How do I get started in the FPV racing drone world?
Another approach than the simulator approach for FPV racing drones beginners is to start directly with small drones or quadrocopters. Because the whole thing is much more affordable than you think. A first start is already available for under 20 euros. Of course, this still has nothing to do with FPV flying, but you can at least “race” in the kitchen or office.
Level 1: A small drone for under 20 euros
Yes, there are ready-to-fly micro drones including remote control for as little as 20 euros. FPV is not, nor can these be flown in acro mode, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. On the contrary, with hardly any other toy can you spread so much laughter and good humor as with a micro quad. In addition, you quickly realize “whether the whole thing is something”, because the control is really not so easy.
Eachine E010, E011 and E012
Perfect for this are the two micro quadrocopters from Eachine, the E010 and its successor, E012. Incredible what you get for your money. You have all the control axes (4CH) as with a “big” quad, a radio is also included (although it is really uncomfortably small), the things are almost indestructible and fun is more than guaranteed.
E011 is similar to the E010 and besides the fake lego man has a bit more powerful motors and is minimally larger. The Eachine E012 is again as big as the E010.
The Eachine E010 is a copy of the Blade Inductrix, and there are several copies / extremely similar models in this size. There would be, for example, the Holy Stone HS210, HS330, stuff from Potensic, JJRC H36 – all very similar. But the cheapest you can usually find the E010 at Banggood in China.
If you have to choose between mode 1 and mode 2, I would recommend mode 2 – this is the more common configuration of the remote control (the gas is on the left). Shipping from China can take two to three weeks – but it’s free and the price for the quad is awesome.
The little things are there to have fun and to get used to the controls. What exactly you can do with them to get to FPV flying later, you can read in the book, which you get with the newsletter subscription.
Level 2: Real FPV fun for less than 100 euros
Yes, you read that right! You can fly FPV for less than 100 euros. That means: From the view of the drone with FPV goggles and control the quad itself.
Here, as we jet a round through the office:
In this older clip, we “built” the FPV drone ourselves. As a basis we used an E010 from above.
Basically, the video transmission system (VTX) doesn’t really have anything to do with the rest of the technology. So the remote control, the motors, flight controller and propeller form the one unit, then separate is the video transmission system and the receiving goggles. So what you do for the “under hundred” entry into real FPV is to buy a cheap pair of goggles, and simply equip one of the drones from level 1 (see above) with a VTX + camera. These cam + VTX modules are available as a tiny, ultra-lightweight connected component:
The two power wires of the component are then soldered to the board of the Microquad (instructions here).
These small units of camera and transmitter module are really cool – and you can build the really everywhere on it. The power can also be supplied by a small battery, and you can fly, drive, sail all sorts of things (remote-controlled racing cars, boats…) FPV….
What’s missing then is the FPV goggles. A perfect entry-level model with an incredible price of not even 60 euros is the Eachine VX800.
Without soldering – ready FPV micro drones
If you don’t feel like soldering (which you should get used to if you’re into FPV racing) you can also buy a ready-made micro quad with the VTX system already mounted. Here, too, you can safely go for Eachine in terms of price/performance. The goggles are in any case not as good as the EV800 from above. But here is just already everything.
And what do I do with the drone now? Practice flying, of course! =) With the small quadcopters like in the apartment, much can not actually break down there.
However, as a beginner on the way to becoming a real FPV pilot, I would recommend a special exercise as the first: Hovering. To do this, place the Microquad on the ground and press the throttle stick (the throttle lever – in Mode this is the left up) exactly until you “just don’t” take off. When the quad is jerking around on the ground, use the right lever to let the drone slide on the ground.
How the whole thing works in a little more detail and a lot more you can read in my E-book “In 8 steps to the FPV Racing Pilot”. Subscribe to the newsletter here!