BEGINNER GUIDE SERIES

A GUIDE TO FPV FOR BEGINNERS

INTRODUCTION

This is it, your first step into the world of FPV. Your excitement is probably overflowing right now! If not, then you should start getting excited because it’s going to be one heck of an experience!

To start off with, let’s give you some background on what FPV Flying is and get you even more excited with on-board footage of 2 world-class Pilots, Charpu and Willard FPV.

Amazing, right?

Now that you know a little more about what FPV Flying is, let’s Subscribe to the FPV Academy and GetFPV YouTube channels so that you won’t miss out on any new videos we upload!

Once you have Subscribed, we can move on to Step 2!

You may be wondering how these amazing quadcopters can fly like that? Some say that the technology was leaked from a Top Secret U.S. Military facility… or… maybe not.

Jokes aside, these quadcopters have some of the latest technology equipped. The hardware for these Mini-Quads are advancing at an extremely rapid rate. Companies release new products almost on a monthly basis! This makes it extremely exciting to be in this sport.

In this video, we’ll go over all the hardware that an FPV Quadcopter consists out of. At the time of releasing this video (January 2017), these components are the base components for most FPV Quadcopter builds. There is a good chance we might have to update this video in January 2018 since the hardware will be so advanced and this video might be outdated by then.

Wow, that was quite a lot of information to take in! If you are still unsure about all the components, we would recommend that you come back after a few hours and watch the video again. It’s quite simple once you have a better understanding of it.

Now that you know a lot more about what FPV flying is and all the components that a Quadcopter consists out of, let’s move on to the next step and Introduce you to the FPV Academy Platform!

We’re making really quick progress! At this rate you’ll be an FPV All-star in no time. No, that is not meant to be a “cheesy” line, but an actual serious one. Great stuff!

So now that you have a much better understanding of everything FPV, it’s time to introduce you to the (…drum roll please…) FPV Academy Platform!

This “platform” took us months to put together into a single, actionable series which will allow all pilots to somewhere somehow improve their skills, whether you are a complete beginner (such as yourself) or a world-class pilot.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the FPV Academy Platform, showing you what we’ll be doing in the next parts of this Beginner Guide all the way to the Advanced How-to Fly FPV Videos.

FPV Academy Platform… You might be thinking: “Hmmm…” At this point you are really annoyed by Jack or ready to purchase your first quadcopter. We’re hoping it’s the latter!

Let’s move on to the next step to purchase your first quadcopter.

This is it… The moment you have been waiting for. You are going to purchase your first quadcopter! Or at least, you should be purchasing one now if you want to go to Step 5 of this series. If you don’t have the funds to get into FPV at this exact moment, that is not a problem at all, the Micro FPV Quadcopter Kit which we talk about in this video below will be a great, affordable start into your FPV journey!

If you can afford to purchase an FPV Quadcopter right now, let’s get to it!

DISCLAIMER: The FPV Quadcopters that we talk about in this video are our personal recommendations. We have tried and tested these quadcopters numerous times and we have been extremely happy with the results.

Great! Let’s move on to Step 4b where we’ll talk more about your options for buying a quadcopter.

This is the final Step for the Introduction section; the most important Step too! There’s no video for this section, but it’s important that we go over all your options and make sure that you purchase right the first time. This section is quite lenghty, but please take the time to read through this thoroughly.

 

Firstly, there are 3 options available to you:

  1. If you already own a non-FPV Quadcopter and want to get into FPV Flying without purchasing a brand new setup, then you can skip forward to Step 6 right now.
  2. If you want to “try-out” FPV Flying and see if it’s something that you enjoy, we would recommend getting started on a “Tiny Whoop”.
  3. If you just want to get straight into flying a proper FPV Quad, we would recommend grabbing the Multi-Purpose FPV Quadcopter bundle.

If you can not afford any of these kits right now, then we would definitely recommend saving up until you can.

 

Let’s get serious for a minute… There are many stores which sell cheap “knockoffs” and clones in FPV Quadcopter gear. Some of this gear will allow you to have a full FPV Setup for around $350. You might think: “Hey, this is great, I get to try out FPV Flying without spending a lot”. This is not true. These cheap knockoffs may be exact copies of the more professional quadcopters to the naked eye, but when you look closer you’ll see that all Frames, ESC’s, Flight Controllers, Motors etc are made out of materials which are complete and utter… well… crap. These parts will NOT last you very long at all. We have a saying: “Buy cheap, buy twice.” This is the exact case with purchasing cheap knockoffs. One crash and the chances you break something is extremely high, then you just have to replace that part anyway…

Next, not only do cheap knockoffs break easily, the companies that copy the original design do so without the original manufacturers consent. This means that the original manufacturer spent thousands of $$$ and days of time on developing a product. When we purchase the cheap knockoff version, the original manufacturer loses a sale and in return generates less profit to reinvest in developing newer, groundbreaking components. It really hurts the industry as a whole.

With all of that said, the decision remains yours!

 

If you do not have enough funds to purchase a complete FPV Quadcopter at this time, then we would handsdown recommend the Blade Inductrix RTF FPV Bundle with additional batteries and charger. This will be extremely fun to fly around indoors. Fly that for a while and start saving up for the real deal!

Once you can afford a “real” FPV Quadcopter, we would definitely recommend the Multi Purpose Quadcopter kit. This is the exact quadcopter which we will be building in the next steps. Again, the decision remains yours to purchase whichever FPV Quadcopter you like, however, by purchasing the Mulit-Purpose Quadcopter kit you will be able to follow the build-along video and additional support videos. These videos will teach you almost everything that you need to know to build your first quadcopter. This quadcopter is also the EXACT same quadcopter which Jack will be using to film all the FPV Academy Videos. All the How-to Fly FPV videos that you’ll be watching later on will be recorded with this exact same quadcopter. Jack will also be using this exact quadcopter at International FPV Races for the 2017 Racing Season, so you can be assured that this quad is built to race and last!

If you would rather want to have do all the research yourself to order your first parts (which are hopefully compatible) and then build it (without any real guide) then by all means, go ahead and give it a shot! It’s an extremely fun undertaking but can get difficult at times. When you’re struggling, just remember that we were all there once before and that the FPV Academy Premium Pilot Support Program is here to help, should you need it. Also, remember to purchase all the parts for your quad; you don’t want to find out you’re missing a part when you start building and have to wait a few days to carry on! If you forgot which parts you need, watch the video in Step 2 again. If you do prefer to go this route instead, then skip to Step 11 right now. Good luck!

 

If you’re ready to purchase either the Micro FPV Bundle or Multi-Purpose FPV Bundle, then let’s elaborate on that.

The Micro FPV Kit has everything that you need, however, we would recommend adding an additional charger and 6x High-Performance batteries.

The Multi-Purpose FPV Bundle has everything that you need too! Just make sure that you have the following components selected when you add it to your cart:

 

1x Frame

4x Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC)

1x Power Distribution Board (PDB)

1x Flight Controller (FC)

4x Motors

1x FPV Transmitter (VTX)

1x FPV Camera

1x Antennas

1x Battery Strap

3x Sets of Propellers (at least 3 sets)

 

That’s everything that you need for the quadcopter. You also need the following gear:

 

1x Radio

1x Radio Receiver

1x Goggles

4x Batteries (We recommend at least 4 batteries)

1x LiPo Safe Bag

1x Low Battery Alarm

1x Battery Charger (Not needed if you already bought one with the Micro FPV Kit)

 

These are all the necessities for a brand new FPV Setup! The products also have a “Purchasing Guidelines” section on the product page at the links below, should you need more information when purchasing your quad!

Happy shopping!

Once you have the Multi-Purpose Quadcopter kit, it’s time to move on to Step 5.

BUILD-ALONG

We’re ready to start building. Before we build though, you need a few tools! These are available at most good Hardware Stores. There is a list below the video which you can copy and paste for when you go to the store. You might want to buy some flowers while you’re at it, your partner won’t be seeing you for a while once you start building.

List of tools:

– HIGH QUALITY Soldering Iron
– Solder Sucker
– 60/40 Solder
– Glue Gun
– HIGH QUALITY Hex Key set (You only really need 2mm and 2.5mm)
– Heat Shrink
– Lighter
– Scissors
– Electrical Tape
– Cable ties
– Prestick (or Blu-Tack)
– Double-sided Tape
– Silicon wire (22AWG for signal and 5v wires, 18AWG for ESC’s and 14AWG for XT60)
– Tweezers
– 8mm Spanner / Shifting Spanner
– (Not necessary) Digital Caliper
– (Not necessary) Multimeter
– (Not necessary) Box of quad hardware which you’ll collect over time

Once you have these tools, we can start the build! Skip Step 6 and go straight into Step 7.1!

ONLY DO THIS STEP if you already own a non-FPV Quadcopter and you want to convert it into an FPV Quadcopter. If this is not you, then move on to Step 7.1. Don’t even read the next line!

Okay, so now that we have 95% of the guys on the next step, we can finally tell you all of our secrets to flying FPV like an animal…

Not really. We should really stop with these lame jokes.

Anyway. Let’s convert your existing quadcopter into an FPV Quadcopter! Follow the instructions in the video below!

See? Any quadcopter can be turned into an FPV Quadcopter. Once you have the FPV Setup and you realise that your quad is maybe not such a great FPV Quadcopter as you had hoped, we would recommend you go over step 4.2 again.

If you are happy with how your quadcopter turned out then move on and skip to Step 8a, 8b or 8c (depending on which Goggles you Purchased with your Bundle).

By now your fingers are most probably fidgeting with everything. We are finally building the Quadcopter! This is a long video, about 1 hour, but the idea is that you have everything setup and ready to build as you are watching this video. Pause, rewind, rewatch, do whatever you need to do to understand how to build your quadcopter. If you would like to jump to a certain section in the video, there is an index that starts at about 1 minute in which last for 10 seconds. Click on the block to skip to that part.

Finally, if you run into any trouble and need help asap, consider joining the Pilot Support Program. We’ll have a professional helping you out in no time. Happy building!

YOU DID IT! High five.

Your first FPV Quadcopter. PLEASE send us a picture of your completed Quad via Facebook Messenger or Instagram. We would love to feature it on our Social Media pages.

Next, let’s setup everything technical. Head over to Step 7.2!

Let’s move on to the technical side of building your Quadcopter. Building your quadcopter is half of the job done, setting it up correctly to fly the way you want it to is the other half.

Let’s get right into it!

Downloads:

Betaflight Configurator

BlHeli Configurator

Betaflight Firmware

 

Almost… there…

One more step and you’ll have a flying quad!

Let’s head over to Step 7.3

The final Step to having a Flying Quadcopter!

We must confess though, this specific step could have been part of 7.1 and 7.2, however, we put it at the end so that we can have the flexibility to swop out the Radio Receiver to a different one if we do find a better radio receiver or radio for thesse bundles (which is highly unlikely, but a possibility). Also, some aspiring pilots that are watching this series may already have a different radio which requires a different receiver, so this video is only applicable if you purchased this bundle with the Taranis Radio and X4R receiver.

Let’s do it!

BOOMCHAKALAKA!

You have a flying quadcopter, that actually flies, which YOU built, from scratch. Just let that sink in for a moment…

Seriously, take a step back, look at it and think about what you just did. Amazing right?

Building an FPV Quad is only where the fun begins! Now it’s time to fly that machine of yours.

First though, let’s finish with a last few things that you need to know before you go out and fly. Let’s head on over to the Support Videos in the next Steps. Depending on which Goggles you purchased, select either Step 8a, 8b or 8c.

BUILD-ALONG SUPPORT

Ahh, you bought the Fat Shark Goggles? Very nice! We personally fly these goggles and they are amazing.

Let’s show you how to set them up!

Once you have your goggles set up, let’s head over to Step 9 to set your Goggles and Quadcopter on the same frequency.

Ahh, you bought the Headplay Goggles? Great choice! It’s a really nice mid-range Goggle.

Let’s show you how to set them up!

Once you have your goggles set up, let’s head over to Step 9 to set your Goggles and Quadcopter on the same frequency.

Ahh, you bought the Marvel Vision Goggles? You will not regret it. While these goggles are very cheap compared to others, they definitely pack a punch! We would recommend these over and over.

Let’s show you how to set them up!

Once you have your goggles set up, let’s head over to Step 9 to set your Goggles and Quadcopter on the same frequency.

This is fairly straight forward. Just remember to keep your frequency charts with you when you want to go out and fly with other Pilots!

The final actionable step is up next! Let’s learn how to charge your batteries. Move on to Step 10.

You have reached the end of the tunnel. After this final video, there is nothing more we can share with you as a Beginner in terms of building your quadcopter and “getting into” the hobby. After this, the flying fun begins!

What are you waiting for? Let’s start with the flying already!

The next 2 steps will familiarise you with How the training videos work and also what you may need if you want to practice these exercises and drills at your local field.

FPV FLYING TUTORIAL VIDEOS

The next series of videos you’ll most likely be following closely is the How-to Fly FPV series where we teach you everything that you need to know to fly your FPV Quadcopter. This video will help explain how it works.

The final step for this page is up next.

If you have the budget to purchase dedicated FPV Practice Equipment, then we would definitely recommend it purely because of the easy of use, quality and fun when flying. If not, then homemade gear would work just as well.

In this video Jack will be giving you breakdown of what the FPV Academy Practice Bundle consists out of.

CONGRATULATIONS!

You have completed the entire Beginners Guide Series! We hope that you enjoyed building your first quad and are super excited to start your flying journey. Keep us in the loop on your progress by tagging us in your posts. We’d love to keep track of your progress!