To help quads, helicopters, etc. fly well, we want to eliminate vibration and to also have the motors run evenly and smoothly. One thing that helps with that goal is balancing the props (propellors). Props are mass-manufactured, and they’re not perfectly even on both sides. That means one side will be slightly heavier, so when they spin, they won’t spin perfectly evenly, which can cause vibration. Here’s info about how to balance the DJI Phantom 2 props.
I think it’s important to know how to fly manually in case something happens and you can’t fly with GPS or altitude hold. I’ve flown manually with a number of other quads, and today was my first time trying my Phantom 2 manually. While it has some quirks, it’s actually a great quad to fly manually, too!
I recently had a small crash on my Ladybird quad (tiny quad 0, Restoration Hardware metal coffee table 1) that broke a motor. The bottom of the landing gear/arm broke off exposing two wires and a cap, which popped off. It was super easy to repair, and I just wanted to point out what to do if this happens to you.
Out of the box, the Phantom (and Vision) ship in a very simple mode. Flight is heavily GPS-assisted, and if you let go of the controls, the quad will try to stay where it is (wind/battery-permitting). Inside the Phantom is a flight controller, the Naza-M, which enables this type of flying. (You can actually buy the Naza-M by itself and put it on another quad.) However, there are other flight modes on the Phantom (don’t worry–they’re not all scary manual!) and extra controls that you can enable by switching from the simple mode to Naza mode.
A few years ago, I started thinking about using a quadcopter to carry a camera, as I was planning on going to the arctic, wanted aerial footage, and a “real” helicopter was $100k/week. That trip didn’t happen and technology’s changed a _ton_ since then! I’m heading to the arctic this summer, and I decided it was time to plunge into a camera-carrying quadcopter.
While I’ve been continuing to find time to practice with a flight sim, I decided that I wanted to try flying my Blade mCX2 for real. I have to say it was a lot of fun and easier than the TRex 500 I’ve been using in the sim, but there were still a few gotchas.
I’m looking at heading to some remote regions of the planet in the near future, and I want to do some aerial shooting. Unfortunately, in one location, getting a helicopter costs $100,000 for a week, and a hot air balloon costs $50,000. That’s more than I can afford. Instead, I’ve started to look into using RC helicopters to do some aerial shooting. With wireless video downlinks (so that you can see what the camera sees) and features like GPS hold (which will cause the heli to hold itself exactly where you put it in the air), it seems like the time’s right to use these guys for serious work. I’ll try to post what I learn here, as there’s a lot of info out there!