Cheap DIY FPV Micro-Drone

FPV drones are a fun but often costly hobby for beginners. Opting for a smaller drone will reduce the chance of damaging the drone when one invariably crashes and the smaller props are also a lot safer if there are any innocent bystanders. YouTuber and Instructables user [Constructed] wanted a cheap FPV capable drone that they could comfortably fly in-and-out of doors, so of course they built their own.

Once the drone’s frame was 3D printed, the most complex part about soldering four small-yet-powerful 8.5 mm motors to the Micro Scisky control board is ensuring that you attach them in the correct configuration and triple-checking them. A quick reshuffling of the battery connections and mounting the FPV camera all but completed the hardware side of the build.

Before plugging your flight controller into your PC to program, [Constructed] warns that the battery must be disconnected unless you want to fry your board. Otherwise, flashing the board and programming it simply requires patience and a lot of saving your work. Once that’s done and you’ve paired everything together, the sky — or ceiling — is the limit!

In their Instructable, [Constructed] provides a full list of the parts they purchased, as well as alternative options — like building the frame out of popsicle sticks if you lack 3D printer access — for anyone wanting to make their own. Definitely a far cry from the $415 price tag seven years ago.

28 thoughts on “Cheap DIY FPV Micro-Drone

    1. is it possible to measure connection speed, or mobile browsers before serving the animated gif? I have unlimited bandwidth, but sometimes my connection can be a bit slow. I like the animations, but sometimes they get in the way of me reading the page. Also people can easily use 100mb a day just loading had every few hours and reading the articles, it would be a shame to put people off using the site.

      1. Same here, more-or-less. I will probably be moving soon, and I am not looking forward to my new bandwidth cap. Far less so, considering HaD’s current love of gigantic GIFs.

        Please… someone think of the megabytes…

  1. I ordered my third Eachine EX105 (a ready-to-fly FPV quad) for $57US…But it’ll take a month to get to California from China. Of course the tx is where you end up spending a lot more money (a decent tx is $150+US). But then you are extremely unlikely to lose your tx in someone’s back yard. ;)

    But cool to see more experimentation in RC hardware.

    If I had time (yeah like I have time), I’d love to build an RC sailboat that has servos to raise/lower the sail, trim the sail, etc. for true sailing. (Not that I know how to sail, I’d love to learn! If I had time.) Someone want to tackle the project?

  2. The onces that are costly are costly. You can get a nice quadcopter of this size for $10 and add FPV for another $25. The one for $10 (eachine H8 mini / Floureon H101) is reprogrammable with an open-source firmware so you can add further features, flight modes, etc. It’s worth it even if you just want the flight controller board from it. The receiver is onboard and works with full-size quality transmitters if you own the multi-protocol transmitter module.

        1. This is the Eachine H8 mini: http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-H8-Mini-Headless-Mode-2_4G-4CH-6-Axis-RC-Quadcopter-RTF-p-975808.html, and the Floureon (gearbest.com rebranded version) is currently out of stock but has more features.
          But have a look at http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2512604 to see what’s the latest and greatest model supported and whether the last version of the H8 is still good (the manufacturer has changed the MCU type at least once). Get a couple of them, not one, as you’ll need parts from time to time.

          For the FPV part choose a camera + transmitter combination that’s around 3 grams from http://www.banggood.com/search/fpv-camera.html, either a combo (TX01, TX03 and others) or individually.

          For the multiprotocol module either get a ready made one (nRF24L01-only for less than $10 or universal with multiple radio chips for $40) from aliexpress or banggood, or make one if you’ve got nRF24L01+ modules laying around from home automation projects. It’s basically an nRF24L01+, a $1 arduino clone, a resistor and female headers as the JR plug, instructables abound.

  3. I’ve been trying to find out if one of those universal controllers can work with my Sharper Image DX4 – and waiting for spring so it won’t shatter hitting the ground in these cold temps this winter.

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