and they are very easy to break. Manufacturers of the mini quad market have introduced new material, soemtimes referred to as “durable” or “indestructible”. These durable props are kind of flexible, yet very hard to break, you will save money and time replacing them. There are 2 downsides though to “indestructible” props
- They often bend after crashes, because they don’t break, so it’s hard to spot, which could cause vibration in flights
- Because they don’t break, the crash impact is transferred to your motor bearing, and might shorten motor life
Dual-blade, Triblade, Quadblade or Hexblade?
The more blades, the more thrust it should deliver (if the motor has enough torque to handle the propeller), but it will also increase current draw dramatically. The fewer blades the more efficient generally speaking. IMO Hex props aren’t very practical and very low in efficiency. Currently tri-blades is the most popular because it has a good balance between thrust and efficiency.
Not a complete list
It’s impossible to list every single prop and brand (there are hundreds of them), but google what you need usually shows you what you need. Popular brands that make propellers are: DYS, HQ, Gemfan, DAL (or DALProps), FC, Kingkong, Racerstar etc. If you are a beginner, I personally would recommend Racerstar, Kingkong and DAL props. Those are what I am currently using, they are cheap, durable yet perform well.
|DAL Cyclones T5045C||$1.5|
|Butter Cutter Props 5x5x3||$2|
|Gemfan 5030 Triblade||Plastic||$3.5|
|Gemfan 5045 HBN||Plastic|
|Gemfan 5045×3 BN||Plastic|
|DAL 5040×3||Polycarbonate glass fibre (durable)||$1.5|
|DAL 5045×3||Polycarbonate glass fibre (durable)||$1.5|
|DAL 5045 Bullnose||Polycarbonate glass fibre (durable)||$1.3|
|HQ 5x4x3||CF Reinforced Plastc||$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|
|DYS 5045, 6040||$2|
ESC – Electronic Speed Controller
After making the choices of motor and prop, you should now know roughly the current requirement for your mini quad. If your motors draw more current than the ESC’s can handle, your ESC’s will eventually fail. (To find out your motor max current draw, check the motor thrust data, or do your own testing)
For a more detail guide on choosing ESC, check out How to choose ESC for Racing drones.
In this list we have the ESC current rating, price, input voltage, and weight. There is also firmware/software which the ESC supports. SimonK and BLHeli firmware are known to perform better than some factory firmware, that’s why many of us will flash the ESC to the latest version of BLHeli. (Note that not all ESCs allow you to flash custom firmware) Learn abou the Difference between SimonK and BLHeli in 2 mins.
The latest ESC’s perform similarly well these days. They come with BLHeli_S firmware installed, and support DShot600 and Multishot, these are the preferred firmware and ESC protocols.
Newer ESC’s are added at the bottom of the list.
|Name||Current Rating (Burst)||Picture||Price||Cell Allowed||Weight||Firmware / Flashable|
|HK Blue Series||12A (16A)||$8||2S – 4S||10g||Factory Firmware, Flashable|
|HK Blue Series||20A (30A)||$10||2S – 4S||18g||Factory Firmware, Flashable|
|DYS SN20A Mini||20A||$11||2S – 4S||7.6g||SimonK|
|DYS BL20A Mini||20A||$11.5||2S – 4S||7.6g||BLHeli|
|Afro Ultra Lite||12A (16A)||$10||2S – 4S||10g||SimonK|
|Afro||20A||$13||2S – 4S||23g||SimonK|
|KISS ESC||12A||$19||2S – 4S||2g||Custom|
|KISS ESC||18A||$26||2S – 4S||2g||Custom|
|KISS||30A (45A)||$28||2S – 6S||5.4g||Custom|
|Rotorgeeks 12A||12A||$10||2S – 4S||10g||BLHeli|
|RG20A||20A||$17||2S – 4S||4g||BLHeli|
|FVT LittleBee||20A (30A)||$14||2S – 4S||4g||BLHeli – F330|
|KISS Race ESC||24A (30A)||$26||2S-5S||3.6g||KISS Custom – 32bit DShot|
|DYS XM20A||20A||$12||2S-4S||5.8g||BLHeli – F396|
|FVT Littlebee||30A||$15||2S-6S||11g||BLHeli – F330|
|HobbyWing Xrotor||20A (30A)||n/a||3S-4S||14g||BLHeli|
|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|
|DYS XM30A||30A||$16||3S-6S||9g||BLHeli – F396|
|Flycolor Raptor||20A/30A||$12||2S-4S||9.6g||BLheli – F396|
|DALRC XR20A||20A (40A)||$11||2S-4S||6g||BLheli – F396|
|Aikon Boltlite||30A (40A)||$12||2S-4S||9g||BLHeli|
|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|
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 are:
- Cell count
- C rating – max discharge rate
This article explains the basics of LiPo battery.
Cell Count – 3S Or 4S?
Motor/ESC manufacturers normally suggest how many cells LiPo you can use with their motors. The higher cell count means more power thus faster speed, but make sure your charger can support it.
I personally would recommend going 4S because it’s more powerful, faster and a lot more fun. It’s not a lot harder than building a 3S quad anymore, over the time manufacturers have made products support 4S better.
The most popular capacity range for mini quad is between 1300mAh and 1800mAh for both 3S or 4S setup. Basically you need to find a good balance between flight time and weight. More capacity gives you more time in the air, but it’s also heavier. When it gets too heavy, the aircraft starts to feel sluggish and flies like a tank. For serious racers and free-styler pilots, you want the aircraft to be as light as possible, so 1300mAh and 1500mAh are the most popular packs.
Safe peak current draw = C-rating * capacity
So for example if a mini quad draws 48A in total at 100% throttle (12A per motor), any 1300mah battery that has a C rating around or higher than 37C should be good enough.
For instance, these battery would be the fine candidates for this example:
- ZIPPY Compact 1300mAh 3s 40c Lipo Pack
- Turnigy nano-tech 1300mAh 3S 45~90C Lipo Pack
Some people believe low C rating battery works just as good, while some say if C rating is below requirement, the quad will have no punch (voltage sag). It could even cause battery to overheat, which is bad for battery health.
Note that higher C rating batteries tend to be heavier as well.
|Popular LiPo Brand Names|
|Tattu (Gens Ace)|
There is a new type of batteries called HVLi (or sometimes LiHV), stands for High Voltage Lipo battery. These allow you to charge them up to 4.35V per cell, giving you higher starting voltage and more capacity. Check out this post for all the pros and cons about LiHV batteries. But watch out for its longevity, it’s been reported they don’t last long compared to regular LiPo batteries.
Now as we are moving into FPV system, you should learn about it first in my FPV guide.
PZ0420 (Sony Super HAD) used to be the best board FPV camera out there, but nowadays more people prefer to use a camera in a protective case, like the Runcam Swift or HS1177. They are easier to install on a mini quad, and have similar performance if not better than the PZ0420. I personally prefer the Swift, with proper settings they work really well under most situations.
For night FPV flying, there are “Starlight” cameras available such as the Runcam Owl Plus and Foxeer Night Wolf. The Night eagle even perform better!
CMOS camera are also making a come back, with even better WDR and light handling performance than CCD. The Aomway 700TVL is a good example, not to mention the Runcam Eagle, WDR is excellent, it’s probably one of my favourite FPV cameras currently.
I’ve written a guide on How to Choosing a FPV Camera.
|Camera Name||Picture||TVL||Price||Spec/Feature||Input Voltage|
|Sony Super HAD PZ0420||600 TVL||$30||2.1mm, 2.8mm, 3.6mm||12V|
|Sony Super HAD Mini||600 TVL||$35||2.8mm, 3.6mm||5V-22V|
|Sony 960H CCD Effio-V||800 TVL||$47||2.8mm, 3.6mm, 6mm||6V-16V|
|Sony Super Had PZ0420M||600TVL||$36||2.8mm||5V-17V|
|Runcam Sky Plus||600TVL||$36||2.8mm, 3.6mm||5V-17V|
|Foxeer Arrow V2||600TVL||$40||2.8mm, built-in OSD||5-22V|
|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||5-40V|
Video Transmitter / Receiver
There are many choices for video transmitter (vTX) and video receiver (vRX). There are even different frequency for FPV such as 1.2GHz, 1.3GHz and 2.4GHz (not legal in some countries). The reason everyone prefer 5.8Ghz is mainly because of the tiny antenna and VTX unit. And the fact that mini quad doesn’t usually fly long range, so 5.8Ghz is enough for most people.
Here is a more detail guide how to choose video transmitter.
It’s important to know 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 (ABCEF). Newer VTX supports 48 channels – 6 bands and they are labelled as ABCEDF. Here is a 5.8Ghz Frequency band table that explain what the frequencies are in each band, and which brands use them.
|Video Transmitter||Power||Picture||Price||Input Voltage||Channels||Support Bands||Review URL|
|Atas Raceband||600mW||$45||7V-20V||40 ch||ABCEF||Oscar|
|Boscam TS832||600mW||$50||7V-16V||32 ch||ABEF||Oscar|
|TS5823 5.8GHz||200mW||$34||7V-24V||32 ch||ABEF||Oscar|
|Aomway 5.8Ghz||500mW||$46||7V-16V||16 ch||E F||Pending|
|Aomway 5.8Ghz||200mW||$20||7V-24V||32 ch||ABEF||Pending|
|Foxeer TM25 Switcher||25mW/200mW/600mW Adjustable||$33||7-24V||40ch||ABCEF||Pending|
|Immersionrc Tramp HV||1mW – 600mW linear power control||pending||2s-4s (HV)||48ch||ABCEF + Race Wand||Pending|
|RMRC Cricket VTX||25mW/200mW/600mW||$50||7-20V||40ch||ABCEF||Pending|
|TBS unify pro||25mW – 800mW Adjustable||$50||4.5-5.5V||40ch||ABCEF||Pending|
|DIATONE SP2||25mw/200mw Adjustable||$32||6-30V||40ch||ABCEF||Pending|
|DIATONE SP3||25/200/600mW, integrated OSD||$40||10-25V||48ch||ABCDEF||Grisha|
When it comes to VRX, make sure it’s compatible with your choice of video transmitter (works on the same frequency band). If you are getting a pair of FPV Goggles, it might already come with a built-in RX so you won’t need an external one.
|Video Receiver||Picture||Price US$||Support Bands||Input Voltage||Review|
|RC832 32Ch||$34||A B E F||12V||Pending|
|Aomway DVR 32ch||$42||A B E F||7V-24V||Pending|
|FR632 diversity||$56||A B E F||6V-28V||RCG|
VTX and VRX normally come with whip 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.
To further improve range, sometimes directional antennas like helical or patch are used on the video receiver. They can give you more 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.
|Emax 5.8Ghz Cloverleaf||Both||Cloverleaf||$24||na|
|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|
|Boscam Patch Antenna||RX||Patch||$8||11dBi|
|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|
|DYS Planar Antenna||VRX||Directional||$21||14dbi|
|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.
FPV Goggle / Monitor Display
You can’t fly FPV without display equipment! FPV Goggles give a better flying experience, but there are also cheap alternatives such as a small LCD monitor.
I used to fly 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 it’s hard to see what’s on the screen under the sun, and FPV goggles give you a much more immersive experience.
For a full list of FPV Goggles, Check out this guide for shopping FPV goggles.
Here are some choices of monitors.
|FPV Goggle/Monitor Name||Picture||Price|
|7 inch LCD Monitor||$30|
|Fieldview 888 TFT LCD Monitor||$95|
|SkyZone Diversity Receiver 7′ Monitor||$120|
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.
OSD – On Screen Display
OSD is an optional device that display flight information on your screen. For most mini quad pilots, we only need the basics like battery voltage and timer. But of course you can also just use Telemetry for that purpose.
Update 02 July 2015 – 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)|
|MinimOSD||$20||Voltage, timer, GPS, etc||n/a|
|MinimOSD with KV Mod||$11||Voltage, timer, GPS, etc||2S-4S|
|Micro MinimOSD||$15||Voltage, timer, GPS, etc||2S-4S|
My favourite is the Micro MinimOSD. It’s cheap (only $7), 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 seriously vulnerable to voltage spikes in power system.
PDB and Voltage Regulator
I would recommend getting a good PDB (power distribution board) that comes with voltage regulator (5V/12V output), and power filters. You can also just get voltage regulators, but the wiring would be messier.
LC Power Filter is used to reduce noise in the power. If you are powering your video transmitter and FPV camera from your main LiPo pack, you may notice the jumping white lines across the picture when flying, this is when the LC filter comes into play. 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|
|RMRC Dual||2S-6S Lipo||5V, 12V @ 1.5A||$20|
|Micro 12V||14V-42V||12V @ 0.6A||$6|
|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
|Matek Mini Power Hub||3S-6S||5V, 12V @ 3A||$7.5|
|RROSD Pro Mini||3S – 6S||$35||$35|
FPV Recording Camera
There are usually two cameras used on the same mini quad. One is the FPV camera, it’s used for the actual flying which we just talked about. The other camera is used to record HD footage (e.g. 1080p 60fps). Most high quality videos you see on Youtube/Vimeo are filmed using one of these HD cameras.
The best known camera among these are probably the GoPro. The Runcam HD and Mobius are the popular low end cameras. Compared to the GoPro, they are only a fraction of the cost, lighter, yet capable of capturing decent footage. The Xiaomi Yi is also very popular especially with the custom Superview Script, it can produce some great footage close to the quality of a GoPro.
|FPV Recording Camera||Picture||Price||Weight||Max Resolution||Max FPS|
|808 #16 KeyChain||$40||17g||720p||30fps|
|Mobius (Wide Angle)||$73||39g||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|Turnigy HD ActionCam||$83||58g||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|JS5000||$108||74g||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|GoPro||$200-$500||74g-88g||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|RunCam HD||$50||40g||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|Xiaomi Yi||$100||72g||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|Runcam 2||$99||49g||[email protected]|
|Legend 1||$90||49g||[email protected]|
|Xiaomi Yi 4K||$220||90g||[email protected]
|GoPro Session||$210||73g||[email protected]|
|GoPro Session 5||$300||73g||[email protected]
|GoPro Hero5||$400||117g||[email protected]
|Mobius 2||$89||45g||[email protected]|
|Mobius Mini||$69||27g||[email protected]
|Runcam 3 HD||$99||66g||[email protected]|
There are many other parts, tools you might or might not need for building your quadcopter. I will make a list here and will expend on the subject in the future.
- Radio Transmitter and Receiver
- LiPo Battery Charger
- Soldering Iron / station
- Battery Straps
- Gold Bullet connector
- Power Distribution Board
- Power wire
- Loctite glue
- Liquid electrical tape
- LED lights (strip)
Mini Quad Kit | RTF | BNF | ARTF
Some mini quads are pre-built with majority of the parts that you need, e.g. motors, ESCs, FC, etc. Although i do recommend reading up and choose each part yourself, some beginners might find this option easier. Here are some nice RTF/ARTF Mini Quads:
You’ve Made It!
I hope this post gave you some insights and ideas of building a mini quad, what’s involved and what options are out there. Even if you are still puzzled, don’t worry! Join our forum (IntoFPV.com) and we are always there to help.
History of Mini Quad Frames
Like the tide, many mini quad frames have come and gone. Here is a list compiled by figgoat to remember all of our once favourite frames.