Building my first FPV drone from scratch - part 1
“I would totally play that!!!” was my instant reaction to this webcomic a few years ago and the urge to at least attempt to make it a reality has been growing ever since.
You wouldn’t even need fancy flying quadcopters, I would happily play using remote controlled cars or boats or whatever you could strap a laser tag system to. In fact, I would be giddy with excitement just flying around as if I was sat inside the vehicle - no lasers necessary!
At first I thought it would be an awesome business idea (and it still is), but I realised that I want to enjoy final product far more than I want to suffer the startup journey to get there. I’m not an electrician, I can’t afford an oculus rift and I certainly can’t afford multiple drones. Surely someone else will make it and share it soon??
It turns out FPV (First Person View) is the googlable label for the community of geeks and hobbyists that share my passion for interacting with the world vicariously through r/c vehicles. Moreover, the cost of getting involved has dropped dramatically over the years:
- Cheaper, quality mini cameras
- ‘Oculus Rifts’, ie. immersive video monitoring goggles
- Cheaper drones,
- Cheaper, lighter, and longer lasting batteries for all of the above
So I finally decided to pull the trigger after about a year of following other peoples exploits on youtube and reddit. I’m going to build my first FPV quadcopter. I will undoubtedly learn a lot along the way so I’ll blog my journey to remember it, and to encourage any other keen folk out there.
The Plan So Far
- Buy the parts
- Assemble the parts
- Learn to fly FPV
- Fail, fix, improve
- Strap lasers to the whole setup!
I bought the parts!
The UAVFutures youtube channel was a huge influence in shaping my budget. I strongly recommend checking out the video below and the additional product links included.
Out of the many options that Stew helpfully suggests, I opted for these specific parts summarised below.
At time of writing, I’m still waiting for the battery and goggles to arrive. I’ll share my experience trying to follow along with Stew’s soldering and assembly tutorial in a separate post anyway. Are you also an FPV fan? I’d love to hear any comments or suggestions or about your experiences getting started with the hobby. Similarly feel free to share any other helpful resources to check out.
You can check out Part 2 here.