To build or to buy ready to fly? It might sound Shakespearian but this is a conversation of the modern day drone pilot. With the huge variety of options to choose from in both categories it is getting harder and harder to decided between build or buy ready to fly, even for the seasoned builder. You can check out my Top 5 RTF Drone kits in my last blog. For this addition I have been speaking to lots of people in the drone community and have heard so many different opinions on what is the best method to get into the hobby and the reasons why. I am going to try and simplify all this information into a short guide that will hopefully help those struggling with the decision. For this article I'm going to focus on Build or Ready to fly for people looking for their first setup.
Personally I don't think there is a right or wrong answer as to what is the best option to build or to buy when entering into this hobby. I think it really depends on each individual and their background and skill sets that, that person may or may not have. If for example you already have some understanding of electronics and soldering it is a much easier learning curve through the build process and you will learn each and every detail of your machine. This will better equip you to make inevitable repairs when you are learning to fly. You will also need a good understanding of computers and how to setup up the internal configurations of the flight controller and setup Beta-flight or your chosen flight system. This is how you tell your drone how you want it to fly, which way the motors are spinning and much, much more. I will do a much more in depth article about Beta-flight and drone setups at a later date.
The first time build process can be long and costly if mistakes are made, non compatible components are purchased or VTX's get fried due to in experience. I know I've bought the wrong parts a few times! You must also consider tooling costs, unless you already own all the equipment required to undertake a build you will have to buy it. Remember if you have the skills to build it, doesn't necessarily mean you can fly it when it's done, which brings me to the buy option.
There are plenty of ready to fly bundles out there and it can be easy to get lost in the varieties of drones before you even get started. If you want to just get in the air and start flying with minimal setup then this might be the option for you. Some of the drones are as good as any custom build and you don't have to spend the time building the drone. That being said if you crash and break something you will not be able to fly again until you have learn't to make the repairs or buy a replacement.
Most people I have spoken to would recommend buying a decent transmitter and using a simulator for at least a few weeks in Acro before buying anything. Others have just bought all the parts and built their first drone and learnt to fly with no simulators at all. No matter what you decided, there is no right or wrong way of getting into FPV, just as long as you get into FPV!
The most important thing when entering this hobby is to make your earlier experiences as simple and enjoyable as possible, giving you the real taste for this amazing sport. Wether it is building your first drone from scratch, buying your first ready to fly bundle or just using a simulator, the main point is get in the air and rip some packs!!
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