When a pilot want to join a drone racing, the first step he need to preparing a racing FPV drone. Many people asked me: how much does it will be cost to build or buy one FPV drone? About this question, I just want to say that you will get as much as you pay. Just like anything else, it largely depends on your choice of components. Just to give you a rough idea, a FPV racing drone (mini quad) can cost somewhere between $150 to $500 or more. That is just the quadcopter itself and does not include any accessories such as spare batteries, FPV Goggles, Radio Transmitter, building tools etc. Basic accessories can cost you another $150 to $500. So you can probably spend as little as $300 to get started, but expect more than that if you are seriously hooked.
Build or buy?
There are two choice to prepare a quad, build and buy. You can accord your need to choose. For newbie, I advise you’d better buy a new quad, but if you have rich experience and know what you want, you can build by your self. If building a quadcopter from scratch sounds too challenging, you can consider a RTF or ARTF kit such as the EMAX NightHawk Pro 280 and ImmersionRC Vortex. These are pre-built quadcopters and you don’t get to choose what parts you want. Alternatively you can also get someone with experience to advise on which one you should buy, or help you build one. Our IntoFPV forum is a great place for that.
The pre-built quadcopter option might sound easy. but I would definitely recommend building your own customized quadcopter! Building it is part of the fun, and the skills and knowledge you learn along the way, will enable you to repair and upgrade by yourself.
Parts and Equipment
To learn more about the construction and components of a mini quad (or multicopter in general), I strongly recommend reading the following posts first.
How to build a quadcopter
250 Mini quad parts list
You will also begin to see more and more acronyms, check here for glossary.
An FPV racing quadcopter is made up of the following parts:
Radio transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX)
4 Motors (how to choose motor/propellers)
4 Props (Propellers)
4 ESCs (Electronics Speed Controller, how to choose ESC)
FC (Flight Controller – for a list of flight controllers)
FPV Camera (how to choose camera)
FPV OSD (how to choose osd guide)
Video Transmitter (VTX) and Receiver (VRX)
FPV Goggles or Monitor (how to choose FPV goggles)
Optional: HD Recording Camera, such as Xiaomi Yi, GoPro, Runcam HD, or Mobius
Other Gear and Accessories
LiPo Charger (how to choose LiPo charger)
One important advice, buy spare! Especially props (propellers). Crashing is inevitable so you will break quite a few props. It also doesn’t hurt to have spare batteries, motors and ESCs if you want to avoid waiting around for replacement parts. And your quadcopter is used for racing, so you need a high discharge rate battery, like Tattu 1300mAh 4S 75C lipo is a good choice. And there are some guide about build quadcopter, if you are interested in these, you can have a read.
Click these to the Guiide :