Building your first quad is one of the best parts of this hobby. This is where you get to know your craft inside and out. Build it right and you will be rewarded with a reliable quad that you can trust. Build it wrong and you might just watch your money go up in smoke. Literally.
Here are a few tips you help make your first build go smoother.
Get a feel for the building process
Find some full build videos on youtube. Watch a few to get the hang of how a quad goes together.
Choose your parts
Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want this quad to be. Is it a Racer? Freestyler? Slow, efficient cruiser? Stable camera bird? Choose the parts that suit the type of flying you want to achieve.
Get the right tools and be organised
Check the tools section. Make sure you have everything ready to go. Put things back in the same spot each time, so you don’t have to go hunting for that damn hex driver again!
Prepare an adequate work space
With your tools all laid out and ready to go, make sure your work space is clear of clutter. It makes the build process so much easier if you get a little OCD. I like to have a nice bright source of light also, like a lamp. (Tip – for those of you with ev800d, you can use the detachable lens as a pair of magnifying glasses. Perfect for micro soldering and component inspection.)
Research and documentation
Get all your wiring diagrams ready and feel free to come ask for advice on Discord if you get stuck.
You will need to learn how to solder. I recommend practising on old electronics to get the hang of things. The TS100 is the perfect iron to buy, if you are starting with nothing. It is cheap and reliable
Use leaded solder only. 63/37 rosin core solder. Rosin (flux) helps solder set the right way. You can also buy extra flux, in many forms. Many builders like liquid flux pens. Using flux is awesome, but you should clean it off with isopropyl alcohol, after soldering.
Have a plan
There’s no rush! Try a three day build.
Day 1: Assemble the frame, mount the motors, install the esc, solder up the power lead and motors. (smoke stopper test after every solder joint)
Day 2: Install FC, wire up camera, vtx, receiver (smoke stopper test after every item installed). Make sure all are working.
Day 3: Bind receiver to quad. Load up esc software (blheli s or blheli 32 depending on your esc), flash latest firmware version. Connect to Betaflight. Check binding worked (come see us on the discord if you get stuck binding) and then do a full betaflight setup.
This may be slow, but a measured approach can mean a well thought out and long lasting quad.
On the other hand quad builds can be super fast. You can smash a build out in a couple of hours, provided you have done lots of research and are comfortable with electronics. These things are really very simple once you get over the initial information overload period.
If you want your electronics to be pretty much waterproof, look up conformal coating. This stuff can be painted on to your stack/vtx etc, so you can fly in moist/wet conditions.
If you have any questions, or you find yourself stuck, come ask us in discord. Live chat or in text, there is always someone around to help! Someone else will have had the exact same issue and know how to fix it.