Lets continue our series on building our first FPV Drone! If you need to chatch up see Part 1.
Getting started with this FPV Drone build list was a bit overwhelming as there was terminology and technology we didn’t understand yet.
So we did our research, read a few quad articles and watched a LOT of YouTube videos.
Here’s a breakdown of our FPV Drone build so far:
- Assemble Frame ✓
- Wire Motors to ESC ✓
- Wire radio receiver to flight controller ✓
- Bind radio to receiver ✓
- VTX and FPV Camera (in progress)
- Program Radio ✓
- Setup in Betaflight (upcoming)
- Maiden Flight (upcoming)
Picking out the right parts for your first FPV drone build isn’t quite as easy as it should be if you’re a beginner like me!
You can search a website like getfpv.com, or racedayquads.com and you’ll be able to compile a pretty solid list. However, if you don’t know a lot about the different types of parts you are likely to make a mistake.
This may cause you to have to keep buying parts, like I had to do.
Not only that, but if you don’t build it the correct way your quad will have issues.
We’ve come across a few in our building process.
Here’s how we got started building our FPV Quad!
I drove up to my buddy Janson’s (IG: @jansonluedtke) house, and I have to say, we had a lot of fun!
Before I got there Janson had the motor wiring done on the frame. It looked so clean, almost like if a pro did it.
Then we added the 4-In-1 ESC and flight controller stack combo onto the quad. Xilo did a great job with this ESC/FC combo. Mounting them was fast and easy.
We wanted to check our motor connections so we connected to Betaflight.
Man, when things fired up and motors spun we were excited, just like little children!
At this point it was approaching midnight and we were both getting tired. But we couldn’t stop, we felt so close to the finish line!
We needed to add the video transmitter and FPV camera. Unfortunately that’s where the fun stopped. We did our best to follow all of the wiring diagrams and check as many YouTube videos as we could find but there’s really no step by step instructions for every type of setup.
As soon as we powered up we knew straight away we had an issue.
A small puff of smoke came out of the fpv camera. What we think happened is we ran vbat power to the camera. Being only 5v capable we are pretty sure it fried (we’ll test further at a later date).
At that point Janson and I agreed we need to go back to Betaflight to make sure everything was still working correctly with the FC.
Luckily we were all good, no issues there.
We decided to call it a night.
Beginner Recommendations on getting started with FPV Drones
We highly recommend you start with a whoop or a cheap mini FPV Drone. The bigger drones you see racing or freestyling on YouTube or Instagram are not easy to fly, especially if all you’ve ever flown are GPS drones like DJI.
- When you get into Acro mode there are no systems in place to keep you level or at a steady altitude.
- Also, the props on FPV drones are fast and can be dangerous! This is why you shouldn’t fly them indoors.
- In addition, these drones are expensive so be careful with them.
- The individual parts don’t cost much, but it’s easy to break multiple items at once, which can rack up a bill FAST!
- Minis and micros are much safer, can be flown indoors and are less complex.
At APV Drone, we started the same way, and still use smaller drones to train on. Follow our advice and it will save you time and money in the long run.