disturbing trend in multi's - RC Groups
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Mar 27, 2013, 10:31 AM
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signguy's Avatar

disturbing trend in multi's

Is it just me? Or has anyone else noticed this new trend? I'm talking about the trend to start in multirotors as a beginner, with very high end equipment.

Some background.....
I have flown multi's since the only multi's flying were all tricopters. No flight controllers, just 4 gyros and transmitter mixing. I progressed into the multi wii controller ( homemade) when it was called the triwii controller.
I started a thread on building tricopters for AP, it was a simple design for a beginner pilot.
It seems now that we have flight controllers that will do position hold, rtl, auto level etc.... beginners think its OK to start at a professional level with their choice of copters. The problem with this is the lack of base knowledge, that was missed by skipping to the "pro level"
This lack of knowledge leads to expensive, sometimes dangerous crashes, and the familiar NAZA fly aways, where the copter just goes off into the distance. The same lack of knowledge is much more dangerous when turning 14" carbon props, instead of the 9-10" nylon props a beginner would use.
When a beginner comes to RCGroups and asks what he should buy to get 2 hour flights, carrying 8 lbs, and an fpv range of "only" 5 miles, it makes my skin crawl. This guy will probably hurt someone, and then I'm lumped in with him as a multi pilot. He may have a multi, but he is not a pilot!

PLEASE! start small.. a wooden frame is best, motors under 150 watts, 2200 mah batts, 10" nylon props, and a KK or multiwii board. You DO NOT NEED gps, rtl, waypoints. You need to put in your time as a newbie, or this hobby will cost you.

OK blast away.... I know I'll get som saying I'm crazy, but I bet more of agree with me than not.

BobD aka signguy
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Mar 27, 2013, 10:37 AM
WiseDuck's Avatar
And it's your job to make sure they don't do that. I actually started with the same kind of attitude, what do I need to get 10km of range, 30 mins of flight time and so on. While it's doable, it's not for a beginner. Fast forward almost 2 years and I haven't even attempted to get that kind of range out of anything I have, not because I don't know how or can't afford it, but because it's just not that interesting anymore.
Mar 27, 2013, 10:59 AM
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signguy's Avatar
I am trying! But it seems most people think its easy. Doesn't the flight controller take care of that? I won't really NEED to LEARN to fly, will I?
Then when position hold fails, and their copter skids off into the distance, its somehow not their fault.


1- cheap small copter ( tri is the best for orientation )
2- basic flight controller kk2 or multiwii NO AUTO LEVEL!!!!
3- hover for HOURS with the tail in
4- no forward flight till you can hovertail in, and both sides in, without mistakes
5- no camera , no gimbal, you can't fly yet, these things come after.....way after
6- build your own frame from wood. Parts are easy to get that way
7- don't be a yahoo! don't fly anywhere near people/expensive things. these things are like homesick manhole covers when a motor fails.
Mar 27, 2013, 11:07 AM
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branflakes's Avatar
Phantom is a great start. Worked for me, its perfect.
Mar 27, 2013, 11:09 AM
Suspended Account
Is it just me? Or has anyone else noticed this new trend? I'm talking about the trend to start in multirotors as a beginner, with very high end equipment.
Welcome to Planet Earth. When did you arrive and from what planet are you from?
Mar 27, 2013, 11:12 AM
Registered User
signguy's Avatar
Originally Posted by Tarro
Welcome to Planet Earth. When did you arrive and from what planet are you from?
I've seen it for a while, just figured I'd stir the pot a little.
Mar 27, 2013, 11:24 AM
Registered User
Austin913's Avatar
I'm a disturbing trendster. I did start off a couple months ago with a 1SQ mini/micro quad. mostly buzzing around the house to get my dogs riled up and running around, with winter and all. I did go all gung-ho and get a new fangled DJI kit with all the bells and whistles. so many videos online do make it an appealing entry point for the newcomers, plug and play/set it and forget it simplicity. I have decided that I want to know more about how these things work and how to actually configure one from the ground up, so the other night I pulled the trigger on a CC3D FC, a spider frame, and some new motors. I'm a "geek" by profession and love figuring things out, so I look forward to a new challenge and the real nitty gritty with multicopters on this build I have planned.
Mar 27, 2013, 11:28 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
I have a Phantom as well. I also have considerable experience with helis and small quads. The problem I see is if I lost my Phantom flying aids, would I be able to recognize what is wrong and recover in time to save it? Am I likely to lose just the flying aids, or is a more system-wide failure more likely? I'm having a hard time imagining I could recover from any malfunction. If that's the case, it wouldn't matter if someone could fly well or not. Do you outlaw all flying aids for everyone?

We see this same kind of thing with people buying giant (4 feet long or more) 3 channel coaxes, because they are so easy to fly, but have less wind handling ability than a kite. They are a disaster waiting to happen, no equipment failure necessary.
Last edited by Balr14; Mar 27, 2013 at 11:34 AM.
Mar 27, 2013, 11:36 AM
No thrust...It'll bust...
troynh's Avatar
Obvious observation and well stated Bob. People need to pay their dues by learning the basics. Here's a great place to start: http://www.dream-models.com/eco/flying-index.html IMO, if you can't hover 150 - 200' away 50' up from yourself (line of sight...) and pirouette a few times and then fly back nose in with just a gyro, then you have no business buying high end equipment.

We're already deemed privacy invading criminals flying these "EVIL DRONES" by the state and federal government. We don't need an army of rookies out there screwing it up even worse with arrogant mistakes.

Mar 27, 2013, 11:46 AM
Critic at Large
craigiri's Avatar
I don't think there is any particular trend - what you may be seeing is a vast expansion in the overall Quadcopter market, and with that all the normal percentages of wrong...or what we may call wrong...moves!

For some people, $1K is a drop in the bucket and they want to be there NOW, so they may buy a Phantom and a GoPro and have at it. Results will vary!

But most people should start with a sub-$50 model and destroy it, fix it, and then maybe buy another.

There is a distinct lack of education in the field for beginners - which is exactly why I started the Droneflyers.com web site - 100% for noobies!

I've seen the same thing happen in many fields - a "club" mentality often exists among the older and experienced folks. This was true in Ham Radio and in Computing, etc.

On the positive end, all of those pursuits AND this one seem to be very inclusive, with the old salts helping the newbies and bringing people into the fold.

Where I think the industry goes wrong (and people are the industry) is to not realize how clueless the average newcomer to this pursuit is! The bar for entry is still higher than most folks would imagine....

Here is an example. I have been a HAM, a computing nut, into model rocketry, etc. my entire life. I also write, publish online web sites, hold patents and have built houses from the ground up. That puts me in the top couple % as far a basic (foundational) handiness and tech knowledge. Yet the instructions for many of these quads - even those almost ready to fly - are difficult. I'm putting together a DualSky Hornet right now and would say that it is beyond the capability of most people...not the assembly, but even understanding what radio they should buy and that they need a little receiver, etc.
Some of the manual steps are written poorly or wrongly (I will mention them in my review).

Quads don't yet meet the "apple mac" test, that being that my mom and dad can actually make them work. Not to say I want every person flying quads around...the inherent dangers of the existing (open props) models plus the possibilities of them falling on your head precludes that.

I'd say that most real newbies who come to a site like this....will not post. They will attempt to make some sense of other posts, which is good in itself.

But all in all, everything is going as it should.....as long as a lot of people don't get hurt, it should turn out OK. Education is the key, starting with "I have no right to fly my machines wherever I want nor over others heads or property".

Right after that comes "like a chainsaw, these could cut you up pretty badly".

Later on comes "if you want to lose a grand, buy a expensive copter for your first".
Mar 27, 2013, 11:51 AM
Real Men Fly Pink Planes...
kepople's Avatar
Just start with a DJI Phantom... cant get much simpler and you learn a lot, plus it cant be much more fool proof as multirotors go.
Mar 27, 2013, 12:07 PM
Registered User
A lot of people saying to start with a phantom. I have to disagree. I think its a mistake to start with a $1000 machine that has auto hover and rtl. Ive had several situations where my gps would start to drift a bit and i had to switch to attitude mode last second. If i hadn't spent dozens of hours flying a cheap quad with gyros i would've panicked and probably lost my rig. I dont think that naza isn't learning to fly.
Mar 27, 2013, 12:10 PM
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signguy's Avatar
Originally Posted by kepople
Just start with a DJI Phantom... cant get much simpler and you learn a lot, plus it cant be much more fool proof as multirotors go.
This might be true, but if the "flier" flys in atti mode all the time, its NOT flying!
Learn to fly in gyro only mode. This forces you to stay close so you can see exactly what is going on. The phantom is OK till you bust an arm. then its a wait for parts. A simple wooden frame eliminates the wait, and gets you flying faster.
Mar 27, 2013, 12:15 PM
Happy Holidays
AnthonysQuad's Avatar
I started on x 4 hubsan and have around 100 flights but i am ordering something larger.my skills as a pilot arent as good as i want them because i still have major issues with the quad faceing me and controling it correctly.the money spent on the new quad will keep mefrom flying high and i wil just do boxes but it will be rare takeing it out.i like to fly autolevel because it seems less likely to crash.plus it doesnt flip so i dont know why u would want to fly without it.i dont really even attempt flips im a boring flyer and like controlong it where to go all tbe time.winds can be problematic.
Mar 27, 2013, 12:42 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by AnthonysQuad
i like to fly autolevel because it seems less likely to crash.plus it doesnt flip so i dont know why u would want to fly without it.i dont really even attempt flips im a boring flyer and like controlong it where to go all tbe time.winds can be problematic.
Re: the bolded part....they can especially be problematic when atti mode won't give you the bank angle to properly fight the wind.

If you never fly manual, you don't get an instinctive feel for how windy is too windy to fly either, since the flight controller masks it from you.

Don't get me wrong, I love the waypoints, automation and loiter modes etc., but as an adjunct to adequate flight skills, not a replacement for them. I love my tricopter, but multis are the most dangerous models in the air today precisely because they are a little too automated, and financially within the reach of the average joe. Way too many threads where the "pilot" is flying FPV in SL and can't fly LOS to save their lives. Even if you have a spotter, if you lose your video link those people have no chance of getting their model back on the ground safely.

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