Why you should build your first racing drone!

Nothing is quite as rewarding as spending your nights preparing, tinkering, and then flying your very own FPV quadcopter. There are some technical bits along the way, but with a few tips and a push in the right direction, it’s really quite a simple process. Better value for money, higher quality components, and overall a much more enjoyable experience; these are just some of the reasons why you should build your first racing drone.

If you want to fly a racing drone, anyone with experience will tell you to build it yourself!

If you are considering building your own racing drone, below is a description of the simplest and most effective racing build available.  If you would like to check out other racing drone options, read about the best FPV drones available here. For those who want to learn how to build the best possible racing drone, read on… 

Which platform should I start out on?

It is best to start out with something that works straight off the bat, which gives you minimal hiccups. The ZMR250 does just that!

There’s a lot to choose from, but not all drones are created equal

The Answer = A custom ZMR250 & Naze32 FC

It’s hard to go past this configuration – easy to setup, simple to tune, flexible upgrades, plus many people are already flying this drone with great success. Because of its popularity there are loads of online resources that will show you how to do everything with this drone, step-by-step.

Why the ZMR250?

The best racing drone money can buy…

A perfectly capable drone that will help you advance your skills quickly, the ZMR250 is a great DIY racing drone kit.

This racing drone kit has everything you need to get the best start to FPV!

  • High quality parts
  • Best value for money
  • Simple to repair
  • Flexible upgrades

Build a drone that works

Sometimes DIY racing drones are hard to put together, and even harder to fly. If you try and build one a random kit yourself, you may get stuck or find it hard to get help. Not the ZMR250. Because of this drone’s worldwide popularity, you can follow what others have done and easily create a well tuned drone that is simple to fly. Include the Naze32 with Baseflight and what you get is one of the most popular racing drones available today!

This drone kit also includes one of the most popular flight controller combinations ever…

Naze32 Flight Controller

Perfect for 250 sized racing quadcopters

Baseflight Software

Simple software that runs in Google Chrome

Don’t forget a future proof design

All racing drone pilots use 3 cell batteries when starting out. But it doesn’t take long until you upgrade to 4 cells. A simple consideration is to plan ahead and build a racing drone that can use 4 cell batteries from the start. This will ensure you avoid costly conversions later on.

Make sure you can upgrade your drone later on.

All you need is high amperage speed controllers and other electronics that can handle 4S.

The higher voltage 4S batteries

When building a racing drone many people miss this important step!

Include high quality components…

When combined together these parts create one of the best racing drones money can buy. Each component is of the best value and most reliable part, selected for a 250 sized quadcopter. Once you upgrade to 4S batteries this should last you a long time

DYS 1806 2300kv Motors

Well-built brush-less motors that deliver high power for long periods. Perfectly sized for 250 quads, four of these will provide more speed that most pilots know what to do with. Super hard bearings and a quality casing ensure that these motors last.

Carbon Fiber ZMR250 Frame

One of the most popular frames out there! Lighter and stronger than high density plastic, this carbon fiber frame resists the toughest of crashes.

Afro Race Spec 20AMP ESC’S

If you’re going to run high powered 3 and even 4 cell LiPo batteries, you want a high amperage ESC. In order to make sure current draw doesn’t melt your electronic circuit, you also want to have a built in BEC. This is where the 20AMP Afro ESC’s shine!

FrSky D4R-II Receiver

The D4R-II is the perfect receiver – unrivalled in the $50 and under price point. A four channel 2.4GHz receiver gives you plenty of headroom for connectivity and the ability to have both RSSI (PWM) and CPPM output makes wiring up a breeze.*

* Please not that your transmitter needs to match your receiver. Check this with your local dealer before purchasing.

Sony Runcam Video Camera

Another feature of this racing drone kit is a nice 600TVL camera – made by Runcam. Great video footage for an awesome price, this camera will give you one of the better analog images available.

A sense of achievement

Once you’ve got everything together you will have a high powered racing drone that is stable and feels fully locked in when you’re flying. Together these benefits, plus the added bonus of building it yourself, will give you a wonderful sense of achievement and more time in the air to have fun!

Putting in all together

There are a few directions you can take if you want to put the racing drone kit together yourself…

Option 1) Buy a kit from Buzz Drones

We have to float our own boat at some stage, and if you want everything all laid out step-by-step then it’s best to buy the kit from us. We include all the parts, important tools like a soldering iron, plus a video tutorial of how to put the drone kit together. You can even buy recommended FPV and transmitter options too.

Option 2) DIY

Youtube! Seriously everything is on youtube. If you decide to buy all the parts and put them together yourself, it’s simple enough to do so. Having said that, it can be hard to locate all the parts and it will take you some time finding a tutorial for everything. If you want to save time and get everything included, click here to buy a racing drone kit from our shop.

Do I need to learn how to solder?

The short answer is yes. But don’t worry, soldering is actually a lot of fun! Also it wont take you long to learn how, I soldered my Naze32 FC board with only a few hours practice so it’s fairly simple really. If you want to make life even easier you can always get your FC board pre-soldered.

Buy a racing drone kit today!

Build the best racing drone money can buy

Buy a DIY racing drone kit today and get a full video tutorial showing you how to put it together. As an added bonus your kit can include important tools for soldering and spare parts as an added extra.

Visit drone shop…

Other important considerations..

Choose a reliable transmitter

Going the the DIY route also gives you the flexibility to choose your own transmitter! This allows you to pick from the best; just decide on a budget and the decision is simple.

There are two options for transmitters that we recommend. Perfect for all types of drones, these high quality tools are made specifically by brands that pride themselves on radio technology.

A fantastic entry level transmitter

The Turnigy 9XR Pro

  • An easy to use and very capable Tx
  • Full range 2.4Ghz Switching Telemetry
  • Value for money

Bottom Line:

A high quality 8 channel transmitter that will do pretty much everything you ever wanted – for around $100. What more could you want?  

Turnigy-9xr Pro

The Turnigy 9XR Pro is a reliable and incredibly capable transmitter, without the price tag. Each switch or knob can be assigned to a channel, which creates lots of options for assigning remote control, GPS or warning buzzers. There is a large LCD screen for displaying aircraft vitals and the software is very user friendly.

The Turnigy 9XR is a great entry level Tx that ticks all the right boxes. 

Something a little more advanced…

If you can stretch your budget it is recommended that you go with the Taranis X9D. This transmitter is a cut above anything else in the sub $300 price bracket and rivals some controllers three times the price.


The Taranis X9D

  • Superior aircraft control
  • Rivals transmitters twice its price
  • Will last you a lifetime

Bottom Line:

Reliable electronic components make the Taranis X9D an extremely robust and performance orientated Transmitter – the only one you’ll ever need in your lifetime.

16 channels, powerful open source software, solid build quality, top notch LCD screen, and top of the line gimbals (control sticks); what more could you want? The Taranis offers just that extra level of control needed for fast paced paced drone racing. Also if you want to do any other RC flying this controller is perfect as it is used as an industry standard. Having all the best qualities you could hope for in a transmitter, the Taranis will stay with you for decades to come.

Pick a nice LCD screen or FPV goggles

Using a LCD monitor is the preferred set-up, especially if this is your first time flying FPV. It’s important to note that seasoned pilots use an LCD screen as backup, so when you buy a LCD screen you will make good use of it.

Recommended LCD Screen Options

Blank screens are a huge issue! A loss of connection means you are pretty much destined to have a severe crash. You can go with something cheap like this $20 display from Banggood, but it seriously isn’t recommended for a number of reasons.

Your LCD monitor is a vital part of your drone flying experience and in this case, you get exactly what you pay for. To avoid poor quality monitors be prepared to invest some money here, but it’s worth it – you will save many times your investment in the long run.

Start with this:

Eachine 5802D

  • DVR Recording Video
  • Diversity = consistent signal
  • Bright display (600 cd/m2)

Bottom Line:

The Eachine 5802D offers a nice 7” monitor, good battery life, and most importantly a rock solid connection that won’t drop out on you.

The Eachine 5802D is a great LCD screen that will remain connected to your drone at all times. DVR is great if you want to record back some of your fast action flying. The diversity function allows for better connection redundancy, essentially using two different signals at once. The brightness pf 600 cd/m2 will give you great visibility in most conditions.

Got money to spend?


The FieldView 777

  • 1000 cd/m2 – Visible in full sun
  • 5.8 GHz A/V Diversity Receiver
  • Superior Contrast & Colour

Bottom Line:

This latest generation 7″ high contrast LCD provides the best viewing experience for FPV pilots, bar none.

What’s great about the Fieldview 777 is that it has 1000 cd/m2 which means you can view the screen in all conditions, even in full sun! There is no need for shade; the Fieldview will display a nice clear image each and every time. Really a fantastic option if you can afford it, this screen comes with all the other useful tools like Diversity and DVR recording (in some models).

Where to next?

If you are at all serious about making drones a hobby then it really pays to get your hands dirty and build your own. If this interests you then head on over to our shop to check out racing drone kit options (click here).

If you want to get a good taste of FPV without spending too much, the RTF options work well too. If you would like to read about more racing drones, you can check out the full guide to buying a racing drone here. This covers all the other steps you need to get up in the air, including rules, regulations, and drone safety.

For any other information please check out the useful blog & news articles here.

Thanks for reading!

Author: Joshua Carr

Intrigued in flight from a young age, Joshua completed a BE in Aerospace Engineering from Adelaide Uni & now spends his time between designing aircraft for local start-ups and as a private drone operator for Buzz Drones.

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