get started drone racing

How to get started drone racing

So you want to get started drone racing?

While the pros are generally making custom-built drones, it’s easy to get started with ready to fly drones (including those first-person-view FPV goggles) for under $500 before you commit to your own build.

blade nano qx2 drone racing gear horizon hobbyThere are 3 items you’ll need:

  • An RC transmitter
  • FPV Goggles
  • The Drone!

Here’s what I’m using:

Drone: Blade Nano QX2 FPV BNF

Blade Nano QX2 FPV BNF horizon hobby

Transmitter: You’ll need your own DSMX transmitter. I used the Spektrum 1000 DXe Transmitter System which worked out great and was easy to bind.

Spektrum 1000 DXe Transmitter SystemHeadset: I used the Teleporter V4, which was developed by Fat Shark exclusively for Horizon Hobby.

fat shark

Set up:

You charge the drone’s battery through a USB port and the Fat Sharks through a wall outlet. Then, you bind the transmitter to the drone — a quick process of waiting for lights to blink, then pressing the “bind” button while turning on the receiver. Then, since the drone is headset ready, you just power on the Fat Sharks, find the channel your drone is on (up to seven 5.8GHz FPV systems can be flown at one time), and you’re good to go.

_MG_1276

How to practice flying FPV:

  • While typically I would recommend you fly drones outdoors to be as safe as possible, this one is definitely better of flying indoors.
  • The prop guards will protect your walls from scratches and the  drone is light enough that even if you feel like you’re going to crash, you can drop it to the ground and it won’t damage the drone.
  • Flying indoors also means not having to worry about weather (even slight wind can make a difference), as well as following FAA rules.blade nano qx2 fpv drone racing

Tips to get started drone racing:

  • Make obstacle courses for yourself. It can be as simple as flying between your door frame, from one room to another. Then upgrade the obstacles — maybe it’s flying underneath the legs of a table, or if you’re feeling advanced, the legs of your chair.
  • In that same vein, plan out your route ahead of time. You may not have a fancy, LED-lit racetrack in your house, but you can plan a “track” to follow
  • Make sure your goggles are secure. They should be loose enough that you don’t feel like they’ll give you a headache, but tight enough that you can move your head freely.
  • No flying in reverse! This may seem obvious, but it’s worth saying — the camera is only in front of the drone, so keep flying forwards at all time.
  • Bring a spotter. This is not as necessary indoors, but if you do head outdoors — always bring a spotter so you’re aware of your surroundings while the goggles are on.

fat shark fpv goggles drone girl

Happy flying!

2 thoughts on “How to get started drone racing”

  1. That’s a pretty good and cheap setup for a first timer flyer. One thing to keep in mind for first time flyers is that the resolution is 320 X 240. So, you aren’t going to have HD. However, upgrading to HD goggles can put you in the $500 price range. So
    maybe start with these, and sell them on ebay if you want to upgrade later. Also, video in the 5.8 range is great to prevent interference with other channels and faster data rate. But 2.4 is better for longer distances and transmission through objects. Good post!

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