Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Howto start in the multirotor world

There are many friends asking what is the cheapest way to enter in the multi rotor world.

Let's do some numbers based on a quadcopter running multiwii firmware:

1 x Arduino Pro Mini (18,95$)
1 x FTDI programmer (14,95$)
(Sparkfun shipment = 8.94$)
1 x WiiMotionPlus (19.99$)
1 x Nunchuk (19.99$)
1 x Board for connecting all the multiwii stuff (14,95$ + shipment 3$)

You need a radio: the cheap turnigy radio from hobbyking (53,79$ + shipment 17$)

You also need a charger for your batteries:
1 x charger + 1 x power supply (22.99 + 9.99 = 32.98$)

Some common materials for the center plates and arms:
1 x G10 center plate (7$ + shipment 8.46$)
1 x aluminum square tube 12x10mm, 2,82$

Now, you can choose the size of your quadcopter:
  • Let's imagine you want to build a tiny size quadcopter (25cm motor to motor)
    4 x Motors, Turnigy 1811-2000 (31.96$)
    4 x ESC, Plush 6A (29.64$)
    1 x Battery, Rhino 610mah (5.29$)
    (Hobbyking shipment = 9.99$)
    4 x Props, 3-blade 5x3 CW and CCW (3.22$ + shipment 3.56$)
  • Maybe you want a medium size quadcopter (40cm motor to motor)
    4 x Motors, KDA 20-26M (45,24$)
    4 x ESC, 18A (44,2$)
    1 x Battery, 2200 mah (16,48$)
    4 x Props, 8x4 CW and CCW (4.56$)
    (Hobbyking shipment = 14.99$)
  • Or you need more power and want a big size quadcopter (60cm motor to motor)
    4 x Motors, KDA 20-22L (51.52$)
    4 x ESC, Plush 25A (47.24$)
    1 x Battery, 3000 mah (24.32$)
    4 x Props, 10x6 (2.93$)
    (Hobbyking shipment 17.95$)
TOTAL Tiny = 306.48$ (215 euros)
TOTAL Medium = 348.29$ (245 euros)
TOTAL Big = 366.78$ (258 euros)

Of course, there are expensive alternatives like replacing the arduino pro mini with a flyduino, replacing the WMP+/Nunchunk with Jussi's FreeFlighImu or using the Diydrones APM/Oilpan.

All conversions have been made using dolar-euro rate at 1.42

Some users point me to the OpenPilot control board that is also in the 100$ range.


K said...

Just a thought, but you might check out the OpenPilot CopterControl board, as it's almost the same price as the MultiWii controller circuit, but is has several advantages. Just to name a few, it has higher processing performance, it's purpose designed for multi-rotors, and it has a very nice GCS.

Disclaimer: I am tangentially involved with the OpenPilot development.

K said...

Whoops, forgot to say that that's a nice writeup, and I appreciate that you took the time to give hard numbers to all this.

Jose Angel said...

K, when I did the post (April 26th) I was not aware about the OpenPilot board. I have seen a lot of interest in the last weeks in rcgroups and seen some great videos from warthox. I will follow the project progress.

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