First flight (launched from a skating rink)

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I finally got to take my Solo for it's first flight. A little over a week ago I picked up an open box of the $299 deal for $235 after some coupons I had. I also picked up a 2nd gimbal for $40. So for $275 I have a Solo, controller, two gimbals, a second battery, and spare props.

It's winter here in Minnesota, so we have snow on the ground. I found a place the launch from. I did it from a skating rink on a lake. There was a large area that had been plowed with no snow. It was wide open with no obstructions, people or anything else. It was 22 degrees F with 14 MPH winds. I usually try to flt my other drones in less than 5 MPH winds, but I wasn't going to have a chance to do that for a long time.

My Solo has the Rev A GPS, so I did the cardboard mod before the first flight. I had a lock with 14 satellites and HDOP of 0.8 in just over a minute. I used auto takeoff, but landed it manually each time. I wasn't sure if the auto landing would bring it down too hard on the ice.

I'm used to flying drones I built with the KK flight controllers. None of my other drones has a GPS or magnetometer. I found the Solo very easy to fly, but also very sluggish. Of course I had the flight settings on the default, so next time I'll adjust them to the more advanced settings as I hear it will be more responsive.

I had my GoPro Hero 3 Black recording during my flight and the video was nice and smooth. Since its not the + or the 4, I had to power it on and press record before I powered on the Solo. I did have video preview on an iPad Mini I was using with the app. Since I plan on shooting 1080P video anyway, it's probably not worth it to spend the money to upgrade to the Hero 4 Black. I have a Hero 5 Black already, but that won't work on the Solo unless I use a different Gimbal.

I'd love to do some more flying today, but it's snowing now and this afternoon they are forecasting rain and 40 MPH winds.
 
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The slower settings are great for learning but a Solo perks up very nicely with the speed settings bumped up. I've read that the top speed increases noticeably when flying manual over flying with GPS controls. I can't confirm that but I can say it was noticeably more responsive when I switched to manual. Maybe that's just because every little twitch I made resulted in Solo movement whereas with GPS controls those jerky movements are softened and subdued.

It IS nice to be able to have more control over the GoPro. You could get a GP3+ Black for pretty cheap at this point. A 4Silver can be had for around $200 and a 4Black can be had for around $290 as refurbished units from GoPro directly and come with a factory warranty. Hopefully the refurb 4Black will still be around and drop further in price when the next generation comes out. I want one, but I don't see it being a huge enough jump from my 3+Black to justify the cost.
 
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The slower settings are great for learning but a Solo perks up very nicely with the speed settings bumped up. I've read that the top speed increases noticeably when flying manual over flying with GPS controls. I can't confirm that but I can say it was noticeably more responsive when I switched to manual. Maybe that's just because every little twitch I made resulted in Solo movement whereas with GPS controls those jerky movements are softened and subdued.

It IS nice to be able to have more control over the GoPro. You could get a GP3+ Black for pretty cheap at this point. A 4Silver can be had for around $200 and a 4Black can be had for around $290 as refurbished units from GoPro directly and come with a factory warranty. Hopefully the refurb 4Black will still be around and drop further in price when the next generation comes out. I want one, but I don't see it being a huge enough jump from my 3+Black to justify the cost.
I am looking for a Hero 4 for a good price.
 

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