Quadcopter workshop

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Justa copter 1-1.jpg
Participants Justa
Skills basic electronics, arduino, construction, Common sense
Status Planning
Niche Mechanics
Purpose Fun


  • Talk given about 'my quadcopter and me'
  • Workshop about quadcopter theory given on 20131130. Slides available, see Workshop Materials
  • Workshop date to be planned for figuring out what to order and where. Expect begin of next year.


I've recently finished my first quadcopter build (justa_copter_1) and have gone through the throes of learning how to fly it (justa_learning_to_fly). This obviously means that I am now an expert in the field of quad-copters and am fit to edumahcate the masses on proper construction and flying of these things, right ?

Well, let's just say that I know that there are at least a few people also interested in getting up to speed with this whole multi-rotor thing and it might be nice to do a series of talks and/or workshops on the subject to get people familiar with the concepts, up to speed with the required materials/skills and finally get the aircrafts constructed and flying.


Here's how I see things going:

  • A presentation on 'Me and my quadcopter, a lovestory' or 'Why wont you fly you piece of shit!'
  • A talk on the basics of quadcopters, what makes them fly, how they are put together and what is required to do so. A write-in for a workshop (series).
  • A workshop (series) that will be split in a
    • Planning phase: What do you desire, what platform/design satisfies your needs. Explanation of the different options.
    • A short 'ordering' workshop. Where to get all that stuff now you've had a good think about it; make sure you order the right things (and enough of it!)
    • Putting the stuff together, together. Grab all the stuff that got in the mail and bring it to the space, we'll make something pretty
    • Tuning and flying (likely following directly after the 'put together' part, but repeated again soon again)


DIY quadcopter; ducttape included

I expect this to be something that will take a total of 2 to 3 months to complete and cost from 120 to 800 euro, depending on your wishes. To give you a basic idea for a quadcopter and it's costs, see justa_copter_1. In general , the costs are:

  • Frame: from 10$ and up
  • Motors: Generally around $10, you need four (or more ?) and one spare (trust me)
  • Speed controllers: Around $10 a piece, you need one per motor (and a spare)
  • Batteries: Again, (surprise) around $10 for one that'll fly a small quad-copter for about 15 mins. You'll want two at least (3s 1800mAH in my case)
  • Flight controller: between $15 and $250 dollar, depending on features. A $30,- board will do you really fine, however
  • Propellers: At around $3 per set of 4, you'll want a few sets, they do tend to break. Let's say 4 sets for $12.
  • Possibly prop-adapters: often supplied with motors. Good to have a few spares. $4 per set.

The justa_copter_1 has a direct cost of around $122 this way in motors, controllers, brains, battery ; about $39 in spares laying on the shelf


Recoupable/re-usable costs:

  • Transmitter/reciever set; preferably at least 6 channels. Around $40 for a set. $10 for extra RX-unit. Can be used for more/other models
  • Battery-charger: Around $15 to $40 for something useful; some models will charge all kinds of interesting batteries for RC or other projects

The justa_copter_1 has a transmitter I bought for a different purpose, before. I did by a battery-charger that is 'future proof' and will charge more heavy duty batteries as well as the ones I currently needed.


I aim to start the first of the above series at the next first TECHINC presentation-parties and proceed to do the next parts in the months directly after that. If you have any questions or remarks beforehand (or during) please contact me!


(See also status)

Since the announcement on 20130821, a fair number of people have voiced their interest in attending the workshop(s); either to construct a (new) multirotor from scratch, to repair/fix their earlier attempts or to simply 'soak in the atmosphere'. To this end; I've decided to place the first talk before the end of september; hopefully combined with a 'party' of other talks/etc. Workshops to follow soon/directly after.

The following list of people replied on the mailinglist. I will list their aliases (where available).

  • Erwin-c64
  • Ultratux
  • Wizzup
  • Brainsmoke
  • The_Jinx
  • Stef
  • Damnlie
  • Cash Lo
  • AndreasR
  • Mariejel (can't attend the 30th)
  • RobertAtkins
  • Erwinsch
  • HakIT
  • Guido
  • phicoh Phicoh Copter 1 (did not not reply on the mailinglist, is more interested in traditional helicopters, but likes to learn about the electronics, is going to get a simulator that probably also provides models for quadcopters)
  • Narya
  • Amraam
  • Control-K
  • Okke


To keep track of all the stuff already done, I'll keep a list of materials/stuff produced for it below.

  • Slides of the Quadcopter Workshop given on 20131130, for those who missed it. 137 slides; enjoy. Please do not re-use without permission.