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The RC-Cam.com forum was the very first online community dedicated to the advancement of wireless video cameras on radio controlled (R/C) models. This is now called "FPV" (First Person View). We are proud of the contributions that our members have made to the FPV hobby.

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... so straight-through channels slowly slide over all the channels output by the FY20A

That does make the solution more interesting. You need a magic PIC that reads the throttle servo pulse, waits for the last FY-20A servo pulse to end (whichever one your scope ID's), then uses that as a trigger to send the cloned throttle pulse to the quad's mixer. Or so the arm chair theory goes.


I'm having problems with my FY-20A installation. Half the time when I start a new flight (after the model has rested while the battery recharges), the quad wants to flip over at launch. Really makes takeoffs very exciting. When this problem shows up, and I can get it off the ground, the model is nearly impossible to fly for the first ten seconds, then sort of snaps out of it and starts to work just fine. I thought it had something to do with my case-lectomy, so I re-installed the FY-20A's blue plastic enclosure. That did not help at all. It is really a weird issue.

The other thing that does not seem right is that my FY-20A gain pots can only go one-tick (max) to the left of center, or else the wobble/oscillation is a nuisance. I've tried reducing the gain on the 330X's mixer (I've even zero'd it out), but that does not help. For reference, without the FY-20A I can set the 330X's gain to 45% and I don't see any wobble. I searched around and saw that others are getting two-ticks of FY-20A gain on the 330X-S, with the 330X gain at 20-25%. Even with the 1-tick low gain settings I can say that the FY-20A is working; But if I could increase the gain I expect stability would improve.

Anyone have any advice on these two things?

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I guess the FY20A is only needed to give a tiny correcting adjustment and the main quad gyros do all the propper work so Im not surprised at one click. The flip at launce makes me think it is trying to correct while on the ground not knowing it is not flying, what if you only turn on the FY20A after take off?

A PIC to reorder the pulses sounds quite easy but a shame you need to do it.

Terry

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I guess the FY20A is only needed to give a tiny correcting adjustment and the main quad gyros do all the propper work so Im not surprised at one click.

The one-tick setting may be as good as I will ever achieve, but it is odd that others can use higher settings. Even at one-tick, the wind will cause the Quad to wobble/oscillate, which will be a nuisance once a camera is installed. Having to use lower settings is something I would like to avoid.

On a hunch, I pulled the props off and balanced them again. Unfortunately they were fine, so that idea did not pan out.

The flip at launce makes me think it is trying to correct while on the ground not knowing it is not flying, what if you only turn on the FY20A after take off?

I agree, but something is just odd about it. The big mystery is why I sometimes don't experience the problem. For example, I can get clobbered by it on the first launch, but subsequent landings and takeoffs {during the same flight} are usually not a problem. I've tried remotely turning off the FY-20A during the first take-off and this trick has been inconclusive; Sometimes I think it helps, other times not. I'm still trying to find a pattern to it, which eventually may help me devise the best workaround. Or, I will just get used to the issue and shrug it off like a real man.

A PIC to reorder the pulses sounds quite easy but a shame you need to do it.

A gentleman's rule is that anyone that says something is easy, has to do it. So, tag, you're it! :)

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Success! Fixed one problem, one more to go.

A major ah-ha moment occurred when I went out to continue testing the flip-on-take-off problem. It did not appear, no matter how hard I tried. Looking back, the key to the problem is that it only happens with freshly charged packs; Once a pack has been in use for a short time the problem goes away. At first this was a head scratcher. But, then it all made sense.

Back tracking a bit, another issue that nagged me was that after installing the FY-20A the throttle was not as smooth as before and the lowest speed setting was higher. So that, along with a freshly charged 3S pack, made for very hot throttle starts. Apparently the high starting speed was too much for the FY-20A. From what I experienced, it caused it to go nuts for a moment when the Quad lifted from the ground. Once the model has used the 3S pack for a few seconds, the voltage is reduced to the point that the low throttle speed is much more friendly.

The fix? There's an ESC throttle calibration procedure that sets the throttle's end points. I repeated the throttle calibration with the FY-20A installed and magically that fixed the flip-on-take-off problem. Also, my throttle is much smoother (completely back to normal, like before the FY-20A installation).

By the way, I did a search and there's several 330X users that are experiencing the flip on take-off. But those that solved it (some haven't / gave up) had different solutions than what I needed to do. So be sure to add this simple fix to the to-do list if you run into the issue.

Actually I fixed two problems. The low voltage cutoff issue that causes death slides has been solved using a low voltage alarm beeper. Now I hear a beeping horn before the model falls from the sky. I permanently soldered this one (from my favorite shop :) ) to the battery input cable: http://www.dpcav.com...productid=16380

Now the only thing to improve is the FY-20A gain/wobble problem. Still thinking about that one, need another miracle.

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Perhaps the gain/wobble needs sorting at the Gaui end - adjusting the PIDs if you have access to them. Easy reference (in mangled engineering english) at the end of this manual for the X600D (the next generation after my quad, which has no such adjustments alas).

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That's a cool PID tool. Gaui's mixer only has the traditional gyro gain control (pot or remote gain). I've even tried it turned off and that did not help. Overall, from poking sticks at the problem, the gain oscillation/wobble appears to be from the FY-20A.

To help eliminate the wobble I'm now at about 1/2 tick from center on the FY-20A's three pots. But with those meager pot settings I'm now at minimum gain, hence lowest stability.

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It's easy to imagine a situation in which, given different damping time-constants, the FY20A and the Gaui board constantly fight each other. Without access to these parameters, might seem hopeless until you remember the parameters are trying to model the real physical world (masses oscillating around notional CofGs), so perhaps experimenting with a few weights on the arms, to alter these, might have an effect?

(SO frustrating to not be able to take part in these experiments!)

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I agree, *everything* affects PID tuning. In my case, I'm relying on the gain settings reports from other X330S / FY-20A users. So, my gain observations is based on a apples-to-apples comparison. From what I have read, those that have achieved success on the 330X-S are reporting 1-2 ticks past center on the FY-20A with 330X gain at 20-35%. To prevent wobble oscillations, my FY-20A is at 1/2 tick (past center, CCW) on the three pots and 330X remote gain is at 30% (but any value from 20-40% has the same result).

I'm beginning to think that the gain variations are due to component tolerances of the entire system (from A-Z). Or it could be that the higher gain users are flying in very calm conditions, or have very heavy models (extra payload), which would allow higher FY-20A gains.

At this point I'm just going to shrug it off and enjoy the model. For sure, with the throttle re-cal that was done yesterday, the Quad is absolutely astonishing to fly. The FY-20A makes flying a R/C helicopter 5X easier and is a big confidence builder. For example, I've always been a expert nose-in fellow on the simulator, but never had the balls to do much with my nitro heli's. With the FY-20A on the Quad, nose-in is as nerve free as it gets; Totally painless and stress less.

I'm not a 3D guy; I like lazy sport flying. My end game is to get my Quad flying skills refined and then install the FPV camera system. It seems like a great platform for that, so I'm looking forward to it. And overall, I like the FY-20A enough that I am thinking about selling them! It is a cool gadget and the low cost is simply amazing for what it does.

SO frustrating to not be able to take part in these experiments!)

Doofer, what is the current status of your quad / FY-20A problem? Is it still the weird throttle loss every few seconds, or is it just overall poor throttle behavior? If it is the latter, then that is what was causing me a lot of grief. The recent throttle re-cal (with the FY-20A installed) is what restored proper throttle response and turned a evil machine into a tame kitten. So, keep that trick in mind.

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Status is that I can either have the 'comb' cut out my throttle every 3secs for long enough to make it fall about 20ft each time, or I can adjust the sequence of channels to get brief cuts in throttle a couple of times a second. Either way, not really enough consistency to judge whether the FY20A is doing anything... unless I conclude it's deliberately doing all this, in which case I'm far better off without it! I'm awaiting a response to an inquiry about asynchronous firmware from Xaircraft (who made the X500D), and a similar query on the discussion board at RC Groups that Adrian at Fyetech suggested I should direct queries to - a Mexican stand-off, as Fyetech can blame Xaircraft for not coping with asynchronous inputs, and Xaircraft can blame Fyetech for not providing synchronous outputs. So, realistically, I could wait for Terry to implement his 'easy' synchroniser PIC... or even have a go myself, although I've avoided them so far.

I'm not even certain the FY20A is the solution to my challenge, which is to get sufficient stability in X & Y at height to prevent uncontrollable slides. From what I can see on the web, I should just try a more sophisticated quad board with position lock or somesuch. But I hate to put hardware in the bin unless I have to.

(I'm also building a tricopter, along the DIY 'one heli heading-lock gyro per arm' model. Assuming it flies, I will be able to fit the FY20A to it via a CCPM mixer such as the ACE TG6100M. Okay, in a way I'm getting away from other people's bespoke firmware by such an approach, in another way I'm not. With heading lock gyros $10 a pop on eBay, a cheap approach, tho'....)

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and Xaircraft can blame Fyetech for not providing synchronous outputs.

Personally, as every R/C receiver side device I've ever seen works synchronously, I'd rather blame Fyetech. Seems like a nonsense not to follow what's always been done and hope it works with everything...

When designing something like this, if you want to be sure you output your pulses synchronously with the inputs, and sequentially as many accessories that might be chained afterwards don't like simultaneous incoming pulses.

Edited by Kilrah
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I'm not even certain the FY20A is the solution to my challenge, which is to get sufficient stability in X & Y at height to prevent uncontrollable slides.

If you have determined that your uncontrolled slides are simply a pilot dumb thumb / model orientation problem, and not a intermittent bug in your quad, then you will like the FY-20A.

Basically, when you get disoriented you simply release all the sticks except throttle, and then give it some gas. The quad will level out and not fall from the sky. But if something is wrong with the existing hardware or software, then the extra lipstick will probably not help an ugly pig scenario.

Personally, as every R/C receiver side device I've ever seen works synchronously, I'd rather blame Fyetech. Seems like a nonsense not to follow what's always been done and hope it works with everything...

It would certainly help if they sync'd their frame rate to the Rx's frame rate. It is unfortunate that long established timing requirements (for best success) are ignore by the new R/C developers. They should have asked us. :)

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Interesting - a reply from Xaircraft. They've clearly stepped-up customer services!

"Stuart,

XAircraft X500D adopted PPM asynchronous input. After installing receiver on X500D,connect to PC and poke the joystick.It can be checked out by seeing signal mast graph on PC software if signal lost in about 0.5 second.In that case, framerate can be tested whether it's lost.

As for the slide on the flight, it may be caused by ESC or motor malfunction. It's advised to hold X500D onto the ground, throttle up what you need in the fly, after a while check out the four motors' temperature whether is the same as well as the output power.What's more, throttle signal is transmitted after attitudes calculated by flight control algorithm to ESC rather than straightly to. Asynchronous phenomena on your X500D will be probably caused by ESC or motor failure."

I think they are saying the X500D can accept asynchronous inputs. The PC software they refer to is clearly something different from that supplied to me.

As for the slide comment, I think they are confusing with sudden slides at low altitude (ESC overheating) with slow, un-recoverable slides at altitude. It's the latter I seek a solution to; I guess GPS position lock would have the same effect as the (reputedly highly-sensitive) FY20A linear accelerometers.

However, they're talking! I will ask for the PC software they're talking about, and if there have been firmware updates.

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Just a follow up to my 330X-S and FY-20A, all I can say is that this combination is awesome. In just a few days I have improved my stick skills beyond what I achieved in 4-years with my .30 size heli's.

Long story short, it's a blast to fly. Highly recommended for those of you that were frustrated with traditional R/C heli's and want a second chance. :)

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Hello group,

I'm brand new here and I'm a total beginer in rc-heli hobby space, so please bare with my potentially stupid questions. I promise to learn fast! :-)

I don't own the quad yet. But I'm a photographer (in Hong Kong) and my goal is to get into aerial photography using Quad/hexo Rotor R/C heli.

I'm doing research now on what I need to buy to get into it. I've seen quite a few projects that use quads and octo and hexa helis and trying to figure out which kit to buy. I'm looking for good advice and will really appreciate your input guys.

Here is what I want to be able to do eventually:

I don't plan to do 3D tricks. All I want is a VERY stable platform that has lots of lift that can fly initially my GoPro HD camera , but eventually, I want to be able to fly a Canon 550D or 5D Mark II . I'd like to be able to do FPV flying so that I can see what I'm shooting. want to be able to control the tilt/pan of the camera from my transmitter. have a live feed of video and have a capability of remotely press the shutter on the camera to take a photo. Cost of the platform is important, but I can afford to spend more then $399 (price of 330x-s ) if for that money I get the extra stability and safety of the platform such as "come home gps" functionality when battery is low. hold the GPS position so that I can focus on shooting, fly a pre-programmed route by gps way-points, emergency auto-landing by platform if it detects some issues, etc.

Basically anything to protect the platform and make it easy to fly it is a plus.

With these requirements I'm looking for some advice in the following areas:

1. What platform to buy? (I'm thinking to spend up to $1500 USD on a platform at this point). I saw that MK cost a lot more. :-(

2. What is the best way to learn to fly? (which RC-simulator do I need to learn to fly quads? ) None of the commercial ones seem to have quads as part of their models.

3. RemoteAfrican, did you learn to fly on simulator first? or just starting flying GAUI right away? Will a person with almost zero experience flying rc models be able to fly the real platform?

4. MikroKopter vs GAUI vs other platforms. Where can I find a write-up on this topic? features of the platform vs cost vs ease of use. etc.? Or maybe somebody write a bit on this topic?

5. Why MicroKopter so expensive? Is it because it has so many features that others don't and it is better quality and you get what you pay for? or can one achieve almost the same functionality with platform like GAUI by adding some additional components like FY-20A/ FY-90Q ?

6. I guess I can start with a cheaper platform to learn to fly and then progress to a more expensive one. I'm looking for advice on such progression.

Are there any serious photographers on this forum who use these quads to fly expensive cameras? A quad going out of control and death-spiraling is not something I'd like to have to deal with when flying a Canon DSLR which costs $$$.

7. GAUI: Does anybody know if GAUI plan to release a new/updated better version of the Quad? I read on this forum about issues with 330x-s. About them falling out of the sky and losing control. I'm sure they are working to make a better version of the platform. Should I wait for next version? Any rumors on if such platform is coming up?

8. What are other platforms out there that are affordable and maybe best suited for photography? (Again, I"m not looking for advanced 3D tricks, but rather stability and lift and integration with camera housing that will allow for best photography options.

9. I went to an RC store today and they sold me a a Futaba 2.4G T10CHG transmitter/receiver pair. Is this a good model for what I described above?

It seems to be a very good device. it has 10 channels, but strangely enough a receiver that came with it only has 8 channels and only receive digital servo's . Is this normal? This is the one I bought: http://www.gpdealera.com/cgi-bin/wgainf100p.pgm?I=FUTK9256

They also gave me XTR flight simulator to fly with the above controller. But the version of the software is 2005! Definitely not the latest version.

I tried to find a later version of this simulator, but can't find anything.

Should I just buy Real Flight? or phoenix? What confuses me is these programs do not have quads or hexo platforms. How am I supposed to learn a quad when there is no simulation software for it? would hate to crash a new quad if I buy one. Also, do these simulators allow you to fly with your own controller? or you have to use a plastic USB controller that they sell with software?

Thanks to everybody for any advice. I think I'm going to be hooked on this very soon :-)

-Regards,

-DA.

Hi Rc-Cam

I am a photographer based in Zambia and fairly new to R/C but excited to see your progress with installing the FY-20A on the 330xs. After flying a cp3 for a few weeks for fun I came across the 330xs and ordered it to see what I could do with it photographically. I finally received it last week (after being nailed 80% customs and duty!!!!)

I finished building it over the weekend and used the aero-conversion kit to provide a camera platform. Its been flying great so far (after some initial difficulty understanding how to calibrate the ESCs). Once I add the fairly substantial weight of the camera and battery beneath the baseplate though, achieving a level hover is rather more difficult, especially in any sort of wind. The other day I was hovering at about 100ft when it suddenly flipped on its back and came down like a stone. I managed to right it (by pure luck) just before it hit the grass and the cf legs took the impact and bounced it upside down. Amazingly no damage at all to the 330 but I had to sit down and have a smoke. I still have no idea what caused it as it seems to be flying fine again now...

Anyway, would love to hear more of your experience with the FY-20A as it seems it would be ideal for what I want to achieve with the 330.

Here's a couple pics of it with the aero-conversion kit mounted with GoProHD cam and cf legs.

cheers

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Learning to fly a model helicopter of any type is a long process. The learning curve is steep and good control requires more practice time than many folks can give it. For professional photography, the pilot has to be better than the usual hack at the sticks.

My advice is to use any of the popular R/C simulators and practice with the sport heli models in its library. The models do not need to be quads (any sport heli will do). Then practice, practice, and practice some more. Once you can hover (including nose-in) and comfortable fly forward flight you will be prepared for the real deal. While you practice on the simulator, continue your hunt for your dream quad platform. The rcgroups.com forum has endless discussions on all the quad models, so that is a great place to gather useful information.

If you can't fly in the sim, you'll just destroy your camera ship investment on the first couple flights. Long story short, start with the R/C simulator and don't spend a dime on anything else until you are good on it.

GAUI: Does anybody know if GAUI plan to release a new/updated better version of the Quad? I read on this forum about issues with 330x-s. About them falling out of the sky and losing control. I'm sure they are working to make a better version of the platform. Should I wait for next version? Any rumors on if such platform is coming up?

The 330X-S is the "next" version; it was recently released and has the latest improvements. Like just about everything else, it will fall out of the sky if you dumb thumb it or let the batteries discharge too low. It's a nice model for the money, but it is smaller than some of the other quads. You will need to determine your payload weight then choose a model that can safely handle the camera gear it needs to carry.


Doofer, any progress on your Quad / FY-20A integration software fixes?

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Hi Heliphoto

I started out last year with pretty much the same criteria that you have. I am a commercial photographer, and wanted a stable quad to take high-res aerial pictures for clients using my high-end DSLRs (Nikon D3s and D3). My research last year led me to the very pretty Draganflyer X6 out of Canada which is a tri-copter with all the features I wanted, FPV, telemetry, controllable cam-platform, GPS hold, base station etc. etc. (google 'draganflyer x6' to see their website) BUT it only has a payload of 500g - not enough for high-end DSLRs and with a price-tag of close on $20k all in!!! A few days ago the X8 (a quad) was announced with all the same (and some improved) features but a payload of 1000g so this would be more workable for what we want to do - but again, I'd need to mortgage my house to get my hands on one, and it still couldn't carry a D3s + lens attached. Pricing hasn't been released yet (as far as I know) but I assume it will be >$20k. Double that for me, with import duties/insurance/shipping and it becomes one heck of an expensive machine. There are also a bunch of legal issues you'd need to look at depending on where you live regarding altitude ceiling and frequency licensing.

Soo.. I decided to leave it for a while and see what else I could lay my hands on to get into flying as a start. As Mr.RC-Cam rightly says, there is a steep learning curve to flying helis and I am still fairly close to the bottom of it. I've only been flying for a few months now, as getting the kit out to Africa is crazy expensive. I started out with a regular heli (the HB-CP3) which is a twitchy machine and difficult to fly well. I found RADDs training course though after a few expensive crashes and am getting slowly more confident with time. I would very definitely recommend using a sim first though - I just used the free FMS sim, which while not great, is perfectly adequate for learning basic orientation which is (to me anyway) the most difficult part of it, once your up and flying well.

I then came across the Gaui 330x but read such dreadful reviews online that I decided against it until I found they had released an upgraded version (330xs). I went ahead and got it, paying around $1,500 to get it, tx&rx, batteries and mods to Africa. I built it over a weekend, and had trouble calibrating the ESCs at first (the manual is the usual badly translated Chinese) but once I had that sorted, I am extremely happy with it! The 330xs can handle a 700g payload (incl. pack) which is impressive for it's tiny size, however flying time is obviously limited at max payload capacity. I am currently carrying approx. 400g (CF camera platform, CF legs, 2200mah pack and the GoProHD (without it's case to shave off another 100g) and get about 8 minutes of aggressive flight on a pack. I am looking for a suitable FPV system now and plan to install the FY-20A after reading about Mr. RC-Cam's success with it. The gyro on the 330xs does a fairly commendable job of keeping it stable, as long as you have your centre of gravity sorted and little wind, but gusts at altitude still cause me heart-attacks so I would like a bit more stability and peace of mind. Extremely important to watch your voltage on the 330xs as one motor will cut out before the others with predictable results (I had no idea what had caused this until Mr.RC-Cam pointed it out). That being said I have found the 330xs to be very tough - I have had 2 crashes from high altitude, one due to low-voltage and one from a sparrow-hawk attacking it! I panicked, dumb-thumbed and down it came from about 100ft - one rotor popped off on impact but no damage at all and I was flying again a couple of minutes later. Sadly due to the goproHD's extreme wide angle the footage was rather less dramatic than it looked from the ground. Will post a link soon!

Sorry to ramble on a bit - to sum up - for me the 330xs is a great affordable tough little quad and once I have FPV installed I should be able to get some decent shots using a higher end point and shoot cam but for now I am just enjoying the learning process, flying, repairing and building. It's a fantastic hobby though your wife/kids/wallet will more than likely disagree! I am still researching other options to achieve want I want to with the photography side of it, but I realize this is going to take a while and most likely be rather expensive. Whatever I eventually try though, will have to be as safe as possible before I strap on more than $5000 of my treasured camera gear!

Good luck mate and let me know if you have any questions.

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I don't plan to do 3D tricks. All I want is a VERY stable platform that has lots of lift that can fly initially my GoPro HD camera , but eventually, I want to be able to fly a Canon 550D or 5D Mark II .

Those are 2 very different things. Any quad will lift your gopro, but for the DSLR you'll need something much more beefy. I'd personally recommend an octo MK. Payload is 1 to 1.5kg, the platform is quite proven, and price is nowhere near a draganflyer. The basic parts kit with camera mount can cost you around $2-2.5k if you're up for doing a fair bit of learning and assembling, otherwise aim for twice that for a ready to fly machine.

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  • 1 month later...

My Gaui 330X-S / FY-20A is still making me smile. I have about 20 stick hours on it so far. Such a cool model!

Regarding the FY-20A gain settings, I'm still using very low gains. I can increase the FY20A's gains with heavy payloads, but I've just decided to live with the lower gain settings.

The makers of the FY-20A recently released the FY-90Q quad stabilizer. I was going to try it, but have decided to wait for the FY-91Q GPS enabled Quad stabilizer with RTH and altitude hold. Anyone have any pre-production experience with a beta unit?

By the way, the Fyetech company site does not have any info on the FY-91Q. But here is a retailer that is advertising it:

http://www.nemhobby....son-p32844.html

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Hey RC-Cam

I'm still really enjoying the 330xs too. I have just built a 450 size frame for it and transferred the electronics / motors onto it over the weekend. Also attached large cf landing gear (meant for a 650 size heli). It flies great, but with (obviously) reduced flight time due to all the extra weight - think I might lose the landing gear in the near future, but it does make it look like it means business!! It seems more stable now though, got to install my FPV kit onto it today and I'll try and get out of town soon do some higher altitude fpv. My first full FPV flight (on the old frame) resulted in a fairly violent crash and some serious nausea! Man, it's so much more difficult than I imagined, extremely disorientating. I am also waiting to get my hands on an OSD module which I hope will help a little. I am also disappointed with the quality of the FPV cam I have - I am thinking of using my GoPro HD instead, although I will need to make up suitable cable for it first to plug into the TX.

I still can't decide whether to get an FY20A or to wait for the 90/91Q.

I have now had 4 crashes with this thing over the last couple months (all my own fault) that would have totaled any of my regular helis - each time I have been flying again, soon after with a spot of CA or re-attaching a prop. It is, in my opinion anyway, an incredibly resilient machine.

Will post some pictures of it later today if anyone is interested.

Cheers

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I still can't decide whether to get an FY20A or to wait for the 90/91Q.

If you are ready to use it then get a FY20A now. It will allow you to concentrate on taking pictures and perhaps save you when piloting mistakes occur. Then in a few months swap it out with a FY90Q or 91Q after their designs are fully debugged by the early adopters.

I have now had 4 crashes with this thing over the last couple months (all my own fault) that would have totaled any of my regular helis

I haven't crashed my Quad yet but I had crashed nitro heli's many times. Always wallet busters since they would beat themselves into a twisted pile of broken parts. Repairs costs were one of the big reasons I stopped flying them. Quads seem to be more forgiving in this area, but I don't want to test that out.

Will post some pictures of it later today if anyone is interested.

Of course we want to see photos. :)

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