So you have finally decided to give drone racing a try, but have you given a thought about where to start? Or perhaps you have no idea which parts to buy and which racing drone kit to go? And if you are like anyone else new to this hobby, you have wondered if it is best to build your own racing drones. Well, do not fret there, buddy – you have come to the right place! This guide is all you need to get things going.
What Is Drone Racing?
By essence, FPV drone racing is a sport. It is where pilots race their quads through various gaps, gates, obstacles, terrains, and whatnots. The video is live streamed directly from a camera onboard the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to a receiver on the ground. And to give full immersion, the footage is connected to a display like goggles. Hence, it is called FPV or first-person view.
Should You Build Your Own Racing Drones Or Buy?
Buying racing drones is not a huge crime in the world of FPV drone racing. And if anyone tells you that, then he is completely missing the point. There is a reason why people choose to do so. However, there is also a reason why most hobbyists and professional pilots decide to build their own racing drones. If your cherry on the ice cream is to join the likes of the Drone Racing League, then you should really be considering having your own racing drone kit and building one from scratch.
So why do you have to? What is so important about building your own FPV drone?
Do yourself a favour and watch some footages featuring professional FPV drone racing. Or, if you can, attend the Drone Racing League in real-time. Now, take a closer look and notice what makes the drones their completely different from the ones you usually see in the market. You might be surprised to see a bunch of combination, right? Or maybe you did not know that this part could there and vice versa.
To put it simply, most of today’s racing drones – particularly the winning ones – are custom built by their owners. And even if you check out other forms of competitive flying or races. You will find out that participants are always finding ways to improve, whether it is adding new components or upgrading the overall structure. This is basically what modding in drone racing brings. Keep in mind that the technology which embraces drone racing is continuously evolving – and your only way to keep up with the pace is to mod.
Training: A First Time Racer’s Journey
As mentioned, there is nothing wrong about buying a racing drone kit. Most people of your status do it. Just remember this: Buying a starter FPV drone racing kit is important. It is your golden ticket to learning how to race and start getting comfortable with flying through a camera (FPV) view. More importantly, you can all of these things without the burden of losing time and money.
But hey, it is also important that you expect the worse. And by that, it means you will end up crashing. In fact, you will - many, many times. You will start making mistakes in one way or another. And since you this will happen, it is only ideal to jumpstart your hobby in an inexpensive platform; hence, consider buying an affordable FPV drone racing kit.
You can always start with a drone racing kit like the Tiny Whoop classic micro quad FPV, which has always been the go-to choice for most budding drone racers like you. There is also the Blade Inductrix FPV. Not only is it inexpensive, but it is also light and near unbreakable. You will definitely get your money’s worth!
Parts You Should Buy
Of course, if you want to be a real, hardcore drone racer, you should consider buying parts. Here is a list of them:
RC Controller – Fortunately for you, the market is packed with lots of RC controllers designed for quads. Go for one that is reliable, something that offers precision manual control sticks and extra-smooth features. More importantly, it should be durable and waterproof. For specializing in special tricks, combat, or stunts, go with a controller that comes with programmable buttons.
FPV Goggles & Gear – Absolutely – these are going to be needed. Being a drone racing aficionado means having the right FPV goggles and gear. The premise here is pretty straightforward. These FPV parts allow you to have the perspective of the aircraft you are controlling. This allows you to experience the pure intensity of the flying. As already mentioned above, FPV video can easily be streamed to a video display, not just the goggles.
Performance Mods – Now this is where you really want to pay attention. These parts or mods, as the name suggests, are there to give your drone racing kit a huge performance boost. For starters, you want to improve your drone racing aircraft’s motors, propellers, ESC, and flight control software/hardware. Apparently, reducing the weight of your UAV could also improve its overall performance. In this case, you need to pay attention to the weight of the following components: props, battery, frame, motors, harnesses, motor mounts, and landing gear, just to name a few.
Replacement Parts – If you are going to enter the world of FPV drone racing, you are going to need replacement parts – a lot. Remember that once your buddy flies, there is always a chance it would fall or hit an obstacle. And when any of these happen, one or more of its parts will break. So, as much as possible, you should have multiple replacements parts handy. You never know when you are going to need them, so it is better to be prepared than sorry.
Congratulations – you are on your way to becoming a real drone racing aficionado. Remember that it is all about practice. And do not take things very seriously. Just have fun and enjoy whatever drone racing kit you have. But, of course, do not ever forget what this guide is telling you.