I am a Vienna based software developer, I build software mainly for the web. In my spare time I enjoy reviewing tech gear, ripping quads of all shapes and sizes, coding and generally making stuff.
I started with quadcopters more than 10 years ago when a friend of mine asked me to help him with his DIY quadcopter. This was long before FPV quadcopters were popular and parts for quads were readily available. Soon after my friend’s copter was finished I started to build my own. I even built my own transmitter from an old PC joystick, simply because I could not get used to those box styled radios. My goal back then was always to have something small that I could fly indoors - jump a couple of years ahead and here we are - all my wishes came true.
I always try to find a good value to price ratio with the gear I am using. There are certain brands I like to support because I think it is worth supporting them, but generally I would never buy something just because it is of a certain brand.
Especially in the quadcopter hobby you are breaking so much stuff that you have to think twice if it is really worth for you to pay a premium for something.
That being said, I also try to stay away from clones, sometimes this distinction is hard to make, but with frames for example it is pretty obvious and I would prefer to pay the markup in order to support the original creator.
Gear I use
I would like to share some gear that I personally use. The quads you fly will probably change quite a bit, but there is some stuff that you do not exchange too often:
- RC Transmitter: Taranis X-Lite Pro - I really enjoy this form factor of transmitter. Gamepad shaped and running OpenTX. The pro version also has integrated charging via USB port. But be aware - this model does no longer support D8 receivers. I do not really like the politics that FrSky is currently following, but this controller is for me one of the few ones that I like for it’s form. Lately I have been using BetaFPV’s Lite Radio 2 - a relatively cheap controller that suports D8 und D16 and is more than enough for all your whoop needs.
- Goggles: Skyzone Sky03O - I bought them a couple of weeks before the FatShark HDO2 came out and for me they are still the better option since they come with integrated diversity receivers and I can use custom diopters. If I would just start out with the hobby, and the size of the googles would not matter I would recommend going with the DJI HD FPV system and an external, analog receiver, preferably RapidFire.
- Battery Charger: ISDT Q6 Pro BattGo - in my opinion ISDT is producing some of the greatest chargers on the market. Reliable, powerful and great design. For my 1S needs I really like the UP-S6AC 1S battery charger: you can charge six 1S batteries at once and you can power it either from mains or in the field via a regular 3-4S battery with XT60 connector.
- Parallel Charging board: XT30 parallel charging board - I like to parallel charge, why waste time if you can charge six batteries at once? If you keep some basic safety precautions, parallel charging is no more dangerous than charging single batteries.
Affiliation and Ethics
As mentioned above, I am not affiliated with a certain brand, but I am part of some affiliate programs, namely Banggood and BetaFPV. So if you follow one of my links to one of their product listings, I will get a small cut of whatever you buy. This does not cost you anything extra. The companies basically pay me to drive some traffic to their sites.
Sometimes companies also send me stuff for free to take a look at. In those cases I mention that in my article.
I only review stuff that I have actually tried out myself for a reasonable amount of time. I want people to value and trust my opinion - this is more important to me than getting a commission from a person one time and this person never coming back because he is under the impression I am shilling stuff just for the $$$.
There is a couple of companies who no longer send me stuff, since I was too critical about their product(s). It is not my style to shame in public: I first attempt to sort it out with the company in question, tell them about the issues I have found with their product. Everyone makes mistakes, the important thing is how you handle those mistakes and that you learn something from them and not repeat them again.
As I mentioned above, my main source of income is programming, I write this blog simply because I like writing and hope to help some other people out with the information I can provide. Maybe even get some new people into this great hobby. As long as the income from ads and affiliate commissions pays the bills of running this site, I am happy.