Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

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dundee
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Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by dundee » Fri May 18, 2018 2:24 pm

I am going to take a plunge (or flight as it may).

I have been thinking about buying a drone and learning how to operate it. Can anybody suggest a good beginner drone please? I am willing to spend up to $200. I don't mind getting a cheaper starter drone, learn on it, crash it and then get something better also. Just don't want to get something they sell in a drug store.

There are an awful lot of websites and different types of Quadcopters. Can anybody suggest a model they recommend? Or a good website that I can go to and find recommendations?

Thank you.

PFInterest
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by PFInterest » Fri May 18, 2018 2:26 pm

Anything DJI. Will cost more though.

Darth Xanadu
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by Darth Xanadu » Fri May 18, 2018 2:29 pm

I can't chime in with a recommendation but I'm interested to know the level of difficulty in flying one of these. I used to have a small R/C helicopter but never could get the hang of it.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

Hockey10
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by Hockey10 » Fri May 18, 2018 2:40 pm

Before you buy one, read up on all of the rules and regulations as to where you can fly it. My adult son owns one, and when he tells me where he last flew it, my first question is are you allowed to fly there. The FAA takes this very seriously.

Cheyenne
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by Cheyenne » Fri May 18, 2018 2:42 pm

I can't offer any advice on low-cost models but, I'm an FAA licensed drone pilot (as well as a licensed commercial airplane and glider pilot), and I've flown R/C airplanes and helicopters as well as drones. Modern drones are very easy to fly. The challenge is understanding their software and automated functions as well as the laws governing their use. Be forewarned, people hate drones. Fly in remote areas where it's permitted.

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jadd806
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by jadd806 » Fri May 18, 2018 2:58 pm

I would recommend the RYZE Tello: https://store.dji.com/product/tello

The drone is $100, plus a controller and some spare batteries would have you all-in for less than $200.

It works well for indoor flights and can be used outside in low winds. The Tello is a fun toy on its own and can also be a good stepping stone to a more expensive drone if you decide to go down that route.

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jadd806
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by jadd806 » Fri May 18, 2018 3:03 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:29 pm
I can't chime in with a recommendation but I'm interested to know the level of difficulty in flying one of these. I used to have a small R/C helicopter but never could get the hang of it.
On average flying a quad is much, much easier. Anything around the $50+ price point should have a hover mode which will allow a first timer to get the hang of it pretty quickly.

barnaclebob
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by barnaclebob » Fri May 18, 2018 3:11 pm

You'll probably get bored with it because there is no real skill. How many times can you fly around your neighborhood park and say, yep that's what the trees look like from above?

Someone was illegally flying one above us at Mount Rainier NP last weekend, really annoying. In fact I think about 90% of the times I've seen or heard a drone it was being operated illegally.

Cheyenne
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by Cheyenne » Fri May 18, 2018 3:15 pm

You'll probably get bored with it because there is no real skill.
That's a good point. Drones are about photography, not flying.

CFIT
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by CFIT » Fri May 18, 2018 5:24 pm

You might try a real cheapie to get a feel for it. I bought a $24 Eachine drone from Amazon and had a good time with it. It's only really good for indoor flight, doesn't have a camera, and the batteries last only four minutes (I bought several), yet it gave me a good feel for flying a quadcopter. For that price I was able to laugh when my dog would snatch it out of the air. Definitely $24 worth of entertainment.

hicabob
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by hicabob » Fri May 18, 2018 5:35 pm

CFIT wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:24 pm
You might try a real cheapie to get a feel for it. I bought a $24 Eachine drone from Amazon and had a good time with it. It's only really good for indoor flight, doesn't have a camera, and the batteries last only four minutes (I bought several), yet it gave me a good feel for flying a quadcopter. For that price I was able to laugh when my dog would snatch it out of the air. Definitely $24 worth of entertainment.
Yup - I did the same except mine was a $15 SYMA "slickdeal". It got stuck in a tree after a few flights - then came down a month later and still worked! (after heavy rain too). It's fun to learn and get decent at the stick operation. I'd recommend a cheapie before the $700 unit.

tmhudg
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by tmhudg » Sat May 19, 2018 6:22 am

Take a look at the Syma X5 (there are lots of variants but they are all very similar). I got this as my starter drone and enjoyed it.

These cheap starter drones are *much* harder to fly than the DJI pro drones - but that's a good thing. I think it's important to understand and get a feel for all the skills and techniques to fly the drone properly *before* you let all the automation in the pro drones take over for you.

A key feature in the lower level drones that you have to decide if you want or not is altitude hold. Without altitude hold the drone, well, doesn't hold it's altitude if you let go of the sticks. It requires constant attention to maintain the desired altitude (and change of altitude) while you are maneuvering the machine. With altitude hold the drone *wants* to stay at a constant altitude and you have to actually think about making it change. My first drone didn't have it and my second (cheap) drone did and it makes a huge difference in flying ease. But, of course, that argues against my first point of learning how to do everything manually before letting AI take over.

You *will* crash your cheap drones. Get some spare props and get extra batteries - they don't last long and take a long time to charge.

After you get bored with the cheapos, graduating to the DJI-level drones is night and day. They practically fly themselves and let you concentrate on taking video and pictures. The amount of automation in the DJI Mavic Pro - the one I bought - is simply astounding.

Youtube is your friend. Boatloads of videos for pretty much every drone out there.

Have fun!

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jharkin
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by jharkin » Sat May 19, 2018 10:14 am

What do you want to DO with the drone?

Take pictures?
Get into first person view racing?
Or just fly around?


If its pictures - buy a DJI and be done.

If its racing - find a local group that does drone racing and ask for advice.

If you just want to fly it around... well I have to warn you that gets boring fast as drones nearly fly themselves. If remote control flight IS interesting to you I suggest you go to the website of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (http://www.modelaircraft.org/) and use the club finder tool to find a local R/C flying club. Then go down to their flying site, introduce yourself and watch. You will probably see a mix of drones and traditional radio control planes and helicopters and will get a better feel for if its something you are interested in.

Whatever path you choose - read though http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/ to understand proper safety guidelines and FAA registration requirements.

Erwin007
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by Erwin007 » Sat May 19, 2018 8:42 pm

Another vote for the Syma X5. I got mine for around $40 on amazon and spent another $10 on rthe placement parts and some extra batteries, since they only last about 5 minutes.

I’ve had hours of fun with it, and also find it fun to chase away the Canadian geese that like to eat our grass and poop in our yard. I’m now teaching my 11 year old daughter to fly it and don’t feel bad when she drops it on the ground or gets it stuck in the tree.

chrischris
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by chrischris » Sat May 19, 2018 9:00 pm

Erwin007 wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 8:42 pm
Another vote for the Syma X5. I got mine for around $40 on amazon and spent another $10 on rthe placement parts and some extra batteries, since they only last about 5 minutes.

I’ve had hours of fun with it, and also find it fun to chase away the Canadian geese that like to eat our grass and poop in our yard. I’m now teaching my 11 year old daughter to fly it and don’t feel bad when she drops it on the ground or gets it stuck in the tree.
Third vote for the Syma. It’s inexpensive and a ton of fun to fly. It gives me something to do when the kids play at the park. Due to its size, FAA registration isn’t required. Buy a few extra parts on amazon and have a blast. I’d start here even though it’s well below your budget.

bampf
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Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Post by bampf » Sun May 20, 2018 4:16 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:11 pm
You'll probably get bored with it because there is no real skill. How many times can you fly around your neighborhood park and say, yep that's what the trees look like from above?
Can confirm. I have an Inspire 1. I picked it up from a colleague who was bored with it. It's a great machine. But, to be clear, its dull as hell after a while. Fly up. Look around. Do it some more. Land. Take a sweet picture. Land. Boring. Don't really regret it, but, I don't use it much. Will likely donate it to the local high school.

Bampf

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