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Old 02-09-2014, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Quadcopter large enough to hold a GoPro...

I'm looking at buying a Quadcopter large enough to hold a GoPro HD3+ black. I found the "Blade 350 QX". But am reading there might be an interface problem if you use the wifi feature.

So I'm looking for some input from users who actually have a Quadcopter..

I like the return home features, and GPS locking, ect...

Under a grand and RTF too.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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DJI | Phantom 2

My friend has one, I like it.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You want to buy one ready to go or build one?

You can build a pretty bad ass one for less than the phantom. Of your have a transmitter already anyway
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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DJI | Phantom 2

My friend has one, I like it.
I've been looking at that one too. The Phantom 1 is also and option. I wonder what the differences are between the 1 and 2???
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You want to buy one ready to go or build one?

You can build a pretty bad ass one for less than the phantom. Of your have a transmitter already anyway
this.

you can put one together for half the price if you're willing to dick with it a while.

plus you'll actually know how it works.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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this.

you can put one together for half the price if you're willing to dick with it a while.

plus you'll actually know how it works.
Any links to build threads?
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Return home can be flaky, at best. GPS is nice, if you're wanting waypoint navigation it's going to cost you.

Look at simplecopter for the frame, get the vtail. Look at sunnysky motors. Since you want to take video look at the higher rpm motors, 1400 kV. Since you want gps look into the multiwii flight controller.

All that, plus a nice transmitter, can be had for half your budget and will give you a nice platform for video and fpv.

I've got the vtail and have flown it straight into the ground more times than I care to admit. Other than a bunch of zip ties and arms I haven't broke anything I couldn't fix at the field.

Basically, go to simplecopter. He's got everything on his page to get you going including build videos. If you really want gps stuff substitute the multiwii for the kk2.1.

I'd go ahead and build it with the kk board so you learn how quads work then upgrade to the multiwii once you have the basics down.


Hint.. Look at my threads in the micro rc thread for transmitter setup and some vids of me flipping... And crashing
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I can get that blade 350 for half my budget. I'll half to check out some build threads to see if it be something I want to do.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I can get that blade 350 for half my budget. I'll half to check out some build threads to see if it be something I want to do.
You can get the bnf for about 400. That's sans transmitter. You can build one and but a pretty decent transmitter for 400.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Return home can be flaky, at best. GPS is nice, if you're wanting waypoint navigation it's going to cost you.

Look at simplecopter for the frame, get the vtail. Look at sunnysky motors. Since you want to take video look at the higher rpm motors, 1400 kV. Since you want gps look into the multiwii flight controller.

All that, plus a nice transmitter, can be had for half your budget and will give you a nice platform for video and fpv.

I've got the vtail and have flown it straight into the ground more times than I care to admit. Other than a bunch of zip ties and arms I haven't broke anything I couldn't fix at the field.

Basically, go to simplecopter. He's got everything on his page to get you going including build videos. If you really want gps stuff substitute the multiwii for the kk2.1.

I'd go ahead and build it with the kk board so you learn how quads work then upgrade to the multiwii once you have the basics down.


Hint.. Look at my threads in the micro rc thread for transmitter setup and some vids of me flipping... And crashing
You covered everything but the gimbal. That's gonna be very important for stable video. I'm no hep, so if anyone else can cover this, that'd be great.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The biggest thing that stood out with the DJII was a complete rookie flying it like a pro, rock steady and it seamed to stay put in the air wherever he set it. I am not sure what it has that allows it to be that way?
I watched some youtube videos of others that reminded me more of old school free style flight that can be fun but not so great for video.

Edited to add: I am all for building my own if I can get the same flight characteristics.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have the 350 qx.. I use the 3+ black with it.. So far flawless but I never use the wifi on the camera, Just turn on video and fly.. I get a solid 8 minutes with the 350qx camera mounted.. about 11 to 13 without..

Flys perfect.. And in Retard mode as I call it you can't get in much trouble.. Perfectly steady clean video with anti jello mount that comes with it.. No gimble adjustment but works perfectly.. Search videos on youtube

Oh yea,, That thing Can fly HIGH!!! I have flown it at least 2000' more than once.. Makes for some killer videos. The rate of climb on a fresh battery is amazing

For a walk down to the hobbie store, Pull out of the box toy I have zero complaints.. Just buy a few extra batteries
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Building them is pretty easy and cheap. I built mine last year and had never built a flying contraption of any sort

I've got a parts list on my site, here:
Quadcopter | Harley Designs

I use it to hoist my GoPro around. Lots of fun.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You covered everything but the gimbal. That's gonna be very important for stable video. I'm no hep, so if anyone else can cover this, that'd be great.
Starting out you don't need a gimbal. That's a lot of money to spend for something you may end up not liking. I just Velcro the camera to mine.

However, both flight boards handle camera gimbals. You spend can spend a couple bennies on a gimbal that will stabilize the camera and account for the tilt in the quad - but that's money hanging off the bottom you could break, so I'd wait until you have some stick time.


Don't forget to factor in parts. You will crash.

And mine flies pretty damn stable when I set it up to do so.


So, in closing - first you need to know what you really want to do with it, and in what time frame. What I mean by that is, it sounds cool as hell to have a bunch of video equipment up in the air taking all sorts of video - but it's not something you are going to do out of any box without breaking shit - and that's why cheap and homebuilt is best.

Before throwing a gimbal and gopro on a quad you need to get some serious stick time in, quads are VERY easy to lose orientation of, which means you'll likely drive it straight into the ground - you want to fly it around with just a gopro velcroed to it for a bit and figure shit out. THEN go buy a gimbal or FPV setup - and until you are looking into FPV you *really* don't need GPS and RTH - auto level works just fine line of sight.

What's nice about my setup, I can dial it in so that a 12 year old can (and has) fly it, I can dial it in to be nice and subtle for video or I can take things to the extreme and toss it around like a step child - all with the same quad. I know what the PI loops do, what effect they have, how to tune the quad to work, how expos work, stick scaling - all that nice fancy shit that I got to tune to make the quad fly like *I* want, not like some guy in a room somewhere decided I wanted - and I can have different tunes for different goals - all with the same quad.

And I built the quad for less than $200. I have more in it now, but the first time it took off there was less than $200 in the quad, I spent a lot on a transmitter, and if this is something you think you might really enjoy, you'll want to too.


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The biggest thing that stood out with the DJII was a complete rookie flying it like a pro, rock steady and it seamed to stay put in the air wherever he set it. I am not sure what it has that allows it to be that way?
I watched some youtube videos of others that reminded me more of old school free style flight that can be fun but not so great for video.

Edited to add: I am all for building my own if I can get the same flight characteristics.
I did a triple gainer into the concrete today and have some repairs to do - gimme a week and I'll put together a video of setting this thing up to fly smooth as butter, then landing it and setting it up to fly balls out - the really great thing about building them yourself is YOU can set it up to fly how YOU want and change it to suit your mood.



And it was hinted about three posts above - you will want batteries and a good charger - I've got more in batteries than I do in the quad - I get about 15 minutes out of a 4s 5000Mah battery, about 10 out of a 3s 3500Mah - for video 3s would be the ticket - for balls out 4s is the way to go - but it all depends on motor/prop combo. Without a gimbal that does stabilization, the higher the Kv rating of the motor the less 'jello' you will get, balanced props help a lot too.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Starting out you don't need a gimbal. That's a lot of money to spend for something you may end up not liking. I just Velcro the camera to mine.

However, both flight boards handle camera gimbals. You spend can spend a couple bennies on a gimbal that will stabilize the camera and account for the tilt in the quad - but that's money hanging off the bottom you could break, so I'd wait until you have some stick time.
Good advice.

I'll check out your links. Thanx.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Since your budget is 1k anyway, just wait for the new 350qx AP to be released in a few months.

BLADE 350 QX2 AP Combo RTF with SAFEā„¢ Technology (BLH7900) | Horizon Hobby - Radio Control R/C Planes, RC Airplanes, RC Helis and Helicopters, RC Cars, RC Trucks, RC Truggys, RC Boats, RC Radios, RC Engines, parts, hop-ups, and accessories
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Does the return home feature follow the original flight path, or does it just take the shortest path? I could see problems with trees, houses, power lines, etc. if it is shortest path.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Supposed to ascend to 60 ft, then beeline.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I would but I hate waiting. Plus I dont need the camera and you can pick up the Gimbal for cheap on Ebay.


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Supposed to ascend to 60 ft, then beeline.
That would be problem for me because out here most tree's are well over a 100 ft tall.



I can decide which would be better, the Blade 350, and Phantom
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The biggest thing that stood out with the DJII was a complete rookie flying it like a pro, rock steady and it seamed to stay put in the air wherever he set it. I am not sure what it has that allows it to be that way?
I watched some youtube videos of others that reminded me more of old school free style flight that can be fun but not so great for video.

Edited to add: I am all for building my own if I can get the same flight characteristics.
flight characteristics are handled in the flight control software.

mild or wild, it's just changing some numbers.

5 Best Examples of How to Build a DIY Quadcopter
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:53 AM   #22 (permalink)
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flight characteristics are handled in the flight control software.

mild or wild, it's just changing some numbers.

5 Best Examples of How to Build a DIY Quadcopter
My only fear would be if I built one of those, spend the money, then it doesn't perform the same as a RTF one. I see building one would be cheaper but is it better??
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:12 AM   #23 (permalink)
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That would be problem for me because out here most tree's are well over a 100 ft tall.
Yup, that's why I said sketchy. With most controllers you can configure the height it'll ascend, but you have to be damn sure it's high enough not to hit anything on it's way back.

The multiwii has sonar support, which is supposed to stop it from hitting things on it's way back - I've not read any reviews on how well it works, but I do intend to test it out on my next long range FPV build.

There are also other failsafes you can get - controlled descent (it'll land right where it is, you'll have a GPS waypoint to go get it, better hope it's not over a pool) / hover in place (read: jumping your ass in a car to get back into range to land it) / return to launch (high probability of hitting something) / go to waypoint (can lessen the probability of hitting something) - almost all are better than the thing just falling out of the sky, pretty much all of them have drawbacks - again, the nice thing about the boards is you can choose which drawbacks you want to live with.

Until you are ready to do long range, out of sight FPV, you really don't need to worry about a failsafe - and once you are doing LRFPV you'll have a much better grasp on how all this works and what will work for you.

And you will most likely want to BUILD a LRFPV setup, because the ones that are ready to fly setup to do that are big $$$, you can build for a shit load less.

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My only fear would be if I built one of those, spend the money, then it doesn't perform the same as a RTF one. I see building one would be cheaper but is it better??
It is better in every way, except for maybe having to tweak things to fly YOUR quad, but the basic settings that come on the boards are good settings for a beginner, they aren't as hard to fly as the previous boards made them.

The controlability is all in the board - the board controls everything, motors, scaling, stability, gimbal, etc. You can leave the settings alone to have your stable video platform, or you can change things around - it's all up to you.

You can get the Naza (DJI) board, which is the same one on the phantom IIRC, step up to a KK board if you have any desire at one point to get crazy (and you will) or go full out on the Multiwii to get GPS, sonar, bluetooth, full waypoint navigation, etc.

And you can swap the boards out as your skills or needs change.



There is nothing better, in an way, really, about a RTF/BNF quad. You will get more bang for your buck and have more fun doing a homebuilt - and know how to fix it when it breaks - and most all homebuilts are far easier and cheaper to fix.

Will a homebuilt perform exactly like a RTF quad - no. It will perform better if you spend the time learning how to tweak it, and it will perform perfectly adequately out of the 'box'
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:23 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm looking at buying a Quadcopter large enough to hold a GoPro HD3+ black. I found the "Blade 350 QX". But am reading there might be an interface problem if you use the wifi feature.

So I'm looking for some input from users who actually have a Quadcopter..

I like the return home features, and GPS locking, ect...

Under a grand and RTF too.
You don't want to use anything wifi with a rig that's on a 2.4ghz radio (pretty much everything you'll look at). At best you'll get spotty wifi connections to the cam, at worst you'll loose control of your copter and maybe lose it completely.

Get an FPV setup if you want a live feed of what you're recording.


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You covered everything but the gimbal. That's gonna be very important for stable video. I'm no hep, so if anyone else can cover this, that'd be great.
Stick to shit you know. When you find something you think you know, let us know and we'll confirm how wrong you are.


Supposedly the new blade fixes most of the issues people had with the first release.

I've used a blade and a phantom and was equally impressed with both.

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I would but I hate waiting. Plus I dont need the camera and you can pick up the Gimbal for cheap on Ebay.




That would be problem for me because out here most tree's are well over a 100 ft tall.



I can decide which would be better, the Blade 350, and Phantom

The biggest plus of getting the new Blade with the gimbal is that they add tilt support via the radio. That is currently not possible or at least easy if you buy the chinese 2-axis gimbal off of ebay.

I mounted my chi-com 2-asix on my FPV rig yesterday. It's awesome, but you have to set the tilt angle when you fire it up and you can't change it mid-flight. You pretty much have to guess at the angle you'd want.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:26 AM   #25 (permalink)
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All good stuff/info in this thread. Just have to figure out what I want to do. I wouldn't mind building one. So where do you get the software for all the cool features??
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