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Jun 04, 2015, 05:39 PM
Thread OP

Basic Introduction to Multicopters

**** A note about asking for help ****
Most people on RCGroups are more than happy to help a beginner. But out of courtesy please use the search to see if someone asked the same question and it was already answered. Many times people ask the same question that was answered just a few posts up the thread. When you can't find the answer with the search tool then be as specific as you can with your question. Folks are not mind readers and there are lots of different parts and versions of parts. So when you ask, tell us about the exact flight controller, esc's etc and even provide pictures of your wiring. Then don't feel bad if nobody answers. Sometimes members just don't know. Your hardware may be uncommon and folks just don't know about your particular hardware. But when you get stuck don't be afraid to ask.
************************************************** ***

This is a 7 part series, skip ahead if you like:
#1 Newbie to Newbie: Introduction to Multicopters
#2 Battery Technology
#3 Motors and Electronic Speed controllers (ESC's)
#4 Propellers
#5 Flight Controllers
#6 Radio Control Transmitters
#7 Learning to Fly

Index of articles

Troubleshooting: Multirotor wants to flip over or tip over on first flight.
Introduction to FPV
Gimbals 101

RC Basics: Soldering
RC Basics: Electric Motors
RC Basics: Explaining motor KV

RCModelReviews: Mini Quad Build Video part 1, complete build series that gives the basics needed for most any size quad..
Low cost miniquad racing drone build video PART 1 (18 min 55 sec)

Basic introduction to tuning your multirotor:
How to tune your PID on a quadcopter. (2 min 11 sec)

Basic introduction to learning to fly a multicopter:
Flite Test - How to Fly a Multirotor (16 min 27 sec)

RC Basics - Flight Controller Comparison by Painless360
RC Basics - Flight Controller Comparison (15 min 8 sec)

P.S. A little plug here for those wanting to build a big Aerial Photography multirotor for their first build. Seriously think about making a 250 mini quad first. The mini quad will teach you a lot about multirotors. It is a cheap investment in your eventual big AP rig. The props are cheap and as you crash time after time, and you will, it is easier and cheaper to fix. Building it will give you the experience to be more successful at your bigger build. If you use a mini version of a flight controller that you plan to use in your big AP rig then all the learning of the flight controller will transfer right over to the big rig. Lastly the mini quads are fun to fly and will give you a positive build experience.

As promised an image comparing the sizes of various multirotors:
Last edited by mike_kelly; Apr 04, 2021 at 10:29 AM.
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Jun 04, 2015, 07:11 PM
Oldgazer's Avatar

Well Done!

This has got to be a sticky....
Jun 05, 2015, 02:00 AM
Registered User
This is really interesting! Worth a reading
Jun 05, 2015, 08:05 AM
Registered User
Vimlossus's Avatar
Outstanding beginners guide! How can I tag this post to request it be made into a sticky?

N/M I found how to request a sticky. I thought if you hit that report post icon it would report it as negative, but it brings up a list of things to report it as, and sticky is one of them
Last edited by Vimlossus; Jun 05, 2015 at 09:25 AM.
Jun 05, 2015, 07:32 PM
DXL Team Pilot Womp
neilmc's Avatar
Originally Posted by mike_kelly
Might be useful for some people:
Newbie to Newbie Introduction To Multirotors
An excellent resource.
Jun 11, 2015, 01:22 PM
I have a degree in crashing!
NoLimitRC's Avatar
Sweet mike.....
Jun 19, 2015, 09:14 PM
Registered User

Naze 32

Would love someone pm me need help the instructions on the hyper 400 suck
Jul 09, 2015, 04:47 PM
Registered User
Hello, very interesting read! Hopefully it is not too much to ask, but can you provide a guide on selecting frames? For beginners how can we decide which components to pick given a specific payload (eg, 1kg)?
Jul 10, 2015, 08:56 AM
Thread OP
Originally Posted by jouyang3
Hello, very interesting read! Hopefully it is not too much to ask, but can you provide a guide on selecting frames? For beginners how can we decide which components to pick given a specific payload (eg, 1kg)?
That is a difficult question but you are starting correctly. You need to choose your payload first! Then decide on your desired flight time. Always remember that weight is your enemy. Next given the payload and flight time you need to estimate the props you need to lift it. The heavier and longer the flight time desired the bigger and slower moving the props need to be.

If you expect your all-up-weight (AUW) to be say 1600g, in order to hover you need 1600/4=400g thrust per motor. Then the best thing is to use eCalc to determine what props would be most efficient for this AUW. Once you determine the props you then know what the frame must support in prop size.

1. Determine your payload, the cameras and gimbal, vtx, rcvr, flight controller weight.
2. Then your hoped for flight time.
3. Use eCalc ( to determine what props would be needed:
eCalc tutorial
4. Pick a frame that can support the AUW and prop size needed.

Good Luck!
Latest blog entry: UC4H: Gimbal flight test
Jul 10, 2015, 09:34 AM
Oldgazer's Avatar
I've attached a spread sheet.

Plug in the numbers for All Up Weight, Battery Weight, Cell Count, and Motor Efficiency in grams per watt of power.

The spreadsheet will give you two numbers, Expected flight time based on exhausting the battery, and a Flight Time with a 20% reserve.

The only difficulty is finding the G/W because not every manufacturer or vendor does the testing, but the good ones like Sunny Sky and others do...
Jul 14, 2015, 08:26 AM
Registered User
j3yps's Avatar
I'm glad to have seen this in the forum. Thank you for posting mike_kelly
Jul 14, 2015, 06:13 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by j3yps
I'm glad to have seen this in the forum. Thank you for posting mike_kelly
+1 very helpful!
Jul 18, 2015, 07:48 PM
Registered User
Aug 14, 2015, 04:23 PM
Registered User
Hey I am building my first quad, here is the series I am making. Here's the video:
Beginner Build: ZMR250 Miniquad (16 min 15 sec)
Aug 25, 2015, 08:23 AM
Registered User
I like his channel for well explained details, so here it is:

Diatone #37 build part 1 (fail) (33 min 39 sec)

Diatone #37 build part 2 (24 min 49 sec)

Diatone #37 build part 3 (Cleanflight tests: alt-hold, gps-hold, rth, autotune) (22 min 36 sec)

Diatone #37 build part 4 (random stuff) (20 min 33 sec)

Diatone #37 build part 5 (obituary) (6 min 34 sec)

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