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Thumbs down on National Geographics Drone

Old 12-26-2016, 07:26 AM
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BrightGarden
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Default Thumbs down on National Geographics Drone

As the model flying uncle, I became chief drone advisor to my 14 year old nephew on Christmas when he got a National Geographic drone as a gift.

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All in all, this seems to be a really good beginner quad. I have never flown a quad, before. It came nearly flight-ready. You just had to snap the four rotor guards in place and charge the battery. After it charged, off to the back yard we went.
Binding was a snap - just turn the quad on, place it on a flat, level surface, turn on the transmitter, and move the throttle all the way up, then all the way down, and the Sync'ed indicator light on the transmitter shows steady.

The transmitter has a "Take Off" and "Land" button which really simplified things. You can't override the TakeOff button. You just hit the TO button and it raises up off the ground to about 5 ft, on its own, and sits there.

So far so good.

Immediately after that, my nephew was having a hard time controlling the quad, I noticed. After a few landings using the Land button, I gave it a try.
Something was not right. I was able to quickly trim out the quad, even in the breeze of about 7 mph.

I started thinking, hmm, I don't remember reading anything about how the controls on a quad are set up differently than an airplane. Forward should be forward.

Well, with a little tinkering I realized the right joystick for pitch and roll WAS BUILT IN BACKWARDS AND UPSIDE DOWN? It was rotated 180 degrees, giving exactly opposite controls. I went back to the manual to make sure I was treating the orientation of the quad correctly - white lights were forward, starboard light green and port light red. Yup, no mistake there.

I removed the back of the transmitter and lo and behold the joysticks are soldered onto the one and only circuit board. Nothing I could do about that. Back went the cover on the transmitter and back into the box went all the pieces, ready to be returned to Amazon from whence it originated. How many times was this little story borne out across the world yesterday, with all the boys and girls who bought this poorly assembled quad???
Look up the reviews on Amazon, pretty bad. Many other problems cited, especially concerning the battery.

I can tell you that I had the quad up and running fast, it trimmed out great, it was simple for a newbie to fly. It is a larger quad, too, not a micro, with 15cm props. The binding was easy and worked great, etc. etc. but NatGeo is a company not minding the licensees of their brand, obviously.

After doing some quick reading on the internet, I recommended this Syma X5C-1 quad to my sis-in-law as a replacement: https://goo.gl/2beiZ4

May all your days be bright,
Poughkeepsie Pete....
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