If you want to fly a quadcopter, you need to know some things,
you shouldn’t go to the store, buy one and start flying right away,
without a worry on your mind.
Points to be aware of are:
You are required to insure your flyer (in Germany), usually it is not included in your regular insurance so you have to procure an extra insurance which costs about 40-80€ a year.
It may be irrelevant for a small flyer, but for a bigger one,
that may cause damage, it is essential.
It makes sense, you fly a lot more calm if you’re not trying to hit anything.
imagine hitting a pedestrian, your existence can be wasted for a little bit of fun.
The cheaper options are via WiFi, which put up a WiFi network,
you have to get in with your smartphone to get a video signal.
What’s bad about this option is that controlling the quadcopter may have some delay as the controlling signal is also via WiFi,
which may interfere with the video signal.
Also the overall range is usually shorter than radio controlled flyers
as a WiFi network is quite small.
Difference between toys and professional drones.
- Don’t expect to be a good flyer from the start,
don’t buy an expensive one right away,
I recommend thrashing some smaller, cheaper toys first to gain some experience.Nowadays a drone with some decent features like a camera
is affordable and you can have some fun with it.
I am not talking about professional videos of landmarks or similar.
But let your drone fly in your backyard
and take some pics of yourself, the dog or the kids playing?
You don’t need a 500€ camera/drone for that.
I’ve flown some drones (about 4)
so I consider myself a beginner with a bit of view.
What you should know:
- There are three types that are priced differently.
- The ‘usual‘ one, no aids, you have to control every function yourself. Usually sold (or helicopters) at Christmas time
on special stands at hardware and media stores,
it may be ok for quick indoor fun,
but rather spend the money.
- With ‘altitude hold‘ (usually via barometer/ air pressure), it holds its altitude by itself and is much better for taking pictures and videos and especially easier to fly, the barometer is dependent on winds,
so the altitude might vary when it’s windy.
- The best (and most expensive) option has GPS sensors in the drone
as well as the transmitter.
It holds its position horizontally with signals from satellites.
It introduces some nice options:
First it can automatically return to its starting point (and land!) if you hit a switch, the battery is low or if it loses the signal.
Second it can follow the transmitter.
Imagine putting the transmitter in your backpack and going for a bikeride.
It will follow you and take a video of you by itself.
For beginners I recommend at least option 2,
where you don’t have to adjust the throttle by yourself.
It may be a bit dependent on winds, but on a windless day or with minimal wind you get a steady, stable flight and video.
It may be the best beginner’s option as the GPS versions usually have brushless motors which are stronger and fly longer but are a step away from the toy grade cheaper ones and may hurt you or damage things when they hit anything.
The H502S or E, with or without the monitor) is a good option maybe, it includes GPS, but is still like a toy (brushed).
I recommend watching the many reviews on Youtube before buying but remember:
The people doing the videos are usually experienced flyers, they don’t have a problem with holding the altitude by themselves, for example.
- FPV (first person view)
Do I need a full package?
Meaning a camera and a monitor usually on the transmitter?
It helps flying and taking a video, but not in tight spaces and you may save a lot of money by getting one without it.
Remember: Goggles may be illegal anyways.
Drone with altitude hold but without monitor.
After flying a bit I can say flying a GPS-bird is the best way to do it.
I also recommend a GPS-tracker, especially for the more expensive quads.
The german laws have been overworked so the newest version is from 4/2017.