First the bare necessities:
Best radio around. Not questions asked. Utterly reliable, excellent telemetry and cheap.
Again, very reliable and good quality. We run ours with a 3400mah 2s (check out our article on how to build a Li-Ion for your goggles here) as well as a Furious FPV True-D w/ TBS Triumph and Menace Invader Patch antenna. This combo offers us rock solid video no matter where we fly.
Depends on the day!
Check out our Top 5 Racing Drones
A usual run to the field includes 12 batteries. This gives me just around 30 minutes of flight time. For me this is the optimum amount of time to fly as I don’t have the time to spend all day flying, as much as I would like to! This is completely personal preference, some pilots bring as much as 25 packs with them. Do whatever suits you best.
This may seem like an odd choice but it is not without reason. At my particular field there are a few people that walk past the flying spot and occasionally one or two will come up and ask me what I’m doing. Its pretty hard to show them what FPV is about unless I give them the goggles in which case I can’t fly fpv. So I bought an FPV Monitor so spectators can watch me as well. It also works a treat when troubleshooting at the bench, as it saves having to put on fatsharks every time you want to check if your VTx is working.
This is a little box with spare parts for each of my quads. For example my SCX field box contains zip ties, heatshrink, 6mm M3 bolts for the motor and such that I could use to repair a quad in the field. On my Atom it might contain M2 bolts and M3 standoffs. Each box differs for the individual quads requirements. I use the Boxes from Old Emax motors for all of my flight boxes. These are free if you have them lying around and work perfectly.
This is a must have for any pilot as it enables you to change props much faster. Our preferred one is a Wera spanner with Ratchet on one end. I swear by Wera gear as its extremely high quality. The ratchet makes it much faster to change props which the open end is good for gripping nuts which are wearing out slightly.
Another essential kit for any quad flier. Our kit is the Draper Expert 78925, however we don’t recommend it as the threads strip very easily and it has not survived well. Make sure to get a set with Philips, posidriver and hex nut heads to you can change every bolt not matter its bolt pattern. As with everything in this hobby the more expensive it is the better quality it will be, and for something that you are using as often as tools it is worth investing in quality gear that will last you your entire hobby career and beyond!
Our final essential tool that I keep it my bag. It can be used to tighten zip ties, cut zip ties, cut wire, strip wire etc. We use a small set which we got in a kit that’s no longer available. However we use Wiha pliers in the workshop and they work a treat as well; although they are too big to carry out to the field.
This is great for PID tuning in the field. If you are tuning lots of quads and flying a lot it may be worth considering purchasing a small windows tablet that can run cleanflight. This will save the weight of lugging a laptop to the field. We personally use a small 11″ 2 in 1 as they are cheap and easy to carry in the kit bag.
This is one option if you feel like crashing a lot! However we think soldering in the field is a step too far as its easy to solder something incorrectly. There was one time we soldered in the field where we forgot to unplug the Lipo before we soldered. Sure enough it shorted and we ended up destroying 4 ESCs.
A Spare Quad
This is the simplest way to overcome the issue of a not working quad! For us we tend to carry round a micro quad such as the Shendrones Skreiker or Atom in so that when we brick or main racer or drain the batteries we can still get another half hour of fun flying.
If you plan on spending a whole day flying, then a charger is essential to keep your lipos charged. Most people use a large battery such as a Multistar 20000mAh 4S to run their portable chargers off. The iSDT 150w is a popular choice for field charging due to its compact size.
Check out our Top 5 Chargers for more info
Spare of Each component – (requires soldering iron)
For long flying session we often take a spare of every component on the quad:
- Flight Controller
This way no matter anything one can usually get back up in the air after half an hour of soldering.
Flight Bag VS Hard Case
To be honest this isn’t a major issue, it tends to be an area which falls under the each to their own category. Some of us at Drone Insider use hard cases as they tend to protect the quad, radio and goggles much better, especially if one travels to the flying area on public transport. While others, especially those who drive to the field, use back packs as they tend to be more comfortable to carry. However, poorly designed backpacks can sometime damage gear which falls to the bottom.