Are you someone who loves drones and is eager to capture the miraculous world having the controller in your hands then, you have landed at the right place. Drones are small remote-controlled aircraft you can pilot yourself. What better than building one yourself? Building the drone from scratch might sound a bit tricky but it is an easy process and an enjoyable experience. With the right information and steps, you will be done in no time.
In this article, you will get a step-by-step guide on how to build a drone yourself.
Read on to know more.
How to Build a Drone Step by Step
Building a Drone requires a bit of preparation. But do not worry, by the end of this article you will have a complete idea of what is required for making a drone fly in the air on your own. There are some basic tools that you should keep handy before starting the process. The list of tools is mentioned below :
- Soldering Iron and solder
- Helping Hands
- Double-sided sticky tape
- Zip Ties
- Heat shrink or electrical tape
Necessary Items To Build Your Drone
Below mentioned are some of the must-have items to build a drone.
The frame is the base for your drone. It can be self-built or purchased. It is directly related to the dimensions of your drones. The number of arms signifies the number of motors that would be required. For example, Quadcopter, drones with four motors are quite popular. The other important parameter is the Frame size which determines the farthest distance between the two motors.
Drone motors can be of two kinds: Brushed and Brushless. Brushless motors are recommended because they last longer. Though they are priced a little more than the brushed ones. But, the added air time is worth the cost.
#3. Electronic Speed Control (ESCs)
Brushed motors do not require an ESC because they only need a simple DC voltage input. But with brushless motors, you will need one ESC for each motor of your drone. It acts as a bridge for passing the electricity from the battery to your motor.
There are different kinds of drones in the market. Depending on the frame and motor of your drone, the propellers must be chosen. Propellers are devices that transform rotary motion into linear thrust.
#5. Power Distribution Board (PDB)
The PDB is the main electrical component of the drone. The battery is connected to it and this is the place from where the ESCs and motors draw their power.
The connectors act as the glue in connecting the motors and ESCs and the power distribution board.
#7. Flight Controller
The flight controller is the hardware hub of your drone. It is called the brain of your drone and features a gyroscope and accelerometer that helps in balancing the drone. A firmware controls the flight controller. It comes in two forms Open Source where modifications can be made by the user or Closed Source which means it is hidden property of a company and no changes can be made.
Choosing the right battery is an important step. It is the food that fuels up your drone. Due to high capacity and high output current, the most preferred choice for drones is the Li-Po batteries.
#9. Battery Monitor
A battery monitor can be used if you want to have a fair idea of how much more time you can spare up in the air with your drone.
#10. RC Controller and Receiver
An RC controller consists of a transmitter and a receiver (that plugs into your Flight Controller).
#11. Mounting Pad
A mounting pad is used to reduce the shakiness and thus improve flight.
You can do it with or without a gimbal. But it is suggested that a Gimbal should be used for attaining maximum stability and reducing unwanted vibrations while the drone is tilted at various angles to achieve the best shots.
The camera is the key element of the drone that helps you shoot some mesmerizing footage which is not humanly possible.
#14. USB key/Micro SD card
A good quality SD card is required for storing all the data that is captured.
This is an optional add-on. Telemetry is also used to wirelessly communicate with the drone. It is generally used for receiving data back from the drone.
Steps to Build Your Drone
Now you know about all the necessary tools and parts that are needed to assemble your drone so, let’s get to know the procedure to build it from scratch. Below mentioned are the steps to guide you through the process.
Step 1: Assemble the Frame
The very first step is making the base of your drone. You can use materials of your choice example metal, plastic, wood, etc. The shape of the drone should be an ‘X’ and every end has a propeller.
Step 2: Motors and Propellers
Now depending on whether you have purchased your frame or made it on your own, you’ll need to attach motors. If you have self-made it then, make holes to affix the motors to the frame. And if you have purchased it from a retailer then, the frame already comes with mounts for your motors.
Step3: Connect the Power Distribution Board
The PDB is connected in the middle or bottom of the drone. You can secure it by using zip ties. The ESCs and battery connector need to be soldered with the PDB.
Step 4: Connect the ESCs
You can now connect the Electronic Speed Controllers to each arm of the drone. It can be either on the top or bottom of the arm.
Step 5: Connect the Battery
Now it’s time to connect the battery connectors to the PDB.
Step6: Attach the Landing Gear
For a safe and hassle-free landing, the landing gear is a must. To absorb the shock from landing on a hard surface, you can make the gear from both solid and flexible material.
Step7: Flight Controller
Mount your flight controller on your drone. You are almost done, just make sure to add a sponge underneath the controller to minimize the vibrations. The drone should be stable enough to withstand the shifts in the wind.
Step8: Connect to GCS and Calibrate Sensors
To have an idea that everything is on point. You can do that using GCS and Calibrate Sensors. The GCS can then communicate with the drone remotely. It can both send and receive information.
Step9: Test Run
Double-check everything to make sure all the connections are well done and all parts are connected well. Choose a place to slowly throttle up your drone and fly at a low altitude at first.
Step10: Ready to Take Off
Lastly, when you are all set to touch the skies with your shiny new drone. Make sure you have the drone license and all formalities in place. Enjoy the flight!
For more information on how to become a drone pilot. Visit here.
Constructing a drone by scratch may seem intimidating but with the right procedure in hand, it can be done in a short span. Once your drone is ready to fly, just attach a good-quality camera along to capture all the beautiful views that will surely surprise you beyond thought. Flying a drone is an amazing experience in itself especially when you have made it yourself.
Thanks for reading
I hope this guide helped you gain all the information about how to build a drone. 🙂
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