Advice on which ArduCopter and accessories.

Hello everyone,

I've decided to get a ArduCopter but wanted advice on which one/accessories/upgrades are the way to go for me as it's looking like I'll need to do a bit of a upgrading for what I want.

What Im after is as follows;

  • 20 minutes + flight time. (as long as possible really!) 
  • FPV flying (pal video format) with range of 2 km +
  • Pre programmed waypoints with the ability to switch to/from FPV as needed.

Basically I want to fly around via FPV in forested areas without drop outs... which is probably a little hard with line of sight issues on the RF controllers, is there a way to get around the limitations of line of sight issues (I've read about having it switch back to waypoints as a default if it looses signal, I just want to try and avoid it all together so I can keep the live video feed), ie boosting the signal or using something other than an RF controller for FPV flying? (probably should put in other than launching my own satellite!)

How limited is the los on the RF controllers for these units, will forested areas affect it or is it only objects like hills/valleys? 

I'm thinking I'll need to add an extra battery (maybe 2 extra) to increase flight time so I'm leaning towards the 3DR Hexa ready to fly kit as the base as it is probably better at carrying the increased payload, would this be right?

Last but not least, which APM should I be looking at, I was thinking 2.0 but as 1.4 is the default in the purchase options and more expensive it made me think maybe 1.4 is better?

Thanks everyone, Happy 4th of July by the way!

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  • Not sure if it's the same in Aus, but in UK we have to have a pilot in control via buddy box who has line of sight at all times.
  • APM 2 is better because it's cheaper and smaller.  WIth series one, they had a logic board and a 2nd sensor board that came together using headers, and then the GPS was another board. 

    With APM 2, they put all this on a single PCB, and reduced the price.  Can't beat that. 

  • 3D Robotics

    Go with APM 2. It's better (and cheaper!). The RTF kits should be shipping with it soon; you can request it now if you're willing to wait a couple weeks for it to ship. Ask for the new 3DR Ublox GPS, too. 

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