UAV Futures inspired $99 build

Discussion in 'Build Logs' started by roger jones, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. roger jones

    roger jones Well-Known Member

    New to this hobby currently learning to fly my first drone JJRC H33. A very low tech toy drone but I am finding it forgiving and easy to control in the garden.

    Having watched a number of YouTube videos a $99 build even having converted to £ seemed like just the thing to keep me occupied while I learnt to fly.

    Having followed the why walk when you can stumble, buying parts was inevitably the next step. I realise some of the parts in the $99 build spec are now considered vintage.

    My theory was one, older parts keeps the price down and if I fry the build I can potentially get back on track.

    I will post my parts list and costs so far, tomorrow. Safe to say a $99 dollar build it's not.

    That said UAV Futures is a great YouTube channel, providing you don't mind hyper Steve.
    mozquito1 and Spork like this.
  2. Spork

    Spork There is no spoon

    Nice Roger. I love UAV Futures, although his cheeriness can get a touch annoying, he has tons of great content.

    Looking forward to following along on your build.
    roger jones likes this.
  3. roger jones

    roger jones Well-Known Member

    Kit list so far.



    Soldering station


    Solder Sucker


    M3 Nylon Hex Spacer Screw Nut Assortment Kit Standoff Plastic Black


    Assorted Electrical Cable Heat Shrink Tube


    7Pcs Black Hex Screw Driver Tool Kit 1.5Mm-5.5Mm


    Transmitter and Receiver




    This frame cam with 3 lower decks.IE 4 plates in total. One of the extra lower decks is a PDB. I am not using this and have opted to use a smaller PDB in line with the project I am following. Also due to negative feedback on these integral PDB’s. (This one may be fine to be clear but given a separate PDB was £6.29 I went with the advice)








    TURNIGY Batteries 1800MAH 3S 20C LIPO PACK x 2



    Note it may be called a charger, look like a charger but it still needs a separate power supply to work



    I may have bought the hype? But to save burning down the house I thought I had better get one of these as well



    With two batteries coloured caps seemed critical.







  4. Gyro Doctor

    Gyro Doctor Electronics Tech for over 45 years

    :rolleyes: ... Seems like a decent iron and at a surprisingly cheap price, makes me wonder how well the temp regulator works, but it's not overly important ... I run at about 350-400 C for most work.
    Good solder sucker too (spring loaded plunger types blow those squeeze bulbs types away), got several just like it. But buy some extra tips while you're at it, you'll need them.
    I'd get some solder wick too, it'll get up what the sucker leaves behind and comes in handy for cleaning up circuit pads too.
    You should also get some flux too while you're at it. ;)

    Those ESCs have D-shot which is good, but since the motor's link is the ESC's link can't tell if 20 amps is enough .... I'd shoot for 30 amps though.
    The motors/props combination will help dictate the right ESC requirement. ;)

    Heard good things about the radio ... don't think that RX is diversity though, and it's worth the extra money to have that imho. :)

    Well known frame, but no specs. There were shortcomings with the originals (the pdb being just one of them) and later versions corrected that.
    I think they're called V2 or maybe V2 point sumthin .... dunno .... You want the one with 4mm arms and 2mm plates not the thinner V1 stuff, which this may be (or maybe not) :p
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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  5. Steven Campbell

    Steven Campbell Well-Known Member

    I'm building my first quad as well, looked at those 4 in one ESC's and ended up going with a DALRC 4-in-1 40A 32bit Engine ESC, figure the 40a continuous should handle current and future needs, will see how it goes though.
    Gyro Doctor likes this.
  6. Gyro Doctor

    Gyro Doctor Electronics Tech for over 45 years

    Damned near bought one of those myself last night .... the specs are fantastic on it and it just looks really cool too :p
    Steven Campbell likes this.
  7. Gyro Doctor

    Gyro Doctor Electronics Tech for over 45 years

    I'm thinking of putting together another build list too, definitely getting that ESC pack and I'm wrestling over the decision for an AIO .

    There's the HGLRC F3 V4 PRO that looks pretty good for only $40 ... It's got FC/3A 5V BEC/ OSD/PDB (with current sensor) and a 25-600mW VTX that's 2-6S ready. ;)

    A two card stack (will slip an XSR RX between the boards) with everything you need for $100 bucks ain't too shabby, and sure beats the TBS cube
    being less than half the weight, size and cost. :D
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  8. Steven Campbell

    Steven Campbell Well-Known Member

    I bought myself a new soldering iron, a dremel 2000, love it, butane powered, portable, I use the exhaust vent for the soldering tip to shrink the heat shrink tubing after I solder my wires.

    Nice for small jobs, going to make a nice field setup as well.
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  9. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Swap the standoffs for the rubber vibration mounts.
    Better in my opinion.
    If you can't get the parts under £100
    There is plenty of kits on ebay from China. I just seen one for £60 or £59.34
    Puda chameleon frame
    20amp esc
    F3 fcb Matek pdb
    MT2204 X4 motors
    Battery straps
    Soft mounts
    Lipo pigtail.
    All your missing is vtx & camera, zip ties
    And a soldering iron & it's game on.
    Normally I'd say stay well clear but it is so cheap & so much better than flying a cheap toys
    . Like I did.
    I got 2hrs out of a syma & jjrc. Then moved onto self builds so I basically learned on a zmr250. I just kept it low & slow then gradually built up. It was quite a few Lipo's before I broke anything.
    this was my baby, I built it & I wasn't smashing it. It served me well.
    Roger you can't go wrong with any of the esc's on RadioC.Com, especially the one I use. Pocket rocket. £5.90 Dshot.
    If you can get any I just bought the last 9 again. But they will put them on back order.
    roger jones likes this.
  10. Gyro Doctor

    Gyro Doctor Electronics Tech for over 45 years

    ... I keep wondering why all of my "cheap builds" lists always wind up being around $300 o_O
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  11. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Same here I could never get down to that
    Without buying shitty parts.
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  12. Gyro Doctor

    Gyro Doctor Electronics Tech for over 45 years

    ... LMAO ... Me too, I mean you can get four mediocre Racerstar motors for $33 total or some hot rod T-Motors for $25 each.
    Motors are something I don't like to skimp on, ESCs either, or flight controllers, or cameras, or VTX, or frame, etc, etc
    .... hence the delima :p
    Steven Campbell likes this.
  13. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Good builds & better builds.
    Im sticking with the emax RS2205
    & my esc. I know them, they know me.
    Vtx I have been forking out lately,
    Tramps & unifys. I was given a Betaflight F4 SD & liked it. So I'm in the middle of replacing the old sprf3 boards in the rest of the squad.
    Gyro Doctor likes this.
  14. Spork

    Spork There is no spoon

    This kept happening to me when I started planning from UAVFuture's $170 build. By the time I made a tweak here, a tweak there, and added a battery, I was north of $300. With my recent direction change into the whoop size, they are closer to $100, but I already have 1 on the way, another I will order soon, and a kit to build another. It's a sickness I tell you. I'm not holding out hope for saving much money when I look at 100-130mm builds - if's anything like other hobbies, smaller and lighter mean more expensive.
    Gyro Doctor likes this.
  15. Gyro Doctor

    Gyro Doctor Electronics Tech for over 45 years

    I can easily hit the $500 mark if I'm just going by what I want and disregarding costs and that's not even counting the batteries. :eek:
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  16. Steven Campbell

    Steven Campbell Well-Known Member

    I was looking at the UAV build, wanted to build one cheap but then starting thinking if I upgraded this I would like it better.

    Flight Controller and ESC, $95
    Frame and PDB $115
    VTX $35
    Camera (not ordered yet) $50+
    Reciever $25
    Motors (for the moment) $30

    So far I'm over $350 in costs.

    I'm toying with some ideas and only testing will tell if it will be worth while but soldering some 3 way connectors for the motors for quick swaps.

    I'm not too worried about weight for this first build.
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  17. Spork

    Spork There is no spoon

    Oh, I'll bet. My 300 mark was still trying to stay reasonably cheap.
  18. roger jones

    roger jones Well-Known Member

    Well I have all the parts above so now its time to start practicing my soldering. Two wires tinned and soldered today and heat shrink applied.

    Hobyking have a sale on as well if you want to pick up some bargains.
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  19. Spork

    Spork There is no spoon

    Awesome. So at 2 wires per day....LOL just kidding. By the time you get to 8 to 10 pairs of wires, your speed and skill will have increased very noticeably.
    roger jones likes this.
  20. roger jones

    roger jones Well-Known Member

    LOL :) Cheers @Spork. Should have it built by Christmas.
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