How to build a Racing Drone (FPV Mini Quad) Beginner Guide

In this tutorial I will show you how to build a racing drone (aka FPV mini quad) from scratch step by step. It walks you through what components you need, how to assemble the quadcopter, and configure the software for your first flight.

Can Beginners Build an FPV Mini Quad?

Absolutely YES!

There are pre-built drones you can buy off the shelf, but you are not going to learn anything. By building a quadcopter, you know exactly how everything fits together and how to repair it later on.

It’s going to be hard building your first drone, it could take hours, or even days to finish. When you encounter a problem, you might take advice from experienced pilots, or ultimately end up finding your way by trial and error. Either way, the journey is going to be extremely rewarding.

I wrote this tutorial back in 2017, and I have been constantly updating it to cover as much detail as possible, while trying to keep it simple so any beginners can easily follow. My goal is to teach you the steps and basic knowledge of building and setting up a mini quad.

There are a million ways to build a mini quad, different builders might use different steps, tools and techniques. But the goal is the same – building a racing drone that is reliable! And don’t be afraid to do things differently, as long as it works for you.

Learning the Basics

Before we begin, please make sure you’ve read this tutorial to get a basic understanding of mini quad and FPV in general: How to get started with Drone Racing and Mini Quad

if you see an abbreviation and have no idea what it means, you can try looking it up here: Acronyms and technical terms in FPV.

Table of Contents

Mini Quad Parts List

For this tutorial, I will be using the following parts in “Primary Options” column. I also listed alternatives.

Parts Primary Options Alternatives
Frame Martian II Speical Edition ($20) Martian II
FC Kakute F7 AIO
ESC Holybro Tekko32 35A ($64) RacerStar RS30A V2 ($52)
Motor DYS Sunfun 2207 2400KV ($12)
Propeller HQ 5.1×4.1×3 ($) DAL Cyclone T5045C ($3)
RX Frsky XSR ($17) Frsky R-XSR ($25)
FPV Camera Oscar’s Phoenix Camera Runcam Micro Eagle
VTX Eachine TX805 ($10) Holybro Atlatl V2 ($30)
FPV Antenna Foxeer Lollipop V2 Aomway Cloverleaf
Misc Parts XT60 Pigtail ($1.5)
  Buzzer ($0.4)
  IntoFPV Battery Strap BG Battery Strap
Optional Low ESC Capacitor ($1.5)
  Spare Nylon Standoffs

If you want to see other mini quad parts that I have tested and recommend, check here: https://oscarliang.com/tag/recommend/

Frame

The Martian II frame is a great value frame. I am still flying the one I bought back in 2016, the oldest frame in my fleet. It’s very roomy and easy to build, you can’t go wrong with the Martian II as your first mini quad frame.

By the way, I have a coupon here, FiberRC, you can get the Martian on this page for only $16.8. Expires in June 2019.

FC – Flight Controller

I like the simplicity of “AIO” (All in one) flight controllers, it combines the FC and PDB into one single board, which minimizes the amount of wiring and soldering.

The Kakute F7 AIO FC has been one of the most reliable flight controllers for me. You don’t need to worry about soft mounting because the Gyro is separated from the board by vibration damping foam. It features a powerful F7 processor that allows you to run all the latest features in Betaflight and still has enough processing power to run fast looptime.

Motors

The DYS Sunfun 2207 2400KV motor is one of the best value motors I’ve tested. FPV Beginners are going to crash a lot, and motors take the most impact so if you break them it won’t hurt as much.

ESC – Speed Controller

As your first build, I would steer away from 4-in-1 ESC’s. They might be easier to work with, but if you burn out one ESC then you are screwed. It stinks that you have to replace the whole board.

That’s why it’s better to use standalone ESC’s, price difference is minimal anyway. My go-to standalone single ESC’s right now are the Tekko32 35A. They are BLHeli_32 ESC’s, capable of running 48KHz PWM frequency and DShot1200, making them more superior than the older BLHeli_S ESC in terms of performance.

Receiver

Your choice of radio transmitter determines what receiver (RX) you are going to use. For Frsky Taranis users, both the XSR and R-XSR are excellent choices.

XSR and R-XSR have the same features and range, but the R-XSR is smaller and lighter. Size is really not an issue for the roomy Martian frame, so you might want to consider the XSR because it’s slightly cheaper than the R-XSR. Anyway, it really doesn’t matter.

VTX

I am using the Eachine TX805 VTX in this build, simply because it’s cheap and has got all the features I ever need in a VTX! It has SmartAudio, selectable power levels range from 25mW to 800mW, MMCX connector, and a built-in Mic.

FPV Camera

The Runcam Eagle 2 is simply the best “All-Around” FPV ever made, excellent performance in both day and low light. They also make a smaller version, the Micro Eagle. But yes, the Martian only takes full size cameras, but you can get this adapter so you can mount a micro camera just like a full size camera.

I also recommend the Phoenix Oscar Edition :) It’s much cheaper than the Eagle, and it’s my go-to camera for day time flying.

Propellers

Most racing drone propellers these days are made of Polycarbonate plastic, which means they last much longer! My personal favourite props for this build are the DAL Cyclone 5045×3, and HQ 5.1×4.1×3. Get whichever prop you can find.

Other Equipment for Flying

You will also need to have the following accessories in order to fly a quadcopter. If you don’t already have these, take a look at my shopping guides to get some ideas what to buy.

A Radio Transmitter for controlling the drone, here is my Buyer’s Guide. My recommendations right now (2019) are the Jumper T16, Taranis QX7 and Taranis X9D.

A pair of FPV Goggles for watching real-time video from the drone, here is my Buyer’s Guide. My recommendations (2019) are the Skyzone Sky03, or the Fatshark HDO with Pro58 Module.

Some 4S 1300mAh or 1500mAh LiPo Batteries. There are quite a lot to learn about LiPo in this Buyer’s Guide, because if you don’t handle them carefully they can be dangerous. See this post for our LiPo Recommendations.

Finally, you need a battery charger, you can learn about the specs in our Buyer’s Guide. And here is our LiPo charger recommendations.

See this article for an up-to-date list of gear and equipment that I use.

Tools and Supplies for Building Drone

These are the basic tools for building a drone.

You might already have some of these tools lying around in the toolbox. If not, you should get them, these tools will come in handy for repairing and building your next quadcopter.

Check out our complete list of tools you might want to get for building quadcopters

Steps to Building a Racing Drone

Here are the steps, click the link will take you to that part of the article.

  1. Frame Preparation and Assembly
  2. Installing Motors
  3. Wiring Diagram and Dry Fit
  4. Installing ESC
  5. Installing FC
  6. Testing Motors and ESC Setup
  7. Setup Receiver
  8. Connecting FPV Camera and VTX
  9. Installing Buzzer
  10. Using 3D Printed Parts
  11. Mounting Receiver Antennas
  12. ESC Protectors
  13. Top Plate and Battery Mounting
  14. Racing Drone Build Finished!
  15. Setting up Betaflight
  16. How to Tune Mini Quad
  17. Learning How to Fly a Racing Drone

1. Frame Preparation and Assembly

Prepare the frame by

  • First, sand down sharp edges on carbon fibre peices (sharp edges can cut wires and battery strap in crashes, chamferred edges also prevents delamniation)
  • Then wash all carbon fibre parts in soap water to remove any carbon dust remained (carbon fibre is conductive), then dry with towel

Assemble the frame by installing the arms, bottom plates, long aluminium standoffs and nylon standoffs for the FC.

2. Installing Motors

You can now mount the motors to the arms.

It’s recommended to use loctite (thread lock) on motor screws. That’s because motors make vibrations and there is a chance those screws can wiggle free over time.

Make sure motor screws do not touch motor winding – here is how to check if your motor screws are too long.

There is no need to use washers.

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3. Wiring Diagram and Dry Fit

Think about how you are going to connect all the components, draw the plan on a piece of paper. If you are using the components I recommended, here is a wiring diagram you can follow.

You can then try to “dry fit” all the components in the frame – install them in the frame without actually connecting or soldering anything. This allows you to visualize how and where everything should be mounted, and spot any potential issues with space and mounting.

You can also see roughly how long the wires have to be. For example, check if the FPV camera cable is long enough to reach the “Video Input” solder pad on the flight controller.

You get the idea…

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4. Installing ESC

You are about to do some soldering, if you are new to it, please see my tutorial on How to Solder for Beginners.

From the “dry fit”, we know where we will be mounting the ESC on the arms, and how long the motor wires have to be. So you can cut motor wires to length (leaving a tiny bit of stack), strip the wires (around 2mm) and tin the ends.

Before installing the ESC, put electrical tape on the arm for insulation. Remember, carbon fibre is conductive, and the Tekko32 ESC doesn’t come with heatshrink. If your ESC have heatshrink then you don’t need the electrical tape.

On top of electrical tape, put a strip of double-sided foam tape for sticking the ESC to the arm.

Install the ESC on the arm, tin the solder pads and solder the motor wires on. Don’t worry about wire order and motor direction, we can change it later in the software (BLHeliSuite).

Then solder the power wires and signal wires to the ESC. The Tekko32 ESC’s come with these wires, the power wires are 18AWG (red & black), while the signal and telemetry wires are 24AWG (white & blue). Color doesn’t really matter, it just makes it easier to tell what is what.

I am not soldering the signal ground wires on the ESC, because there isn’t a signal ground pad on the FC. But if you really want, you can solder it to the power ground pad on the FC. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be much a problem without it, because the signal wires are going to be very short.

Soldering Tips:

  • Use a good amount of solder flux and solder, and make sure solder joints are shiny and full; if you can see wire strands, it’s a sign that you haven’t applied enough solder; if the solder “sticks” to the tip when you remove it from the joint, then you have to apply more flux
  • It’s okay to use high temperature when soldering, the important thing is to make it quick and avoid heating the copper pads for too long (I personally use 450°C or 840°F for motor wires and power)

This is what it looks like when ESC’s are all mounted on.

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5. Installing FC

In this build, I decided to mount the radio receiver (RX) under the FC. Because of this, I had to replace the original standoffs (6mm long) with some slightly longer ones (10mm long). You’d have to purchase these 10mm standoffs separately as they are not included in the kit.

If you don’t want to change out the nylon standoffs, you can just mount the RX somewhere else in the frame. There is so much free space!

Install the flight controller on the nylon standoffs, make sure the arrow on the board is pointing forward.

Cut the ESC wires to suitable lengths. Shorter is better as it minimizes resistance in the wire and less likely to pick up interference. But it’s good to leave some slack so it doesn’t stress the solder joints.

Slack in the ESC wires can also maximize the effectiveness of the FC/Gyro soft mounting. If wires are too tight it will transfer more vibration to the FC from the frame.

It’s all about balance :)

Before soldering ESC wires to the FC, I strongly recommend covering the FC with some tape on areas you are not working on, so you don’t accidentally drop solder on the board which could ruin your FC forever.

Tin all the solder pads you are going to use on the FC. Skip the ones you don’t use.

Use solder flux as it helps soldering big wires tremendously! And apply a decent amount of solder at the same time, the solder joint will look shiny, round and solid! Here is an example.

Good work takes time! Don’t rush it.

You can now solder the XT60 pigtail to the FC as well. The wire length really depends on how you are going to mount the XT60 pigtail in the frame. Check mine later in the build log for ideas.

Personally, I normally make sure it’s just long enough to stick out of the frame. My XT60 pigtail is about 8cm to 9cm long.

Watch out for polarity (positive and negative wires).

I also recommend soldering a low ESR capacitor at the power (on the same pads as the XT60). See this post to learn why adding capacitors to mini quad.

In a nutshell, when you have very noisy gyro or FPV video, the capacitor will help “clean up” the noise coming from ESC and motors. Even if your mini quad is “super clean”, when you have a bent prop you will start to get noise from motors, and a capacitor can have you covered in these situations.

You can mount it however you like. I normally just stick it on the bottom plate with some double-sided foam tape, then zip tie it to the standoff.

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6. Motor Test and Setup ESC

Time to test our motors, which means we will be plugging in LiPo battery for the first time!

For safety, you should check continuity first to ensure there is no electrical short. You can do this with a multimeter: put it on continuity mode and touch on the positive and negative XT60 connections with the probes.

Here is a quick tutorial on what multimeter you should get, and how to test your drone with it.

If there is a short circuit, the multimeter will start beeping non-stop. If this happens, you need to find out what is causing the short and fix it. One common cause would be excessive solder connecting pads next to each other and so this will need to be removed.

Pro-Tip: sometimes the meter might beep for a split second then stop. That’s because there are capacitors between positive and negative. When you touch the pads with your probes, it charges the caps up so the meter thinks there is a short, but when the caps are charged the beep will stop. That’s normal and nothing to worry about, it should be fine if the meter doesn’t continue to beep.

For the first time you plug in the battery, use a smoke stopper. You can build yourself a smoke stopper. This is a great and simple device to avoid magic smoke! You can also just buy one but it’s not as effective as the light bulb version.

You don’t have to use a smoke stopper, it’s just something I would strongly recommend. If you don’t have it, check with a multimeter at the very least.

DO NOT install propellers!

Now you can plug in the battery, go to the Motor tab in Betaflight Configurator, and try to spin up the motors one by one, and verify if the motors are spinning the right direction (instructions).

If it’s spinning the wrong direction, then you’d have to reverse it.

There are two ways to reverse a motor direction.

Firstly, you can swap two of the motor wires around.

Or even more easily, you can reverse motor direction in the software (BLHeliSuite). That’s why I said earlier it doesn’t matter how you connect the motor wires :)

Here are instructions on how to connect your BLHeli_32 ESC’s to BLHeliSuite.

While we are at it, you can also adjust ESC settings to optimize performance. The two settings i always change are PWM frequency (to 48KHz), and Motor timing (to Auto). See this post to learn about BLHeli_32 ESC Settings.

Did something go wrong? Here are some troubleshooting tips.

Motors are not spinning at all? Did you connect the battery? If so, did you hear the ESC beeps as you plug in the battery? Are the ESC signal wire soldered to the correct pads on the flight controller? And And check motor wire soldering.

If one motor still isn’t spinning after checking everything, it’s possible that the ESC or that motor is faulty. You can try swapping this motor with another working one on the same quad, it will help rule out whether it’s the faulty ESC or motor.

If you need assistance, just ask in our forum, https://intofpv.com

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7. Receiver Setup

After confirming the motors, ESC and FC are working, we can now move on to soldering the radio receiver to the flight controller.

  • Black Wire (GND) goes to GND pad on the FC
  • Red Wire (5V) goes to 5V pad on the FC
  • White Wire (SBUS) goes to RX4 on the FC
  • Yellow Wire (S.Port) goes to TX6 on the FC

With the receiver connected, the next step is to bind it to the Taranis transmitter (instructions).

In the Ports tab in Betaflight configurator, enable “Serial RX” under UART4, and select “SmartPort” under UART6.

Then go to the configuration tab, under “Receiver” section, select “Serial-based receiver”, and choose “SBUS” as the provider.

Once that’s done, you want to confirm the receiver is fully working in the Receiver tab. When you move the transmitter sticks, the bars (channels) should move as well.

If the wrong channels are responding, try a different channel map, it’s normally either “default (AETR)”, or TAER.

You will need to setup at least two switches on the Taranis (instruction) for arming and enabling “lost model beeper”. Again, confirm it’s working in the receiver tab, these should show up as channels AUX1 and AUX2.

Next you want to test if SmartPort is working. You can do this by simplying go to the telemetry page on the Taranis. plug in the LiPo, and the LiPo voltage should be displayed under “VFAS”. If you don’t see “VFAS”, then scroll down and select “Discover new sensors…”.

And finally setup and test failsafe (instruction) on the receiver.

If you have any questions or issues, post in our forum: intoFPV.com

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8. Connect FPV Camera and VTX

Let’s move on to our FPV system.

Solder both cables from the VTX and FPV Camera to the flight controller. I am powering the VTX directly from LiPo voltage (BAT), and the camera from 5V. SmartAudio from VTX is connected to TX1.

Pro tip – twisting cables this is a great way to help reduce unwanted RF noise.

Power on the quad with Smoke Stopper, to test make sure you are getting a clear picture on your goggles. Since the VTX is brand new, it could be on any channel. Use the “search feature” on your FPV goggles to find it, or simply scroll through all channels.

Here are instructions on how to setup SmartAudio so you can change VTX settings in Betaflight OSD.

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9. Installing Buzzer

Solder the buzzer to the FC: Buzzer positive goes to 5V, Buzzer negative goes to Z-.

To mount the buzzer in the frame, you can use the same trick we used on the capacitor earlier – double-sided foam tape :) Don’t block the hole though!

Stick it to the frame, then wrap around it to a standoff with electrical tape .

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10. Using 3D Printed Parts

Most things are open source in the FPV hobby, including 3D printed parts for our quads! You can find lots of useful 3D printed part designs online.

While 3D printed parts are not necessary, they can be very useful.

I designed these 3D printed parts specifically for the Martian II frame, they make the build so much cleaner! If you don’t have a 3D printer, I can print and send them to you, get them here.

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11. Mounting Receiver Antennas

The XSR and R-XSR receiver have two antennas for diversity. For the best result, keep the two antennas at roughly 90 degree.

Here is a trick for mounting your RX antennas: you can wrap a zip-tie around the arms, then use heatshrink tube to affix the antenna to the zip-ties to keep it away from spinning propellers.

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12. ESC Protectors

Another useful trick is adding some covers to your ESC’s using plastic sheets. This will prevent “prop strike”, where spinning propellers get bent and hit the ESC in crashes.

I normally just recycle old props, cut them into rectangular shapes and put them on top of the ESC, wrap the plastic cover, ESC and arm with electrical tape, or zip-tie. You can also get the plastic covers from water bottles, or any plastic sheet you can find :)

Here is how the quad looks like so far.

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13. Top Plate and Battery Mounting

We can now put the top plate on. I am installing an HD camera mount on top of the frame for my GoPro Session. The camera mount is 3D printed in TPU. If you don’t have one you can ignore it.

For mounting the battery, I am using a IntoFPV battery strap, and Ummagrip battery pad. I really like the Ummagrip, it keeps your battery safely away from the bolts, and it sticks to the battery really well. Alternatively you can just use the good old velcro.

When mounting battery, make sure the centre of gravity is as close to the centre of the drone as possible. To check if you have placed the battery at the right spot, simply grab the middle of the top plate with 2 fingers as shown in the following photo, and the quad should stay level.

It’s important to make sure the COG (centre of gravity) right at the centre of four motors. If the quad is back heavy for example, the rear motors will have to work harder than the front motors in order to maintain balance, and this will impact flight performance.

The XT60 pigtail is held in place by a 3D printed mount I personally designed. A very neat and practical solution.

If you don’t have 3D printed part, you can simply strap it to the top plate like so with a heavy duty zip tie. (make sure you’ve chamfered the edge of the top plate). It’s not very pretty, the goal is to keep your battery lead away from spinning propellers.

Pro Tip: Don’t leave the battery balance lead hanging around, it can get chopped up by propellers. I usually put a rubber band on the battery to hold the balance lead in place.

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14. Racing Drone Build Finished!

Finally, it’s done! Now attach the propellers.

Be aware of the different CW and CCW propellers and install them in the correct motors. Otherwise your quad is going to flip over when taking off.

Now, take some beautiful pictures before it gets covered in dirt and grass :) Don’t forget to share you build on our forum – IntoFPV.com

The quad weighs 350g, without Battery and HD camera.

Here are 15 things you should do after building your quad. Most of these things you’ve probably done, it’s just a summary / reminder.

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15. Setting up Betaflight

To setup Betaflight for your first flight, follow the instructions in this guide “how to setup Betaflight for the first time“.

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16. How to Tune Mini Quad

Tuning your quad is basically making it to fly and behave exactly the way you want. You don’t have to tune your quad, and it will fly just fine. But if you are serious about performance, then you have more stuff to learn! :D

For me, tuning a mini quad is basically going through these settings and get them dialed in:

  • RC Rates and Expo
  • PID
  • Filters
  • Other Betaflight settings (min throttle, antigravity, feedforward, throttle boost etc….)

My PID and Rate Profile

You might have your own preference about PID and Rate/Expo, but if you have no idea where to start, you can try my personal preference.

My rate:

  • RC Rate: 1.3
  • RC Expo: 0.24
  • Super Rate: 0.66

[Updating… ] I will be testing Betaflight 4.0. Will come back and update my settings here soon.

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17. Learning How to Fly a Racing Drone

If you have little to no experience in flying a mini quad, you should definitely check out these tutorials to get started:

Flight Videos!

Flight with this quad:

Here are some other videos with the Martian frame.

More Quadcopter Builds?

Looking for more examples and inspiration? Here are some of my latest builds and parts list.

Strix Screech

ImpulseRC Reverb

Diatone 2018 GT-M200

GEPRC LSX5 Leopard

Pre-Built Racing Drone Options

I don’t want to build, which pre-build drone to buy? There are a lot of options on the market, but many are garbage or simply overpriced. Here are some of the best ones that are worth looking into:

Low Budget:

Medium Budget:

Edit History

  • Dec 2017 – Article created
  • Mar 2018 – Added different FC option
  • Apr 2019 – I re-wrote the whole tutorial, updated the parts list and all the images

70 thoughts on “How to build a Racing Drone (FPV Mini Quad) Beginner Guide

  1. Eddy

    Hi Oscar,
    In your buy Guide you recommend VTX-03 but in your guide you use the VTX805 a little bit confusing..

    And what size of awg cable to use for the wiring? Maybe you could write it in your guide too

    Reply
  2. Dean

    Do you have the old page available anywhere? i have the components for the drone prior to your April 2019 changes.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Sorry i don’t have it anymore, maybe you can try googling “website archive”, they should have a copy of the old page.

      Reply
  3. Will

    You should switch the positions of the Runcam Eagle 2 and the Micro Eagle on the parts list, because it doesn’t mention anywhere (on the parts list) about the micro to full-size mounting bracket you need. People might end up buying the Micro Eagle thinking they can mount it stock to the Martian frame, even though you need the extra bracket.

    Also, it might be worth adding a section to do with goggle antennas, because there’s not really any brief and informative guides out there which are easy to understand for newbies.

    Cheers for the guide though, very helpful.

    Reply
  4. Mark

    Hey Oscar would you happen to have a copy of the previous update for this tutorial? I was halfway to completion and am now unclear as to the next instruction to advance. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      You can try Website Archive (google it), they should have snapshots of the older version of this page.

      Reply
  5. Tim

    I’m seriously thinking about getting into fpv quadcopters. I started with a Phantom 3 Pro and have a Mavic Pro, a handful of Tello’s and other smaller drones plus I fly heli’s so this seems like a natural fit. My question is whether or not I’ll be able to use my Spektrum DX6 as a remote? That’s the remote I use on my heli’s (obviously the Phantom and Mavic have their own remotes). Or would I have to get a remote closer to what you have listed above?

    Love the guide! It’s definitely pushed me over the proverbial hill from just “looking” to “oh yeah I’m doing this”.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      DX6 should be fine – as long as you have more than 4 channels you can control the quad – but ideally 6 channels or more for other functions as well.

      Reply
  6. Yarden

    Funny story, 1 month ago I stumbled upon this guide, and ordered the parts. Some of the parts already arrived but you completely changed the guide! Shock.
    Thank you so much for all your work, you made me found my new passion and it wouldn’t happen without you.

    Reply
  7. CJ Leo

    Oscar, thanks. I only got interested in drone because of my grand daughter. I wanted her to be acquainted with this new skill which I think will b just like driving n typing skill in the future. Of course the fun element is tremendous. So I got involved about 4 months ago and was kind of hooked. I have played around with a variety of them and lost a number. The Chinese cheaper ones, the Tello, the micros and am trying to control the Mantis 85 (too fast). My aim is to eventually get to a proficiency level in FPA flying. I got most of my knowledge on this subject from your site. I am now into building my own drone by following exactly your recommendations. I have got all the parts today and will take my time to build it carefully with your guidance here. I hope things turn out smoothly but should I encounter any difficulty which has not been already covered here, I hope u don’t mind me asking u for help. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      That’s awesome!
      I am actually in the process of updating this guide, it’s taking me a few weeks but I am getting there now.
      Feel free to join our forum (intofpv.com) it’s a great community!

      Reply
  8. Fawn

    I am trying to help my 12 yo son build his first quad. We use the Omnibus F4 Fireworks FC, Racestar 30 A ESC, Racestar 2306 2700 KV motors, and FrSky R XSR receiver. We have the quad configured in Betaflight. When we try to raise the throttle on both the Taranis and in Betaflight using the motor slider, the motors stop spinning when the throttle is half way up. Any ideas on what might be the problem?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I assume you don’t have props mounting on it?
      What ESC protocol were you using? Try something slower like Oneshot125?
      For troubleshooting I recommending joining our forum: intofpv.com

      Reply
  9. ken barrie

    Best How To I’ve seen, and I had hopes that this one would at last define the motor positional configuration (map). Not icing on the cake, but mportant info. I’ve come accross different versions, including one configuration I’ve never seen before.
    Can you help.

    Reply
  10. Jazz

    Hi,
    This question might sound stupid but I’ve seen on the build plan that there is no white wire on the reviewer but there is on the picture on banggood. Do I cut or desolder this wire? And are there any recommendations for a cheap beginner frsky transmitter?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Ignore the wire color, and find out what the wire is? There are 4 connection you need for the receiver, ground, 5V, SBUS and SmartPort. There shouldn’t be any other wires.

      Reply
  11. Ants_sa

    Hi Oscar,

    Ants_SA here, thanks for the great article. Your site and form are now my go to page for research and ideas for fpv. As I have mentioned before I am totally new to this…in fact so new that I own absolutely nothing yet BUT I am getting to the point where I want to start purchasing items for my first build.
    I want to follow a lot of what you have done here in this build but what I do want to do is more long range flying initially. What recommendations/changes would you suggest to this build keeping as much as possible the same?

    Reply
  12. Ed

    Hello Oscar! This is an excellent walk through on building a drone. I am completely new to the drone scene and would like to build my own drone. This website has been very useful. I made my own list of parts in Banggood.com that’s fairly close to the parts you mentioned here on this website. Can you tell me if all the parts are compatible with each other? If I need to add anything? I tried to go the absolute cheapest route possible.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ed

      I just realized the link did not post. Here is the list of parts I made if you or someone wouldn’t mind telling me if they are all compatible with each other.

      1. ZOP Power 14.8V 1800mAh 65C 4S Lipo Battery XT60 Plug
      2. SkyRC iMAX B6 Mini Professional Balance Charger/Discharger SK-100084 for RC Drone
      3. Eachine VR006 VR-006 3 inch 500*300 Display 5.8G 40CH Mini FPV Goggles Build in 3.7V
      4. Jumper T8SG Life Multi-Protocol 12CH S-FHSS Deviation TX Compact Full Range Radio
      5. 5 Pcs AMASS XT60+ Male Plug Connector 14AWG 10cm Power Cable Wire
      6. Eachine VTX03 Super Mini 5.8G 72CH 0/25mW/50mw/200mW Switchable FPV
      7. Foxeer HS1177 V2 600TVL CCD 2.5mm/2.8mm PAL/NTSC IR Blocked Mini FPV Camera 5-40V
      8. 7 Pairs Kingkong / LDARC 5X4X3 5040 5 Inch 3-Blade Rainbow Colorful Propeller CW CCW for
      9. Racerstar Racing Edition 2306 BR2306S 2400KV 2-4S Brushless Motor For X210 X220 250 RC (x2)
      10. FrSky R-XSR Ultra SBUS/CPPM D16 16CH Mini Redundancy Receiver 1.5g for RC Multirotor FPV
      11. 9g 30.5×30.5mm Ominbus F4 Flight Controller AIO OSD 5V BEC Current Sensor for FPV
      12. Martian II 220 220mm 4mm Arm Thickness Carbon Fiber Framer Kit w/PDB for RC Drone
      13. 5 Pcs 5V Electric Magnetic Active Buzzer Continuous Beep Continuously

      Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Oscar Post author

        sorry for the late reply, I spend most free time on the forum (intoFPV.com), and only check comments once a week.
        The parts list looks fine to me, if your goal is to build the cheapest quad :)

  13. Losdragon

    Trying to a run cam split 2 with the omnibus sip and xsr frsky receiver. I was attempting to use rx 3 and tx 3. In order to control it from qx7. Is there a known guide somewhere? Thanks for great tutorial.

    Reply
  14. Lorenzo Ferro Forte

    Hi Oscar, as an alternative to the Eachine VTX03 you suggest the Matek one. But the F4 AIO has only 5v output and the Matek support only 7-27v input. How can it be powered with this FC? Thanks for your attention!

    Reply
  15. vitali

    Hi Oscar,

    What battery should i get for this particular build? lipo battery topic is a bit confusing for beginners.

    Reply
  16. Rod

    Hi Oscar,

    I’ve been flying fixed wing for about 3 years, but after finding your website, and the excellent tutorial, I decided to have a go building a drone. As I am a complete novice in building drones, I’m using the recommended parts to build the Martian 11.

    However, I’m confused with the wiring diagram for the Omnibus F4 AIO and FrSky XSR. The XSR has 5 wires, one being a white wire. The white wire doesn’t appear on the diagram, unless it can’t be seen due to the white background. I’ve searched the web for any clues, but can’t find the answer. Please can you advise where the white wire should be connected.

    Other than that, your tutorial is excellent and prompted me to have a go.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rod

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Thanks Rod.
      There are only 4 connections from the receiver to the flight controller, 5V, GND, SBUS and SmartPort. The “white” wire you refer to is not connected.

      Reply
      1. Rod

        Thanks, Oscar

        I was thinking that was the case, but it’s nice for it to be confirmed. I’ll finish the build, in slow time; I seem to spend too mush time flying the fixed wing. The next step ‘ll be the Betaflight set-up; you make it look quite simple, so I’m looking forward to my first hovering practice.

        Thanks again for providing so much information on your website; it’s an excellent source for guys like me.

        Best regards

        Rod

  17. Jon F

    Oscar,

    I’ve tried to follow some of your build but using a different transmitter and receiver, and I’ve ended up with some difficulties that I can’t resolve. See my forum post below:
    rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3088738-Help-with-build-problems-with-receiver-and-PPM-encoder#post39768147

    Do you have any thoughts on possible fixes?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I don’t really see how you are connecting everything in your post, so here are the things you can check.
      If you are using PPM, you should connect PPM from your converter to the PPM pin on the FC.
      Feed the PPM converter 5V and ground, and your RX should get the 5V from the converter.
      The setup in Betaflight is different for PPM, you just need to select PPM in the receiver option in the configuration tab.

      Reply
      1. Jon

        Many thanks Oscar. I found what was causing issues in my earlier post, and that was a faulty PPM encoder. With that fixed, I do now have 5v, PPM and ground going to the encoder (flashing blue light on the encoder), and with 5v, ground, and 8 channels (1-8 in the top row if the Turnigy receiver) going to the receiver. I have successfully bound the receiver to the transmitter (steady red light on the receiver), and selected PPM in the configuration tab. However, adjusting the transmitter controls does not seem to be making it through show in Betaflight.

        There has been talk in some post of soldering bridges between resistors or pins on the FC enable PPM, or removing certain resistors. Are you familiar with this? There seems to be a few people with Turnigy / Omnibus F4 problems, but I can’t find definitive solutions :-(

        Thanks again for your help. I’m new to all this, and encountering more problems than I was expected. All good for the learning curve though.

  18. Bart

    Hey all,
    Sorry to bother you I have tried everything but i cannot make the telemetry work.
    My setup:
    – the indicated omnibus f4 aio osd
    – frsky xsr (the smartport and i tried the inverted port)
    – latest betaflight BTFL 3.3.2 (Target: OBSD)
    – telemetry via smartport uart 3 (tx only, i tried rx bridged, i initialy tried the led but got a error)

    Reply
      1. Bart

        Yes. I use soft serial and tlm_inverted. Does order in setting up matter? I tried everything a couple times. Resetting to factory and flashing firmware to start over. Is there a way to check signal?
        The xsr works, it gives me basic metrics incl an A2. Where that comes from i don’t know.

      2. bart

        I thought i added the dump. However it is not showing in the comment. Would that give you pointers?

  19. Lorenzo Ferro Forte

    With this I just wanna say thank you to Oscar for his incredible site; I started 2 months ago with no knowledge of the FPV world and yesterday, after several hours spent with a simulator, i finally took off my first quad (following his tutorial, of course!). If you wanna take a look…

    youtube.com/watch?v=TprzHmPQNVE

    I can’t wait for the second run!
    Thank you Oscar

    Reply
  20. Slava

    Hi Oscar,

    Thank you for the tutorial! Completed the build. One thing I’ve observe though when I try hovering is that without any (yaw) input quad turns clock wise slowly I assume motor momentum is not fully balanced, could you please advise on how to balance motors ?

    Thanks

    Reply
  21. Lorenzo Ferro Forte

    Hi Oscar,
    build complete, even the programming phase. Only one problem: I see that when I test the motors the bottom plate of the frame gets hot, especially the screws (they are almost untouchables). This happens after some seconds (maybe ten) at full throttle. Is this a normal thing or the temperature on the frame is supposed to be much lower? motors and esc doesn’t seem to get hot anyway. Thanks for your advices.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Do you have your VTX mounted on the bottom plate? Also check if your motors are getting hot?

      Reply
      1. Lorenzo Ferro Forte

        Vtx mounted on the top, but without heatsink, and it started to smoke! I solved the problem using the shorter screws on the motors. There was some kind of contact between the motors and the screws…

  22. Slava

    Oscar,
    Two I’ve got question for OMNIBUS F4:
    1. I’ve assigned B06 to SERIAL_TX 11, before it was used by LED_STRIP 1, and I also freed LED_STRIP 1 as below, is this (below) resource allocation correct?
    2. There are 2 red LEDs on FC – one on each side, is this OK?

    Thanks,
    Slava

    # resource
    resource BEEPER 1 B04
    resource MOTOR 1 B00
    resource MOTOR 2 B01
    resource MOTOR 3 A03
    resource MOTOR 4 A02
    resource MOTOR 5 A01
    resource MOTOR 6 A08
    resource PPM 1 B08
    resource PWM 1 B08
    resource PWM 2 B09
    resource PWM 3 C06
    resource PWM 4 C07
    resource PWM 5 C08
    resource PWM 6 C09
    resource SERIAL_TX 1 A09
    resource SERIAL_TX 3 B10
    resource SERIAL_TX 6 C06
    resource SERIAL_TX 11 B06
    resource SERIAL_RX 1 A10
    resource SERIAL_RX 3 B11
    resource SERIAL_RX 6 C07
    resource INVERTER 3 C09
    resource INVERTER 6 C08
    resource LED 1 B05
    resource SPI_SCK 1 A05
    resource SPI_SCK 2 B13
    resource SPI_SCK 3 C10
    resource SPI_MISO 1 A06
    resource SPI_MISO 2 B14
    resource SPI_MISO 3 C11
    resource SPI_MOSI 1 A07
    resource SPI_MOSI 2 B15
    resource SPI_MOSI 3 C12
    resource ESCSERIAL 1 B08
    resource ADC_BATT 1 C02
    resource ADC_RSSI 1 A00
    resource ADC_CURR 1 C01
    resource BARO_CS 1 B03

    Reply
  23. Lorenzo Ferro Forte

    Hi Oscar, I finished building the mini quad and now I’m in the programming phase.
    I’m stuck on the “enable Softserial for SmartPort”. So, since I followed your scheme and connected the smartport wire of the xsr on the led pin, do I have to remap the led strip resource to the serial tx1? I read your softserial article but I’m confused…thanks for your attention

    Reply
  24. Morten

    Hi Oscar,

    Great guide!
    I do not have the opportunity to choose between CW and CCW when buying the 2207’s. Doesn’t this apply for this motor?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Yea that’s fine. If they don’t tell you about CW and CCW about the motor you are buying, they should all just come with the same standard threads. Which is better for some people because it’s less confusing :)

      Reply
  25. Slava

    Hi Oscar,

    Great website, thank you! I am following this article in building my first quad and my question is about spec for battery to use:
    I’ve picked motor – T-Motor F40 III/2600kv and props – DAL Cyclone T5045C so if I understand correctly for this combination max current is 40.92A * 4 = 163.7A and burst C=163.7A/1.5Ah=109 and continuos Cb/2=54.5 so am I correct that Infinity Graphene 4S/1500mah 70C will work well?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Motor Amp draw is much smaller in real life, maybe 20 to 30% less. Besides you probably don’t hold your throttle at 100% for longer than a few seconds.
      I think your max current draw would probably be about 30×4 = 120A.
      But to your question, 1500mah 70C would be fine!

      Reply
  26. Lorenzo Ferro Forte

    Hello Oscar, this is my first build (I bought all the components suggested by your tutorial) and I’d like to have an information:
    when i connect the Racerstar 2306S to the ESC do I need to invert the wires to get a CW/CCW rotation? Since this motors have different color/rotation symbol, doesn’t that mean that if I connet them without invert the wires I’ll get however the proper rotation? Thanks for your attention! And sorry for my english…

    Reply
      1. Oscar Post author

        Sorry for the late reply i have way too many comments on the blog lol.
        Glad you found the solution!

  27. Pulith Lithmal

    i need to build lisam 210 drone..plz need help…this is the best web site to learn..
    i dont know any thing,,but likw to learn,,also like to know abour beta flight..

    Reply
  28. Frank Kruse

    Hi, I am building the drone that you laid out in your page here. The problem I have is the xsr receiver hooking up to the Ominbus F4 AIO OSD board. There is no clear picture of the F4 and the frsky xsr connected. The board I bought only has two rows of pins where the one that I see everywhere is 3 pin rows. I tried soldering the jumper for uninversion, but its so delicate, one of the circuit lights fell off and I lost it. My question is, is there a reciever board that you can recommend that I can just solder the wires like a schematic shows, and not have to do a un-inversion jumper? Something that will work with the components you have outlined and works with the Taranis X9D? Thank you for any clarity on this issue, I’m a newbie and it shows, but I’ll get it.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      You can try getting the uninverted signal from the XSR receiver.
      In this article I will show you the pin you need to solder a wire to to get the uninverted SBUS and Smartport signal.

      Reply
  29. Logan

    Oscar, thanks for your contribution to the fpv community. I have a question for you. I am in the middle of my first build of an Armattan Rooster using a CL Racing F4S. I just finished soldering up all the ESCs and I am unfortunately receiving a short tone when I test any + and – on the FC (Its not a long and steady like when I test 2 positives or 2 negatives, just a short beep). I desoldered the ESCs one by one until I am now down to just the FC with the same results. Is the FC bad? I have done a thorough visual inspection and cleaning of the board. Not sure what to do now. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks bro!

    Reply
  30. mike

    Hello,

    Thank you for this great article. The link to “Eachine VTX03” actually leads to a “DYS MI200MW Pigtail”.

    Reply

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