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Trying to give this hobby a go

#1
Been interested for a while (my uncle was very much into RC model planes back in the 70's and 80's) and my interest really took off when I saw the multirotor copters and the FPV set-ups.

So a couple weekends ago I went to my local hobby store and bought a QX-75 micro Quad to play with and learn to fly. I had a hard landing while trying to get the trim right (less than 15 minutes in) and pinched a motor wire and shorted out a portion of the control board (All four motors work, but the control board now only controls 3 motors). Went to buy a new one and they didn't have it in the store at the time and it cost about half what I paid for the whole set-up. So I put it on the shelf for now.

My ideal is to work my way up to a nice tri/quad copter with FPV, and $1000 isn't too much to throw at it if I'm enjoying it. Problem I'm having at the moment is how durable these things are, Am I going to have to throw $50+ at it every time I have a hard landing.

Are my expectation too high? Is this a hobby for me? Was my problem a fluke that doesn't generally happen? I so want this to be a fun hobby for me.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#2
If you have an interest the hobby is in fact for you. Quads are not really my thing but I do own and fly the 1SQ. It is small, cheap, and easy to fly. The FT guys did a review on it. This little guy is hard as nails. I have wacked mine with a pile of force more than once and I'm still good to fly any time. It isn't much, but it teaches the process of flying a quad.

Crashing and breaking things is part of the hobby. Thankfully it gets to be less and less common, but it is always there. Starting off with big money in the air is only going to end in tears more often than not. You should really looks to get the cheapest thing you can get that works well and play with that for a while before putting something costly in the air. I often hear pilots talk about "heavy" planes. Most of that weight is the money crammed into that plane.

So no, your expectations aren't too high, you can get to flying real deal quads in a short amount of time with enough practice, but starting with something as costly as the quad you have seems to be might not be the best idea in the world.
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#3
The micro ones can be fun, but not easy to repair. At the size of the rotor bones series, it's very easy to repair, since you build it yourself, and know how everything goes together.

As to expense. There's a learning curve. I just as much money on my hobby now, but instead of repairs, I am buying new items, or add ons for existing ones. There's a truth the buy cheap buy twice cliche. I've made that mistake just recently. Don't confuse that with frugal shopping. I failed to check on the quality of the motors I was buying for a project, and rushed to buy what was in stock, instead of what was suggested, and I regretted it immediately. There was no price difference. But there was certainly a quality difference. So now I have four ok motors and I'll end up replacing them with the four I should have bought in the first place.
 

tramsgar

Senior Member
#4
Put your money in the stuff that doesn't fall from the sky - the TX and the charger =). Then use them to fly cheap stuff (but still REAL stuff, not toys of course), until you have enough crashes in you to take on the heavier stuff. Still, if you go by Davids tricopter design principles or similar (foldable wooden booms) you won't lose a fortune on each hard landing.

It'll feel bad quite a few times when you do something stupid and fly into something expensive but it's important then to not give up but get in the air as soon as possible again. Everybody does it. Unless somebody dies, crashes are a cue to laughter.
 
#5
Thanks guys, the QX75 wasn't an expensive one ($80 RTF) and it gets rave reviews especially for durability. That's why I was concerned about "breaking" it inside 30 minutes. It's not a complicated airframe, but of course I broke the most expensive part. I'll give the shop a call and see if they have the replacement in yet (may just buy a second so I have plenty of parts) so I can get back in the air (or at least trying to get it trimmed right).
 

skeplin

Senior Member
#6
I bought one of these to learn on:

http://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-WLtoys-V929-Beetle-4-Axis-Quadcopter-UFO-RTF%28Mode-2%29-+-2-Extra-Batteries-+-Extra-Blade-Set-p-50090.html

Inexpensive, fairly durable. Low investment when it falls out of the sky.

I also invested in a decent transmitter (Turnigy 9x per reviews) and a simulator. The simulator is nice because I can practice basic maneuvers. Now I'm building and flying foam planes until I can amass enough parts for a tri or quad.

Be persistent!
 
#7
They had the part so I went ahead and bought it and a second complete unit as a backup. Got it home and got up in the air. Still trying to figure out how to trim it right, but did have some fun flying around the front yard for a while (at least I have two batteries now).