Through the history of this site, we’ve done several “budget builds” and made many more suggestions for how to get into the hobby while spending as little money as possible. One thing we discuss much less is how to build a high end racing quadcopter that will be competitive with the gear that all the pros use. To honor USA tax return day – we’ve put together a list of what we consider the “dream team” of high end racing miniquad components.
First, a few notes: We have personally tested all of the parts found on this list and vouch for them. You will notice that many of the items listed below go out of stock often. When it comes to high end miniquad parts – the market is hot! To help alleviate this, we’ve attempted to source at least two links or products for each category.
If you find this article useful, keep this page bookmarked! It’s our intent to continuously revise it as new products hit the market. Much like the articles in our drone racing guide, we want this site to be evergreen – constantly relevant to the latest and greatest in this amazing hobby.
First up are parts to build the quadcopter. We very recently built an Armattan Chameleon with most of the parts on this list – that’s the quadcopter pictured in the heading image. Stay tuned for our upcoming build log which should serve as a great tutorial on how they all go together.
Recommending a quadcopter frame is tough – they don’t affect flight performance a whole lot so your choice should be mostly based on aesthetics in our opinion. A second consideration is how easy a frame is to work on. It is also helpful if the frame is popular so you have some community support to help you out with your build. To that end, we chose three popular frames that are superbly designed, look great, and are easy to repair. For frames, more than any part, we recommend you check out our buyers guide for more ideas.
|5" Armattan Chameleon||Armattan Quads||$95|
|5" ImpulseRC Alien||Rotor Riot Store||$129.00|
|Bolt 210 Race||BoltRC||$69.06|
Our flight controller of choice these days is the Omnibus F4. With the fastest processor supported by Betaflight, built-in OSD, PDB and voltage regulators, it’s really hard to go wrong with this FC. Just make sure you pick up one of the models listed below – there a ton of different Omnibus F4 variants on the market.
|DYS Omnibus F4 w/ PDB & OSD||Banggood||$38.50|
|F4 FLAME Omnibus F4 w/ PDB & OSD||Banggood||$49.99|
ESCs have become a little “boring” as of late. I don’t mind that – “boring” means they just work, and that’s fine by me. We recommend an established brand with a good track record – Littlebee. Their Spring series are BLHeli_S ESCs explicitly designed for DSHOT support – meaning you’ll get the best possible performance as of early 2017. The Racerstar v2 series is also great and virtually identical in quality and performance.
|Name||Store Link||Price (for 4)|
|4x Littlebee Spring 30A BLHeli_S ESCs||Banggood||$51.96|
|4x Racerstar v2 30A BLHeli_S ESCs||Banggood||$49.00|
Our current motor of choice is the popular T-motor F60. Attractive and torquey – it’s hard to go wrong with this motor. T-motor also has an outstanding track record of quality. The newer Emax RS2306 is our second pick. Emax is another long-time player in the brushless motor game and the 2306 is undoubtedly their finest motor yet. In either case, pick up the 2400kv-2450kv variants. These hit right in the sweet spot for high performance 5″ miniquads.
Make sure you select the correct kV when purchasing motors.
|Name||Store Link||Price (for 4)|
|T-motor F60 2450kV||Banggood||$103.60|
|Emax RS2306 2400kV||Banggood||91.96|
The ImmersionRC Tramp HV video transmitter is hands down the best video transmitter on the market right now. It broadcasts crystal clear video, has a great form factor, and has a bunch of cool features when connected to a Betaflight flight controller. Unfortunately it has also been eternally out of stock since February. Our second choice is the fantastic Unify HV option from Team Black Sheep.
|ImmersionRC Tramp HV 5.8GHz Video Transmitter||Banggood||$39.99|
|Team Black Sheep Unify Pro HV 5.8GHz Video Transmitter||Amazon||$29.95|
FPV Cameras have not changed a lot in the last 2-3 years. We still highly recommend you pick up an IR-blocked camera with a Sony 600TVL CCD sensor. Our favorite is the Runcam Swift 2 with the 2.3mm lens – simply because it has a ton of mounting options and we really like the connector configuration on the back of the camera. A close second goes to the venerable Foxeer HS1177 – which has been the FPV camera of choice of most pros for 2 years going now. Note: there is no difference in actual picture performance between these two cameras.
|RunCam Swift 2 2.3mm Lens||Banggood||$39.99|
You’ll want a set of 5.8GHz antennas – one for your FPV goggles and one for your quadcopter. We highly suggest the Aomway 5.8GHz antennas. In every review we have ever seen they are either the top performing antenna or tied for top. They are also cheap, easy to find & replace, and much more durable then they might seem.
Make sure you select the correct connector type when choosing antennas. All of our recommendations use SMA connectors.
|Name||Store Link||Price (for 2)|
|Aomway 5.8GHz RHCP SMA||Banggood||$12.99|
Radio Control RX
The FrSky X4R-SB is another product that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. It offers fantastic range and telemetry in a reasonably small (and cheap) package. If you don’t care about telemetry, though, you might want to consider the new XM+ receiver.
|FrSky X4R-SB w/ Telemetry||Banggood||$28.99|
The world of miniquad propellors has been shaken up quite a bit since RaceKraft came out with their 5051 propellors late last year. Our favorite props currently on the market are the DAL Cyclone and the RaceKraft 5051 for their durability and top end thrust. That being said, many pros are still using the classic HQProp 5040×3. Whatever you get – we recommend you make sure it has 3 blades.
|Name||Store Link||Price (for set of 16 props)|
|DAL Cyclone 5046 Tri-blade||Banggood||$11.96|
|RaceKraft 5051 Tri-blade||Amazon||$21.99|
Batteries are a tough one to recommend. Shipping regulations can cause an order with batteries to take months to be delivered – so we recommend you find a hobby shop in your local country and buy LiPo batteries from them. Our buyers guide goes through everything you need to know to pick batteries. If you really need a suggestion, though – the Infinity Graphene series from Banggood gives fantastic performance at an unbeatable price.
|Infinity Graphene Race Spec 1300mAh 4S 90C||Banggood||$24.99|
|Infinity Graphene 4S 1300mAh 70C||Banggood||$21.99|
If you are starting from scratch, you’ll want to buy a few more items. Notably – you’ll want to get yourself a radio control transmitter, some FPV goggles, and some building tools. Here are our recommendations for the former items:
When it comes to the best transmitter in the hobby to buy – we are still big fans of the venerable Taranis X9D. It’s great value for the money, but more importantly – everyone at your local flying field is likely using it and will be able to help you out if you have issues. FrSky recently released the “special edition” of the Taranis X9D. It comes with some cool paint scheme options as well as upgraded sticks which should have improved control feel and service life.
|Taranis X9D SE||Banggood||$249.00|
While the goggle market is more competitive than it has ever been, there is still no real comparison to the Fat Shark Dominator series. Most of the competitors are sticking to bulky monitor-on-your-face viewing platforms which are hard to transport and uncomfortable for extended use. The Fat Shark Dominator V3 is our recommended goggle because they are versatile and ubiquitous. Make sure you pick up a radio module with your goggles. We have also listed some insert-able optics which should make the goggles usable if you have vision problems.
|Fat Shark Dominator V3||Banggood||$359.00|
|Fat Shark Diversity 5.8GHz Radio Module||Banggood||$45.99|
|Furious True-D Diversity 5.8GHz Radio Module||Amazon||$94.95|
|Fat Shark Dominator Near-sighted Optics||Amazon||$17.39|