Quadcopter Training Day Two – JJRC H8C

So I have decided to start messing around with Quadcopter drones cause I really enjoy the videos I see others making. It gives me the feeling that I can actually fly!

The wife has seen me eyeing an expensive one at the Ramstein PX and to my surprise she told me to go ahead and get it. Well I didn’t wanna spend $600 on a toy and then freaking crash it and get pissed that I wasted all that money. So I did some research on inexpensive beginner quadcopter drones with video and decided on the JJRC H8C. The JJRC H8C costs about fifty bucks on Andoer JJRC H8C which is a 2.4 GHz Quadcopter with 6-Axis Gyro and High Definition 2MP First Person View Camera. Based on my research, many very good drone pilots mess around with the JJRC H8C cause it is a fun drone to fly around and is pretty good once you mod it out a bit with quick motor connectors, bearing upgrade, weight reduction, and cooling mods.

Clicking on the image to the left will take you to the quadcopter on Amazon.

So I put in my order on Amazon and it soon arrived. I charged up the battery and went outside to give my new toy a try. Powered it on and DAMN!  One of the motors is dead! Dangit!  I was already aware based on the reviews and my research that the motors on this model burn out very easily but I did not expect one to be DOA! The motors cost only about two or three bucks a piece so it is not a big deal to replace them when they go bad. So I ordered another drone and figured I would keep this as a spare.

I also ordered some extra motors and some quick connectors that I will solder on to the drone control board when a motor dies.  I will also keep about 10 clockwise and 10 counter-clockwise motors on hand and solder the quick connectors on them so they are ready to swap out quickly in the field if need be.  Additionally I ordered some better bearings so that the motors don’t have to work as hard and should not burn out as often.

The second drone came in the mail on Monday and I got busy getting it ready to fly. I won’t post my first flight video because the drone spent most of the time on the ground. I flew it around the yards in my neighborhood and by the time the battery died I was feeling pretty good about my basic piloting skills. It takes about 90 minutes to charge the battery so I plugged it in, along with the battery from the broken drone and waited. About 2000 hours I grabbed both batteries and headed out to the fields to see what I could do. I was feeling pretty cocky and the result was that I almost lost the drone! I took it way too high and lost control of it.  I think the wind at the higher altitude caught me off guard.  I was very lucky to have found the drone in one of the wheat fields near my home.

So I went home since the other battery was not charged and figure I would take another crack at in tomorrow. But this time STAY AT HOME and polish up some piloting skills.

So today I got home and gave it another try. This video below is the result. Not bad I guess but I still have to practice much more. Spent less time hitting the ground this time and am getting better at controlling the direction. Many people don’t realize that even though a quad has four propellers, it still has a bow, stern, port, and aft. If you don’t know where the front of it is then there is no way to control it.

During the video I get some good altitude at about the 2:30 mark. At about the 3:30 mark you can see me wearing my black socks and sandals!! At about the 5 minute mark I have a hard time keeping it up as the battery was dying.  What I found out after putting in the new battery is that one of the motors is also already dead. Good thing is that I have the other drone to cannibalize which I will do so this weekend. Just need to buy some flux and solder. Or maybe I will wait until the quick connectors to come in next week.  We will see. Added some music to the video so you don’t have to listen to just the boring and loud motors.


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