Cheap flippin' quad (and...go big, or go home)

Part one of the under $70 my V959 is cheap, and in this video, it flips. Anyway, I just thought I would share a new adventure!

Alright, part two of the title...I am wanting to make the move up to a bigger quad, and want some advice on what route to take...? There are so many options it seems, and I don't want to make a decision I regret. I have been reading, and pondering, and reading some more, but want to hear some opinions. I am not above building my own, but, I have never built a quad before. Also, I have considered something like the DJI Phantom, but wonder if they are the best bang for the buck. Thanks in advance for any help you may have to offer.

Views: 1514

Comment by Dave Wicks on April 21, 2013 at 12:32am
Go for the phantom, I regret dropping a few hundred on the parts I used to build my KK quad, it flies but it's nowhere near what I thought it would be. i
Comment by Alberto Luján on April 21, 2013 at 3:28am

What camera are you using on your V959? A keyckain maybe?

I have one myself and it's an amaizing toy, perfect for adquiring skills, and indestructible. I have chrashed it hundreds times against all the walls, floor and ceiling of my garage, and still flying perfectly.

About a bigger quad, it depends on what you're looking for. A KK board or similar is the way to go if you want to stay in the toy segment but, as Dave says, maybe you will eventualy get disapointed, and it relays completly on your "maker" skills, patience, and bucks. On the other side you learn a few things about building quads. I've got a KK2 on a 330 frame, and I don't regret the money spent, but I've got a bigger one with an APM2 for the moments when I want more than a toy.

The phantom is something in the middle, nor just a toy, nor an UAV. For sure is goog looking, but...$$$$$! Maybe you would consider some cheaper platforms, like Lotus T380 or Lotus T580, or even a DJI F450 RTF quad.

Oh! and whatever you choice is, for sure you will crash it, and the result will be quite different from a V959 crash.  that's something to consider too!

good luck!


Comment by Alberto Luján on April 21, 2013 at 8:09am

mmmmm that's right Tim, I never count battery, charger, radio, and a few other common things in the budget. If you've  none of them, I won't say cheaper, but the price of the Phantom wouldn't be far away

Comment by HeliStorm on April 21, 2013 at 5:40pm

Thanks everyone for the thoughts so far. I am taking them into consideration. There seems to be quite a bit of love for the Phantom, and if you have flown one, I would love to hear from you.

Let me give some further thoughts on what I need, and want.

Needs (have to have):

Ability to carry a GoPro, or similar sized camera. It doesn't necessarily have to have a built in mount, as I am pretty resourceful, but it would be helpful. Also, the ability to add an FPV setup if I want within the first few months of ownership, although the GoPro and a lightweight transmitter would probably not be that much difference in terms of weight added.

An actual hands-on-sticks transmitter. I don't care if it is BNF, or comes with its own transmitter, or even has the ability to run from a laptop through an uplink using a controller. I can hack a little bit, if needed. I played with, and almost bought, a AR Drone from a friend selling his, but could not get past using a tablet or phone as a controller. Supplemental flight controller, yes. Primary controller, no. Somethings just require tactile feel.

Durable, easy, and easy to fix, with reasonably priced parts.

Wants (things which would be nice, but not needed)

The ability to fly waypoints.

The ability to easily stow-and-go, so I can take it almost anywhere with me so I can fly if the mood strikes.

Less than $500. My max budget for a quad is currently in the $800 to $1000 range (it fluctuates daily based on what kind of day the wife is having) But if I could pull the whole thing off for around $500, I would have zero issues with the CFO of the household, and would have some leeway to maybe upgrade to a GoPro 3 (haha).

The ability to upgrade hardware and software as needs change.

To answer a couple questions which have (sort of) been asked. I do have a transmitter, and a 6 channel receiver I can pull from a CP heli I have shelved at the moment while I consider its future fate (repair or pawn off on someone willing to do the repairs). Batteries, I have some, yes, but I would want to buy new batteries for a new build, so that is a wash.

Alberto...I have played with CP helis, so I know how expensive it can get when there is a crash. That is one reason I love by little 1sq quad for indoor flying, and my v959 for outdoor. These guys are amazingly durable, and even when broken, are cheap to repair. Many repairs are super glue, spit, and maybe some solder, with the worst being usually less than $10 in replacement parts. As I said to someone, my first attempt at aerial photography with a CP heli cost me more in repairs than the whole of the V959.  Hence the reason I went to quads, and hence the reason I started cheap. As for the camera, it is the stock one which came built in to the V959. I didn't know they could be bought without the cam. Check it out here.

Ability to station hold, and fight wind

Comment by HeliStorm on April 21, 2013 at 5:44pm

Not sure how the station hold and fight wind comment made it to the bottom. That would be a need.

Comment by Alberto Luján on April 22, 2013 at 7:03am

Ops! you are right, mine is a V949. no camera :(

As for yor budget, I think 800$ is more realistic. Can't advice you what plantform you should go fo. I'd say I like the APM a lot!

Comment by HeliStorm on April 25, 2013 at 8:32pm

Alberto, I am thinking about getting the v212, as it has gyro and accelerometer stabilization, and apparently handles wind better. The V222 is also going to be coming out, but the time frame is still unclear. It is the equivalent upgrade of the v959, with built in camera, although I think I have determined how to run a keychain cam direct from the v212 board. I may buy one stock, and a replacement board to tinker with, which would still come in less than a V222.


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