Hello all,

Relative newbie here as far as flying goes. I've built a DJI F550 kit (well, the only stock parts are the frame and the propulsion), and I have been flying around a bit. I try to fly as often as I can, but I live in a pretty populated area AND I am just within the No-Fly zone of an airport. 

I have gotten comfortable with loiter and even pretty comfortable in stabilized, but it seems that any time I fly in a small area I hit a tree, either causing it to crash or get stuck. Not fun.

I have also gotten GREAT at repairing things, as they seem to break every other day.

So here are my two questions.

1) How can I make my F550 less fragile to motor breaks and GPS stand breaks?

2) How can I progress quickly through comfortable flying at medium speeds in smaller areas?

I also plan to fly with a gimbal and a GoPro that are on the way (YAY!) and get some smooth shots of landscapes or even some sports. How can I get good shots and also avoid any mishaps? I have flown with a gopro before, higher up (about 75-100 ft) and have been successful in a fully controlled, stable flight, even in an area with some trees and overhanging dead branches. 

Thanks in advance! Glad to be a part of the community!

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Tyler,

Every crash is a lesson learned, and I've had many lessons. One lesson I learned that keeps the bank from breaking in replacement parts, is to have a practice vehicle and a primary vehicle. Practice vehicles are small consumer grade UAVs (in our case multirotors) that are not too expensive and can take a beating. I've identified two such quads that I like; the Parrot Beebop, and the Blade Nano QX. Both can comfortably fly inside a residential home and bounce off walls with its prop guards. The Nano I generally recommend to people who have 0 time flying as it can really take a beating and is, relatively, dirt cheap. For you I'd recommend the Beebop as it will handle closer to an F550. The Beebop even has a camera on it so you can practice your cinematography work.

As for making the F550 more durable, I'd try maybe aluminum arms. I've never had them on any of my vehicles but it seems reasonable that they may break less (probably just end up bending and deforming but that leaves the chance to bend it back and not having to order another carbon fiber nylon 5 arm).

One trick that I like a lot is to have XT60s or some other type of connector between the bottom plate solder pads and the ESCs. In my experience this makes it a little bit easier changing out broken arms, ESCs, and motors.

And finally I'd just recommend trying to find a local AMA flying field (http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubsearch.aspx). They are always big open areas clear of trees, and the people there will (just about always) be willing to give you more pointers. And practice makes perfect. So get out there with a pocket full of spare props and arms and keep practicing!

Cheers,

Will F



Will Fellmeth said:

Tyler,

Every crash is a lesson learned, and I've had many lessons. One lesson I learned that keeps the bank from breaking in replacement parts, is to have a practice vehicle and a primary vehicle. Practice vehicles are small consumer grade UAVs (in our case multirotors) that are not too expensive and can take a beating. I've identified two such quads that I like; the Parrot Beebop, and the Blade Nano QX. Both can comfortably fly inside a residential home and bounce off walls with its prop guards. The Nano I generally recommend to people who have 0 time flying as it can really take a beating and is, relatively, dirt cheap. For you I'd recommend the Beebop as it will handle closer to an F550. The Beebop even has a camera on it so you can practice your cinematography work.

As for making the F550 more durable, I'd try maybe aluminum arms. I've never had them on any of my vehicles but it seems reasonable that they may break less (probably just end up bending and deforming but that leaves the chance to bend it back and not having to order another carbon fiber nylon 5 arm).

One trick that I like a lot is to have XT60s or some other type of connector between the bottom plate solder pads and the ESCs. In my experience this makes it a little bit easier changing out broken arms, ESCs, and motors.

And finally I'd just recommend trying to find a local AMA flying field (http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubsearch.aspx). They are always big open areas clear of trees, and the people there will (just about always) be willing to give you more pointers. And practice makes perfect. So get out there with a pocket full of spare props and arms and keep practicing!

Cheers,

Will F

Thanks Will for the helpful tips! I will definitely get a secondary UAV to practice on, as I do not enjoy having to repair the F550 (or the idea of crashing with my brand new GoPro on it!).

As for the aluminum arms, I would probably just simply stay away from them. The plastic arms are cheap and light, and the last thing I need is a heavy set of arms reducing my battery life to 10 minutes. 

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