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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:22 AM
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GPS or learn to fly

I have a DJI450 with Naza, but without the GPS option. I deliberately did this as I wanted to learn to fly rather than rely on technology all the time.

So far I'm doing reasonably well and can now keep control of the quad when it is facing away from me. The problems start when the quad is facing me. I tend to panic when it moves in the wrong direction and that usually results in a crash.

Should I persist with learning to fly it on ATTI mode or cop-out and buy the GPS?

I'm thinking that maybe if I switched it into GPS mode it would hold position and I could take a deep breath before trying to recover orientation.

I should also say that I have a DX6i, so that limits the complete functionality of the GPS equipped Naza.

Any thoughts or tips for flying?
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:27 AM
Out of helis, sanity returning
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2009
1,956 Posts
Do you want to fly, or do you want it to fly itself?

You're experiencing what everyone does when they are starting out learning to actually fly. Stay at it, and eventually you'll wonder why you thought it was so hard.

I've seen the ones with GPS fly, and those guys are just guiding them around with the stick. I don't call that flying. Nothing wrong with doing it that way, but they aren't true pilots.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:45 AM
CunningStuntsFPV
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Australia, WA, Dirk Hartog Island
Joined Dec 2012
624 Posts
Get a sim...orientation problems will be fixed in a couple of hours.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:59 AM
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Philippines, Calabarzon, San Pedro
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You want to learn the traditional way? Look up helicopter tutorials on youtube. The mechanics are different but the basic principles of flying a hover capable aircraft in third person are the same.

Get a ladybird or any of the micro quads and practice with those. In the helicopter forum, we encourage newbies to fly micros before trying out anything bigger than a 450. A ladybird has the same general flight characteristics and more resistant to damage, also less likely to send you to the hospital.

Anyway, since you can already get in the air, it's time to do the clock exercise. That is, point the heli slightly to the right (1 o clock) and hold it there, when you're comfortable enough, point it at 2 o clock and hold it there, do not go any further until you're comfortable with it. It may even take as long as a month to do all twelve without crashing (two-three months is not uncommon).

After (or even during) that exercise (Must be able to do 3 o clock atleast), you'll be doing the 'walk'. You walk around your house while keeping the quad three feet in front of you (micro quad recommended). You need a glass of water? Pick up the quad, fly it while you walk through doors and entryway and land it next to the refrigerator, do the same on your way back.

This will keep you occupied for a couple of months atleast if you're not rushing.

Get a ladybird, v929, or whatever cheapo micro quad you can get your hands on, extra 1s batteries, and start piling on the hours. You'll get more flight time out of a micro quad than a DJI450, and it takes more time to learn muscle memory than reading a book.

I'm coming from a helicopter background so i'm not really sure if this is how you learn a quad, but it seems your problem is orientation and these are the exercises we do when we're starting out.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 05:03 AM
Manual will not flyaway :D
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Sweden, Gothenburg
Joined Oct 2012
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Learn to fly, one you grasp the orientation the fun really starts! Try phoenix simulator
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 10:36 AM
THE PUBLIC IS THE PROBLEM
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United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Aug 2012
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I have been flying my quad for 6 months. I am on my third frame (started with a tricopter, then went v-tail, now standard X4 quad)

Just recently I started to test my skills at Nose In flying (when the quad is facing you). I am getting progressively better and better. Try not flying away from you and then back towards you... try flying from the FAR left of you, to the FAR right of you, 180 degree turn and fly back to the Left. continue that until you are comfortable with how you are flying. If you lose orientation or get spooked, just let go of the right stick, and throttle up... then regain orientation and continue.

The NAZA GPS unit also has a Compass on it, and that will enable to use CareFree mode... which is a godsent for LOS flying. However, if you never learn to fly Nose In, you are always relying on the GPS & compass... and if one of those should ever fail, you'll be in a lot of trouble.

I suggest you continue the way you are. The NAZA has spectacular altitude hold built in, so you should have no problem scooting around a large park without the fear of the quad crashing into the ground.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 10:53 AM
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Nov 2011
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I have been flying my DJI Naza F450 w/o GPS for over a year now and I'm pretty comfortable flying it in all directions including nose-in. The Naza-M is easy flying in ATTI mode, once you learn the basics. Start easy, start slow and practice every chance you have. I flew my quad every weekend to get some stick time and enjoy the morning in the park. I'm now trying to learn to fly my Trex 500 w/ a Naza H on it and I have no problem hovering it and I can say that flying the quad helped me to hover my heli. Like Hajile said, the principle are the same so it was an easy transformation for me to go from a quad to a heli, and I tell you being able to hover a 500 size heli was an awesome experience for me, I loved it!!! I can't wait to start flying circuits w/ it. Like I said, baby steps, but learn to fly it and you'll enjoy it more than having the GPS fly it for you, and practice, practice, practice....
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Joined Feb 2012
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I dont have Naza so I dont know but are you able to turn on Auto - Level function ? My quad hasnt got GPS either but I find that I use Auto - Level quite alot , I turn it on and off many times throughout a flight , I have it enabled by my Flight-Mode switch on my DX7s . I find if I have to use rudder to spin the copter around I to nose in so the copter is facing me I just turn on Auto-Level and the just give rudder and then I can think less about the right stick during those times I want to use rudder without banking essentially. If Im moving fast forward I will turn Auto-Level off, but certainly its a tool I use alot
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:08 AM
THE PUBLIC IS THE PROBLEM
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United States, CA, Sacramento
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve34 View Post
I dont have Naza so I dont know but are you able to turn on Auto - Level function ? My quad hasnt got GPS either but I find that I use Auto - Level quite alot , I turn it on and off many times throughout a flight , I have it enabled by my Flight-Mode switch on my DX7s . I find if I have to use rudder to spin the copter around I to nose in so the copter is facing me I just turn on Auto-Level and the just give rudder and then I can think less about the right stick during those times I want to use rudder without banking essentially. If Im moving fast forward I will turn Auto-Level off, but certainly its a tool I use alot
Yes, the NAZA has what is known as "ATTI mode" and that is Auto-Level & Altitude Hold combined. Makes it extremely easy to fly and navigate.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by subaru4wd View Post
Yes, the NAZA has what is known as "ATTI mode" and that is Auto-Level & Altitude Hold combined. Makes it extremely easy to fly and navigate.
cool then use it then
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:35 AM
THE PUBLIC IS THE PROBLEM
subaru4wd's Avatar
United States, CA, Sacramento
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Quote:
Originally Posted by init6 View Post
Should I persist with learning to fly it on ATTI mode or cop-out and buy the GPS?
Sounds like he has been.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:55 AM
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Thanks everyone. I suppose I just had a crisis of confidence and thought GPS might have saved the day with my last crash.
Come to think of it, I used to panic when it was facing away from me too and now I can handle it. So I suppose I am making progress.
For some strange reason I've never thought of looking for heli training guides. Will google now.

I'll certainly try the clock idea and maybe even get a small quad for flying in the office.

And I certainly look forward to making a statement like this


Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru4wd View Post
Yes, the NAZA has what is known as "ATTI mode" and that is Auto-Level & Altitude Hold combined. Makes it extremely easy to fly and navigate.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:58 AM
THE PUBLIC IS THE PROBLEM
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United States, CA, Sacramento
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Originally Posted by init6 View Post
And I certainly look forward to making a statement like this
Just keep flying. The more stick time you have, the easier it becomes.

GPS is nice, and of course will save you from wrecking. But if you want to become a great pilot, the GPS will only hold you back.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 12:54 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2400RDR View Post
Do you want to fly, or do you want it to fly itself?

You're experiencing what everyone does when they are starting out learning to actually fly. Stay at it, and eventually you'll wonder why you thought it was so hard.

I've seen the ones with GPS fly, and those guys are just guiding them around with the stick. I don't call that flying. Nothing wrong with doing it that way, but they aren't true pilots.
Oh really? How so? As far as the Naza-M is concerned, ATTI and GPS are pretty much the same thing except GPS has position hold and ATTI mode does not. Both modes have auto-levelling and attitude correction. Do you fly yours in ATTI mode? Or are you in Manual mode the entire time? If you fly in ATTI mode, then you are also "guiding it around with the stick" and therefore aren't a pilot either.

To the OP - GPS mode isn't a "cop out"... use what works for you. The GPS mode really isn't going to help you learn any faster other than it having position hold capabilties. Just keep at it as learning how to fly it when it's facing you is just part of learning. It's the same with single-rotor helis.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 12:55 PM
THE PUBLIC IS THE PROBLEM
subaru4wd's Avatar
United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Oh really? How so? As far as the Naza-M is concerned, ATTI and GPS are pretty much the same thing except GPS has position hold and ATTI mode does not. Both modes have auto-levelling and attitude correction. Do you fly yours in ATTI mode? Or are you in Manual mode the entire time? If you fly in ATTI mode, then you are also "guiding it around with the stick" and therefore aren't a pilot either.
Isn't the GPS mode on the NAZA a carefree mode?? so the YAW does not effect direction of travel?

Or is that a separate mode?
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