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Happy Happy Happy - New Pilot

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mkippen, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. mkippen

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    Purchased the Phantom as my first entry into a outdoor Quad copter and its a very exciting new world of photography / videography. I have wanted to get into this for years, and the Phantom seems like a perfect entry point for someone looking to get started with this stuff.

    I wish I could strap my 5D MK3 to this with a 24mm lens - it would make for awesome quality. Who knows - if I really get into this with the Phantom, the 550/800 DJI may be my next foray into the more high end world. I shoot a lot with cars - http://www.mkippen.com/videography/ really excited to add this kind of footage to the videos we do. Plus its a TON of fun.

    First things first - balancing props
    To get started, I purchased a Du-bro balancer, and spent about 30 minutes balancing up the props yesterday before first install. They were way out of balance to begin with. Based on other discussions, I also printed up a nice sticker "IF FOUND, PLEASE CALL ..." just in case the worst happens.

    First flight
    Don't be impatient. I have flown lots of smaller gyro copters, and have a good grasp on RC cars, but the performance of the Phantom is pretty decent and it can get away from you if your not careful during your first flight. I calibrated the GPS, which went all good - then waited a minute and decided to start flying... despite the fact that I was getting blinking yellows. I think that the controller was still warming up.

    Initially, when putting the phantom into GPS mode, it would lean to one side heavily and it was hard to fly - it started to lean heavily and then I pulled down on the throttle and it had a fairly hard landing and went over on its side. No damage. After about 2-3 minutes I was finally getting all green LED's and from there on it was flying perfectly and the GPS mode was happy happy happy.

    So my advice to newbies. Don't be impatient. Let your phantom warm up and give it time to find the GPS. I was able to keep it under control, but someone new to flying may have lost it.

    What's next?
    1. Flight time ... lots of it - I hope to get a few hours of flight time in the next month. As I live in Seattle the weather isn't always great, but really want to get familiar with this before the summer time. I am a steadicam operator, and I would really like to get used to smooth panning and circular motion on -atti mode. I have promised myself that I would NOT buy any accessories until I have complete control and flying feels like 2nd nature. Since I plan to fly over car shows, crashing into a nice car is not something I want to do.

    Gimbal ??
    I am looking for the best gimbal I can out there as I'm kind of a freak about steady video. So far my #1 seed is the RC-drones X2 http://rc-drones.com/rcd-phantomount-x2.php

    I may look at trying the Groupner props in the summer and possibly some more isolation mounting, but for now this is the most fun I have had in a long time. Did I mention this thing is fun to fly - its awesome. I have a feeling this is going to quickly become a very addictive and expensive hobby. I just hope I can enjoy it enough before the FAA decides to make new rules that ruins it for everyone.

    Look forward to getting more involved soon - just wanted to say hi to the Community :)
     
  2. Sac D

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    Welcome aboard! It looks like you have a steady, measured approach to becoming familiar with the Phantom. And it's true, patience is important... not just for newbies, but for all of us.
    But don't hold back on those accessories! There's a lot of cool stuff out there.

    Happy Flights!
     
  3. pwright

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    Welcome! It is tremendously fun. Your advice is spot on. Patience is the key to getting good results as well as keeping your Phantom undamaged.
     
  4. mkippen

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    Just a small video from some of the first flights this week. Only had my Surface RT to edit, so its basically how it came off the GoPro. The YouTube stabilization really blows, made one of the shots totally wonky. I am excited to try it out with the Gimbal later next week.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=VIK5ESlJ ... IK5ESlJiZ8
     
  5. mkippen

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    While I was flying yesterday, decided to take the phantom really high. In gps mode it began to drift off and so I put it into atti mode. In the midst of all this I could not remember what was forward. So took a few tries to get orientated, figured it out and flew back over head. Just as a tip, took 10 seconds this morning to make this for my controller.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Eik

    Eik

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    You need an arrow forward to know forward is forward? :roll:

    I thought you were saying you didn't know which way the phantom was facing :p
     
  7. mkippen

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    No, I don't think I'm a complete idiot. I needed to remember that the RED LED's were forward. While the phantom was busy flying off, I couldn't remember whether green was forward or red. At least while I'm getting used to things Red=Forward arrow will help if I get into a situation again.
     
  8. Eik

    Eik

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    Oh right.. that makes much more sense :D
     
  9. mkippen

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    Well that didn't take long. Rc-Drones Gimbal is the new hotness.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Eik

    Eik

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    Nice! Be sure to post a sample video when you've tested it out :)