Advice required for newbie - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Mar 24, 2011, 01:36 PM
Suspended Account

Advice required for newbie

So, I didn't really want to play with RC helicopters, no, what I want to do is get aerial video of events, scenery etc, using a 1080 compact camera of around 200-300gm

Much reasearch led me to realise I'll have to learn to control a heli properly

Firstly I looked at quadcopters, hexacopters etc which are my ultimate aim but still thought it best to start with something a little less expensive that would maybe lift a GoPro HD up

I spoke to several shops and looked things up on the internet and after taking advice it seemed the way to go was to firstly get an Esky Big Lama

It arrived and I set off to fly it in my living room (app 12ft x 18ft)
Several broken blades later I realised I needed to learn elsewhere or using a sim, I installed FMS and Heli-X but soon found that they were nothing like the real thing, even the coaxial model I installed for FMS just behaved like it was suspended on a string 100ft up (pendulum effect)

So I persisted with the Big Lama, breaking more blades (lucky I bought plenty of spares)
I finally got a little used to flying the Lama outdoors but found that even in the mildest whisper of breeze (could just feel the gentlest breeze on my face, maybe 1mph) it just couldn't make any headway and wanted to drfit upwards and backwards (that ruined the rubbish plastic lower rotor head which is now replaced with a metal upgrade)

The real problem is thinking time, I don't have enough space inside to get used to turning the big lama, I can hover it great though

Next step was to order a Nine Eagles Solo Pro which arrived today
Same issue really, it's too wild for the space I have and too twitchy for a novice to control without enough thinking time (altitude and room to manouvre)

I can't find any local clubs

Oh yes some funny bits along the way
A friend who had bought a Twister CP Gold and couldn't fly it gave it to me to try out, that was funny

Also my wife wasn't too impressed to come home from work to find one of her glass lampshades missing (I think the dog ate it )

So, in summary
I can't use the Lam or Solo Pro inside or outside, well I could outside as long as there's zero wind which of course there never is

My thoughts as a novice
1. Move the Lama battery forward to weight the nose a bit, it may cope slightly better into the wind
2. Get something like a Multiplex Funcopter and go for it (but create a 2 mile radius no fly zone, hmmm, perhaps the UN could help me with that if I threaten the local population enough )

So, any thoughts folks, as it's really embarassing for a 50 year old to have to knock on my young neighbours doors to ask if I can have my toys back
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Mar 24, 2011, 01:55 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
I think you would be much better off starting with a quad if aerial photography is your goal. You can buy a nice Gaui 330 XS for $400. ( You can add an extended frame, camera mount, and GPS if you are so inclined. The flight characteristics of a better quad are nothing like a conventional heli.

Coax and FP helis just do not handle wind very well. FP helis can be made to do so, but it still takes skill and experience to fly them in wind. Anyway, A Big Lama will not handle the weight of a GoPro. BTW, I love your name!
Mar 24, 2011, 02:32 PM
Suspended Account
I liked the spec on the Gaui but my research (not experience) suggests that the Xaircraft X650 is more stable and has a better payload capacity ?

$330 seems very cheap until you factor in TX and RX plus camera mount (not standard on the Gaui) plus shipping to the UK and then of course our import duties

In reality to get a full kit with some sensible spares and essential options (props, batteries, charger etc) it's going to cost around 1,200 (that's about $2,000)
OK the that's the Xaircraft 650 pack which includes the Aurora 9 Tx/Rx but that may be very usefull if I decide to add pan/tilt functionality later on

My worry is spending that kind of money and finding that I cannot keep it under proper control and end up with expensive parts bills or worse if it damages something else

Oddly, I'm far better with my Big Lama than I am with this tiny weeny Solo Pro, it seem uncontrollable, maybe it's not set up properly, I've no idea but I know even in my living room I have far better control over the relatively huge Lama, I can get that to hover on the spot, I've got no chance of doing that with the NE Solo
Mar 24, 2011, 02:47 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
I didn't know how much you wanted to spend. An X650 is a nice choice and with the right electronics you won't have any issues flying it. A coax is always easier to fly than a single rotor heli and bigger is usually more stable than small.
Mar 24, 2011, 03:12 PM
Suspended Account
Thanks again
Yes I'm beginning to think the tiny chopper was an error, it's near on impossible for me to even maintain a reasonably steady hover
Mar 24, 2011, 03:16 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
I wouldn't call the Solo Pro a mistake. It's one of the easiest single rotor helis to control. But, it does require some practice. I'm sure in a week or so you would have it mastered pretty well. The experience certainly would not hurt.
Mar 24, 2011, 03:23 PM
Suspended Account
Just been outside with the flood lights on trying again
I'm going to have no hope unless I can get virtually wind free days as I just don't have an area big enough inside to learn to turn and do figure 8's

As for spending so much money, yes I didn't realise either but after many weeks of reading owners articles, specs and taking into account support and the wight it might need to lift then it really has to be either a self build Y6 copter or the Xaircraft, just don't have the inclination to studdy the self build option as it goes off in too many tangents, so the Xaircraft it has to be
Also I have to consider that if I get good enough it has to have the power/speed to follow an enduro motorcycle rider for a short distance as well as carrying the weight

Oh yes another thing to consider is that if my plans go well at some point I'll have about 3,000 of my money depending on my flying skills
Mar 24, 2011, 03:27 PM
Suspended Account
An idea...
What about something like the Twister CP Gold and maybe fit a Flymentor (and training set of course)
Would that be more stable and easier to learn with otside in a breeze than a micro FP ?
Mar 24, 2011, 03:49 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Since you live in the UK, something like a CopterX or HK450 would be better choices... with a flymentor. They don't cost any more, are easier to find parts and they are bigger (more stability and better in wind). But wind is a beginners friend, regardless of what heli you pick.
Mar 24, 2011, 05:30 PM
Suspended Account
Lesson No 48....

No matter how much she asks DO NOT let your wife "have a go" of your new toy

Mar 24, 2011, 05:40 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Originally Posted by Cupid Stunt
Lesson No 48....

No matter how much she asks DO NOT let your wife "have a go" of your new toy

It really sucks if she's better than you!
Mar 24, 2011, 06:01 PM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
I think you're not quite being realistic here... I'll say this and let you figure out what I mean.

You will not be flying cameras over sporting events until 2013, at least... so why are you worrying about equipment now?
Mar 24, 2011, 06:47 PM
Registered User
hi there, new user here.

can i ask why he wont be flying until 2013?

Im in a similar position to the original poster. I make short films, won a few awards etc., and i really want to got an aerial platform up and running- not only for filmaking, but ive seen a few money making opportunities from it also.

I havent a clue where to start from though!

I saw the Draganflys and nearly wet myself it looked so good, but then saw the price nad nearly sh*t myself haha

Have nowhere near that money, so would love a bit of advice also. Is there any way to get that same experience for cheaper?
Is it worth trying to build the electric quadcopters as opposed to getting one made up ready to go?- bearing in mind that im not the most technical guy in the world-but i can learn.

I'd really appreciate any help here at all, it would be so appreciated! I want to make real estate aerial videos, and short films from above. I also don't have much money. Any help?

thanks a million.
Last edited by Roysbrother; Mar 24, 2011 at 06:48 PM. Reason: spelling
Mar 24, 2011, 06:52 PM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
Well, think about this... if you're a professional photographer, then you probably didn't just buy a camera and become a professional photographer the next day, right? Consider the implications of "Professional Remote-controlled aircraft pilot" combined with "professional aerial photographer" - and I think you're looking at more than 2 years actually.

Sure, you could put a camera in the air tomorrow, but I wouldn't let you fly it anywhere near me on a motorcycle, and you'd never be able to get decent footage anyway.

You are an outsider right now in the RC aircraft hobby, and you need to be an insider. Imagine if I said I just bought my first camera today, and tomorrow I was being paid to film a wedding?
Mar 24, 2011, 07:35 PM
Registered User
hi Jasmine.

I think youve taken me up wrong- i never assumed i could just walk into this.And i get where youre coming from totally.

Also, im not a pro photographer- , but i can point and shoot and create well.

Anyway, i get where youre coming from for sure, so please bear with me-i literally haven't a clue where to start.

In order to do what i want to do above would i be better off
a)going somewhere like heliguy and buying a 400 dollar quadcopter ready to go, learn to fly it slowly, then trade up and begin camera work

b)buy a really cheap heli (fp or cp- i just learned these abbreviations), learn to fly it in a field, then buy one i need to build from scratch to learn the mechanics of it-bearing in mind im no electrician or mechanic, but can read and apply logic, THEN buy a quadcopter at this point knowing how all the little bits & and pieces work,and be able to rig up a good camera set up.

I keep coming back to quadcopters cos it seems like theyre the best for filming? (may be wrong here).

In other words, i you get the time, id appreciate your opinion on my best route to take.

A draganfly being 15000 or more, id love to be able to be able to build something similar through built up know how so that A) i could save money and B) i could fix somthing if it broke.

Ive been out of a job for a long time, have a college degree so not sompletely stupid, and i see alot of business potential in having a good set up for real estate aerial vids, aiding security etc...and working on shortfilms, which is a passion.

i know im throwing alot at you here,and i appreciate this stuff takes time. I just have no idea how much time. I also dont have loads of cash so i need to start in the right place.

Thanks for your time Jasmine.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Newbie needs advice on Elevon mixing paulregret Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 2 Oct 12, 2010 04:29 AM
Discussion Newbie saying hello & looking for a little advice ukranger Beginner Training Area (Fuel) 2 Sep 20, 2010 08:33 AM
Discussion Archtypical newbie looking for advice KYlawyer Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 45 Sep 16, 2010 12:43 PM
Newbie Needs .40 Engine & Required Acessories/Parts Advice for New Gas Plane AP WannaBe Engines 5 Jul 05, 2004 12:18 PM
Advice required for Winches for Scale Sailplanes VincentC Scale Sailplanes 7 May 17, 2004 11:53 AM