Beginners Guide to Quadcopters and Drones

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One of the most common questions we come across is "What is the best quadcopter that can carry a Go Pro?" or "I'm new to quadcopers and want one, where do I start?" While there are many different answers to this question regarding which quadcopter you should get, we wanted to take a step back and get you started on the right track. With this guide we will cover all the basics from general drone questions to pointing you in the right direction for getting started.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate but we hope this is a good overall resource for you :)

What is a quadcopter?

A quadcopter or multi-rotor craft which has multiple arms that are each attached to a propeller that will allow for lift. Quadcopters (4 arms) use 2 sets of identical fixed pitched propellers where 2 turn clockwise and the other 2 turn counter-clockwise. By varying the RPM of the different props the torque load is changed and thus you can maneuver the vehicle..

Brief History

Quadcopters were first experimented with in the 1920s as manned vehicles. They were actually some of the early successes in vertical lift aircraft takeoffs. Unfortunately due to poor performance and lacking technology the research mostly dried up until technology was able to catch up. More recently these types of vehicles have become popular in unmanned arial research vehicles. The main advantage over a helicopter like design is the ease of both construction and control, maneuverability and stability indoors and out.

Starting Out

When starting out with your search for a quadcopter it is very important for you to understand that it takes some time to really learn how to control one. There will be lots of crashes and you will break things so you need to find something that isn't too expensive and easily replaceable. We DO NOT recommend starting with any quadcopter that is larger or more advanced then the ones we have listed below. If you start with something bigger and more expensive, we promise you you will end up spending more money and could potentially hurt yourself or somebody else. Please learn from our mistakes and start small :)

Recommendations

Hubsan X4 ~$80

Purchase HERE

This is a bulletproof little copter and one that we personally love. You can find some more information on the different varieties available here.  Check out our review here.

Blade Nano QX ~$90 Ready to Fly


Purchase HERE

This is a great little quad with great reviews. The highlights are how easy it is to use, it is cost effective, and it already comes with the blade guard. Check out a more in depth video review here

Walkera Ladybird ~$80

Purchase HERE

This seems to be a very popular little quad for starting out. This is very popular because the price point seems to be a bit lower than most mini quadcopters. Check out a more in depth review here

Heli-Max 1SQ ~$100

Purchase HERE

Another great option but it doesn't have quite the high reviews as the others. It also tends to be a little more pricy when you are purchasing it ready to fly. Check out a more in depth review here.

As you can see they all sit right around the same price range. This can fluctuate depending on where you get it from. Just be aware of shipping times as a lot of these little guys come from China and can take weeks to get to you.

Control Techniques

This is the hardest part of learning your new quad. Your left thumb will control the altitude and rotation of the quad while your right thumb will control the forward/back side/side of the quad. Always start on a level surface when taking off. We recommend you jump the quad to a few feet off the ground quickly as there can be some issues with being too close to the ground. It is recommended that you stand directly behind your quad to start off with and from there you can experiment with the controls.

What about this quadcopter...?

There are always new copters coming out but the ones we hear most about are the Parrot AR Drone and the DJI Phantom for your Go Pro. While these are also out of the box quads that are very good, start small and build your way up to them. You will know when you are ready!

Resources

The thing we love about this hobby is the community. We recommend you check out these different sites if you are stuck and someone should be able to help you out!

Reddit Multicopter

RC Groups

Multirotor Forums

FPV Lab

Summary

We are really excited for more people to be quickly joining the community of multi-rotors and are looking forward to seeing how it progresses. If you are a beginner, stick to the quadcopters above and you can't go wrong. We look forward to seeing you in the skies soon!

-Ready Quadcopters Team

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