quadcopter parts

Welcome to How To Build A Quadcopter

This guide will take you from buying all the parts, to building and learning to fly a quadcopter in no time! The main point of this guide is to successfully get someone with little or no hobby background into flying RC DIY quadcopters.

Here’s the tutorials

  1. Assembly of the quadcopter frame
  2. Mounting the motors and speed controllers
  3. Mounting the electronics
  4. Flight controller setup
  5. Prop balancing and mounting
  6. Soldering bullet connectors

Here’s all the links to the parts

If you don’t want to use the frame I listed, you can find more here. I also highly recommend getting the Sunnysky motors.

Upgrade parts (more expensive but better quality)

  • ESC with SimonK firmware link
  • Motors with better quality bearings for less vibration link (You won’t need the 4 prop adapters from hobby king)
  • High performance props (get both 8×5 and 8x5R) link1 link2

Need Help? Join Our Facebook Group Community!

Facebook group photo

We’ve started a brand new Facebook group to help people get started with drones and post their building experience. Whether you have lots of questions, or maybe you just want to show us your first drone, you can always join the group and be part of our community. Click here to see the group.


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  • T. Watson

    Hey man – Love the site. What made you pick the CC3D over other options?

    • koreysmith123

      I really like the CC3D because it’s easier to use then multiwii, it’s more tunable then DJI NAZA, it flies really good and it’s relatively cheap (about $70) so you can buy more then one. For Sport FPV it’s one of the best. For A beginner, the NAZA will be easier to fly but it’s going to cost way more.

      • T. Watson

        Thanks for the info – In your experience would the CC3D be better than a KK2.0?

        • koreysmith123

          Yes, definitely. If you don’t have a laptop to program the CC3D, it can get kind of annoying going back and forth from inside to outside when trying to set it up, but that’s the only down side. In general, it’s easier to use and has more features than the KK2.0 board.

  • Daniel D.

    What are your thoughts on the q brain 4 in 1 esc? And on the multi wii pro flight controller. I’m new to this and following this build but thinking of modifying it some.

    Edit. I saw you mentioned something about multiwii.

    • koreysmith123

      The q brain 4 in 1 ESC should work good, but you won’t be able to re-flash them with Simonk firmware. Also if one ESC goes out, you’ll have to replace all of them. If you want some really nice ESCs, go with the Afro 20amp ESCs.

    • koreysmith123

      the multi wii pro is going to be harder to setup then most flight controllers, but it has a lot of functionality, if you can get it to work. If your not good with computers, I would get a DJI NAZA or a CC3D.

  • Andrew

    Great Guide! I’m completely new to the whole idea and was wondering if there was a kit suggestion for brand new people (I’ve never even flown RC). If not, do you have any presuggestions before getting into the hobby ie general skills, soldering skills, understanding of parts, etc… I’m worried reading some of this stuff and having no clue about it. Hoping for a Drones for Dummies or something.

  • Antoine

    [Edit] : hmm, didn’t see this “Required:Battery” on first read.. :-)

    First of all, thanks for all these tutorials !! Really cool.

    I have a question about the receiver/transmitter kit you recommend, does it come with a battery ? Turnigy recommend to buy this with it “Turnigy 2650mAh 3S 1C LLF Tx Pack (Futaba/JR)”.

    Thanks :-)

    • koreysmith123

      The transmitter should come with an AA battery tray. If you don’t want to use AA batteries, then you can buy a lipo. This guy made a trouble shooting video for the 9x if you have any issues with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsS6Ywop3cY

      • Antoine

        Thanks for the video !! Can be really useful !

  • Antoine

    Hi Korey,

    One more question : If using ESC with Simon firmware (which have 3,5mm connectors already soldered), could we use a power distribution board with 3,5mm connectors like this one : http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__23140__Hobby_King_Quadcopter_Power_Distribution_Board.html

    Thanks :)

    • koreysmith123

      Yes, that will work fine. Sorry for the late reply.

  • Bruno Makhohl

    Hi, I’m new at this. Will this setup works with others frames? I’m asking because I’m interested in the FPV models, like the QAV 400. Thank you, and keep the great job.

    • koreysmith123

      Yes, it will. For the QAV400 you will need a 4s battery and 8 inch props though.

      • Axel Gyllenkrok

        Hi Korey, thanks for a great guide!

        I am also looking to upgrading to FPV like the QAV400 as soon as i get the hang of things, is there any part listed above that I should change out to prepare for a transistion to the QAV400? Like other motors etc. This to avoid doubling up on components when upgrading.

  • Paul Carter

    you have 2 versions of the CC3D listed. is there any difference between the two other than cosmetics? and what other boards might you suggest for a beginner (considering all CC3D’s are out of stock from all vendors).

    • koreysmith123

      There is no major difference between them. They both work and fly the same. The DJI NAZA is also a good flight controller, but it’s 3 times more expensive.

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  • Gogeta

    The balancing power supply is always unavailable , can you please suggest any good similar power supply ?

  • Adrian

    Would I be able to use all your recommended parts except for the Flight controller and use the (MultiWii 328P) or (Multiwii and Megapirate AIO Flight controller) instead, also do you have and guidance on which camera to use and what I’d need. Thanks :)

  • Hector

    Hi Korey,
    I am a newbe at quads and really excited about building one. I plan to go along with your recipe here. I was wanting to know if you have any pics or videos of the finish quad that you could share with us. Thanks.

  • jab

    how time flight? and distance ?

  • Ben Ryan

    If I’m building a quad do I need the adapter for any battery, if so how many would I need?
    Thanks :)

  • Arun

    I’m new to building drones. So excuse a newbie question. To control the drone remotely via RC, what extra gear do I need? Is the flight controller pre programmed? As for programming the controller, is the code open source? Thanks.

  • Edward Liu

    Hey! I am looking for a different transmitter and receiver… to save a couple bucks, instead of the one you recommended in the My First Drone tutorial. How do you think the FlySky FS-T6 2.4ghz Digital Proportional 6 Channel Transmitter and Receiver System will work out? Thanks!

  • David Huynh

    so i can build a quad for 300 ish, or buy a parrot, or someting similar for near the same price.

  • Keric Shock

    Would there be anyway to mount a go pro or a light camcorder to this design or does it not have enough power to lift itself and a camera?

    • koreysmith123

      It does have enough power. There just isn’t a specific place to mount a camera. You would have to figure that part out on your own.

  • Mohammad Ali

    What will be the cost of making this drone?

    • koreysmith123

      Somewhere around 350.

  • Fizzy

    I added up the total expense of the parts you recommended to be about $350 (including extra props). Is this a representative price for a diy drone? I’m a poor college student and I’m not sure I can swing that much.. Any suggestions?

    • gee

      im in northern ireland so my prices are in pounds sterling but if you add one third its close to us dollars. i have priced a 250mm racing kit for £105 or about $160 ready to fly, im just buying the parts as i can afford them from china. to add fpv would cost around another £100 max.
      be frugle and shop around, your first flyer doesnt need to cos
      t a fortune but can be upgraded as you go. do buy the simonK esc units though, they do seem to be the better items.

      • anand

        please give ur mail id .

        • gee

          i dont mind replying through disqus, giving away personal info on the net is a bit mad these days ;-)

  • Christian Castañeda

    Hi, instead of openpilot I can use ArduPilot? Thank you in advance.

    • koreysmith123

      You can use whatever flight controller you want, as long as you know how to set it up.

  • koreysmith123

    I’m really sorry about that. I fixed the adapter link.

  • mike

    hello am new at this, can I replace Power distribution board for this


    • gee

      yes that looks like a great board, i might make mine in the same way. it would allow a controller to be dropped out after a crash or broken arm. spare motors are a good idea to carry too!

  • Jeyabal

    Hi there.I am jeyabal from india, and i have an idea of making a quadcopter for my final year project.I want to know if i can get parts easily and how much it will cost?

    • Prasanna Bhad

      me too

    • neeraj

      Hii I am neeraj from india..i want to know.. How I get blueprints of quadcopter..if anyone have blueprints..so please sent it on my e-mail (neerajsharma1580@gmail.com)

      • TylerDurden

        Hello, I am from Holland (Netherlands) and we design, build and figure everything out ourselves. Something you guys, students, should do as well.

        “Copy and paste was already included in the early versions of the Microsoft packages. Re-inventing the wheel over and over again”.

  • Travis Bergsgaard

    Hello. Will these same parts work if I add the dead cat conversion kit to that frame?! With the SimonK Firmware ESC? Thank YOU!!

    • Travis Bergsgaard

      And does the DJI NAZA-M lite work?

  • Kristy Raven

    will this drone i build be able to be controlled by a smart phone??

    • koreysmith123

      Not unless you get another flight controller, like the DJI NAZA V2 and IOSD mini.

  • karin khera

    Are there any flight controller that allows you to do some programming such as flying commands?

  • Jeremy Rappa

    Being interested and very new to the idea. can you list some tools I might need to build?

    • andy

      small allen keys 1-4mm, small screwdrivers, pair of needle pilers, soldering iron, solder, craft knife

  • Prasanna Bhad

    do there have to be 2 Transmitters and receivers

  • Ken Sanders

    Will I be able to attach my GoPro to this or should I go with something else?

  • Roberto Carlos Del Valle

    Can I use the pixhawk controller with these parts? Thanks

  • Isaac Hart

    Will a GoPro be able to attach to this?

  • Frank Zybert

    The shipment from HK is about half the price of the parts. Isn’t there a place in the US to buy them that would be cheaper overall?

  • Nevs

    Can you put 5″ props instead of 10″ on these motors?

    • gee

      you have to be carefull of what the motor manufacturer says can be fitted on the motor as this effects rpm, too small a blade will allow over rev and damage the motor plus you would loose lift power.

  • Noorhisham Noordin

    Admin mind if i share this super duper easy cheap build i want to share, thanks to this website that teaches me a lot. Its time to upgrade myself. :)

    Hobbyking Mini Quadcopter Frame with Motors (550mm) : $33.95usd
    Q Brain 4x20A Brushless ESC 2-4S 3A SBEC : $30usd
    Hobbyking 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx V2 (Mode 2) : $25.10usd
    B graded 2200mah 3sLipo (Cheapest lipo but i recommended Turnigy) : $6.99usd
    Propellers 7035 : $5usd
    T plug : $1.99usd
    Servo connectors : $4.99usd
    Gold plated bullet connectors : $8usd
    Cement glue : $1.50usd
    Double sided tape : $3.50usd
    Total : around $120usd only!

    • Raj Kumar

      Where can I buy these parts? Do you have instructions for assembly? Can I mount a camera on it?

  • Red Green

    Buy a CrazyFlie copter kit. It costs less than this. It is a quad copter you have to build.

  • Egor Goz

    is everything in this list going to fit QAV250 frame? (obviously, besides the props) if not, could you please recommend me something? Thank you!

    • gee

      check my reply to fizzy, further up the page // my build is a quv 250 racing build also.

  • Eric Senn

    Can this quadcopter hold a go pro and still fly good?

  • Guest

    Hello Korea smith I am from India .I and my friends are planning to build a quadcopter.the only problem we are facing is the availability of the flight controller.The cc3d is not available.Can you suggest any other flight controller

  • Guest

    Hello I am from India.My friends and I are planning to build a quadcopter.the cc3d flight controller is not available.can you please suggest any other flight controller ?

  • Guest

    Hello,I am from India.i am planning to build a quadcopter .but I am not able to get the cc3d flight controller.can you suggest any other flight controller and how to set it up or program it?

  • Miz

    Hello I am from India.I am planning to build a quadcopter.But I am not able to get the cc3d flight controller.Can you suggest any other flight controller and how to set it up or program it ?

  • Miz

    Hello,I am from India.I am planning to make a quadcopter.But I could not get the radio transmitter with the screen .Can I use any other transmitter without the screen ?

  • Santiago Zubillaga

    can i replace the CC3D OpenPilot with a 3DR Pixhawk?

  • Arif

    How can i get live video streaming in my android from the quad?

  • bline22

    Thanks for the tutorial. I am hoping my son and I can give this a whirl. Really new to this but looks like fun.

    We are wondering how well would this perform in windy conditions? If not well, what can you do to allow it to?

    We live where the wind seems to be a bit more of a problem then for many and want to make sure before doing this we can use it once complete even if windy.

    Thanks again.

  • AirFlem

    So the “Turnigy 9X 9Ch Transmitter w/ Module & 8ch Receiver (Mode 2) (v2 Firmware)” is out of stock for an unknown period of time here in the US. I’d like to see about picking up an alternative radio/receiver, but I just want to make sure there aren’t any unique features I’m giving up by doing so. In particular, anything that would cause problems to someone using your walk-through. Perhaps you have an alternate radio you might suggest instead of the Turnigy.

  • Ayush

    the total expense of the diy drone is more than a drone which can be bought brand new. There are so many good drone for less than 350$ and also with a good camera

  • Zane Irizarry

    Would this flight controller work as well (OpenPilot CC3D Flight Controller STM32 32-bit Flexiport)