Cheap 250 Mini Quad Setup Recommendation

by Oscar

I have been asked many time to recommend  a cheap setup for mini quad, so here it is! This cheap 250 mini quad setup is great for someone who just starting in this hobby. It’s purely based on the parts available on this 250 quadcopter parts list. I have personally tried most of these parts, and they were giving me good results. It’s totally fine to replace any parts you want in your custom build.


This post is outdated, please check out the new recommendation here: How to build a cheap mini quad guide.

Rough Estimation of the Cost Building a Mini Quad

It’s not going to be the best 250 mini quad build in terms of performance, but it’s definitely one of the most affordable setups that flies relatively well. It’s a great training platform for beginners, who just want to learn how to build a quadcopter and to fly.

You’ll need a frame, motors, ESCs, flight controller, FPV camera, many propellers, video transmitter and receiver, goggles or monitor display, radio receiver and transmitter, batteries and a charger. Other accessories including zip ties and heatshrink tubes etc.

To start out in this hobby it’s recomended to get a $40 little Ready to Fly micro quadcopter, some even comes with FPV capability. Here is some tips in selecting a good first quadcopter.

This a very rough estimation of the cost, depends on your choice the cost will vary.

Main Machine

  • Frame $10 – $170 (ZMR250 – $30)
  • ESC x 4 $32 – $110 (Blue Series 12A – $32, flash BLHeli and enable Oneshot they perform awesomely! OR Afro Ultra Lite 12A – $40 comes with SimonK)
  • Motors x4 $35 – $100 (DYS 1806 – $40 OR EMax MT1806 – $60, but if you can upgrade to Cobra motors for $84, 2300kv for 3S, 1960kv for 4S)
  • Flight controller $20 – $100 (CC3D – $15 OR Naze32 Acro – $25, Recommend Cleanflight)
  • Propellers (x4) $3.5 – $15 (Gemfan 5030 – $3.5, or even 5040 for a more speed and thrust. 12A ESC should handle 5040 just fine.)
  • Lipo Battery (x1) $10 – $20 (Turnigy nano Tech 3S 1300mah – $11, dont’ rush buying too many packs of lipo. Practice and learn how to fly first. Later on if you want to go up to 4S, go for it. Or if you decide to stay on 3S, then get some more batteries. I talked about the differences between 3S and 4S setups.)

FPV Gear


  • Radio transmitter/receiver $60 – $200 (Turnigy 9X – $60, if you got budget, go for the Frsky Taranis! You won’t need to upgrade again for many years :) )
  • LiPo charger $30 – $70
  • Other accessory (solder station, wires, battery plugs, zip tie, heatshrinks etc) $50 – $150

Not sure if i have missed anything there, so from as low as $450 you should be able to build a mini quad that is capable of doing FPV. But that’s of the lowest spec. The initial expenses such as radio controller/receiver, charger and batteries make starting out expensive, but they are long term investment. When you build a second multicopter you will find it a lot cheaper as you already have the parts and tools.

For custom build quadcopters, there are rarely 2 exact same setup around. Everybody adds their own modifications, components and settings therefore everyone is different. So feel free to use different brands or models for the parts in your build.


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John 26th January 2016 - 4:20 am

Hi Oscar.

I find this to be one of the best web sites for great information. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

For an entry level transmitter, is there any preference or advantage between the Quanum i8 or the Turnigy 9x – or anything else under $100?

Oscar 27th January 2016 - 10:24 am

Turnigy 9X has slightly better gimbal, and you can do more with it like programming and stuff, also it can be flashed with custom firmware to make it really powerful… however the i8 is a lot more easy to use for beginners… depends on what you need really :)
lastly, i would really appreciate it if you could join the forum: … I don’t want to miss your comment, because I only check my blog comments only once a week, but I use the forum daily!

Svenn-Andre 14th April 2015 - 2:32 pm

First off i have to say your website is just AWESOME, it really is the best portal for beginners to get an good introduction into multirotor fun!

Im looking at building my first quadcopter, and in that regard im looking at this “Cheap” build and your own 250size copter.

Im scratching my head a bit though as earlier it was stated that one should buy a battery large enough to handle the total power consuming from the Rotors/ESC

Looking at your shopping list i see Emax MT1806 and 12A ESCs.

Not to sure what one should aim for in regards to battery (the ampage of rotors or the ESC)
But according to the EMAX info it will pull 8amps @max when using 5030 rotors.
So either your looking at 4x8a or 4×12 amd for 32 or 48A need, and im leaning towards the ECS limitation.

So using your suggested battery and your formula (from another guide) the battery is 25c and 1300mAh
This gives 32.5A max throughput

Which means putting it pretty close to the rotor usage, and not to mention below the ECS potential need?
Or have i missunderstood something? :)

Sry if this is a stupid question but im really new at this.

Oscar 16th April 2015 - 12:53 am

i think you are looking at the data for 5030 props. if you want a bit more lift and speed, go for 5040 props, and this motor will draw close to 12A of current at 100% throttle :)
always leave rooms for your quad for some performance upgrade :)

Blenderhead 13th February 2015 - 12:22 pm

Hi Oscar, I have read that the flighttime is longer with 6″ Props. Can you recommend 6″ Props? Do they work with the motors, you recommend on top? Why there are these 3-blade-Propellers? Tank you so far.

Btw. In another blogpost you show us your nice case, but no link. Where did you get this from?

Oscar 13th February 2015 - 3:29 pm

It depends on the motor, some motors are more efficient with 6inch props, some are not. Same applies to 3 blades props.
It’s best to check the thrust tests of the motor you use, to find out the best props for your motor.
The case I used is from eBay, I don’t have the link anymore since it was purchased almost a year ago. Just search “waterproof plastic carry case”

Dj_Garfield 9th February 2015 - 5:55 pm

It’s true that the Firts Investment is perhaps expensive , If you haven’t fly or race electrical models , For my first order I had spend almost 300€ for Charger / 4 Lipo / Radio + Reciever / Silicon Wire / bullet plugs / Screws / nuts / Spacers / Heatshrink … until the first , I switch the 6 channels HobbyKing Radio to a Devo 12E ( 12 channels ) it cost something , but Like a Turnigy 9X ( for example ) it’s a long term investment and I think I made the good choice for what I have to do with it :) , and I love it , many options for many tricks on the Quad :)