Welcome to the Tiny Whoop Family!! Vermont Drone and Northern New England Drone User Group are seriously into Tiny Whooping!
Beginner Hints, Tips, and Troubleshooting for Practice Drones/Quadcopters:
- Check the manual for the calibration procedure. If the manual doesn’t mention one, the quadcopter calibrates itself as soon as you plug the battery in. So it’s imperative for a smooth and steady fight that it be done on a flat and level surface without tilting or moving the quadcopter. That in itself can be a little tricky to do and at first, it might take a dozen or more attempts to finally understand and get this process right. Here’s how: Push the battery’s plug into the socket just enough so it’s in without making the electrical connection. Place the quadcopter on a flat-level surface and hold it steady with one hand while you fully push the battery plug into the socket. Remember: ONLY fully plug the battery in and complete the circuit when the quadcopter is LEVEL and STILL.
- Practice flying with it inside at first and later outdoors (on a calm day) up to 12ft high. Never go higher as they’ll get caught in winds, you don’t feel on the ground, and it’ll be the last time you see it.
- Using your Thumb and Pointer Finger to grip each of the controls will help you move them gently and with precision. Moving the sticks too much will cause the quadcopter to fly erratically.
- Start flying close to yourself (10′ max) and slowly increase the distance you go as you gain experience. Try to stay away from walls and the ceiling as it’ll be drawn to them, sucking itself into any surface. Once you’re more adept at flying you’ll be able to counteract that force.
- We suggest that you first practice with the back of the quadcopter facing you and work on maintaining throttle and height control. Try to keep the quadcopter at the same height while flying between 2 or 3 spots on the ground. Only fly a few inches from the ground and use a VERY LIGHT TOUCH on the controls.
- When you crash into an object immediately throttle down to stop the blades from spinning. Pick up the quadcopter, and move it away from the object before trying to take off again. If you attempt to take off near any object the quadcopter will likely be drawn right back into it because of the vacuum created by the blades. Baseboards are often gathering places for dust and hair, so be sure to check the props for hair/dust balls.
- Once you’ve mastered throttle control, you’re ready to work on maintaining orientation control. This will be even more difficult. Fly the quadcopter nose first, directly between 2 to 3 spots. Notice that the left becomes right and the right becomes left when the back of the quadcopter is no longer facing you. Practice moving/turning and keeping the quadcopter on a course directly nose first toward each of the 2 to 3 objects. Once you’re confident at this, work your way to flying a perfect square. Then work on making a perfect circle. Once you’ve mastered that, try to make a perfect figure eight. It will take considerable practice to master flying these shapes with confidence and skill, rather than luck, but it’ll be worth the time investment and will suddenly become second nature!
- You’ll need to learn how to fly without accidentally bumping or crashing into objects, hitting the floor/ground, or being sucked into walls or the ceiling. Once you can do that with confidence and skill and can easily fly around and in-between things like multiple objects, while maintaining orientation control (knowing which way it’s pointing/going at a distance), you’re ready to risk flying the more expensive drones. We’ve found that it takes at least 10-15 hours of flight time to fly with confidence and skill, rather than luck. Few can take to it quicker than others but don’t rush it and don’t get overconfident! It really does take this amount of practice to avoid costly crashes. The larger, more expensive, photography drones cannot withstand abuse or survive crashes.
- Regularly pull off the blades and check for hair/dust balls wrapped around the motor shaft. Especially if you notice a blade having difficulty spinning, the quadcopter drift, or flies uneasily. Any hair or dust will cause friction, reduce performance, and will shorten the life of your motors and flight controller. Pull by the center hub, not the blade tips, so you don’t bend them. If you should bend a prop, warm it with warm water and gently bend it back into place. Use cold water to help set it in place. Allow to fully dry before reinstalling. You’ll need to replace props that are broken or are so bent out of shape that they can’t be fixed with the water method. Replacement blades are available from us in our Shop.
- Accidentally stepping on the frame will cause it to break. Crashes from high heights onto hard surfaces can also cause damage to the struts. High-speed crashes into walls or other objects might bend the frame. Periodically check your frame for visible damage and that the blades spin freely without touching the frame. If cracks can be repaired with a specific glue we sell in our Shop. Bent frames can often be repaired just by gently bending them back into place. If the frame is damaged beyond repair you can purchase replacements or upgrades in our Shop.
- Do not use the trim buttons on the remote! If you believe the quadcopter isn’t responding to your inputs correctly, recalibrate the quadcopter by unplugging the battery and replugging it in while it’s flat on a level surface and tries not to move it at all. Remember, it’s performing a self-calibration within the first 30 seconds of the battery being plugged in. Another thing to check is that the frame, motor mounts, and blades are unbent and unbroken. If any parts are bent you could try bending them back into place or purchase replacement parts from us in our Shop.
- Fully charge batteries before each use. To extend the lifespan of your batteries don’t leave them fully charged between uses. Before storage, it’s best to use each of them for about 90 seconds so they’re stored at or below 50%. We also sell additional batteries and battery power checkers in our Shop.
- Never charge or use a puffed battery. If the battery should become puffed or feels like it’s full of air, it needs to be properly disposed of ASAP. CSWD Drop Offs, Lowes, and Home Depot have special bins for battery recycling. You can avoid puffing batteries by allowing them to cool before use or charging. Also land after 3 minutes, before the quadcopter automatically cuts off the flight. Using it to 0% might deplete the battery to an unsafe level and shorten its lifespan.
Tiny Whoop Hints, Tips, and Troubleshooting:
- Use the Tiny Whoop Flight Simulator to hone your FPV skills and learn how to fly faster and more aggressively!
- If the camera has four wires, the extra two besides the red and black are for the OnScreen Display. Either connect these extra two wires to the Flight Controller board if it supports OSD or short the pads together.
- Purchase a camera bracket from us or use 3M VHB clear tape (available from Home Depot and Lowes) to attach your camera to the Flight Controller board. It is also recommended to use a small rubber band to keep it from detaching in a crash.
- For better performance and speed you might want to upgrade your motors, batteries, battery pigtail, and/or flight controller. We sell many Tiny Whoop upgrades in our Shop.
- Once you are used to flying faster you might want to adjust the angle of your camera so you’re not looking at the floor. We sell specific camera brackets for this in our Shop.