Teenager hand-builds drone, produces incredible clip of Cornwall coast
“The Best Thing I’ve Ever Filmed” is the most viewed quadcopter (commonly known as a drone) flight videos on the Internet. The simple footage of part of the Cornwall coast was made by Clym Montgomery, a 17-year-old from Devon in the U.K. Within a week of its posting, the clip had gathered almost 500,000 views, with people blown away by the natural beauty and stunning cinematography. Montgomery assembled the quadcopter himself and uses special goggles to view the live feeds coming from the camera. GrindTV.com caught up with Montgomery to see exactly how he did it.
Tell us about your kit: Is it true you built it yourself?
Yes. I assembled the quadcopter, which is a Discovery Pro, made by the team at Blacksheep. The build took 19 hours over the course of a single weekend, taking me from unpacking all the little individual components to actually getting [it] in the air. They manufacture the frame, which has integrated circuitry pre-built in, and produce a manual for construction with their recommended parts.
There are many different directions that you can take for motors, propellers, transmitters, etc., to customize the setup for specific needs or wants; that’s the nature of the hobby. For example, I wanted better signal penetration through obstacles, so I used a lower transmission frequency than they suggest. This caused other conflicts, however, due to varying voltages and power requirements, so I needed to integrate some further electronics into my build.
My build used parts from over nine different companies, so there’s always going to be some thinking to be done. The manual, well written as it is, can only go so far; you’re the one who’ll be soldering and assembling your choice of components at the end of the day.
How much did it all cost?
I’ve spent over $3,600 on this setup, although it’s hard to know exactly because I had orders from many different suppliers from all over the world.
How long have you been using the aerial cameras?
I started with a hexacopter (DJI F550) two years ago. I had a GoPro before that and came across the hobby when looking at different uses for the camera. I then progressed to FPV (First Person View), when you fly using the video stream, and now I’ve upgraded to the more capable Discovery Pro.