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Longevity for a New Pilot?


Mar 22, 2022
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Hey all!

I've been watching FPV videos for a long time and have finally saved up enough money to get into the hobby at a good entry point. I want to start by buying a controller that I can use with my PC to practice cinematography flying as well as freestyle stuff (something that will suit for an entry level practice drone but scale to larger 5" platforms with freestyle in mind). Eventually, I would like to get a 5" platform, but appreciate it is recommended to get a smaller drone such as the Emax Tinyhawk S first. Obviously I will also need some goggles.

I have an initial budget of £1,000 to get into the hobby, having saved for a while to get to this point.

Can anyone make any recommendations? I was looking at the Taranis QX7 controller, but have read somewhere that it may not be compatible with the DJI Air Unit. That concerns me because the 5" platform I would like to get when I get to that point is the GepRc Mark5 HD DJI Air Unit. I have spent quite a while trying to research the compatibility of different items but am finding it a bit overwhelming.

Is anyone able to recommend a solid beginner setup for £1,000? Alternatively, if someone could point me in the direction of a solid information site, I'm happy to do my own research!

Thank you for the help.
I was looking at the Taranis QX7 controller, but have read somewhere that it may not be compatible with the DJI Air Unit. That concerns me because the 5" platform I would like to get when I get to that point is the GepRc Mark5 HD DJI Air Unit.
It's not, but typically you just use a separate receiver. To use the receiver built into the air unit the only thing you can use is the DJI radio, which will work with nothing else and is unnecessarily expensive.
That's why aircraft that come with the air unit are typically sold with a choice of different receivers.
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Oh I see. Thank you! When I select the Mark5 HD on somewhere like BangGood, when I select the 6S HD version it offers "PNP" as a receiver. So would that just work with the Taranis then?
PNP would be no receiver, plug your own. Seems BG doesn't have the other variants in stock, but the geprc site shows what choices there should be.

If you are wanting as much flexibility as possible in order to future proof your hardware... I don't think I'd buy the Taranis. I think I'd spend more up front and get the RadioMaster TX16S. It's built in 4in1 module should be able to handle the majority of quads, both BNF and PNP, that you'll run into. It won't run crossfire or ELRS without adding an external module.

I'm no good at converting money, but I think you're looking at a setup of something like:
RadioMaster TX16S with hall gimbals - £160
DJI V2 Goggles - £550
Mobula 6 w/ELRS - £80
ELRS Module - £40
6in1 1s charger - £10
6 ea 300mah 1s batteries - £10
Total £850

That leaves you some money for spare props, tools, etc.

I know you are looking at a Tiny Hawk, and that is fine. I priced a Mobula 6 just because I love mine and you can now get it with ELRS which I believe is quickly becoming the go-to control link.

Joshua Bardwell is always a good source for information. It isn't specific to your current needs, but alot of information can be found as his website : The Ultimate FPV Shopping List
The RM Zorro with built-in ELRS is also an option if you want to go that system's route.
I've been hearing good things about the Zorro, but I don't like the battery situation. Also, if you go with it's ELRS version, then you are restricted exclusively to ELRS. There are alot of BNF quads that don't give you that option.

You could also go for the 4in1 version and add the ELRS module. That will still save you around £80 over the previous scenario.
Also, if you go with it's ELRS version, then you are restricted exclusively to ELRS.
Well not really, just like you can add an ELRS module to the 4in1 one you can add a 4in1 module to the ELRS one :D
True, but the controller is about the same price if you get it with a 4in1 module built in or with the built in ELRS, but an ELRS external module is maybe 1/2 or less than a 4in1 external module.
What about soldering? You will need to solder to do repairs. You could get a decent soldering iron and accessories while staying under your budget and if you don't go straight to the difficult things and watch a tutorial it is really easy. Definitely keep some spare money in the budget for when you inevitably crash, use up batteries and break props.
Thank you for your replies everyone - really appreciated.

I have decided to pick up a Radiomaster TX16S with the ELRS module. Some more research allowed me to get my head around the standards a bit more and I had come to the conclusion based upon what I'd read that TBS Crossfire was slowly going out of fashion and ELRS becoming the norm. I hadn't seen the Mobula 6; thanks for sharing @Tomk_ .

Can someone say whether this is the correct ELRS model? ELRS Module Radiomaster TX16S

It looks to me as though it comes with a receiver. Does that mean that if I was to buy a PNP BNF drone at a later date, I would already have the receiver to attach onto the drone?

Thanks for the heads-up about soldering. Fortunately, I've done a bit of soldering before and so am happy with the technique. Hopefully any wiring diagrams I need to look at are fairly straightforward!!

That ELRS module will work with the TX16S. You can use any module the fits in a standard JR (Micro sized) module bay (as opposed to the smaller Nano sized module - though you can get an adapter to put a Nano module in a Micro bay) . However, be aware that ELRS comes in two varieties. 2.4GHz and 900GHz. You've provided a link to the 900GHz module. All ELRS equipment works with all other ELRS equipment, regardless of manufacturer... but you must stay in the same frequency. You can't mix 900GHz and 2.4GHz. I believe you will find most BNF will come 2.4GHz. If 2.4 is what you want, here is a combo - Eachine TX16S 2.4GHz 16CH Hall Sensor Gimbals Radios Transmitter with Happymodel ES24TX ExpressLRS ELRS Micro TX Module Combo Set for RC Drone. The Happymodel ES24TX is an "older" module and doesn't have the power of newer versions like the Happymodel ES24TX Pro that goes up to 1 watt, though the 200mW it will produce will give you amazing range.
The 900GHz link you provided does include a Tx module as well as a 900GHz reciever that you could solder in to whatever drone you want.
Thank you for the link and information. I hadn't clocked that there were two frequency standards for it.. Does it matter that it is made by Eachine rather than Radiomaster? Are they identical?

Presumably with the combo solution I will have to buy a receiver when I get round to buying a 5" BNF platform unless I can find one in stock that comes with an ELRS receiver also.
You are correct. ELRS gear works with ELRS gear regardless of manufacturer. Happymodel is probably the current favorite. I have the Namimno Flash 2.4ghz module, mostly because I wanted the ability to go to 1 watt if I should ever want to, and I think the fan on the Happymodel 2.4ghz pro is noisy. The BetaFPV module has good reviews also, but I've had some bad luck with BetaFPV so I tend to shy away from it.

BNF models have receivers pre-installed. A PNP will require you to add your own receiver.

There is getting to be a pretty good selection of BNF with ELRS. Here are a few. Meteor65 Pro. Mobula 6. Fireflly Nano Baby. Mobula 7. Meteor75. Crux 35.
I am struggling to find somewhere to buy the DJI FPV goggles on their own. Ignoring the initial budget I had set for a second and assuming that I could get my hands on an extra few hundred pounds, would this combo be a bad idea? I wouldn't plan to fly the drone immediately because having watching a number of videos for months now I am very aware that the bundled drone would be way above my flying capability on starting the hobby and likely end up a jumbled mess on the floor. But, if I was planning to get something like this 5" drone platform in the long run, could it happily sit on a shelf until I come to use it, while I practice for a few months on a simulator and with the Mobula6 or something first?

As far as I can tell, the drone bundled with that platform does not have an ELRS RX, so I assume I would need to buy a receiver and solder it to that drone in order to be able to use it with the Eachine TX16s with ELRS? Or would it work with the 4in1 module that the Eachine comes with without the ELRS being installed?

Thank you for your continued help.
You have options...
  1. You could get a DJI Controller instead of the TX16s. The DJI Vista system can be used as a reciever also.
  2. You could install a number of receivers that would work with the Multi module built into the TX16s.
  3. You could put an ELRS reciever in the quad and put a ELRS module on your TX16s.
  4. You could put an ELRS reciever in the quad and get a ELRS controller like the Zorro.
Many people started off with a 5"

Something that I think I forgot to say earlier... you can't use the DJI goggles with micro quads like the Mobula 6 as the Air and Vista units are to big to fit in the quad. You can get analog adapters for the DJI goggles though so you can use them. BDI Digital Adapter V2 - Analog Adapter for DJI HD FPV Goggles

It looks like you can purchase the DJI V2 goggles at these British stores:
Thank you for your help once again @Tomk_ !

I am not sure that getting a DJI controller would serve me in the long run because I would end up having to purchase a TX16 or something similar if I ever wanted to branch into something non-DJI (whereas, as you have pointed out, analogue adapters can be purchased for the DJI goggles meaning they are not restrictive).

In the UK at the moment, an online retailer is doing the DJI goggles, DJI FPV drone and DJI controller for £899 instead of £1,250. I am almost certainly not wanting to get this because it looks as though the design of the FPV drone is typical of DJI's other products in that it looks highly polished and very good looking but because of that a broken component practically writes off the drone itself. Still, if I am going to pay £550 for the goggles anyway, it would effectively be £350 extra for their drone and controller, which is quite cheap when you consider the individual price of each item. Food for thought.
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Something you may are may not know is that the controller you get with the DJI FPV package will only work with the DJI FPV. You would need a different DJI controller to control a quad with an Air or Vista unit.

I don't have nor have I ever flown a DJI FPV. I doubt I will ever get one. However, I think you may be selling it a little short. I believe the DJI FPV is a great machine for what it is. It will never replace the Nazgul5 you are looking at, nor should it be flown like one. Neither is it a Mavic. It fills a niche of it's own.

I have read several reports from those who do fly it and have crashed it. Yes. It breaks easier than the Nazgul5 so it shouldn't be flown like the Nazgul5. It appears that should it break, repair parts are available, and even if you send it in to be fixed that the repair ticket isn't that out of line. I suspect that it is a rare case where a crash would require you to "write off the drone."

Even though I don't have nor currently want one, I must admit that there are times I think it might be fun to have. Part of that is the price. For what it is, I think the price is pretty reasonable when you look at what you get.
Holy smokes how you get so much info 🤣 lmao. I bought eachine,800dm and a Arris x220, came pre bound to the transmitter which is nice. Got me in the air for about 500$ and I am already saving for digital set up. As far as longevity if you're bitten by the bug it's something you won't have to worry about you want to continue to fly but if you get discouraged easily I would say this hobby is not for you. Have fun flying man good luck

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