In this post I will take a look at some of the online resources that I found helpful when I was building my first quadcopter (and still find helpful today).
Websites, Blogs and Forums
- Oscar Liang’s blog – An incredibly helpful blog. This blog has tutorials on almost every topic related to multirotors you can think of. I don’t think I would have been able to get into this hobby without it.
- RCGroups – One of the largest RC forums out there, there are a huge number of extremely helpful and knowledgeable people who post here. Do note that this forum is massive, and threads often go into hundreds, if not thousands of pages. You are not expected to read entire threads, but it does get kind of tiring for people to have to answer the same questions again and again, so make good use of the ‘Search Forum’ and ‘Search Thread’ features. My advice is to find the threads of the products you are using/ plan to use and read through as much of them as you can and then follow them regularly. Right now, there are 14 extremely active threads that I follow religiously and several more that I follow via email subscription. These include the threads for products that I use – RCX motors, Little Bee ESCs, and the APM; firmware development – Betaflight, Raceflight, Multishot, BLHeli; as well as random threads that pique my interest like the Über Design Ü180, Turnigy Graphene, Armattan Productions etc. Some of them, like the Betaflight thread move insanely fast, and can have over 20 new pages a day.
- Oddcopter – Although this website no longer appears to be active and some of the information is out of date, I found the Easy DIY Quadcopter Build series very helpful, especially the part on PID tuning. (I, like many beginners, started off with a kk 2.1 flight controller).
- RC India – If you live in India, you should definitely consider joining up here. This is a smaller forum and I find it nice that I can keep up with all the new posts in a day. There is a lot of good information here and it is a great way to get in touch with local RC Pilots as well. This is one of the forums I am on most active on.
- Reddit – There are several helpful subreddits like /r/Multicopter/, /r/multicopterbuilds and /r/fpv among others.
- Matthew Evans’ blog
- R/C Devotee – The objective battery tests are extremely informative!
- FPV Frenzy – Some really good information here. Definitely worth a read!
I generally prefer learning by reading rather than by watching videos. However, the following channels are both entertaining and extremely informative. I definitely suggest you subscribe:
- RC Model Reviews – If you’re thinking of buying an RC product, odds are it has been reviewed on this channel. I find the tutorials very helpful and the reviews are usually honest (often brutally so!). The only thing I didn’t like was the low cost miniquad build series since (a) I strongly believe in buying the best parts you can right at the beginning and (b) some of the recommendations are a bit outdated and there are better parts available now.
- Joshua Bardwell – One of my new favourite YouTube channels, Joshua Bardwell’s channel is extremely helpful. The Blackbox Log Analysis videos definitely deserve a special mention!
- eluminerRC – Although I haven’t seen any new videos on this channel in a while, I found the quadcopter build video series very well made and it really helped me while I was building my first quad.
- Flite Test – Quite helpful as well as fun to watch. However, they do not have as many videos on multirotors as the other channels I mentioned.
- Painless360 – The various product reviews and step by step setup guides should help make your quad build as painless as possible.
The following YouTube channels are the ones I follow to watch some incredible flying:
If you want some quadcopters with your daily dose of Facebook, consider joining the following groups:
If there is anything I have missed or you feel should be added to this list, do let me know in the comments 🙂