DIY DRONE WITH EBAY PARTS
Jul 21st, 2019
| by: ELECTRONOOBS
PART 1 - The part list
Ok so we need a few parts to build our drone and this is the part list. First of all we need a drone body. I wanted a big drone so I went with the F450 drone shape from DJI. You could buy that body from a link below or just 3D print it with the files from this link here. Then, we need 4 brushless motors and 4 ESCs. The motors must be 2 CW and 2 CCW for the screw. I'm using big motors of 2212 and 920KV. We need a 3S or 4S Li-Po battery and a flight controller. For taht I wanted to have a barometric sensor in order to use altitude control for my drone. So I went with the NAZE32 or Afroflight board in this case. This is compatible with baseflight so we could later configure the settings of our drone. You also need a power distribution board in case that you're using the 3D printed drone. The commercial drone body usually has the power distribution integrated. Finally, you need a radio controller of at least 5 channels and a radio receiver with PPM or PWM signal output for those channels. Of course, you also need propellers.
Extra wire, solder, soldering-iron, breadboard, etc
Now we will see how to connect everything to the flight controller board and also how to make the 3D printed body for the drone. For taht you will need some special nuts for the 3D parts to make it better. See those M3 Brass Threaded Heat here on this link.
PART 2 - Schematic
Ok, so the schematic is very simple. Just connect each ESC to the motors. Always have in mind the front side of the drone, the number of the motor and the rotation direction. That's very important. If the motor is rotating in th wrong direction, just swap two of the ESC wires one with the other and you are good to go. Make sure that the screw of the propeller will close in the oposite direction of the rotation of the motor.
Connect each ESC pwm pin to the outputs from the controller 1, 2, 3 and 4. Connect just one 5V pin fron the ESCs to the flight controller Vcc pins. If you are using PPM receiver, connect that to GND, Vcc and the PPM pin to pin 1 of the flight controller. Also connect the battery wires and the buzzer and that's it.
Now this is the same schematic but using a PWM receiver. For that we need a PWM signal connected for each channel. So, connect each signal from the receiver to the flight controller and we will make the setup later in the baseflight platform. The rest of the connections are the same.
PART 3.1 - Mount the drone
Now we can mount the drone. First, if you are using the 3D printed drone, we need to add better nuts. Just buy some 3mm nuts like in the link before, heat your soldering iron, enlarge a bit the hole and press the nut inside. That will create a way better screw thread. Then you can add all the screws. We have 4 arms, one top plate and one bottom plate and a total of 40 screws and washers. Now the body is ready, we can add the rest.
Make the drone
PART 3.2 - Mount the drone
Now, the top plate has some holes but these are not compatible with my flight contrtoller and power distribution board. So, I make measurements and drill 4 holes form that. Now I will use plastic screws in order to avoid shorts and noise. Add 4 screws to the top plate. Then solder red and black wires to all pads of the power distribution. To the BAT pads I aslo add a T connector for the LiPo battery as you can see below. Then you can screw the power distribution board in place. I also add 2 nuts for each screw in order to get clearance for the next board.
Add the electronics
PART 3.3 - Mount the drone
Now is time to decide the front part of the drone. That's important. In my case is the one you can see in the photo below. That will give you information about which is motor1, motor2, etc and about the rotation direction of the motors. So, once you know the fron part, add the flight controller in place. Look at the arrow on the board. That will tell you the front side of the board as well. Then place it and tight the screws. Once you ahve the flight controller in place you can place an ESC on each arm and tight a zip tie in order to hold it in place.
The board direction
PART 3.4 - MOUNT THE DRONE
Ok, now add bullet connectors to the ESCs if you want. Then add the motrs with 4 screws each. Connect the ESCs to the motors and then the ESCs PWM cable and GND to the flight controller. Also connect one 5V from the ESCs to the board. Then add the buzzer and the BAT connection to the board. Not you have to solder the boot pins together and connect the USB because is time to make the setup.
Connect the USB
PART 4.1 - Baseflight configuration
Ok, is time to setup our configuration. First, solder together the BOOT pins on the board. Then connect the USB cable adn connect taht to the PC as well. Make sure it detects and install the needed drivers. Now go to google chrome and search baseflight or click this link. Install taht extension to your Chrome. Then open it and let's upload a firmware. make sure it detects the COM of your board. In the bottom right corner click firmware flash. Then check the no reboot sequence, do not verify and full chip erase options and click Load firmware (online) on the bottom right corner. Once the firmware was downlaoded click flash firmware. The board LEDs will flsh rapidly. Once you get the "OK" message, remove the USB and desolder the BOOT pats connection. Now the firmware is uploaded.
PART 4.2 - Baseflight configuration
Now connect back the USB and go to setup in baseflight. First click connect. Then, go to the configurtation tab and make sure you select the QUAD X type of drone. Then on the right side, if you're using PPM receiver, check the WEnable PPM input" option. Then click save and see the LEDs flashing again. Then go to the receiver tab and check if you receive the signals from the Radio. So tuen on the radio controller, make sure the reciever is connected to the flight board and see the values. You need at least 5 channels, 4 for movement and 1 to arm or disarm the motors.
PART 4.3 - Baseflight configuration
Now go into mode selection and select channel 5 to arm and disarm the motors. If you have more channels, select the mode of flight as well for horizontal, angle, or barometric sensor and click save. Now we are ready to go. You might need to calibrate the ESCs values so see this tutorial for that. Now we are ready to fly. Add the propellers but make sure you go outside. This might be dangerous. Add two CC and two CCW propellers. make sure they will push the air downwards. Now enable the radio controller, connect the battery to the drone, arm the motrs and go up. Is a bit tricky to fly...
PART 5 - See full video
See full video below for other visual details. Make sure you take distance from the drone. Calibrate the ESC, tight the propellers, charge the battery and check all connections before you fly. Go in open spaces and soft landing, maybe grass or so. I hope you like this tutorial. Subscribe and like. Thanks.