quadcopter assembly – part 2

In the last post we started by documenting a class that details how to build a quadcopter.



In this post we will look at the Diatone Innovations Q450 V3 platform ($13).


The first step is to solder the power connector with the female connector to the board. We solder the red lead to the “+” and the black lead to the “-“. We also put some solder on the pads that will be used for the motor controllers. On the Q450 that we got there are eight pairs of connectors. We prepared the outer four “+” and “-” pads with solder to accept the motor connections.


The next step is to attach the speed controller circuit (ESC) to the extension arm and solder the non motor connection leads to the board. The ESC is attached to the extension arm using zip ties. Nothing else needs to be done to attach it since it should stay in place and not slip during flight.

The ESC that we are using is the Afro ESC 20A ($21 each and we need four of them). The system has three types of connectors. One goes to power, one goes to the electronics, and one goes to the motor. In the picture below the red, yellow, black go to the motor. The black and red on the right are the power connections that we will solder to the Q450 board. The purple, red, yellow ribbon cable is the control cable that will be attached to the controller.



We use a simple zip tie and a non-adhesive shelf liner (part of $13) to keep the ESC in place as shown in the photo. We then cut the power cables (right red and black cables in photo above) and solder them to the Q450 board (shown below).


Once we have the power cords soldered to the Q450 board we screw the arm onto the Q450 to relieve the cable strain on the newly soldered wires. The connection should look like the photo below.


The biggest difficulty that we had was the spacing between the mounting hole for the arm and the angle that the cables came in. At times the black wire covered the screw hole and we had to re-solder the wire to attach from a different angle.

Once we have the arms installed, the next step is to mount the motors and test the electrical. We are using the Multistar 2213-980 14-pole outrunner motor ($55 each, we need 4).


Each motor is attached to the arm with four screws. When we initially tried fitting the screws through the arm a couple of them did not want to go through. The arms are injection molded and had a little “overhang” on the screw hole. Using an allen wrench we were able to clear the excess plastic and mount the motors on the arm.



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