Everything You Need to Know About Drone Racing

by Klaus on June 4, 2018

in Tech News

In case you did not know, drone racing is rapidly growing in popularity. It is basically a sport where drone pilots tend to build agile and extremely fast multi-rotors (also known as drones). Although racing drones is done through various perspective systems, the most common one is none other than FPV (first-person view) system. The latter is a type of drone flying where pilots utilize cameras, making them appear as if they are actually inside the cockpit. While some of them use the ever-popular FPV monitors, others settle themselves with FPV goggles in order to capture a more immersive experience.

It holds true that drone racing is already on a takeoff, though it is still in its infancy stage. But given the acceptance and popularity, it has accumulated since inception – especially with the existence of The Drone Racing League – this will eventually become a huge thing in the next few years or so. There is no doubt that this kind of racing is here to stay, so it is only right for interested individuals to get into the sport now.

Equipment Needed to Get Started

Of course, for you to get started with drone racing, you need to have the right components. First and foremost, you are going to need a racing drone. From there, make sure you have all other important things, including battery charger, good controller, video receiver, and other miscellaneous items. And to experience the thrill of racing drones, get yourself some quality FPV goggles. Below is a detailed explanation of these different components:

  • Racing Drone – There are two ways for you to get a good racing drone. The first one – and perhaps the easiest – is to purchase a drone that is already pre-built with almost everything you require. The second option is to build the drone yourself. If you are new to racing drones, the second option is probably the safest way to go.
  • Controller – Here, it is important that you get a controller that could last. And remember: It is as important as the drone. Also, a controller can be called a transmitter or a radio. The former, however, is a completely different hardware and some enthusiasts use two kinds. The first one is a standard transmitter, which is accompanied with a receiver used in controlling the drone. The second one is called a video transmitter and, as the name suggests, it is used for acquiring a live feed of whatever the drone sees.
  • Video Goggles – Most, if not all, pilots opt to video goggles or FPV goggles. They are better compared to traditional screens in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness. When you use goggles, you will not burden yourself with sun glare and any other visual distractions. You simply wear them on your head, allowing you to feel comfortable while piloting the device.
  • Batteries – This is perhaps the most important component in drone racing, and you actually need lots of them. The most common one in drone racing is 14.8v 1300mah 60c. This battery has the best power-to-weight ratio on the market; hence, it is a recommended buy. It is also capable of handling higher currents and, more importantly, can last longer.
  • Charger – Do not just buy a charger; buy a good charger. Keep in mind that LIPO batteries are nothing alike to AA batteries. They need to be charged and handled with utmost care but do not overcharge them. Although LIPO batteries are not really fire hazard, using a cheap charger can put you at risk. So, as much as possible, go with the ones that offer efficiency and quality.

Why Drone Racing is a Great Hobby

By essence, it is all about perfecting the FPV flight experience. FPV first came to light in RC over than a decade ago, with model airplanes being its initial output. But when it comes to thrill, there is nothing like racing drones. It simply revolutionizes the game through the combination of agility and power. Sure, the flight camera is fixed, but your flight experience is nothing close to being boring.

In addition, this hobby offers top-notch portability and variety. For starters, racing drones are small, somewhat akin to a frisbee. But perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that you have all the gear needed to operate it. You can easily place them in a backpack and you are off to go. The key benefit to this portability is the fact that drone racing will soon become an accessory in your life. For instance, you can hike up on any mountain and bring the equipment with you. It is just unmatched!

Introducing The Drone Racing League

It is a crime not to mention The Drone Racing League (DRL) when talking about drones. It is a US-based league that primarily features professional drone racing. Pilots here race one another with the use of FPV drones. They bring up the heat by racing through 3D courses, with speeds peaking over 80 MPH.

The first season of The Drone Racing League was launched sometime in January 2016, hosting at least five professional races. Interestingly, races were conducted in different places in the country at popular venues like the Miami Dolphins NFL HardRock Stadium. And mind you, the said season was broadcasted around 40 countries, with over 75 million fans tuned in.

The coolest thing about the DRL is the fact that all drones are developed in-house. And by doing so, the league is able to create a certain level of playing field which is fair and acceptable. So, when you see a pilot win a race, you will not have any doubts about him/her winning. Instead, you will have a clear understanding of why he/she actually wins the race.

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