Backup parts to consider

Parts broken over the past 6 months
Recommended spare parts to get


Here are the things I have broken over the past 6 months of flying. For the amount of flying and crashing I do I’m surprised at how well everything has held up. For example, I only had minimal damage from this crash:

2 FPV transmitters
The first one I got lasted a long time, but eventually broke because I secured it with a zip tie (like RC Model Reviews suggested not doing) and had a bad crash. I now use velcro to secure it on. For some reason the second one I got burned out after about a month of use, even though I always had the antenna plugged in when it was on. I would recommend getting an extra FPV transmitter as a backup.


Since I already went through two of the Skyzone FPV transmitters, I am now trying out the AOMWAY FPV Transmitter which has been recommended by several people. The wiring is different so I don’t recommend using the AOMWAY one if it’s your first build and plan to follow the YouTube tutorial series by RC Model Reviews.


3 arms
So far I have broken 3 arms, all from terrible crashes where I expected much more damage. The first arm broke when I was learning to do flips. I was about 150 feet in the air and ended up going upside down nearly full throttle all the way into the ground. Luckily replacement arms are pretty cheap, so I would highly recommend buying 2 extra arms.


1 motor
The motor part still works fine, but some how the wire going into the motor got pulled on so there became a poor connection causing it to stop periodically. That’s how I lost another arm. I would recommend getting one backup motor.



1 camera
I didn’t secure the crystal on my first camera (like RC Model Reviews suggested doing) and it eventually broke off. I should have put a glob of loctite on the crystal. I took this opportunity to upgrade to the new camera (linked above). I highly recommend that one since it does not have a crystal and it can handle 4s batteries. If you secure the crystal or get the camera without the crystal you probably don’t need to get a spare camera.



Several standoffs
Hard crashes sometimes caused the standoff screws to break, both the ones holding the camera and the flight controller. When I first ordered everything I was upset I needed to get a whole pack of M2 and M3 standoffs, but 6 months later I’m glad I got a whole pack and not just 4 of each.



Tons of props
As expected I have broken tons of props, but much less now that I’m a better pilot and since I started using DAL Props.


Some wiring and soldering connections

When I started, my soldering skills were pretty poor. Due to this, some of my crashes have caused the wiring to briefly short or have poor connections causing strange behavior while flying. Although these issues can be tough to figure out what’s wrong (often it’s shorting with the frame itself since carbon fiber conducts electricity), at least you don’t need to spend money on a new part and wait for it to ship.


Although I have not had any trouble with any ESCs, other experienced pilots have recommended getting an extra one, so I added it to the list.


Here is the list of spare parts I recommend getting.

1 FPV transmitter
2 arms
1 motor
M2 and M3 standoffs
Tons of props

Upgrades for my first build

FPV Equipment
Batteries and Chargers
Minor Enhancements
Software and Setup

I have now been flying the quad I built in my first blog post regularly for over 6 months and have received many requests to share what I would have done differently. There isn’t too much I would have done differently, but I have made some upgrades that you may want to consider regardless if you’re just starting or have already finished your first build.


Goggles – Quanum V2s

Easily worth the extra $30 to upgrade. Better screen and better form factor. I wish I would have got the V2s to start with.


FPV Receiver – FR632

This improves the video quality and allows for using two different types of antennas. Basically it picks the better of the two receptions to give you a clearer video. It’s a costly upgrade and it’s a little big, but you can fit it in the Quanum V2 pouch and it does improve video quality. A good upgrade, but not a must have.


FPV Receiver Antenna #1 – Mad Mushroom

Improves video quality and range. I love this antenna and would highly recommend it. Since you get the stock antennas with the FPV transmitter and receiver this upgrade is easy to hold off on to save money at first.


FPV Receiver Antenna #2 – Crosshair

This antenna only makes sense to get if you have a diversity FPV receiver (such as the FR632). It significantly increases the range the quad can go and maintain video signal, but only in the direction the antenna is pointed. With only one of these antennas it doesn’t make sense, but with a diversity FPV receiver it picks the best of the two signals so you can have one antenna (such as the Mad Mushroom) that covers all around you and the crosshair antenna will allow you to fly out far in one specific direction.


FPV Transmitter Antenna – Aomway Leaf Clover

Strong antenna that also works well. Barely noticeable improvement in video quality and range. Since you already get the stock antennas with the FPV transmitter this is another upgrade that is easy to hold off on to save money at first. This is the best antenna that’s under $20.


Battery Charger – iMAX B6

The battery charger I linked in the original post works great, but it does not have discharge or storage mode options. This forced me to always discharge the batteries by flying and manually stop the charge between 3.7-3.85V per cell when I wasn’t planning on using the battery for a while. It also didn’t have a 6s jst plug which means finding a compatible parallel charging board will be more difficult, but it probably won’t be too difficult to modify a parallel charging board or make an adapter from 6s jst to 4s. The iMAX B6 charger makes it so much easier to get your batteries to the correct storage voltage which is great if you don’t know when the next time you’ll be flying is. The downside is you also have to get a power supply for this charger. The power supply needs to provide anywhere from 11~18v, at least 5A (you could go lower, but it will affect the max amps/speed you can charge at) like this one, but you should easily be able to find an old laptop power supply at a thrift store for a couple bucks that will work just as good. If you can only find a power supply with the right specs, but not the correct round plug for the charger, you can cut off the plug and solder on any connection that works with the alligator clips since the charges comes with a plug attached to alligator clips. Note: like the P405 charger you need to buy a connector for XT60 or make one yourself. Here’s a great video about the iMAX B6 charger:

Although I don’t have personal experience with it, you could get this version that has a built in power supply and includes an XT60 connector:


Parallel Charging Board

Awesome upgrade. Allows for charging up to 6 batteries in the same amount of time as it used to take to charge just one. Note: as mentioned above this board will not work out of the box with the P405 charger, but will with the iMAX B6 charger. Here’s a great tutorial on parallel charging: and here’s a quick overview on how to do it with the iMAX B6:



4s Batteries – Zippy 1300mAh 4S 40C

Upgrading from 3s to 4s batteries is the easiest way to make your quad faster. I wouldn’t recommend beginners starting with 4s, but when you’re ready, it’s a great upgrade. I still haven’t tried a lot of different 4s batteries, but I know I like the lighter (lower mAh) ones with at least a 35C rating.

If you followed my first blog post after Feb 1, 2016 the quad will be able to handle 3s and 4s batteries. If you followed my blog post before then, the only thing that you need to do is replace the SC2000 600TVL Camera with the RunCam 600TVL 5-17V Camera and you should be good to go.

-The ESCs are rated for 2-4s.
-The motors are only rated for 2-3s, but after doing a good amount of research (see and it appears the motors are fine handling 4s on 5040 props. I tried it out myself and the motors worked great with 4s.
-The FPV transmitter handles 7V-24V, so no problems there.
-Last of all since the flight controller and receiver get powered off the ESCs, there’s no problem there either.


3S Batteries – Turnigy nano-tech 1300mAh 3S 45-90C

After trying several different 3s batteries I found I really liked the first ones I got best. So the upgrade isn’t to get a new battery, it’s just to get more batteries, which can happen at anytime your budget allows. I got 6 of them and that’s a good number for me. With my parallel charging board I can charge 6 at a time in 1-2 hours which is usually perfect. 6 batteries lasts 40-45 minutes (7 minutes per battery) of flying time which equals 1-2 hours of field time depending on how often I crash and how long I take in between batteries. If you wanted to fly continuously you would probably want 12 batteries, so 6 could be charging while you flew the other 6.

-I tried a 2200 mAh battery and a 1500 mAh battery and just didn’t like the weight they added. Both made the quad feel more sluggish and only offered a few extra minutes of flying time.
-I also tried a Turnigy nano-tech 1300mAh 3S 25-50C battery and it worked OK for casual flying, but did not allow for long periods of fast flying.



Props – DAL 5045 Bullnose–g-1421

After breaking tons of Gemfan 5040 props I was surprised at how strong these ones were. Note: I would still recommend using Gemfan props for learning since they will cause less stress on your motors when you crash.

I tried the following props:
Gemfan 5030 – great for learning, because they reduce the power of the quad (compared to a higher pitch like 5040 or 5045) and break easily instead of damaging the motors.
Gemfan 5040 – good cheap prop, but breaks easily. I would still recommend this as a great prop to start with.
Gemfan 5045 Bullnose – good, but more expensive than and not as strong as DAL Props.
HQProp 5045 Bullnose – great and strong, I highly recommend them, very comparable to DAL 5045 Bullnose, but more expensive and harder to find.
HQProp 5040 – very comparable to Gemfan 5040, but more expensive and harder to find.
DAL 5045 – great and fairly strong, but I like the bullnose version better.
GoolRC 5045 – worked OK, comparable to DAL 5045.



Motor Caps – Lock Nuts

The motor caps that come with the motors don’t work well. I lost one after only a couple flights. At first I tried to find a replacement cap, but they were expensive and it turns out normal 5M lock nuts work better. The first link works great with the Gemfan props and they work OK with DAL Props, but you may want to consider getting the low profile ones in the second link if you plan on using DAL Props.


8mm Wrench

Once you switch to lock nuts you will want a good tool for putting them on and taking them off.




This isn’t the multi-meter I got, but having one makes this so much easier. It’s not required, but it sure helps when trying to figure why something is not working.


Lipo Battery Tester Monitor Low Voltage Buzzer

I added this as an optional item in my first blog post since it is so useful. This will make it easy to check the voltage of your battery and individual cells without connecting it to the charger. Also, if don’t set up telemetry you can mount this to your quad so you have a battery warning buzzer to help you avoid damaging your lipo batteries by running them too low. Incredibly helpful to have as a small tool. If you want a silent battery tester as well for use at home consider getting this:



Feet – Nerf Balls

The carbon feet broke off the quad after the first week of flying and it’s not essential to have them, but they do help save the frame from extra stress when landing. After a month of use without feet I saw a pack of nurf balls I had bought awhile ago (they were the wrong size for my nurf gun) and thought I bet these would make nice feet. I cut off the top 30% of the nurf ball and zip tied it to my arms. They are light and make for much softer landings.



Increased Camera Angle

I put longer standoffs on top and shorter standoffs on bottom to increase the camera angle once I started wanting to go faster.




Shortened Wire from ESC to Motors

After I had more experience soldering I finally was brave enough to cut the wires on the ESC and Motors and solder them together as RC Model Reviews did in the tutorial. This reduces weight and makes the quad look a lot cleaner.



Fight Controller Software – Cleanflight/Betaflight

I switched from Baseflight to Cleanflight and like it better. I feel like Cleanflight has more options and after loading my Naze32 with BetaFlight it flew smoother. Here’s a good tutorial on switching from Baseflight to Cleanflight: and here’s the tutorial I used on loading Betaflight on the Naze32 using Cleanflight:


Taranis and General Set Up Improvements

-Switch for arming/disarming. The set up for this is similar to setting up different flight modes.

-Turned off motor_stop feature. Makes flips easier and less dangerous when you kill the throttle.

-Set up timers on the taranis:

-Set up battery warnings and voltage read out (I put a timer read out on the same switch as well):

-Set up switches to allow for in-flight tuning:

-Tuning in general: