View Full Version : Setup for a beginner looking to race?

14th December 2015, 05:58 PM
I have wanted to build a UAV for a couple years now, and after seeing new 250 Class FPV tournaments have started in my area, I think I have found my reason to get started. I would like to build/purchase my first race rig, but I have never flown before. From what I understand, starting out of the box with a race rig will be pretty rough. Do I need to plan on a few months in something simpler to pilot before purchasing race ready hardware?

So far, I think I am interested in picking up Lumiere's QAV250, then finding a controller and googles. Should I look at a different set of ECS/FC/Motors to start out with on the QAV250, then upgrade when I am competent enough to handle more sensitive hardware?

I am hoping to find others out there that have flown similar rigs, to let me know just what I am up against. Thanks!

21st December 2015, 12:05 PM
Bought a Walkera Runner 250 (RTF) and a good pair of Fatshark goggles... got frustrated quickly!!

Took a step back... I then learned to fly on a Dromida Ominus - it takes a pounding. After a couple weeks of learning it line-of-sight, mounted a Spektrum micro camera/tx unit on it to pair up with the Fatsharks. Now, after about a month of flying it FPV, I've got the hang of it and now piloting that Walkera Runner 250 is a lot easier...

Starting my own Diatone Blade 150 build now that I've watched lots of YouTube videos and am comfortable with what all the components of a "good" rig are. So far so good!

Roboforcer X2000
21st December 2015, 12:42 PM
Golden answer for newcomers can be found in my signature, but Stogie did the very right thing:) To double that, once flown a bit with similar copters or simulators, I'd suggest to get a 6-pack and find a pilot near by to have a chat about the choices of 250 racers. There's so much selection and variation of them and the rest of the gear, that confusion is inevitable...
P.S. Welcome both to the Lab, yas'r in the right place:)

21st December 2015, 01:02 PM
Don't go expensive! It is harder than it looks. I am guessing there is a 50% drop out rate which is something we never hear about. Age is everything in this aspect of the hobby. If you are younger your success rate will be much higher than those older. The initial investment will be higher than first thought and dropping out will be expensive. Stay away from top-of-the-line equipment until you have proven you can fly it.

This is a 'results based' hobby that requires perfection during flying. If your skills are not up to par you will not be able to complete a flight and that will be demoralizing with the end result of losing interest.

21st December 2015, 02:03 PM
Fanominal advice gents, I truly appreciate it.

Bought a Walkera Runner 250 (RTF) and a good pair of Fatshark goggles... got frustrated quickly!!
So the learning curve was really that rough? Another aviator mentioned that I should be OK just going with my starter racer, and tuning down the motors for a while until I get the hang of it. Is that an decent option for someone who has never flown, or should I really look at spending extra money on a little micro to get used to being in the air?

And good call Jerry, I am definitely inundated with hardware options. I have decided to built my first rig so its easier to fix when I break things. However, I fear getting things to fit and work properly right off the bat will be a challenge I don't want on my first build, so I figured I would take a shot at the QAV250 kit from Lumiere which has everything ready to build. Would I have room to grow with the QAV250?

Roboforcer X2000
21st December 2015, 04:11 PM
Another aviator mentioned that I should be OK just going with my starter racer, and tuning down the motors for a while until I get the hang of it.
Yes, that can be done as well. The difference is that Syma/Dromida like semi-toys are nearly unbreakable and learning with a racer will require a good bit of spare props. The positive of that is that you start with the real deal and later there'll be no transition in flight differences, only cranking up the powah gradually:)

21st December 2015, 05:51 PM
Thanks for the heads up. I definitely prefer the idea of learning on a new build racer, for the points you made, as well as the fact that I don't need to waste money on a micro/toy that I likely won't use after making the switch. And yeah, I already figured I'd be beating and breaking the hell out of my new toy, but isn't that the best way to learn?


21st December 2015, 11:17 PM
After some hunting around all I can find on de-tuning or stepping down my setup has to do with a step down chip. Can this be done in the tuning settings of the Naze 32 controller, or do I need to plan on additional hardware to slow things down on my new build?

Roboforcer X2000
22nd December 2015, 08:59 AM
Never heard about "step down chip"... You don't need anything extra, everything can be set on FC- lower the rates and put more expos, and that's it. And maybe downsize your props a bit for quad not to be as punchy- let's say if people are using 5x4.5 or 5"BN, then throw on some 5x3 cheapest Gemfans for start.

22nd December 2015, 12:00 PM
Yeah that would be one huge ass voltage regulator. Honestly just stick with a 3s battery setup not a 4s if you want do "tone down" the quad. Hell I can fly on a 2S with my 4S setup its just a pig, 5000mah 2S on a 250 sized quad does look funny.

Lab Monkey
24th December 2015, 11:08 AM
Spot on advice from jerry.k, age is a huge factor in success, Being something of a "coffin dodger", I've found out the hard way, although I've probably been lucky in my choice of model, I've been flying the bigger quads (450- 600) Naza equipped camera ships for a few years now & that helps with orientation when goggles off LOS flying, But I've had to learn getting low from the sky down & while I've had a huge amount of fun doing so (still learning) it could have been very expensive were it not for a particular frame.

The Frame in question is the Fossils Stuff "Gravity 280, I waited for the 280 as I had 2204's to turn 6" props, the frame itself is immensely strong, basically 2 milled out sections of HDPE bolted together with all the expensive bits safely tucked away in the middle, it's hit trees, Gates, metal Airgate poles (many times) & each time has flown again after maybe changing a prop or putting the camera back in etc, even the motors are partially protected, At 88 it's far from cheap, but it will survive a tremendous amount of abuse while I learn.


26th December 2015, 12:06 AM
St.Louis Techy,

You drive up to Springfield, IL. I will let you try one of my quads.

I live at exit 88 off of I-55.

Just PM me.....


30th December 2015, 01:01 AM
I'm just starting out myself. Honestly flying FPV was much easier then learning Line of Sight (LOS) on a toy (though a $20 toy quad is a good investment). And with whatever you chose go cheap (you will break almost everything), build it yourself (you will need to know how because you will break everything and need to trouble shoot and repair and replace it yourself) and make sure you can get spares of everything easily and in a timely manner (so don't get an off brand where you can't find spares because taking the slow boat from China vs Amazon Prime sucks even if its a bit more expensive). Practice rate mode on a simulator (fpv freerider). Invest a substantial sum of money in props and batteries -- buy a minimum 5 times more props and 3 times more batteries then you think you will need initially. If you buy a cheap transmitter make sure it can support at least DSM2 (search google).

30th December 2015, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm actually glad to hear it was easier for someone to learn FPV than LOS as that was what I expected as well. I just ordered everything yesterday, and here is what I went with:

- Eachine Racer 250 (http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-Racer-250-FPV-Drone-Built-in-5_8G-Transmitter-OSD-With-HD-Camera-BNF-Version-p-995366.html)
- Fat Shark Attitude V3 FPV Goggles (http://www.banggood.com/Fatshark-Fat-Shark-Attitude-V3-FPV-Goggles-Video-Glasses-Headset-Support-3D-p-1008008.html)
- FrSky 2.4GHz ACCST TARANIS X9D (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__61356__FrSky_2_4GHz_ACCST_TARANIS_X9D_Digital_Te lemetry_Radio_System_Mode_2_New_Battery.html)
- FrSky V8R7-II 2.4Ghz 7CH Receiver (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__14351__FrSky_V8R7_II_2_4Ghz_7CH_Receiver.html)
- x3 Turnigy nano-tech 1500mah 3S 25~50C Lipo Pack (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__26451__Turnigy_nano_tech_1500mah_3S_25_50C_Lipo_ Pack.html)
- Gemfan 5030 Multirotor CRP Propellers Bulk Pack (10 Pairs) (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__80970__Gemfan_5030_Multirotor_CRP_Propellers_Bul k_Pack_10_Pairs_CW_CCW_Black_.html)
- x3 Original Eachine Racer 250 RC Drone Spare Part Frame Arm Black (http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-Racer-250-RC-Drone-Spare-Part-Frame-Arm-Black-Or-Red-p-1007086.html)
- x2 Eachine Racer 250 Drone Spare Part BG2204 2300KV Brushless Motor (http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-Racer-250-Drone-Spare-Part-BG2204-2300KV-Brushless-Motor-CWCCW-p-1007680.html)
- Eachine Racer 250 RC Drone Spare Part 3W 12V LED Head Light (http://us.banggood.com/Wholesale-Warehouse-Eachine-Racer-250-RC-Drone-Spare-Part-3W-12V-LED-Head-Light-wp-Usa-1007087.html)

I spent a good amount of time putting together parts for a ZMR-250 build that was going to run me around $300. Before placing my order, I did some final hunting and found the Eachine on sale at BangGood for $135. After some heavy research, I found that tons of people were buying it due to the exceptional value and how well it was performing. So, I felt comfortable starting off with a pre-built budget racer to get me started. This allowed me to spend more on my FPV goggles which I think I will be really happy with. I also went ahead and ordered extra parts for the Eachine, since it is shipping from over seas, and I do plan on breaking it quite often ;-)

31st December 2015, 10:40 PM
"I'm actually glad to hear it was easier for someone to learn FPV than LOS as that was what I expected as well. "

If this was a plane I would agree with you but Quads are different.

31st December 2015, 10:53 PM
I am using this receiver with my Eachine 250. Small (1"X1.25") and works well so far.



16th March 2016, 03:01 AM
The new RotorX Atom V2 will be perfect for beginners, but also be upgradable for high performance racing. go.rotorxracing.com71188

16th March 2016, 10:08 AM
Can I recommend not buying from a company called "bang-you-good"? There are hundreds of bad reviews on them. Look at an FPV retailer. This will help you avoid frustration when starting.


16th March 2016, 01:37 PM
Can I recommend not buying from a company called "bang-you-good"? There are hundreds of bad reviews on them. Look at an FPV retailer. This will help you avoid frustration when starting.

∆This, there are a few US sellers buy from them, plus easier to return.

21st March 2016, 02:45 PM
How come no one has suggested a Sim yet?

Get a sim, I use LiftOff. There is a free demo of one another called FreeRider? Get a Sim Radio (http://www.ebay.com/itm/6CH-Flight-Simulator-Aero-Fly-Game-USB-Device-RC-Airplane-R-C-by-Unknown-/301877125889?hash=item4649476301:g:KbMAAOSwuAVWyDJ Q) off ebay. Or if you decide to get a real radio (I quite love my Taranis, but the learning/programming curve can be intimidating) you can plug it in with a USB and use it with your sim. Fly the Snot out of the digital quad. No sim is perfect to real world. But you will get orientation and the what I call the"cause & effect" aspect much faster. Essentially meaning you'll learn that this stick going this way, and this other stick going this other way, causes this action.
I think FPV is much easier then LOS because no loss of orientation. Knowing if the quad is facing you or banked to the left when its 30ft up and 40ft out will but a lot harder then if your "in the cockpit".
I built my first quad (DJI 450 flamewheel clone) Never liked it or got it to fly right. I saved up and just got a Vortex 285 and freaking LOVE IT. 3s is pretty tame, 4s and bull nose props is addicting.
The pro-tunes were most helpful. I cant handle PID tuning, not sure why, probably a patience thing. But having it "just work" was a huge draw for me.
I kept an eye on ebay and got it Sealed BNIB for $250.

Just reread that you ORDERED the parts, I thought it said that was your planned shopping list.

Anywho, ignore the bit about the vortex.