How to choose a drone | Introduction to FPV drone for beginnerHere is a summary of the basic information for choosing a Tiny Whoop / FPV drone for beginners.
- Choose Drones
- Checking installed communication protocol
- Battery voltage / capacity
- Motor specifications
- Video transmitter (VTX) and FPV camera
- PIT Mode
- Digital VTX VS Analog VTX
- Firmware adjustment
- Flight mode
- Turtle mode
- OSD screen
- Opening of radio station (in Japan)
- Various Tiny Whoop / FPV drones
- Small lightweight cameras for FPV drones
Choose DronesVideo shooting, indoor leisure, participation in drone racing ... I think there are various purposes for flying a Tiny Whoop, but you should not buy the high-priced machine you are looking for from the beginning. By the time you're free to fly your microdrone, you'll have to crash it over and over again. I recommend that you first purchase a cheap, sturdy, and beginner-friendly item for about USD100 and practice thoroughly. For beginners, Emax's Tinyhawk / Nanohawk series and BetaFPV's Meteor series are famous. Today, so many manufacturers are making and selling FPV drones / Tiny Whoops. Please refer to " Related links " for a list of some of them.
Checking installed communication protocolThe same model may be available in multiple versions with different protocols. At the time of purchase, make sure that version of the product has desired communication protocol. Also, depending on drone, receiver may not be installed (denoted as PNP). In this case, you need to purchase a receiver of your favorite protocol suitable for the drone separately and install it yourself.
WheelbaseRepresents the size of Tiny Whoop. It is expressed by the distance (mm) of central axes of two motors in diagonal positions. In Tiny Whoop, there are many aircraft of about 65mm to 95mm. 65mm has a small output and is suitable for indoor flight. If you want to fly outdoors, we recommend 75mm or more. I think it's a good idea to start with 65mm or 75mm model for Beginners.
|75mm||40mm||both indoor and outdoor|
|85mm||50.3mm (About 2 inches)||outdoor|
|95mm||63.5mm (About 2.5 inches)||outdoor|
Battery voltage / capacityThe output voltage of a LiPo (lithium polymer) battery is determined by the number of cells. Regardless of the size, it will be about 3.7V (4.2V when fully charged) for one cell, about 7.4V for two cells, and so on. At first, choose a 1-cell (1S) type low-power drone.
Battery life is also indicated by capacity (mAh). If you install a battery with a large value, you can fly for a long time, but it will also increase the weight, which is disadvantageous for flight.
For more information, see Drone Battery Knowledge: How to long-lasting and reviving .
Motor specificationsSpecifications of motor used for drone are expressed by a combination of 4-digit number and "KV" value, for example, "1102-18000KV".
Four-digit number indicates the size of the part called "stator" of motor. First two digits represent the width (diameter) of the stator, and the second two digits represent the height of the stator in mm. For example, "1102" motor has a stator width of 11 mm and a height of 2 mm. A tall motor can output high power at high speeds, and a wide motor can output high torque at low speeds.
KV value can be roughly thought of as the number of revolutions corresponding to the input voltage. For example, if 1S battery (4.2V) is connected, "18000KV" motor will rotate at about 75,600RPM (= 18,000 x 4.2) without a load (propeller) (More complicated calculations are needed to know the exact value). Motor with higher KV values rotate faster, but consume more power. If KV value and source voltage are not well balanced, motor will overheat or ESC will burn out. So a motor with high KV value is combined with low voltage battery and small and light propeller.
In addition, there are some types of motor shaft diameters, like 1mm, 1.5mm e.t.c.. Be careful when replacing propeller.
Motor performance is determined by numerous factors. You can read the details on the following page.
Video transmitter (VTX) and FPV cameraThe transmission output of VTX is usually 25mW. If you fly in a place with good visibility such as a park, the radio waves can reach at least 50m (160ft). However, since the radio waves used are in 5 GHz band, if you fly inside the house, radio waves will be blocked by obstacles such as walls, and will hardly reach. If you want to fly around in your house, you should stand in the center of building as much as possible and open all doors. Alternatively, replace with higher gain antenna or use higher output VTX. Depending on model, transmit output can be switched to 200mW, 500mW or more.
Also, some drones do not have a video transmitter (VTX) and camera. In this case, you need to purchase the one that fits the drone separately and install it yourself.
PIT ModeSome VTX products have a "PIT Mode". This is a function that lowers the output to about 0.1mW. At events such as races, goggles can be used to operate the OSD menus of nearby drones without affecting other pilots.
Digital VTX VS Analog VTXVTXs for drones usually transmit analog video signals in NTSC / PAL format, but recently there are products that transmit their own digital signals. Digital VTX provides a clear view with very little noise, but you can't see it with normal analog FPV goggles. Pay attention to the VTX specifications when purchasing a drone.
Digital VTX systems currently on the market include "DJI Digital FPV System", "HDZero" and "Walksnail Avatar". They are not compatible with each other, so each requires its own goggles/VRX (receiver). For more information, please refer to Digital FPV system for FPV drone/How to use digital FPV goggles : Walksnail Avatar HD/HDZero/DJI Digital FPV system .
Firmware adjustmentTiny Whoop runs on open source firmware. By connecting FC (Flight Controller) board of drone to PC with USB cable, and using companion software (Configurator) of firmware, it is possible to adjust the flight characteristics and so on. In recent models, Betaflight is often used for FC firmware, and BLHeli_S is used for ESC (Electric Speed Controller) firmware.
Please note that some FC boards for beginners or lightweight models do not have a USB connector (cannot be adjusted by user).
Flight modeDepending on drone, you can switch between multiple flight modes, such as flight stability-focused mode ( Angle / Level / Stab ), mode that allows for somersault with a high degree of freedom in posture ( Horizon ), aerobatics mode ( Acro / Rate / Manual ), and racing mode (Race) (the name depends on installed firmware). At first, practice in a mode that emphasizes flight stability. However, if you do not use the aerobatics mode, your flight will not improve. It is recommended that you switch to practice in aerobatics mode as soon as you get a feel for the maneuver.
For more information, see Flight Mode of FPV drone :Angle/Horizon/Acro/Air .
Turtle modeWhen the drone is turned over, it is a function to get up by rotating one of the front and rear or left and right propellers at high speed. With a drone equipped with this feature, you don't have to turn over by hand. Normally, you can operate the switch on the controller to switch the drone to turtle mode and operate the elevator or aileron on the stick to get up. Also known as “Flip Over After Crash”.
OSD screenOn the screen of FPV goggles, on top of the image from the drone's camera, information such as remaining battery level and flight mode of the drone are displayed. This is called OSD (On Screen Display). The information displayed on OSD and its display position can be set with the drone's firmware companion software. You can also enter the drone setting screen by starting drone and operating stick in Throttle center, Rudder left most, Aileron center, Elevator full up with Disarm. On the setting screen, you can move cursor by operating right stick up and down, "Enter" / "Select" by operating the right stick to right, and "Return" by operating to left.
Opening of radio station (in Japan)Video transmitter (VTX) mounted on the drone transmits radio waves of amateur radio in 5.8 GHz band. In Japan, it is necessary to apply for this video transmitter (VTX) as a "radio station" and obtain (open) a radio station license. If you transmit radio waves without a license, you will be punished with imprisonment for up to 1 year or a fine of up to 1 million yen.
To apply for a radio station license, it is necessary to attach a "construction design document" that shows the block diagram of the transmitter. Select a product whose block diagram can be downloaded from the manufacturer's site.
No license is required for receiver: RX. For this reason, FPV goggles do not require a license.
Various Tiny Whoop / FPV dronesThere are numerous types of FPV drones on the market today. Here, we will introduce only a few of the small models, especially products for beginners from BETAFPV and EMAX.
Values in "Weight" column below do not include battery weight. To determine takeoff weight, add battery weight to this. The weight of battery varies greatly depending on the capacity (mAh), but in case of about 300-450mAh for small drones, it will be about 7-14g(1S) / 14-35g(2S) / 25-50g(3S) / 38-60g(4S).
Under Japanese aviation law, a visual observer is required to fly an FPV drone with an aircraft that weighs more than 100g (200g until June 19, 2022) (Needs constant monitoring within the visual range). Please be careful.
(Notice:. "Takeoff weight" in Japanese Flight Rules does not include the weight of removable accessories other than battery)
BETAFPV Cetus Pro FPV Kit
Wheelbase: 75mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 33.19g
BETAFPV Cetus Pro FPV Kit is a brushless whoop drone designed from the ground up for FPV beginners. Auxiliary flight function is available for novices, greatly reducing the threshold of operating. Cetus Pro brushless quadcopter is robust and powerful, allowing you to fly faster, race, and even do freestyle flying. Taking you from ZERO to Super Pilot in one kit
BETAFPV Cetus FPV Kit
Wheelbase: 65mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 26.72g
With Cetus brushed quadcopter, LiteRadio2 SE transmitter, and VR02 FPV Goggles, everything you need is in a pack! The altitude hold function enables Cetus quadcopter to Auto-Hover. The quadcopter can stay at a current height when pilots' hands are off the transmitter. The barometer/laser achieves accurate and stable positioning, which makes the quad hovering indoors very stable. The flight has never been so easy for a beginner.
BETAFPV Meteor65 Brushless Whoop Quadcopter (2022)
Wheelbase: 65mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 22.83g
Meteor65, a leading 1S whoop WINTER TIME drone. This 22.83g lightweight whoop drone comes with a completely new look with a special micro canopy, supporting the serial ExpressLRS 2.4G, Frsky, or TBS RX version.
BETAFPV Meteor65 Pro Brushless Whoop Quadcopter (2022)
Wheelbase: 65mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 23.01g
Meteor65 Pro comes with a 35mm propeller for power improvement and a flexible flying experience. Beyond that, it has almost the same components and features as Meteor65
BETAFPV Meteor75 Brushless Whoop Quadcopter (2022)
Wheelbase: 75mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 24.98g
Want a 1S whoop outdoor, around the house and yard? Meteor75 Brushless Whoop Quadcopter would be your best choice! This whoop quadcopter is equipped with the ultralight F4 1S 5A FC (2022), supporting serial ExpressLRS 2.4G, Frsky, or TBS RX for options.
BETAFPV Meteor75 Brushless Whoop Quadcopter (1S HD Digital VTX)
Wheelbase: 75mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 40.5g (Walksnail)/ 36.4g (HDZero)
Stepping into HD world with 1S whoop quadcopter! The classical Meteor75 Brushless Whoop Quadcopter comes with Walksnail Avatar Mini HD VTX or HDZero Whoop Lite Bundle, bringing conspicuous images and exceptional visuals to your eyes and capturing details that make the footage look as exciting as the flight.
BETAFPV Meteor85 Brushless Whoop Quadcopter (2022)
Wheelbase: 85mm / Battery: 2S / Weight: 43.85g
Meteor85 brushless whoop quadcopter, optimized weight, provides a smoother flight experience that's easier to control at high speed and easier on battery life as well.
BETAFPV Meteor85 Brushless Whoop Quadcopter (2S HD Digital VTX)
Wheelbase: 85mm / Battery: 2S / Weight: 52.57g (Walksnail)/ 48.30g (HDZero)
Experiencing super clear and sharper images, stepping into the HD world with BETAFPV Meteor85 HD. Based on the newest Meteor85 (2022), it comes with Walksnail Avatar Mini HD VTX or HDZero Whoop Lite Bundle, bringing conspicuous images and exceptional visuals to your eyes and capturing details that make the footage look as exciting as the flight.
Flywoo Firefly 1S Nano Baby 40mm 1.6" Micro Quadcopter
Wheelbase: 75mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 20.4g
Firefly 1S Nano Baby Quad is an 20g ultralight 1S Quad for freestyle and crusing. Pilots can enjoy up to 8 minutes and 45 seconds flight time with Flywoo's latest 1S 450mah ! Through a lot of tests, we found the best configuration for Firefly 1S nano baby quad！Suitable for cruising super long flight time
Flywoo Firefly Baby 80mm 1.6" 4S Micro Quadcopter
Wheelbase: 80mm / Battery: 4S / Weight: 47g
Firefly Baby Quad , a nano- sized fpv drone designed to carry Insta 360go ，SMO 4K camera for some action flying. Weighing in at just 47g , the Firefly Baby Quad is small , flexible, stable , but is full of power and offers unmatched control . Pilots can quietly enjoy the fun of shooting a video without jelly.
EMAX Tinyhawk 2 II RTF Kit
Wheelbase: 75mm / Battery: 1-2S / Weight: 31.2g
EMAX Tinyhawk 2 II RTF Kit FPV FRSKY Camera Racing Drone with Goggles and Controller for Kids and Beginners
EMAX Tinyhawk S
Wheelbase: 75mm / Battery: 1-2S
NEW Generation : with new power system, up to 20% more flight time than previous, and the ability to accept a higher voltage 2S. 600TVL CMOS Camera : First-person-view camera, allowing the pilot to utilize Virtual Reality Google to experience a pilot's view firsthand.
Wheelbase: 65mm / Battery: 1S / Weight: 20.57g
In an effort to push the boundaries of miniaturizing the FPV experience, EMAX took to the drawing board to design the smallest quadcopter possible in their history. Introducing the Nanohawk, a nano-sized FPV drone designed to offer an immersive flight experience on a new scale.
Wolfwhoop WT03 Micro FPV AIO 600TVL Camera
Micro size, light weight. Compatible with more types of RX. Plug and play, ready to fly, perfect for DIY. High image resolution, good image contour and perfect low illumination.
If you're good at piloting, how about these models?
Since the takeoff weight exceeds 100g(JP) / 250g(US), it is necessary to have an visual observer present during the flight.
iFlight Nazgul Evoque 5inch GoPro mountable
Propeller: 5 inch / Battery: 4S / 6S / Weight: 392.6g
Nazgul Evoque F5X HD drone making sure that experienced pilots would fully enjoy using the new Nazgul Evoque from the first second they use it. NOT recommend for FPV beginner! SucceX Mini F7 TwinG 55A flight Stack-High-Performance Electronics. XING2 Performance Motors - The Best Motors Just Got Better
DJI 2021/03/02 USD1,299.00
Weight:795g/ Maximum resolution:4K 60fps/ Flight time:20 min. DJI's first FPV drone. Immersive Flight Experience. 4K/60fps Super-Wide 150° FOV. 10km HD Low-Latency Video Transmission. Brand-New S Mode. Emergency Brake and Hover.
Small lightweight cameras for FPV drones
Caddx Walnut Action Camera
Caddx 2022/12 USD139
Max resolution: 4K/60fps, 2.7K/60fps / Weight:62.8g
High image quality : Supporting 4K/60fps, 2.7K/60fps@30fps resolution, bitrate up to 100mbps, bring your footage to a higher level. 62.8g Light-weight : The walnut weighs only 62.8g,which is lighter than most 4K/60fps action cameras on the market. Built-in 600mah Battery Magnetic Charging
RunCam Thumb Pro
RunCam 2022/07 US$89.99
Max resolution: 4K 30fps / Weight:16.0g
Built-in gyro, perfectly output smooth and stabilized video. Support Shooting Horizontally and Vertically. You can change settings such as resolution, saturation and exposure through the RunCam App. After connecting Tx & Rx to the flight controller, you can easily start/stop recording by gently toggling the switch.
Flywoo Action Camera GP11
Max resolution: 5K 60fps / Weight:44.6g
Flywoo Action Camera GP11 is an ultimate and ultra-light design based on the Gopro Hero 11, specially made for FPV. We removed the traditional GoPro case and kept only what was necessary for the FPV , and designed a new case and BEC.
Flywoo Action Camera GP10
Max resolution: 5K 60fps / Weight:44g
Compared with the traditional Naked gopro, we have added an aluminum sheet to reinforce and make it more durable.Rear small fan, better heat dissipation, can continuously shoot 4K 120FPS (Gopro 10 bone, naked gopro can't, it will shut down in 5 minutes at most)
Flywoo Action Camera GP9
Max resolution: 5K 30fps / Weight:44g
Compared with the traditional Naked gopro, we have added an aluminum sheet to reinforce and make it more durable. Compared with Gopro10 bones, GP9/10 is lighter, only 44g, more suitable for FPV players.
GoPro HERO10 Black Bones
Max resolution: 5.3K60 (60/50/24p) / Weight:54g
Get the same 5.3K60 video and Emmy award-winning HyperSmooth stabilization of our best HERO camera in an ultra lightweight design that’s made specifically for FPV (First-Person View) drones. Weighing 54g, HERO10 Black Bones takes the core elements of the HERO10 Black imaging pipeline—lens, image sensor and GP2 processor—and packs them into a slim, well-ventilated enclosure that’s ready to fly.
Insta360 GO 2 Action Camera
Insta360 2021/04 USD329.99
Max resolution: 1440p (2560x1440 pixel, 50/30/25/24fps) / Weight:27g
Thumb-sized action camera that weighs just 1 oz. Uses a powerful 1/2.3” image sensor to shoot crisp 1440p video. Rugged and waterproof to 13ft. Wearable camera design. Mount GO 2 anywhere with its magnetic in-the-box accessories and shoot hands-free.
Hawkeye Firefly X Lite
Hawkeye 2021/10 £149.99 GBP
Max resolution: 4K(3840×2160) 60fps / Weight:34g
Support image flip function, camera can be installed and inverted. Compatible with G3 universal stabilizer, it can aerial shoot 4k60fps high-definition video. Built in gyro4.0 EIS algorithm. With high precision six axis gyroscope and excellent algorithm, it can take high-quality and stable pictures at high speed.
BETAFPV SMO 4K Camera
BETAFPV 2020/12 USD239.99
Max resolution: 4k (4000x3000 pixel, 24/25/30fps) / Weight:30g
A high-degree ultralight action camera designed for your FPV Drones! Developed by BETAFPV using Insta360 technology, SMO 4K camera only weighs 30g and is perfectly fit for FPV drones.
BETAFPV SMO 360 Camera
BETAFPV 2021/12 USD399.99
Max resolution: 5.7K 360 degree panorama (5760x2880 pixel, 24/25/30fps) / Weight:55g
A high-quality ultralight action panoramic camera designed for your FPV Drones! Developed by BETAFPV using Insta360 technology, SMO 360 camera only weighs 55g and is perfectly fit for FPV drones.
Caddx Peanut Action Camera
Caddx 2021/09 USD259.99
Max resolution: 1440p (2560x1440 pixel, 50/30/25/24fps) / Weight:27g
Caddx Peanut is an anti-shake sports camera jointly developed by CADDXFPV and Insta360.Only 27g,It is specially built for FPV flight and is the best choice for pilots. FlowStata's stabilization technology will allow you to fly smoothly and unimpeded.With super anti-shake FPV mode,the flight time can be maintained for 30 minutes of recording.
RunCam 2022/03 US$49.99
Max resolution: 1080p (1920x1080 pixel, 60fps) / Weight:9.8g
Ultra-light FPV 1080p60fps HD Camera. Mini and Lightweight 52mm*13mm*19mm. Net Weights 9.8g. Standard ND 16 Filter Effectively reduce the jello of flight video under strong sunlight.