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Cheap DIY Quadcopter FPV Racing Gates Tutorial

Introduction

At our local Hacker Space in Ottawa, ON, Canada we have started to organize a bit of a Quadcopter (Rotorcross/Quads) meetup.  We started meeting monthly and soon grew to bi-weekly.  Some of the members (myself included) are flying FPV 250 Racing Quads similar to the ZMR250.  We have been flying in open fields near Maker Space North and quickly decided that we really needed to setup a course instead of just cruising around.

 

I decided to take on the challange and did some searches and came up with various solutions from purchased flags to arrows on the ground which will be our next item to tackle.  But for now we wanted something cheap that would be simple to build and would be versatile.  Another requirement was that they couldn’t be hard when we crashed into them and they needed to be easily visible when flying.

Simple DIY Quad Race Course Markers

Simple DIY Quad Race Course Markers

Simple DIY Quadcopter Racing Gates

Simple DIY Quadcopter Racing Gates

The end result is a nice set of gates which can be used to mark a corner post and stand ten feet tall can be used for either beginer (7′ tall) or advanced (3.5′ tall) duck under gates.  We will be building some more and will begin using them later this week.

 

How about we get down to business and see how we put them together?

 

How to build Cheap DIY Quadcopter FPV Racing Gates

Materials

10′ long Schedule 40 1/2″ PVC Conduit from the Electrical Section at HomeDepot

3′ long Expoy coated Rebar from the Building Materials section at HomeDepot

Pool Noodles of various colours from the local Dollar Store (We used Dollarama noodles)

 

Making the Gates

Carfully cut the pool noodles into smaller pieces roughly 8″ long using a box cutter or kitchen knife

8 inch long piece of pool noodle

8 inch long piece of pool noodle

Carefully cut pool noodles into 8" long pieces

Carefully cut pool noodles into 8″ long pieces

Slide the pool noodles onto the 1/2″ PVC conduit alternating colours as you go along.  This may be a tight fit and may require two people but cutting them into 8″ pieces definately helps make this much easier.

Slide the pool noodle pieces onto the PVC Pipe in alternating colours

Slide the pool noodle pieces onto the PVC Pipe in alternating colours

Leave approximately 2-or-3″ of pipe uncovered at the end to allow them to be connected together for the beginer gates.

Leave enough space to connect the PVC pipe ends together

Depending on your pool noodle colour choices you may be able to develop some kind of colour scheem for passing to the right vs left side of the post or maybe a different colour set to signify the Start / Finish Line.

 

Making the Rebar Stands

The gates need a way to stand up so grab some of those 3 foot long rebar pieces and but them in half using a circular grinder.  When making the cuts, cut them at a 45 degree angle to make it a bit easier to get the posts into the ground.  Make sure to wear eye protection.

Cut the rebar into 18" pieces with a 45 degree cut on one end.

Cut the rebar into 18″ pieces with a 45 degree cut on one end.

Use an Circular Grinder or metal cutting chop saw if available.

Use an Circular Grinder or metal cutting chop saw if available.

Don’t forget to bring a hammer to the field to help drive the Rebar into the ground and whatever you do, try to have fun and keep your quad in the air.

Don't Forget your hammer...

Don’t Forget your hammer…

dave

7 Comments

  1. Great build. The alternating coloured noodles is a great ideal. Oh ya. Get a bigger hammer man!

  2. This is a great idea.. Thanks for the tips. I look forward to hearing about how you figured out cheap arrows for the ground. Please share!

    • Never did make any arrows yet. Ended up getting some soccer cones from Canadian Tire when they were on sale.

  3. Thanks for the great idea. Just built 4 of these for FPV racing at our club.

  4. How are you connecting two for the beginner gates? Aren’t the PVC conduits the same width? Are you using basic 180 degree connectors, or just using one of the 8″ pool noodle chunks as a connector? The noodle doesn’t seem like it would make a good connector, as it would be too weak to keep the PVC bent, and it might get worn or stretched/torn by the PVC.

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