Joshua Bardwell The FPV Know it All.
4 min read
When I first got into quads, it was my middle child that said: "Hey Dad, watch this." He was watching a youtube video of Mr. Steele titled "God Mode Activated".
Now, I do not like my kids watching Mr. Steele because he has language that I do not want my boys to emulate. But there are many pilots out there that will fill up an evening of family fun watching.
My free-fall journey into FPV
I had messed with toy-grade quadcopters and I own a JJRC X12 (Mavic Mini knock off) But nothing was like this with speed and agility. I wanted to do that. I wanted to do that NOW!
So my boy and I found a tiny whoop to fly indoors and hone our skills. It was an Emacs tinyhawk s RTF. The RTF (or my understanding of) meant that it was shipped ready to fly. That meant that it would come with a controller and goggles.
We were ignorant of the differences between BNF and RTF options, or that you needed to change it on the site to purchase what you want.
We purchased this from a company called banggood.com What we received in the post was just the drone. Banggood did a bait and switch on us. Or, what we thought was a bait and switch being very new to the hobby. Either way, not a great page to purchase as a beginner.
So gutted that he/we were not able to fly, I purchased another Chinese RTF drone that was an Arris 280. Thinking that we could bind the controller to the tinyhawk and use the goggles from that.
When it came the goggles work well with the tiny hawk but not the controller. The controller was a flysky. So, at this point, I am losing my cool and all this money we just sunk into this hobby without getting this whoop working. I try the betaflight thing trying to fix whatever was not working. Turns out when we plugged the whoop into the computer it overwrote the firmware.
I reach out to Emax for some help but they were in China and the conversation was in circles. (A ton of reasons why I will not use Chinese parts or devices anymore, including delivery times.) I find out that there is an Emax USA so I try writing to them to get some help. That was such a mistake. The person who returned my email was an asshole. They ridiculed us for not knowing what we were doing. Turning all my questions into other questions never actually getting an answer for any of mine. It was a train-wreck.
At this point, my boy and I are hooked on the freestyle footage from youtube and have watched hours of builds, tricks, styles, races, everything related to the hobby. We know names to faces from the team at rotoriot, JohnnyFPV, Team Blacksheep, KrazyKwads, Mr. Steele [ethix], Nurk, and so many more.
There is a man named Joshua Bardwell from the rotoriot team who is known as an FPV know it all.
You will eventually come across his videos. All the instructional FPV videos are about the same from most YouTubers, but Joshua sincerely wants you to learn something in his vids. In fact when the penny drops, and you get that "Ah hah!" moment is when he is truly happy. His videos are detailed, precise. You get this feeling that you can build any Quad from scratch, PID tune it and go rip.
So I reach out to him asking my stupid noob questions and he replies the same day. With an extra apology that we are having such a rough time of it. We have a little back and forth and I start respecting him as a source. He tells me straight up what I need, what I need to do to get my quad up and flying.
So several hundred dollars later we are flying and having fun.
UPDATE: It is a year later and I have a whole wall full of FPV drones. It is an addiction for me now. I owe my love for this to JB and my boys.
Joshua makes his full time gig as an FPV know it all and gets $$ from donations or purchasing through his links. I truly think that if it was not for him I would have started and ended with this tinyhawk in the trash.
If you have questions about what is needed to get into FPV or setup; ask him.
He is truly an outstanding individual and returns almost all emails. He gets my praise.
Here is one of my videos when I first got a camera to add to the drone.
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