quickly said, I have been looking with a lot of envy to different emerging tri and quadrocopter projects, and ArduCopter really looks like a very complete and evolutive platform. Not being a hard "DIY" kind of profile, I also find complete kits like the ArduCopter Quad "full kit" (presoldered, etc) is really a big plus.

I'm just wondering - having no past history in modelism, having only flown "toys" heli such as the Blade mSR or a Robbe BlueArrow XL (a coax heli), is flying an ArduCopter Quad something in reach to me, or should I best first spent time (months) learning to fly a CCPM heli before ?

I had the feeling reading different articles that the ArduCopter would not be too difficult to fly for someone with a bit of coax experience.

My intend is really to have it as a R/C hobby, flying it around in the area, then attaching a small camera and taking aerial pictures or movies, then potentially move on to FPV and totally automated flights (GPS waypoints, etc).

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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I guess my question must be puzzling ;-)
Anyone could kindly advise whether AurduCopter Quad Full Kit Presoldered would be a good start for a quad newbie, or if I should head first for quads such as the Gaui 330X-S in a first step ?

Thanks in advance
I am by no means an expert in RC stuff. I started flying planes about 3 years ago (first was a easy star - which I HIGHLY reccomend) and have moved through to funjets, easy glider, twister, and a merlin. Odd, they are all multiplex. I too decided to risk a dab into the quadcopter-ing, and would be curious what people think. Is it a good place to *Start*? I sort of thought that it would be a challenge in the set up area, but there seem to be numerous programs to assist in checking that the servos do what they are supposed to. No risk, no fun!
If you have any electronics or robotics background, programming knowledge, are a logical thinker or can follow instructions you'll be fine and I highly recommend ArduCopter. The thing about Arducopter is that you will definitely need to be able to think for yourself (be a real problem solver) if you want to dive in right now. The project is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, and may one day be a plug-and-play toy. But as the theme goes, it is DIY. Concluding, have confidence in yourselves and give it a shot! If you're willing to learn and experiment safely, you're good to go.

As far as learning to fly a heli first, if you're good on your mSr orientation-wise, you have what it takes. Heck, you can even practice driving an RC car toward you if you feel like you need some experience. :)
Thanks for your comments, John.
I think I will get to ArduCopter in 2 steps. 1 step, I'm going to buy a Gaui 330X-S and use it as a learning quad (learning for piloting, for first aerial photos & videos, for FPV, and for mods), then take the next step to a ArduCopter platform. I think this 2 step approach will allow me to build all needed confidence to get into real DIY.

Keep up the good work on this project, guys, it's really really looking great and promising as time goes by !

I would not waste your time or money on the Gaui. I have one. It is ok, but toy quality at best. There are many helpful people around that will get you built and flying. Educate yourself first. There are items that you will need to complete any of these projects. Soldering station, etc. If you think about it, a Gaui at $400 plus the ArduCopter at $500 plus, puts you at over $900. That opens up some options for about 50% more if you are serious. I have an MK Hexa and a ArduCopter on order. I will be selling my Gaui as it has outlived it usefulness. It is not a great platform for AP or FPV in my opinion. Good luck and happy flying.
Thanks Ed. GAUI is ordered and on its way. I consider it anyway as an intermediary platform, and think I can later keep the esc, motors, frame etc and "just" replace the electronics to evolve it to the Ardu platform.
So I'll be back in these forums in some time :-)
Fredric: Good luck on your build! If you have any questions, please let me know. I have built two and know most of the common pitfalls.
yes Arducopter suits you - very similar to the dual prop heli you fly around your living room. However Arducopter looks the same whether you look at it from the front or back or side. It is very easy to lose orientation of this beautiful insect once the sun or low light comes into play. Just make sure to mark the front bar with something easily seen from 100 metres away or you'll lose it. Can you read the newspaper at 10 metres? Hope that helps.
I know you already have ordered your GAUI, but maybe I will help others in their choice.

I was (and basically I still am) a total newbie. Never, ever have flown anything other than a kyte when I was young.
I first bought a GAUI attracted by the price, and the fact that there is a huge community behind.

Meanwhile I started buying ArduCopter electronics as a medium term project.

Conclusion: GAUI frame is great, I carshed every single flying session, with a little of CA glue (when necessary) copter was back in the air. But I was never able to "Fly it", just trying to hover it....

Then my AC was ready and I put the brain on the GAUI frame and... it was flying! Hovering, going up and down doing 8 figures and whatever. Only crashes were because of my newbie errors: battery low, bad connections, trees ect.

The main difference of the ArduCopter compared to GAUI is that when you leave your sticks (and you have a well trimmed copter) everything gets to stall (thanks to accelerometers). While with GAUI you always need to counter correct every move.

Probably I will never get to be a good pilot, but believe me: I am having so much fun now!!
Plus you get GPS, Barometer, Sonar, Magnetomenter and so on!

For the extra features working, have a peek into this blog: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1286011 worth having a go until the official group releases their code!

Happy flying!

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