Novice, wanting to upgrade...

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Roger EWing, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Roger EWing

    Roger EWing Too many hobbies

    My wife purchased one of (well, the forum won't let me make links yet is a Force1 UDI U818A Wifi FPV Drone with HD Camera, Remote Control) for me last Christmas. I purchased extra batteries and have flown it several times.

    I'm in an environment that typically has some wind. So I did my attempts behind my house which blocked the wind to some extent. I got to where I could control it some, and go where I wanted...somewhat.

    I tried a flight in front yesterday, and when it got into a bit stronger wind, it was about useless to try to control it. ( Of course, I am certain my lack of experience is a large contributor to that problem).

    That being said, along with a bit of reading on that one here, it is not a good one to use in a windy environment. Maybe too light? Not enough power? It is a cheap drone, after all.

    So, watching Flight of the Year...

    my interest is now piqued again. Of course, I don't expect to be able to fly like that.

    So, what do I want to do with it?

    • Video (I do want quality video, but maybe not as high as the DJI Inspire
    • Hobbiest
    • Maybe get into commercial photography with it
    • FPV of course
    • Might consider racing, who knows what I'll end up doing
    So I've been reading here a bit (with a lot more to do), and I see different drones for different reasons.

    I have focused some on DJI drones. The Intelligent Flight really sparks my interest. I'm thinking the thing where it will return to you if you lose control sounds pretty good (assuming it works as advertised). Also having it follow something, etc.

    So I have considered these 3 so far:

    • Mavic / Mavic Platinum (from what I read, the camera just isn't quite there)
    • Phantom 4 Pro
    • Used Inspire 1
    I'm trying to decide whether I should purchase a better unit, but not as expensive as above, for more learning first. I was thinking maybe the Intelligent Flight might nurse me through the learning curve, and save the expense of an intermediate drone.

    I am open to suggestions on others, and any advice you are willing to spend the time to offer.


    BTW...I realize that a simulater is something I should look at. I will need a controller that I can hook to a computer. The one that comes with that inexpensive drone I have has no way to do that.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  2. Bradmadison

    Bradmadison Member

    l always liked the X4 H501S Brushless Hubsan info on youtube
  3. Rick M

    Rick M Absent-minded professor

    It's always a good thing to learn to fly progressively, and the good news is that it doesn't have to cost a ton. How windy is windy in your area - what's typical wind speed? You're right, the U818A is not going to be great at fighting the wind.

    You can find good, cheap micro or mini drones for learning to fly inside with a little research. Starting indoors has some distinct advantages: You don't have much room, so you are forced to "start small" and learn precision. Everyone wants to fly "big" right away, and it just doesn't work that way. You don't have wind inside, so you get to do all the first clumsy attempts without that complication. I suggest a no-altitude-hold quad to learn on, because the more manual you learn to fly, the more skilled you will ultimately be. Once you have good basic control skills, the sky's the limit (pardon the pun).

    If you are willing to spend DJI money, hang on to it for now and once you are a decent pilot on lower-tech quads you will know a lot more about what you want and have enough skill to get yourself out of trouble if all the technology doesn't work precisely as advertised at some point.
  4. Rick M

    Rick M Absent-minded professor

    I forgot to mention: fly the U818A inside at first! No wind there. You gotta learn to hover and control anyway...that bird has prop guards built in, so you won't break anything.
  5. Roger EWing

    Roger EWing Too many hobbies

    Thanks for the input. When I can get the wife factor agreeable to inside flight, I'll give it a go.

    I can do manual lift off, but I don't recollect if it holds altitude all the time.
  6. Rick M

    Rick M Absent-minded professor

    She'll get used to it. Mine has learned to ignore being buzzed by a micro FPV while she's doing school work or watching TV. She just sighs and shakes her head. :D
  7. Roger EWing

    Roger EWing Too many hobbies

    Been doing some of that practice.

    This unit DOES hold altitude. I guess it lets me focus on forward and back. Following the 101 lessons.

    Flying from gathering room into bathroom and backing out. Gives me some smaller area to try to improve accuracy.

    Back on topic...
    I guess I may need to at least get an intermediate unit. Maybe I should look at one that doesn't hold altitude (or at least can turn it off); maybe should get one with a gimbal based camera. More things to learn to control.

    If I'm wanting something like the Phantom 4 pro, maybe starting with a Mavic would be something to consider. Although, this could get pretty expensive pretty quickly. I am interested in some of the automated flying features.
  8. Rick M

    Rick M Absent-minded professor

    I'm pretty sure that bird doesn't have altitude hold. It might just be really stable in dead calm air. Sounds like you're already making progress. And you're already thinking about your next one...welcome to the hobby!
  9. Roger EWing

    Roger EWing Too many hobbies

    :cool: ... Yeah. In fact, my original purpose for this thread was to get feedback/thoughts on what to purchase for my next one. At this point, I have pretty much decided I want a P4P. But I was wondering if I should spend $ for something better than my 818, but not near as expensive as the P4P, for the learning process. My inexperienced based thoughts are that the P$P would allow me the safety of some of the intelligent software, and be able to also learn. But the learning process may be better applied to a less expensive unit. I'm still interested in feedback on that topic.

    Regarding the altitude hold, when I take it up, it stays relatively close, but then will certainly fluctuate. I thought it was holding good enough that maybe it had a hold function.

    Testing in the house, I've been flying it from one room into the bathroom and back out. It's more challenging than the suggestion on the 101 video, which says to get to a big field and for first learning process, fly out and reverse back until it becomes second nature. With what I'm doing, I often bump into the door, or the wall, or whatever, and it changes the directdion it faces, and I have to overcome that to figure out which way I am going:rolleyes: . When it drys up outside, I do plan to do the larger field process as well.
  10. Roger EWing

    Roger EWing Too many hobbies

    Well. There is a small park across the street from my house. I took the drone out there this morning to practice.

    There is a tall area of brush at one side of the park, so I went over to the other side to practice. It was on the west side of the park, and wind was coming out of the east. It was a bit windy, with occasional breezes at 12mph. I was flying into the wind, and returning with the wind. Some times it would come back toward me even though I was full throttle forward.

    Ultimately, I made the mistake of letting it start heading toward the tall brush pile. It got turned around and was flying with the wind...I suspect I turned it around...but hadn't realized it. So when I tried to power back away from the brush, instead I powered toward it. By the time I realized what was going on, I hit the kill/land button...but it was too late. It is in that brush somewhere...and I can't find it. I even brought over a ladder to get up higher. Looks like I'm now droneless.
  11. Jackson

    Jackson USA member at large

    If you find it, do a little surgery and get rid of those wind catchers. You'll amazed at how much better (and faster) it will fly.

    UDI Capture.JPG
  12. Roger EWing

    Roger EWing Too many hobbies

    Thanks for the tip. I may give that a try. That would stop my practice inside the house.

    I spent quite a bit of effort hunting for the one in the brush. Given up on that. I just ordered one eBay for $25. Supposedly never flown. He got it for Christmas and never messed with it.

    I'm still wondering what to do next. I watched a real good video about a Mavic....the guy thinking it a good way to go...had me about convinced to do that instead of a P4P. Then at the very end he said "But if you are trying to decide on your first drone, you might as well get the P4P". ;)
  13. Toddnkaya

    Toddnkaya Member

    I don't own one , but the Mavic size is awesome for carrying around , traveling etc. !!
  14. Jackson

    Jackson USA member at large

    This would be be nice for your indoor adventures @ $30.

    This one looks like fun.

  15. KentA

    KentA Well-Known Member

    While training on inexpensive drones is the usual advice, it will be pretty hard to learn the finer points of control if you are always fighting the wind.

    GPS would give you the control you need in a strong breeze. You could position it, take your hands off the controller, & watch it hover until the battery runs out.

    You may want to consider the Autel Robotics XSP. I purchased a "recondition" one that showed no signs of prior use for $649 & couldn't be happier. It is much easier to fly than the learning toys, has a great camera & Autel is famous for their customer support. It may be the step up that you're looking for.
  16. Jackson

    Jackson USA member at large

    Sounds like great fun.
    KentA likes this.
  17. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Until you get something else, you could try adding a bit of weight if you don't mind sacrificing flight time on the battery's to cope with the wind and bit.
    I live about a mile in land from the shore but I get out when it's windy & hopefully in the wet with my next build.
  18. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    12mph a bit windy, o_O rofl that's a calm breeze. I been out in 50mph, Sheesh you can get some speed up. It also kills things
  19. Roger EWing

    Roger EWing Too many hobbies

    Any wind at all is a problem for this very light drone coupled with no experience.

    Was probably higher than that. That was what it said on Accuweather. I have done downloaded UAVforecast and it's 17mph now.
  20. Rick M

    Rick M Absent-minded professor

    The P4 vs. Mavic question to me boils down to how often, how far, and in what you are going to transport it. If you're going to hike, backpack, or travel with it, definitely a Mavic. If not, I think the P4 series is a better option. In particular, if you are a really serious photographer with some pro-level skills, the P4P camera is an improvement. If you're just an amateur photographer/videographer like me, the camera on the P4 and the Mavic should keep you more than happy.

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