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Just bought P3A! Worth buying cheap quad for practice?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Mr Crowley, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Mr Crowley

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    Hi there,

    So I just bought a P3A as my first ever quad. Super excited to get out and fly!
    However, I am a complete noob and have no flying experience.

    A few people have recommended buying a Syma X5c for practice before I start flying the phantom. Is this worth doing? After spending £800 on the P3A and xmas just around the corner I am trying to save money where I can.

    Will I be ok learning to fly with the phantom? Or is it better for me to learn on something cheaper first?
     
  2. happydays

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    Why not use the simulator to get used to the flight characteristics?
     
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  3. msinger

    Approved Vendor

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    Nothing cheaper will fly like your Phantom. At best, it will help you develop better reflexes. You'll learn more and become a better Phantom pilot by flying your Phantom in wide open areas -- far from any potential obstacles.
     
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  4. bcsledhead

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    The syma X5C is a good learning platform. It is good to learn the controls in general and similar to the atti mode on the phantom. Learning orientation is hard the farther away the drone gets. Yes you can always hit the return to home on the phantom but sometimes this has its drawback's.

    Mostly take your time and go slowly but learning in atti mode can save your phantom when the dredded "lost signal or no GPS" starts flashing!!!
     
  5. Fat City

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    Low cost micro quads cannot maintain their altitude so a lot of your effort flying one will go into doing that manually. This is not relevant to the P3. I second the importance of flying in a wide open area for a while, not only to learn how to pilot the quad, but also to find your way around the app.
     
  6. alokbhargava

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    Most of the P3 crashes are related to hitting trees/ buildings or due to batteries not fully charged before flying.

    So to have a safe flying, you need to fly away from the obstructions, have a good control on sticks and check your batteries well before you start flying.

    Flying a low cost drone might give you a good handle on sticks. You will be more confident of flying P3 though flying P3 is much easier than a low cost drone.

    Knowing the controls on your RC is very important. Never panic. Learn to practice flying in circles, in shape of 8, returning back in forward stick position etc

    More you practice, more fun you will have. Go with a plan as what you are going to do today.
     
  7. Solar Deity

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    A couple schools of thought here. I went the Hubsan X4 route, just for cost, and interest only. I've been flying RC helis for a while, and I didn't know if I'd like a MR. Turns out they are insanely awesome! The cheaper quad can teach you orientation and control. P3 is WAY easier to fly than a cheap starter quad. If you can fly a Hubsan/Syma, the P3 is a piece of cake. If you fly anything enough, you will crash eventually, especially starting out. The repairs, or lack of on a lighter, less expensive MR are less stressfull.

    If you are looking to save some quid, you already have the tools to be successful when you received your P3. My advice is to fly the simulator until it bores you. You will learn the handling characteristics, and the software functions while practicing control & orientation. There will be less surprises on your maiden flight. On your maiden, start in an open area. Be sure and set your RTH minimum altitude higher than anything around you. Make sure your P3 updates its home point and go slowly and methodically. Always remember to just let go of the sticks if you feel you're in any trouble. Try the RTH button/function from a close distance so you understand what to expect when needing it. These P3's really fly themselves.

    SD
     
    #7 Solar Deity, Dec 16, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  8. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    As a multi-rotor and long-range FPV fixed-wing pilot I can absolutely endorse learning on a cheaper multi-rotor first. The Syma, and similar $50 quads, help you get used to the real-world flying characteristics of a multi-rotor without risking your expensive investment, and are actually harder to fly than a Phantom because you have to maintain altitude by continuously adjusting throttle as previously mentioned. After you can confidently master all the axis controls as it applies to this type of flight, the Phantom will be a piece of cake.

    I also third flying it in an open area for a while until you feel confident with it. Things like trees have giant, invisible Phantom-sucking vortexes that will eat the thing before you can say, "What the...." And for some people there are instincts that have to be relearned such as the throttle is not a helicopter collective, which has been ingrained in me from flying Jet Rangers. The real ones. I finally had to put "UP" and "DOWN on my controller as a quick reference just to remind me sometimes it's a throttle and not a collective. And I've been flying RC for around 30 years.

    One of the other things that helped me succeed with the Phantom is to remember that you launch it with full throttle. It's designed to take off that way. If you gradually apply throttle like many try to do, you'll likely be replacing props because it will have a tendency to tip over. I also highly recommend quick-release prop guards as well. They not only protect the Phantom from ground strikes but will very likely keep you from taking home a bag of broken if you bump into something 30 feet up. It only takes one time. Accidentally flying into tree tops at max pitch in manual mode doesn't count.
     
  9. bluer101

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    I also vote for cheap x5 to learn. If you can get familiar with that just for the flight and stick movements you will be better off. That will also give you a real feel for no gps assist.
     
  10. Mr Crowley

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    Yeah I have been doing that a bit already. Im just nervous of crashing but I live in the countryside and have loads of places I can go and use it safely :)
     
  11. Dounin Front

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    Santa is bringing me a Quad sold at Costco ($79 US) which boasts a baro sensor so it will maintain altitude at neutral throttle position. That makes it operate similar to the P3 minus the GPS. It should be fun for playing around without fear of losing a big investment.
    FYI: I only got started with the P3 after experiencing the poor video and hard to control cheap quads. The P3 can do so much more and you do not need lightning fast reflexes if you aren't racing it around.
    As someone rightly said about the P3 a few posts back - just let go of the sticks and it will hover in place.;)