Frequently Asked Questions
From a small Nano QX kit to full sized aerial photography platform. For those interested in getting into the Hobby it can definitely be a money sink. For example Horizon Hobby makes and sells a micro FPV Nano QX that can fly indoors & outdoors, comes with goggles & transmitter, everything needed to get going – but it’s roughly $400. It is arguably one of the best ways to get started though as the goggles can still be used with larger, more fun, platforms.
Most of my gear was assembled on a budget – for a full FPV rig with nice goggles, transmitter, aircraft, and camera equipment it’ll add up quickly. For most novices it’s possible to build a FPV rig for as little as $300 with everything needed.
We follow AMA Rules & FPV Community Standards. All testing is done at Polo Grounds before it’s taken anywhere. I’ve yet to have had a mechanical issue mid flight that wasn’t during testing. Drones are a lot safer than people give them credit for. Scary drone news stories sell.
Have spent a lot of time thinking about Safety. Whenever I fly it’s with a spotter that has eyes on the craft and surrounding area so that I have the confidence to fly while minimizing the potential to accidentally run into someone that’/ not immediately noticeable while flying and behind the goggles.
There have been hundreds of thousands of consumer grade flying machines sold over the last several years without major incident anywhere in the world. I take Flight Safety seriously and with some simple precautions it can be incredibly safe & fun. With pre-flight checks consisting of antenna inspection, prop tightening & inspection, transmitter, throttle, failsafe, and video are all tested before each flight. The surrounding area is inspected and a spotter gives the all clear for take-off.Maintenance and inspection is routinely done between flights.
What is a Drone? In my opinion a drone is something that has the ability to fly by itself without the direct input of an operator. What I tend to build & fly are always within direct control of the pilot operating it; much like traditional RC helicopters, and
Multirotors are ‘technically’ helicopters with multiple motors & propellers. A Hexacopter for example is simply a 6 propellered multirotor.Whatever you want to call them they’re amazing machines!
Most of my technical information is obtained from from places like Flite Test, RCModelReviews, OscarLiang.net, RCGroups, FPVLab, and Youtube. Started out making little micro’s that fit in the palm of your hand and ‘graduated’ to building larger and more complex machines. Along the way I’ve built several air worthy platforms with my ever growing passion and knowledge of the hobby.
Anyone can get into flying fpv with a bit of time, patience, and practice. Just start small and have fun!
After getting a ton of interest while out flying Hexinair was started by Zoe, the pilot, multirotor builder, and web admin. My background is in Computer Science & Education and being a Student at Cabrillo until 2014 – when I was stuck in bed due to ‘difficult’ medical complications. After months of being stuck inside It was suggested by a friend that I needed to find a new hobby; and with a trip to Capitola Hobbies & Toys I found a ultra tiny Proto X to try and fly. It was love at first flight.
Since then I’ve started building my own multirotors – it’s ended up being cheaper, better quality, and more fulfilling than flying anything off a store shelf. My builds fly circles around anything store bought on the market right now – and I take pride in that!
Parts and Resources
Line of Sight:
- Hubsan X4 H107L – Highly recommended as a beginners go-to due to price and all around performance.
- Blade NanoQX – My Personal favorite – a bit pricier but offers full functionality/mode to learn with.
- Syma X11 Looks like the Hubsan but has major technical differences with gear driven props that are larger. Also comes with removable prop guards. and a bit cheaper too.
- Estes ProtoX – The original world smallest quadcopter, it’s a great stocking stuffer.
- Cheerson CX-10 – Smaller than the ProtoX, Faster, More Durable, Flips, and a bit cheaper too.
- Blade 180QX – The bigger brother to the NanoQX – it’s a fairly fun and durable (mostly)outdoor flier that is good for beginners. Comes in BnF, RTF, and With/Without Camera.
- Latrax Alias – Same size as the 180QX but with a different design and pretty lights.
- Droimida Ominus – Pretty much a copy of the Latrax Alias at half the price.
- Syma X1 – Looks to be a copy of the 180QX. Not sure how I missed this one!
First Person View
- Estees FPV Proto X – Built in HD video recording & screen built into the transmitter.
- Hubsan H107D– Comes with a screen embedded transmitter for FPV flight.
- Blade NanoQX FPV RTF – Comes with Fatshark Teleporter Goggles V4’s or in a BnF for compatible 5.8ghz fatshark frequency goggles. Highly recommended.
This is a list of all the essential components for mini quads that don’t break the bank.
- $99 Frame, Motors, ESCs, FC, Props
MyRCMart’s FPV 250 Kit is the way to go. Motors are amazing quality(comparable to TMotors), Frame is 3K Carbon Fiber, FC is a beginner friendly KK2.0 that can be switched out for the more advanced CC3d. Comes with 12a(16a burst) 3-4s escs, and plenty of props to keep you going.
- Motors – Lots of great options out there. I’d suggest, in this order: RCX h1806, Cobra 2204, Emax 1806, Sunnysky 2204, DYS 1806, TMotor 1806 (not ordered in terms of quality, but quality and price point). My favorite 2 motors are the RCXh1806 and Cobra 2204. The Cobra is also available in a 1960kv version which is great with 6″ props or 4s batteries.
- $19 Props – The HQ 5×4 and 6×3 are awesome upgrade propellers that are much more durable than the GemFans. Carbon props are also an upgrade to consider, but they break on impact, are more expensive, and can cause serious damage to people and property.
- $60 Batteries (buy 4, each should be around $12-15 or so) – Batteries for your mini quad will vary in size. Generally 3s 1300mah-2200mah 25c are a good bet for these mini quads. Increasing the C rating past 30c will have little affect on performance. Remember that the heavier the quad, the less acrobatic it will be – so crazy fliers might go with 1300mah for more punch, while others might choose a 2200mah for more flight time. 1300mah will give you around 6 mins of flight time, and 2200mah closer to 10. 4000mah is nearing the point of diminishing returns – about 20mins of flight time, but pretty much useless for anything but light hovering and gliding around.
- $30 Charger (remember to get a power supply too!) –The Turnigy Accucel-6 is a great beginner charger. The Imax B6AC is another nice charger. The B6AC is commonly cloned, so watch out for prices under $20 if you don’t want a fake one. Most people don’t have a problem with cloned equipment, but I’d rather spend $10 more and make sure that the charger(which could destroy and burn your lipos) is working properly.
- $70-$200+ Transmitter – Options include the Turnigy 9x/r and 9xrPro. Awesome, open radio, but you need to purchase and additional Turnigy/FrSky/Spektrum module. The Taranis radio is regarded by most as the ultimate multirotor radio.The Taranis, 9xr Pro, DX8, and DX6 all have telemetry, and also (except the DX8) have voice alerts. The T-6 is available on Hobbyking, and the DX6i can be found used on Ebay or RCGroups for around $70. 6 channels is more than sufficient for any beginner and even experts rarely use more than 2 three positions switches in addition to the 4 gimbal channels.
- $7-$20 Reciever (I’d suggest picking up a few extra) – 6ch LemonRXs and the Orange RXs are both awesome park-fly RXs that are light, durable, and well-tested by the community.
$100-$200 FPV Setup – For those looking for a brand-name FPV setup, the Predator V2 system is great, you should be able to catch a Predator V2 Fatshark system for around $200 on the RCG classifieds. For those who don’t mind fiddling a little bit, Hobbyking has their Quanum FPV set , which is around $100, which is awesome as well. Goggles vs Monitor is a huge debate that will probably never end. Goggles are best for immersive experiences, while monitors give you added safety of being able to maintain LOS of your craft. Goggles are far easier to see, while visibility in monitors can be improved by adding a sunshade.
- QAV250 ARF from GetFPV – Lumineer QAV 250
- Spanky Mini FPV from the Multirotor Superstore – Awesome little custom built platforms!
- TBS Gemini– All New from TBS, a ARF Mini Racing Hex.
- Blackout ARF’s– Great prices right now!
- MiniQuadBros – Pre-built and tuned mini quad.
- MiniQuadBros Kit – Pretty solid price for a good “starter” kit.
- MassiveRC Kit– Another good kit for starters at a good price.
- RotorGeeks Build-A-Quad – RotorGeeks is pure Canadian awesome. Nuff’ Said.
- ReadyMadeRC EMAX 250 Kit – Nighthawk 250 Quad Combo for $155 bucks!
- MyRCMart 250 Kit – $100 dollar OEM kit with great little motors.
- Chargers: Turnigy Accucel 6 Charger , IMAX B6…
- Turnigy 9X /9XR – Solid full featured transmitter that works great with a BnF NanoQX using a OrangeRX Module , and don’t forget a battery for the 9XR or a battery for the 9X .
- DX6i – Nice quality spektrum transmitter that /just works/ with spektrum gear like the NanoQX/180QX/350QX etc
- Taranis 9XD – Great all around transmitter, highly recommended in the subreddit.
- Quanam Goggle Kit – Everything needed to add FPV to almost any craft for a 100 bucks.
- Fatshark Line of Goggles. Dominator HD, Attitudes, Teleporters, BaseSD, Etc. All pretty solid.
- Boscam GS920 Goggles – Decent Specs for the price offering a clear 30+ degree field of view at 640×480.
- Skyzone Goggles – Only goggles currently available to offer image pass through – They’re also 32 channel and should work with just about anything. (NanoQX FPV or Hubsan H107D for example)
- Multirotor Superstore – Quality products and great variety of gear from right here in Santa Cruz!
- UniqueFPV – Local source right here in Santa Cruz for all things Team Black Sheep, Fatshark, and Taranis
- RotorGeeks – Pure Canadian Eh’pic. Home of the RotorGeek ESC’s
- ReadyMadeRC – Fast shipping out of Floirda, good selection of quality product.
- GetFPV – Home of Lumineer with a ton of selection.
- FliteTest – Small selection of great DIY products. Awesome foam built planes too!
- StoneBlueAirlines – Home of IBCrazy’s Antennas. Top notch products!
- MyRCMart – Surprisingly mostly /decent/ stuff. Shipping can be a expensive and long though.
- FoxtechFPV – Solid products and a great selection. Overseas so beware of slow shipping times.
- HobbyKing – For everything else that’s not here or on Ebay & Craigslist. Beware of international shipping!