How to Choose Quadcopter

Drones are new formidable flying machines. With falling prices of recreational drones, the practice of flying and conducting aerial imagery becomes accessible to all.

If you just discovered UAVs (Unmaned Aerial Vehicles) and you want an opinion or advice on choosing a drone to start without putting a fortune, you have to ask a number of questions essential and probably ask you about the budget and the identity of the manufacturer of your future drone. Before you buy your first drone , you must first understand some control concepts, some vocabulary words and know what type of drone pilot you are and what you want to do with such a flying machine.

Below you will find some basic questions and tips to focus your sights on a machine as if you want to practice immersion in flight (or FPV), take photographs or aerial video breathtaking, making the UAV race, etc.

1-Choose a drone

There are drones of different sizes, weights and shapes. Each of these types of drones is tailored to a different use or specific flight properties. You will meet more often quadricopters drones with single propellers. It is the most classic and best suited to beginners because their price / quality ratio is often unbeatable. Only specific needs can justify buying another type of drone.

  1. Price your first drone

The best known are probably the drone DJI Phantom 3 Standardand the Parrot AR Drone, recently replaced by the excellent drone Parrot Bebop with his SkyController joystick integrated camera.

Both drones are great but a little too expensive to start the Parrot Bebop -explanation above  costs € 499 on Amazon and the DJI Phantom appears above € 1,000 . It’s too much for a device you will get laid and probably crashing against a house or a tree … Below I offer a handy list of small drones to start, crashing, and learn how to handle these quadricopters.

Instead, I will offer you drones below the price to start, as the Hubsan X4 H107C (the best drone to start in my opinion) just sold€ 51 on Amazon. Because it is useless to spoil too much money in the beginning, there is not a better driver with an expensive but broke drone .

To make you want to continue reading, here are a Bunkr presentation to share with your friends who also would like to start piloting recreational drones. This is a summary of the lowest elements developed to encourage you to continue reading.

  1. Differences between Mode 1 and Mode 2

Upon ordering, you must choose ‘Mode 1’ and ‘Mode 2’, which correspond to the direction of joysticks on the remote control. Most often, you will be in ‘Mode 2’ by default, ie with the throttle lever to the left and the directional joystick to the right. The ‘Mode 1’ is the reverse configuration: gas right towards the left.

Note: If you have never driven and less than a particular disability, stay in mode 2 to start  Throughout this article I résonnerai in Mode 2.

4-The controls of drone

If you have never flown a drone, a few basics are needed. The joystick control left the gas:

  • from bottom to top: the engine speed increases, the drone rises
  • from top to bottom: the engine speed decreases, the drone down.

But the left controller can also move laterally to control the rotation of the AR.Drone:

  • from right to left: the drone pivots on his left,
  • from left to right: the drone pivots on his right

Note that in this case the drone itself rotates but does not move (except under the effect of a little wind ). It’s a maneuver that is especially helpful to master for aerial panoramas for example.Rotate your drone allows you to frame follow the movement of a subject or otherwise make pretty pictures in turning around your stationary subject.

The right joystick controls are used to direct your drone in the desired direction:

  • from bottom to top: the drone advance on its axis,
  • from top to bottom: the drone back on its axis.

And it works the same for the sides:

  • from right to left: the drone moves laterally to the left,
  • from left to right: the drone moves laterally to the right.

What is very complicated at first, and more in FPV is to achieve effective coordination and dose your gestures to give your drone real fluidity of movement. One that you will succeed with a small drone, the logic is identical with quadricopter bigger and you will be a champion: one feels quickly become a bird with these flying machines !

5- Number of a drone arm

Thus, there are drones with eg 8 propellers. The octocoptères drones are primarily reserved for professional work involving heavy loads, a need for significant stability and / or the carrying of many hardware components on the drone: large LiPo batteries, thus extending the autonomy and extend the scope of intervention.

One can also find 3 or 6 propellers. The   Hexacoptères drones  are sometimes also used by professionals for aerial photography and enthusiasts (or ”  hobbyists  ” in English) to design powerful and stable drones to take aerial videos of the highest quality. Drones 6 rotors are usually reserved for experienced pilots and drones these models are often ‘homemade’ or DIY ( Do It Yourself , understand to assembly ) as good pies This requires some experience and practice and these drones are not recommended at the time of launching the drone pilot.

Note: there are now 6-rotors UAVs for beginners, as Skywalker V323 sold at € 124.90 on Amazon .

6-Number of propellers of a drone

It may, on the same rotor, set one or two propellers. 95% drones have single propeller, but know that occasionally we can cross duplexes for cases of very specific use.

A drone single propeller allows the combination of stability and maneuverability in steering the drone. A quadcopter ( quadricopter drone ) with 4 single propeller is particularly effective for achieving short leisure flights, carrying a miniature camera like the GoPro Hero 4 Session ( € 377 on Amazon ), the smallest camera of the family, and more light ( because every gram counts on a drone! ).

Drones to double helices  are mostly professionals or drones for very experienced, especially handymen individuals. They often also of price orders that exclude from the outset the market for mass-drones and a fortiori of the stock market beginners. In short, this is not for you.

7- What drone to start?

To hope one day to impress your friends with beautiful images or acrobatics using a drone, you have to start small, you crash a few times, and learn to fly in various conditions. For this, nothing in such a small drone, handy and inexpensive to take over basic flying techniques with little financial risk. For this, we recommend the following models

  • 1: Hubsan X4 H107C : € 59.99 (free shipping)

This small drone is one with which I myself made the hand early. It took a few shocks but very resilient. Its price is really affordable and worth seriously considering the purchase of as many found easily all parts for repair if something goes wrong.

If unfortunately you had an accident, “Crashpack” exists under 14 € (sold here ) and you provided 1 new plastic hull and propellers 16, 1 extra battery, 2 engines and 2 LEDs. Even the back cover is easily found for less than 5 € . This is by far the best ”  drone-school  ”

Note: If you are passionate about FPV or future want to try it, go for the version ‘D’ of the drone, with a built in handle video screen (see above) and sold only € 139.70 on Amazon .

  • 2nd: Attop Skyline Quadricopter to € 98.71

Less than € 100 Attop offers 28cm drone controlled using a remote control 4 Ways. It weighs 109 grams and includes a small camera to record short videos ( poor quality ) on a mini SD card.

  • 3rd: Silverlit Space Comet : € 104.30 (free shipping)

Space Comet Silverlit is also a good model to learn to fly. His radio control is better than most other remotes I’ve seen in these price ranges. Short bladed propellers provide good lift and are well protected shots.

The look of the drone is debatable, but remember that it will probably end with a few glitches … so this is not essential. Learn to fly with this little machine before replacing it with a real one. Go for it if you are a temperament daredevil.

  • Bonus : Parrot AR Drone 2.0

If you have a slightly higher budget, you can decide to opt for the old deference recreational drones: the Parrot AR.drone 2.0  is no longer sold only € 259 on Amazon .

This is in our opinion one of the best drone models to begin and begin to understand the drone piloting , it is easily repaired but you will have to settle for a control without remote control with a smartphone / touchscreen tablet running iOS or Android and mobile adapted.

8- drone Simulation Applications

Speaking of mobile applications and if you can not wait before you exercise, we recommend a few drones flying simulation applications that allow you to live your early crashes without any risk to your neighbors or your wallet .

9 Coder for the Drones:

If y are interested in the code and operation of drones , you may perhaps take a look at the Tickle app , allowing you to learn how to code scripts to run your drone without special computer skills . Just note that it works only with Parrot minidrones and iOS.

10-Vocabulary to know

  • “ARF” for Almost Ready to Fly it stands for the drone comes without radio receiver or radio remote control and often without batteries.
  • “CW /  CCW” for ClockWise ( clock- wise ) or Counter ClockWise(reverse) describes the mounting direction of the propellers of the drone.
  • “IOC” for Intelligent Orientation Control  or often ‘headless’ are modes that facilitate the control of the drone when he is away or comes back to the driver, is disoriented.
  • “RTF” for Ready To Fly is a drone comes ready to use,
  • “RTH” for Return To Home means the automatic return function to the take-off point proposed the somewhat sophisticated drones.

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