Can't decide on a multi rotor with goal of AP! - RC Groups
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Jun 15, 2012, 07:20 AM
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aForcefulThrust's Avatar

Can't decide on a multi rotor with goal of AP!

I'm very serious about buying my first multi-rotor platform to get started in AP. I want to do AP on a hobby level, for myself and fun. But I also want to be able to preform on a professional level when I have some practice under my belt. I just want as much advice as I can get before I make this purchase (A big purchase for me).

So far untill recently I've been set on the DJI S800/wkm combo. That's almost $3k! and wont even include a gimbal. The frame folds down very easily and looks extremely well built. Surely this platform would do everything I need for AP and I wouldn't have to have an expensive upgrade later.

Recently I've been thinking of going smaller.. Starting with a F550 and using PhotoshipOne's mkTR gimbal with the F550 adapter plate. I could go with either NAZA+GPS or WKM controller, Idk wich one I'll choose yet If I go this route. It would be way cheaper, but I think maybe I will be left wishing I had a more capable platform and wanting to upgrade.

I want to lift a gimbal/landing gear, Nex5n-type camera, video converter for video tx, video tx, osd, and the biggest batteries I can get away with.

What do you guys think? Any advice/input appreciated!
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Jun 15, 2012, 07:34 AM
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Hkubota's Avatar
Originally Posted by aForcefulThrust
I'm very serious about buying my first multi-rotor platform to get started
My advise: get something cheap first and learn to fly.
I have (few) CP heli experience, I have a Naza, one of the easier-to-fly flight controllers, and I hit trees and slammed it into the ground.

Repair costs: US$10 for a new arm.

If I had done the same with a S800, repair costs would likely be US$200, which is what I paid in total for the whole frame.

With my tiny puny F300 with Naza, I can record movies by simply strapping a small camera (cell phone) on it with some vibration isolating foam rubber.
Great for a start, cheap, and shows you whether you like this or not.
In my case I somehow tend to like more fast flights (fast is very slow here, but fast for me) and not so much photo/video shooting. I'm not sure a US$3k S800 would do well for stick banging. And it certainly is expensive to maintain as you will crash.
Jun 15, 2012, 11:37 AM
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aForcefulThrust's Avatar
Thanks, good advice. I'm thinking the F550 is the way to go now, untill I master hex flying anyway. WKM or NAZA+GPS hmmm...
Jun 15, 2012, 11:48 AM
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i would first ask how much helicopter experience do you have? if none, get a simulator first and a cheap eflite quad, or be guaranteed frustration as you will be breaking/fixing/losing your model more than flying it.
Jun 15, 2012, 12:34 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you. I started by buying an advanced $85 frame, an inexpensive customizable flight controller, the biggest ESCs and motors I could afford. And it spent more time upside down in the grass than anything else. Woops! And not just because I didn't know how to fly, but because I had never built an RC-anything before.

So I stepped back and started over. I bought a used Eflite Blade MQX and got the hang of basic control, learning to trust my inputs, and general crash avoidance. Darn things can take a real beating without breaking. It works equally well inside or outside. Pretty good investment.
Jun 15, 2012, 12:51 PM
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^^+1 on the e-flite mqx. e-flite helis are well made and can take a beating. I learned with a mcx and once I felt confident went with a 450 quad and now 550 hex
Jun 15, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Stay away from the S800 as of right now.... they keep flipping over to the right and there are no spare parts yet!

Just some advice from me... take it for what it's worth...

I also wanted to start doing AP work. I looked around and decided on the CineStar8 system with the 360 gimbal. Yes it was a very big expensive purchase for never having flown a multi before (I had a lot of R/C car experience and some plane but thats it). I bought it, built it, then practiced for a good few hours on a simulator then went out and flew the CS8. Learned on that and haven't crashed it. The key is patience and to NOT go out and test the limits of it. I didn't fly the CS8 with a gimbal till I knew I was 100% confident in my flying skills. Once I added the gimbal I flew that around for a bit without any camera. Then I added a go pro then eventually added the 5DMKII. It's all about patience and trusting yourself and not to do anything stupid. Since then I have now bought a couple mini quads and have been messing with those just for fun...

Again just my $.02.

Good Luck!

Jun 15, 2012, 02:04 PM
Destroyer of G-10
askman's Avatar
get a dji450 arf with naza, and fly the heck out of it. then put a gopro on it when you are comfortable. you can get decent vid from it . once you get good doing video with it, then go the next step. very little invested.
Jun 15, 2012, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by askman
get a dji450 arf with naza, and fly the heck out of it. then put a gopro on it when you are comfortable. you can get decent vid from it . once you get good doing video with it, then go the next step. very little invested.
says "Destroyer of G-10" hehehe

When you are ready for a craft, I second the Naza suggestion. Unless something really astounding happens between now and then. It takes the guesswork out of getting off the ground. I put a GoPro, in its housing, with a hideously overweight mounting solution about 4" from the center of my hexa at about the 2o'clock position and you couldn't tell it was there, apart from the decreased battery life. Just shrugged it off and flew straight.
Jun 15, 2012, 02:31 PM
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aForcefulThrust's Avatar
Thanks guys. A little more about me: I have a trex 450 I have crashed a bunch and have gotten "decent" at flying, So i know how frustrating r/c heli's can be. Never flown a multi rotor, but i'm convinced they are the way to go. I'm working offshore now, stuck on a boat for a month at a time working with remote controlled submarines. It's ok, but I don't like being offshore. I think AP is my dream, the perfect way to make a living, even if it's less money.

I really like your story Josh, making the big investment, follow the dream, and it worked out. I'm very good at picking up on flying these things quickly. My Trex had no stabilization and the hardest part was flying it when it's tail faces anywhere but me. I think a multi that levels itself out will just be cake.

I'm pretty positive I'll have the F550 loaded to it's max in no time, and I'll probably be left wanting a bigger model as soon as I master flying it. I could always get the extension plates and throw 12" props on it though.. I think this is the route I'll go.. But IDK yet really. That S800 just looks sooooo nice. I'd cry if i crashed it though lol.

Is WKM overkill for a F550? How is the gimbal stabilization for WKM vs naza?
Jun 15, 2012, 02:36 PM
Registered User
You can go WKM on F550 no problem.
Jun 15, 2012, 02:45 PM
Destroyer of G-10
askman's Avatar
act of creation is form of controlled destruction and i destroy lot of g-10 every month and turn it into useful items (ok, at least in my eyes) lol. ever since I got into multicopter, only time I crash is if something fails. (and it is not me usually now)
Jun 15, 2012, 02:50 PM
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hexa's Avatar
Forget the s800 and wkm. get a naza gps with the 550 or 450 frame.
Don't use dji props they break in airborne
Jun 15, 2012, 03:12 PM
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I'm a heli guy for about 3 years now. Worked my way up from MICROS to my current 600 nitro. I'm also a photo hobbiest so ofcourse my nitro has been packing the gopro around and has attempted to pack my Canon Dslr with horrible results. I have got the gopro to record some decent footag.

What would be a cheap set up to carry a gopro up to a full size camera. With a gimbal on some of those gyro servos
Jun 15, 2012, 04:23 PM
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aForcefulThrust's Avatar
THX for the help guys... I've decided on the F550 frame for sure now. I will just get the extension plates for the arms and run 12" props.

What is the best budget motor for this?
So far it's between
iPower 2814 750kv
Suppo 2814 1000kv

Keep in mind I want to run 4s batteries unless someone has a reason 3s is better

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