Everyone needs a hobby and the RC hobby of multirotors can be an enjoyable one. If you have ever considered entering this world then you may wonder the requirements needed to begin. In this article I will provide information on the basic equipment needed in order to begin building your very own quadcopter.
1. The transmitter
The transmitter is a radio control used to pass information to the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). There are numerous types of transmitters available and these are categorized according to brand, frequency and the number of channels. An efficient quadcopter requires a 4-channel transmitter; however, it is recommended that the 6-channel transmitter be purchased as this will work on the 2.4GHz frequency more effectively than the 4-channel one.
2. The flight control board
The flight control board can be known as the “brains” of the quadcopter because it controls the functioning of the quadcopter motor. When choosing the flight board control various considerations must be taken into account as there are numerous types of boards available for purchase. Some of these boards present GPS features with mission planning and loiter modes; whereas others are very basic and do not have these functions. When choosing your flight control board you must determine exactly what your project requires. It is recommended that, as a beginner, you do not begin with a flight board featuring many functions but choose a basic item in order to decrease feelings of confusion.
3. The motor and electronics speed controllers
The motor and electronics speed controllers (ESC) are important as they interface with the aforementioned flight control board. This means that they work in conjunction with the flight control board in receiving instructions from the transmitter. When these commands are passed along, the flight control board will determine what the motors must do in order for the quadcopter to operate; it will then inform the ESC of this and they will tell the motor how to spin.
4. The battery
In order for all the electronic components of the quadcopter to operate you will require a particular battery. Currently the lithium polymer batteries are the most popular for those engaging in this RC hobby. The lithium polymer or LiPo batteries have a unique number of cells and capacity. Each cell has a 3.7V, therefore a 1 cell battery will have 3.7V. A 2 cell battery will have 7.4V and so on. The capacity is measured in milliamp hours and the higher the milliamp hour the longer the battery life.
5. The frame
To create a quadcopter you will need a frame on which to place all these items. There are numerous frames available, some in the + configuration meaning the arms present in a forward orientation and some are in the Y configuration meaning the forward is between two arms. There is also an H frame where the forward is on the flat side. The H frame is best for FPV and aerial photography. The frame can be customized proving your quadcopter with a personal touch.