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Posted by krachall | Oct 31, 2018 @ 07:24 PM | 1,418 Views


Before I start reviewing this fantastic Eachine LCD5802D 7 Inch FPV Monitor/DVR , let's talk a bit about why you need one. OK, you don't REALLY need one -- I've been flying for a couple years without one -- but now that I have one, I'm kicking myself for not getting one sooner. There are SO many great uses.

Why you need it:

For me, the LCD monitor gets the most use in letting other people watch me fly. Whether it's my kids watching me chase the dogs around with a Tiny Whoop or the typical people at the park wondering what I'm doing. The monitor also allowed me to quell a neighbor's concern that I'm "spying on his family with my drone." After using the monitor to watch me fly, he laughed and said, "yeah, at those speeds, you're not spying on anyone!" Duh. The fact that I could buy a $100 telescope and read the newspaper on his kitchen table from my living room notwithstanding, no one is spying on anyone with a racing drone. And having a monitor let me easily show that.

Next, the monitor has an integrated, easy-to-use DVR that let's me record FPV footage. While I understand that most people have a DVR recorder in their goggles, I don't (Fatshark Attitude V2s) and now, for the first time, I can record the FPV feed. This is GREAT for micro quads that can't or don't carry an HD cam.

But, for many people, the greatest value of the monitor will be for use when building, testing, tuning, and adjusting their quads. Focusing an FPV camera...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Aug 14, 2017 @ 08:04 AM | 4,218 Views
Are you seeing the trend? FlexRC releases a new micro frame and I quickly declare it the best micro frame I've flown. While that's been basically true for the last few frames, there's a reason for it. Simply put, Dmitry at FlexRC is, hands-down, the best micro frame designer out there today. His new FlexRC Ascent continues the trend of excellent releases. And, get this, it's only $20!



Iím usually not impressed with 2Ē frames that donít have integrated prop guards. Itís not that a 2Ē frame requires prop guards but Iím not impressed with most 2Ē frames because they are ridiculously simple to design. Anyone with a free 3D modeling app, like Google Sketchup, can design an X-frame, add motor mount holes and 20x20 electronics stack holes and, voila, youíve designed a 2Ē frame. And, because itís that easy, there are, literally, dozens of these frames out there...all pretty much the same: x-frame built around a tall center stack topped by an All-in-one micro camera/vtx unit. Yawn.

And while the standard 25mw AIO micro cam is fine for Tiny Whoops, itís a bit fragile and (usually) a bit too exposed for a heavier 2Ē quad -- especially when plopped on top of a tall center component stack. Any inverted crash, even indoors over carpet, is going to result in a direct hit on the cam.

Donít get me wrong, there are some 2Ē frames I absolutely LOVE, like the FlexRC Pico Owl I reviewed here. Yes, itís a relatively simple x-frame but itís the prop guard and some...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Jul 08, 2017 @ 04:28 PM | 22,095 Views
Standard Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this post. I don't get paid for this nor do I want to get paid for this!

BetaFPV has quickly become a popular resource for micro drone parts due to their quality products, excellent selection, and, happily, selling through Amazon Prime. I became a fan of their products when I stumbled across their Tiny Whoop style frame and was blown away by how well it performs. I declared it the perfect Tiny Whoop frame and with almost 5 flight hours on it, I'm not disappointed.

Recently, BetaFPV released a few different 1S batteries so, given my taste for their other gear, I gave them a try. Here's a basic rundown of the differences.

Batteries:

205 mah 4.2v ($17.99 for 8 batteries)
230 mah 4.2v ($19.99 for 8 batteries)
260 mah HV 4.35v ($25.99 for 8 batteries)

Each battery comes with the proven JST-PH-2.0 (Power Whoop) connector to ensure longer life.

Test Rig: 19.7g BetaFPV Tiny Whoop with 4-blade BetaFPV propellers, BeeCore FC, and 19500kv BetaFPV motors.


Size:
As you can see in the pictures, the 205mah and 230mah are the same length while the 260mah is significantly longer. The 230mah is significantly thicker than both the 205mah and the 260mah.

...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Jun 02, 2017 @ 02:22 PM | 5,354 Views
Unsolicited Advice for YouTube Subscription Beggars



Let me start by saying that I don’t have a public YouTube channel. You may think that makes me supremely unqualified to give advice to people looking (and resorting to begging) for YouTube subscribers. Quite the contrary, though, as I watch a LOT of FPV videos and I’m highly qualified to tell you, as one of your prospective subscribers, what will make me hit that Subscribe button.

Step 1: Post content that’s new and different.

I hate to break it to you but the 5 minute video of your “awesome flow” around some trees in a park was the stuff Steele, Charpu and Skitzo were posting two years ago. You’re playing catch-up and the gap is widening every day. It was unique then but it’s dull now and I’m not going to subscribe for that. If your goal is to fly as good as some of those guys were flying two years ago, then great, have at it. But don’t expect subscribers.

What do I want to see? It can easily be grouped into two categories. I want sketchy and/or unique.

Gimme sketchy! I want to see scary, hairy, fast, close proximity about-to-explode-any-minute content in risky locations. I want bandos. I want warehouses. I want building dives. I want towers, hotels, stadiums, bridges, cliffs, pits, construction sites, cranes, windmills, landmarks, office parks, waterfalls, barns, playgrounds, manufacturing plants, college campuses, pipes, trains, catwalks,...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | May 31, 2017 @ 06:41 PM | 13,739 Views
Beta75 Bind-and-Fly 75mm Brushed Indoor Micro Quad Review

As always, no links are affiliate links.



Just about four months ago, I wrote a blog post declaring I was done with Tiny Whoops. And I was. I sold my two Whoops and all my batteries, cases, props, spare frames, motors, camera mounts, and even my unused tubes of Welderís adhesive. I was out.

I gave up on Tiny Whoops for 2 main reasons:
  1. Frame durability vs. weight - Stock Inductrix frames were the right weight but the motor struts snapped in even the most gentle indoor crashes. Stronger frames didnít break as easily but were a good 30%+ heavier. The right combination of durability and weight didnít exist. On top of all this, the stock Inductrix frame is very difficult to repair as most adhesives, particularly CA, wonít stick to the frame material.
  2. Power vs. flight times - To get reasonable flight times - and weíre just talking a couple minutes - one had to resort to extremely light, relatively low kv 6mm motors. But those motors didnít have the power to maintain altitude in aggressive turns or even fairly relaxed yaw inputs. And freestyle maneuvers were definitly out of the question. So swap out the motors for something faster for more power? Sure, and then youíre under 90 seconds flight time.

Today, Iím back in the Tiny Whoop game and Iíve jumped back in with both feet mainly because of one small company I found on Amazon of all places.

BetaFPV sells micro FPV drones, parts, and accessories...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | May 18, 2017 @ 02:49 PM | 8,744 Views
Disclaimer: As with all my reviews, there are NO affiliate links here. I don't get paid to write these!


I have a love-hate relationship with Tiny Whoops. I love, Love, LOVE being able to fly FPV in my house. It’s a very important part of FPV to me as I usually don’t have the time to pack up my gear and head to a flying spot. So being able to grab my goggles and radio and take a few laps around my living room or basement in the evening is key. And, obviously, indoor Whooping is a ton of fun.

But the hate part is due to the inherent problem with trying to fly and maintain a 25g or less quadcopter. That’s 25g with a battery and 25g is REALLY light! And while that ridiculously light all-up-weight is critical for safe and fun indoor flying, it requires maddeningly light and fragile components. The most frustrating and maddening components being the frame itself.

The first Tiny Whoops were based on the legendary Blade Inductrix frame. This is the frame that Jesse Perkins used to start the Tiny Whoop craze and it comes in at a svelt ~3.4g. But with that light weight comes very low durability. The motor struts are prone to break at the duct on even the most gentle crash. Many people report breaking their stock Inductrix frame on the first battery...and I was one of them.

Further compounding the frustration is the difficulty in repairing the stock Inductrix frame. Superglue won’t stick to the frame so other adhesives or repair methods are...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | May 16, 2017 @ 09:10 AM | 6,039 Views
(NOTE: The Amazon links below are NOT affiliate links. I'm not getting any money from these reviews!)

Anyone who's ever participated in a (relatively) expensive hobby or sport has heard the phrase "Good, Fast, Cheap: pick two." In fact, I had a sign on my office wall with those exact words when I was an entry level engineer many decades ago. While intentionally smarmy, there is a lot of truth to the saying. Want something fast? Fine, well it's either going to be poor quality or outrageously expensive. Want something low cost? Sure, but it's going to either take a REALLY long time or it's going to be poor quality...you get the point.

AKK, currently selling FPV gear on Amazon and Aliexpress, is proving that phrase wrong.

I recently reviewed their Micro AIO FPV camera after find it to be super light (3.6g), super cheap (under $21), and, best of all, it's available on Amazon Prime.

I've had that cam on my Tiny Whoop for a few weeks now and it's been flawless. I like it so much that I gave some of their other gear a shot. As you'll read below, it's good, fast, and cheap...what's not to like?

Enter the beater quad. This is my rig that I use for testing new parts. It's got the same motors and ESCs as my main quad but they're attached to a $20 clone frame and uses a $20 F3 flight controller. It's a frame I'm not afraid to crash...repeatedly... if some of these parts fail. Fortunately, nothing of the sort happened.

I disassembled the Beater Quad and...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | May 02, 2017 @ 08:18 PM | 8,034 Views
FlexRC Pico Owl v2 review



Just a few weeks after getting my first quad, a 5” racer, flying, I started looking into indoor micro FPV quads. Since then, I’ve built and flow...and HATED...8 different designs. But after all those disappointments, I’ve finally found one I LOVE: The FlexRC Pico Owl v2.

The Pico Owl v2 is my fourth brushless micro and easily the best of the bunch. I’ve tried a DJ105 -- good design but the 3D printed frame was too flexy. I’ve tried a Tomoquad Swift -- easily the worst designed frame I’ve ever seen. You can read that not-so-glowing review here. But I can’t find a significant flaw in the Pico Owl and I think my search is finally over.

The Frame:

The Pico Owl is the smallest in the Owl family of quads from FlexRC. It’s a minimalist design that builds and flies wonderfully. While I love to build quads, I prefer 5” quads to micros because of the extremely tight spaces. But the Pico Owl was the first true micro that I can honestly say was a joy to build.

The frame consists of a 2mm thick carbon fiber main plate, a very well printed nylon prop guard, and a basic mount for a standard AIO micro cam/vtx. Oddly, there is no hardware included. While most of us have bins full of nylon hardware, I think it would have been nice to include at least some standoffs, nuts, and screws for the prop guard.

Both the main plate and the prop guards are extremely well designed. The main plate is...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | May 02, 2017 @ 07:43 AM | 6,671 Views
Yeah, yeah, it's just another AIO micro cam... Since the Tiny Whoop craze took off, it seems everyone is selling a micro all-in-one camera for the diminutive quads. And they're all really small, really light, and work great. Another thing they all have in common, unfortunately, is that they are all also really fragile -- particularly the dipole antenna. Sure, they can be repaired but, after enough crashes, it's going to be time to get a new one.

And that's where the AKK BS2 5.8G 48CH 25mW VTX comes in. Not only is it the lightest AIO I've found but it's the cheapest AND it's available on Amazon Prime. I'm in love!

Just another AIO micro cam? Maybe. But consider it's got three major advantages over the rest of the (crowded) field:

1. It's the lightest AIO I've seen, at 3.6g with a micro-JST connector attached. I've used four others and the lighest previously was 3.9g. Does 0.3 grams matter? Not much, but on a 19g quad, I'll take any tenth of a gram savings I can get.



2. It's cheap. Most AIOs run in the $24 to $28 range...more for faster shipping. The AKK AIO is $20.99. Given it's lighter AND cheaper, there's no reason to go with any other cam.

3. It's available on Amazon Prime! That's the deal closer for me. I love Prime and the fact that I can get a micro cam delivered to my door in under 48 hours for $20.99 blows me away. Check it out here: http://a.co/770nKIQ

AKK seems to be a new player on Amazon but they've got a couple dozen products (mainly video transmitters) available, all on Prime. All items are aggressively priced and the quality seems to be on par with similar, higher priced items.

More AKK reviews to follow, as these are becoming my go-to guys!
Posted by krachall | May 01, 2017 @ 10:50 AM | 6,256 Views
Tomoquads Swift Review - and it's not pretty



Iíve been on a hunt to find the perfect indoor micro quad. Iíve built and flown several different micro quads, from brushed Tiny Whoops to brushless 3Ē and several in between, and still havenít found one that suits me for indoors. The next on my list to try was the Tomoquads Swift. Unfortunately, several major design issues with the frame scratched this one off my list on the first battery.

The Tomoquads Swift is an expensive 74mm brushless micro frame that has too many design issues to make it worth anyoneís time or money. While there arenít (yet) many brushless micro frames to choose from, this is one frame you should absolutely avoid.

Frame Details:

The Swift consists of a thin, 74mm motor-to-motor, carbon base plate; a 20x20 carbon bottom plate to hold the battery; two different 3D printed prop guards, and a very clever camera mounting system. The camera design, albeit quite heavy, is the only good feature of this frame. That said, it's not too hard to design an elaborate, functional camera mount when you throw weight concerns out the window.

Letís jump right to the design flaws since nothing else really matters after that.

The first major design flaw is that the entire frame is built around 4 long nylon M3 screws. Yes, the entire component stack -- battery, ESC, flight controller, camera, receiver, even the prop guards -- is held together exclusively by frail nylon screws. Anyone whoís built...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Feb 08, 2017 @ 01:54 PM | 8,480 Views
The Future of Tiny Whooping



After a few months of building, flying, repairing, and studying the Tiny Whoop, I’m done. I’m out. Whoops, batteries, cases, props, and spare frames are up for sale. But I’ll be back. Oh, I will absolutely be back. I enjoy indoor proximity flying FAR too much to walk away from it. However, a lot of things will need to change before I come back. And it has nothing to do with getting my TW stuck in my wife's hair.

I’m leaving Tiny Whooping because I’m frustrated with dealing with inherent weakness of the current Tiny Whoop quadcopters. But I’m positive I’ll be back as I think the improvements to these weaknesses are right around the corner. Specifically, flight times are miserably short and typically shorten over time. The frames are extremely fragile, even when gently flown indoors. And trying to achieve the balance between light weight and flight time results in a very underpowered quad. Upgrading to more powerful motors so you have a Whoop that can actually yaw without plummeting to the ground further reduces the already-short flight time.

Don’t get me wrong, Jesse Perkins has done AMAZING things with the technology he has available to him. The legions of Tiny Whoopers are testament to that. But those weaknesses ended up outweighing the fun for me. So I’m out...for now.

But, as I opened with, I am 100% confident that the incredibly talented, innovative, creative, and...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Jan 28, 2017 @ 10:22 PM | 6,711 Views


The standard black plastic Banggood bag arrived at my house at the absolute worst time: right at the start of the nastiest patch of wet weather weíve had in Atlanta this winter. In the bag were 10 pairs of Racerstarís newest prop, the 5048. http://www.banggood.com/10-Pairs-Rac...8-3-Blade-Prop

Immediately after opening the bag, I could see they were very different from the props Iíd been using (RaceKraft 5x4x3). They are significantly wider throughout the blade length but the most striking feature is the sharp tapered point at the tip of the blade. The point gives the prop blades a very bird-like look.

Note how much wider the 5048 is than a standard 5x4x3!


The props are polycarbonate and closely resemble the popular DAL Cyclone props. I mounted them on my favorite backyard flyer, a QAV210 with Emax RS2205 2300kv motors and waited for the weather to clear...and waited...and waitedÖ

A week later, when my work schedule and the weather finally cooperated, I got a chance to give them a try. My first impression was that they sounded very different. There was less wind sound and more motor sound than my RaceKraft props but they flew similarly. That is until I needed some punch. Thatís where the Racerstar 5048ís really shined. Coming off a low split-s turn, I pitched up too late and the ground was rising up at me far faster than I expected. I punched the throttle and the quad stopped. It stopped dead in the air. Never before have I felt a prop stop...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Dec 28, 2016 @ 08:28 AM | 9,683 Views


DISCLAIMER: I get nothing from this review. I have no relationship at all with FuriousFPV and they don't have anything to do with this post. I paid full price for my Radiance. This is all me.

A few weeks ago, as I started a new build, I went on the hunt for a new flight controller. I've used a few -- Naze32, Lumenier Lux, X-Racer F303 v3.1, MRM Mantis but each had a flaw...mostly minor...but something that prevented it from being perfect. For my new build, an ImpulseRC Alien RR5, I decided to do an exhaustive search for the perfect FC. So I developed a set of criteria and began the hunt. Here are the criteria I used and why.

F3 processor: While I'm not a good enough pilot to notice the difference between an F1 and F3, I figured I might as well upgrade to something newer. Should I have gone F4? Maybe, but with the huge number of F3 FCs out there, I figured this would give me far more options. This ruled out the venerable Naze32rev6.

No MPU6500: While I’ve never experienced it myself, I’ve heard that the MPU6500 is very susceptible to vibration unless carefully soft mounted. I didn’t want to mess with that so I elected to search for an FC that used the MPU6000.

Able to take full battery voltage: This is what actually prompted me to start looking for a new FC. I bought an Alien RR5, which comes with a structurally-integrated PDB. I absolutely love the design but was disappointed to find that the PDB has no BEC circuits to provide 5v...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Dec 13, 2016 @ 02:17 PM | 8,726 Views
When Banggood messaged me to ask if Iíd be interested in testing a new micro quad they were releasing, I said ďYes!Ē before even thinking about it. But just a few minutes after processing an order for their new Eachine EX105 Micro FPV Racing Quadcopter I started to wonder what this little beauty was designed to do.



I currently fly FPV quads ranging in size from the miniscule Tiny Whoop, through a 3Ē BoltRC Tanto, and up to the standard 5Ē miniquads. Each of my quads is specíd and built for a fairly specific purpose. The Tiny Whoop is for indoor proximity, the 3Ē is for flying in my yard and cul-de-sac, and the 5Ē quads are for freestyle flying in parks. So where does the EX105, with itís 105mm wheelbase, carbon frame, open props, and full-featured F3 flight controller fit? Letís fly it and see but, first, letís take a closer look at Banggoodís newest microquad.

Overview:

The EX105 is designed around an F3 flight controller capable of running Cleanflight or Betaflight. It utilizes a separate receiver and can be purchased for DSM2, FrSky, FlySky (great idea!), or without a receiver. It is all mounted to a very clean (albeit thin) looking carbon frame that actually has tiny little aluminum standoffs and a top plate! It pushes 8520 brushed motors spinning 55mm ďHubsanĒ style two-blade props.

I think itís a very cool looking design. It reminds me, visually, of a micro-sized QAV-X or X-Hover MXP200B. The included 1S 600mah battery fits under the main...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Dec 01, 2016 @ 09:32 AM | 7,600 Views
Thank you, Banggood, for bringing the joy of Tiny Whoops to the masses!

I watched the Tiny Whoop craze take off (pun intended) from the sidelines and was very late joining the party. It wasnít that I didnít like the idea of a tiny, lightweight, guarded-prop indoor flyer Ė far from it. I LOVED the idea and was dying to get in on it. But there was one thing preventing me from building or buying a Tiny Whoop: I didnít have (or want) a Spektrum radio. At the time, I was flying an inexpensive, but fully capable FlySky FS-i6 radio and that radio wouldnít work with an Inductrix. So I waited.

Shortly thereafter, I upgraded to a Taranis radio but, unfortunately, that radio wonít work with an Inductrix either. Sure, I could purchase a Spektrum module for my Taranis but having just spent $200 on a radio, it seemed absurd to spend another $30 on a module. Additionally, as a new pilot, I didnít want the hassle of a module and didnít want to deal with the reports of instability and drop outs. So I continued to wait.

But when the BeeCore flight controller was released, I jumped in with both feet. The BeeCore is an F3 based FC with a built in receiver that works with Spektrum, FrSky, and even my cheap FlySky FS-i6! Time to Whoop!

BeeCore F3 Flight Controller installed in an Inductrix frame


What you get:

My BeeCore arrived nicely packaged and contained the flight controller itself, rubber grommets to mount to the frame, mounting screws, and a LiPo pigtail.

...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Nov 29, 2016 @ 06:01 PM | 7,630 Views
A Day With Rotor Riot

I’m not sure why, but Atlanta has somehow become the miniquad capital of the US. There’s no geographic, geological, or structural reason for this -- I’m sure every other city has spots to fly comparable to what we have here. But I think what makes Atlanta the epicenter for all things miniquad is because this is where a lot of the guys from Rotor Riot live. Given that the FPV community is still very small, any local Atlanta pilot has a chance to show up at a flying spot and find Steele “Mr. Steele” Davis, Kevin “StingersSwarm” Dougherty, or Jonathan “Skitzo” Davis flying there as well. Which is what eventually led me, a very new, very inexperienced quad pilot, to (probably) end up in an episode of Rotor Riot.

Tommy visiting Atlanta and the Power Loop King, StingersSwarm


The very active AtlantaFPV Facebook group is how I digitally “met” Kevin Dougherty and I was shocked when he asked me if I’d be interested in participating in an episode. My first question was “Are you sure you have the right guy? I’m a terrible pilot!” But apparently, that’s exactly what Kevin was looking for for an upcoming instructional series. I was in that narrow window of being good enough to perform basic acro flying but having not yet mastered some of the more advanced maneuvers. And given that Kevin has been crowned the Power Loop King by many of his fans and peers, I wasn...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Nov 01, 2016 @ 02:22 PM | 6,684 Views


Drone Eclipse Shiv 5" Review


I’m a sucker for cool looking frames. I won’t completely sacrifice performance for appearance but I also won’t buy a frame that performs great but doesn’t look cool. So when I stumbled across the Drone Eclipse Shiv thread on RCGroups, I was immediately intrigued. The Shiv looks fairly different from the standard long-body X frames out there, so I did my research.


Compared to the quad I was flying at the time, a QAV210 clone like seemingly every first-time builder builds, this was a radically different frame. Gone were the straight, boring lines of the QAV lineup and popular Alien frames. Gone were the wide, thin arms and overly tall standoffs. Hello Shiv.


The Shiv is sleek, curvy, and most importantly, tough as nails. Drone Eclipse describes it as “Built for freestyle hangtime, gaps, pavement slides, crashes, speed and handling, this unique frame will not leave you disappointed.”


Along with the gorgeous design come some very nice features. It’s a true X platform with a 225mm wheelbase designed for 5” props. The brilliantly designed camera mount locks into the bottom plate and bottom plate spacer without touching the top plate at all. This means that builders are free to choose whatever height standoffs they want as nothing on the lower part of the frame touches the top part. Builders using large stacks of components like the TBS PowerCube can easily adjust the top plate...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Sep 21, 2016 @ 10:33 PM | 10,640 Views
Bolt Black Ops Design Features

Let’s make a couple things clear.

First, let’s talk about what this post is not. It’s not a build log. Most people reading this are as good, or better at building quads than I am and if you’re actually a beginner, there are far better places to learn to build than this blog. This is also not a flight review. As with building, there are far more qualified pilots to review the flight characteristics of a frame than me.

Second, I freely admit that I bought my first BoltRC quad, a 150 Tanto, purely on looks. But it was that micro quad that introduced me to Bolt and, more importantly, how unique and effective BoltRC’s frame designs are. That discovery led me to purchase my second Bolt, the Black Ops 5”, which features even more unique design elements.

Pointing out those differences in design from other quad frames is my goal with this post. I’m going to cover:

  1. Arm attachment
  2. Front and rear arm support structures
  3. Vertical spine
  4. Standoffs
  5. Front and rear top plate reinforcements
  6. Build kit


1. ARM ATTACHMENT

The Bolt Black Ops uses 4mm thick arms that are sandwiched between two bottom plates. While that design isn’t unique at all, the way the arms and frame work together to dissipate impact forces is unique. Each pair of arms (front pair and rear pair) meet in the center of the frame and share a screw hole. BoltRC refers to this as a “half” screw in that each arm touches...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Aug 30, 2016 @ 05:09 PM | 7,932 Views


The story for how I recently went from never having flown a drone to being fully addicted to FPV is my first blog post and reveals that I spent an inordinate amount of time watching YouTube videos to learn everything from flying techniques to build techniques to what parts do what.

One of the first videos I saw caught my attention when I was browsing Bruce Simpson's RCModelReviews channel. He's the creator of one of the best beginner build tutorials I've seen and does great reviews. The one that caught my eye, before I really knew what I was looking at, was his review of a Bolt 210 Race, which he gushingly referred to as "Sex on a Stick."

I hadn't seen many quad racing frames before but this one DEFINITELY looked different...and sexy. I don't know what it was that differentiated it -- maybe the orange stepped standoffs or the matching orange countersunk washers or the smooth lines -- but I liked it.

Fast forward a few weeks and I discovered that, while driving out to a field to fly certainly has its merits, I really like sitting on my back deck and flying around my yard. The dilemma is that I'm not a good enough pilot to keep my 5" quad away from the house, trees, light poles, and mailboxes. I wanted something smaller.

Looking around for something in the 3" range, I discovered the Bolt150 Tanto - which I have appropriately named Quickie on a Stick. I immediately put my order in and started buying parts. Here’s the build:

Frame:...Continue Reading
Posted by krachall | Aug 23, 2016 @ 06:56 PM | 17,527 Views
That's right, Mr. Steele, you and your buddy Skitzo owe me at least $2500. At least!

Let me first establish the fact that I've never met Steele or Skitzo but they are directly responsible for the vaporization of a small portion of disposable income. I'm estimating that amount at $2500 but it's an ever-increasing amount that possibly has no ceiling.

It started innocently enough, at work. I work in sales at a small logistics company with responsibility for the revenue side of the business. Part of that responsibility includes marketing and that's where I was first introduced to drones and multirotors. As a way to get some unique footage of our warehouses and packaging facilities, we purchased a DJI Phantom drone. I never tried to fly it -- I really had no interested in it -- as I just needed the footage. Some other folks tried their hands at learning to fly it.

They had moderate success outdoors but struggled to get any good footage indoors. I don't know how the Phantoms work, again, having never flown one, so I offered no help. Instead, I just complained about not having the footage I needed. After weeks and weeks of excuses and technical reasons as to why they couldn't get good indoor footage, I got frustrated. "FINE," I bellowed, "I'll figure this out myself and get my own footage."

Still having never tried my hand at flying a drone, I immediately headed to the Archive of All Practical Instruction Known to Man, aka YouTube. I...Continue Reading