A friend is looking for a COMPETENT drone cinematographer for a shoot this Friday in Sydney - over the Harbour Bridge for a documentary (breast cancer related). If you are a shooter and available…Continue
When you said build, did you mean to assemble a kit or build one from off-the-shelf composite parts? If the later, I can help as this later process is well documented and you can be up and flying in a matter of days. Of course, kits are also well documented, but won't fly as long.
To build one from off-the-shelf materials, at a minimum you need to be good with the following tools: scissors, glue, small screw driver, allen wrench, fingers for applying velcro and zip ties, and a drill. You can get fancier, but this is plenty good.
If your interest is in kits, the repost and inquire about which kits are best for a novice.
Thanks for your reply, Forrest. Definitely the latter, build one from off-shelf materials. I'm pretty handy with my hands and tools, electronics - not so much, though I can solder to survive!
I am in Australia, but ordering parts etc. shouldn't be difficult if I know what/where to get stuff.
Again, I appreciate your assistance and thanks!
I would take a look at the quad 450 clone kits at RCTimer (and elsewhere). They are kits, as in a collection of off-the-shelf parts, but require significant assembling. The price is low, so this makes it a great starting point. They don't come with instructions, so you'll have to rely on online how-to's, which are available with some research, and forums like this. (I started with this one: SK30A & SM450 V2 Black/Red Quadrotor) You'll still need an APM and radio, which will be the most expensive parts, but can also be reused on other frames/models. I think HobbyKing and others have similar kits. I would definitely go this route instead of trying to get all the right parts your self. Either way, you end up with a box full of parts, but these "kits" make it a little easier and a little cheaper (usually).
I am a former newbie, now up to a beginner and I thought I would share some thoughts with you since I started out wanting to build. Mistake. Buy a really simple unit that is easy to fly right out of the box - and 3D Robotics is not a good one to start with. The amount of tuning they need is unreasonable to stack on top of simply learning to fly a multirotor, maintain a hover, fly a pattern etc. I have two of their Y6's and they have been a huge amount of work to get flying and keep flying (for a beginner). APM does boast a really nice feature set but is touchy and far more work than is totally necessary to get started. BTW, in this context 'work' = 'crashes'. So 'lot's of work' means you will probably end up enjoying more uncontrolled landing events than you hoped for. And you will likely spend time/money replacing parts that could have been spent learning how to fly. Things like the DJI Phantom are really nice but, imho, you have to replace the receiver in it if you are going to fly it anywhere near WiFi or other 2.4ghz signals. Mine went crazy in the middle of flight and did a completely unplanned landing upside down from about 100' up at full speed. New ESC, GPS, 2 motors, all props, body = $200 on top of the $479 purchase price. The Blade 350 QX is nice and because it uses DSMX for the control link is quite a bit safer than the Phantom. However, the Phantom was the smoothest flying copter out of all of them. The Blade is not as stable out of the box and takes more effort to calibrate but it is a very nice beginners copter. The 3DR Y6's are far more advanced than the other two and where I will play around a little with the Phantom and QX, I wouldn't dream of screwing around with the Y6. None of them have landing gear that is good for a beginner so invest in plumbing foam to wrap the gear in and you will save some money on buying landing gear. Whatever you buy, go ahead and order extra props. I went through an embarrassing number of props getting the first Y6 to fly reliably. Mainly because the landing gear is too short on it and any tilt at all during take-off drives the props into the ground. But there were more than a few pilot errors involved. Last suggestion: take up drinking. It really helps dull the memory of watching your expensive new toy hit the ground (or in one case: a house, a tree and then the ground - no points awarded for hitting more things on the way down.) The nice part about buying one and crashing it is that when you have to replace parts you get to learn about one that is already optimally configured (hopefully). That way when you migrate to building your own you already have a feel for the components.
So tell me a little about yourself. Your background, experience with hand tools, access to tools, budget, preference for kits or semi-scratch build, and most important, the mission of the ship (fun, photography, something to keep the brain renewing itself). I know that Australia has pretty good access to carbon products and that shipping from the states isn't that bad.
Forrest, I'm a filmmaker, not a young kid, I consider myself pretty good with hand tools, drills, Dremel, soldering & hobby-level stuff. I have most of the basic things I'd need. Ideally, I'd like to build from scratch from components, but I realise that may be a further stage. I DO need to get my head around the electronics and the logic around that. The mission of the ship - as you put it, would be really have some fun, and really to do some photography/film - gopro stuff. Your perception of 'keeping the brain renewing itself' is spot on. Again, your offer to help is most appreciated...
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