top 10 Tips for DURABLE FPV Drones!
The wires fix that up with some solder and some electrical tape twisted it back together. Now a permanent fix, but it'll get us going for the day, take off flying grass and tennis gone and ten is gone and the cameras cracked for that matter and oh yeah broke another arm. Quads used to be pretty pretty fragile. The drones we were flying were made from a lot of parts that were carried over from other forms of RC aviation. We tended to crash these quads a lot more and wanted them to be more durable, which is why we were making them out of things like carbon fiber, but even so, it was pretty common that you would go to the field and spend more of your time. There doing field repairs but I'm happy to say things have evolved, things have improved, we have stepped out of the caves and into the age of five millimeter carbon fiber arms instead of three millimeter, hey I'm drew from Rotorua and today we're talking about 10 things that You can do to your fpv drone to make it more durable number one is frame selection, there's, a lot that you can say about this one, because the frame is the backbone of the drone. So whatever frame you pick is gon na have a huge effect on how durable your drone is, how many crashes it can take. So what are the things that you want to look for? Well, I mean if you are a racer and you want the most lightweight frame that you can get.
Then you're gon na be looking for very skinny frames that are lightweight and cut through the air, but those aren't going to be durable. So today, we're talking about durability. So what are you looking for with a durable frame, at least four millimeters, if not five millimeters on the arms you're gon na want the main plates to not have a lot of them. Science holes, the older frames. There were so many unnecessary holes. How much weight are you saving by cutting out all these little triangles when you're really reducing the structural integrity of those plates? You want solid plates. You want thick carbon where it matters. It'S gon na be a little bit heavier, but that's the trade off that you're making you might end up with a heavier build. But if you looking for durability, you're gon na have to sacrifice somewhere. The other thing you want to look for on your frame is: how does it protect the components? One of the most frustrating things you can break is the lens of your fpv camera. You, cracked, that you can't see and you can't do the fpv thing. You want your camera to be set back so that in the event of a frontal collision, the frame takes the impact. Not your fragile glass lens trade off on some frames is, you might see a little bit of frame in the fpv feed, but shop around. Look at your options, because there are many frames out there that protect the camera and don't obscure your vision.
At all. Another thing that I think is very important in frame design is: how well is the motor protected look for a frame that has features on the arms that protrude past the motor? In a crash, you want the carbon fiber taking the brunt of the impact, not your spinny boy. So overall durability starts with the frame that you are flying. Look for a frame that is its self durable and is also going to protect the components that you build on it. The next tip is to protect your ESC s or your motor wires if you're using a foreign one ESC, your individual ESC S or your motor wires, usually run over the top of your arm and then right over that you've got the spinning blades of your prop And it's pretty common that in a crash, the blades can be bent down and strike the ESC or the motor wires, either damaging the ESC or cutting the motor wires and either way. You'Re gon na have a bad time. One of the most common ways to protect against this is to cut one of the Blaz off of your props. Take that blade and put it on top of the ESC or motor wires and wrap it up in electrical tape. That little piece of plastic is going to greatly reduce the chances of your spinning prop damaging the ESC or motor wires. Another way that you can do this is with 3d printed pieces.
I like to use little ESC covers that I 3d print out of TPU, which is a very soft yet durable material. Another thing that I see fail and keep people from being able to fly is their video antenna. You want those to be out and away from your frame so that you get good video reception, but because the lobe of your antenna is out there on the stem of the antenna. When you crash its gon na get banged a lot and pushed all which way and it's pretty common that your antenna is going to break so something that you can do to help prevent against. This is mount your antenna with a flex point. The main thing that you are trying to prevent is your antenna, bending at the SMA portion, so between the screw on SMA and the antenna. Lobe you've got a flexible stem and you want to make sure that that stem is free to flex and that the SMA mount is not going to take the impact. So something that you can do is mount the antenna on the underside of one of the pieces of carbon fiber and secure it with zip ties, tape, double sided tape whatever and have the flexible stem sticking out so that, in a crash, the flexing is focused on That stem, which is meant to bend another thing that you can do, is Mount the SMA on a flexible piece of material like 3d printed TPU.
That flexible piece will allow the SMA to move without it. Breaking at that point, but either way what you want to do is account for the fact that, when you crash your antenna is going to get knocked and it's going to bend, and you want the bending to happen where the antenna is meant to Bend. Speaking of antennas, another way antennas fail is the lobe of the antenna itself can break open when it takes impact, the plastic casing will break then you've got the antenna elements exposed and it doesn't take long before they're all bent and out of tune, and then you're Really reducing your video range or ripping them off altogether, so something that you can do is heat shrink. The antenna lobe, the best heat shrink to use for this is the double walled heat shrink that is actually lined on the inside with glue. This heat shrink is really thick and when you heat it up, it actually glues to the thing that's being shrunk on. So this is gon na make your antenna take, hits a lot better, both by covering it up and by kind of like just holding it together. So if you find yourself busting open the lobes of your antennas, often look for some thick double walled heat shrink that you can put over the lobe and protect it. Now, in my years and years of experience of crashing drones a lot, I found one of the most frustrating things that can happen is your battery ejecting.
If your battery gets ripped off and unplugged from your drone, you're, not gon na, be able to turtle mode and fly back. You'Re, not gon na be able to turn on your beeper, so it's gon na be harder to find your quad you're, not gon na. Have video to have any frame of reference where you are it's, just it's very frustrating, so one of my favorite tips is use two battery straps double up. Some frames only come with one battery strap and, if so, try to get your hands on another one. As soon as you can, and I think, you'll find it'll be much harder to get the battery to eject and you'll save yourself a ton of headache when you're trying to find your drone and after a crash, so we've talked about all the stuff on the outside. The arms and the batteries and the antennas and the cameras all the things that directly get impacted in a crash, but what about this stuff on the inside? How can you make that stuff more durable? Well, one of the most overlooked. Things is how the electronics stack is mounted many stacks, come with nylon, standoffs and you'll, build your stack using these standoffs that screw into each other. The big problem here is those threaded nylon stems are so fragile. Your stack is going to end up flopping all over the place, because the threaded nylon stem is gon na break off the standoff and nothing is going to be holding it down.
So I highly recommend that when you are mounting your stacks, which you use our nylon standoffs that are just a threaded hole all the way through and use a very long metal screw so from the bottom to the top. You'Ll just have one long metal screw and you'll thread the standoff down on to it. Put your boards on to that thread. Another stand off put your next board. Put your nut on top of that, and with this method, your stack is never going to break now. That being said, if your stack can never break free, you might be thinking to yourself. Are the actual boards gon na be taking too much of a shock? That brings us to our next tip, which is soft, mount all your boards, not just your flight controllers. Now, when I talk about soft mounting your electronics boards I'm talking about in the corner holes of your flight board, you might find rubber grommets. If you don't find a flight board that has this, because it's not only gon na, make your drone more durable it's going to make your drone fly a lot better. Soft mounting first came onto the scene for flight controllers to reduce the amount of vibrations that made it to the gyros. That you'd have a much cleaner, gyro signal and that you can improve the performance of the Pitts controller. But we ended up finding that this also really improved the durability, because in the event of an impact, the board had a little bit of cushioning built in.
When you slammed. The board could move a bit relative to the mounting hardware. And since then, we've seen more and more electronics components come with this soft mounting built in so you might be seeing EEOC's with soft mounting and you might be. Thinking is why why are we trying to keep vibrations from reaching the EEOC's? What does that matter? And while you're right it doesn't matter, if your form 1 ESC gets a little vibration from the motors, it does really help with the durability. So if you're working with a board that doesn't have the holes big enough to put the soft mount grommet in try to see, if maybe you could open up the hole a bit but be very careful when doing this, because some boards do run the traces very Close to the holes and trying to open the holes up a bit to fit in some soft mount dummies can ruin the board so proceed with caution. I advise eye boards in the first place that have soft mounting built in, but there's still some things that we can do to even further improve the longevity of your quad. One thing that you can do is add: 3d printed bumpers to your frame, like I said, it's better for the frame to take the impact than the motor directly but you're gon na end up splintering the ends of your arms. So you've got these 3d printed bumpers. That wrap around the protrusions of the arm and it's gon na really help the arm from splintering apart.
When you inevitably run it into concrete again, the trade off is going to be how much weight do you want to add to your drum? I don't care too much about weight. I run a heavier drone than average, even I kind of have my it's and I personally don't run any of these bumpers. I just looked the carbon, take the hint and when the arms get worn down and the carbons all sprayed and splintered I'll replace that arm, but a lot of people swear by these bumpers and say that it really helps their arms and other carbon pieces. Last. A lot longer another accessory that you can add, that's gon na help things last a little bit longer our landing pads or landing skids landing pads are those little pieces of foam that you just stick on to the bottom of your arm and when your drone lands It lands on that foam, keeping the actual frame from contacting the concrete when you come in a landing is gon na, prevent it from skidding and getting nicked up, but one of the problems is they get ripped off the adhesive that comes on them really doesn't. Last too long where you actually end up in a crash. So if you do like these foam pads – and you do want to use them, I do recommend wrapping them around in electrical tape and that's gon na hold them on and make them last a lot longer.
Now, personally, I don't use these foam skids. I use quad skids. These are hard nylon pieces that mount on the underside of your motor. These have the same effect of preventing your screws and your carbon on the bottom, from coming in contact when you land and also have the added benefit of allowing you to skid, so whether it's, skids or pads keeping the screws from grinding on the concrete is really Gon na make your life a lot easier when you have to rebuild your drone bonus tip for you now this isn't exactly the hardware of your drone it's thinking about how you fly learn to crash now. This might sound weird, but the more you fly, the more and more it's gon na make sense. You'Re gon na find you start to know when you're losing control and when you're gon na get into a situation that you're gon na end up smacking. So this awareness is gon na help. You not only avoid crashes but also lean into them in the right way. So, for example, if you're going to crash it's much better to pitch up and pancake the bottom of your drone, rather than just go head on collision learning to recognize when you kind of past the point of no return and there's gon na be a collision and Maneuvering so that it'll be more of a glancing blow or that you'll, pancake or whatever's that you prevent your camera or your motor from taking the brunt of the damage is a really valuable skill to have.
If you can really practice it percent, if it's, just something that comes with time, but that is gon na make a huge difference in getting your drones to last a lot longer guys. Those are our favorite tips for making quads more crash' ball. Well, what did we forget, leave a comment down below with your favorite hack, for making quads take a better whack. Please forgive that horrible rhyme and press the like button anyway subscribe for more fpv action and we'll see you next time on rotor rat chow. What do you think of bumpers on the ends of arms? Well, I really like them.