I've started a terrible new Hobby: Drones.
Props, screws, wires, carbon fiber frames, motors have been all over my desk for months, and I still have no idea of what I'm doing...
But the idea of mixing all three of my passions, travel, photography and technology keeps me motivated in pursuing the frustrating and time consuming activity.
Every-time I start a new hobby I usually end up focusing 100% of my spare time on figuring out how to max up my skills and my knowledge on the matter.
This time, my new hobby has made me insane.
There are hundreds of drone models, kits, brands on the market. Quadcopters, FPV Racers, Hexacopters, Octocopters. Where to start? What to buy?
After many weeks of trial and error, I thought that sharing my experience would have helped many Wannabe Drone Pilots.
Here's an overview on the first models to buy and how to gradually evolve this terrible yet fascinating hobby. Prepare your credit card.
Aviation Academy - Learn the basics
Probably you're trying to figure out what will be your first drone. You're browsing amazon, forums, and tech blogs to find the best drone you can buy with your budget.
But are you ready to crash more than 1000€ worth of equipment?
My suggestion is that first of all you understand the basics of flying.
Buy a cheap small Drone, maybe a Hubsan H107L X4 Mini Drone. Worth only 50€. Fly it in you house, learn the basics, break it, fix it. Understand if you're really interested in this hobby. If so you're ready for the runway.
Hangar - Build your first drone
Before preparing for takeoff I strongly recommend you to learn how to build a drone. Building is half the fun, and will teach you how to fix your next drone in case of crashing it.
There are many Drone kits out there. My suggestion is to build an FPV 250 Racing Drone.
What is an FPV 250 Racing Drone?
What is the difference between a mini drone and some of the other popular platforms such as the Iris+ or the Phantom?
Drones like Phantoms and the like are easy to fly. They are built with multiple safety features and everyone can easily get started with them. However learning the basics with Mini Quadcopters that are built for speed will entangle you to this hobby.
To better understand what I'm talking about I suggest you to view the following two videos:
Building a drone is not as easy at it might seem.
With the help of my friends from Sir-Drone, I've summed up a list of components and kits to buy to get your hands dirty in no time:
Start by buying a Kit:
The ARRIS X-Speed FPV250 Pure Carbon Fiber FPV Racing Quadcopter BNF (Assembled) from Hobby-Wing.com
1 x ARRIS X-Speed FPV250 Racing Quad Frame
4 x ARRIS 1806 2300KV Brushless Motors (2 CW + 2 CCW)
4 x ARRIS 12A Simonk ESC
4 x ARRIS 5x3 Inch Nylon +30% Carbon Fiber 5030 Propeller (2 CW + 2 CCW)
1 x CC3D Flight controller
1 x 700TVL 3.6mm camera
Then you should head to Hobbyking.com and buy the remaining gear:
Radio System Transmitter and Receiver:
FPV Camera Video Transmitter and Receiver
2 Batteries for the Drone
Lithium Polymer Sack (Safety first!):
Lock Strap for the Batteries:
2 Batteries for the FPV gear
Once that everything has been delivered to your house you can start building your awesome drone.
I've found the following video tutorial incredibly useful:
Once that everything is correctly assembled and tested you'll be ready to fly and wreck your first drone! Congratulations.
And now what? Practice, practice, practice!
In no time you should feel confident to go for the next level.
Aerial Video/Photography with a high end Drone.
Stay tuned for part 2: Runway!