Recently I purchased the Rapid Fire module for my headset since my La Forge was not really giving my good video feed at my local practice spot. Granted I fly from inside of my truck most of the time because it’s hot and humid in Florida. On average it’s over 93 degrees and super humid which is almost as bad as being in a steam room.
Today I’d like to share my thoughts on how well the rapid-fire performed. It’s worthy to note that if you don’t have the Fatshark HDO’s you will need to mod your FS Goggles. I have the FS Dominators V3’s and I had to basically mod my headset for the module to get the power it needs to work properly. Here is a video tutorial that is perfect for showing you how to mod your FS goggles, all you need to do is bridge the L1 regulator. Some Dominator v3’s that are older have the L1 regulator in a different location than shown in the video, but the same concept from the video applies.
Will My Fatshark’s Work Without The Mod?
There is a ribbon cable provided with the rapid fire which I believe can be used as an alternative solution but the wire will be messy to deal with. You may end up having the wires going from the module to the right side of your goggles like the La Forge setup required. In my opinion, its much cleaner to do the mod so you don’t have to worry about wires being damaged on the outside of your Goggles.
If you don’t mod your Googles the rapid-fire will operate on low power mode which is basically only going to use one band instead of 2 simultaneously. This just means that only one attenae will be getting the video instead of 2 at a time.
Is The Rapid Fire Better Than La Forge?
In my opinion, the La Faforge video receiver combo is not as good as the Rapidfire receiver. With my Rapidfire receiver, I was able to get a really clear video feed while sitting in my truck and flying at my normal spot for practice. Below you can see someone video that is recorded when I had my La Forge set up, then the next video shows the Rapidfire in action at the same location.
La Forge & Diversity Module Combo Video:
Rapid Fire With Mod Video:
I will probably be selling my La Forges for cheap if anyone is interested lol. The proof is in the video quality, I can’t afford not to use the Rapidfire over the Laforge at this point. When you race in a location that is not an ideal RF environment you need to have the best type of video receiver possible. In the videos above I am in a horrible RF environment not only because I’m in my truck, there are also metal fences everywhere, trees blocking my LOS with rain drops and dew all over it, score boards that are metal which I fly behind and more. For me, having exceptional video receivers is a must which is why I bought the Rapidfire.
At a major race, if there is a ground station available, you will probably be better off using that so that if something happens you can contest the race event ground station instead of shooting yourself in the foot and using your own gear. Usually if you use your own video modult you are not allowed to contest anything if you have bad video during a run.
If you’re wondering how to set up smart audio with a Unify HV and the Hobbywing Stack (minus the VTX) then you’re in the right place. I run the Hobbywing Stack and use a unify instead of the VTX that comes with the stack. It’s not that I don’t like the VTX that comes with the Hobbywing Stack, I’m just a creature of habit and I’ve always used the TBS Unify HV as my VTX.
The Soldering Process
Setting up smart audio on this setup is super easy, just split your video wire (the one that goes from your VTX to your Camera) so that you have the video from the camera going to the video in solder pad and the wire from the VTX going to video out solder pad. Then run the audio wire from the Unify to the FC pad that is labeled T6 or TX6. I use a Kraken so I chose to use a 3 pin harness connector to run my video in, video out and Smart Audio cable so I can disconnect my entire pod with my VTX and camera attached. This allows me to open up my quad and work on things with plenty of room. See the screenshots below to follow along with the instructions.
The GUI Changes
After soldering your wires to the appropriate pads, go ahead and plug your FC in via USB and open up Betaflight. You’ll need to do a few things to get your Smart Audio feature to start working. First, click on Ports from the main menu in Betaflight after you’re connected. Then under the UART6 settings, find the drop down all the way to the right and select TBS Smart Audio as shown in the screenshot below. After you’re finished click on save and reboot.
The OSD Menu Process
Now that you’re ready to go, all you need to do is plug in your quad and you can use your remote to access your OSD menu. To pull up your OSD Menu, move your YAW to the center and then all the way left and hold. Then, move your Pitch/Roll stick to the top left corner of your remote. This should allow you to open up your OSD menu and from there you can open up the features options to manage your VTX channels, band and MW settings.
First, select “Features” from the OSD menu, then on VTX SA. Then Select your desired channel, band and power setting then select the option that says “set” in order to execute the changes. Check out the screenshots below which helps illustrate the process.
Now that you know how to setup Smart Audio, you should be able to save time at the races when you join the final race and need to change your channel on the fly. Stay in the pit and change your VTX settings without even getting up, isn’t that awesome?! 🙂 Thanks for reading and please share!
The FPV drone racing sport has been growing and progressing at a staggering rate. In 2014 FPV Drones were not as popular as they are today and there certainly weren’t any big racing leagues around like there are today. In just 2 years, the hobby has reached new heights in popularity. Big names like Swatch, BudLight and even are ESPN sponsoring/hosting race league events like DRL which is now on ESPN annually after starting off on ESPN2 in 2016. Last year in 2017 DRL’s 1st place winner Jet FPV won $100,000 and happened to be the winner of the 2016 DRL race series as well. The opportunity to make money as a racing drone pilot is very real and not as saturated as most other sports. See the video below to learn more about the DRL racing league, the most popular main-stream racing league.
Pilots from all over the world are doing everything that they can to become the next drone racing champion. Some are even quitting their full-time jobs and devoting their lives to becoming a professional racing pilot. With all of the dedication and sacrifice comes an abundance of knowledge when it comes to building, tuning and repairing highly sophisticated (and complicated) race quads. Most pilots have their own local groups and communities that share knowledge with each other and turn to each other for help with they need to do repairs that they have not done before. After a few years of being a competitive pilot, you end up learning how to pretty much fix any drone that is in need of repairs. If not, then you probably won’t last at the competitions because you’ll have a broken quad (unless you’re sponsored and have 10 backups).
FPV Drone Repair Experts
When I first started getting into FPV drones, I had no idea how to fix my RTF quad when I crashed it (Vortex 250 pro). I even hired a local hobby shop that offered repairs on drones for $60 an hour and they had drones piled up waiting to be fixed with a 2-week waiting list. This showed me that there is a true demand for FPV drone repairs on a local level. It took me several years worth of trial, error, and research to really learn how racing drones work.
When pilots become competitive racers, they need to be “one with their quad” for lack of a better phrase. The better you know your quad, the quicker you will be able to troubleshoot and repair your quad before the next heat in a race. As a competitive racer, I know the quads I race with like the back of my palm, I currently have 3 racers that are identically built to spec. Most competitive racers go through the same learning curve and end up possessing a valuable skill set. Being able to repair racing drones is a skill-set that is often taken for granted, many pilots that are just getting into the hobby are happy to pay someone to fix their broken quad or teach them how to fix their quads. This is where Racingdronerepairs.com comes into play.
On our website, we create job opportunities for pilots that want to make their own income as an independent racing drone technician. Why only racing drones and not all drones? Because racing drones and photography drones are completely different and most places that offer drone repairs don’t work on racing/fpv drones. Here on our website, we specialize in offering race quad repairs nationally. You can find local pilots that offer repairs independently and even check out their reviews from past customers. Each pilot has a provider page with a biography, listed FC experience, video, images and more.
How to Make Money Fixing Drones With RDR?
When you sign up to our site as a racing drone repair service provider, you get exposure to search engine traffic and social media traffic that our marketing team generates. We don’t charge you a percentage of your earnings and we don’t handle your payments. We recommend working with Paypal or Cash and making sure to meet in public places just like any service-based platform like Craigslist. You’re at your own risk when dealing with the prospective customers that need repairs, if they sound shady, meet at a public place. There are bad apples in every bunch, even the FPV world.
Our plan is to help FPV drone pilots around the world make some money as either a secondary or primary income source. The owners of RDR have a background in marketing, own a marketing company in Miami and an electric wheelchair store which generates over 2,000 unique visitors per day. They specialize in generating leads online and that is what they are doing with this website. Simply put, if you sign up
We plan to build up this website and eventually offer providers in highly saturated cities the option to pay to be listed as the featured provider for their area. This means that users who want to show up at the top of the list when people search for providers in a certain city will have the option to pay a monthly fee to ensure they’re always listed at the top of the results. We believe that this platform is creating a great opportunity for pilots to earn income in a respectful way and its going to help grow the industry/community which financially fuels advancements in technology.
If you’re interested in becoming a provider for our website, simply contact us by visiting the contact us page or by connecting with us on Facebook.
For some people, having a micro is the only way to get some stick time in their busy neighborhood parking lot or nearby park. Unfortunately, 5-inch quads are sometimes intimidating and too loud to fly in your front or backyard. With micros, you really don’t need to worry because they’re very quiet and likely not going to do too much damage if it hits something. Personally, I never had a micro until I recently purchased the BNF Win2XL by X-hover. Today I’ll share my thoughts on this tiny little 2-inch ripper and tell you what I like and what I don’t like about it.
The Build Quality
The overall build quality is actually really clean. You can buy the kit with all the parts and build it on your own and save around $50 USD but personally, I think it is worth the $50 extra dollars to buy it already built and ready to bind. You can tell that they really put some thought into the way they placed the RX antenna, receiver, and wires. Everything seems to be very durable and protected. The Camera is tucked into the 3d printed pod giving it the needed protection in case you crash nose-first.
The bottom frame seems a little weak and it is a unibody frame instead of having replaceable arms which is a downfall. From what I’ve read on the Xhover site, some people crashed it and broke the arm really easily but I guess that can be done with any drone if you crash it hard enough…
I did have to resolder my JST cables because they were getting frayed at the solder point within the first week of flying it. I also added a capacitor from one of my 4 in 1 escs that I have a bunch of and video seems to be better. Before it had some lines as you can see in the videos below. I am sure they will improve the build as more reviews like this one are made from customers. Build quality IMHO is a solid 9 out of 10.
The tune that it came with was pretty much unusable but I expected that. I had to do some troubleshooting with one of the customer service reps at X-Hover who told me that PID profile 1 is basically the custom tune they send it with and PID profile 2 is stock PIDS. The person I spoke with was really helpful and provided great customer service which is rare these days. Kudos to X-Hover for that. The person I spoke to said that in the PID filters section, I had to change the settings from Bi-Quad to PT1 to get rid of some serious throttle response issues and then tune down the P’s a lot. He was right, it flew much better since then I made some further adjustments. Here are my PIDS that I’m currently using and still finding that it needs more tuning.
Battery duration is definitely an issue with this micro, I bought the recommended Tattu packs (450 mah 3s) and they really only last about 90 seconds if you’re pushing it. I like to race so when I tried hitting the RQ track I basically could only do 1.5 laps, granted, I know that the RQ track is designed for 5 inch quads running 4, 5 and 6 S batteries I just thought I’d share an example that you could relate to. If you fly normally, you probably get about 2 minutes but the pack comes down at below 3.75v per cell. I am going to start looking for bigger batteries that don’t weight much more than the ones I have. I’m trying to find something around 650mah
Overall Thoughts About The Win 2 XL
Overall, I’m really happy with it and my teammate Flip Mode FPV just ordered one so we can start having spec micro races together. I’m pretty sure a few other local pilots ordered them too after watching me rip with mine. Its really fun, the thing moves as fast as a 5 inch quad and can take turns like nothing I’ve ever flown before. You have so much room for error on this thing when you see a tree in front of you full speed you can correct and miss the tree so easily because it’s so damn nimble. Check out the footy below and let me know what you think!
Here are some cool action shots:
So many of you may have already heard about the encounter the FPV Savages team had with a city park ranger that started off sour but ended up sweet as hell. The week before on Wednesday (April 18th), Sonny FPV and I were flying at a different park that was in an area that had a lot of horses. A park ranger showed up who was very polite. The ranger told us to kindly go fly at another park (in the same city) with a big field that is never used.
The same week, we decided to give that recommended location a shot and brought a good amount of gates and flags. We arrived at the spot and we began setting up some gates and flags to get some practice on the 2018 RQ track at some park that was in Davie Florida on a Sunday afternoon. It was on the 4th or 5th pack when the park ranger from hell came out of nowhere and started telling us that we needed to pack up our gates and get out! So, not only were we flying respectfully, with AMA insurance and FAA registration, we were flying at a park that a park ranger recommended to us! Check out this rude, unprofessional city park ranger in the video below.
This tyrannical park ranger came up to us and basically said there is no debating this, we need to go regardless of what any park ranger told us the week before. I tried showing him the state bill/statute that was passed and he basically ignored me and started speaking over me. At that point, I realized he was ignorant and on a power-trip so I told him I’m calling the cops on HIM for harassing us. He told me he was going to call first like a little child and that they would get here faster when he calls LMAO! I patiently waited for the cops, they show up and the park ranger ran up to them as fast as he could to get his side of the story out first. I stood by my truck patiently and waited for him to finish.
After about 20 minutes, the cops came up to me and basically started saying look guys if the park ranger asks you to leave then you have to leave. The officer stated that the issue is the gates and obstacles are not allowed here. I politely rebutted the officer’s statement and said if we were out here with soccer goal posts playing soccer would we be ok? If we’re out here just playing catch with a t-ball post is that? The officer knew where I was going with this, essentially there is no difference between a soccer goal post and our racing obstacles as far as the law is concerned. I showed the officer the state statute that basically says city officials like park rangers or other city entities don’t have the right to regulate what happens in the airspace. The FAA is the only entity that can tell you where or where you can’t fly your drone in Florida. Check this link out and print it if you live in Florida so you can show the park rangers that give you problems. Call the cops if they don’t want to educate themselves on the law. Ignorance to the law is not your problem, if park rangers don’t want to educate themselves on new laws then you should call the cops so that they can help clarify the law to the park ranger.
Unless there is a city ordinance or park rule being violated, this park ranger had no right to tell us to leave. We are tax-paying residents and are allowed to be at a city park as long as we’re not causing problems or putting anyone in danger (which we were not). Ultimately, the cops reasoned with us for a while and realized we were being respectful. We showed the officers the video of the ranger being a jerk and they called the police sargent to get advice on what to do. Ultimately, the police officers kindly told the park ranger that if there isn’t a law stating that we cannot fly drones, they legally don’t have the right to tell us to leave 🙂
This is a huge win for the drone community and I hope that you can all spread the word so pilots that get hassled by city officials know what to do. Keep calm, be polite and stand your ground! Drone for freedom, drone for America!!!
I recently started flying my Tiny Whoops more often and even turned my garage into a whoop-track with all kinds of awesome obstacles. I’ve been tuning and getting a lot of practice but still feel that the brushed motors are underpowered. Don’t get me wrong I love my Tiny Whoop build and Ludacris motors but it still feels like a toy and doesn’t handle like a real quad does on the track. If you think your Tiny Whoop is lacking the power it needs to feel like a real racing drone then you’ll want to keep up with this post.
In this post, I’ll be showing you how to build a complete brushless tiny whoop from start to finish. I took some time to really search for what I believe to be the best parts and believe me it wasn’t easy. With that being said, I’d like to add that there are probably other parts out there by now because let’s face it drone technology advances faster than a cheetah on crack. So with that said, here is the list of the parts that I went with:
- Lumenier Micro Dipole 5.8GHz Antenna (U.FL) $7.99 (GetFPV)
- TBS Tiny Camera $17.95 (GetFPV)
- Lumenier tinyFISH Power Stack F3 16x16mm Flight Controller + 4A 4-in-1 ESC + FrSky Rx $39.99 (Getfpv)
- BETAFPV 0603 16000KV Brushless Motors for 1S Brushless Multirotor Beta65 Pro or BWhoop B06 etc $46.99 (Amazon)
- TBS Unify Nano 5.8 $29.99 (Amazon)
- 2pcs Beta65 Pro Micro Brushless Whoop Frame $8.99 (Amazon)
- BETAFPV 4 Sets 31mm 3-blade Props 1mm Shaft Blue Tool for 0603 Motor $8.99
- BETAFPV 5pcs Tiny Whoop Plastic Canopy Blue and Transpartent for FPV Tiny Whoop Frame $7.99 (Amazon)
I just got the first few parts in the mail and man I am EXCITED to start building soon. As I get more parts I’ll start to add more pictures and finally when I’m ready to build I’ll record in HD. 🙂 Please be sure to follow us on social media to keep up!
Ok so all the parts are in and I’m excited! I can’t believe how tiny everything is, this nano cam and unify combo is awesome. Check out the images below to see just how tiny these components are.
I found out that the RX that’s built into the Tinyfish stack only works with d8 mode on the Taranis when you try to bind. Good to know…