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Old Jun 27, 2014, 02:40 PM
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Starting out multirotor

Hello,

I'd like to start out with multirotors FPV. I've been a fixed wing FPV for almost a year now and I'm liking the multirotor platform now. I have some small ones I use in the house.

So my aim is to multirotor FPV with fair distances. Maybe 3 miles less or more. I'd like something that could stay up flying 15min at least, the more the better. So I was wondering should I go with mini multirotors or maybe a full sized one? Do you guys recommend any platform? There are a lot of topics but I couldn't find something specific to help me decide on the platform size.

I'm also searching for a follow-me feature in a board but I can't find enough information searching the forum. Multirotor will cost money so I'm also looking for a platform that can be expanded in the future for additional options.

Thank you.
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Old Jun 27, 2014, 03:41 PM
Stupidity doesn't fly
JC3233's Avatar
United States, PA, Philadelphia
Joined Oct 2013
342 Posts
APM is a flight controller with a ton of features including the follow me feature, but it can get quite overwhelming to set up if it's your first time. I like starting with a $30 KK2.1 board then after I get the basic setup down, advance to an APM. The bigger crafts can get expensive, but are easier to build since there's plenty of room to mount your stuff. The small 220-250 class like Blackout need a lot of cutting, trimming and soldering to get it all to fit on the frame nicely. Since you've already had RC experiance, flown FPV and have flown smaller quads, I'm not hesitant to recommend a mid size hobby grade like the F450 Flamewheel or equivalent frame. For a first build, finding a frame where you can replace one arm instead of the whole frame is great. You could go right to those small "indestructible" quads like an eck or blackout frame, but they're aimed more towards speed and acrobatics.

HobbyKing has a F450 knockoff which is really great. It comes with a Power Distribution Board and has thicker arms which I have yet to break one after 10 or so crashes. Make sure to get the V3 one though, the V1 and V2 arms are quite flimsy. At ~$13 per frame, I got 3 of them for spares. You can mount APM or KK flight controllers on them.

This is just one of many ways to get into multirotors. Keep looking until you find one that appeals to your style Good Luck!

PS: 15 minutes is very doable. Its getting past the 20 minute mark where it gets to be a little more challenging. 1000kv motors with 1045 props and a 5000mAh 3S LiPo could easily get you near 15 minutes. If you add a gimbal, full FPV gear and other goodies, you'll hurt the flight time by a minute or two. I have an octocopter in X8 config spinning 14 inch props that can get 28-30 minutes with (3) 6,400mAh packs. Rule of thumb is, the higher the voltage and bigger the prop, the more efficient and longer your copter will fly.
As for getting 3 miles, it depends on your FPV gear, the speed which you can fly at, and endurance of the copter.
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Last edited by JC3233; Jun 27, 2014 at 03:48 PM.
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Old Jun 28, 2014, 04:44 AM
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Joined Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC3233 View Post
APM is a flight controller with a ton of features including the follow me feature, but it can get quite overwhelming to set up if it's your first time. I like starting with a $30 KK2.1 board then after I get the basic setup down, advance to an APM. The bigger crafts can get expensive, but are easier to build since there's plenty of room to mount your stuff. The small 220-250 class like Blackout need a lot of cutting, trimming and soldering to get it all to fit on the frame nicely. Since you've already had RC experiance, flown FPV and have flown smaller quads, I'm not hesitant to recommend a mid size hobby grade like the F450 Flamewheel or equivalent frame. For a first build, finding a frame where you can replace one arm instead of the whole frame is great. You could go right to those small "indestructible" quads like an eck or blackout frame, but they're aimed more towards speed and acrobatics.

HobbyKing has a F450 knockoff which is really great. It comes with a Power Distribution Board and has thicker arms which I have yet to break one after 10 or so crashes. Make sure to get the V3 one though, the V1 and V2 arms are quite flimsy. At ~$13 per frame, I got 3 of them for spares. You can mount APM or KK flight controllers on them.

This is just one of many ways to get into multirotors. Keep looking until you find one that appeals to your style Good Luck!

PS: 15 minutes is very doable. Its getting past the 20 minute mark where it gets to be a little more challenging. 1000kv motors with 1045 props and a 5000mAh 3S LiPo could easily get you near 15 minutes. If you add a gimbal, full FPV gear and other goodies, you'll hurt the flight time by a minute or two. I have an octocopter in X8 config spinning 14 inch props that can get 28-30 minutes with (3) 6,400mAh packs. Rule of thumb is, the higher the voltage and bigger the prop, the more efficient and longer your copter will fly.
As for getting 3 miles, it depends on your FPV gear, the speed which you can fly at, and endurance of the copter.
Thank you JC3233. That's really informative. Now I know where to start. I'm about to order the F450 ARF except the props. Just one more question, what do you think about the TBS discovery compare to the F450? I know the TBS is more expensive which discourage me a bit. There's a lot of good reviews on that platform. My goal as is FPV endurance flight not racing or sport.
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Old Jun 29, 2014, 05:50 PM
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United States, PA, Philadelphia
Joined Oct 2013
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TBS Disco is fantastic for FPV. The arm positions are more ideal since the propellers won't be in the view as much. F450 is better for Line Of Sight flying when compared to the TBS. If you want to record silky smooth video, a gimbal on either craft will produce the desired results, but the need for extra landing gear on the F450 to accommodate the gimbal pushes me towards the TBS.
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