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Drone

How to build a drone

Drones took our minds like children! When you consider building a drone manually, you should know a little about some of the knowledge and components that we will study on our website. To build your own drone you must differentiate between two types of construction:

  1. Building using the tools available on the market, only you buy and install parts, like the pieces in our site.
  2. The second type for professionals is the complete manual construction from scratch so that you will buy all the pieces according to the specifications that you want or search for alternatives and use electronic controls such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Well, the information above may seem difficult, but now let’s talk more about How to build a drone?

To build a drone you need to know a little bit about the basics of aerodynamics in order to understand how the drone flies. You can read this lesson for this purpose (How Drone Fly) after you understand how to fly a drone, you should be familiar with the parts in the drone It generally does not exceed the 10 pieces of most modern Drones which are as follows:

Power unit

We mean batteries here, but in drones or any type of RC aircraft like a helicopter, we do not use normal batteries that describe a dry battery. Whether it can be recharged or not like the one in the following images:

Because drone planes usually consume a high current and have a specific voltage, and for this the manufacturers have made special batteries for the planes, vehicles and devices that need a high current and can be used for many times any long life. These batteries are called lipo batteries. This type of battery is the most common in the construction of drones.

You can easily distinguish it from other types of batteries. My understanding is that they have large capacity, connectors and unique electrical characteristics. The lipo battery is chosen according to the motor used in the construction of the drone. Choosing this battery requires a few skills, such as choosing the number of cells, charger, capacity, and other characteristics that we will study on our website. The following picture shows the lipo battery:

Drone Motors

The first thing that you design in building your drone is the weight your drone will lift. Therefore, the engine is the dominant unit in the drone, as it is responsible for generating the lifting force to raise the drone up.

However, even the choice of the drone motors has some new electrical characteristics because the drone motors are not a regular DC motor, the drone motors are called the Brushless DC motor, this type of motor needs a special controller called by ESC (Electronic Speed Controller), as it has three pins like AC motors, from the motor we can find out the total weight that a drone can lift, for example if an motor you will use can lift 1000 grams and the drone that you will build has 4 motors, then 4 * 1000 is equal to 4000 grams that a drone can lift (Total weight). So the process of selecting the motor is important and there are many details about these motors such as the constant voltage, weight and fan diameter used, and the following picture shows the Drone Motor (Brushless DC motor):

Inside Brushless DC motor

But why do we use electric motors instead of mechanical motors?

In fact, mechanical engines can be used, but their cost is high and results in a lot of noise and their weight is heavy compared to electric motors, in addition to that they are considered somewhat dangerous. Also, mechanical motors require a different control method, a fuel tank and a lot of emissions that pollute the environment.


Drone Structure (Frame)

The choice of the structure of the drone aircraft’s is a deliberate process in several aspects related to the choice of weight and the dimensions of the fan used, so that the size of the structure affects the process of selecting the fan and the motor and drone speed as the design affects the air flow process according to the laws and characteristics of aerodynamics, so that all components of the drone are interconnected with each other.

The companies have designed many different shapes for us, such as the square, rectangular, triangular frame and more shapes, including the near and far from the surface of the earth, i.e. the thickness of the frame parts, and it is made of strong materials to withstand mechanical shock and vibration. However, you can build the framework manually if you have the necessary qualifications, and the following picture shows the basic frame:

You notice from the picture above that the frame has many layers and places dedicated to installing electric motors in addition to a lot of screws for the provisions of fastening and easy dismantling and installation.


Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)

Drone motors and most aircraft motors and RC vehicles use the ESC unit to control the speed of the motors. We cannot directly connect the motors to the main Drone control unit like arduino or direct with receiver. This unit can supply the drone motors with the appropriate current and voltage without causing any concern for the combustion of the motor. ESC unit is usually connected to a lipo battery. And its choice depends on the specifications of the chosen motor, for example if the motor needs 30 Amps, the ESC that you must choose will be able to supply the motor with 30 Amps without burning. 

Did you see?
The choice of the motor plays an important role in the selection of all components of your drone, as we have said previously. Selecting the structure, battery and ESC unit depends on the motor chosen, and the following picture shows the basic shape of ESC unit:

80 Amps ESC Unit

The amperes supported by this board (ESC Unit) differ depending on the motor used. Please review the manufacturers recommendation when choosing ESC unit for your motor, but in general it is advised to choose a safety factor in choosing this unit, for example if the engine for your drone needs 50 amps, you will purchase The ESC unit gives 60 amps to build completely safe Drone. This lesson explains how to connect the ESC unit Electronic Speed Controller (ESC).


Transmitter and Receiver

The transmitter and receiver in drone not much different from other RC control vehicles, so the choice of the transmitter and receiver depends on the number of channels that your drone uses. We mean by the number of channels the number of functions that you can control, so each channel adds more motors or additional accessories, in general We can say that more channels means more fun and professionalism. 

You can add additional accessories, such as lamps (LEDs), or you can add a GPS navigation system, cameras, radar devices, and various sensors to help the pilot, The following pictures shows some transmitters types:

Now you have been able to identify most of the components of a drone in general to build a drone, But this knowledge is not enough to build, so you can now go to the components study in detail in our website. To start your journey in building a drone.

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