Whether you like drones for the cool videos they let you shoot or just like flying them around, DIY can be a great way to begin. Certainly, fully assembled, ready-to-fly models tend to be easier to use than models that need some assembly. It can make a lot of sense to go the DIY route, however, even if it does mean working a little harder.
Why going DIY makes sense
While it may not be apparent right away, assembling your own and drone can come with several upsides, especially if you are a novice.
- You get a cheaper unit upfront.
- Since these units are made of parts that can be assembled, you get to easily replace anything that breaks with cheap aftermarket parts.
- Assembling a drone can is a great way to familiarize yourself with every detail of the machine. It can make it easier for you to think technically and everything to do with it – flying it, repairing it or preparing to upgrade one day.
- There are endless customization options available.
DIY or DIY kit?
If you’re picking the DIY route, it’s possible to choose different levels of involvement. For first timers, the easy route — going with a DIY kit — makes the most sense. You get a box with all the components that you need, and merely need to follow instructions to slap everything together. With more experience and learning, you may one day be able to take the full DIY route. When you do that, you’ll be able to design your own drone, choose every component, solder everything together, and get off the ground. It can be a great way to go, but it takes experience.
How do you find the right DIY drone kit
Kits come in various price ranges. The average new entrant, however, tends to look for the best drones for less than 500. If you’re in the market for a kit of this kind, here’s how to go about your search.
Pick the right drone for the purpose: if you hope to race your drone, you’ll need look for racing kits that comes designed for extra speed, maneuverability. If you’re looking for simple fun and the ability can’t be a camera, you can choose something much cheaper.
Pick the right kind of material: DIY drone enthusiasts often build their drones out of wood, 3-D printer plastic, and aluminum. DIY drone kits, however, mostly come with frames molded out of either glass fiber or carbon fiber. Both are strong, lightweight materials. It may be a better idea to choose glass fiber because should you crash your drone a couple of times and bend a part, you will be able to simply straighten it by hand, and keep going. This won’t happen with carbon fiber.
Open frame or closed: Ready-to-fly drone kits come with special, custom-built molded frames that perfectly contain all internal components. Others come with open frame designs that aren’t as pretty. Open frames do allow much easier customization and repair, however. For a first kit, the open frame design is far preferable.
Level of completeness: If the DIY kit that you buy is stated to be ATF, it means it’s almost ready to fly — you will need to order extra components to get going. Usually, it’s the battery that you need. Kits that come without a transmitter are called bind-and-fly models. While the drone does come with a receiver module to put on the craft, it doesn’t come with a remote control for you to hold. You need to order it separately. A ready to fly DIY kit comes with everything needed in the box.
Finally, remember to look at every specification on the box, especially the one about transmission range. It makes sense to pick something that comes with a range of half a mile.