DIY Drone Racing Gates for Under $10

Since the advent of R/C, man (and woman!) has wanted to prove their superiority to other drivers and/or pilots via racing. In fact, I grew up racing an off-road stadium racer (RC10T3) at my local track, and loved both the camaraderie and competitive spirit that such events helped to foster.

Fast forward to 2015, and here we are with our mini (and micro!) quads tearing it up in the air, and finally at a point where we can race each other with enough video bandwidth available to make it all possible. Hell, we even had our first ever Drone Nationals event which all in all, was a successful first attempt at bringing drone racing to the mass market.

Lots of folks want to get into racing, but who wants to invest in expensive feather flags and racing gates only to have them ripped to pieces with all the crashing you will do? Not this guy. I’d rather spend my extra money on props! I had been wanting to build some gates for quite awhile now, but hadn’t decided how to until I saw a post from Ron from Crave FPV in the MQC FB Group showing his method. I made one small adjustment and they are perfect. The best part: they cost under $10 each!

You Will Need:
• 2 – 10′ lengths of 1/2″ PVC pipe
• 4 – 1/2″ T adapters
• 2 Pool Noodles
• PVC primer and glue (optional)
• Hacksaw
• Tape measure
• Tons of Props (for practicing)


Step 1 Complete!

Step 1: Creating the Base
Take one of the 10′ sections and cut yourself a 60″ section to make the long piece that creates the base. This will leave you with an additional 60″ section that you will be making the legs out of.  Measure out the leftover 60″ section into four 15″ pieces and cut. These will be your legs for your gate. Pretty easy so far, huh? 🙂


Step 2 Complete!

Step 2: Adding the T-Brackets
Taking two of the 15″ sections, the 60″ section, and two of the T adapters, prime and glue (optional) them into a U shape and set it aside. Now take the 10′ section and cut 2 – 1.5″ pieces from the end of it. These will be glued into the T adapters to allow you to use the additional 2 T adapters to be installed. Once those are in place (be sure to orient the second set of T adapters to face upward to hold the arch) you can use the last two 15″ pieces of PVC to complete the base. I glued the entire base together to make it sturdy, but did not glue the arch so it could easily be broken down for transport.


All done! Now go practice!

Step 3: Attaching the Arch
(aka: Prop Destroyer)
Grab the two pool noodles and slide them down what’s left of the 10′ section. Shove one end into the T adapter and slowly bend the section and place the other end into the other T adapter. Now take a few steps away from your new creation, crack open a beer, and let your significant other know that you will be busy training for the next Drone Nationals event and can’t be bothered. Mentioning you could win money usually helps.  🙂

I hope this has helped everyone see how cheaply they can build these gates and how easy it is to get into drone racng. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below, and as always, thanks for your support.