FPV Quadcopter Build Update

Well… My first quadcopter build that I’ve, for some reason, named the Gecko, isn’t coming along well. But it will come as soon as it actually works right. A list of problems:

1. It doesn’t fly for more than 3 minutes.

2. Something happened (a sudden increase in current draw from motors?) that caused it to lose power and crash. I replaced motors to slightly slower ones, but I haven’t pushed it as far as I did when it crashed yet. 

3. Even with short flight times, it uses a 700-800 mAH battery.


I am currently trying to fix these problems so I can post a build guid soon. Thanks for reading umFlight! 

Blade Nano QX 3D First Look

Two days late, but I *definitely* had a good reason. (Full disclosure: I kept pushing the posting of this post back.) 

As I opened the box of the new Blade Nano QX 3D, I wondered how it would compare to the original NQX. If flying upside down when the quadcopter always looked half way upside down would be any fun. Or if I would put it to the side and fly the original NQX around the room. 

I bound my DX6 to it and flew it. WOW! It almost feels like it has brushless motors compared to the original, and I had to constantly remind myself that they were brushed! In intermediate mode and beginner mode, I had lots of fun pushing the right stick on my DX6 all the way forward and zooming around the (thankfully) large living room. It is durable; after a high-speed crash after attempting a flip, I only broke the motor mount/blade guard. $9 and I was in the air again. (Note that it still flew after the crash. It just had a bad vibration.)

Look for a full review next Sunday or maybe the Sunday after. Thanks for reading! Enjoy, comment, subscribe, and share…

Nano QX DX6 Settings

When my new Nano QX came in a few weeks ago, there were no instructions for programming it with the DX6. If I just made a new model (airplane), the NQX worked, but there was no agility mode. Read on to find out how I set it up.

After browsing, I saw some DX9 settings on RCGroups (link: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2035286). I decided to modify them slightly to my needs and they worked perfectly! Note that these setting also should work for the new DX7, DX9, DX18 v2, and DX18 Stealth Edition as well as the DX6. Here they are:

Servo Setup: AUX1: Reverse; Everything else: Normal

System Setup>channel assign> next>: change AUX 1 to C

(This selects the switch that you switch between Stability and Agility modes on. I wanted to use the C switch to change from Stability to Agility. Use any switch you want. For example, if you want to switch from Stability mode to Agility mode using the B switch, change it to AUX1: D instead of AUX1: C. Personal preference.)

However, as mentioned later in the thread, the DX18 settings in the manual work. I think that I did something wrong when I tried those ones first and they didn’t work… (Quick note: DX18, DX9, DX7, and DX6 programming is the same except for the loss of channels.)

Thanks for reading umFlight. If you liked this post, please share, subscribe over in the sidebar, and leave a comment. New post next Sunday!

RO 6: Do You Prefer Quadcopters or Planes for FPV?

Firstly, I’m going to be adding a brief description about Reader’s Opinion to the top of this RO and future Reader’s Opinions. The description is copied and pasted from my original introduction to Reader’s Opinion.

Here’s how it will work: The second Sunday of every month, I will post a question. Then readers can write their opinion in the comments.

Reader’s Opinion 6:

Do you prefer quadcopters of planes for FPV?

I still prefer quadcopters, but I will give planes an other try with a working camera soon.

Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, please subscribe to umFlight. What do you prefer for FPV? Vote in the poll or leave a comment!

FPV Planes vs Quadcopters: Which is the Better First FPV Aircraft? (Part 2)

Warning: you should be VERY proficient at flying RC planes normally before attempting to fly an RC plane via FPV. If you are going to fly FPV quadcopters, you should be proficient at flying quads normally before attempting to fly a quad copter via FPV.


I’m going to go against what several others say and recommend that you start with a quadcopter. A quadcopter, in my opinion, is best for learning FPV because it can hover and fly slowly as you get used to the new perspective.

Hovering allows you to fly up to a area with no obstacles and just sit there and hover and look around, getting used to the new perspective. Also, you can stop and hover later in the learning curve if you start to lose control.

Flying slowly allows you to slowly start moving. Move forward a bit. Hover. Move forward a bit. This allows your brain (or at least mine!) to get used to the brand new perspective slowly. Then, when you’re ready, you can start moving the quadcopter faster and faster.

But Which Quadcopter?


Well, since this is a blog about UM aircraft, I’m going to recommend a UM quadcopter to start on. I started on the FPV Nano QX. Yes, flight times are short (I got up to three minutes), but it’s durable and small enough to find a large room, go up 7-ish feet, hover, and slowly start moving it.


Thanks for reading part 2, and I hope it helped you choose a first FPV aircraft. Reader’s Opinion will be out at 5 AM next Sunday, so stay tuned!