10 ITEMS EVERY DRONE PILOT SHOULD BRING TO THE FIELD
There’s no doubt that drone racing is one of the most exciting sports to be a part of in 2016. But there’s nothing worse than having a great day at the racing field only to discover you left something vital at home. Here’s our quick list of ten items every pilot should have and take with them to the flying field.
1. LOTS OF PROPS!
Bringing extra props to the flying field is a no- brainer. But how many props will you need? In the heat of racing, it’s easy to break a prop here, another prop there, and go back one more time to find that you’ve run out of the props you brought with you! If you’re headed out flying, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and bringing your entire supply of props with you to the field ensures that the fun won’t stop. You can find the popular GemFan 5040 propellers here
2. BATTERY VOLTAGE CHECKER
It’s always a good idea to know which batteries are charged and which aren’t. Having a small LiPo Voltage Checker at the field can help you keep everything organized, and save you from powering up to race- only to find out that the battery you’re using is dead. Small, simple LiPo Voltage Checkers like digital display units or display buzzer units are very common, but larger pocket sized voltage checkers like THIS ONE offer more functionality; including the ability to balance your batteries.
3. USB DATA CABLE
For drone pilots, your flight controller board tuning settings are a significant part of what makes your flying experience great. At the field you’re likely to discover small things with your tuning settings that need to be tweaked- or maybe another pilot wants to show you different settings. With a USB data cable, you’ll always be able to hook your drone up to a laptop to configure and adjust your flight controller settings wherever you are. Check out our recommended USB to Micro USB data cable
It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen at the racing field. That’s why a multitool is so important. With multiple different attachments for a wide variety of different jobs, a multitool conveniently supplies that *one* thing you need to fix your drone on the go. Even if you bring other tools with you, you can easily keep a multitool in your pocket for quick and easy on- the- spot repairs. We highly recommend this multitool from Gerber.
5. ALLEN/HEX DRIVERS
Hex wrenches, also known as Allen wrenches, are essential for servicing your drone at the flying field. With almost every fastener on a normal FPV drone being hex- shaped, you’ll definitely be needing a hex wrench in order to take apart, fix, and assemble your drone. You can find a variety of hex wrenches, like THESE, available at Amazon.
Velcro and tape are two of the most widely used items in the FPV drone and broader RC hobby. Velcro, popularly used with components like batteries, battery buzzers, receivers, and other things, is found as regular adhesive backed velcro or as velcro straps. Tape, specifically double sided foam tape, is extremely popular for its adhesive qualities, and is used in securing flight cameras, HD cameras, and video transmitters.
7. SMA TO RP- SMA ADAPTER
With two different standards for antenna adapters out there, it can be difficult to mix and match at the flying field! With one of these nifty adapters you can take an RP- SMA FPV antenna and make it work with regular SMA FPV video transmitters, and vice- versa. If your buddy needs to borrow an FPV antenna or if you need to borrow one from them, the connector will be one less thing to worry about. You can find an RP-SMA to SMA adapter here
8. ANALOG DVR OR HD ACTION CAMERA
It’s awesome to spend a day at the field, racing in between gates and zooming just inches off the ground. But it’s even more awesome to come back home and share the day’s experience with your friends. With an analog DVR you can record exactly what you see through your goggles, saving every swerve of the race and every epic crash you had.
Alternately, you can purchase an HD action camera, like the Mobius Action Camera or the RunCam HD 2 (Seen in the picture above). These HD cameras are more expensive than an analog DVR, but deliver much higher resolution video. HD action cameras will need to be mounted onto your drone, but are at risk of flying off in a crash. We’d recommend purchasing a brightly colored camera, like the orange RunCam HD 2, or coloring your camera using brightly colored tape.
9. ZIP TIES
Zip ties are another crucial piece of drone equipment. While they may seem rudimentary and commonplace, they play a large role in making sure your drone stays fit for flight. While they can be used to secure almost anything, zip ties are most commonly used for securing antennas, HD action camera mounts, speed controllers, and flight cameras. An assortment of zip ties, like the ones seen in the picture above, will provide you with a variety of lengths and will likely keep you supplied for years and years. You can find them here
10. FOLDING CHAIR
If you’re out racing for a few hours, you’re inevitably going to want to find a place to sit back, relax, and enjoy watching others take to the skies. While the field or club you’re flying at might already have some chairs, bringing your own chair is just one way of ensuring that you’ll always have a place to sit down. In addition to resting, many pilots also prefer taking a seat while they’re flying, so there’s no risk of falling over. With your own chair, you’ve got a way to make sure that you can take a seat in every race.