Finally, you’ll need
a Windows computer
and USB A to micro B
cable. I did everything
on a Windows 10
machine (Surface Pro)
and didn’t have any
Parallax also sells a
crash pack (Figure 2)
that includes parts that
damaged in a wreck,
including landing gear, motor mounts, saddle washers,
propellers, and a few other parts. If you are a first time
flyer, this is a must. Even experienced fliers crash, and it is
really frustrating to be stuck waiting on parts after one.
Ken Gracey did a short Q&A with engineer, Kyle
Montgomery on the Parallax site ( www.parallax.com/
Reading this will give you a more personal experience with
the product as you can put faces to the unit and hear
about the design process.
Head over to the Parallax assembly instructions
8-v3-quadcopter-assembly-guide) and go through the
introduction and recommended readings on UAV safety,
laws, etc. Remember that — as I’ve discussed before — your
quad is a flying set of blenders that can result in serious
harm and property damage if used improperly or
There is a list of recommended tools in the assembly
guide. I won’t reproduce it here, but I recommend getting
your bench cleaned off and then setting these tools out for
quick access. Next, you should lay out the parts (Figure 3)
and make sure they match the kit contents listing.
The assembly is divided into eight sections — each with
a defined sub system or two and a time estimate. Again,
I’m not going to re-write all of the instructions because
Parallax has already done a great job of that. I will briefly
talk about each section though, and some of the major
steps. I assembled my ELEV- 8 by following the directions on
an iPad where I can zoom and go backwards/forward
easily. Please do not print the assembly guide. It’s over 90
pages of dead tree plus your printer toner/ink.
The entire assembly process took me about five hours
which included doing the photographing for the article, but
take it slow. If you are inexperienced, take it even slower.
You want to get this right the first time as mistakes can
cost you in replacement hardware or a dangerous first flight
that ends in disaster.
Section 1 — Assemble the
The first part of the assembly has us dealing with the
SERVO 10.2016 45
Figure 4. Four complete motor and mount assemblies. The
mounts are meant to be expendable in a crash to save the
more expensive motors from damage.
Figure 3. The parts come pre-bagged and semi-sorted. Pretty
much everything you need for assembly is included, even
the safety glasses!
Figure 2. The crash
pack is a handy thing
to have on hand. It
contains the most
often damaged parts in
a wreck. It’s small
enough to throw into
your flight backpack.