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    Respected Pilot Pull_Up's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    South Oxfordshire, UK
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    New Video Series and Blog - Building your own DJI quad... On the Kitchen Table!

    So as you’ve seen my 7-year-old son Tom and I have decided that it’s about time we learnt a little bit more about what makes our amazing DJI Phantom 2 Vision tick. Rather like modern cars where there’s very little need for an owner to ever “get their hands dirty” under the hood, the ready-to-fly range from DJI is a marvel of turnkey, out-of-the-box “gas and go” design. However when it comes to understanding the relationship between flight controller, speed controllers, different size props, gyros, cameras, gimbals, radio gear, etc., there’s probably nothing better than actually starting from scratch and building your own - so that’s what we’re going to do! We hopefully aim to show you that armed with just a little bit of knowledge and some basic equipment anyone can build an ARTF quad without being an electronics genius or having a fully equipped workshop or “man-cave”. We will, of course, be building ours ‘On the Kitchen Table’.

    Using the DJI Flamewheel F450 frame as our starting point coupled with a NAZA V2 flight controller we’re not only going to learn how all the major components of a quad (despite video title I really don’t like the use of the word “drone”, blame search engines) work together, we’re also going to be learning some new skills like soldering and - hopefully - how to successfully flight test and tune a hand-built quadcopter. We also need to get our heads around “traditional” lipo batteries and their use and charging as we’ve been spoilt with the “idiot-proof” DJI smart battery technology thus far. I’m sticking with DJI gear for the build as I both like the quality of their stuff thus far, and I’m somewhat familiar with their terminology and particularly with the basics of the NAZA - although I’ve bought a full, unfettered version rather than the somewhat simplified version to be found in the Phantom 2 range.

    We haven’t got everything we need, and we’re going to be saving our “pocket money” monthly to buy additional required components as we go along. But what we’ve got now to get ourselves started is an F450 ARTF kit (which comes with the frame itself, motors, props and electronic speed controllers (ESCs)) and the NAZA unit. We’ve also bought ourselves a soldering station and some sundry bits and pieces like cable ties, double-sided tape, etc. When we do a new video I’ll blog here about it with extra details like makes and models of any equipment we use to help us build (and our opinion of if it’s any good) and expand upon any tips or tricks we find ourselves learning along the way.

    I hope you find the series interesting, especially if you’re not far behind us on the decision to make your next quadcopter a self-built one. Hopefully the mistakes we make and learn from will help some to avoid any pitfalls we encounter along the way. The next video will take a more detailed look at the components that you get with both the NAZA and the Flamewheel kit and give some resources we’ve found with information covering the build and our plans for what we eventually intend to fit to the quad. There’s no timetable for this, though, so we’ll post new videos and blogs in the series when we’ve actually got something worth sharing, rather than sticking to a rigid release schedule and having little of value to share.

    As ever, all comments gratefully received here and on YouTube and I always do my best to respond to people personally if I can.
    Last edited by Pull_Up; 04-21-14 at 09:53 AM.

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