Drones are complicated pieces of equipment! Until you build one yourself.
Even if you’ve mostly bought ready to fly drones (hobby grade or otherwise) – it’s still smart to build one at some point.
Building simplifies things
Building simplifies things. This may sound like an oxymoron at first, but as soon as you build a copter, your confidence level goes through the roof.
What seemed before like a bunch of intricate electronics that were put together with precision in an assembly line now looks like something incredibly familiar and something you can replicate at home.
I’ve built more drones now than I can count, so I will give you an example from another expensive hobby I fell into: 3D printing.
I was on the fence between buying a ready out of the box 3D printer or getting a kit. On the one hand, my friends in the hobby told me that an out of the box 3D printer would start printing fantastically from minute one, and a kit may or may not ever perform as well.
However, I found a decent kit that had a great community and decided to take the plunge, figuring I’d learn a lot about how the machines work in the process.
Building it was a little frustrating, but I managed to do it somehow, and in the process, I ended up learning that 3D printers were actually fairly straightforward and deceptively simple machines!
I’m also confident that I can easily repair anything that goes wrong with the printer, since I know exactly which part does what!
Applying this to quadcopters
Quadcopters are no different.
They’re really straightforward machines, and it’s actually the software in the flight controller that does the real magic.
So quadcopters are 4 motors, which get a signal from 4 ESCs, which are controlled by a flight controller, which receives radio input from a receiver.
If you want to add FPV into the mix, then there is an FPV camera, which connects to a video transmitter, which transmits the video through an antenna.
Simple enough, right?
Doing one build will help you identify which part is what, how it is wired up, and how to diagnose when something goes wrong.
Upping your RTF game
There are plenty of awesome ready to fly FPV racing drones now, such as the Furibee Darkmax 220 or the Diatone Crusader GT2, and there’s nothing wrong with picking up a ready to fly copter.
But if you’re really pushing these copters to their limits, then you’re most likely crashing and breaking parts!
If you don’t have any build experience, you’re at the mercy of customer support that may or may not be there, and even if there is great support, you’re stuck without that quad for a month or two!
If you know how to build and diagnose issues(which you’ll be able to do automatically once you build), you can simply swap out the part you need and get back in the air much, much faster!
Building isn’t hard
Building a drone is not hard at all!
You just need to practice a little bit of soldering – which is easy once you get the hang of it.
If you can solder even moderately decently, you can build a drone!
The rest of the tools you need you probably have lying around the house – a pair of pliers, a set of allen wrenches, and a hobby knife or some scissors.
For more information on how to build a drone, check out the guide below.
- Why You Should Build at Least One Drone - November 14, 2017
- Why micros are more relevant than ever with the Runcam Split - August 4, 2017
- FPV Quadcopter Getting Started Guide – Infographic - August 2, 2017
- How to improve your flying: 5 tips to sweet acro flying - December 27, 2016
- Do you really need the latest gear? - November 29, 2016