This is quick assembly instructions on how to assemble ArduCopter Frame 1.0. We are constantly updating these pages so come back often to see if there is any new information.
From these pages you will find instruction guides and also assembly videos.
ArduCopter - Parts placing and propellers for + setup
ArduCopter - Parts placing and propellers for x setup
You'll need two kinds of props (puller and pusher). Pusher props go clockwise; regular (puller) props go counterclockwise. If you get the full kit with motors, these are included.
NOTE! Sometimes some manufacturers call pushers as pullers and pullers as pushers. To be clear on this make sure that air flows downwards when you start motors if not, swap your propeller order. Motor should always spin on direction as shown on pictures above.
For details on how to install the props and use the included spacers, see this post.
Content of Jani's "Magic Box" with all frame parts:
Below are instructions in video format followed by an instructional picture guide. In the videos, we assemble the basic frame with all spacers, aluminum arms, carrier plates, motor mounts, protective dome, landing fins, and battery mount.
ArduCopter Frame Assembly, Part 1/2 (8mins)
When you finish the part 1/2, it will look like this:
ArduCopter Frame Assembly, Part 2/2 (8mins)
ArduCopter Motor Mount Assembly (6 mins)
ArduCopter Dome & Landing Gear Assembly (15 mins)
ArduCopter Battery Mount Assembly (5mins)
Open Bag #1 and take out 1 of the Main Frame boards. You'll also need 4 of the M3 x 25mm Male-Female Nylon Spacers and 4 of the M3 x 6mm Nylon screws that are in Bag #9. The main frame is designed to support both '+' and 'X' configurations. Take each of the spacers and put them over the hole closest to the center of the three holes near the outside edge of the Main Frame board with the female side down. Secure each one with a screw from the bottom of the board. The spacers should NOT be installed over where the aluminum arms will be which depends on if you have a '+' or 'X' configuration. Now, take 4 - M3 x 20mm steel screws out of Bag #9 and place them through the innermost hole. These will end up going through your aluminum arms, so place them accordingly.
In anticipation of installing the Power Distribution Board and to make it easier for ourselves when we do, it is best to install the spacers right now. Open Bag #3 and take out the 4 - M3 x 12mm Male-Female Nylon spacers and the 4 - M3 Nylon Nuts. Place the spacers through the innermost holes with the female side up that are not being used by the steel screws. These spacers should line up with the longer spacers already installed. Secure them from the bottom side of the board with a nut.
Now, remove the second Main Frame board and line it up with the first one. These two boards will sandwich the aluminum arms. Take out the 8 - M3 x 20mm Nylon Screws and 8 - M3 Nylon Nuts from Bag #9. Two of the nylon screws will be on either side of an aluminum arm and the steel screw will pass through the arm. Place the nylon screws through both Main Frame boards in the outermost holes of where your arms will be. Place a nut just barely on the other end; we will tighten it later.
Now, choose the size of aluminum arm you want to use. If you look at it, you should see an elongated hole on both ends. Find the side where the hole is furthest from the end of the arm. This is the side that should face up and the end that your motor will mount to. The motor mount parts are located in Bag #7 and #8. The upper part of the motor mount is the larger piece. Take a M3 x 25mm Steel screw and place a steel washer followed by a nylon washer on it. Push it through the lower motor mount, the aluminum arm, and the upper motor mount. Take your 16/19 mm spacing motor and line it up with the holes on the end of the upper motor mount and the steel screw you just put it. Tighten the steel screw and use the mounting screws that came with your motor for the remaining three holes. Find 2 - M3 x 25mm plastic screws and nuts and place them through the remaining holes of the motor mount. These should press the motor mount pieces tightly to the aluminum arm and brace both sides of the arm. Do this for all four of the arms.
Slide each aluminum arm between the nylon screws of the Main Frame boards and pass the steel screw through them. Secure the steel screws on the bottom with the 4 - M3 x 10mm Female-Female Nylon Spacers found in Bag #4 and tighten the nylon screws so that the Main Frame boards are snug with the aluminum arms.
Take out the Battery Mounting Plate and the 4 - M3 x 6mm Nylon Screws from Bag #4 along with the velcro battery strap from Bag #9. Thread the velcro strap through the batter mounting plate ensuring that you have the correct side of the strap so that it will stick to itself. Make sure the recessed screw holes are also on that side.
Line the screw holes up with the nylon spacers on the bottom of the Main Frame board taking note of which direction you'll want the battery to be. In my 'X' configuration, I want the length of the battery to be facing straight forward and aft. Secure it with the 4 nylon screws.
If you haven't finished your P-PCB yet, follow the steps here before preceding.
Note: The P-PCB shown below is a previous revision. Follow the steps in the link above and disregard discrepancies in the P-PCB picture.
Place the PCB into the 12mm nylon spacers and secure it with 4 - M3 x 6mm Nylon Screws from Bag #3.
Now, take out a carrier board from Bag #1. I used some nylon screws from the extra parts bag to mount my ArduPilot Mega board. Mount the board so that the edges are parallel with the side of the carrier board. Keep in mind when attaching your board that the edge opposite the right-angle headers must be the front of the ArduCopter for the (+) configuration. The (x) configuration is mounted the same way. This means the front of the ArduCopter will be 45 degrees from the edge of the board.
Place the IMU shield on top of the APM.
Take the second carrier board and attach the magnetometer (if you have one) as well as the receiver from your transmitter. For default mounting, the pins of the magnetometer should face the front of the ArduCopter. More info on connecting the magnetometer and an alternate mounting option can be found here.
A velcro sticker is supplied in Bag #9 for mounting the receiver. Zip-ties can also me used to secure the receiver.
Place the carrier board that has the APM and IMU on top of the 25 mm Nylon spacers already on your frame. Take the other 4 - M3 x 25mm Male-Female Nylon spacers out of Bag #9 and screw them on top of those. Place the second carrier board with your magnetometer and receiver on top of those spacers and secure with a M3 nylon nut.
All of the parts for the protective dome and landing gear are in bags #5 and #6. The upper and lower dome center have elongated slots in them that the protective dome arches slide into. Secure with 2 - M3 x 20mm Plastic screws and two M3 plastic nuts. The top carrier plate will have more room if you hold the dome centers with the nuts being placed on top and the screw head on the bottom.
If you look at the end of the arches, notice that there is material removed from one side of it between the 3 screw holes. This is the side that is against the aluminum arm.
The Landing Gear Fins also have material removed on one side and they attach with 3 - M3 x 20mm Plastic Screws and Nuts. Keep the nuts loose until all of the landing fins are on so that you can center the entire Protective Dome on the Arducopter. Once it is centered, tighten the nuts. (Some people may find it easier to attach the Protective Dome Arches and Landing Fins to the aluminum arms and then snap the Dome Centers in place)
The GPS is placed in the top dome and is secured with a zip tie.