Quick Guide: Basic Components of DIY Drone

Drones are very popular nowadays, because of its capabilities and other specialized assigned task to be carried out. This new type of gadget, became popular because of its ability to take great aerial images and live video. Other professionals, used drones to take some aerial videos instead of using a helicopter.

On the other hand, drones are little bit expensive, especially those who have a built-in good camera. Those price, are worth it especially that the technology a drone is packed with. There are well-known drone manufacturer that will satisfy the needs or the preferred drone you want to have.

Drone, with or without a camera, is just a simple thing build, it doesn’t need much of skills. Building a drone, need a simple research on something, so that it all the components will complement each other.

But on this post, I will discuss the basic components of a drone, the necessary materials needed to build a DIY drone at home.

Note: Research first before you even to buy the components, so that no major problem will occur during building a drone.

 

Basic Components to Build in DIY Drone at Home:

 

  1. FRAME

This component is very important, because it will hold all other components of a drone. It’s just like a body, where other materials are located. Materials of the frame must be carefully chosen, because a tougher material means that it is more durable. It could withstand multiple crash or impact before it will break or damage.

Materials used for drone frame, click here.

 

 

  1. Motors

This is one that will make the drone to fly, how high it could fly or how much speed it will have. But, this component must be research carefully because the drone will have problem if not properly assess first. Also, it must be complimented properly with the frame and propeller.

There many types of drone motor available now in the market, so a thorough research is a must before you even buy it. Motors will spin on different location, means that if you build a quadcopter, two motors will spin on same direction while the other two spins on opposite direction.

Types of drone motor, click here.

 

3. ESC (Electronic Speed Controller)

The electronic speed control, or ESC, is what tells the motors how fast to spin at any given time. You need four ESCs for a quadcopter, one connected to each motor. The ESCs are then connected directly to the battery through either a wiring harness or power distribution board. Many ESCs come with a built in battery eliminator circuit (BEC), which allows you to power things like your flight control board and radio receiver without connecting them directly to the battery.

 

 

  1. Propellers

This component will be the responsible making the drone “literally” to fly. Without this component, the motor is just useless. Another also, is that propellers must compliment on the drone motors and frame to properly function the drone.

Most common types of propellers have two blades but a three blade or four blade is now available in the market also.

 

  1. Power Distribution Board

As the name suggests, a PDB distribute the power on your drone, and provides a neat and tidy way of connecting your battery to all of your ESC’s on your aircraft. A PDB has positive pads/terminals which are all connected and negative terminals/pads which are all connected.

PDB’s are often an overlooked area of multirotor drone building, mainly because they are fairly simple but despite this they are a crucial part of your drone and if you don’t choose the right one you could end up losing your drone.

 

 

  1. Flight Controller

The flight control board is the ‘brain’ of the drone. It houses the sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers that determine how fast each of the drone’s motors spin. Flight control boards range from simple to highly complex.

 

 

  1. Battery

Another important components is the battery, motor will not spin without this. Drones typically use LiPo batteries which come in a variety of sizes and configurations. We typically use 3S1P batteries, which indicates 3 cells in parallel. Each cell is 3.7 volts, so this battery is rated at 11.1 volts.

LiPo batteries also have a C rating and a power rating in mAh (which stands for milliamps per hour). The C rating describes the rate at which power can be drawn from the battery, and the power rating describes how much power the battery can supply. Larger batteries weigh more so there is always a tradeoff between flight duration and total weight.

A general rule of thumb is that doubling the battery power will get you 50% more flight time, assuming your quadcopter can lift the additional weight.

 

  1. Radio Transmitter and Receiver

This part will allow yourself to control the drone, such how high it could fly or how fast it will fly. Also, if you attach an accessory to the drone, you can control on this component.

At least, four channels is the minimum for a drone but the recommended one, is at least have eight channels.

 

 

Those are the basic components of DIY drone, but you select a wide variety of components in the market today. All the components must be complement with each other to avoid any major problems during assembling of it.

Quick Guide: The Different types of material for Drone Frame

Drones are everywhere today, with wide range of types to choose from. Drone in the past are used only for military purposes, but in the present in had more usage than anticipated. Some could take those task such filming and other specialize task.

Drones are available in the market today that cost more or less. To have more fun on it, building one could be more satisfying and fulfilling. But building one, could be painful and tiring because of different components that needs to be assemble in order to make it fly.

After discussing in my previous post about drone motors, now I will differentiate each material for building a drone frame. Frame is needed to hold all the necessary components of the drone.

Let’s Begin!

 

  1. Wood

This is probably the cheapest material for building a frame. However, it may break quickly than other material but it is easily replaceable. Creating a frame using this material, could be tricky because you must find a wood that are strong enough without breaking quickly upon in any collision.

 

 

  1. Plastic

Probable those drones available in the market today, there frames are using this material. 3D printed molded plastic frames have become an incredibly popular amongst DIY drone enthusiasts. Generally, using a 3D printer to create a perfectly shaped plastic frame is something that only works on smaller drones. When using plastic sheets (not 3D printed shapes or objects), you can strategically use them on your landing gear or for the cover of your drone.

 

  1. G10

This type of material have similarities in the looks with carbon fiber, especially outside. However, this material is low cost than carbon fiber, but this is much stronger than other material except on carbon fiber.

 

  1. Aluminum

Aluminum can also be used when building your frame. It’s lightweight (though not as lightweight as carbon fiber), flexible, and is relatively easy to work with. You can use aluminum to build the entire frame, or simply use the material to supplement certain parts of the frame (arms, landing gear, etc.). Another benefit to aluminum frames is that this type of material is both inexpensive as well as readily accessible.

 

  1. Carbon Fiber

Probably, the strongest material on this list yet most expensive also. The reason why is simple: carbon fiber is very tough and extremely lightweight. It’s this combination that will make your RC drone fly better and consume less energy. Remember that carbon fiber impedes RF signals (you’ll learn about these later), so make sure that you keep this in mind when you’re mounting important electronic components.

 

This is the most used material for building a drone frame. But always remember that, building a frame depends on the availability of the material or the money you have. If you can afford, then go to the toughest material because it will definitely last long.

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