Flying a drone is always a cool thing to do, especially when the weather allows it.
If you liked hacking together things when you were a kid, and you still love building stuff, then building your own drone is something that takes this experience to the next level. But building a drone from scratch is pretty damn hard, especially if you’re not a battle-tested engineer.
First, you need to know the essential parts of a drone. Then you need to select the high-quality ones, making sure they work and are compatible with each other. But, even if you managed to buy the necessary parts, here comes the next challenge. You need to understand how drones work on a technical level. It’s definitely not easy, especially if you’re just starting out.
But if you still think you need to be an engineer or super talented to build a drone, then believe me, you’re dead wrong. It’s easier than you think. Here is my story.
I was bold enough to start building my own racing drone without any engineering experience, following only my passion and curiosity. And it was a struggle. Since I had to figure out how the parts fit together, I ordered them and hoped for the best that they were going to work together. When everything arrived, I was so excited to put things together.
I was reading guides all day long to figure out how the parts connected and worked together. I spent countless hours tweaking my drone, screwing the motors to the frame, adding the speed controller and connecting other parts such as the flight controller and the power distribution board.
I thought putting the parts together was enough and the only thing I needed was to buy some batteries for the remote control, then I’d be ready to get out and have the first test flight. I couldn’t be more wrong. Surprisingly, it’s not enough to put the hardware together. You need to take care of the software as well.
But before you freak out, the good thing is that you don’t need to write a single line of code. But you need to configure your drone, and there is software to do exactly that.
I spent a few hours tweaking my computer to establish the connection between my drone and the configuring software running on my computer. This software helps to calibrate the drone and configuring things like failsafe (the thing that happens when your drone loses connection – it’s super important, trust me).
I watched countless low-quality guides to figure out things; several hours later, we were set. Let’s fly the drone! Back then, I was living in a city without any parks nearby, so we decided to have the test flight in the apartment. What could go wrong? (Definitely not recommended.) I turned on the drone, armed the remote control and pushed the take-off switch. The engines started running. This is it, we’re getting there – I thought. But even though the motors were spinning like hell, the drone didn’t take off. So, I had to figure out what went wrong.
Teaming up with my friend, we went through the software configuration and everything seemed fine. Once we closely examined the propellers, we realized that some of them were upside down, blowing the air up, pushing down my drone to the ground. Rookie mistake. We spent another hour figuring out how the propellers should be installed. (It took way longer than expected.) Eventually, we had our test flight #2, still in the room.
We turned the drone on, set the remote control, and tried again… The drone took off! Finally, we did it! I can’t describe the feeling when you build something and despite the many mistakes and difficulties, it works.
This experience made me think that I shouldn’t be the only one who tried to build a drone without much tech knowledge. I wanted to help others experience this cool feeling by sharing my step-by-step guide and the essential quality parts I used to build my drone.
I did everything to save others from the frustrating parts—the worry about compatibility and quality. So, I launched a website, where I help drone enthusiasts build the exact racing drone I built. If you have always dreamed about building your own racing drone and want to have some fun besides flying, then feel free to check out my website.