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Hello ! looking for suggestions.........

Danny Z

Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2016
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I am new to the forum and was looking for some semi beginner help, I am an accomplished 3d heli pilot, (inactive for a several years due to a another hobby I also participate in)

I have been playing around with a VERY inexpensive quad my kids gave to me last Fathers day and have been having a great time with it.

I have recently had the opportunity for a "ride along" with a racing drone at a local hobby shop and I am hooked !

A few things that have set me on a certain path:

1-I believe in having the best equipment I can afford, Back when I started flying helis in 1991 I learned early that having good ground equipment makes for a easier experience/ faster learning curve, IMHO.

2-Like all people these days I have used the internet for my research, and have put together what I believe a package that I hope will work for me.

3- Speaking only for myself, I know what my learning curve is in this hobby, I know how to start out easy and develop new skills, I also know that learning FPV is going to require a whole new thought process on my part, I have had the opportunity to get some stick time on an Inductance mini using FPV.

Here is a list of equipment I am thinking about:

* Impulse Alien 250 (not sure if I should use the 5" or 6" or if it even makes a difference)

*The Taranis Plus ( I think this should work with the Free Rider software if I am understanding correctly

*Fat Shark Dominator V3 goggles, I need help in choosing the best VTR and RX.

*I have no problem building the machine, But I am wondering if I should purchase a pre built and pre tuned machine and also buy a 2nd kit that I will build myself, building and soldering is not an issue for me (I am an electrician by trade who does systems integration programming for building applications (fire alarm, CCTV, access control, door entry..............

* The BIGGEST item I am trying to decide on is the FC, This is where I need the most help, I don't know if there is a plug and play set up (less soldering, connections using Futaba, JR type connectors or is it best to use a solder connection due to the forces put on the aircraft during high speed maneuvers ?

*I know I need to get batteries, charger and the rest of the gear to make this happen, I was just wondering if my thought process is heading in the right direction ?

Thank you very much
Danny Z
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Sounds good Danny. I built my first drone and it was pretty easy with betaflight, very little tuning was needed. I also fly an Alien (clone called Martian) and am very pleased.

For Flight Controllers I use an SP Racing Acro (again a clone). It is very good, and uses connectors mostly rather than all soldered like a KISS (also excellent) and I haven't had any trouble. You could hot glue the connectors to be sure but I haven't.

For video tx, I would highly recommend a Tramp HV. It has several power levels to choose from (25mW to 600mW) and is very race ready since it has special NFC features for a race director to set channels wirelessly with a little wand. No dip switches, just one button to set channel, power, etc. if you are not using the wand.

A friend has fatshark attitude goggles. They have a very good receiver but the field of view sucks (like 32 degrees). I use el cheapo $90 Eachine ev800 and like them very much due to the 80 degree field of view and higher resolution. Their weakness is not quite as good a receiver. I wouldn't recommend the ev800 since now they have the VR D2, and the "goggles two" which both have diversity receivers. Only issue with the Eachine goggles is they are big, not quite as comfortable for long session and don't look as cool but I would rather look stupid and have a big FOV. Most people seem to use fatsharks, but I won't be switching personally. I may get some "goggles two" at some point.

Can't go wrong with the Taranis. You might also give the Radiolink AT9S a look, I am a huge fan of these and they cost $140 with receiver. Huge range, and good features though.

Happy shopping!
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Oh, I also cannot recommend the Matek HUBOSD Power Distibution Board highly enough. It gives you voltage, current, flight time, etc in your goggles and supports plenty of power for a 4S battery.

Also, get a CCD based camera preferably with a Sony sensor. Any HS1177 one from foxeer or runcam should be fine for an Alien. If you get a Martian, you need a 30mm board camera.
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Thank you for the awesome info !

As my intention is mostly freestyle flying, what is the difference with the different power levels in the VTX. is is for overcoming interference if needed ?

As I have only used 2 types of goggles. A goggle named Kylin I think, it was like looking at a movie screen-----gave me a little vertigo, I should mention that I wear glasses, for both near and far correction, that being said, The hobby shop owner had me try on his "cheater" glasses when using the Kylin goggles, which is what most likely gave me the vertigo.

When I tried on an older set of fat shark goggles he had, even without my glasses it was an awesome picture for me..........that being said, after I figured out that the diopter set that you can get from fat shark will not work for me (I am a plus correction, not a negative correction) I did a little hunting on the web and found a place called RHO Lens in Germany that will make a custom fit set of diopters with my prescription for about $70 (depending on rate exchange, and if you do a youtube testimonial, they will credit you back 40 euros.........

Thank you so much much the info !
The Kylin are probably pretty similar to the Eachine. You might see if they have a diopter adjustment on the newer Eachine ones, seems like I may have read that somewhere but I could be totally wrong on that. I am very slightly nearsighted and don't even wear my glasses except driving at night if I need to read street signs.

Yes, the 600mW will overcome more interference and give you longer range, but the max they will allow at races is 200mW, and maybe even 25mW at some but not sure about that. 600mW is also good for flying around lots of trees and stuff. I leave mine on 600mW unless flying with other pilots, then I might switch to 200mW.
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How do you adjust the power level on the VTX, dip switch on the VTX or thru software interface.......
There is a little button on the side you just do some long and short presses to change channels, power, and 1 other thing I can't remember. An LED gives flashes for feedback telling you what is being changed. It is very easy.
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Welcome to the forum! I'm a bit like you, just started on the FPV Racing Drone stuff about a month or two ago. I've got quite a bit of experience with the Phantom style of drones (GPS assisted) which are pretty easy to fly. This race stuff has been quite a ride coming from that environment. Very, very different and much harder.

Like you, I wanted to start out with some decent stuff. Not high end but not junk either. I struggled with the build vs RTF scenario as well and opted for the RTF route. I wanted to get a decent system and learn "backwards". I figured if I could get it in the air and start fiddling with it, I'd start figuring things out. So far it's been the right decision for me. I've learned a great deal from taking things apart, upgrading various components and fumbling around with the firmware and software applications such as Cleanflight, Betaflight and the BLHeli stuff.

My first bird was the Arris X-Speed 250B that I purchased on Amazon Prime for $200+. It came with the Radiolink ATS9 that Green already mentioned. I also purchased the Fatshark Dom V3's because that appeared to be what the pro's were using. I was up and (half-@ssed) flying fairly fast. As I encountered questions and obstacles I'd look things up on the internet and study them. Which led me to spending quite a bit of time in Cleanflight and Betaflight setting things up more precisely.

I then purchased a JJPro P200 from China because it was getting pretty rave reviews for an intermediate bird. I also purchased a Taranis Plus so I could use just one RX and use the FPV Freerider simulator. I also bought a Tiny Whoop so I could practice with the goggles inside.

I just bought another bird, this time a ATF, the Diatone Crusader GT2. I just installed the TX yesterday and have it setup on Betaflight and my Taranis and it's ready to fly. Unfortunately, winter has hit South Dakota pretty hard so no flying for me right now.

Over the month or so that I was able to fly I got from losing my first bird (pilot error), finding it an hour and a half later to flying multiple birds a little in Acro mode and quite a bit in Horizon mode with my Fatsharks and Taranis. I'm now able to move around fairly well and can do some flips and rolls. I just did some of my very first blasts through some trees right before the snow stated blowing. I've posted a few "learning" videos on this forum in some other threads.

Green knows a lot more than I do and is very helpful to the few that use this forum. He's a good guy and seems to be very willing to help "new" guys like us. I just thought I'd share my experience and my reasoning for taking the path that I have. So far I'm having a blast and think I'm probably ready to start looking at my first build. I know a heck of a lot more about what I'd want in my own build from what I've learned so far.

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Thanks for a great reply !
I'm gonna need a few minutes to digest your post, but if you don't mind can I bounce some things off of you ?
Green sounds like a great member and has given me some great tips already, I need to send him a thank you and look forward to his input.

Where do you buy most of your equipment ?
Green Orange,
Could you elaborate a little on the NFC wand ?

Sure, the tech is called Touch n' Race. Here is immersion's page on it.

Tramp HV - 5.8GHz Video Transmitter - ImmersionRC Limited

It isn't required to buy one for use at home (you can use the button on the vtx), but the vtx comes with the NFC dongle so you can use it at races if they have a race director's wand. I like helping out fellow FPV addicts... To thank me, just hit the like button on posts you find helpful to build up my e-peen! xD
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I'm buying whatever I can from Amazon Prime first. The googles are a great example of why, I bought 3 different pairs of goggles at the same time. I did all of my research but couldn't decide which one to actually get, so I ordered all 3 knowing that I would be returning 2 of them. I live in the boonies and with Amazon Prime if I need to send something back UPS is here the next day to pick it up at no additional cost. I use Amazon more for protection than anything else. If I cant get it or I can't get it for a reasonable price on Amazon, I'll venture out to other vendors. I've made a few purchases from China now and get a bit nervous doing so, it also takes quite a while to get stuff. My new Crusader came all jacked up, I think customs tore into it. Fortunately, everything was there and nothing was damaged. I've placed a few orders with Bangood and Hobby(something...I'd have to look it up) and didn't have any issues but time.

Two g's in banggood Jerry... Are you thinking of HobbyKing? Also there is gearbest.com but I haven't used them yet. Helipal is another big one but they are pretty slow too.
Also a quick question on the RX- I have not been flying in 5 years, when last I flew it was 72 MHz with a crystal, so my channel was determined by the crystal installed in the TX module and RX,

How does it work with the 2.4, is my understanding that 2,4 thru 2.484 give us 481 different channels to fly on and how are frequencies changed ?

I understand the video is transmitted at 5.8, but I'm definitely fuzzy on what channel is best to recieve video for the strongest signal to eliminate video during flying........
I have been watching a couple of youtube channels, one inparticular, Rotor Riot, very very informative, and seem to be a great bunch, do people buy their equipment thru vendors like that ?
I have been watching a couple of youtube channels, one inparticular, Rotor Riot, very very informative, and seem to be a great bunch, do people buy their equipment thru vendors like that ?

I love the Rotor Riot guys. They don't sell a big variety though. For the 2.4 GHz, you "bind" your TX to the RX. Good radios like the Taranis and AT9S use FHSS (frequency hopping spread spectrum) and constantly jump around to different channels, avoiding interference. For the 5.8 GHz you set your VTX and hit the search button for the signal on your goggles.

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