Build a Drone : FlightClub Neutron
Whether you are a seasoned drone pilot or a beginner looking for info on how to build a drone, this FlightClub Neutron build is for you. Experienced racers will love the size, weight and agility of the Neutron. Beginners will love the durability and simplicity of this build.
The Neutron race frame is a baby version of the proven PROton frame but designed for the smaller, lighter 20x20mm components. It still has all the features such as the CNC Nucleus plate with butter mounts and threaded motor screw holes, available in a skeleton standoff mode or canopy/pod mode and is available in several arm options (3″, 4″ 5″ Race, 5″ Practice and 5″ SX).
A drone kit with all the parts, cheat sheet, BetaFlight and Taranis program files is available. It will include everything you need to build this quadcopter including the misc parts like the M2 hardware. Neutron Quadcopter Build Kit
Build a Drone Parts List
- FlightClub Neutron – 5″ Race with hybrid canopy configuration
- EMAX Mini Magnum 2 – 35A ESC and F4 flight controller
- Foxeer Arrow Micro Pro
- Tmotor F40II 1750KV
- TBS Unify V3
- Lumenier AXii Stubby
- TBS Crossfire Nano
- Immortal T Antenna
- Crossfire Immortal T Antenna mount
- Crossfire MicroTX
- GemFan 5149
- CNHL 6s 1000mAh
Tools Used in this Build
EMAX Mini Magunum 2
This is one of the easiest how to build a drone tutorial you’ll ever find because it’s using the EMAX Mini Magnum 2. The Magnum 2 is an all in one stack that has a 35A 4in1 ESC rated for up to 6s, F4 Flight controller with BetaFlightOSD and VTX with SmartAudio. The best part of the EMAX Mini Magnum 2 is that it’s actually reliable!
The Mini Magnum’s 35A 4in1 ESC is a beast. As of right now, there aren’t many 20x20mm 4in1 ESCs that’s rated for 35A and 6s. It’s designed to work with the 20x20mm F4 flight controller. Connect the 7 pin cable from the ESC to the FC and you’re done. No need to mess with signal or power wires.
I have four Neutrons built with the Mini Magnum 2 that I’ve been thrashing and haven’t had any issues. They survived a whole week of flying at MultiGP International Open without any issues. That saids a lot because all the race gates at the International Open were made with metal pipes and I crash a lot.
One of the flaws with the EMAX mini magnum 2 is that it doesn’t have a spare UART to run the Crossfire protocol. You can still build a drone with the EMAX and Crossfire, you’ll just have to run it on SBUS. Even though it wont have the latency advantages of the crossfire protocol I like to use it because you never have to worry about range. Crossfire has a range many times further than an XM+.
FPV Racing Drone Motors
In this build I’ll be using the Tmotor F40II 1750KV for 6s. Although these motors are too much for me, it’s a freaking awesome setup if you can handle the speed.
I’ve tried so many motors on this Neutron before finding the perfect combination of power, torque, efficiency, weight and speed. Here are the motors I tried.
- BrotherHobby 2205 2552K – great lightweight motors but at 230g I felt the quad was too light. great setup for a small technical track but lacks speed on big tracks
- Lumenier 2206 2450kv POPO – I really really wanted to like these motors. On the bench the POPO system worked great. It only took about 5 seconds to swap a prop. The motors flew great also but the props popped off twice in two batteries. I ended up just putting nuts to secure the props but then the shaft broke in a crash.
- Tmotor F40ii 2400Kv – great motors but too much power for me
- Tmotor F40ii 2600Kv – great motor but way too much power
- BrotherHobby 2207 2552KV – Never could get the tune correct. While tuning, a motor got so hot it killed my ESC
- EMAX RSII2206 2700kv – fast but very inefficient
On my personal quad I use the EMAX RSII2206 2300kv for 4s and BrotherHobby R2 2205 1750kv for 6s.
The EMAX RSII2206 2300kv, on 4s these have a great balance between power, torque, efficiency and weight. The lower KV makes managing throttle really easy. No need to put a throttle cap.
For 6s, the BrotherHobby R2 2205 1750kv are the perfect combination of weight and power. The lightweight AUW of 240g was too light for 4s but the weight is offset by using a heavier 6s battery.
How to Build a Drone
Building with the EMAX Mini Magnum 2 is so simple. All you have to do is solder on the motors, add a receiver, solder on the camera cable and battery cable. It’s really that easy.
Solder a positive, negative and signal wire to channel 1 on the Crossfire Nano RX. Cover the receiver with some heat shrink. Double side tape it to the bottom of the ESC.
Insert the Butter Mounts into the CNC Nucleus plate. Butter mounts are custom silicon grommets that prevent any vibrations from the frame reaching the gyro on the flight controller. This ensures you will have an ultra smooth flight.
The EMAX Mini Magnum 2 uses 2mm screws which is really annoying. Manufacturers, if you are reading this post, please stop using M2 screws for 20x20mm stacks. There’s no advantage in doing this. Please use the industry standard M3 screws so we don’t have to go buy new hardware just to use your stack.
I recommend replacing the fragile plastic standoffs that come with the EMAX Mini Magnum long screws metal screws that goes up all the way up the whole stack. This will eliminate the possibility of standoffs breaking in a crash. This M2 hardware kit will have all the M2 screws, washers and M2 locknuts you’ll need to mount the stack with metal screws.
Please note on the EMAX 4in1 ESC, if you decide to drill out the M2 holes to M3, you cannot use one long metal screw for the whole stack. You’ll have to use nylon standoffs if you do. Drilling out the hole will expose the PCB layers. A metal screw will cause shorts in the board. I tried this in one of my builds…I got sparks and smoke!
Since the TBS Unify Pro v3 is slightly bigger than the 20x20mm stack, I use M2x18mm screws on the right side of the stack and M2x20mm screws on the left. This way the Unify Pro can mount flat on the 20x20mm vtx plate.
Mount the arms. The holes on the CNC Nucleus plate are threaded so just screw the screws right into the plate.
Mount the ESC with the capacitors on the right. This way it will leave plenty of room for the camera. We will fix the YAW rotation and ESC remapping later in BetaFlight.
Mount the motors on the frame. Cut the wires and solder them on the ESC.
This part is optional. If you want to build a drone for flying in the park for fun and don’t plan on racing at events, you’ll be perfectly fine with the VTX that comes with the EMAX Mini Magnum 2. Just plug in the VTX, attach an antenna and you’re ready to go.
If you plan on racing, I’d recommend swapping out the stock VTX with a TBS Unify Pro V3. The stock VTX works fine if you are flying by yourself at 200mw. It gets sketchy when you have to use 25mw with 8 other pilots. The TBS Unify Pro series VTX have given me the best video of all the VTX I’ve tried. There’s a reason probably 90% of racers use these VTX.
The EMAX F4 flight controller comes with female 2mm pin headers already installed. I recommend leaving this on so you can always have a back up VTX that plugs right in. Solder the TBS Unify wires on the bottom of the board. The difference in price in buying the ESC and flight controller separately vs buying the EMAX mini mag stack is $4. I think that VTX is worth $4.
Solder the Crossfire wire to the flight controller.
Solder the camera wire to the flight controller and put the M2 lock nuts on the shorter stack screws on the right.
Mount the 20x20mm vtx plate and double sided tape the TBS Unify v3.
Screw in the camera into the hybrid pod and mount it on the frame. At this point we are pretty much finished with the physical how to build a drone tutorial.
Check back next week for the BetaFlight settings, flight footage and top speed runs.
If you found this post helpful, it would be super cool if you purchased the components from my store or purchase items from my Amazon links. These posts are expensive and take a loooong time to make so the purchases make it possible for me to keep making them. Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂