When UAVFutures published their guide on building a $99 Pro FPV Racing Quadcopter I was intrigued. Could it really be done for that price? Could I build it better? Would the result at the end be substantially better than my first quadcopter? There was only one way to find out; Build it!
The Plan for my “Pro FPV Racing Quadcopter”
The UAVFutures “How to build a Pro FPV Racing DRONE for ONLY $99 Full Build guide” video is a circa 40 minute description of parts, assembly and flight that inspired this build. Having built my 250mm quadcopter and being close to completing the build of my Quantum Trifecta I felt I needed a new challenge, and this looked like a good one!
So now that you’ve watched the video lets address some of the realities of the $99 build.
- It’s a budget of USD99, or around AUD130 (depending on the prevailing exchange rate) and to achieve that price nearly everything would have to come in a single delivery from a single supplier.
- The build cost seems to exclude radio receiver, FPV Goggles, radio transmitter and battery so there’s an assumption that the builder already has these. In other words this isn’t designed as a first FPV Racing quadcopter, instead it’s more like the first one you’d build yourself.
- To minimise price several components are “out of date”
My $99 Pro FPV Racing Quad Parts List
- RCX Racer 210 FPV Racing Frame which is the same as the Lisan LS-210 Frame for USD12.99
- 4x Racerstar BR2205 motors for USD24.99
- Racerstar 4-in-1 20A ESC for USD23.99
- SP Racing F3 EVO Flight Controller (Clone) for USD11.99
- Matex PDB with integrated 5v/12v BEC AND Current Sensor for USD6.49
- TX526 25/200/600mW Video Transmitter for USD12.99
- Eachine 1000TVL 1/3″ CCD FPV Camera for USD12.99
- 10 Pairs of KingKong 5040×3 Propellers for USD6.86
- Flysky X6B Receiver for USD10.99 (Read why you shouldn’t buy this from Hobbyking)
Total Spend: USD124.28
Obviously I’ve spent a fair bit more than USD99, but I’ve included the receiver and a whole box of propellers! The more advanced flight controller and PDB make up the rest of the overspend.
This build really is quite simple and all the parts are very common and well understood in various online communities. The UAVFutures video shows the fastest assembly process without the attention to detail that most of us like to look at. Considering I enjoy the art of building I had to go one up!
The “Flight stack was assembled in such a way that each of the connections between the boards were soldered at one end and “plugged” into the next component allowing the stack to be “opened up” for maintenance/repair.