List of Multirotor/UAV Resources

drone online resources

 

I’ve been asked by quite a few folks on where I get my information and resources for finding and purchasing motors, parts, electronics, etc.  So I decided to assemble my list and share it.  I’m sure everyone will have their favorite vendors and will have their own experiences, but thus far, these are my experiences and I hope they’re fair.

Forums

http://rcgroups.com - beginners and experienced alike.  If you're into RC or into drones, this is definitely a place to join.  My handle in here is skybotz.

http://multirotorforums.com - focused on multirotors and their uses, where I hang out a lot.  My handle is dtw.

http://fpvlab.com - experienced FPVer's on this forum, but willing to help anyone in need.  My handle on these forums is maxq.

 

IRC

#cleanflight - for the Cleanflight OS, anyone in this channel will help with an assortment of issues, but try to relate it to Cleanflight.  These are a group of very helpful folks, so please be respectful.  You can also ask these folks questions on Facebook!

 

Online Stores

http://rotorgeeks.com - owned by David Klien out of Canada.  This is a great place, fast shipping, decent prices and David is very helpful.  Great for motors (cobra mostly) and ESC's - RotorGeeks makes some of the best 12amp ESC's available.

http://massiverc.com - owned and operated in the US.  I buy small parts here, but more is offered.  You’ll find MassiveOverkill, the owner, on rcgroups.com, another very helpful person

http://multirotorsuperstore.com - great place, out of California.  They ship fast and they have some cool add-ons for Taranis radios, small parts and controllers.  If you're interested in the less expensive and open source OpenLRS UHF systems, this is where to get those.

http://besthobbymall.com - where to get the "new" Night Hawk 250 Pro v2 frame, which is the newer version of the frame I used for my first 250.  Otherwise, they have a lot of stuff here for mini-quads, so...

http://readymaderc.com - the absolute "standard" for all your needs.  RMRC is very reliable, fast, helpful, awesome, can't say enough about them.  They have just about everything, when it's in stock.  In the U.S. and fast cheap shipping.

http://getfpv.com - the absolute "standard" for all your needs as well!  GetFPV can be a little more expensive/a little less expensive on some things, so shop and look around, but they have the GS920 Boscam goggles and for the Fatshark goggles, they give a picture of what the different sized images that each goggle puts out.  It's nice to compare - and it's a very informative site.  In the U.S. and fast cheap shipping.

http://dronematters.com - in Singapore, but wait - they have lots of stuff in stock!  This is a great place to shop!

http://hobbywireless.com - I buy my 1000/500mw 1.2Ghz transmitters from these guys because they take the Lawmate 1.2Ghz transmitters and add functionality to them.  I think HW must inspect each transmitter because I’ve heard Lawmate is somewhat inconsistent in delivering “working” units.  I’ve never received a bad transmitter from hobbywireless!

http://securitycamera2000.com - great place to buy board cameras (CCD cameras without a case) - $29 bucks for excellent cameras.

http://fpvhobby.com - another place for cameras - price shop and shipping price shop.

http://hobby-wing.com and arrishobby.com (same people) - I like these guys - they've been pretty decent about answering my questions and I've bought a lot of them over the last couple of years, but beware they don't speak English well.  You can get great stuff of their site and the quality of their creations are pretty good.

http://BangGood.com, http://GoodLuckBuy.com, http://amazon.com (Neewer brand) - ok, these places CAN be a win sometimes.  I price shop and compare, but they're slow shipping because many times it's "free" shipping, but that means 10~20 days.  I do order from them, but only stuff I know I won't need right away.

http://fpvpro.com - this is Mike's store, the owner of DragonLinkRC, or basically one of the most advanced Long Range System (LRS) available.  The new DragonLink receivers are very lightweight, powerful and versatile receiver.  They  can use S.bus, PPM, PWM and have digital and analog RSSI, as well as many other features (even has a built-in spectrum analyzer!).  It's amazing.  Mike is the consummate salesperson, but if you can get past that, he's very informative, helpful and willing to spend time with you.  You can email him and you'll always get a reply within 24 hours.

http://towerhobbies.com - in the U.S., not always the best prices, but extremely reliable.  They've been around forever - used to read their catalog from cover to cover when I was 13 years old.  I used to spend hours looking through the Tower Hobbies catalog planning my next build.  Probably why I spend HOURS browsing the Internet and looking at this stuff now when I'm 47.  Tower Hobbies is good.

http://helipal.com - very good people, very good service, not so cheap prices - price shop a lot.  I've left some reviews here - bought some kits and add-on parts from them.

http://rc711.com - very cheap prices, fast shipping, although you'll never hear from their people.  However, they do have a lot of the DJI stuff cheaper than everyone else.  My entire F550 setup came from rc711.com

http://helidirect.com - great people, excellent service, not so cheap pricing - but on some things they're not too bad.  I've bought a LOT of helicopter stuff from them.

http://hobbyking.com - just a word of advice here, if you buy anything but batteries from HK, you're on your own.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's horrible.  I've never contacted their support - if I ordered an $8 part and it sucked, I just ate it.  However, that said, you'll never find a better place to buy batteries.  HK is the ONLY source for batteries.  If someone else says they have better ones, that's BS - they're the same.  Buy Turnigy, Nano-Tech Turnigy, some Zippy compacts are good, not so much the regular Zippy batteries - the Rhino's are decent, so are "some" of the Multistar batteries.  But that's a LOT to choose from.

HobbyKing is a really inexpensive place to shop, but sometimes you do get lucky.

Please note that these are all my opinions and may not be your experience if you do business with them, however I can honestly say that I have made purchases from all of these online companies, many times more than once, and I’m honest about my experiences with them.

I realize that folks will have differences of opinions here, but this has been my experience, and I’m trying to be nice and give these shops the benefit of the doubt.  The more folks we have selling online, the more competitive the pricing, so…. Keep that in mind!

Happy Flying!