Quadcopter Tips and Tricks on Building, Maintenance and Flying
Here are a ton of tips and tricks on building, maintaining and flying mini quad (aka FPV racing drones). Some of which also apply to RC models in general.
- How to repair RX (radio receiver) antennas – don’t panic when you damage your RX antennas, fixing/replacing them is easier than you think
- How to remove stripped aluminium screws – aluminium screws can strip and become impossible to remove, here I will show you how I tackle that
- Protect your LiPo batteries from physical damage – An excellent way to protect our LiPo batteries is to cover them with protection such as rubber heatshrink and PVC corners
- Keeping LiPo balance leads out of the way – or they can get damaged by spinning propellers in the air – simply use a rubber band
- Don’t throw away broken 4in1 ESC, replace and solder a single ESC off the power and ground and signal wire, you might be able to keep flying with that
Use all 4 motor screws!
I see people often use only 2 or 3 bolts mounting their motors on the arm. But it’s best to use all 4 motor screws whenever possible, unless you are really striving for light weight. Motors make vibrations and your screws can get loose over time. Having 4 screws minimizes the chance of losing your motor mid air.
ESC / Motor Wires Protector
Your propellers are flexible plastic, and they can bend (aka prop deflection) and strike your ESC or motor wires mounted on the arms in a crash. To avoid this, simply put a piece of stiff plastic sheet on top of the arms. You can get the material from broken propellers, or water bottles.
Cover Electronics with Tape when Soldering
You can accidentally drop solder on components when soldering and destroy it! Cover it with tape so it won’t happen! I prefer to use masking tape, kaptain tape also works.
How to Mount Vibration Dampers – The easiest way!
DIY GoPro/XiaomiYi Camera protective Case
Best camera mounts are usually 3D printed in TPU, but no 3D printer? No worries, you can make one out of foam.
I love recycle motor foam packaging (this one is from Cobra 2204 motor ). Cut some holes big enough for the USB connection, SD card, and the record button.
Put an extra piece of foam to cover the LCD screen as well. And it also works well reducing jello as the foam absorb some vibration.
Use Antenna extension lead to protect your VTX
If you install the antenna directly on the VTX, chances are you can break it in a crash, pulling the antenna connector off along with the solder pads on the PCB. The damage is irreversible, and very difficult to fix. Try find the copper trace and scrape off the mask as shown here.
To prevent this from happening, I recommend using an antenna extension lead between the VTX and antenna. You can mount the extension lead on the frame so that it relives the strain off the VTX connector in a crash.
- Aug 2015 – Article Created
- Jun 2017 – Article updated with 8 more tips
- Oct 2018 – Updated with a few more tips
- July 2019 – Added a few more tips, removed a few obsolete ones