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Old Oct 04, 2011, 08:57 PM
4 Heli's, 1 Plane, & 1 Car
kashalp's Avatar
Canada, ON, Angus
Joined Mar 2010
171 Posts
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FPV is SCARY! Noob Tips?

So ive been doing testing and flights with the gear on plane (AXN floater Jet) for the last week but today i tried my first real FPV flight ever! OMG.. was it ever heart pounding. Just walking out to the field and setting up my ground station i could feel my hands shaking and i wasnt even in the air yet.

When i actually got in the air i found myself flying LOS as i normally would, not going much further or higher then i flew without fpv, and constantly doing the look at plane, look at screen, look at plane, look at screen etc etc..

For the time being im only using a 8.5" monitor for my viewing as i think goggles would make me waaaay to nervous to have any kind of succesful flight, and i dare not try to land without my eyes on the plane just yet. Call me chicken if you will but i like my baby step approach

There is TONS of threads on equipment, set-up, and other mechanical tips but not much on psychological side of things. Any tips, advice, comments, or thoughts for me and other noobie fpv'ers??

P.S just for the record heres is my BASIC STARTUP equipment:

Plane: AXN Floater w/ 6x4 prop, 2200mah battery powering plane and video TX.
RX/TX: Walkera 2801 Pro 8 ch 2.4ghz
Video RX/TX: BevRC 5.8ghz 200mw stock antenna's
Camera: GoPro
Ground Station: Artec 8.5" portable TV mounted on tripod with RX. TV has internal battery, RX powered by 11.1v 2200mah

Nothing special but gets me about 1km range, which is plenty for the time being.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 09:10 PM
Team White Llama!
gundamnitpete's Avatar
Joined Jan 2008
8,144 Posts
You're problem is youself, lol. Basically, IMHO, you gotta just go for it. Full FPV, after handlaunch to landing.

I was in your boat when i first started, and i didn't every really get comfortable because everytime i got scared, i'd "default" back to looking at the plane.

My best advice is to study the area you fly in, Keep it close, and keep you're eyes glued to the screen. When i fly FPV, i sit practically motionless, not intentionally, but i really like to let the camera be my eyes, so to speak.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 09:11 PM
Team White Llama!
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Joined Jan 2008
8,144 Posts
everytime you go to look back at the plane, there are seconds where you have no idea what it's doing. No video to see what's going on, then you gotta search for it in the air, find it, have you're eyes focus on it, identify what orientation it is to you, and then provide corrective input.

just stay with the video, and tell yourself "calm down and have fun!" and if it goes down, don't let it break your heart, lol.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 09:16 PM
4 Heli's, 1 Plane, & 1 Car
kashalp's Avatar
Canada, ON, Angus
Joined Mar 2010
171 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gundamnitpete View Post
everytime you go to look back at the plane, there are seconds where you have no idea what it's doing. No video to see what's going on, then you gotta search for it in the air, find it, have you're eyes focus on it, identify what orientation it is to you, and then provide corrective input.

just stay with the video, and tell yourself "calm down and have fun!" and if it goes down, don't let it break your heart, lol.
oh yea! lol i actually lost the plane for what seemed forever while doing my back and forth routine. was probably only 4-5 seconds in reality but it totally sucked to put it plainly. i tried several times to commit to the screen but the slightest dark spot due to sun or distraction caused me out of habit to search the sky for it. Only day 1, perhaps next flight will be more comfortable.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 09:34 PM
Team White Llama!
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Joined Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kashalp View Post
oh yea! lol i actually lost the plane for what seemed forever while doing my back and forth routine. was probably only 4-5 seconds in reality but it totally sucked to put it plainly. i tried several times to commit to the screen but the slightest dark spot due to sun or distraction caused me out of habit to search the sky for it. Only day 1, perhaps next flight will be more comfortable.
it will. The gopro doesn't like bright sky and dark ground. I would try flying when the sun is highest next time, should make it easier to see the ground in relation to the sky.

Just remember, if your 100 feet high or so, even if the trees go dark, you are still above them keep the power on and pitch up slightly

You'll get it, just concentrate on staying calm and keep your eyes on the screen. you'll be really comfortable in no time.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 09:43 PM
Village Idiot!
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Apr 2011
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Tip? Get a 72mhz radio before you lose your plane.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 09:45 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, El Dorado Hills
Joined Jan 2011
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Yeah its a good idea to keep the power up more than usual so you don't stall. Review your video and watch the landing over and over. That will give you a better idea of what it should look like. What scares me now is landing without FPV
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 09:54 PM
4 Heli's, 1 Plane, & 1 Car
kashalp's Avatar
Canada, ON, Angus
Joined Mar 2010
171 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScooterInVegas View Post
Tip? Get a 72mhz radio before you lose your plane.
72mhz or a 2.4 booster is in the near future. No rush for it tho as i am familar with my flying area and have set aerial boundries/landmarks in all directions to warn me when i get 3/4 of the max distance my ground range test was reliable until.

The scariest thing i found was when banking/turning and watching the nose drop on screen. I may add some aileron/elevator mixing to minimize this.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 10:13 PM
CEL abuser
USA, CO, Denver
Joined Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kashalp View Post
The scariest thing i found was when banking/turning and watching the nose drop on screen. I may add some aileron/elevator mixing to minimize this.
Dood, maybe get a sim and fly fpv on that to get used to seeing the airframe move in relation to the horizon? Relaxing is good. Don't get all revved up on mixing the flying out of the flying. Figure out your airframe and how it behaves, maybe an OSD would help you cut the visual cord. Or a cheaper airplane. I flogged a parkzone t-28 as my first FPV plane and it was a blast, without without OSD. Touch and gos were by far my favorite activity with that one.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 10:32 PM
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Australia, NSW, Picnic Point
Joined Aug 2011
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Just do what I did. Get familiar with the whole setup with the gear onboard and do a few screen flights to get familiar with your landmarks. Then, just dive on in and chuck the goggles on! I've got the turnigy cheapos mounted in a set of ski goggles and found it easier ten fold with the goggles cause you get no peripheral sight and nothing around to take the focus off the flight path ahead! You'll love the deep end, is awesome!
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 11:44 PM
FPV Browncoat
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United States, CO, Parker
Joined Mar 2011
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Are you flying alone or with a spotter? On your first few flights, having a spotter watching your plane definitely helps with the nerves. I started FPV about a month ago with my Dynam Hawk Sky, which is pretty similar to your plane. It took me about 2 weeks to get the FPV equipment installed and balanced properly on the plane with a few minor stalls and crashes on dry run test flights.

Once I was confident the video system was installed correctly and verified that the plane would fly stably with the video system off, I did a couple practice flights with the FPV system turned on, and did exactly what you're describing looking at the screen for short periods of time and then looking back at the plane. That way I was able to confirm my whole setup worked properly.

The next day (Saturday of Labor Day weekend) I met up with some local RC flyers and asked them to keep an eye on the plane for my first video only flight. I was pretty nervous at first, but having someone else watching my plane at least freed me from the urge to look up constantly to figure out where it was, and let me concentrate on navigating using the video. By my second flight that day, I didn't really care if anyone else was watching the plane because I could keep track of where I was just fine through the video. My next two flights were also with other RC flyers around, on Labor Day Monday. By that point, I was comfortable enough to fly beyond line of sight, reaching about 2,000 feet away.

I haven't had a chance to meet up with those guys again since then, so I've been flying on my own, doing 2 or 3 flights a week, without a spotter. I've now done a couple flights out to around 1km, and am gradually pushing further so I hope to reach a mile fairly soon. It took me a couple weeks before I was confident enough to switch over to doing FPV landings rather than doing them visually. I'm afraid I'm still not very good at it, as I have a tendency to tip-stall on my flare and unceremoniously drop out of the air from a few feet up at the last second before touchdown. But the last time I tried to do a visual landing because I was flying from a fairly small area, I totally muffed that one too because I wasn't used to landing that way anymore. So I'm thinking I'll just stick to FPV landings from now on.

Anyway, yeah. Try having a spotter for a few flights just so you know someone is watching your plane, and you'll quickly find you don't even need one, since you can keep track of the plane just fine through the video feed.
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Old Oct 05, 2011, 12:04 AM
Outta Sight
Australia, WA, Joondalup
Joined Jul 2008
929 Posts
kashalp,
if you need to you can install some 'training wheels' in the form of an FY21AP.
Launch the plane, get to a decent height, switch it to "stabilized" and "circle" and it will go around and around and give you a good look around without you having to know that it is ok.
Switch it to "normal" and fly in the direction you want.
If you go too far out or get nervous, just hit RTH and it will come home on its own.

All you need to control is altitude, rudder and throttle, and anyone can fly FPV.
Oh, and get some goggles, you are missing half the fun.
Goodluck.
R.
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Old Oct 05, 2011, 12:09 AM
FPV Browncoat
prelator's Avatar
United States, CO, Parker
Joined Mar 2011
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lol. Training wheels? In the form of a $300 auto pilot? If it was me that would just make me even more terrified thinking about how much money I'm putting up in the sky. ;-)
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Old Oct 05, 2011, 12:28 AM
Suspended Account
United States, NJ, Manchester
Joined May 2011
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This is true ^ I don't think it's necessary. A spotter definitely helps the nerves.
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Old Oct 05, 2011, 01:53 AM
Village Idiot!
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prelator View Post
lol. Training wheels? In the form of a $300 auto pilot? If it was me that would just make me even more terrified thinking about how much money I'm putting up in the sky. ;-)
My very first FPV flight was with Dragon link, RVOSD G5 and Fat Sharks!

I was a little nervous about the gear, but with a 70mph plane, I was at the one mile mark in my first 90 sec of FPV..... I didn't have the nerve to test the autopilot the first flight though.
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