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So many questions...

Discussion in 'Beginners Drone Forum' started by chucketn, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. chucketn

    chucketn Member

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    Jan 24, 2020
    Jonesborough, TN
    Posted by chucketn, Jan 31, 2020 #1
    I am exploring the world of quad drones, reading everything I can find. I have 2 questions for today... First, are there any drone flyers within 50 miles of Jonesborough, TN, that would be willing to demonstrate their drone to a complete beginner? Second, are the cheaper drones recommended for beginners repairable?
    Thanks in advance to anyone that responds.
    Chuck
     
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  2. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
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    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #2
    Morning Chuck, answer to your first question, you might try contacting the local RC Helicopter or airplane clubs, many of them also fly drones.
    If there's an RC hobby shop near by, I'd check with them.
    I've not found many drone specific groups for recreational flying.

    The second question, depends on the crash damage, most of the less expensive drones are very robust, biggest thing that happens when starting out is getting stuck too high in a tree, then comes the "Fly Away" and those are due to misunderstanding the controls of the transmitter, like on the Holy Stone HS200.

    For some reason the manufacture included two functions on the same button, return home with a short push of the button and re calibrate transmitter with a long push.
    The HS200 has it's design faults but is a cool little flyer, I've got one and I like it.
    I would consider it a very good learner drone but the other fault of the design is the battery compartment.

    There's a post that prevents the battery from going too far backwards in the air-frame that makes it very difficult to install or remove the battery, but the batteries are small and lightweight so I just trimmed the post down about an eighth of an inch, no problems now.

    About the "return home" function, what happens is that when the pilot gets panicked and holds the return button just a bit longer than should be the transmitter goes into "re calibrate" which sends the drone off in any direction.
    So here's my suggestion on that, practice very short pushes of that button with the drone very close by and low on battery.
    These will fly approximately 6min on a full charge pack, during your learning keep the drone close, don't test it to see how high or how far away it will go, just keep it with in about 50 feet max and about 30 feet off the ground.

    There are a bunch of good video's on Youtube about learning tip's and common mistakes made by pilots,
    I also watch as many YT reviews about drones, that might give you a better idea of which one will be your first drone.

    Here's a link to one of the vid's I suggest watching, there are lots more


    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  3. chucketn

    chucketn Member

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    Jan 24, 2020
    Jonesborough, TN
    Posted by chucketn, Feb 1, 2020 #3
    Thanks, MJW. I have found a RC flying club listed as in Johnson City, TN, but their website does not mention Drones. I'll check out the video and the HS200.
     
  4. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #4
    Most RC clubs don't mention drones on their sites, I find their field and go out on a weekend, ask questions, watch.
    Also want to join AMA, that's a requirement for the insurance when you do fly at their fields.

    What kind of flying are you interested in?
    Free style, racing, photo ships?
     
  5. chucketn

    chucketn Member

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    Jan 24, 2020
    Jonesborough, TN
    Posted by chucketn, Feb 1, 2020 #5
    As I've never flown before, I am still learning about flying stiles. Most likely free style. I also want to design and build my own.
    I will start by flying indoors until I gain confidence, and decide if drones are for me...
    I watched the video, great tips, and all concepts new to me. Hilarious delivery...
    I searched for the HS200 and found one listed on ebay for a (I think) decent price. As a 70 yr old pensioner, budget is tight.
    I am also looking for a drone that is upgradeable.
    How do you like the controller for the HS200? Is it worth upgrading to a better controller?
    That's 2 more questions, enough for today...
     
  6. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #6
    There can be a lot to the hobby if you want to make it more fun other than a one battery pack fly.

    The Free Style / Race drones are fast, watch some video's you'll see what I mean.

    Craigslist can be a source for your first drone too, there are some good package deals there from hobby quitter's but don't count on the batteries of those deals, most will be useless.
    So research the cost of replacements, and a good charger, the factory supplied chargers are kind of ok but minimal performance for treating your batteries.

    Lipo batteries are critical to prep, like don't let them sit around fully discharged, or fully charged, get a charger that can put a "Storage" charge in the cells, don't charge a warm pack, don't fast charge a Lipo pack, look for any damage to a pack after a crash, watch for pack cell swelling.
    Read up on them, before you get too far into the hobby.
    By fully discharged I mean when the drone stops flying itself, that's generally around 3.4volts per cell.
    Don't keep trying to take off if the drone dropped due to a low battery, once it's down then that's the end of that flight.
    Battery checkers are cheap and will check the individual cells of a multi-cell pack, I have two or three that I keep in my flight box, when the drone comes down the first thing I'll do is check the pack's state of charge.

    I started with an Potsenic D80 drone, having a slower longer flight, GPS makes for an very easy starter drone.
    If I get confused while flying I can just let go the controls and it sits there hovering in one spot, then a few taps of the sticks and I know which way it's pointed and off I go again.
    The transmitter has battery life of both the drone and Tx on the screen, nice feature, and it returns home when signal is lost or the batteries get really low, but like the guy in the video said, when it gets really low batteries it's coming back in a straight line to where it took off from last so if there's a tree or something in it's path it will hit it.

    The HS200 just drops to the ground when it looses signal, not such a good thing if it's any distance away.

    Color of the drone is important, black looks cool but near impossible to find in tall grass or up in a tree.
    My D80 is all white but my HS is black so my statement is from experience and the grass was only about 6in tall.

    The less expensive drones don't have GPS or battery life display's so you're guessing, not a bad thing as to speak once you get used to your drone.
    Also the return home function of the non GPS drones is a homing in on the transmitter so make sure that flight path is a clear one.

    First time I used the RH function on my HS200 it scared me a bit as that it came in like an angry bee, but stopped a few feet short and dropped to the ground,,,,,,,,

    Flight times of 7min is about right for learning, gives you a chance to relax after the first few flights, on brushed type motors they need a cool down after flying, brushless motors don't really get hot unless you're racing or freestyling radically, just cruising around you can back to back flights.

    I've got 9 packs for the HS200 and 7 packs for the D80.
    The D80 fly's about 18min a pack and the HS is 6 to 7min per pack.
     
  7. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #7
    I'm 66 so don't feel you're too old for the hobby.

    I like the transmitter of the HS, it's a good one for getting use to higher end transmitters, good feel and the sticks are just as reactive and proportional as the higher end Tx's.

    Not too many of the "Ready to Fly" drones have up grades available,
    There's a good distributor in China, Banggood,
    https://usa.banggood.com/?utm_sourc...sa&ad_id=343808804307&gclid=Cj0KCQiA4NTxBRDxA

    One thing about this hobby, there a re a bazillion toy and counterfeit drones, read the sellers reviews before you buy, waiting an extra week for a good drone is well worth it, I get my batteries from Amazon, but if I buy another new drone it will be from Banggood, they have an excellent rep.

    One thing I can't seem to stress enough is not to get in a hurry to get airborne, read and watch, then when you've decided on a drone dig up every possible review, Amazon reviews are good for that, I don't bother with the 5 star reviews, I look for the 1 star reviews to see if there's a pattern.

    A few weeks ago I saw what I thought was going to be my next drone, I started reading reviews only to find a flaw in the drone that I don't want to deal with, the price was very low for a reason, the batteries cost near as much as the drone and could only be charged by the factory charger, and not a very good charger at that.

    My D80 batteries are design specific to that drone but they have cell balance leads that can be used with a quality charger and that's one of the reasons I purchased it.

    Read up on Lipo batteries, I know it's dry subject matter but it's very important to the fun of the hobby.
    They can be dangerous if you don't stick to proper procedure when charging or using them.

    I'm ok with trying to help in any way that I can Chuck, I'm having a ball in this hobby, my third drone I haven't flown yet, a Wizard 220x, not until I can fly the HS around backwards with y eye's closed.

    You've got to learn to fly, once you've got that pretty well mastered then step up to a faster free style drone.
     
  8. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #8
    Let me add this real important thing, start flying outside, inside gets very tight very fast!
    Learn to hover first, get it airborne by a few feet about twenty feet away then just tap the sticks around to ge used to how the drone responds.
    If you're going to fly inside then buy a toy drone it won';t leave a hole in the wall or ceiling,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    EDIT: Ok, maybe one or two things more, pets, cats run from them, a dog might attack it, for some reason the high pitch of the spinning blades gets a dog on alert mode.
    These plastic props can cut very deep, they are dangerous and prop guards are minimal to say the least,
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
    chucketn likes this.
  9. chucketn

    chucketn Member

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    Jan 24, 2020
    Jonesborough, TN
    Posted by chucketn, Feb 1, 2020 #9
    Thanks for all the input, MJ. I will be studying all the info I can find for a while. Thinking of getting the HS200 I found on Ebay, I asked the seller if it was still available. It's listed as new and complete for under $50.
     
  10. chucketn

    chucketn Member

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    Jan 24, 2020
    Jonesborough, TN
    Posted by chucketn, Feb 1, 2020 #10
    What do you think of Husban minis? Found a lot of three on Craigs list, with batteries, chargers, and controllers. All have prop protectors.
     
  11. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #11
    On the Tx's that have a video display of the camera's view, they eat up batteries fast.

    What is the model, Husban makes a few different mini drones, my search was of the X4.

    I just did a quick review search, my opinion would be there's a reason on that package, more than likely a parent purchased them as presents for the kids, and the cost of batteries for the Tx's got to be a bit much.

    That's what I picked out of the reviews, with a video display when learning you might find the display a bit distracting in that watching it instead of the drone so when you look back up to see where it is in the sky it might be further away than you thought and much, much smaller than you thought.

    I'd stick to line of sight for learning, it's so easy to get a long ways away when in FPV goggles or watching a screen vs the reality of just where it is.

    When I'm watching CL or Ebay I'll check on how long they've been for sale, most of the time it's more than a few days, and that gives you time to research it for an hour or two to pick the flaws out,

    Don't get in a hurry to get air borne, the right drone will come along soon enough.

    Is there a hobby shop near you?

    btw, i'd pass on that deal.
     
  12. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #12
    Another flaw to a lot of the smaller drones is that they use a gear train to drive the props, the HS gear train is exposed under the motor and can get dirt in it that locks up the prop.
    If you're not careful with that it can burn up a motor, brushed mini motors can't be stopped and held when under power, they'll overheat and fry.
     
  13. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #13
    So while I've been discussing things with you Chuck I've been surfing CL, found a Holy Stone 120 for $80, it's a gps drone, that's a plus, it reviews very well, but,,,,,,,,,

    The controller/Tx is more like a Gameboy shape, not the standard RC Tx box, that as an old school guy doesn't appeal to me plus to get all the functions the drone can do it has to be linked with my phone.
    The batteries are design specific to the drone so that kind of traps you into purchasing batteries that only work in one drone.

    I still haven't uncovered my camera lens on the D80 nor have I tried the camera of the HS200, matter of fact I removed the camera on the HS, and that's another thing about it, the camera is secured to the bottom hatch of the drone, it has to be unplugged every battery change.

    So the HS200 isn't the perfect learner drone for everybody, none of them are.

    But I guess that's my thing, in that I'm still working on line of sight flying, I want my flight control to be instinctive rather than to have to think about what maneuver to do..

    the drone I was looking at this last week is the PARROT BeBop Drone, with SkyController, $200 with extra batteries, the ad states that it's in perfect flying order but none of the batteries work in it so it can't be demo'd for one and each battery is $50+ and charger specific.
    That's a $700 package new.
    But as I stated, there's a reason it's cheap, and it's been on CL for over two weeks.
    It reviews at 3.5 stars, and the vid's on Youtube demo's why.
     
  14. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
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    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #14
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  15. chucketn

    chucketn Member

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    Jan 24, 2020
    Jonesborough, TN
    Posted by chucketn, Feb 1, 2020 #15
    I don't have a cell phone. Couldn't justify paying $40+ a month for one call...
    As for the CL Hubsans, I presume all 3 use the same motors. I also have a 3d printer and 3d CAD software, and plan to design/make my own frames.
    I have messaged the seller, asking to see them. I'm thinking they would be an inexpensive way to get my feet wet...
    I would love to spend a couple hundred bucks on a decent drone, but it's not in the budget.
    I looked closer at the FPV manual on the CL listing. It's a H107D, retail at $80.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  16. MJW

    MJW Member

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    Jan 30, 2020
    Washington State
    Posted by MJW, Feb 1, 2020 #16
    Hey Chuck, check out this vid

    I provided links in the above post.

    There's one local here on CL for $50 but it's slightly used, gonna call on it, if it's more than just a bit used I'd be real tempted to buy one new.
    This thing for $70 new is a better choice over the Husbans you're looking at.

    this thing could easily retire my Holy Stone,,,,,,,

    Extra batteries are inexpensive,,,,,,,

    Mike

    EDIT:
    Good learning to fly vid
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Csh9uUOKNo
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
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