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Simulator Help

AutenTECH750

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Hello, I'm looking to get a flight simulator. I'd like to get one that is affordable, and that I can practice flying FPV and regular drones with it. Is there such a thing? I'd like to practice before I actually purchase a drone. I'd really like to purchase a simulator that I can fly a wide range of aircraft. (If I can learn to fly RC airplanes that would be cool too!) I'm really looking to fly DJI drones and FPV drones but if it offers fixed-wing aircraft too, that would definitely be a plus. Any help finding one would be appreciated. Thanks
 

brettbrandon

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@AutenTECH750
The two that seem to be the most common drone sims are Liftoff ($19.99) and Velocidrone (£16.99 ).
With Liftoff, you can choose different quads and even change out parts, motors, props, ect. It must be purchased and used by logging into a "Steam" account.
Velocidrone also has multiple quads to choose from and installs and runs directly on your computer.
There is also FPV Freerider ($4.99), and FPV Freerider Recharged ($9.99). Both have a free demo version.
FPV Freerider Recharged, Liftoff, and Velocidrone are the ones that I have myself.

Practicing with a sim is an exellent idea as it saved me many crashes with my real quads. You will still crash the real thing but hopefully not near as much as just diving right in without sim time. It may also help you decide if it is something you really want to pursue before spending alot of money on gear.

I would recommend using a real controller as it helps building your muscle memory using the same controller you will use on the real thing. I use a QX7 by FrSky myself and it does everything I need. It can also be used for fixed wing aircraft. You can get one new for just over $100.00. Some of the sims allow the use of regular PC game controllers but can't remember which off the top of my head.

I also have a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, but with the DJI stuff, you can let go of the controls and it will stop and hover and wait for your next command. With the other FPV quads, if you let go of the controls, it will be out of control... I find the Mavic boring to fly but takes great pics and video. I use it pretty much just for photography. The FPV quads are just plain fun to fly...

I'm afraid I can't help much on a RC airplane sim.
 
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AutenTECH750

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@AutenTECH750
The two that seem to be the most common drone sims are Liftoff ($19.99) and Velocidrone (£16.99 ).
With Liftoff, you can choose different quads and even change out parts, motors, props, ect. It must be purchased and used by logging into a "Steam" account.
Velocidrone also has multiple quads to choose from and installs and runs directly on your computer.
There is also FPV Freerider ($4.99), and FPV Freerider Recharged ($9.99). Both have a free demo version.
FPV Freerider Recharged, Liftoff, and Velocidrone are the ones that I have myself.

Practicing with a sim is an exellent idea as it saved me many crashes with my real quads. You will still crash the real thing but hopefully not near as much as just diving right in without sim time. It may also help you decide if it is something you really want to pursue before spending alot of money on gear.

I would recommend using a real controller as it helps building your muscle memory using the same controller you will use on the real thing. I use a QX7 by FrSky myself and it does everything I need. It can also be used for fixed wing aircraft. You can get one new for just over $100.00. Some of the sims allow the use of regular PC game controllers but can't remember which off the top of my head.

I also have a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, but with the DJI stuff, you can let go of the controls and it will stop and hover and wait for your next command. With the other FPV quads, if you let go of the controls, it will be out of control... I find the Mavic boring to fly but takes great pics and video. I use it pretty much just for photography. The FPV quads are just plain fun to fly...

I'm afraid I can't help much on a RC airplane sim.
Hey
@AutenTECH750
The two that seem to be the most common drone sims are Liftoff ($19.99) and Velocidrone (£16.99 ).
With Liftoff, you can choose different quads and even change out parts, motors, props, ect. It must be purchased and used by logging into a "Steam" account.
Velocidrone also has multiple quads to choose from and installs and runs directly on your computer.
There is also FPV Freerider ($4.99), and FPV Freerider Recharged ($9.99). Both have a free demo version.
FPV Freerider Recharged, Liftoff, and Velocidrone are the ones that I have myself.

Practicing with a sim is an exellent idea as it saved me many crashes with my real quads. You will still crash the real thing but hopefully not near as much as just diving right in without sim time. It may also help you decide if it is something you really want to pursue before spending alot of money on gear.

I would recommend using a real controller as it helps building your muscle memory using the same controller you will use on the real thing. I use a QX7 by FrSky myself and it does everything I need. It can also be used for fixed wing aircraft. You can get one new for just over $100.00. Some of the sims allow the use of regular PC game controllers but can't remember which off the top of my head.

I also have a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, but with the DJI stuff, you can let go of the controls and it will stop and hover and wait for your next command. With the other FPV quads, if you let go of the controls, it will be out of control... I find the Mavic boring to fly but takes great pics and video. I use it pretty much just for photography. The FPV quads are just plain fun to fly...

I'm afraid I can't help much on a RC airplane sim.
Hey, thanks for the advice. I have a few questions though. Do all of these download onto your computer or is it like a CD or DVD that you get? Also, if it's downloadable, can you download it onto multiple computers without purchasing it several times? And with the controller, can you just purchase any remote controller like the one for the Inspire 2 or Mavic 2? If not, is there a controller that you can get for the SIM that is wireless?
 

brettbrandon

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@AutenTECH750

FPV Freerider and Velocidrone are a file download and can be installed on more than one computer. For Liftoff you have to install "Steam" (a gaming platform) to install and run the sim but I believe it can be installed on multiple computers as well.
I will go out on a limb here and suggest Velocidrone for a starter sim.

DJI controllers are specific to the model it goes with and only that model. Thus you cannot use an Inspire controller to control a Mavic, or the other way around. Also a FrSky or other brand controller will not work with DJI models.

I have a wireless dongle that works with FrSky brand controllers so there is no cable between the RC and the computer.

My controller, FrSky QX7 (I upgraded the gimbals to the Hall Sensors for a smoother feel but the stock ones are fine for starting out). It is an exellent controller for the price and will work far down the road. It does not come with a battery so it will have to be purchased seperately.
FrSky Taranis Q X7 2.4GHz 16CH Transmitter (Black)

Here is the wireless dongle and it will work with any of the FrSky controllers.
FrSky XSR-SIM Wireless USB Dongle For SimulatorsDefault Title
 
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AutenTECH750

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@AutenTECH750

FPV Freerider and Velocidrone are a file download and can be installed on more than one computer. For Liftoff you have to install "Steam" (a gaming platform) to install and run the sim but I believe it can be installed on multiple computers as well.
I will go out on a limb here and suggest Velocidrone for a starter sim.

DJI controllers are specific to the model it goes with and only that model. Thus you cannot use an Inspire controller to control a Mavic, or the other way around. Also a FrSky or other brand controller will not work with DJI models.

I have a wireless dongle that works with FrSky brand controllers so there is no cable between the RC and the computer.

My controller, FrSky QX7 (I upgraded the gimbals to the Hall Sensors for a smoother feel but the stock ones are fine for starting out). It is an exellent controller for the price and will work far down the road. It does not come with a battery so it will have to be purchased seperately.
FrSky Taranis Q X7 2.4GHz 16CH Transmitter (Black)

Here is the wireless dongle and it will work with any of the FrSky controllers.
FrSky XSR-SIM Wireless USB Dongle For SimulatorsDefault Title
So the same controller that you'd use for flying you can use for a SIM?
 

brettbrandon

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Range on goggles has alot of variables. They have been mostly analog but recently there are digital versions. There is a big debate currently on which is better and or longer distance.
Some goggles come with the reciever built in and some you purchase the reciever seperately. The reciever can make a big difference. Then you have the antenna. Some have a single and some have two (diversity). There are also different pick up patterns for the antenna's. Directional ones pick up mostly in one direction and will give you more distance but less coverage and omni types pick up from all around with less distance. A common setup is using one of each on a diversity setup.
Then you can get into what they call a ground station for long distance but I have no experience in those.
Range will also depend on the type and power output of the transmitter and antenna on the quad itself.
Therer are alot of variables...
 
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brettbrandon

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Good on you @brettbrandon, you are awesome for jumping in and explaining to those whose Google University skills are not up to snuff.
Thanks, actually I'm just trying to up my "reaction score". :rolleyes::p

If the age is correct, they are only fifteen which is alot different from when I was fifteen. Back then the first calculator had just come out, a computer filled a whole large room (and nobody had one at home), and the internet was decades away.

I am still fairly new to FPV myself and have got much needed help from others so I'm just trying to pay some back.
I have found Joshua Bardwell to be an exellent source for all kinds of info as well as unbiased reviews with the latter being very hard to find (the unbiased part as there is no end to reviewers). I can see how sometimes it is hard to know who to trust for info.
 

HighTechPauper

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Thanks, actually I'm just trying to up my "reaction score". :rolleyes::p
😂 🤜 🤛 I will always try to promote good peoples good posts, so you get a Like!

If the age is correct, they are only fifteen which is alot different from when I was fifteen. Back then the first calculator had just come out, a computer filled a whole large room (and nobody had one at home), and the internet was decades away.
I have lost some steam in writing long explanations here, so I am thankful to see you giving good advice.

I started out at 18 in the USMC working deceptive electronic countermeasures, mostly crypto, jammers, and early warning of attack systems. After the Corp I spent my 35 year career helping test and troubleshoot the global telecom infrastructure for all the big and small service providers. Having worked on so many complex hardware and software platforms, radar and wave guide systems, video codecs and teleconferencing servers, I have a bit of an advantage so I try to help where I can too. I am glad to have your contributions here at the forum!

I am still fairly new to FPV myself and have got much needed help from others so I'm just trying to pay some back.
I have found Joshua Bardwell to be an exellent source for all kinds of info as well as unbiased reviews with the latter being very hard to find (the unbiased part as there is no end to reviewers). I can see how sometimes it is hard to know who to trust for info.
I have at least 1000 hours at Youtube U, JB is good, there are dozens of others who do great work. Project Blue Falcon (RIP JC), Bruce Simpson, and some others were the ones JB learned from when he started, and while it could be argued that even JB has some bias, it doesn't change the fact that the knowledge side is pretty good.
 
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brettbrandon

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I have at least 1000 hours at Youtube U, JB is good, there are dozens of others who do great work. Project Blue Falcon (RIP JC), Bruce Simpson, and some others were the ones JB learned from when he started, and while it could be argued that even JB has some bias, it doesn't change the fact that the knowledge side is pretty good.
Project Blue Falcon helped me a bunch when I first got my QX7.
 
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RazinDrone

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I recommend FPV freerider. I first got the demo and once I was happy with it I bougot the full version for five dollars. You can defenetly find more expensive sims with more capability but I find fpv freerider to be just fine for me. If your not sure get the demo first.
 
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Wr4ptr

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I'd add that the Sims are fairly graphics intensive. If you've got a newer computer with a premium graphics card, I'd go with Liftoff (which is what I use) or Velocidrone. If your computer is less powerful, it's OK to go for a cheaper Sim, but you get what you pay for.

I've got 2 computers. One is "average" and runs liftoff, but only on the lowest resolution settings (and you can tell). The other is a gaming rig I built for an Oculus Rift with a graphics card that was in the $500 range. That computer runs liftoff on the most extreme settings and the experience is VERY realistic and very similar to actually flying my quads.

Also, don't be intimidated about using Steam. It's free and easy to use. The have cost money but downloading Steam and setting up an account are free. And I can confirm that you can download steam games to multiple computers, no problem. You can only USE them one at a time. So if you switch from computer A to COMPUTER B, steam will automatically log you out of Steam on computer A

Finally, if you have a quad or tiny whoop around, it's actually possible to bind your radio (controller) to the flight controller on that quad, then plug the quad into USB and then play the sim "wirelessly"....similar to the dingle mentioned above.

Really finally, I'd recommend a small 1s or 2s ducted whoop as your first quad. They are inexpensive, pretty resilient and you can fly them indoors and outdoors (great for rainy days and quarantines)! Lots of people like the Tinyhawk. I'm also partial to the BETAFPV 75x
 
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AutenTECH750

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I'd add that the Sims are fairly graphics intensive. If you've got a newer computer with a premium graphics card, I'd go with Liftoff (which is what I use) or Velocidrone. If your computer is less powerful, it's OK to go for a cheaper Sim, but you get what you pay for.

I've got 2 computers. One is "average" and runs liftoff, but only on the lowest resolution settings (and you can tell). The other is a gaming rig I built for an Oculus Rift with a graphics card that was in the $500 range. That computer runs liftoff on the most extreme settings and the experience is VERY realistic and very similar to actually flying my quads.

Also, don't be intimidated about using Steam. It's free and easy to use. The have cost money but downloading Steam and setting up an account are free. And I can confirm that you can download steam games to multiple computers, no problem. You can only USE them one at a time. So if you switch from computer A to COMPUTER B, steam will automatically log you out of Steam on computer A

Finally, if you have a quad or tiny whoop around, it's actually possible to bind your radio (controller) to the flight controller on that quad, then plug the quad into USB and then play the sim "wirelessly"....similar to the dingle mentioned above.

Really finally, I'd recommend a small 1s or 2s ducted whoop as your first quad. They are inexpensive, pretty resilient and you can fly them indoors and outdoors (great for rainy days and quarantines)! Lots of people like the Tinyhawk. I'm also partial to the BETAFPV 75x
Hey, thanks for everyone's advice. Sorry I haven't been responding because I haven't logged in in a while. I'm definitely going to use the SIM before I purchase an actual FPV drone. Again, thanks for all the advice. It is greatly appreciated.
 
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