Putting the parts together really isn't that hard. Once you have all of the appropriate parts together it shouldn't take more than an evening to put it together. However you will be left with a hillbilly-esque creation on par with Frankenstein's monster. A persons skill at putting together a quadcoptor shines when all of the components are put together in a way that suites that persons needs.
I will do a run through of how I put together a race quad. But if you feel that your projects needs aren't being satisfied with this tutorial go youtube a how to for something more inline with your project. There are some aspects of building a quad that are cannon to any kind of multi rotor, but a lot of it is also up to preference and what that multi rotor is going to be used for. So please use this tutorial as a gateway to building quads. Also side note, you could probably find a better how to on youtube as well…
There are many external links on this page. If you middle click on the link it will open it in a new tab.
One last thing, this was written (typed) on 05/17/16. Given the rate of change that the field is seeing I don't know for how long this tutorial will remain relevant…
My First Build
I bought my first set of parts mostly as a kit
Sorry for the potato…
I added links to amazon to buy the part. These are only there as an example. Please do your own research before buying parts.
There are a lot of different variations on frames so I really can't help you much here. Look up or follow the instructions that come with the frame.
This is how electricity from the battery gets to all of the components that need it. Solder the ESC's, camera power connector, and batteru connector to it. If you want anything else that needs power on the quad this is where you would connect it as well.
However be careful of what you connect to it. The power distribution board will distribute the voltage equally among all of the components. Thus if your esc, camera, or any other items are not rated for the amount of voltage from the battery they could get damaged.
If you need to connect an item that takes a lower voltage you can use a voltage regulator like this one. https://www.pololu.com/product/2109
This part of the build will need your skill in soldering so if you do not already know how to solder, either look it up online or have someone else in the lab teach you. This is hard to teach through text only. DO NOT SOLDER WITHOUT PROPER KNOWLEDGE!!! YOU CAN SEVERELY BURN YOURSELF OR SET SOMETHING ON FIRE!!!!!
While you are at the soldering station also solder on the esc's and motor's bullet connectors so that they can be connected without permanently connecting them. Never forget to cover the connectors fully with heat shrink afterwards.
This blog is a nice entry on how to power the flight controller board given different situations. We will go further into the flight controller board later on.
Once you have the power distribution board (PDB) done now is the time to figure out how you will mount everything on the frame. Depending on what kind of frame you have this will differ. But usually you will but the flight controller board and power distribution in the center of the frame, and have the esc's go out in the direction of the arms.
First mount the motors onto the arms of the frame. Take care to make sure that if the nuts on the motors go on a certain direction that the motors spin in a direction that won't cause them to spin off during flight. The nut can either go on in a clock-wise(cw) or counter-clock-wise(ccw) direction, though it isn't necessary, it is recommended to position motors with a cw nut, where it will spin in the cw direction. Similarly, ccw nuts should be positioned so that they turn in the ccw direction. This is to prevent the nut from spinning off during flight.
Then mount the PDB and the flight controller and onto the center of the frame (or wherever you decide is best). Make sure that you mount the flight controller board in the right direction. There should be an arrow pointing in the forward direction for the board.
Position the esc's properly, tying them down to the arm using zipties, electric tape, or double sided tape.
Finally connect the esc's and the motors together, making sure that their wires don't get in the way of the blade.
Do not put the blades onto the motors yet!!
Once all of the components are on the frame of the quad you will need to find the usb port on the flight controller board and find the appropriate cable to connect it to a computuer with a ground-control-station (GCS) program on it. Make sure that your flight controller board is supported by the GCS program before connecting it.
Once you have the appropriate cable and GCS program connect your quad (with the battery unplugged) to the computer and start their vehicle setup wizard. Follow their instructions closely and read each instruction carefully.
After your done with that go onto the controller setup wizard. If you have any problems with the controller not registering on the computer, re-bind the controller to the receiver (if you don't know what that is google it), double check the connection between the receiver and the flight controller board. The connecting pins might be bent. Also try closing the program and opening it up again (i.e. turn it off then on again).
One thing you should be careful about during the controller setup wizard is the arming sequence. This is the sequence you have to follow to allow the motors to run. So after turning on the controller, then the quad on you have to follow this sequence before being able to fly.
Once you have gone through all of these steps, you now have a working quad!
Now go out and crash it!!!