Like any hobby, Droning can capture all of your attention and can also hit you a little in the wallet when things go wrong. So why not take your new love affair to the next step? You know thhe performance ratings of all your drones. You know a lot of it's parts already, having upgraded many of hem over the course of your time with your drones. When it crashes and needs third-party attention you find yourself forced to wait for it's return. Why not go to RC drone school and put those days behind you? It's easier than you think.
Why drones end up spending time in 'the shop'
While they are high-end pieces of equipment, your drones can malfunction or fail to start for a number of reasons(mostly relating to crashing. Let's be honest!). Learning to diagnose the issues is important as you begin to learn drone repair but preventing crashes in the first place is paramount. Some easily preventable reasons that your drones can crash and become damaged are as follows:
- Flying out of control range - While that homing feature can save you, bringing the drone safely back, you don't want to have to rely on it too much. Not learning the range of your drone can mean triggering the homing feature at a bad time. You might hit a power line or one(or more) very surprised birds and the results can be devastating.
- No 'spotter' for FPV flying - FPV flying is quite the immersive experience. Creating obstacle courses and flying through them with a view that feels like you are actually within the drone itself is one of the very best drone experiences that you can enjoy. It's also dangerous. Be sure to keep a spotter with you when possible so that they can warn you if you might be flying dangerously close to something unexpected. This can help avoid many a potential crash.
- Learning curve with controls - You try to fly left but fail to take in the orientation of the drone and wham, you flight right instead... right into a tree. Test your drone in open areas only until you have mastered the controls. The stunt flying can wait a little.
- Indoor flying with larger drones - Some drones were simply not meant for indoor flight. Still, it's hard to resist giving grandpa or your little brother a shock by flying it around the kitchen. If you crash doing this, you have only yourself to blame and an excellent argument that Drone maintenance school might be a good investment.
- Letting an inexperienced friend of relative fly it - If you let a child fly it (no matter how well related you are), there is a middling to very-likely chance that your drone will soon be on a first-name basis with a nearby tree. Minimize the risk by only allowing flights in wide, open spaces to increase the time between shop visits. Better, get yourself a little drone repair training and never worry about shop time at all!
" Simple cracks can cause imbalances in the proper lift required."
Are there any things that I can learn
Certainly, there are lots of things that you can learn on your own without the use of some drone technician school. As an amateur UAV mechanic, some things that you can check are:
- Use those replacement propellers - Check your propellers. Simple cracks can cause imbalances in the proper lift required to keep your drone aloft and stable. If you are seeing erratic flight then this is one thing to check.
- Keeping your drone clean - If your drone is having issues, a clean drone is much easier to inspect for cracks then one that is not well-maintained.
- Make sure the mounts are tight - Erratic flight can be caused by a simple case of loose mounting on the motor or on other parts. Vibration caused from flight can sometimes loosen fittings and so you will want to learn enough about your drone to be able to check that these are secure.
The tips we mentioned previously are just some basics. Here are a few more. Some easy things to try when your drone is behaving oddly are:
- Swapping the battery - The issue could be with power, whether inadequate or fluctuating. Testing with a new battery or just a different one can help..
- Remove propellers to test start sequence - Learn your start sequence when the drone is healthy so that you can see if something is not starting up during boot.
- Test flight observation - Does it fly fine in certain directions and not others? This can help you locate the problem area that you need to check.
As you can see, the things that you can check as a novice are useful, but still a bit limiting. This is why professional training is a godsend. By Googling terms such as "drone maintenance school" or "drone repair training near me" you can locate a number of places where you can obtain an in-depth knowledge of your beloved drone. Courses offer such subjects as:
- Commonly replaced parts
- Proper assembly and disassembly steps
- Calibrating your compass
- Creating a proper toolkit for repairs and troubleshooting
- Parts to keep on hand
- Preventative maintenance
- Multi rotor and AR craft troubleshooting
These are just a sampling. There is much, much more to learn.
Some final words
Learning to fix drones is a time investment in a hobby that you already love. The worth of this investment is twofold. First, it means no time in the shop, because you can fix that drone by yourself. Secondly, you can spend more time with drones in general, because who knows, the next time that someone Googles. "where can I find a drone repair shop near me", they might just find your name. Just a little something to think about. Happy droning, folks!