What do I need to start getting into FPV drones (quadcopters, multirotors, etc)? Unless you are just going to buy a RTF (ready-to-fly) package, jumping into FPV drones can be very overwhelming. There are so many acronyms for parts you need that until you know what they mean, it will all sound like gibberish. Just to start, FPV stands for First Person View in case you weren’t already aware from one of your other online searches….

This is a basic list of the items you need. Now, you must note that you need to make sure the items you choose will work together. Most items will work well together, but some items (mainly associated with the video equipment) need to be double checked.

Ground Gear

  • Radio Transmitter, Abbreviated as TX
  • Video viewing, typically some sort of goggle but can also be a simple monitor
  • Video receiver, used in conjunction with the video transmitter you will chose on your drone
  • Antenna, attaches to the video receiver


  • Frame, you should start by need determining the size quad you want to build. There are hundreds of choices for nearly every size
  • Motors, most commonly you’re looking at brushless motors and the size of the frame you chose will also depend on what motor size you chose
  • Electronic Speed Controller, abbreviated as ESC, you will need one for each motor. The amperage choice of the ESC’s will be important number to look at here and again depends on the motor choice. There are also combos that include multiple ESC’s on one board (4-in-1)
  • Propellors, often referred to by a 4 digit number. For example 5045 equals a 5.0″ prop with a 4.5 pitch. Many different blade counts and materials are available also.
  • Power Distribution Board, abbreviated as the PDB, this splits the power from the battery to all the components of the drone
  • Flight Controller, abbreviated as FC, this is the brain of the drone. This board houses the gyro that senses the drones position and calculates how to control the motors to maneuver the drone based on the input from the pilot.
  • Receiver, abbreviated as RX, this needs to match your radio transmitter type (FrSky, Futaba, Spektrum, etc). Each transmitter type will also likely have many different receiver options to chose from with varying sizes, ranges, and features.
  • Video Transmitter, abbreviated as VTX, this will send the video signal from the FPV video camera
  • Antenna, attaches to the output of your VTX and is what the video signal is broadcast thru
  • FPV Camera, your eye from the sky that will be your portal to the feeling of soaring with the birds
  • On Screen Display, abbreviated as OSD, this is an optional component that will allow you to see some vital information on your video feed.
  • Battery, typically LIPO batteries and can be of varying cell counts
  • Velcro Battery Strap, used to hold your battery to your frame. These often come as freebies from stores when ordering parts.
  • Buzzer, an optional item that can be triggered from the controller to sound a loud buzzer to help you locate your drone when you crash. Many ESC’s can also be programmed to do a similar function which eliminate the need for an additional part like this.
  • LED Strip, optional part that can help you locate your drone when you crash or can be used just for the added style.

Pit Essentials

  • Hex Wrenches – 1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm (some drones may have other sizes, but these will cover most builds)
  • Nut Drivers – 7mm & 8mm, most common sizes for 3-6″ props. Smaller props typically use hardware that screw on with hex drivers or press on without hardware
  • Battery Charger, chargers come in all different configurations and choosing what features are important to you is essential. AC/DC, LIPO capable, multiple batteries (2+), balancing, 80W+ per channel, and up to 6 cell capable are the features I look for.
  • Needle nose pliers and side cutters, small size that convenient to work around your drone
  • Zip Ties – They fix everything
  • Double sided tap – servo tape is commonly used and holds solid
  • Electrical tape – can be helpful in a pinch