Building My First RaceQuad

Hi, my name is John Lamp (aka jdbugman). I have been into RC anything for as long as I can remember. I have done cars, planes, helicopters, battlebots, robots, even some home automation. Then someone showed me RotorRiot on YouTube and was so blown away that I had to try it. It seems like there is nothing that you can’t do with these quadcopters;watching the videos, it seems like you are flying!
The thing that was stopping me from getting into this hobby was there was so many choices out there for every single part on the quad. If that was enough, then you had to program the silly thing. So I reached out to the local racing community (multigp.com) and found someone that would show me the ropes and help me build my first quad. Jake from Atmospheric Adventures came to the lab and let me “fly with him” – basically, he used his First Person View goggles while I watched from another pair and I was able to see what he sees. It took 3 seconds to know that I wanted to do be involved with this hobby. Everything that I loved about RC was here, but the first person view made it feel like I was flying inside the quad (like Superman!)
With so many choices out there, I asked Jake to help me pick out all the parts for my first quad. When all the parts came in I already had a good idea of how they went together, but with just a couple of rescue calls I was able to get it up and running.

First thing I did was make sure I had all the parts and pieces that i would need to build the quad.

I pulled the frame out and checked the placement, planning how I was going to run all the wires.

Here you can see how I decided to run the wires on the speed controls into the flight controller. I am using little bee 20amp Electronic Speed Control and furious FPV kombini on an Atmospheric Adventures frame

This is the base of the quad. All the motors are hooked up to the speed controls and flight controller. I took my time, double checked the connections, and planned before I did anything.

This frame has a carbon fiber cage that holds and protects the camera and video transmitter. I hooked these up, bolted everything together, and it was almost ready to fly

Here is a picture of the video quality coming from the quad.

I don’t have a picture of programming, but it took a lot of effort to get everything working correctly. I ultimately had to get Jake to load it up with the settings to make it fly right. This picture is just before the maiden flight.

After a couple weeks I decided to try racing. Multigp.com records all the races and is the place you go to get all your info on races and rules. I did not do very well.

Since then I have expanded to 4 FPV quadcopters of all different sizes. Each one is different and they all fly great. I have been to 3 races so far and still have not completed any laps but I can tell you that practice is the best thing that you can do. Download a trainer program right now. There are free ones that are actually pretty good, I use FreeFlight and Liftoff. You don’t even need anything special to fly, you can use an xbox controller or a PS4 controller to fly with. I keep my laptop with me and I practice on my lunch breaks.

If you want to get into this, too, there are so many places that you can go to get info. FamiLAB has our little club, we talk in the RC channel in our Slack, and there are multiple groups that race in the area – I got in touch with them on Facebook and multigp.com. And lastly, you can info on YouTube; all the best guys have channels and they do everything from build videos to flights and races.

About John Lamp