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Newbie looking for advice on first multirotor

dow

Village Idiot in Training
#1
I hope that I'm posting this in the right place. Please let me know and move the thread if it isn't where it belongs.

I'm looking at a micro quad to learn to fly with, and am wondering what would be the best model to go with. I see lots of folks started with the Blade Nano QX, but I see that there's a QX 3D out as well. I also see the inductrix.

While I'd love to do FPV flying, I can't afford to get into FPV at this time, so I don't need to worry about the camera equipped models.

Of these three models, which would you recommend and why? Also, I've got an older DX7 transmitter. Should I go for a BNF or start with the RTF as a beginner. I bought the transmitter and a plane last year when I was going to be home bound after surgery, but never did anything with it.

Thanks for any help you could offer.

Dow
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#2
I would definitely recommend a BNF Inductrix if you want to use your DX7. The manual should even have detailed instructions on how to set it up with your DX7. You don't need to get the FPV version, and the durability of that quad is great especially for learning.

That said, if you wanted to get a cheap knock-off that probably comes with a simple TX, there are RTF models that are similar to the inductrix and may cost less than the BNF version.

Still, having the support of Horizon Hobby for any technical issues is a great deal in the long run.

Welcome to the hobby and the forums Dow!

BTW, here's an example of a cheap toy version:
http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-E01...-Quadcopter-RTF-p-1066972.html?rmmds=category
 

dow

Village Idiot in Training
#3
Thanks for the response, makattack. I think that I'd like to stay with something that will work with my spektrum tx, so I'll hold off on the banggood E10. After my initial post, I ran across the blade glimpse. That would feed my fpv interest, even though I read that the wifi signal is a little bit laggy. Do you have any experience or thoughts on this model? I hate to say it, but the qx type quads just look cooler to me (I know, that's a lousy reason to make a decision).
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#4
I'm not familiar with the glimpse, but as you surmised, I do think those make for a good way to inexpensively see if you would like FPV; although the experience isn't quite the same. As you mentioned, with mobile phones/wifi, there's a bit of lag, and it's not as immersive. It does make a difference. Still, it's a good start if you have a mobile phone already. The Nano QX is a fine micro quad, but it's actually a bit more aggressive than the Inductrix. I learned to fly quads using a nanoqx, but would have saved a few props and motors if I had started with the inductrix (which wasn't available back when I started).
 

Montiey

Master Tinkerer
#5
The nano-qx is king. I don't think there is any more a durable micro copter out there, and I can personally attest to that :p

I would recommend it just because it's cheap, and flies very good. It's also light and replacement parts are readily available.
 

dow

Village Idiot in Training
#6
Thanks guys. I think that I'll go with the glimpse. My wife likes it, so that's a good thing. I had thought about maybe the nano qx2 fpv, but while the BNF price is pretty close to the glimpse, I'd still have to get googles (which I have a hard time wearing with my glasses), so the price goes back up. For future reference, is there a good, low cost alternative to the goggles? My nearsightedness, along with a lot of astigmatism, make things a challenge.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#7
I personally have a similar situation where I wear glasses and have astigmatism, but I can manage to see well enough with the Fatshark goggles and the LCD monitor embedded in a foam housing type goggle. I prefer the monitor based goggles, and have even made one that can accomodate my glasses, but I tend to take my glasses off even with that just for comfort.

I used a HobbyKing DIY goggle fitted with an old ski goggle (where I removed the lens) to accomodate my glasses. The only problem is that it's a bit heavy if you tack on a VTX, antenna, battery, etc. so I actually removed all that, and have it fed from a tripod based LCD screen that holds all that gear.

If I were starting out all over again, I would probably get one of these for a more cost effective, compact solution:

External screen type FPV:
http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-LCD...itor-with-DVR-Build-in-Battery-p-1029504.html
or the cheaper version (no diversity):
http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-LCD...itor-with-DVR-Built-in-Battery-p-1067081.html

Goggle type FPV:
http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-VR-...R-Lens-Adjustable-p-1074866.html?rmmds=search
cheaper, no diversity version:
http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-VR-..._4V-800mAh-Battery-p-960761.html?rmmds=search

Note that while these are equivalent in prices ($100 for diversity, $50/60 for no diversity), they don't include the cost of upgraded antennas which are well worth the expense for a more stable signal. They come with basic rubber duckies.
 

dow

Village Idiot in Training
#8
Thanks for the heads up on the monitor and goggles. Certainly a lot less expensive than fat shark, and both look like to be more useful to me with my eyesight. Which are the upgraded antennas?

Any idea of potential problems with binding a glimpse to my older dx7?
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#9
Thanks for the heads up on the monitor and goggles. Certainly a lot less expensive than fat shark, and both look like to be more useful to me with my eyesight. Which are the upgraded antennas?

Any idea of potential problems with binding a glimpse to my older dx7?
The Glimpse manual seems to imply it's a very simple process to setup your DX7 to bind with it. You basically need a default acro/airplane model created, and then go through the binding process. No extra switches/channels to add.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/pdf/BLH2200-manual-EN.pdf

As for improved antennas, most FPV users tend to use what are called circular polarized type antennas. The dipole/monopole/rubber duckies that come with a lot of stuff are linearly polarized. The problem with linear polarization is that is it sensitive to reflected signals. This is especially bad in an indoor area with something flying near objects, walls, floor, ceiling, metal, etc. This would generate more static or display artifacts that would make it harder to see. Circular polarized antennas come in left or right hand models (most are right) and can come with different connectors RP-SMA vs SMA. You'll need to match the connector on the goggle/VRX with the antenna.

I think the models I listed above are all RP-SMA (but double check for yourself!) so a compatible circular polarized antenna would be:

http://www.banggood.com/Realacc-5_8...nna-SMARP-SMA-Red-p-1091104.html?rmmds=search

These come in either RP-SMA or SMA.

If you go with one of the diversity units, a lot of people will mix antennas. The clover leaf style antenna that I linked to above is omni-directional, as are the dipole style linear antennas. If you want more penetration/range, you might try adding a directional antenna to augment the omnidirectional one. Another alternative is to use a circular polarized antenna with a linearly polarized one. The linearly polarized one might actually give you more range.

Here's an example of a directional antenna:
http://www.banggood.com/Aomway-5_8G...V-Receiver-Antenna-p-947148.html?rmmds=search
 

dow

Village Idiot in Training
#11
Thought I'd update this. As my son is sure to want to fly anything I get, and as he is almost seven, I've changed my mind, and have ordered the inductrix. Got two. A used RTF off of ebay for him (with supervision), and a new BNF for me (might need supervision as well, lol). Anyway, the RTF arrived yesterday. Seller claims that he only flew it about five times, and it looks new. No wear or signs of crashing. Haven't tried it, but will between now and Christmas. If there's a problem with it, then we'll have to do something else for the boy.

By the way, you mentioned diversity/no-diversity when you were talking about the goggles and monitors. What's diversity mean in this context?
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#12
Diversity in this context is having two (or more) antennas on the receiving end of things and the ability for the receiver to switch between them nearly instantly to use the stronger signal. Frequently people using diversity will have two different types of antennas on their receiver rig - a patch and a circular, or a circular and a linear 'rubbery ducky' - or two patch antennas pointed in slightly different directions, or a long range directional antenna and a shorter range circular, etc. etc.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#14
I'm not rockyboy, but will chime in on a preferred configuration of antennas:

In my opinion, the right choice depends on you and how you would answer the following questions:

1) Environment you'll be flying in (indoors, outdoors, size of area, terrain/obstacles/obstructions)
2) Type of flying (in front of / behind you? high / low? between you and obstructions? close or far?)
3) Type of hardware on the aircraft (does it come with a certain type of video transmitter antenna? is it changeable?)

And of course, lastly: 4) Cost -- how much or little are you willing to spend?

As a general rule of thumb, the fancier you try to get, the more it'll cost and the more knowledge you'll need as far as radio setup/use/etc.

If you are starting out, I might forego all the complexity with diversity and multiple configurations and stick to the keep it simple and straightforward (KISS) concept. It'll keep costs low, and prices for equipment keeps falling, so when you want to get more complexity, you might find the prices are even lower by then.