Quadcopter Preplanning

Shopping List

Shopping list of useful things to think about next time:

Things I still need to get (or do), and keep forgetting:


First quadcopter complete. I have named him Ralph.

Ralph flying free

Ralph enjoying the park

First Accident

Ralph had his first accident, damaging his takeaway container lid and one prop:

Voltage vs Remaining Capacity

Here is a voltage chart vs remaining capacity:

Note: voltages are at rest, not under load.

By cell

The % can vary by as much as 5% depending on the brand/age/condition of the battery.

Second Parts Arrive

*Update* parts are now in QLD!

Still waiting for parts… apparently they are now in Australia.

Installing Landing Gear

…and a small piece of pool noodle to mount the battery against.

First Parts Arrive

The parts ordered from the Australian warehouse have arrived.


Planning enters an advanced stage with the addition of more drawings!

Ordering Parts

My first Hobbyking order, now somewhat screwed up due to changing the controller and removing out-of-stock parts.

Updated again to add two pieces of aluminium in anticipation of my Tasmanian oak not being strong enough. Confusingly, this made the total go from $145 to $123, though I had to pay an extra $3.88… I also ordered the out of stock parts (which, annoyingly, are now – only a few hours since I updated the order last time – in stock) from Australia, losing an extra $7 or so in the process due to extra shipping.


Weight Length W/1.2m Cost Cost/1.2m Desc
3 750 5   $0.00 Carbon Fiber Square Tube 750x3mm
19 750 30   $0.00 Carbon Fiber Square Tube 750x6x6mm
37 915 49 $5.08 $6.66 Balsa (Bunnings) 20mm 915mm
15 230 78   $0.00 Aluminum Square Tube DIY Multi-Rotor 12.8x12.8x230mm
49 750 78   $0.00 Carbon Fiber Square Tube 750x10mm
60 915 79 $5.08 $6.66 Balsa (Bunnings) 20mm 915mm
31 340 109 $0.81 $2.86 Aluminum Square Tube DIY Multi-Rotor 12.8x12.8x340mm
55 600 110 $1.31 $2.62 Aluminum Square Tube DIY Multi-Rotor 12.8x12.8x600mm
88 915 115 $5.08 $6.66 Balsa (Bunnings) 20mm 915mm
123 1200 123 $2.66 $2.66 12mm Tasmanian Oak Bunnings
63 600 126 $1.49 $2.98 Aluminum Square Tube DIY Multi-Rotor 15x15x600mm (black)
204 850 288   $0.00 19.05mm 850mm 1.2mm Bunnings Alu 204g


Using cable ties, without cutting the Tasmanian Oak to keep its strength. Middle piece is ply.

Visualising Sizing

Comparing size to Maz’s (currently broken) quadcopter, which I am using as the basis of my no-effort quadcopter attempt… (I’m also using a special kind of photo editing known as “no-effort photoshop” to make the pictures all pretty, rather than having a drab carpet background)


Getting a rough visualisation (without actually putting any effort in, of course) of the size of the quadcopter, and checking that the props won’t hit each other. Drawing on the back of envelopes requires much less effort than doing up a proper design, and as shown below, works extremely well. If they designed everything in Australia like this, Abbott could be the “Infrastructure PM” already.


Note the clever re-use of the Bunnings receipt. After running out of envelopes I was worried I would have to put in some effort, but fortunately I still had the receipt for the $2.66 of Tasmanian oak I had bought to make my quadcopter, and was able to use that.


Future Ideas


This script is stripped out when I edit the page because I am lazy and haven’t fixed that yet, so here it is in case I need to copy and paste it back in…

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