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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Misc 2: Quadcopter Drone Aerial Video and FPV for Beginners

Many get involved with quadcopter drones with the goal of conducting aerial video, or first person view (FPV) flying.  Many of those same people rush out and purchase relatively expensive equipment for this purpose, without having any quadcopter flying experience. I think the plan is to learn how to fly using this same expensive equipment. But crashing a quadcopter is an essential part of the flying learning experience. Thus many lose that expensive equipment within the first few flights, either crashing/ruining their quadcopter.  Or simply their quadcopter flies away never to be seen again.

I STRONGLY recommend some patience before attempting aerial video, or purchasing a mid to high-end quadcopter. Spend a few weeks learning to fly a cheap (~$30 to $40) toy quad first. Don't let the low price fool you. These cheap quadcopters fly very well (please see this video). They are an excellent way to learn to fly, much better than simulator software. A cheap quad will more than pay for itself avoiding that first crash of an expensive rig. Once you notice that you're not crashing as much, then consider purchasing the following $7 pocket camera.  Many just tape this cheap camera to their training quadcopter for their first foray into aerial video.  Although the resolution is only 720 x 480, the video is not too shabby from this camera.




But if you want something a little more polished, consider the following 6-axis quadcopter with a built-in, automatically and remotely controlled camera.  Resolution is also only 720 x 480.  But the frame rate of the camera more than makes up for it at 60 frame per second.  Cost is about $65 ready to fly.  If you purchase this as your first training quadcopter, consider unplugging and removing the camera for those early training flights.  That way the camera will be in good condition when you're really ready to use it.  Here is a link for more information, and a couple sample videos taken with my own V222.




But if you have your heart set on sending your GoPro skyward to get true HD video, you're going to need something bigger.  Maybe consider the following mid-sized 6-axis quadcopter?  About $83 ready to fly:





But before you risk that expensive GoPro in aerial video, consider the following much cheaper 1280 x 720p HD alternative.  About $48 total:





And again here's a sample of my Mobius attached to my WLToys V262 quadcopter. Make sure to watch it full screen. Enjoy!



21 comments:

  1. thanks for your pictures and advice. So between the two which is the better quad copter? 222 or 262?

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    1. If you're a beginner, highly recommend that you start with the V222. It's easy to fly, and introduces you to aerial photography/video. After you have some quad experience, then next recommend the V262 for a little more excitement and lifting capability (such as HD cameras).

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    2. How do I work my video camera on my Hawkeye D-15/ D-15c 4ch 2.4g remote control quadcopter

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  2. so i just got the V262 and it is super awesome so far. what would you recommend for extra battery life? the 850 mah battery is good but doesnt last long enough for me.

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  3. Wouldn't recommend going with too much larger batteries, with the intent of flying for much longer times. The reason is that the V262 uses brushed motors. They get hot and need to cool down between flights. If you fly too long, they can overheat and would need to be replaced, The motors are cheap and easy to replace, but do require soldering to install. Anyways, here are some recommendations
    for batteries. Note that they'll only give you a couple more minutes of flight. Also they're larger than the battery holder, and can be held in place beneath the holder with a thick rubber band.



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  4. Can you please tell me how to attach the Mobius on the 262? As well, is it possible to keep the 262 in the air without holding the remote. So lets say I want to film myself, can I let it hover in the air without touching the remote? Thanks

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  5. This is how I attach my Mobius. I know it's not pretty, but it's very functional. It's how I made all the V262 aerial videos shown here. As for flying without holding the remote, it's possible but there would need to be absolutely no wind.

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  6. Thank you for this informative site you have.
    Is it possible to attach the mobius cam into a V222 ?
    Thank you

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  7. Sorry, but the Mobius is a little too heavy for the V222. Would instead recommend the V262.

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  8. I've found that the cheapest and lightest vibration isolators can be made with a couple zip-ties and some single-side adhesive foam tape. It comes in many colors in hte craft section at Walmart and other stores. You crimp the locked out zip-tie at two ends to make a crescent shape that has low stiffness in one direction mainly controlled by how much of the zip-tie you locked out to shorten the loop. The stiffness in other directions can be changed by using smaller gauge zip-ties. Then you use the foam cut to the right sizes to provide a somewhat stiff mount platform sticky in the right spots to go between the two zip-ties. Add some velcro to the camera and foam surface facing downwards and you have a cheap and effective vibration isolator. Pointing angle of the camera can be changed by choosing what part of the downard facing isolator face you velcro the camera to, since it can point down 30 degrees or up 30 depending on where you mount it to velcro on the crescent shape..

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  9. I will be getting my first quad copter (Syma X5C) in a couple of days, and your website is proving to be an invaluable tool to learn a vast amount of information on how to fly! Your detailed explanations, videos, and how-to's are terrific. I can't imagine the amount of time and effort you've put in to create this website, but it is greatly appreciated! Thanks so very much!!

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  10. The post by Anonymous does not explain his method very well because you cannot visualize it. 'Locked Out' ... what does that mean? 'Crescent Shape'.... of what? He understands it well because he figured it out and did it. But a reader cannot see any of it. A short video clip or several still photos might make it all clear to any viewer.

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  11. I would like to start off by saying “thank you”. Your site has been so helpful and has saved me from some expensive mistakes. Because of your recommendations, I purchased the V262 as my first quad and I love it. I've been following your lessons and trying to master each skill before I go to the next one. Which brings me to my point. Because of the confidence (I’m sure it’s a false sense) I have in my flying abilities, I took the Styrofoam blade guards off my V262 last night. I thought it a little sketchy to fly the quad with the circuit board completely exposed until I just saw the pictures of yours. It looks like you have a plastic dome of some sort over your circuit board that you affix your camera to. Is this something you made yourself or is this a specific part I should order to cover my board? I look forward to your response and thanks again for making this hobby a very enjoyable experience.

    Dan

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    Replies
    1. I made it myself. I just cut it with a razor knife from the bottom of a 1 liter soda bottle (usually find this size soda at convenience stores). I then used a heated tip of a paper clip to melt attachment holes for each of the quadcopter's arms. Here are some more pictures of it, along with how I attach my Mobius camera (not pretty but very functional).


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  12. Hi Quadcopter101,

    I'm looking for a relatively cheap (under $150.00) quadcopter to use for aerial video and photography on large tracts of land to use for real estate marketing. I watched your videos on the V686 and the Tarantula X6. (some other videos of the tarantula were VERY shaky) I would prefer FPV if possible so I could see what I was taping, so the V686 was my pick. What would you suggest? Any good quadcopters I'm missing?

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    Replies
    1. Actually, recommend considering the Syma X8C

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    2. Great quality but it looks like you had to do some aftermarket modifications and I think I would still prefer a FPV so I can make sure I got what I needed on the first flight. Any other suggestions?

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  13. Hi quad cop 101. I was curious as to what vibration mounting thing you used with
    The run cam. I saw your video testing the run cam on the Syma. It looked like a white plastic, boxed shaped mount. Did you make that yourself or buy it?
    Thanks
    Ted

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  14. Hi I have the mjx x101 with the c40008 camera on it hd wide angle Aries camera but when get up slightly the camera freezes but on my maxbo x8 the camera doesn't freeze is it the app I using or the camera on the mjx x101 please help me

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  15. I have gone through the site and read all blogs and this is a nice one:



    aerial drone Gamma surveys

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