Basic guide for multicopters

Hi Guys 6 months ago I decided to make my first multicopter. 

I was used with surface models (boats and cars) and as you know, I have an Youtube channel and I thought, Why don’t I make my own flight camera, to make images I’m not able to do by myself.

After 6 months I can say that I don’t succeed to make a stable and in a fixed position flight camera. I already bought the equipment to do it and will be ready in 2014 may.

But I learned a lot! And I want to pass this knowledge to you that are starting on multicopters.

So first of all, you need to learn what is each part described on this post.



This is the first thing you need to define. What kind of multicopter will you make.

I started by a tricopter and I can say that was a bad idea. Tricopter are less stable than a quad or an hexacopter. So, if you are starting and you don´t know even how to control it, go for a small quad. Click to see the types of frames


As you know this is responsible by pull or push the model using the air or water in a boat.

Normally a propeller can have from 2 to 4 (the one blade propeller exist's youc an find it in youtube) blades and can have several differences regarding the blade size and angle.

A propeller with les blades is more efficient than a propeller with more blades. There’s a lot of websites explaining the why of it and how to calculate the propeller size.
The most part of the motors have the best propeller size recommended for it.


Motors have some differences about the magnetic position and how it works.
In my blog you can see a post about it.

Information about electric motors

An ESC (electronic speed control) as the name says controls the speed of the electric motor. So, if your motor is a motor of 750KV with a 3S battery with 12V and you pull your throttle to 10%. Your ESC should make your motors turns at 900rpm.

The ESCs doesn’t have many differences. Basically you need to choose the Amperage that’s meets the motor espec, if it’s for brushless or brushed motor.  (you can choose a BEC, OPTA etc but this is for another day)

Flight Control Board

The control board is in charge by the multicopter stabilization. In a airplane the receiver is connected in the esc. So, when you “say” more throttle it’s just send this to the esc. And the airplane goes faster.

Now, in a multicopter is different.  When you “say” go right, the motors from the left side starts to run faster and the multicopter goes right keeping its level.
So, all the EScs are connected in this board and the receiver is connected on it too. Without this board would be impossible to control a multirotor.

In my tricopter I’m using a KK2.0 control board (the newest version is 2.1.5). This board is one of the boards that accept tricopters, bicopters, monocopters and some different kinds that the best boards don’t accept. This is a chipper board and doesn’t have GPS or a good stabilization. But is god to begin and you will learn a lot (30 USD).

A good control board is the Naza light (around 170 USD). it´s good for the price, but only the new models have some especial features, like Bluetooth connection 

An open source option are the the Pilot Mega ones, it´s the same price of the naza light but have more features. I bought one too and I´ll make a comparison about the Naza Light and arduino APM ones in the near future.


The receiver is your hand in the plane, car or multicopter. It’s receives the signal that comes from the transmitter and send it to the controlboard (in a multicopter) or for your ESC and servos in a “normal” model (airplane, car, boat etc).
It can have 2 up to 8 channels  and some have the telemetry system, so can send back to the transmitter the temperatures, fuel quantity, voltage in the battery etc.


This device will send your commands to the receiver in the model. They can have a plant of function and the price can be something around 30 dollars up to 2 or 3,000 dollars. Depends of how many functions it has.
You need also to choose the mode of the transmitter Look for mode 1, mode 2 up to 4

Battery and charger

You will use a lipo battery and you need to know that these batteries are dangerous. The mobile phones use it and you know that some had exploded J

I did this post regarding it (is in Portuguese but you can translate.

Please read about it. Its important and you need to be informed. 
I did also a video about the chargers. take a look on it All the videos are in the end of this post.

So, First thing you need to choose is the frame. You can make a tricopter, quadcopter, hexacopter etc.

Based in your frame size and model, you need to define the motor and the propeller sizes. With the motor selected you need to choose an ESC to attend the motors specs. With this you need to choose a control board that accept you frame and your expectations (GPS to hold the position or cheap to crash, etc).

How it works

The copters movement is different from an airplane movement.

In an airplane, you are always going forward, the throttle just adjust the speed of it. To move a airplane you change the direction of the airflow in the wings using a stabilizer. The weight is on the wings and not in the motors; the motors just push the plane.

In a copter (heli, tri, quad etc) is different, the weight is on the propellers and the propellers are connected (in a multicopter) in the motor.the copter moves like a boat, it can drift, can being stopped, can go backward etc.

 So, the names of the movements are the same, but the dynamics are different.

You can look for each movement in youtube, theres a plant of movies about it. The movements you need to understand and know the names are (roll, pitch and Yaw).

Movement Airplane Copter
Roll screw movement (left or right) Go left or right (drifting)
pitch nose down or up Go frontward or backward
yaw Turns in the tail Turns in the COG point

The throttle make the airplane goes faster or slower and in a multicopter make its goes up and down.
That’s it.

Components Connections

I did a link to show the connections between each component.

Final comments 

So, if you are a noob, don’t go for a tricopter as I did. They are unstable then a quad and harden to adjust.

If you read my post about motors, my post about frames and this post. You are near a master in multicopter.

Not so far; you need to train a lot. But how to training in something that can feel from the sky?
To learn you need to see the video about the FMS.  This is what I use once we can’t go out to fly everyday (I can’t). But I can take my notebook and a transmitter, and use it in a hotel, at night (when my wife is upset), etc.

So, take a look on these videos and have a good experience.