My Drones

Hey guys, I mostly just wanted to make a post to see how this all works and to start getting into the habit of blogging. So I wanted to start off my drone category by reviewing the 2 drones that I’ve been flying. First up:

Hubsan x4

This is a very popular starter drone and by far my favorite drone to fly.* You can find this guy on amazon for 30-40 bucks depending on supply and model. DSC_0136DSC_0133

I recommend picking up a crash pack as well especially for beginners. This little guy can buzz around pretty quickly and you’ll likely bust/lose a few props (propellers) learning to master the controls. What I like about the hubsan x4 is that it can be both an extremely easy to fly beginner copter and a mean speed demon when there is a little bit more room and skill available. When first learning to fly make sure you are in “beginners mode”; essentially what this does is limit the controls so that the copter won’t tilt more than a few degrees in any given direction. This makes it much easier to control in tight quarters and to get the hang of how to fly the quad. But if you are looking to have a little bit more fun: press in the right stick to activate “advanced mode” and watch* it go. The Hubsan is capable of doing aerial acrobatics manually(unlike other drones that have a button which makes the drone flip), tho I am nowhere near mastering any maneuvers. I Highly recommend this drone as almost everyone else in the drone community does as a fantastic beginner quad for anyone looking to enter the hobby.

Syma X5SW

My second drone is the Syma X5SW, also a great starter quad copter. As you can see in the pictures it’s a little bigger than the Hubsan X4, but it is is extremely light. One of this biggest features is that it is capable of FPV (First-person view)flying*. It has a 2MP camera on it that can take still pictures as well as video, and will stream the video footage to your smartphone via the syma-fpv app so you can see what the camera sees for better pictures and so you can theoretically fly the drone without being able to see it*

DSC_0131.JPGBut I say theoretically because, well I’ve tried this and its not very viable. Here are my issues with this drone: first of all it is sooooo light weight. This is a problem because if there is any wind in the air at all you are going to have a huge problem trying to keep the drone in place, and maybe even keep it from blowing away. secondly the FPV capabilities are wildly underwhelming. The “W” in the name means that it has a wifi signal emitter. For the FPV to work you need to connect to the wifi signal given off by the drone, then boot up the app to connect to it. This does not always work correctly, I’ve spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out why, but I think its just a little flaky and might take a few tires for the connection to work and the camera to start sending images to your phone. Also once it is connected there is a significant delay between the drone and the phone. Meaning if i’m trying to fly the drone completely by looking at my phone im going to always be at least a second behind. making it nearly impossible to fly around without running into a tree. My last problem with this drone is its transmitter. It looks really cool and has a whole bunch of buttons, but it’s not very good. Again there is often a delay between the transmitter and the drone, making it even harder to fly well.

All of that being said its not a terrible drone for the price, I got mine for less than 50 bucks and have had some fun with it. It has the same beginners/advanced modes that the Hubsan has, and has a button which will make it do a flip, so its got that going for it, which is nice. What I like to do is detach the camera all together and just fly by sight*. If I could redo it I’d buy the Syma’s other model the x5c-1. It is basically the same drone, but without the FPV and is a new model which from what I’ve heard does much better in the wind. If you are looking for something with FPV that won’t break the bank I’m not sure I have an answer for you right now, I’m looking for something like that as well; let me know if you have an suggestions. I’ve heard Hubsan makes a decent x4 version with FPV, but I’m skeptical for now.

So those are my drones for now. I am definitely wanting to buy more, and one day build my own FPV racing quad, but this is what I’m working with right now*.

Just a few notes for those interested in trying out quadcopters as a hobby:

  • There are a million guides out there on what to buy/build, check out reddit.com/r/Quadcopter to talk to people more experienced than me
  • Start small, both of these quads are some of the top recommended quads for beginners
  • Buy extra batteries, most entry level quads come with a single battery and most can accommodate a larger capacity that the one that comes with the quad, do a google search and buy a few extras. that way you don’t end up flying for 15 minutes then waiting an hour while it charges for another 15 minutes of flight. Also multi battery chargers are helpful
  • Please do your research and stay out of no fly zones and don’t fly over people, they don’t like it.
  • Still not sold? Check out DRL or some FPV freestyle videos or maybe something a little slower passed like this. There are so many fun things you can do with drones.
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