Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) Racing Quad DIY Kits | Drone Racing Report | Vol 3

Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) Racing Quad DIY Kits | Drone Racing Report | Vol 3


Welcome back to the Dronucopia drone racing report, where we talk about all things FPV. Last time we were talking about Ready-To-Fly and Bind-n-Fly drone racing kits. Today we are talking about ARF, or “Almost Ready to Fly” racing kits. “Ready to Fly” kits are great for beginners as they come preassembled with everything you need to get started. “Bind-n-Fly”, or BNF kits, come with a pre-assembled racing quad. These usually just requires a separate controller to operate. These are great for pilots with multiple quads.. ..or those who already have a preferred controller. Now if you’ve honed your skills on the simulator and spend some time flying an FPV racing quad,… You may be ready for the next step: building your own drone! Unless you’re already an engineer, drone racing kits are the perfect stepping stone between flying something… …pre-assembled and building a racing drone completely from scratch. The Almost-Ready-to-Fly build kits typically come with all the components you need and it’s up to you to put them together. In the process. you’ll learn what all the parts are and how they fit together. Once you’ve assembled a drone from a kit, it will seem easy to switch out specific components in order to upgrade your drone… ….customize its performance, or repair it after a crash. Before you know it you’ll have a custom, built-from-scratch racing quad, which increases your chances of winning considerably. If you haven’t spent much time thinking about how your drone works beyond charging batteries and replacing propellers damaged from a crash… … even an ARF kit can seem overwhelming. However, once you familiarize yourself with the necessary components, it should be much more manageable. What you get in your drone racing kit all depends on the individual kit. Some kits come with everything you need to fly, from the frame to the goggles. Many kits however are more basic, and they only provide the components needed to build the quadcopter, Leaving it up to you to purchase your own radio and video transmitters receiver, goggles, camera, battery and battery charger, and more. As always, you will want to make sure that the components are compatible. So what are all the components necessary to build a functioning fpv racing quad? Let’s take a look… First off is the frame. The frame provides the base that everything else will be attached to. Racing quad frames require strength and lighter weights and are often made from carbon fiber with an open design. Frames come in a variety of different sizes measured diagonally from motor to motor and are included with nearly all build kits. Next are the motors which power your propellers to make your drone fly. Naturally, more powerful motors means faster speeds, but can also help with maneuverability, giving your drone the power to make more drastic moves. Propellers can come with two, three or four blades, and are available in a variety of sizes, the most common being 3″ and 5″. These should be matched with your motors to provide the optimal performance. The power distribution board, or PDB, send power from the battery to all the places it needs to go. Namely the electronic speed controllers, the receiver, the flight controller, the camera, and the video transmitter. You can think of it as your drones spinal cord sending electrical impulses to all it’s working parts. The electronic speed controllers, or ESC’s, translate the signal from your controller into the correct voltage and sends it to your motors. They can come as a separate unit for each motor Or as a 4-in-1 which bundles all four ESC’s into a single component. The flight controller is the drone’s central processor. Radio signals picked up by the receiver and flight information all get processed here, so that commands can be forwarded to the relevant components. The control receiver receives signal from your remote control…. it’s how you communicate with your drone. Because the receiver and transmitter work together, they must be compatible. Many times the transmitter and receiver are even sold together. The video transmitter is what sends the image captured by your camera to the video receiver in your headset. Most let you change the channel, frequency, and signal power An Antenna is also required Some transmitters come bundled with a basic antenna, although the custom options are endless. Batteries provide the power that makes your drone fly. Finding the right balance between weight and power is critical for racing drones. Naturally, you will need a battery charger that works with the batteries you are using. A good FPV camera is necessary to give the pilot the best image possible to make controlling their machine easier. It also makes for a far more intense flight experience when what you see is crisp and clear. While technically not required, we just can’t imagine flying a racing drone without a set of FPV goggles. The goggles lets you see the image transmitted from your drone in a first-person perspective as if you were sitting in the drone itself. Once you’ve picked out an ARF kit, remember you’ll need tools to do the actual assembly. Even the best pilots crash sometimes, so having a good collection of tools will allow you to make your own repairs and rebuild your quadcopter when the time comes. Once you have assembled your first kit, you’re well on your way to having the skills and knowledge to create a one-of-a-kind, custom-built racing drone that performs exactly how you want it to! Join us next time as we continue to dive into the world of FPV and drone racing have a question or idea for a topic? Comment below or visit us on facebook at Facebook.com/Dronucopia Don’t forget to check out our video series “Top-5 FPV Videos of the Week” to view our favourite FPV videos submitted by our users. You have a video you wish to share? Submit it to our Facebook group “Drone Racing International FPV”

Eugene Islam

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