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Fun weekend!

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#1
This weekend, I wish I'd had a camera.

About what, 2 months back, I bought a 3rd drone, a NewBeeDrone V2. This is what is considered a Tinywhoop, also known as a Micro drone or Inductrix sized drone.

Well, I'd already had an Inductrix Pro that I'd bought and was fooling around with; It was a lot of fun, but I wanted something with an OSD, which the NewBeeDrone board had and the Inductrix did not, so I dropped a little bit of cash and picked one up. :)

Well, on Saturday, my wife had a haircut that she had to get that was down by my parents' house, and my mom wanted me to go Xmas shopping with her for my dad later that afternoon (she had a xmas party luncheon when we got there to tthe house).

So, for all of this, I brought down my Inductrix and my NewbeeDrone and I programmed up my dad's Dx8 to fly the Inductrix, while I flew my Newbeedrone on the IX12.

I hear the Inductrix fans spin up as I'm doing flight checks for myself on my drone, and as I turn around, I see the Inductrix slide straight under the sofa, like a vacuum cleaner was turned on and inhaled it.

There was a little bit of swearing, and we pulled it out, cleaned the drone of dust bunnies (apparently, there were some down there that were bigger than the drone itself!), and pulled it back out again for my dad to fly again.

It must've happened 6-7 more times throughout multiple flights, where the drone slid under the sofa, and we just laughed about it. I had to tell him what was happening - he kept trying to fly it as low as he possibly could. That's fine, that's actually MORE challenging than flying it at a normal height, but I pushed him a bit, got him to break the ground effect issue, and told him to work on flying the drone anywhere from waist to head height, and try to keep it in an even hover.

He got bored with that after the first battery, so I had him work on just sending it out from him at an even height, and then back - this was his first time flying a drone, and I definitely had him in Horizon mode, not acro, but the whole purpose of this was to get my dad to ENJOY himself, which he did. :)
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#5
Great story! I guess at, at its core, that what this hobby is all about; spreading the joy of flite.
I've been working with my dad because he's been so depressed lately about not getting checked off for solo flight at our field; he doesn't fly enough to really be steady and deal with things like strong wind, for our fixed wing runway. So I figured we'd goof around in the house, chase the dogs with the little drones, and just have fun.

Seeing him panic, at first, over the dust bunnies that invaded the drone frame (and me telling him, "Dad, it's ok! The drone's not on fire, nothing blew up, it's just covered in dog fur and dust! We can pull that off, no big deal!"), it kinda bummed me out, but once he started flying level and just working on bringing it back and forth to him, I could see him smiling, and enjoying himself. He's already trying to figure out how to chase his chihuahua around the living room with it, which is a big thing for me to see. It means that he's 1) feeling confident with his skills, and 2) he realizes it's pretty hard to break this thing.

He did ask, "If I break the frame, what do I do?"

"Well, 1) I have a spare frame at home, so don't sweat that; 2) if you can't wait the week or so for me to get the frame to you, use your fancy 3D printer and PRINT yourself one. There's a bunch of patterns out on Thingiverse!"

That got him feeling even more interested, and I gave him a bunch of props as well, telling him, "Look, dad...If you break props (which is pretty hard to do on these drones), here's some extras."

I might have created a monster, because last night I get a text from him going, "So I found out how to make air gates for the little mini drone..." LOL I think the bug has bitten; something to do indoors since he can't get to the field to practice with the fixed wings...
 
#7
I'm glad his confidence it building. Honing the fine motor skills involved certainly takes work at first, that's why I love my simulator. I think I'm months away from even trying acro on a real drone if RF8 is a good indicator of how they fly.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
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#8
I'm glad his confidence it building. Honing the fine motor skills involved certainly takes work at first, that's why I love my simulator. I think I'm months away from even trying acro on a real drone if RF8 is a good indicator of how they fly.
Honestly, I'm not sure. I've not flown RF8 yet (I'm on a Mac), so it's hard to tell what it would actually feel like, flying. That said, I put in over 40 hours of simulator time flying in Liftoff before I even tried flying a drone for the first time, and that first time was FPV, full acro all the way. The guys at the field were impressed, because I was able to get out and pull a few loops and rolls with what was my "maiden" flight, and it was great. It definitely takes some time to get the feel of it, but it is a LOT of "practice, practice, practice" to get to where you feel comfortable flying.

My dad is just goofing around flying line of sight; I offered him a headset to goof around with, but he said, "No, I think it'd mess me up trying to fly planes." And truth be told there, it wouldn't surprise me if it did, at least for him - flying line of sight, when you have a plane pointed at you, you know that the controls are reversed. Put on a headset, and whatever you see out of it, it's just like driving a car - left is always left, right is always right.

But, I think, to some extent, the drone will help him a little bit to conceptualize the way a plane turns with rudder, which is something I know he's been struggling with.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#9
Thats cool you got him in the air and wanting to do more. Anytime he thinks he cant do something point him my way and show him what us old guys can do with a little time and practice.

I think if you get him under the goggles his fixed wing desires will disappear for a bit as there is nothing like ripping around and being able to come to a dead stop or go full throttle into a maneuver and not think twice about if the craft can do it or not.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#10
Thats cool you got him in the air and wanting to do more. Anytime he thinks he cant do something point him my way and show him what us old guys can do with a little time and practice.

I think if you get him under the goggles his fixed wing desires will disappear for a bit as there is nothing like ripping around and being able to come to a dead stop or go full throttle into a maneuver and not think twice about if the craft can do it or not.
LOL Oh, I know how much fun it is do rip around. One of the funniest things that ever happened with us under a set of goggles was one of their dogs coming up and snapping an Inductrix out of the air (nothing happened to the dog, no injuries) but it was like a scene out of Jurassic Park with the T-Rex; all we could see was a pair of jaws coming at us, and that was it. :) We still laugh about it, but because of it, he's a little leery to fly under the goggles - he's got a defibrillator and we don't want him having a heart attack with a dog attacking it again. :)

I think right now, just getting him in the air, flying, is a huge thing. With the drone, he's worried he's going to break something, and i have to tell him that unless he breaks the fc board on the Inductrix (which, hell, he'd have to REALLY, REALLY smack it good in order for that to happen) that it's all REALLY cheap to fix/replace. I've got NewBeeDrone local to me in San Diego, so getting parts from them to "upgrade" is easy and cheap.
 

sprzout

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#12
I am debating getting a newbee but not really impressed on brushed motor tech being so fragile still
I get that...but on the other hand, the boards are, IMHO, better programmed than the Inductrix, with more features, and are REALLY quality...:)
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#13
Went a different route. Building another 5 inch so I can document the build process as I am seeing far too many "I watch x build videos" that are out dated now and people thinking they are the only way to do things. Then coming here for help.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#14
There ya go. I know something of the basics of building a quad, but where I fall apart on the 5" stuff is when stuff moves away from BetaFlight.