Quadcopter Tips and Tricks on Building, Maintenance and Flying

I will share with you tips and tricks on building, maintaining and flying mini quad (aka racing drones. Some of which also apply to other RC quadcopters.

Quadcopter Building Tips

Quadcopter Maintaining Tips

Quadcopter Flying Tips

Other Little Tips That Help Your Flying and Building

Use all 4 motor screws!

It’s best to use all 4 motor screws when mounting motors on the frame, unless you are really striving for light weight. Motors make vibration and your screws can get loose during flight! Having 4 screws minimizes the chance of losing your motor mid air.

Motor Protection

In a crash, your front motors often take the impact. So it makes sense to use motor protectors on the front motors to minimize the damage. These protectors can be 3D printed.

ESC / Motor Wires Protector

Your propellers are soft plastic, and they can bend and strike your ESC or motor wires mounted on the arms in a crash (aka prop deflection). Simply put a piece of hard plastic cover on top of the arms will prevent it :) You can get the material form broken propellers, or water bottles.

Use Nylon Standoffs / Screws for FC Stack

Try to use nylon/plastic hardware for your flight controller, PDB and 4in1 ESC. Sometimes the holes in these components are connected to the ground, If you use metal hardware, the ground will be connected to the frame (carbon fibre).

Cover Electronics with Tape when Soldering

You can drop solder on components accidentally when soldering and destroy that part! Cover it with tape so it won’t happen!

Board Camera Easy Mounting for Mini Quad

Mini Quad FPV camera mounting.

It’s always tricky how to mount your FPV board camera on the mini quad frame, especially as you fly faster, the more angle tilted the camera needs to be.

Solution: I use material that is widely available, 2mm zip ties, nylon spacer, and vibration dampening balls. As the balls are elastic, and can be squeezed, we can adjust the zip tie to make whatever angle we want.

mini-quad-fpv-camera-mounting-zip-tie-balls-spacer mini-quad-fpv-camera-mounting-zip-tie-balls-spacer-nylon

In fact, as you progress, you can actually go back, and close the zip tie a bit tighter to achieve a larger angle, so you don’t have to replace anything.

Someone also suggested to use sticky foam to replace the vibration balls and spacers.


3D Print ZMR250 Arm Spacers

Simple but useful trick to hide the distribution board and the ESCs QAV250 frame. 3D printed spacers make 10 mm space between the 1st and 2nd level to hide all electronics.

3D Print ZMR250 Arm Spacers CAD 3D Print ZMR250 Arm Spacers

As you can see there is a lot of space in the frame for the FPV, camera, etc…
(this is a ready to fly quad – the controller, ESCs, motors, distribution board and the receiver already installed)

Recycling Cables and Spray Bottle Plastic Tube

Recycle – Household spray bottles are a source of plastic tube for standoffs/ spacers/ antenna protectors.

Household spray bottles plastic tube for standoffs spacers antenna protectors Recycle Old USB SCART and HDMI cables contain lots of useful narrow gauge wire

Recycle – Old USB, SCART and HDMI cables contain lots of useful narrow gauge wire….

How to Mount Vibration Dampers – The easiest way!

DIY GoPro/XiaomiYi Camera protective Case

Use recycled motor packaging (in this case i used Cobra 2204 motor foam). The foam needs to be able to fit the gorpo in there. Cut some holes for the USB connection and SD card, also for the record button.

diy-gopro-protection-case-foam diy-gopro-protection-case-foam-motor-packaging

But an extra piece of foam to cover the LCD screen as well. And it also works well as a camera damping system as the foam absorb some vibration.

diy-gopro-camera-protection-case-foam-fit diy-gopro-camera-protection-case-foam-mini-quad-quadcopter-drone

Use Antenna extension lead to protect your VTX

I see some people report problems that they ripped the antenna holder off the VTX, along with the solder copper pads, which is irreversible, very very difficult to fix.


Best way to prevent this from happening again, is to use an antenna extension lead, fix the other end on the frame so it takes the impact in a crash, and not the VTX antenna connector.



Edit History

  • Aug 2015 – Article Created
  • Jun 2017 – Article updated with 8 more tips
  • Oct 2018 – Updated with a few more tips

6 thoughts on “Quadcopter Tips and Tricks on Building, Maintenance and Flying

  1. Vesa Lamminranta

    I have strange problem with two different kind of cc3d another is cc3d atom.
    Both have same problem They are not doing anything to motors 5 and 6 when Iam doing a hexa copter. Same controllers work with same hexa copter with normal open pilot firmware.
    But now Whats wrong with 5&6. if I change motors to differen places they work

  2. Nihal


    I’ve ordered my ZMR250 V2 frame with PDB V1.03 and as this is my first quad and first build, I like a few advice.


    I would like to know if you have the layout or manual for the PDB board. As I’m going to fly with 3S 2200mah lipo, could you give me some basic advice on this build?

    Also I want to know if the 5v and the 12v on the PDB will have power from the lipo battery.

    Much appreciated for your kind assistance.


    The following is my setup. ( Please advise if something is wrong )


    DYS BE1806 2300KV Brushless Motor

    DYS XM Seris XM20A BLHeli mini 20A ESC V1

    SP Racing F3 Flight Controller Deluxe

    Micro minimosd

    LC FILTER (3AMP 2-4S)

    Ultrasonic Module HC-SR04

    HD 700TVL Sony CCD

    ImmersionRC 600mW 5.8GHz AV Transmitter

    Skyzone 5.8GHz RHCP 4 Leaf FPV Antenna

    OrangeRx SF400S Futaba FHSS Compatible 4ch 2.4Ghz Receiver with FS and Sbus

    Turnigy High Density R/C LED Flexible Strip-Green 12v

     Turnigy High Density R/C LED Flexible Strip-Red 12v

     GemFan 5″ 5045 BULLNOSE CW CCW

     FatShark Dominator HD2 3D FPV Goggle Headset

     Futaba T8J Radio

  3. Murray

    Each SMA connector introduces approx. 3dB of loss. It would be better to solder the extension right to the VTX.

  4. Alex Gorbatchev

    Thanks for posting these tips, great stuff! Could you expand a bit on which specific parts to order (like names at least) besides the VTX extension cable that allow you to screw it down to the frame? I don’t think everything necessary is generally sold together and I’m having trouble googling up the right parts.

  5. Peter

    can someone help me ?
    I have a syma x8w quadcopter battery but my quadcopter is broken.
    I want to buy another quadcopter .
    I can mount the syma battery in another quadcopter ?
    the battery is een2000mAh Battery , lipo
    happy to help


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