Buzzer for Quadcopters

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

Buzzers for quadcopter is one of the most basic hardware in the hobby, but a few beginners are still getting confused. So hopefully this article can help clarify a few things.

Don’t forget to check out our quadcopter building tips and tricks.

Purpose of buzzer on a quadcopter

  • Lost model alarm – it helps you to find your quad very easily after crash
  • Low voltage warning – buzzer goes off when battery voltage is getting low and should land
  • Quad status – the beeping can help you identify the state the quad is in

Buzzer Choice – Don’t get the Wrong One

There are 2 types of buzzers, Active and Passive. YOU NEED ACTIVE BUZZERS!

Basically, active buzzers beeps as soon as you give it DC voltage, while passive buzzers require an AC “sound signal” for it to generate sound. Quadcopter flight controllers usually support 5V 2-pin active buzzer/beeper. These buzzers are cheap, light weight and widely available online.

Standard Active Buzzer

This is the basic 2-pin active buzzer that should work on almost all flight controllers. The max volume is about 89dB at 20cm distance as I tested.

Mini Buzzer

For smaller models or space/weight saving, you can get these “mini” buzzers. The only downside is volume, at about 86dB at 20cm distance.

Buzzers with Built-in Battery

If you crash and the battery gets unplugged, normally your buzzer will stop working as it’s no longer powered by the flight controller! To avoid this you might want to get a buzzer with built-in battery, these are designed to continue to beep when the quad’s battery is disconnected.

I did a shoot out in this post comparing the different options.

Matek PWM Buzzer

Matek makes some really cool buzzers. For example this “Loud buzzer” works as a normal buzzer, and it can also be controlled via a AUX channel (PWM signal) at the same time without the need of an FC.

And this “LED tail light buzzer” has the same feature, but it has integrated RGB LED’s. It can be mounted on the back of the frame.

LiPo Voltage Checker

LiPo voltage alarm/checker also has built-in buzzers, but they are only meant to give you warning on low battery voltage and nothing else. They are connected to the balance lead of your LiPo battery. Here are other ways of monitoring battery voltage.

This is a voltage alarm, not a buzzer

How To Install Buzzer In a Drone?

An active buzzer has two pins, one positive pin and one negative pin.

The positive pin is normally longer, and if there is already a wire soldered to it, it’s red.

Most flight controllers have dedicated solder pads for connecting the buzzer, normally labelled as B+ / Buzzer+ and B- / Buzzer-.

Simply solder the red wire or longer pin to the Buzzer+ pad on the FC, and solder the black wire or shorter pin to the Buzzer- pad on the FC.

For example:

Active buzzer and flight controller Connection example

Configuring Buzzer in Betaflight

In Betaflight’s Modes page, scroll down until you see “Beeper”, and assign a switch to activate it. In this example, my switch is AUX 2, which is channel 6. To learn about how to setup switches in OpenTX see this tutorial.

You can also turn beeper off for certain conditions if you find it too annoying. Beeper Configuration is located under the Configuration page. For example you might want to disable beeper for USB, so it doesn’t beep when you are working on the quad on the bench.

How to make buzzer louder?

  • Connect multiple buzzers in parallel, for example.
  • Use higher voltage rated buzzer, and provide higher voltage to it, such as using 12V in this example.#

How to make buzzer quieter?

If you don’t like how loud these buzzer is, you can simply put a resistor in series to the positive or negative pin. This will reduce the current flowing through it and lower the volume. The larger resistor the more effective it will be.

Buzzer Alternative?

As a lost model alarm, you could setup your ESC beeping as an alternative to buzzer: Using ESC Beacon as a lost model alarm

Edit History

  • Jul 2017 – Article created
  • Aug 2018 – Added Mini Buzzer

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12 comments

James Duckworth 21st September 2019 - 7:17 pm

What gauge wire is the minimum for these buzzers when wiring to a CrazyBee F4 board?

Reply
Oscar 26th September 2019 - 2:59 pm

Doesn’t matter really, whatever you can find, 28, 30 AWG would work fine.

Reply
HDBoy 18th November 2018 - 8:25 pm

Hello Oscar,

I just build my new quad using a Racerstar TattooF4S FC and after a final setting a realized the buzzer doesn’t work, only the ESC beeper. There is 5V as should but looks like the BUZZ- side doesn’t work properly, no 5V on the buzzer side.
The LED strip works as should.

I uploaded a video to the following link about the issue:

youtube.com/watch?v=MWlnlwLnkws&t=25s

Please let me know if you have a suggestion to solve this issue. (There is the CLI and resource map on the video description)

Reply
Gareth Hayman 5th September 2018 - 1:12 am

Hi Oscar,

If i remove one of the two buzzers from a voltage tester/alarm and wire that positive to lipo + and ground to buzzer ground, will this work?

these buzzers seem to be very loud when connected to a lipo balance cable and I have a couple lying around i can tear apart.

Reply
Garrett 2nd December 2018 - 4:27 pm

I tried this. I think they are passive buzzers. It didn’t work for me, just made a clicking noise meaning that there was nothing to drive the frequency. I suppose you could connect it to an AUX channel with PWM output but I am not sure how to accomplish that.

Reply
Steve Gross 14th April 2018 - 7:40 am

what does one do if the FC has no Buzzer pads? Like the CLRacing F4 mini has none. How can I adapt or, can I add one somehow?

Reply
Oscar 17th April 2018 - 9:02 pm

You can assign a spare pin for buzzer, but you also need to use a mosfet to drive the buzzer.

Reply
enrico 20th November 2017 - 6:56 pm

hi Oscar, thank you for tutorials! I bought a matek Loud Buzzer and I want to wire it on my omnibus f4 v2 pro, and use only with a switch from my taranis when I lose my quad.
But I m confused about wiring. My FC has B+ and B- pads.
I have to wire also 5v and gnd? Matek manual is not really explicative

Reply
Oscar 28th November 2017 - 1:55 pm

check their manual here: mateksys.com/?portfolio=dbuz5v

Reply
GK 22nd September 2018 - 12:13 pm

hi, and thanks for sharing your knowledge! I am in the same boat as enrico, ive looked at the manual and dont really understand where I can put the 5pin matek buzzer on my omni f3 v3 pro, im using a pdb and sbus and it seems the pwm pins on the board dont have 5v coming out of them, the only pins that do are the b+ and 5v off the pdb, however neither of these seem to work, and looking at the manual the b+ pin on the buzzer is never used? I have gnd going to tbe pwm5 gnd, 5v pin going to the b+ on the fc and b- to b- the buzzer is getting 5v but no luck, any ideas? thanks again

Reply
Niko 17th August 2017 - 8:39 pm

Do the buzzers need a resistor in series to limit milliamps? I plan to use 5V buzzer port on SP F3. Thanks!

Reply
Oscar 21st August 2017 - 2:49 pm

no they don’t, by adding resistor will only make them quieter.

Reply