Essential Tools and Materials for Building FPV Drones

Essential Tools and Materials for Building FPV Drones

Here is an inventory of important FPV instruments and supplies for constructing and repairing FPV drones. I’ll make suggestions what merchandise you may also wish to get which might be helpful for troubleshooting and constructing.

Getting the “important instruments” listed on this publish needs to be sufficient to get you began with constructing and repairing a quadcopter. However it will be good to have a number of the “good-to-have instruments too, however by no imply they’re mandatory.

All the hyperlinks on this web page are affiliate hyperlinks. It doesn’t price you something, however if you happen to make your buy by way of certainly one of these hyperlinks I’ll obtain a small fee to maintain this weblog going.

Table of Contents

These are the really useful and must-have instruments for constructing and repairing your mini quad.

FPV Toolkit

Toolkits which might be designed particularly for FPV include many helpful instruments. It’s superior if you happen to don’t have already got most of those instruments, and often this works out to be cheaper than buying every of this stuff individually. They won’t be the highest quality, however will definitely be sufficient to get your began.


Soldering Tools

Choosing soldering iron and solder tin will take a complete weblog publish to elucidate. And there are different associated instruments you would possibly wish to get too which make soldering simpler and the soldering high quality higher.

I like to recommend getting the TS100 soldering iron:

As for solder, I’d suggest:

And you additionally wish to get some solder paste (flux):

Soldering Helping Hands

Soldering requires a minimum of 4 palms – one to carry the iron, one for the solder and two others to carry the elements. That’s why you wish to get some “soldering serving to palms” if hiring an assistant is just too costly.


Hex Screw Driver Set

We largely use hex screws on this passion, so getting a set of hex screwdrivers is extraordinarily essential. The most typical sizes you have to are:

  • 1.5mm
  • 2.0mm
  • 2.5 mm

Here are some good choices:


Wire Cutters

multicopter-building-tools-wire-cutter

I exploit wire cutters for reducing zip ties, electrical wires and so on. When I’m being lazy I’d use it to strip wires too earlier than soldering, not one of the best apply but it surely works.


Pliers

multicopter-building-tools-pliers

For gripping elements whereas working with different instruments (for instance when soldering a wire to an XT60 or ESC energy, the wire would possibly turn into too scorching to carry by hand). It may also be used as a nut wrench.


Prop Nut Wrench

We generally use 5mm nylon lock nuts to safe propellers on motors, it’s not a simple job to tighten and undo them with out correct instruments.

My favorite might be the Spedix one-way bearing wrench: https://oscarliang.com/product-sdun


Multimeter

A digital multimeter (DDM) can be utilized to troubleshoot your quad’s electronics, verifying voltage outputs, quick circuit and so on.

I’ve a complete tutorial explaining how one can use a digital multimeter on an FPV drone. Some good DDM buy choices are:


Smoke Stopper

A “smoke stopper” is a testing system that you simply join between the FPV drone and LiPo battery. You use it while you plug within the battery for the primary time to see if the drone has a brief circuit, which may probably injury your elements with no smoke stopper.

I like to recommend the Vifly ShortSafer V2 (evaluate), it really works and you should purchase it off the shelf:


LiPo Voltage Checker

By merely connecting the stability lead of a LiPo battery to a LiPo checker, it tells you the voltage of the battery, in addition to the voltage of every cell. It’s an essential instrument to have to watch the state of your LiPo batteries on the go.


Your FPV mates will certainly be impressed by these instruments 🙂

Electric Screwdriver

Not mandatory however a godsend if you need to do a bunch of 20mm, 30mm lengthy screws typically. Simply press a button and the screwdriver will do the remainder for you. They additionally include a big selection of screwdriver bits, which may prevent from shopping for these screwdrivers individually.

I like to recommend the ES126, it’s fairly highly effective and good high quality.

Bench Power Supply

A bench energy provide (PSU) has variable voltage output that may energy many issues, together with your TS100 soldering iron, take a look at your quad, FPV elements, LiPo charger and so forth.

My favourite in the intervening time is the ToolkitRC P200. It’s versatile and compact.

Tweezers

Tweezers are used to carry and transfer small elements. cross-lock tweezers are most popular as a result of they apply strain while you launch them, they gained’t let go of your work even if you happen to set them down.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3sMLlK7


Wire Strippers

multicopter-building-tools-wire-stripper

I’ve one however I hardly ever use it (largely as a result of laziness), I simply use my cutters or scissors to strip wires many of the occasions. But wire strippers present extra constant and exact outcomes if you’re a perfectionist.


Heat Gun

multicopter-building-tools-hot-air-gun

Heat gun, or hot-air gun, is principally used to shrink heat-shrink insulation tubes. Yes, you possibly can simply use a lighter, however warmth weapons present extra constant warmth and don’t depart burn marks.


File Set

multicopter-building-tools-file-set

You’ll use these recordsdata to switch and clear up issues like carbon fiber body components, giving them a pleasant and clean end.


Digital Caliper

multicopter-building-tools-vernier-gauge-caliper

Useful for exact measurement as much as 0.1mm.


Digital Scale

multicopter-building-tools-digital-scale

Every gram counts for RC fashions that fly, so having an correct instrument to weigh your quadcopter and elements is essential. Having 1g precision is nice sufficient typically, however 0.1g is even higher. Make positive most capability is over 1kg, if you happen to plan to construct bigger fashions you would possibly wish to select one with even greater weight restrict.


Clamp Meter

A clamp meter means that you can measure present instantaneously by clamping the jaws round a wire with out the necessity to break into the circuit to take measurements. It’s able to measuring greater present than a multimeter, however the accuracy could be decrease and they’re pretty costly.


Kapton Tape

Kapton tape is principally non-stretchy translucent electrical tape. It can face up to excessive temperature and gained’t soften simply, due to this fact is nice for masking PCB when soldering, and wrapping elements while you don’t have the suitable sized clear heatshrink.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3sGtu7u


Watt Meter

A watt meter can measure present drawn and energy consumption. It’s helpful for testing motor and even measuring the facility of a complete quadcopter.


Motor Thrust Testing Stand

You will want a motor thrust stand for testing motors, propellers and ESC. You can measure thrust, present draw (energy), RPM and so on.

Soldering Fume Extractor

multicopter-building-tools-soldering-smoke-filter

Solder fumes are very dangerous in your lung. Some individuals can turn into sensitized to flux fumes, particularly from the older rosin flux utilized in cored solder, and get respiratory issues.


RF Power Meter

For testing and measuring radio/video transmitter output energy. ImmersionRC Power Meter V2 is an compact and reasonably priced possibility.


FTDI Adapter

multicopter-building-tools-usb-serial-converter-adapter

FTDI adapter, aka serial converter, may be helpful for programming ESC, OSD, FC and so on. In the occasions of broken USB port in your FC, you can even use it to attach your FC to your pc by way of one of many UART.


Propeller Balancer

multicopter-building-tools-Propeller-Balancer

A pleasant addition if you happen to fly 7″ or bigger quadcopters, these massive propellers would possibly want balancing for the absolute best efficiency. Mini quad propellers similar to 5″/6″ and smaller don’t usually require prop balancing.


Electrical Tape

multicopter-building-tools-electrical-tape

Electrical tape is mostly a must have each time working with electrical stuff. It’s nice for insulation and holding components in place in your FPV drone construct. I additionally use it for masking when I’m soldering.

I solely use 3M Super 35, it’s stretchy vinyl and fairly versatile, nice for wrapping motor wires or ESC on the drone arms too.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ngQNn5


Double-sided Tape

Double sided tape is for sticking elements contained in the construct.


Zip Ties

Useful sizes (width): 2mm, 3mm and 4mm: https://oscarliang.com/product-m5zz


Electrical Wires

Get your electrical wires in numerous gauges, generally used sizes for five″ FPV drones are 12AWG, 14AWG for energy, 20AWG for motors, and 28AWG for alerts. The measurement requirement depends upon the present going by way of the wire, take a look at this information about electrical wires and connector for extra element.


Heat-shrink Tubes

Get numerous sizes for various purposes, e.g. 2mm, 3mm for motor wires and XT60 pigtail, 20mm, 25mm for ESCs / RX, and so on.


Battery Pads

battery pad will cease your battery from sliding, or getting punctured by the screw heads on the body. The greatest battery pads available on the market proper now might be the Ummagrip:

Original Version (3mm thick)

Lite Version (1.5mm thick)


Thread Locker

Information about thread locker, principally it prevents screws from coming free as a result of vibration.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Qrl5aV


Hardware

M3 Stainless Steel Screws Assortment: https://amzn.to/3tOpPpA

M3 Nylon Hardware Kit:

Banggood – http://bit.ly/2AB4p6s
Amazon – https://amzn.to/3xlFMph

Silicone Conformal Coating

By coating this in your electronics, it makes it water proof! You can be taught extra in my tutorial.


Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol can be utilized as a degreaser, solvent and cleansing agent. You can use it to wash residue from burnt solder flux, in addition to simply basic cleansing of your electronics. It may also be used to take away sure varieties of glue, in addition to silicone conformal coating.


Edit History

  • April 2015 – Post created
  • October 2015 – Updated with photos
  • May 2017 – 10 extra gadgets added
  • Apr 2021 – Shortened web page URL, reviewed and re-organized gadgets, up to date product hyperlinks