2S Mini Quadcopter Re-build | Indoor FPV

by Oscar

Everybody flying mini quad are pushing their speed limit, using more power motors and going up in LiPo battery cell count, 4S even 6S. I have a ZMR250 mini quad which runs on 4S, but when it comes to flying indoor it’s an absolute overkill. What I am doing today is the opposite, I am going to re-build my old, slow DIY mini quadcopter, which runs on 2S LiPo.

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Old and retiring Mini Quad

This quadcopter was built more than a year ago, using a DIY frame made up of plastic sheets, fiber glass rods and hot glue. It weights only 220 grams and I love flying this quad indoor, it’s just unbreakable! Because of the light weight, the props also last a lot longer than my 4S mini Quad. I have been flying it a lot recently because the weather has been terrible, the frame is kind of disintegrating and reaching the end of its life. I happen to have a spare fibre glass mini quad frame lying around, so I decided to rebuild it!

2s-mini-quad-old 2s-mini-quad-old-bottom

You have served me well!

If I have to build this quad again, I would go for a different motor, the 3800KV version. Currently I am using the 2900KV version, but I can have a bit more power.

Turnigy 1811 2900KV – 2S LiPo, 5030 prop, thrust: 160g @ 5.3A
Turnigy 1811 3800KV – 2S LiPo,  5030 prop, thrust: 205g @ 7.5A

Fibre Glass Frame Losing Weight

This is a Diatone mini quad frame made of fiber glass, it was given to me as a gift. It doesn’t look very strong, so I have never used it for my normal 4S setup. But since it’s not that heavy either, I think it would be perfect to be used in my 2S setup for a light weight mini quad.


But First thing I did was to remove the unnecessary part of the frame, to keep the weight down as much as possible.

mini-quad-rebuild-frame-diantone-reduce-weight-cut mini-quad-rebuild-frame-diantone-reduce-weight-cut-top-plate

Then put the arms on.


Taking Apart Old Quadcopter

It’s kind of sad to take apart my old quadcopter. I cannot remember how many sleepless nights I spent on building and tuning this little monster. But I am also surprised after all this time, these motors and ESCs are still working! I must have spent less than $60 on them, what a good value training quadcopter for a beginner. :)


Assembling Mini Quad

Mounting motors and ESCs.


Soldering ESCs with power distribution harness.


Power distribution harness finished!


Now install flight controller (Naze32), and radio receiver.


Put the lid on, and TaDaaa!


This quad weights 230 grams, just a little bit heavier than the old frame. But that’s very reasonable since this frame is much nicer and stronger than my old one.

Total Cost: $0 !!

Big Mistake!

Not the first time I made this mistake, I doubt it will be the last. I totally forgot to note down the motor and ESC spin direction, and I just put them on randomly. Of course, this time I am not that lucky, and they were all spinning the wrong way!

It was impossible to swap the motor and ESCs around, as I have placed everything nicely. So what did I have to do? I de-soldered the the connections between the motors and ESCs, and swapped 2 of the 3 wires to change the motor spin direction. Unless there is a much easier way to reverse the rotating direction of the motors on the Flight controller, that I don’t know about.


Quadcopter LED Craze!

I am actually not that crazy about blinky LEDs, but I am sure a lot of people are out there, so I wrote a guide on how I setup LEDs in CleanFlight for quadcopters. You can get voltage warning, turning lights, throttle level, etc. It’s pretty awesome.

Here is where and how I mounted the LED strips, they are secured using sellotape.


And this is how it looks like after all the wires are connected.




FPV Gear

In this quadcopter build, I decided to use a mini T5823 video transmitter. It’s light weight and small, also it takes 2S input which is great. As for FPV camera I decided to use the old 808 key chain camera, as it does video out and recording at the same time. It takes 5V power, so I simply connect it to spare motor power pins.


After connected everything, tided up all the cables, it looks pretty neat!



Total weight: 261g!


Flight Videos

Coming Soon!

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David 13th April 2016 - 2:08 pm

Hi Oscar,

You can actually reverse the motor rotation from within the BLHeli suite…!
That way you don’t have to re-solder the motor wires.
On the other hand, I’ll like it tidy, and all ESCs in normal mode, motors wired correctly. If that setting accidentally changes with an update… or you forget it when replacing an ESC (but then you would check rotation I guess).

Hope I might save you some time in the future

Lubo 29th February 2016 - 10:20 pm

Hi Oscar, what flight time can you reach indoors using what battery capacity with this thingy? I am planning with weight of about 240g to use the new graphene LiPos 2s750mAh, but I have no imagination about what flight time I can reach. I prefer less weight and have more spare batteries and enjoy a bigger fun factor with less weight…

Oscar 7th March 2016 - 4:36 pm

my quad’s flight time was about 7 mins with 2S 850mah nano-tech.

Lubo 9th March 2016 - 1:39 pm

Many thanks Oscar! I expected such performance from the thrust table of motors, but the reality is sometimes something else and this is very useful info where to start with battery selection :). Wish you all the best and continue in good work on your blog!

Oran Deutsch 9th May 2015 - 10:44 pm

I am thinking of doing something similar myself.

Quick question: is it ok to use 5030 props on the 3800KV motors? I am a little worried it would burn them out.

Oscar 10th May 2015 - 1:25 am

better check thrust data sheet (test) of the motor you are using.

stephenl 20th January 2015 - 5:20 pm

If you flash you ESC within blheli you can configure motor direction. There are lots of other reasons to use blheli but this is one.

Oscar 20th January 2015 - 10:46 pm

yes, of course, but those ESCs are not flashable i think. Even if they are, it’s going to be more work :)

Dj_Garfield 18th January 2015 - 11:47 pm

Question : Joining both Rx Aerials is not causing Radio Issues ?

Oscar 19th January 2015 - 11:46 am

It should not be a problem for short range (which I only intend to fly in my house, and maybe within 200 meters.
But you concern is reasonable, to get the best range, it should be placed 90 degree apart.

Dj_Garfield 18th January 2015 - 10:51 pm

Yeaaah !! Great Job !! I Like the dampenering method !!! Often , the 0,5€ recycling component is better than the 100€ brand new one of the death :)

Oscar 19th January 2015 - 11:43 am

absolutely mate! DIY is the more fun, and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg :D
And it’s good for the environment too :D