How to build a drone? Learn e how to make a drone for FREE
Would you like to know how to build a drone? Read on to how to make a drone for free! If you are the kind of person that gets more satisfaction from making, modding and tinkering, the world of drones and quadcopters offers endless possibilities. Read this article to get your hands dirty, your soldering iron hot and a self-built quadcopter which is far more satisfying than buying a pre-built one. The easiest kit you can buy is probably the [glossary]ARF[/glossary] (Almost Ready To Fly) DJI F450 Flame wheel quadcopter. If you get the version with [glossary]NAZA[/glossary] controller and GPS, even better! This model is really versatile, it can be used for entertainment, aerial photography, [glossary]FPV[/glossary] and more.
1. Open the box
This is what is included in the package:
- Frame made of strong material for durability
- Integrated PCB wiring
- 1 X NAZA-M Lite Flight Controller w/ GPS Module (optional)
- DJI E300 power system
- Landing legs
- X 2212 920KV Motor (from E300 power system)
- 4 X 15A OPTO ESC (from E300 power system)
- 3 X 9443 CCW Self-Tightening Propeller (from E300 power system)
- 3 X 9443 CW Self-Tightening Propeller (from E300 power system)
- Screw sets
What is NOT included in the box
- RC transmitter
- A radio controller (for example the FRSKY Delta 8 or any other compatible with the RC transmitter)
- [glossary]LIPO[/glossary] battery (for example the 3 cell, 1800 mAh and appropriate battery charger)
- Battery plug
- Metal landing skids
You’ll also need:
2. Getting started, heat the soldering iron!
Once you have these materials, you can start by soldering the [glossary]ESC[/glossary]s to the Power Distribution Board (bottom frame plate). Look at the following diagram to check which cable connects to which part.
Then solder the battery leads to the battery plug. This can be a bit tricky as this component is quite small. This then gets connected to the bottom plate. On the same pads (power pads) connect the power unit of the NAZA M-lite.
3. Assemble the frame and the parts to it
The frame is fairly simple to put together. It consists of only 6 pieces – the 4 arms, the top plate and the bottom plate. Firstly, attach the motors to the arms, and the propellers to the motors, this is easier to do before attaching the arms to the body. Then, install the front arms on the base plate, then the back arms.
This is a good moment to tighten the cables using plastic cable ties. Connect the motor cables to the ESCs. There is no way of telling which cable goes in which plug. You’ll have to check later if you connected them correctly by observing if the propeller is rotating the right way round.
If not, you’ll have to swap any two of the connections. Mount the power unit to one arm; you can do that using the provided sticky pad and a cable tie. It’s now time to install the NAZA M-lite flight controller.
Align the unit correctly to the base plate and use the provided sticky pad to attach the unit. Connect the motors to the flight controller; the numbers on the front of the unit will help you to make the right connections. At the back of the flight controller there are further connection points indicated with letters: A ([glossary]aileron[/glossary]), E ([glossary]elevator[/glossary]), T ([glossary]throttle[/glossary]), R ([glossary]rudder[/glossary]), U for GPS functions, X3 for connecting the power unit. These will be connected to the servos and the power unit (X3). If you got to this point, your DJI Flame Wheel F450 is making good progress.
4. Mount the top deck
Align the top deck with the unit with the two big holes in line with the front and back of the unit and screw the plate down. Attach some velcro tape (provided) to the center of the plate and insert the red velcro strap. Attach the GPS module support and mount the GPS module onto it.
Build your own drone Fast and Easy!
Check the drawn arrows, to make sure the GPS module is mounted the right way round. Connect the GPS module cable in the correct plug on the flight controller. Finally, attach the propellers to the motors.
The way you mount the radio transmitter will depend on the model you buy, so you’ll find more specific instruction if you search on the internet. Before the test flight, you’ll need to test the direction the propellers are rotating (reverse direction if needed). This is how they should rotate:
You can also add landing legs, a gamble, and a camera if you have them.
Now I think you know how to make a drone Good luck with your brand-new, self-built DJI Flame Wheel F450 quadcopter!
So you can build your own quadcopter very easy with this tutorial.