Whether you are new to the world of drones or you’ve been flying quadcopters for a while, you may find the prospect of building your own drone exciting. While the thought of making a flying machine can be exhilarating, it can also be intimidating.However, with the help of these drone kits, you can build a great device in no time. If you are the kind of person, who enjoys experimenting with things this article on DIY drone kits will be right up your alley.
How Will You Use Your Drone?
The very first question you should ask yourself when looking into a drone kit is how you will use the drone. Without a doubt, you’ll be flying the UAV, but what else do you want to get out of your experience? Do you want a speedy drone that you’ll be able to race someday? Or, maybe you’ll use your drone to take beautiful HD videos to share with family and friends.
What Does A Drone Kit Include?When you hear the words “drone kit”, you may imagine that every drone kit is all-inclusive. However, nothing could be further from the truth. There is no standard package when it comes to drone kits. Because every DIY kit is unique, you will need to take care to check what parts come standard in the package you’re eyeing.
What Tools and Skills Do You Need?
Building your drone is an exciting experience, but crafting this little flying machine, will require a few tools.
To build some drones, you will need a good soldering iron and a multi-meter. Additionally, you may need to acquire a set of precision screwdrivers with specialty hex heads.
You will also need adequate knowhow. If you have never soldered before, take some time to research techniques and invest in extra materials so that you can practice.
How Much Does a Drone Kit Cost?
It probably goes without saying, but there is no standard price for a drone kit. Prices can range anywhere from under a hundred dollars to well over a thousand. This is where knowing what features you’re looking for comes in handy, as well as how serious you are about droning.
If you merely want a drone to play without in your backyard, you'll probably be fine with a more basic kit. However, if you're looking to build a precision racing drone, you should expect to invest more up front.
Buying Vs. Building
Everyone has different intentions when they go out and pick up their first drone. If you are planning on occasionally flying just for fun, buying a drone that is ready-to-fly might be the way to go.
Building a drone can take a few days, whereas you can go to the store and be flying the same day if you buy one. If you are low on time (and patience), building a drone might not be for you.
If you are just looking to fly around without having to worry about fixing the components of your drone, then buying a ready-to-fly aircraft is for you.
If you are someone who enjoys tweaking and experimenting with things, building a drone might appeal to you.
Building one from scratch allows you the freedom to design it how you want and modify any parts you want along the way. This route will give you the ability to choose every piece you put on your aircraft.
If you create your own DIY drone kit, you’ll experience a great level of self-achievement that you were able to build something for yourself. As you watch your new drone take off from the ground, you’ll be filled with enthusiasm and pride. Building a drone also gives you experience so if something goes wrong you will have the knowledge to fix it.
As you go through the step-by-step process of building your DIY drone kit, you’ll build new skills and educate yourself along the way. You’ll be able to diagnose any issue that arises, perform the repair yourself, or know which appropriate replacement to purchase because you’ve taught yourself.
Always decide why you are getting into drones before buying or building one. If you are looking to race or use the drone for professional photography, then creating one will be a good experience for you.
What You Need To Know About Your DIY Drone
Here is a basic list of everything you need to know to build your drone successfully. For a comprehensive breakdown of all the specifications and parts, you will need to check out this link HERE.
The flight controller is essentially the brain of your drone and is the piece of equipment that can follow instructions. Multi-rotors fly at incredible speeds with great stability because they have multiple points of thrust. Each works against the other – with and against gravity. This type of stability requires severe balance only achieved through a secure flight control computer.
It is essential to put a significant amount of time and research into your control unit because it is the hub of your aircraft and a big chunk of your budget. There are many factors to consider which can make finding the right DIY kit for you daunting, but equally as exciting.
If you opt for On Screen Display (OSD), this will provide you with more information and data on your drone. This includes route, speed, battery voltage, and more. We highly recommend incorporating an OSD with your drone, but we appreciate that doing so makes the process more difficult.
These are equally as important as the controller on your drone is the components that take it airborne. A successful flight will require a slew of propellers, an electronic speed controller, transmitters, and receivers, as well as many wires and power supplies.
Cameras And FPV
Depending on your intentions with your drone, you might need a camera or an entire FPV setup. Many people choose a GoPro HD camera for their build. The GoPro will record high-quality video but can result in latency issues due to limited bandwidth.
If you want to get the best shots and videos from your camera, you should invest in a First Person View (FPV) setup. FPV will allow you to receive a live stream to your handheld controller and will give you a view from the perspective of the camera. Piloting this way takes all the guessing out of your photography.
A video transmitter sends a signal from your camera to the drone’s antenna so that it can register the imagery you capture. If you choose to fly your drone with other people or at crucial events, you’ll need to capture a high-quality video. Traditional video transmitters feature a small push button that produces high-performance footage.
Alternatively, if you merely want to use your drone to capture some imagery and videos for personal, fun use, then a cheaper option will suffice. You might notice that video transmitters have a wide price range, although the quality is very similar. However, cheaper video transmitters tend to have noise feedback, which isn’t ideal for professional use. However, if your editing skills are up to scratch, this might not even be an issue.
When designing your DIY drone kit, there are a handful of possibilities for how the frame could be. Designing a frame by yourself isn’t as challenging as it might sound. However, you’ll need to appreciate the different materials you will be using, although most are normally made from carbon fiber.
There are many considerations you’ll have to make when choosing the right frame, as this is essentially the body of your drone and one of its most important parts. For example, if you want your drone to travel fast and perform various stunts, a light and nimble frame is best suited.
Consider where you’ll place the battery, too. The closer to the center of the frame, the smoother your drone can fly. Also, if you want to carry a camera to capture the scenery, you’ll need a frame that is robust and strong enough to carry extra weight. Plus, your camera should securely slot into the frame without any issues.
To create the ultimate drone, you’ll need four motors, but sometimes, you can encounter eight motors. Although, if it’s your first time engineering a project like this, we recommend sticking to the basic four.
The size of the motor is also an important consideration to make. The larger the number on the motor, the higher the torque, which means the drone will travel faster but will have a heavier weight. A higher torque not only increases the maximum speed, but is ideal for carrying heavy props - such as a HD camera.
We suggest using brushless motors because these are lighter on the battery and easy to operate than other kinds of batteries - a great advantage if you’re a beginner. Brushless motors are also the driving force behind your drone so that your toy can catch high speeds.
You’ll find that there’s a diverse variety of specifications for brushless motors so making a choice can be a little confusing. However, consider the weight, thrust, power, etc., of your drone to make the right choice for you.
What Type of Drone Should You Build?
Drones don’t just have one story, so there are many different types to choose from before you jump straight into purchasing the first DIY kit you find on offer. The best way to categorize these types is by the size of the drone you want to create.
2” Class Build
This size drone is the smallest you can make and purchase ready-built. They’re suitable for indoor use as they aren’t too robust and bulky that they could cause damage to the inside of your property.
This is also a great way to ease yourself into flying drones because you can practice your skills at home when the weather is bad outside. Although these are the smallest drones on the market, they’re not to be underestimated: many can reach speeds of 100mph.
3-4” Micro Class Build
Another size option you have is 3-4”, which shouldn’t be flown indoors due to its size and weight. These are the perfect type of drones if you don’t have much space or aren’t yet comfortable to put your flying skills to good use.
5” Mini Class Build
This is probably the most common type of drone for recreational use. They’re typically described as versatile as this size offers a substantial amount of power but can also move comfortably at high speeds.
With a bigger surface area on offer than the previous options, these drones can withstand a camera and are not so robust that they’ll break into a million pieces should they crash on the floor.
6” Mini Class Build
This drone size is ideal if you’re an intermediate flyer and looking to fly at fast speeds sometimes. You can also begin performing flips and rolls in the air and experiment with your drone, compared to the sizes previously mentioned.
You can also begin exploring beautiful environments a lot more, such as scenic mountains and large open waters. Complete your drone with a HD camera on top to capture these spectacular moments.
7+” Class Build
As you’ll be aware, drones have a massive size range, and this is generally how the larger options are categorized. If you’re a passionate photographer/videographer, you’ll be looking to obtain footage of sheer beauty to later edit and save these moments.
Drones that are this size can comfortably carry a high-quality camera as they’re stable and robust enough to hold this weight. Many drones that are 7”+ also have exceptional features, such as returning home automatically, and a GPS.
With these advanced features, you can expect a higher price range, though it’s definitely worth spending the extra money if you’re passionate about photography and being a part of the outdoors.
Here's Our Full Reviews Of The Best Popular Drone Kits
If you’ve decided that building a drone is the right choice for you, we have picked some of the best DIY Drone Kits that will help you get started!
This DIY Drone Kit is perfect if you’re looking to build your mini quadcopter. This kit includes all the necessary parts that you need to complete the build. You only need to add a battery and radio system.
The Robocat Co-Co is the perfect frame to get you started with mini quadcopters because it is very versatile and can be adapted to multiple builds. Made from a lightweight carbon fiber material and a solid canopy, this gives your electronics a little more protection.
The kit comes with the CC3D flight controller, which is very popular for mini quad users because it is compatible with all major radio bands. The interface is very user-friendly and easy to transform into an FPV quad.
Finally, the four brushless motors by Robocat Co-Co ensure that this DIY kit can carry a small camera. You can then adjust your drone to switch to a first-person view, easily. However, you will need to purchase the equipment for the first-person view separately.
· Diagonal Length: 280mm
· Weight (with motors, ESCs and props): 375g
· Take-off Weight: 400-700g
· Motors: 2204 2400Kv brushless (x 4)
· ESCs: 12A (x 4)
· Flight Controller: CC3D
· Propellers: 6 x 3 inch (2 x CW and 2 x CCW)
Included in Kit:
· Robocat Co-Co 280 frame kit 1 x
· CC3D flight controller 1 x
· CC3D Power Distribution Board (PDB) 1 x with 12-5V BEC output
· Brushless Motor 4 x 2204 2400Kv
· SimonK ESC 4 x 12A
· 4 x 6×3 inch propeller (2 x CW, 2 x CCW)· 1 x Extras such as XT60 connectors, zip-ties etc.
This DIY Drone is a 250-pro quadcopter kit made primarily of carbon fiber with rubber dampers. This is an ideal DIY kit if you’re a beginner as it can help you create a cheap racing-style quad that isn’t too challenging to produce.
This DIY Drone Kit comes with an OpenPilot flight controller. It is built with all in one stabilization hardware, a robust STM32 32-bit microcontroller running at 90MIPs with 128KB Flash and 20KB RAM. The kit comes with direct high-speed USB support with no drivers required.
It’s lightweight and reliable with most of the parts you need to complete the build. The only elements this DIY kit is missing is a transmitter, receiver and a batter, which you can easily pick up from Amazon for a reasonable price.
· Framework: 12N14P
· Lipo battery: 2-3S
· Max. Thrust: 440g
· Prop suggest: 5-6 inch
· Weight: 28g
· Suitable for: 250mm wheelbase mini quadcopter, lightweight fixed-wing copter, indoor 3D airplane
Included in Kit:
· Carbon Fiber 4 Axis Mini Quadcopter 1 x 280mm
· 1 x CC3D Flight Controller
· MT2204 2300KV Multicopter Motor 4 x
· Simonk 12A ESC 4 x
· 4 x 6*3 6030 Carbon Fiber propeller(2pcs CW + 2 PCS CCW)
This quadcopter is 500mm and is built using the Lynxmotion MultiRotor Erector System. This design uses aluminum clamps along with 16mm carbon fiber tubes allowing the aircraft to be incredibly rigid, versatile, lightweight, and easily modified.
This DIY Drone Kit comes with a removable camera plate and a section designed for the GPS antenna. You’ll need to purchase some separate equipment, such as four motors, propellers, battery and charger, and any other electronics.
· G10 plates / panels
· Carbon fiber tubes
· Aluminum brackets and standoffs
· Motor to Motor: 500mm (492.29mm)
· Propellers: 8″ to 10.”
· Front Arm Angle: 150° (149.05°)
· Assembled Weight: 383g (frame only)
· Flight Controller Mount: Flat surface as well as 30.5mm to 45mm slots (direct compatible with the Quadrino Nano)
· Mounting holes on the lower frame for use with a Lynxmotion pan/tilt and gripper
Included in Kit:
· HQuad500 (Base Combo Kit)
· 1x HQuad500 Hardware Only Kit
· All G10 (Fiberglass frame parts to build the HQuad500 frame
· Complete Hardware Bag
· 8x 16mm Aluminum Clamps (2 per pack)
· 2x Lynxmotion battery strap
· 4x Carbon Fiber tube (16x14x220mm)
· Brushless motor 4x 28x30mm – 1000kv
· Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) w/ SimonK Firmware 4x 12A
· Black Multi-Rotor CCW Propeller Pair 1x 9″ x 4.5″
· 1x 9″ x 4.5″ Black Multi-Rotor CW Propeller Pair
· Orange Multi-Rotor CCW Propeller Pair 1x 9″ x 4.5″
· 1x 9″ x 4.5″ Orange Multi-Rotor CW Propeller Pair
· Power Wiring Harness 1x
· Receiver to Flight Controller Wiring Harness 1x
· 1x Lynxmotion Quadrino Nano Drone/UAV Flight Controller (with GPS)
Conclusion on Building a DIY Drone Kit
If you have made it this far, you are probably serious about building your drone from scratch and want to learn more. Building a drone can be a gratifying experience. When your creation finally takes off for the first time, you will feel a sense of satisfaction that you cannot get from merely buying one. That is why we chose the Lynxmotion HQuad500 Drone as our winner of this breakdown.
This kit provides simplicity with a complex assembly. It’s one of the best drones on the market, and with the solder-less assembly and complete kit, anyone can jump right in and build a top of the line drone. This kit also makes adding things like an FPV and a camera simple with most of the additional parts you need already included.
What are your thoughts on the kits we chose to share with you? Leave your opinions in the comments to keep this conversation going. Also, if you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to share it with friends.