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Cheap Trainer Option for Vision+

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by srandall25, May 11, 2014.

  1. srandall25

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    I've been looking at different alternatives to train (i.e. manual mode) and have fun to ensure further success when operating my more expensive Vision+. I used the small micro drones... didn't really do it for me... I've practiced on a simulater called Aerofly RC 7 which is really good, but still short of offering the experience a real-life quadcopter provides. My research led me to to a Chinese knockoff version of the Phantom called the Cheerson CX-20. There is a very nice thread in the RC Group forum here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2112759

    Pros:
    1) It's only $300 (using coupon code: tmartCX20) expires tomorrow apparently) http://www.tmart.com/Cheerson-CX20-Auto ... 43506.html?
    2) It's control features are VERY similar to the Phantom. NAZA mode switches can be setup nearly identical
    3) It has all the same GPS/accelerometer/barometer/etc.. features for stabilization that are inherent to the Vision
    4) Some of the same spare parts used on the Phantom can also be used on the CX-20 (i.e. props and motors).. battery is different but much cheaper
    5) This is my favorite! It uses the APM Ardupilot 2.5.2 Flight Controller! This means that it's capable of using the mission planning software (flying via preprogrammed waypoints) that already exists and well documented in the DIYdrones.com site.
    6) Very 'hackable'... I see this particular platform as what the WRT54g router was to the router community back in the day. An open source community behind this (with all their proven hacks) will prove to show what we can expect to see commercialized in the phantom community very shortly.
    7) Can quite easily, and very cheaply be modified for a gimbal and camera of your choice. Read the RC Group thread above.

    Cons:
    1) No FPV out of the box... but can certainly be modified for it
    2) Chinese product assembly reported to be very spotty.. If you purchase one, read the RC Group thread above first! You need to double check a few of the internals prior to flight to ensure certain items are properly secured (i.e. flight controller).
    3) Battery life is about half of the VIsion+ and worse once mounted with gimbal and camera... however, batteries are really cheap
    4) If you thought DJI tech/customer support was bad, I wouldn't expect much in terms of support from a $300 drone knockoff built in China.
    5) Flight range not quite as good as the Vision but again can be extended easily with modification

    I decided to order one of these primarily to help perfect my manual flight skills in real-life elements. One of my goals is to be able to fly the Phantom with confidence knowing that in the event of a mishap, and I have manual mode working, I can confidently bring my Phantom down in a safe manner and also save it from destruction. :)
     
  2. MikesTooLz

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    chances of needing manual mode to SAVE your phantom is a pretty rare if not non-excitant occurrence.

    I would just save the money and get the phantom you want. By starting out in a wide open area like a park its extremely hard for anyone to crash the phantom as long as you follow the instructions. I would go as far as to say that you would have to purposely TRY to crash the phantom to actually have a crash.
     
  3. srandall25

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    It's certainly not a 'non-existent' occurrence. There are many people that have reported saving their Phantom in manual mode. If you read the RC Group thread I posted, a gentlemen named Dogdude who has much experience with these (posted many of the possible mods for this) has testified himself to the value of being able to fly in manual mode if needed. You may be lucky enough to never need it, but it's definitely another layer or measure of protection if you do.
     
  4. MikesTooLz

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    I'm not saying anything against manual mode, I'm able to fly in manual mode myself, however I don't know of very many situations where manual mode would be the ONLY way of recovering a phantom. Sure people who like flying in manual mode will instinctively switch into manual mode when things are not going like they want and say they saved the phantom by using manual mode, that may be true but it probably was not the only possible way to safely recover the phantom.
     
  5. srandall25

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    i.e. you lose or have GPS interference for any reason... RTH relies on GPS.