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From a beginner to a beginner (long text warning)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by evilfurryone, May 27, 2014.

  1. evilfurryone

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    I initially wanted to chew some poor guy here on the forums a new one for crashing his expensive phantom and confessing that it was his first R/C "toy" ever and is still learning. That made me see red for a moment, but that feeling faded. But I felt the need to write this wall of text here.

    Full disclosure, I am a beginner with an opinion. I have flown quads for about 2 months. No prior experience except wanting to.

    I really really don't understand people who buy an expensive phantom as their first toy and then are surprised that they crash and total it. Did you really expect anything less? I get it some people have a lot more free cash floating around than others but ****... You have made so much free money but you don't have the intelligence to learn to fly first? Unless it was a lottery or trust fund money.. then I totally get it.

    Why not buy a simple generic learning drone. I first got me a Syma X1, it's so light it can fall from pretty high up and if you train in a park the grass would make it almost invulnerable... almost.. I still broke some plastic, but that's 75 cents (just buy spare plastic parts with the drone) and yes, some soldering needed to remove motor to replace the plastic.. I never soldered before but it was not that hard, as it's a really simple, cheap drone.

    You learn to fly with harder to control quads, that dont really hover in the air outside, you need to micromanage them a bit. You fly, you learn to do tricks (press the 360 degree button and yaw in some direction) and you just get the general feel of how to fly quads.

    So for me it was a month of flying new drones. Also I got an hubsan x4 107G that I thought would be fun to take out on a windier day in the park and I was still new to flying outside.. took it too high, winds caught it and I really quickly lost control of it and managed to crash it not into grass, but dirt road next to it. Broke the hard top shell and still waiting for the crash pack to arrive via ebay (I missed that the delivery would take up to 2 months.. lol). But that's another 10 dollars or whatever the shell would cost.

    But that is pocket change compared to a 1.2 kg drone crashing down and at east destroying everything below it (be it vision camera or gimbal+gopro).

    I also got the demo version of the heli-x simulator and managed to attach my ps3 controller to windows and actually test and get a feel on how to fly a phantom. No manual mode for me for a while thanks. I could do all sorts of silly maneuvers and crash crash crash my heart content until I got it out of my system. That feeling of "what would happen if I do this...". *Crash*

    When I first ordered my drone I quickly got the propeller guards as well. Also thought I would save some money by buying aftermarket battery ca 25% cheaper than the original. Got the battery and thank god it did not work with my phantom (red lights, assistant software told not original dji etc). Got refunded and have adopted a fairly common rule here: propellers and batteries need to be dji originals. Regarding the guards: I have not installed them so far as I heard they ruin some of the flight characteristics. I have once accidentally fairly slowly brushed a tree trunk (I thought the drone was facing the other way). Did not crash but that would have been that one moment the guards would have just bumped the drone away. Still don't think I want to use the guards unless I would be doing some close flying near buildings/trees.

    Now regarding my own experience with P2. I got it, did all the pre flight checks, battery full, took off and let it hover. Easy. What's the catch? there is none. compared to what I did to learn to fly quads this is so **** easy. took it to 10-20 meters, no problem, flew it over an old stadium and tbh got bored. There was no challenge, drone responded better than I expected and I did fly the first time without the gimbal (better to just break the drone skids rather than gimbal) and it became obvious that it will get more boring quick as just flying around with a big on my line of site was no challenge at all and not really the reason I got it.

    So that night I installed the gimbal, put my gopro on and next day took it for a spin in the same park, no issues, took it a bit higher and higher until I got to maybe 100m (it was a lot higher, I discovered later). Did my first nice aerial pictures of Tallinn city center and got my first facebook likes. I did upgrade to fw 3.0 right away from 1.08, so that gave me the 2 m/s descent and so far nothing has happened. no vortex ring problems so far.

    Been to the beach, no problems. And the few times (both on a pier with buffeting winds) when the drone had issues holding a position wobbling too much for my comfort I landed it asap and just walked away and took off again on the land. Both times the wobbling occurred when it was just hovering in gps lock and the drone just (I guess) had issues compensating for the occasional wind gust. No problems when I was actually flying around.

    And of course I got bored again with straining my next looking at a drone 100+ meters above me hoping it would take good pictures. Yes, that FPV kit I was hoping to buy maybe in autumn was ordered after 4 days of flying the drone. Got help soldering (as a noob I did not want to solder expensive stuff and fail) and all the kit was boscam so after we turned the drone on, it just worked.

    Again back to my friendly stadium for some flying via screen/ skyzone HD goggles and discover that the when OSD was showing 150m height the drone was bigger than week earlier when I took it really high as it was just a dot. 150m is the legal limit around here.. ups.

    I have experienced 1 "crash", being very very very low over the grass on my first flight I just did some wobbly sideways movements on the drone and it got caught on some grass tuft and flipped over. Grass colored propellers were the only damage and a slight blow to my ego. I also had a very stupid close call when on my fpv maiden flight I did some low speedy flying and due to the live feed resolution and sun setting in the direction I was speeding I missed some small poles in the middle of the stadium. I was speeding all was cool and for some reason I decided to look up from my screen towards the drone and noticed it flying past them poles... did not see them on screen. in the video footage later I got lucky by about 1-1.5 meters, I was doing ca 15m/s

    If you managed to read this far and maybe wonder what the point is then it's this: learn to fly on smaller, harder to control toys and go bigger. With bigger start first without any extra gear. For me loosing the gimbal/camera would be 2/3 of the price of the drone and don't do anything stupid. Fly safe altitudes, in weathers you feel comfortable. The moment you feel you are not in control of the situation, land the drone and take a 5 minute breather. You will end up not crashing your hard earned toy for some silly random mistake you could have avoided easily by learning to fly on more difficult to control quads first. Create a comfort level of flying when you feel and know you are in control and then change something, add some gear or so.

    I'm sure at one point I will eventually crash it. I hope that time is far away and at least it will not be an operator error or motor/propeller failure (as I check them periodically).

    The moment you take you quad up consider it lost. Just enjoy the time you have with it.

    Any extra tips and tricks welcomed.
     
  2. Ozzyguy

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    You criticise people for being able to afford a quad yet it sounds like you spent upwards of $1500. Also the DJI website has them advertised as for beginners so you can understand why some people might go with the advertising.

    I agree that buying a cheap one to practice on however is a good idea.I just bought cheap single rotor IR controlled toys to get the basics.
     
  3. chrisono

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    THIS! on a pier or on solid land i think would solve allot of issues people have. If there is a most any sory of wind or breeze i dont fly as its better to loose 20 mins of fun then the 2500+ i am now invested into this.

    I did things a bit differently and jumped right into this hobby, this is my first RC anything (P2+h3-3d). As soon as it got here i fully loaded it out with the gimble and all fpv gear. took the one thing that i thought to be the most usefull advice (commit to take off to avoid tip over) and went flying. To date i have not had any crashes exept one tip over after props were stoped and it was landed (still dont know how it tipped must have been a weird gust of wind)

    But i think people can go straight into flying a fully loaded P2 with no previous experiance, as long as there not stupid about it.
     
  4. Phantom_Menace66

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    I tend to agree with Ozzyguy... You seem to be pre occupied with how much money people spend on their hobby. What's it got to do with you anyway?
    The latest products from DJI are fitted with GPS & all sorts of cool stuff to make it easier, more attainable for those who are fascinated with flying and wish to capture aerial video or stills once only available to professionals. They sell a lot of VERY expensive equipment for professionals, these are high tech gadgets aimed at anyone who ever wanted to fly & wishes to purchase one.
    I have been flying DJI Phantoms for 14mths and only 2wks ago had my first ever crash with a brand spanking new P2V+. The reason it fell remains a mystery & I don't care what people think, I know it wasn't pilot error.
    So go fly a kite or something & let people enjoy their machines...
     
  5. Happyflyer

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    I think we all know this is a very expensive hobby and we may have a loss of our quad. But it is that person's money. If they want to take chances it is up to them to throw away big bucks.
    I agree with the cheap unit to practice on. My Hubsan 107D was a bummer to fly. Did not cost a ton of cash to put a new prop on it and/or other parts. When I saw videos of the Phantoms just "hang in the air" I was sold. Maybe even more because of the bad times with that almost uncontrollable 107D.
    When I read of someone's loss of their unit, I can feel bad for them and hope it never happens to me. But it was their money, not mine. So worry about your possible loss and not about how much money someone else lost. You will have more fun that way.
     
  6. evilfurryone

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    Sorry if I have given the impression of being annoyed that people just spend their money and fly hi-end drones. That is not the case. I just read how people are really sad, depressed etc because they did not know how to fly and now own a a lot of plastic that used to be a drone.

    I own a fully kitted one and I enjoy it, it just frustrates me (yes, I think this is the best way to say it) that new owner with no real skill just total them on their first flights because they really don't know what they are doing. I understand when people have actual mechanical failures, then I feel sorry and actually find myself thinking "i'm glad it was not me.. but I could be next". It's just when I read a no-brainer "why did you not learn to fly first" incident, I get frustrated. There are ways of cutting down those incidents. Hence this thread. Just threw my experiences how to not loose a phantom the silly way as a first timer behind a hi end drone.

    If you come from a zero background in quads, just learn the basics on other cheaper, harder to fly drones, that will make it easier for you to fly the phantom and if for some reason you run into situations that are still saveable by using skills you learned handling more difficult to fly drones, it's a saved drone and the operator can enjoy more fun flying rather than shopping new one / reparing one and then posting another post into forums that just frustrates some people.


    The odd mechanical crashes can be hard to avoid (I presume people do check their props and engines do compass calibrations once in a while, that helps to mitigate dange from that), everything else is totally fixable.
     
  7. xgeek

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    My Phantom was my first flying RC. Have over 100 flights on my P2 and still on my first set of props. Never crashed it and never had a tip over. I don't think issues are because new flyers don't know how to fly. It's because they don't read and understand how the thing works first. Buying a cheaper bird won't solve that albeit it will be a less expensive lesson to learn.
     
  8. Happyflyer

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    I think you hit the nail right on the head. After I ordered my P2V, I must have watched 30+ videos on how to operate one. That way I had some idea of what all the controls would/should do.(if I didn't get a defective quad)
     
  9. seminole360

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    Does seem like you're more concerned about people wasting money, and that's your prerogative for sure. However, as a fellow new pilot (learning on a P2V+) crashing my gear takes a back seat to a couple other concerns... 1) flying safe, 2) flying with respect, 3) not destroying my expensive equipment.

    Does anybody know of a good resource for flying etiquette? Seems like something that's sorely needed for us beginners. I see videos of other pilots doing things that make me cringe, and I fear for the future of free flying.
     
  10. doug86

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    This is not exclusive to drones. Plenty of similar stories involving very expensive super fast cars, boats and other motorized vehicles. In the marine rescue world, we had a saying "More dollars than sense".
     
  11. xgeek

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    Or "All the gear no idea"