Components & Costs of a diy FPV Drone
First of all I would like to give a short overview of the installed components and their costs. The following components amount to about 330,- € with Armattan Frame or 240,- € with "dupe" frame and without LiPos (battery).
The basis for a FPV Freestyle Drone is the frame. The other components are attached to the frame. Furthermore the frame is also responsible for the appearance of the drone. The most important factors of the frame are that it should be stable and at the same time very light - that is why many frames are made of light metal carbon.
I decided to buy the frame which is called "Marmotte" from Armatton, it costs about 109,- $ (about 100,- €). I chose the Marmotte because Armatton has a lifetime warranty on these frames. Furthermore, it is with 115 grams extremely light and very well processed. If you don't want to spend so much money for your frame, I can also recommend this one from Martian II* (affiliate link) for about 30,- €.
Brushless motors are built into Mulitcopter. With the motors it is again important that you take care that they have hardly any dead weight. I use the motors F40III 2306 2400KV Brushless Motor* from T-Motor, they weigh 34,5 grams including cable and are also visually very attractive.
Further components are the propellers, with which one should pay attention to the fact that there are always two left- and two right-turning propellers on a quadcopter and these must be mounted correctly in sequence. Propellers are available in various materials - the less expensive propellers are usually made of nylon, ABS or GFK mixtures. Higher quality propellers are usually made of carbon. I have chosen the Cyclone T5040C Props* from Dalprop. These are made of very cheap and in my opinion relatively stable.
If you are using the Runcam Micro Swift 3 v2*, you will need to print an adapter from Runcam Micro to Runcam Mini, by using a3D printer. It is less complicated, if you buy the Runcam Mini right away.
LiPo | Battery
In order to supply the drone with energy you need LiPo (Lithium Polymer) battery. I would like to point out that a responsible handling, use and storage is absolutely necessary. I use the LiPo batteries R-Line* from Tattu and I am very satisfied so far. Furthermore, the LiPo is light and compact at 165 grams.
(Flight)Control | Flight Controller
In order to control the drone, a flight control system or a flight controller is required. The main task of this component is to stabilize the drone and control the motors and controllers.
The receiver has the task of receiving the signals from the remote control and forwarding them to the flight control.
Engine Controller | ESCs
The ESC, also called motor controller, is responsible for the control of the motors, i.e. the ESC is an electronic component that sends signals in a special sequence to the installed motors to make them turn.
Furthermore you need some other components which are not directly installed with the drone, but without them a flight would not be possible.
The links marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called affiliate links. If you click on such an affiliate link and make a purchase via this link, I will receive a commission from the respective online shop or provider. For you the price does not change.
ESC & FC combo: Holybro Kakute F4 V2 FC/ Tekko32 35A 4In1:
Engine: 4x T-engine F40 Pro III:
FPV Cam: Runcam Micro Swift 3 v2:
VTX: (AKK X2-ultimate International SMA):
VTX Antenna :
Frsky receiver: Frsky XM+ Micro
Rubber rings for antivibration FC:
Frame Armattan Marmotte:
My control/remote control:
Good and Cheap Lipo:
XT60 connector with cable:
+power supply unit
Purchase List (tools)
Tools/Tool for building drones 7€ I use myself:
M3 Screws 4-20mm/M3 Screws 4-20mm:
Nuts and standoff screws you will need 4€:
Which tool do I need for the assembly?
different sized allen keys
pliers, tweezers, side cutters
heat shrinkable tubing, cable ties, rubber rings
soldering iron, -tin
Step by stepy to you DIY FPV Drone
Step 1: Assembling the bracket for the FPV camera
I started with the assembly of the cage for the FPV camera. If you should use the cheaper frame, where the cage for the FPV camera is already mounted, you can skip this step.
Step 2: Preparation and assembly ESC and Flight Controller
First you put four screws through from back to front and place a rubber ring on each of them, the rubber rings are not a must, but they provide a low vibration.
Tip: If you should not use the Armattan Marmotte frame, I advise you to align the ESC at the back of the frame. With the Marmotte frame it is possible to align the ESC to the front, but then you have to reprogram the motors in Betaflight Settings.
Step 3: Assembly of the motors
It is important that you make sure that the motors are centered and that you tighten the supplied screws properly - so that they do not come loose in case of a later crash.
Step 4: Preparing the soldering points for the cables of the motors and XD60 connectors
In the next step we prepare the soldering points for the cables of the motors and the XD60 connector. The XD60 connector ensures that the drone is powered by the LiPo battery. Place the soldering iron on the board and add solder. It is important to make sure that you add enough solder, otherwise you will not get a smooth solder joint.
Step 5: Shrink tubing and cable ties
In this step the use of shrink tubes is not mandatory, but I am a fan of a clean setup, so I use shrink tubes and cable ties to fix the cables of the motors to the frame. For this I cut the shrink tubes to the right size with the side cutter and then put them over the cables. Then I heat the shrinking tube and tie the cables with a cable tie to the frame.
Step 6: Cutting and soldering the cables
To determine the length of the cables I hold the cables at the respective soldering point and then press a marker into the insulation with a slotted screwdriver - this can also be done with a pen. Then I pinch the cable at the marking with a side cutter and strip the cable end.
After that we already start soldering the cables. Here it is important that you allow yourself enough time to solder clean, smooth areas. You should also make sure that the individual soldering points are not connected to each other.
Each side has six solder joints - the cables of the motors are soldered from left to right, i.e. the right motor has the right solder joints and the left motor has the left ones.
Step 7: Alignment of the flight controller and preparation of the soldered joints for the receiver
The flight controller should be aligned so that the arrow points forward.
Step 8: Soldering diagram Flight Controller
So VTX (bottom left), RunCam (top) and FrSky receiver (bottom) are soldered. If you need a more detailed description, you can find it in the video.
Step 9: Mount the VTX antenna
Since the VTX antenna is mounted differently on each frame, the VTX antenna is mounted according to the enclosed Armattan Marmotte building instructions.
Then the VTX is placed with double-sided adhesive tape and cable ties. It's important not to place it too close to the flight controller, as the VTX can heat up to 90 degrees.
Never plug in the Lipo if no VTX antenna is screwed on, otherwise the VTX will overheat.
Step 10: Foam Pads
To avoid damaging the frame when landing, place foam pads on the bottom of the frame.
Step 11: Place receiver and receiver antennas
The receiver is attached to the frame like the VTX - with double-sided adhesive tape and cable ties.
The antenna alignment is to the rear. First you place two cable ties on the back (see photo), then you fix the antennas of the receiver with two heat shrinkable tubes in the cable tie and thus fix it.
Step 12: Plug in the VTX and camera connectors and adjust the camera.
Adjust the desired camera angle and screw it tight.
Step 13: Assembly of the Top Plate