What is GoDroneX?
We run drone racing events. We have three basic types:
1) FPV racing events
2) organized practices and
3) informal fun flys.
Do you have any social media like FB and Youtube?
Is GoDroneX a club?
Not in the traditional sense. There are no dues or membership fees. Sometimes we charge for events. We are however an AMA accredited club.
Is AMA membership required?
Check under the event description. Some events require it, some don't. It is a function of how much liability protection each event needs. For more info, check out the Academy of Model Aeronautics site.
Can I just do fun flys during a race event?
Again, check under the event description. We often run a fun fly run group at our races. If you want to fly but not race then during check-in request the fun fly run group. You will have 4 minutes to fly anywhere in designated course area between rounds.
How do you manage video frequencies?
Pilots get assigned a video frequency when they check in. Pilots not competing are not allowed to power on during a race. There is time after each round to resolve issues.
What is the race format?
We do 2 rounds of controlled practice heats and 5 rounds of competition heats. No qualifying. Each heat has up to 6 pilots and lasts 3 minutes. You finish your last lap once the timed race is complete so plan on 3:30m flight times. Depending on how hard you fly, you will need between 1300-1500mah battery. The winner is the person with the most accumulated laps over 5 rounds. The courses are designed for top pilots to get 6 laps per heat.
How much track time will I get?
The beauty of our race format is all racers regardless of ability get equal track time. We don't do ladders or knockouts. We pride ourselves having some of the highest throughput (track time) in the industry. Seven flights (2 practice & 5 competition) equals 30 minutes of flight; double that of other race venues. We routinely have people driving in 6+ hours to our events since word has gotten out about how much track time people get. We also limit entries to 36 people so you spend your time racing rather than waiting.
What is a "controlled practice"?
It is a practice session run just like a competition round but not scored. It's purpose is to flush out video and transponder issues prior to competition rounds.
Why no qualifying?
Our race format makes qualifying obsolete so we spend more racing rather than figuring out who will race against who. It is easy to pass in drone racing; slower people don't bother faster guys. We group by ability. When you check in you are asked what group you would like to run in: Fun Fly, Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. It is that easy.
I am new and frankly . . . nervous. I don't want to get in any bodies way.
EVERYONE has felt this way when they started! Come to an event and sign up for a fun fly group (free!). You will fly when the racers are between rounds. No stress. Easy peezy. Just make sure you can change your frequency at the field. It gets you into the procedural flow so your next time you will feel much more relaxed. Most people join in the racing action once they have participated in a fun-fly group.
I noticed that the classes are pretty wide open. Doesn't that create an unfair advantage and lead to escalating cost?
Theoretically yes, but in practice no. All quads are so powerful nowadays so pilot skill trumps machine thrust.
How long does an FPV event take?
We run an industry leading 6:45m average for a 3m timed heat . An 18 pilot event would last 2:30 hr. We cap at 36 pilots no event lasts longer than 4 hours. Plan on getting there one hour before the start for check-in.
Is there an entry fee? Are there prizes or trophies?
Sometimes. Check the event descriptions. We do run the X1 CUP which is our FPV series held at various locations. If there are trophies and prizes then there is an entry fee. Prizes are determined by a raffle so anyone can win, not just the fast guys.
Great! Any other advice for a first timer?
1) Get there early. Get all your video sorted beforehand.
2) There won't be any transponders at the event so if you want to hear your lap times, you need to purchase and mount them prior. Transponders are optional.
3) Have battery field charging capabilities with multiple batteries charging and a few ready to go. You only have 10 minutes down time between spotting / flying and relaxing.
4) Know your vTX dip switch settings for changing your frequencies and practice changing them before you get there.
5) Make sure you can fly for 3:30m. If you have a 600g copter and fly hard, this means you might need a 1500mah 4s battery rather than a 1300mah.
6) Test your fail-safe. It's easy. Take your blades off. Power up the TX and copter then turn the tx off. You motors should stop.
Now, go light it up!!