On Wednesday last week, I finally got my Vortex ready to fly. All the pieces were here. All the batteries charged. All the cameras were strapped on. It was game on to finally take the plunge and try out FPV (First Person View flying). I took Thursday and Friday off to do just that. AND IT WAS AWESOME.
Oh, and I finally decided on a name for the little quad. After much deliberation, I settled on Five named after this beautiful robot:
Before I could get started, I had to learn a whole bunch of things. I had to learn about the batteries, how to safely parallel charge the batteries, how to set up the controller, how to operate the controller, how to set up CleanFlight, how to change propellors, how to set the channel on the goggles and quadcopter, and probably a few other things I’m forgetting. I’ll post more on those topics later. For now, let’s get to the fun stuff!
I accidentally started in Acro mode. At some point I must have switched to a more advanced profile in CleanFlight which made everything super responsive.
I also started with some brief LOS (Line Of Sight) flights to get the feel of the thing. I basically flew it back and forth a bit. Nothing crazy. I just wanted to get a feel for the weight and how it reacted. Compared to the X4, it’s a bus. A super powerful bus, but still a bus. It’s not really watchable footage so I skipped uploading it.
The next day, I did my first ever FPV flight with the goggles. It actually went really well. I didn’t have any major crashes other than one kind of hilarious bump with some branches. The biggest problem I had was landing. Even on day two and three, I had issues with landing. It’s pretty hard to see when slowing down and getting a feel for how high up the thing is can be difficult at first. Here’s a video with the hilarious branch crash and some of the less boring clips from my third day of flying:
Some helpful meetups
On Sunday, I met up with some awesome people from a FaceBook group. They both had super valuable tips for me. One of the biggest was to just slow down, fly nearby, take my goggles off, and land it via LOS flying (waaaaaay better). That was an amazing tip from Justin Barnett. Bridger also gave me a bunch of tips for flying and some propeller recommendations. We had a blast near a construction site just doing laps over an empty strip of land. Here’s some terrible footage:
Yesterday, I went and met @keyalea (she got me into this drone stuff) and Scotty (a friend of hers who had built a 250) at a fun field. I finally opened up a little and did some well executed and not-so-well executed rolls and flips. It was a blast. No major crashes, though Scotty ended up breaking a couple props. Can’t wait to do something like this again.
When flying these things, crashes are inevitable, but I haven’t had too many bad ones yet. So far I’ve only lost about 8 or 9 props and a cam (just stopped working, but will be replaced). So far, the googley eyes remain intact.