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Phantom Trainer?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bud, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Bud

    Bud

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    Hiya

    Another newbie here :eek: Looks like I've found the right place for my new chosen hobby/obsession :cool:

    Very keen to get my first quad and have set my sights on getting a FC40 very soon :)
    As I'm new to quads (and have only very limited experience of heli's) I thought it would be a good idea to see if there was a cheap 'toy' quad around that would at least enable me to get to grips with the basics of flying one and enable me to practice and get the general feel for direction/orientation etc. Can anyone recommend a cheap 'toy' that mimics the same controls and flys OK indoors without smashing the place up (or itself) when it all goes wrong! I realise it won't be anywhere near as refined as a Phantom but I'm only really concerned with getting to grips with the controls before I'm let loose on a much pricier piece of kit.

    Also, I have come across a few s'ware simulators but they are so pricey I think I will just have to fly and try the real thing! Unless someone could suggest one I may have missed....

    Can't wait to get going!
    Thanks
     
  2. mmn

    mmn

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    The Heli-X simulator has a rather nice Phantom. The demo version is free and very functional. You will need some sort of controller, but it's a great way to learn to fly a Phantom.

    http://www.heli-x.net

    Disclaimer: Not a product endorsement and I have no connection with them.
     
  3. ProfessorStein

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    I think a simulator would be the way to go.
    They might be pricey, but you're not going to find a quad that behaves and flies like a Phantom for any less than a decent sim... probably more.

    For quads, I started with an Ares Ethos QX130. I suppose that gave me some idea of how to find my way around the controls, since it flies in mode 2 just like I have my Phantom set up, and I got to understand what each of the sticks did... but flying the Ares was absolutely nothing like actually flying the Phantom. The biggest difference is with the toy quads (aside from the size, noise, and performance differences... oh... and the GPS/Barometer-assist), the left stick really is a throttle... whereas for the Phantom, I like to think of it more as an "altitude control". A difference that takes a bit of actual flying to get used to.
     
  4. Damon

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    If you have android tablet search "SimulatorFX Pro" $4.99 and is good enough to practice before actual flight. The pro has similar functionality to P2 to learn H/L C/L and has fail safe, for auto land.

    I have no stake in software, just used free version while my P2 was being assembled and shipped. Which seemed like a year.
     
  5. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Good idea .... but
    The Phantom is really easy to fly and the cheap ones won't have the technology that makes it so easy.
    Don't worry. Just get your Phantom, study the manual and take it to a clear, open area and take it easy.
     
  6. Mike

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    The Hubsan X4 107L is awesome! It's small and fast and only $40. I actually fly it more than my phantom. If you order one, get the crash pack too (props break easily) as well as some extra batteries.
     
  7. Bud

    Bud

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    Ah, thanks all, some excellent points and suggestions :D

    Hadn't found Heli-X so that is great news! Downloading it as I type.... (I already have a suitable Tx & lead)
    I had considered the Husban but didn't know if the controls would match - so that's good news as well. Hadn't spotted the Ares Ethos QX130 though so will look into that one.

    Will give Heli-X a go and take it from there and report back.
     
  8. ProfessorStein

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    The controls on most quads are going to "match", because, by-and-large, they're all set up as Mode 2 (some are sold in Mode 1, mostly in the EU, and some are switchable).
    Which means the left stick is going to be your "throttle" and "yaw" control, while your right stick is going to be "pitch" and "tilt". But, again, how the bird behaves with control from those sticks is going to be markedly different. Particularly the throttle. With all the smaller quads, the right stick begins in the downmost limit, and as you push up on it you increase the speed of the props and your copter rises proportionally. To keep level, you constantly have to make adjustments to the stick. If you let go of the stick, your quad will typically fall to the ground.
    Same with the pitch and tilt. Let go of the stick, and your quad will go off in some unintended direction.

    With the Phantom, the sticks actually begin in the center. For the left stick, push up to go up, push down to go down. Let go of the stick and it stays level. That's why I call it an "altitude control" rather than a throttle. Right stick, same thing. Let go of both sticks and the Phantom will just hang there in the air (for as long as it's batteries last, at least). I think without question people will find the Phantom's control setup much easier to fly. But if you're coming from a lot of experience with the smaller quads, it does take a minute or two to remember. And you won't find a "cheap" quad that behaves anywhere close to how the Phantom does, because it's the very electronics and instruments that make it possible, that make the Phantom so expensive.
     
  9. kirbinster

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    I tried one of these Hubsan units but found it almost impossible to control beyond about 10' out. The problem I had was the unit is so tiny that I could not tell which way it was facing and thus could not determine which way to move the controls to get it to go where I wanted - I only had a 1 in 4 chance to get it right.
     
  10. Mori55

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    Not going to find anything easier to fly than the phantom IMHO
     
  11. Gizmo3000

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    agreed.

    My recommendation would be to just get a Phantom, WITH Prop Guards of course
    -read all the instructions , multiple times, ask any questions you don't know here on the forum
    .. and then find a nice large open field and fly around, you'll be up and running in no time. Just avoid trees.

    my Phantom was my first quad, I learned to avoid trees.
     
  12. witold

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    What do you think is going to happen when you fly your Phantom? :D

    Obviously Phantom is substantially bigger (and has HL, RTH, GPS hover, etc), but most people also cover substantially longer distances on it as well. When it's away a decent distance, it looks just as tiny as a Hubsan X4.

    This is what real life flying teaches you and that a simulator can't do. You practice under real world conditions and you can't just turn it off, ignore it, restart it, risk it because it's not real. A simulator will not have a group of people come up to you and distract you, either.

    Anyway, I started with a Hubsan X4 and I still fly it regularly. When I got it, I could barely go straight and back 15 feet. Now I can comfortably fly a good 100(?) feet out in "expert" mode and fly high enough for it to disappear or almost disappear. I still crash just as often, but now it's mostly trying to do aggressive moves/flying very low/flying near obstacles.

    What I'm trying to say is that it takes some practice, but you will get it... and after having decent control on your Hubsan, Phantom in GPS mode will feel downright boring. It will feel boring in ATTI mode, too.
     
  13. KwadKopter

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    I tethered my first 8-10 flights. This was prior to the 3.06 firmware and I was concerned about flyaways - I was at a magdec of +10. I used an ankle strap, two mountain climbing clips and some mason line. I never had any tangling issues with my Phantom. YMMV.
     
  14. HarryT

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    Maintaining orientation is a skill that comes with practice. Practise, practise, practise. If you turn right and your "dot in the distance" moves to the right, it's headed away from you - carry on turning right until the lateral motion slows, and then stops: it's now headed directly back towards you. Similarly, if you turn right and the dot moves left, it's headed towards you - turn left until again the lateral motion slows and then stops: it's now headed directly towards you.

    Of course on the Phantom you have "Home Lock" as a "get out of jail free" card to play, but acquiring the skills to maintain orientation visually and safely fly at a distance is an essential skill to acquire for any RC aircraft.
     
  15. Clipper707

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    Before you decide to get Prop Guards, search this forum for information about them. Some people love them and others believe they make their drones more susceptible to crashing via Vortex Ring State.

    You might want to know the advantages and disadvantages before putting them on your aircraft.
     
  16. Musicman

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    i actually started with an AR drone 2.0 1.5 years ago and made the transfer to a phantom a couple of weeks ago.
    Just go out there, like people said before, to an open field and enjoy. just go slow and stick with what you feel comfortable with.
    The phantom is almost idiot proof when it comes to the first steps of flying.
     
  17. Bud

    Bud

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    Thanks to everyone for the input :)
    Slight delay from me in reporting back as I've still not got Heli-X5 working, so have nothing to report as yet! Turns out my sim lead wasn't the one I thought it was and still waiting for new one to arrive. My fault - not Heli-X5...
     
  18. ProfessorStein

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    You obviously haven't met the right kind of idiot ;)

    But you're right, the Phantom does take care of a lot of the "flying" itself. A simulator still does wonders to instill rote muscle memory for control, though. So that if you happen to encounter a panic-inducing situation, your hands don't really need to figure out what to do they'll just do it. And they also come in handy for those of us who are trapped indoors most of the winter with inclimate flying weather. Definitely not a substitute for the real though, though.
     
  19. Dweezil

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    Purchase a $40 (or less) Proto X Nano...learn to fly that with reasonable consistency, and I think you can fly pretty much anything. I flew helis before I got into quads. The Nano was my first quad, I've now graduated to the P2V+ and (knock on wood) have had NO issues with control. Your mileage may vary, but that route worked well for me.
     
  20. Musicman

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    Actually, after viewing some more video's i think i've met them now..... :)