Building a quadcopter

Last week, I decided, I am finally going to build my own RC quadcopter (or quadrocopter, if you prefer). “Why?”, you might ask. Well, basically, it’s video’s like this one, that just make my heart go a little bit faster. So, the goal is to build a quadcopter, that can carry a camera (ideally this one, but…).

Basically, a quadcopter consists of the following parts:

  • a frame
  • a flight controller
  • 4 motors
  • 4 ESCs
  • a battery
  • an RC receiver

Without thinking too much about it (but having looked at several DIY descriptions, ready-made kits, complete solutions, etc.), I decided to use the information and software from AeroQuad (“The Open Source QuadCopter / Multicopter”) to do it.

I quote:

The AeroQuad is an open-source hardware and software project dedicated to the construction of remote controlled four-rotor helicopters, also known as quadcopters or quadrocopters.

The AeroQuad store can provide most -if not all- the necessary parts to build the quadcopter, but of course, it is fun (and probably financially rewarding) to shop around for parts elsewhere. I am not at all sure which parts I will be using for my quadcopter apart from the AeroQuad flight controller. And even though they provide a complete kit, I decided to order the Arduino Mega 2560 somewhere else, because it was cheaper.

So far, I ordered the following materials:

  • An Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller (USD 19.00 at BuyInCoins). Ordered June 29, seems to have shipped July 2nd.
  • AeroQuad v2.1 Shield and other accessories from AeroQuad, for a total of USD 163,55 (+ USD 8,93 shipping). Ordered July 2nd, shipped July 3rd.

That’s basically all I need for the flight controller. I haven’t decided on what kind of motors, ESCs and batteries I will use, and I will have to see if I am going to buy a ready-made frame, or build one myself.

In the mean time, here are some interesting reads:

I will write about my progress on this website.

Next: First Steps With Arduino