DJI NazaWritten by Jonathan Malory
I bought the Naza controller after I'd bought the DJI Wookong just to see what this cheaper flight controller was like, and I have to say in terms of 'bang for your buck' you can't go far wrong - I'm very impressed with it. It comes with GPS, and the DJI Naza V2 has become more and more popular. In fact some prefer it over the more expensive DJI Wookong.
The video at the bottom of this page is pretty much my first flight with this DJI Naza controller. Well, obviously I did try it at home first - I'm not crazy enough to do a maiden flight over a church where I might lose it on the roof - but this is the first proper flight with a video camera (Gopro 2) on board.
I've seen tonnes of video of DJI Nazas mounted on the DJI Flamewheel frames with DJI motors and DJI ESCs (Electronic Speed Controllers), so I wondered how the DJI Naza would work on my own choice of setup. Furthermore, I wanted to test it on bog standard cheap equipment just to see if it would fly nice.
So, with that in mind, I made my first ever purchase from GoodLuckBuy.com, hoping the name wasn't bitterly ironic, with a super cheapo folding quadcopter frame, the ideafly, then waited 6 years for it to arrive - ok, so it was more like 3 or 4 weeks, but long enough for me to be surprised when it arrived because I'd forgotten all about it. To be fair though, I really do like the frame - the folding mechanism is easy to use and it's actually pretty tough feeling material - I'd buy it over a Gaui 330X frame any day.
I also had six spare, non-descript motors and Hobbywing ESCs that were left over from an awful FyeTech Y6 Scorpion Flyer hexacopter that I threw in the bin ages ago - if you see one for sale anywhere I advise you not to be tempted to buy it, the build quality of the frame is pants.
Keeping with the cheap theme, I did something I never normally do and bought the cheapest camera mount available, which was a Scorpion 2 Axis Pan and Tilt servo camera mount that comes without servos but two standard Futaba servos I had fit just nicely. It also has a spot for a third small 9gram servo for a camera trigger, but I didn't bother with that. Anyway, for twenty nine quid I figured I'm not too fussed how it turns out. But, to be totally honest, I don't think it was all that bad. I have definitely had a lot worse camera gimbals since I've been flying multirotors. One thing I like about this one is it all bolts and screws together with no need for glue. Obviously new brushless motor gimbals are far better, but thus was totally on the cheap
Oh, I put some 9x45 props on ths quadcopter also, nothing fancy again - some bright orange and green ones I found on ebay.
Of course, then there's the DJI Naza itself, which I bought from quadcopters.co.uk - I don't mind buying the cheapo stuff from places like Good Luck Buy and hobby king etc, but when it comes to the expensive 'gubbins' I always buy it here in the UK in case I need help with it or it's faulty etc, so I don't have to wait a million years to get a replacement, and so I can talk to someone who's in the same time zone and a car drive away if need be. I made the mistake of buying my first expensive flight controller from abroad to save about 90 quid, but it turned out later to have a fault and it was a total nightmare to deal with - never again.
Anyway, so below is my cheapo quadcopter video of a church, using a DJI Naza V1 flight controller without GPS and utilising the gimbal stabilization from the DJI. In future videos I pushed the landing skids further back, but I left them in this video so you can see how much they move around compared to the camera - i.e. you can see the DJI Naza camera stabilisation in action.
It was a little windy, but not so bad, and I haven't done anything hokey with the video, no software post-stabilisation whatsoever, so you can see the raw video, semi-skillfully edited to music. :) Personally I'm rather impressed, with the DJI Naza that is, and think most people with be able to get some very decent aerial footage or photographs with it - it, like me, that's what you're into. Of course you may just want to fly around for the fun of it.