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Old 26th Feb 2017, 10:22   #1
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Quadcopters with Return to Home

Quite fancy dipping my toe into the world of Quadcopters preferably with a camera. But I would like to start at the cheaper end of what looks like a very expensive market. If it does not hold my interest then the 50 quid I am prepared to spend initially will not be a big deal and I might even recoup something for it on the MP.

There is no shortage of choices out there so looking for advice on initial purchase. Don't know if this is a reasonable option? https://www.amazon.co.uk/LAMASTON-he...th+return+home

Would like it to have a Return to Home feature.
Camera
Not sure if app or controller is the way to go.
Obviously do not want it to be totally destroyed on first of many crashes.
Anything else you can think of.
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 10:33   #2
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I've been flying quadcopters for the last 3 years, primarily with a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ and now with the new DJI Mavic.

If you're going to spend only 50 quid, get something that you can really have some fun with in regard to the mechanics of the flight, like a Dromida Ominus or an Inductrix.

Those Syma variants are grand to start off with, but you're not going to get more than 5-7 minutes flight time with them.

RTH functions are often in the higher price brackets, where units have GPS connectivity. In units like you linked, the range isn't more than 100m at best and the motors generally aren't strong enough to fight against winds of any real value.

I had a Dromida Ominus while I still had the Phantom 2 V+, just to mess around with. Great fun to fly since it had 6-axis stabilisation and it was tough as hell since it ran on gear motors, rather than more common electric motors.

For your suggested 50 quid, you won't get a true RTH function and camera stability will be digital, rather than mechanical.

Have a look at Flitetest on Youtube, they have loads of nice information.

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Old 26th Feb 2017, 10:44   #3
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Hadn't thought about a micro sized one for messing about with in doors. Cheers.
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 11:41   #4
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Quite like the look of this https://www.sussex-model-centre.co.u...quadcopter-bnf

Edit:
Just discovered that BNF stands for Bind-N-Fly. Bind-N-Fly products come with everything you need except for a transmitter. I would need RTF which stands for Ready-to-Fly and it means the model you are buying comes complete with everything you need to get started - straight from the box!
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 12:09   #5
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At that price range I'd go for the Cheerson CX-10WD-TX
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 12:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VipersGratitude View Post
At that price range I'd go for the Cheerson CX-10WD-TX
Is this one you have personal experience of?
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 12:17   #7
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Sort of. I wrapped the unopened box for a xmas present, having researched a lot of different options. The kid loves it, I hear.

The main reason is it has altitude control - because they're so light, it's quite difficult to hold a micro quad at a stable altitude without it.

(My own drone is a flying Raspberry Pi)
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 13:02   #8
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With indoor flying, definitely get the prop guards and extra props!

Viper, would be interested in seeing what yours is!

Here's a video I put together a couple of weeks ago with my Mavic about the wetlands that I work on. The Mavic is a stunning bit of kit in every sense and well worth the price-tag that comes with it. It isn't cheap, by any measure, but worth it.

A mate of mine got a Hubsan X4 Pro, and after getting all the extra bits and pieces, it worked out roughly the same cost as a Mavic so that it has roughly the same functionality.

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Old 26th Feb 2017, 13:07   #9
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As I mentioned I would need to get the RTF model as obviously I do not have transmitter. https://www.amazon.co.uk/BLADE-INDUC...Quadcopter+RTF
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 13:18   #10
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Viper, would be interested in seeing what yours is!
It's actually in bits at the moment. I'm in the process of printing out a protective shell that's maintainable as well as pretty, with a view to forcing me to learn designspark mechanical properly. Of course, like a fool I keep adding new components and having to accommodate for them in the design.

I'll take pics/video once it's complete, but it's a Pi with a navio2 shield running linux apm. F450 frame, emax MT2213 motors, the sensors are in flux at the moment while I'm experimenting but it'll be some configuration of the usual suspects....oh, and a butt-load of neopixels.
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 19:23   #11
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To get started a micro quad is definitely the way to go. You definitely want a "proper" controller; if this is something you're going to get into then you're going to be using a "proper" mutli-channel transmitter.

The one Viper linked to looks like a good shout. I have a Hubsan X4 H107C that I keep going back to off and on.

Some video I shot with it:



No flight assistance on this model and no return to home, it's all totally manual. Holding it in one spot means almost constant adjustments to the controls. Personally I think that's a good thing (at least for learning): nothing helping me out means that if something goes wrong then it was me that f'ed up, not some on-board module.

About 30 on Amazon at the mo: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hubsan-H107.../dp/B01EL31PLY

Looks like there's a revised version about for the same price, the X4 H107L - no idea what the difference is tho: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hubsan-X4-H...dp/B00K8SDSY4/

EDIT: Should mention that the H107C does come with a "proper" controller, I can't see any mention of a controller in the H107L description

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Old 26th Feb 2017, 19:53   #12
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Are you flying for the sport, or for the footage? If it's just sport, the cheaper drones will probably be fine, but if you want aerial footage, you'll need something more expensive. I personally have a DJI Phantom 3 standard, and I love it; the footage is stunning (2.7k) and flying it is *almost* idiot proof.
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Old 26th Feb 2017, 22:09   #13
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You could also try a simulator. I've found FPV Freerider to be the best introduction. It isn't the most accurate, but there's a free demo, it's easy to jump in to, fun, and will give you an idea of whether you prefer assisted or unassisted flight (it's only auto-level, but you'll notice what a difference that makes)
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Old 27th Feb 2017, 07:11   #14
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To learn to fly (indoors) I can highly recommend the EACHINE E010.
It's an "Inductrix" type one, which guards the props.
My kid has been flying with it, and she's smashed into the roof and walls A LOT (and let it fall from the roof cutting power). It's still going strong and took all that beating.

I have two more and this one is actually the easiest one to fly.
Just for practising though!
It's ~20pounds in the UK, and a lot less from banggood or the likes.

I have a Revell Spot as a camera drone, it seems to be built by hubsan, as all the parts from a Hubsan errr...107? fit.
Frankly, the video is terrible, and what I find most annoying is height control, keeps bouncing up and down really.
I think probably return-to-home is less important than auto-height for filming, but it may just be my experience with very cheap copters speaking there.
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Old 27th Feb 2017, 08:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron C View Post
To get started a micro quad is definitely the way to go. You definitely want a "proper" controller; if this is something you're going to get into then you're going to be using a "proper" mutli-channel transmitter.

The one Viper linked to looks like a good shout. I have a Hubsan X4 H107C that I keep going back to off and on.

No flight assistance on this model and no return to home, it's all totally manual. Holding it in one spot means almost constant adjustments to the controls. Personally I think that's a good thing (at least for learning): nothing helping me out means that if something goes wrong then it was me that f'ed up, not some on-board module.

About 30 on Amazon at the mo: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hubsan-H107.../dp/B01EL31PLY

Looks like there's a revised version about for the same price, the X4 H107L - no idea what the difference is tho: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hubsan-X4-H...dp/B00K8SDSY4/

EDIT: Should mention that the H107C does come with a "proper" controller, I can't see any mention of a controller in the H107L description
Looking through the reviews it does come with a controller but poor show by Amazon by not adding this information by simple adding the recognisable three letters. Tempted by this as even adding the blade guard and spare parts it still comes within budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000 View Post
Are you flying for the sport, or for the footage? If it's just sport, the cheaper drones will probably be fine, but if you want aerial footage, you'll need something more expensive. I personally have a DJI Phantom 3 standard, and I love it; the footage is stunning (2.7k) and flying it is *almost* idiot proof.
I i mentioned I am a newbie so looking to see if this interests me as a hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir View Post
To learn to fly (indoors) I can highly recommend the EACHINE E010.
It's an "Inductrix" type one, which guards the props.
My kid has been flying with it, and she's smashed into the roof and walls A LOT (and let it fall from the roof cutting power). It's still going strong and took all that beating.

I have two more and this one is actually the easiest one to fly.
Just for practising though!
It's ~20pounds in the UK, and a lot less from banggood or the likes.
Looks interesting I my by that as well, as you say it is dirt cheap on banggood. Bought one.
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Old 27th Feb 2017, 14:41   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos View Post
Looks interesting I my by that as well, as you say it is dirt cheap on banggood. Bought one.
It's a blast, you might want to order an extra battery (of a few) otherwise you'll find yourself waiting for hours after 5 mins of flight.

Got my E010 for 12€ or so, and also an eachine H8...it's not as good though, harder to fly and keeps shedding rotors mid-flight (but it was also just a tenner)
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Old 27th Feb 2017, 14:47   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir View Post
It's a blast, you might want to order an extra battery (of a few) otherwise you'll find yourself waiting for hours after 5 mins of flight.

Got my E010 for 12 or so, and also an eachine H8...it's not as good though, harder to fly and keeps shedding rotors mid-flight (but it was also just a tenner)
Forgot about batteries, thanks for the heads up.
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Old 27th Feb 2017, 15:23   #18
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Originally Posted by Kronos View Post
Would like it to have a Return to Home feature.
Camera
Not sure if app or controller is the way to go.
Obviously do not want it to be totally destroyed on first of many crashes.
Anything else you can think of.

For that list of features plus a bit more, you should have bought my Phantom 2 vision Alas it's now sold on evilbay.

For out-door flight, I think the Phantom feature set should be bare minimal: GPS holding, GPS return home and good strong motors / propellers. I've flown in windy coasts and the P2v held its own very well during flight.

Mavic was my end goal, I even had 2 on order from different sources. Neither came on time for my December trip, so I cancelled both. I'm now drone-less I'll probably buy a Mavic when suitable one crops up second hand. The portability and features of that thing is well worth the full price. I'm just a cheapskate and didn't need a drone at this moment in time.

Speaking of expensive drones. I think one thing you don't want for a tester drone is gimbal. I've seen many reports of people crashing the Mavic and apart from the easily replaceable prop, the gimbal is always the first thing to break. Same thing with other Phantoms, where gimbal is the first non-replaceable part to break.
I've crashed my P2V a few times, propeller is always broken, but the rest of the drone soldiers on without any issue. To be honest, most of the times it's just sloppy landing, once is not being careful of nearby trees and wind direction. When careful (eg, on holiday, flying over water 300m away, zero chance of recovery) they are actually unlikely to crash.
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Old 27th Feb 2017, 15:44   #19
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Originally Posted by wuyanxu View Post
For that list of features plus a bit more, you should have bought my Phantom 2 vision Alas it's now sold on evilbay.
Is that the one you wanted 300 quid for? No way am I spending that sort of cash on something that I decide was not for me. It was a tidy looking craft and gave some stunning images but I am just looking to get a feel for this type of thing at the moment.
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Old 27th Feb 2017, 16:07   #20
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Originally Posted by Kronos View Post
Is that the one you wanted 300 quid for? No way am I spending that sort of cash on something that I decide was not for me. It was a tidy looking craft and gave some stunning images but I am just looking to get a feel for this type of thing at the moment.
Fair enough. Everyone has a different price.

What you've done is actually very sensible, because crashing a 20 drone is a lot less scary than a 300 one, let alone a 1000 latest and greatest. Use the nano to learn the basics and crash with.

Then spend on a good one. I would recommend one with gimbal once you know you are not likely to crash it. Without the gimbal, you are just limited to photos (like the one I had).
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