Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I buy an RotorX Atom Racer over any other drone?
Very rarely does a drone come along that is this easy to use, upgrade and enjoy at a reasonable price while also being made from the highest quality components currently available. The Atom is designed to be safe enough to learn to fly on, while quiet enough to fly without causing undue disruption to your surrounding area, meaning you can fly away from people and private property purely for fun without fear of disturbing anyone. Additionally the Atom is a platform that is as durable as a drone should be, not just surviving many crashes without even needing to replace a propeller, but a drone that could last a lifetime if taken care of with minimal maintenance. The modular design allows part replacement in minutes with no soldering! When you are ready the Atom V2 is a racing machine, especially if built in the PRO configuration for ultra fast racing or carrying the HD Camera.
Shouldn’t a micro racing drone half the size cost half as much?
This is a common misconception. We have built a drone that performs just as well or better than larger, more dangerous racing drones. We have had to develop the same components and high quality electronics into a much smaller package. This in fact increases cost, rather than lessening it, due to the more intricate manufacturing process required to create quality micro and nano scale drone parts
Why should I buy a micro drone, rather than a larger more common 250 sized racing drone?
There are many reasons why a micro racing drone is better than it’s larger counterparts.For Example:
Crash resistance - A sub-250gram racing drone has less potential energy, and as such is less likely to cause damage to the drone, or the object it crashes into.
Safety - Again due to the smaller size and lighter weight, an Atom is less likely to maim or kill someone if they are unfortunate enough to walk in your path whilst flying. This doesn’t mean it is smart or safe to purposely fly them into other pilots or bystanders
Registration - Due to FAA regulations, sub 250gram drones do not require registration by the FAA. Meaning you can buy and fly without having to forgo privacy by having your contact details listed publicly with the FAA.
What does RTF and DIY mean?
RTF means Ready to Fly, meaning the Drone itself is assembled, and a controller is provided meaning that you just need to connect the battery to make it go(after reading the instructions)! DIY obviously means some assembly required, in this case it’s quite limited. Do not be too daunted by this, there are hundreds of customers available for guidance and no question is unanswerable.
Will we still offer our current RX122 V1 Atom kits?
Yes, but in limited supply, focus will be making Atom V2 parts available before kits are delivered
Is the Atom safe for kids?
Being micro, the Atom is safer than current full sized racing drones. Though it is still a very powerful drone, so we recommend users 14 and above. The PRO upgrade is really not as beginner friendly at the Racer standard kit using RX1105 motors and propellers
Do I need tools?
With any racing drones, you will eventually need to modify and repair. Basic soldering iron, allen keys, pliers, screw drivers etc will get you out of trouble. Alternately, our Pro bundle comes with a small tool kit.
Where can I get help in building my DIY Atom?
There are many people that will help you with your build online, either provided as a service to build it for you
Do I need to be an experienced builder to build the Atom DIY?
The DIY Atom is suitable for beginners, but some basic soldering is necessary to install the motors. Even if you get the ready to fly version, it is important to have basic soldering skills in case you need to replace components or want to upgrade to the larger motors in the future. If you are worried that you can’t solder at all, a post campaign service will be offered to presolder the components.
What is PID Tuning? How do I tune my Atom V2?
We currently have some of the best drone racing pilots tuning the Atom for you. We will do our best to supply new PIDs when updated Flight Control firmware is released. Though, as a pilot it is always best to learn the art of PID tuning yourself. Check out this video for a handy introduction to PID Tuning:
Why don’t you list the exact electronics? Your tech specs are very vague.
Due to the high volume of companies copying our products. We cannot reveal exact specifications until we have the first actual units delivered to customers.
Who are your partners?
MultiGP - Community based racing league, 300+ chapters worldwide meaning there's always a race near you. http://www.multigp.com/
DRL - Drone Racing League - FPV racing drones. The top pilots in the world. Epic courses. Join us for the entire DRL 2016 Season where we’ll crown the world champion as the best FPV pilot on the planet. http://thedroneracingleague.com/
Fatshark - FPV Goggles - Makers of the best First Person View goggles for drone racing
MQC - The Mini Quad Club is a Facebook group and a great place to share your videos of flight, connect with the worlds best pilots or just find tips and friends to fly with. http://www.facebook.com/groups/miniquadclub
TBS - Team Blacksheep - Makers of the finest drone racing electronics in the world, masters of radio frequency and efficient long range control and video systems. Without them the Atom v2 wouldn't exist! - http://www.team-blacksheep.com/
What is that tripod device that drone racers use?
That's called a ground station, it's used for getting better reception in what are called 'multi-pathing' environments where you have a lot of racers on similar channels and interference affecting video reception. They aren't required for most flyers who try to stay mobile, the goggles have a receiver in them and so does the controller.
How long does it take to charge up the batteries?
Battery charging will take about 20-30 minutes per battery, you can charge faster but there a risk you will be shortening the battery life. Most racers have 10 or more batteries so once they charge up at home they have hours of flying in the field.
How long is the flight time?
Flight time on most racing drones is between 3 and 8 minutes depending on how aggressive you are flying. You will find this feels like a long time because of the adrenaline rush, and a rest will be required to calm your nerves.
Can the drone fly stable and still in the same spot or is it more geared towards flying forward and fast?
The Atom is designed for manual control and surfing the skies, but it can be hovered in position just not automatically via GPS. We recommend practice and then you will simply be able to put the Atom in any position in the sky you wish. By using a camera angle mount with very low degree of angle you will be able to hold position quite well, or by flying in what's called "Line of Sight" or "LOS" mode, meaning you watch the drone as you control it rather than using the FPV equipment to see what it sees.
How do you take photos? (Example, selling a house) Do you have to take a Screenshot after you play the HD recorded video?
The HD camera can record to an SD Card, and capable of taking up to 2K resolution video, meaning you would be able to take high resolution individual frames from the video at around 4 megapixels.
RotorX micro drones the RX155 Raiju and RX122 Atom have led a trend in the community towards smaller, safer racing drones. That was recently validated by the FAA ruling on no registration required for drones less than 250grams. Our lack of an international distribution network and financing to create large volumes of our cutting edge designs left the door open for an army of zombie cloning companies that wanted to capitalize on our popularity and designs. We need Indiegogo to help us keep creating next level products while also pushing down costs to the customer, so that more people can afford to get into drone racing safely and share in the amazing experience of being a FPV drone pilot. Whether it is for racing competitively, with friends or just for fun!
What flight modes does the Atom V2 racer come with?
Because the Atom is designed for many different skill levels, the default mode will have low power self leveling flight mode that is a good starting point for getting used to the basic controls. There will be several pre-programmed switches for intermediate and advanced levels of flight that will allow you to really surf the skies and race if you so desire.
Does the Atom V2 have GPS, Return to Home, Follow me mode and Wi-Fi control to my smartphone?
The simple answer is NO to all of those, for many reasons that we will try to explain. You don’t have to look very hard to find drones that have had situations where these “automated” control modes have failed, and there are many ways they can fail. Solar flares, poorly designed hardware/software, cloud cover, and obstacles like trees and mountains are just a few of the reason why even the most expensive GPS controlled drones are susceptible to “fly-aways” let alone the cheap, low quality - but affordable - ripoffs, that flood the market. At RotorX we feel like why should we rely so heavily on a system so proven to fail so often? Why should a robot have all the fun of flying? The Atom, like most pure racing drones, lets you fly in what’s called manual/rate/acro mode meaning you are absolutely in control of every movement that the drone makes, and as soon as that control link is broken the drone is no longer able to operate (called failsafe) without you, a human. How can you fly like a bird if you are using waypoints or a smartphone? These flight modes give the operator a false sense of security about their skill level and their drones reliability/handling. Wi-Fi controlled drones have an incredibly short control range, and extremely delayed video stream that makes FPV piloting clumsy and impractical for racing.
What differences are there between the Atom V1 and Atom V2 Racer?
The Atom V1 was launched on RCGroups exactly 1 year ago, and the discussion about it has now over 10000 comments and half a million views. The V1 Atom was the first of it’s kind and required a complicated mix of over 10 individual components from different suppliers designed for much larger racing drones, meaning assembly of the Atom V1 takes around 5-10 HOURS of complicated soldering, setup and assembly, meaning only the most advanced drone builders could attempt to put them together as intended. The Atom V2 Racer requires less than 30 minutes of assembly, and comes preconfigured and set up for operation as soon as it’s plugged together, the DIY kit only requires soldering of the motors to the central brain, and the RTF kit obviously is fully assembled and tuned for perfect flight.