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Old Apr 29, 2011, 03:36 AM
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Joined Apr 2011
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Best Aerial Video Option for GoPRO or similar (can't figure out what to get!)

Hi everyone, this is my first post! I have spent a good 8 hours scouring this forum and others trying to find the best option for what I am looking to do, and cannot find a good straight answer.

I am looking to do some aerial video using my Gopro HD, and want to know what you all think is the best option for a setup for me.

Here are my concerns:

1. Flying difficulty. I own a blade mcx coaxial heli and can fly it quite well. However, I tried out a single rotor heli and could not get the hang of it. Therefore I do not think a single rotor heli system would be a good option for me. I also want to be able to take some slow video, so a plane is not an option. Are the quadcopters easier to fly? Say, as easy as a coaxial heli?

2. Stability. I want something stable enough to give good video obviously.

3. Budget. I see the best to get is a hexacopter from Mikrocopter or something similar, but I am definitely not in the $6k+ budget range for this project. I would like my cost to stay under/around $500, but if you think that there is something else that will work a lot better for me, I can splurge up to $1k. I also do not have a radio controller either, so I will need to buy one of those if what I get doesn't come with one.

4. Repair parts. I want something where repair parts are easy to come by and order on the internet.

5. Build time. I do not have the time (nor the expertise) to build a rig from scratch myself.

6. Camera mounting. I need to be able to mount the camera where no rotors, etc will be in view of the camera.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I hope you all can help me choose the best option for me so that I can join this awesome hobby!!

Thank you all in advance!
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Old Apr 29, 2011, 07:05 PM
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United States, CO, Boulder
Joined Sep 2008
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Sounds like a simple tricopter is what you need! Flys a lot like a coax heli (well, fairly close).

Look around at different builds. I think you can even get them ready to go from some places (look at www.mongrelgear.au , think they have a cheap and reliable one. )

And welcome to RCGroups!
-Kevin
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Old Apr 30, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Cedar Rapids, IA
Joined Aug 2010
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I'm in much the same boat as you. I've been reading posts all over RCGroups since summer, 2010. I've started to learn how to fly; 1st with a Champ high-wing trainer and then with a simple, coaxial heli. I'm also flying a scratch built flying wing as many folks use a flying wing for video. It was quite a leap from the Champ; still learning.

In reading your criteria (easy, slow flyer, stable video, <$1000 w/transmitter & receiver, easy repair & parts, not scratch built, no rotors in camera view) seems to me you are looking for the Gaui 330X-S. I don't see anything that meets all these criteria better.

This is the same model I am considering. I was about to order it when it was suggested I practice on a single rotor, fixed pitch heli (like the mSR) first. So... I've moved up from the coaxial to the mSR. I managed to break one of the very delicate connection balls on the swash plate while attempting to adjust the physical trim in the first 3 hours I owned the mSR.

I think in the end, the 330X-S will be the right platform for me ...and likely you too. My current issue is the route for training so I don't destroy my first serious quad copter. The quad should be a pretty robust platform. There are only 4 moving parts; the 4 motors. Everything else is electronics (no servos, no pushrods, no hinges, etc.). As far as "easy-to-fly" goes, from what I'm reading the multi-copters are harder than a coaxial but much easier than most large helis. Still, there are darn few "truly easy to fly" RC options of any kind for aerial photography. It all takes some training. My coaxial heli (Syma S107) was truly easy to fly but it won't lift a camera and no coaxial can cope with wind.

The options outside of a quad (or tri-copter too, I suppose, but I think you are looking at scratch built for that) would include planes like the Easy Star (gentle flyer with pusher prop) or the kite-like Hawk Eye (also gentle flyer with pusher prop). Planes though, have the disadvantage of take-off and landing space required plus no ability to hover and pan a scene.

Here is an outdoor nature scene video from a 330X-S with no space for take off and landing as an illustration:

Gaui Quad 330x Aerial Video

Gaui Quad 330x Aerial Video (1 min 36 sec)


Total budget for a Gaui 330S-X:

$400 for the quad copter
$200 for a decent, full range radio and receiver (I will use the DX6i)
$100 for a decent charger and spare batteries (I use the HK Accucell 6)
...about $700 all in.

An Easy Star is probably a lower cost option (I bought one of those too ...had some issues with it).
I guess your first decision will be between planes and a multi-copter.

Whatever you decide, don't neglect your training. RC flying of any kind is not so simple "out-of-the-box" and conditions like variable wind take time to understand and learn coping skills.
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Last edited by MiddleMarc; Apr 30, 2011 at 06:54 AM.
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