Rants from a Computer Engineer

Postgrad Project – Quadcopter

Well I graduated from college the past weekend with a BS in Computer Engineering. So naturally its time to take some time off and relax before I start my job at BAE Systems. And what better way to relax than to build a quadcopter.  These things always looked so neat and I wanted to get something for myself for a job well done in college. I did some research and I wanted to build one that you can 3D print (in case you break a part it can easily be replaced). I found a schematic for one on Thingiverse and it’s called the Hovership. Is a decently small frame and it seems like a good start for a beginner. Plus it looks so cute! I would totally give it a hug if it wasn’t for the propellers that would send you straight to the ER. After about two weeks of research I picked out the parts (mostly from HobbyKing) and ordered them today. Below is the BOM (bill of materials) for the quadcopter.

Hovership Frame

I wanted a frame that I could 3D-print (I currently don’t own one but will in the near future). There are a couple of reasons why I wanted the 3D-printed frame. First off, I am a new flyer and know that there are going to be a couple of crashes. So incase I break a part on the frame, I can easily reprint one. The second reason is that it is just so damn cool.

ZMR 1804 2400KV Brushless Motors

I am going to be honest here and admit that these motors were not my first pick. I wanted the SunnySky X2204S 2300KV motors but ever retailer I looked at were out of stock. The site that I bought them off of had good reviews for them and this video shows that the motors seem to have good performance. I will write a review once I get the quad up in the air. First time I have really encountered brushless motors. Turns out they function pretty similarly to stepper motors with a few differences. Here is a good explanation.

B-12A Ice Blue Series SimonK ESC

I was torn between these ESC and the Turnigy Plush ESC but what eventually sold me was the SimonK firmware. Maybe I am an Atmel fanboy but I have always loved their microprocessors and this quadcopter will be no exception.

HobbyKing KK2.1HC

Again I am going to be honest and say that this was not my first choice for the flight controller. The flight controller that I wanted was the Naze32. The Naze32 is more powerful since it has the 32bit ARM processor. However the KK2.1 is a great flight controller which is the best for beginners. I will swap it out later for a more powerful controller once I get familiar with the quadcopter.

Turnigy 9X Transmitter with Module

Decided to go a little bit overboard with the transmitter as I hope to do more RC projects in the future and I wanted to get a good transmitter. I only really need 5 channels (throttle, roll, pitch, yaw and toggle self levelling mode) but this transmitter was only $15 more and it seems like it is definitely worth the extra money. In addition to the extra channels it also has an LCD screen on the transmitter that enables you to do more complex actions like setting the subtrim. I will do a review once I get in some flights with this transmitter.


Quadcopter BOM 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *