“I’m never content.” // PhantomFPV pilot showcase

By | December 24, 2022

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00:00:00 – Who is Phantom FPV?
00:01:22 – How would you describe your style?
00:03:48 – I'm never content
00:06:06 – I would like to see a professional freestyle league
00:09:43 – What pilots do you look up to?
00:12:03 – Phantom's sample flight
00:14:42 – Phantom's gear: what does he fly?
00:16:08 – Why does he run KISS?
00:17:13 – He blew up how many FETTEC ESC's?
00:19:31 – Why doesn't he fly analog?
00:22:41 – His biggest gripe with the O3 air unit
00:23:29 – Why he flies Ghost instead of Crossfire or ELRS
00:25:32 – His PIDs for KISS and Betaflight


This is Phantom fpv no no wait scratch That this is Phantom fpv [Music] I can't think of another fpv pilot out There today with the style exactly like Phantom fpv he's got ridiculous speed Crazy technical tricks in the middle of These blazing fast lines without ever Missing a Beat Just never stops from the Beginning of the pack to the end a Density of tricks that just makes your Eyes water and a tenacity to continue Hitting incredibly difficult tricks Again and again and again until he Finally gets it and then just take it The next level and one up himself Phantom fpv is the topic of today's fpv Pilot showcase we're going to talk to Phantom we're going to talk about his Philosophy how he practices how he flies How he thinks about his flying his gear His setup his pids we're gonna do it all [Music] Um how how would you describe your style Of fpv oh man I figured this question was common or Not I don't think I've ever answered it But um when I first got into fpv I Didn't really follow the YouTube game For the first couple of years and then Um as like yourself Mr Steele stingy all The big names started to rise up in the YouTube community and then everyone Started joining YouTube and posting

Their video footage it was always um I just felt a desire to see more from a Technical perspective of like doing Tricks in in tight spots stuff that you Don't typically see in fpv because for One it is a challenge to watch when you See that your video footage is rolling Across the screen at a thousand seconds You know But um I kind of wanted to focus more on That technical the technical side really Low really close really Technical and Tight proximity and it it's taken quite A few years but I would say that's Probably more of my like Root style is that really technical Fast Approach to fpv you do run you do run a Fast you run a relatively high up tilt What's your up tilt I do it ranges Depends on how well the camera like Switching to the O3 now I'm only able to Get about 40 degrees up till it maxed in The Apex but um previously was as high As I could get it so 40 plus degrees Pitch and then 40 plus yeah frame yep That's pretty high for freestyle Um it means you really can't slow down You're constantly moving forward and I I Think that really is one of the defining Characteristics of your style is uh You're always moving forward and you're You're throwing in these really Technical tricks without sort of losing

Your speed and your momentum I'll tell you that uh that took many Years to get to that level A lot of broken parts a lot of smashed Batteries a lot of smashed everything I think I spent probably two years there Was a time I don't want to digress off The rails here but there was a period of Time between about a year year and a Half or I was every day out of the Garage around the house my neighbors are Going crazy but it was probably 20 30 Packs a day for like a long time trying To just get that dial to where I could Have the speed and the technical ability All without just completely exploding And it's still a work in progress I mean My videos I crash all the time so yeah It's kind of a byproduct one of the Things I think of when I when I watch Your flying is it seems like you're Always challenging yourself I remember One time we were flying together and you Were doing a uh a power Loop under a Stairwell and it was a really tight Power Loop you were trying to make this Crazy exit Gap Uh I guess I'm never content Um if you look at fpv there's there is a Wide swath of the tricks that are Available the styles that are available In the different Pilots so you really Have a wide flavor of what you can what You can get into

Um for me it was I want to be able to do All of it And then I would I would like to be able To do all of it really well and then be Able to do all of it in a really Challenging environment so uh I guess For me it was like the trip you spin for Example like we could many Pilots can go Out and trip you spin a tree or a pole Or a tower but can they do that around a Pole inside of a building with walls Around you so it's like when I see Tricks that are being done outside in a Wider open or even in a closed proximity Environment I'm always like man is it Possible can you do this trick in this Environment let's give it a try and Sometimes I'll practice on a simulator If I know it's going to be catastrophic Or potential for a high failure a high Uh you know High equivalent loss I'll Spend a couple hours of simulator and Then I'll transition to the actual real Flight the last point is I just I'm Trying to be as good as I can be trying To be the best pilot I can be so it's um I mean I think it's clear that you're a Pretty driven guy uh another another uh Trick that stands out to me is this Chimney dive you've been trying to get And I've seen you I've seen you get it And walk away but not get it clean and It looks like you keep throwing yourself Back at this tiny little chimney have

You hit that one yet to your Satisfaction no I had one um a couple of Months ago that was pretty clean but I Still tapped and then I actually was out There about a week ago last two weekends Ago and I lost my DJI I hit the top the Cam rejected and there's these tall Weeds and I was out there with a metal Detector trying to it I was like Am I ever gonna get this stack dot clean It's That is incredibly difficult because It's just a tight entrance tight tube And a tight exit there's no room for Error another video of yours that I Think really uh highlights sort of the Way your mind works and the way you Think about fpv is you did a uh a Trictionary well and you broke out all These different tricks all these Different variants of the tricks in a Very methodical way you named them all You even give separate names to the left And the right moves like you would with Skateboarding you know uh uh and it Feels like you're always thinking about You're always thinking about it in a Sort of a very methodical way Um you think you're more of a methodical Thinker more of a creative pilot you Know just going with the flow Humbly I would like to say yes Absolutely But I think more um more along the lines

Of that was like I would rap I would Also like to see freestyle Um professionalize at a degree of like DRL so where you have DRL is very Organized it's organized sports like SLS Skateboarding there's there is an Organized Um group of you know judges in a program And tricks that you can define a name I Think it was partially that I wanted to Be able to Define tricks so if Pilots Are out practicing or doing them a judge Or judge's panel could look at the trick And evaluate and say oh he did it this Way he did it that way and apply score As necessary but then it was also just For the community of like what we're not Doing just flippy floppies anymore it is A definable trick there it there is a Method to the madness I would say so it Was kind of like Dual Purpose one to Find tricks and two maybe in the future There's a sanctioned competition League Of freestylers so you're you're not You're not uh like thinking about it That way while you're flying you're Saying he just kind of wanted to put That stuff down yeah Um you know a lot I've thought about That a lot uh we see a you know Competition obviously is good people Enjoy competition and we don't see a lot Of freestyle competition we sometimes See people do like Bach grinder has his

Showdowns where he shows the videos Um but nothing really structured and People say well you can't can't do that It's all about creativity but like Dancing has competition judging Standardized moves BMX skateboarding all These other Sports that are analogous to Freestyle In so many ways they pull it off and I Wonder why freestyle just hasn't got There well I think one of the struggles Is like we all talk about it's hard to Watch one is the vehicles are small and Two it's just the screen is so rapidly Moving around that you know a lot of Folks can't tolerate it so I don't know Um how you crack the code of There's a group of people that are Interested enough to you know invest and Then and actually sit back and figure it Out like how do we Create a you know an organization not an Organization but create a program where We could actually pull this off where It's interesting and people want to Watch and people are able to watch So uh that's yeah yeah but you're right Like Moto X like they all they're all Competitions out there where creativity Is critical and and like on some level I Say freestyle Pilots they're they're Sort of got this really they don't want To like give up their spots they kind of Just want to show off the show their

Stuff A lot of times they're a little Bit more individual than maybe Racers Who are a little more inherently Communal uh but like surfers surfers are The same I think there's a lot of Parallels between surfing and freestyle They're very protective of their spots Only so many people can fly a spot at a Time and you know you have surf Competitions and I don't know uh you're Right I think it should be done right it Could be Um what uh what freestyle Pilots did uh Did you look up to while you were Getting into flying and you know who are Your sort of freestyle Pilots you're Looking up to now So Um always the big names of course right Like Mr Steele stingy yourself but Um I would say even still the same the same Guys uh with the exception of um sharpoo I did not know he existed until about a Year or two ago and that's I know people Would be like there's no way it's not Possible it is absolutely possible I Think it's just been that long since he Was making content though yeah he's one Of his style Like I watching it about two years ago He he was doing the Bando stuff and he Was doing type proximity and he was Really pushing the envelope but that was

You know five or six years ago so I Would say I was really intrigued by his Style Um there's some young guys I watch their Videos a lot Um I'm terrible with names Um yeah I am too I'm too a couple of Them out of Europe there's a couple of Guys um like big oily guy I know it's a Really big Bando flyer Um pretty much I watched so much YouTube It's like I watch everyone and I think Everyone I feed off of that because I See people in certain locations doing Certain things I'm like I'm gonna go out Try that I gotta go yeah now you uh you Love Bando Style flying I think that's Really you'd rather fly a bando than a Big field with trees but there's not a Lot of bandas uh you see flying a lot of Schools and stuff schools yeah I'm not Opposed to Fields I just don't prefer Them because it's hard to find that you Know the proximity to objects but like Parks School Parks churches Just about anywhere I can find traveling Would be nice if I could go travel and Like link up with other Pilots we've Been to Atlanta a few times been up North a few times out in California but It is a challenge to find in in North Carolina to find like a decent Bando They tear them down immediately yeah

Right we've got some brandos around here That are pretty good but again those are Hard to find unoccupied what's a Brando Just a brand new Bando it's a new Structure going up so like houses Construction like commercial properties Yeah construction zones yes that is what I prefer Yeah but um even those are hard to get In because there's always someone there And you don't want to damage anything so You don't know of course hobby for Everybody You wouldn't trespass you wouldn't want That no right Um let's uh let's I say what let's do You sent me a flight I asked you to send Me a flight let's watch your flight Together I haven't actually watched it Yet I saved it Yeah the other thing too is the standard D War I I want to give the perception of being Low to the ground without like Stretching the field of view out so far That I'm actually not low to the ground It's just more information on the screen Yeah so I wanna Again maybe to a fault because sometimes It's like it's all in your face at one Time but Throwing tricks in in the middle there It's just you never go very long without A trick do you no I don't yeah

You're always throwing stuff in Yeah You could you could have just jumped Over that but you're gonna throw a Little roll in yeah it's just that that Challenge because again my mindset is When I watch a video I see someone fly Through a gap and it's like yeah you can Do a trick through that Gap what kind of Trick can you do that guy you know like Can you do a Maddie flip all right Committee flip more technical do a Rubik's Magic Flip yes exactly you're Always I think you're always trying to Dial it up a notch yeah Uh-huh He's still up It feels very steel inspired the way Your steel also does that he throws his Little moves in yeah he's a little bit Better at it than I am he keeps his line Really impressively he does Yeah maybe we need to pay more attention To the uh what it looks like Post-processed Randomly flying [Music] Well there's always a balance between Like making something that looks good After and just doing what's fun for you Right And I try to when I go out and fly I try Not to get into that that position of Like I have to get footage or I have to

Make this look a certain way it's like Yeah bounced off this thing There was that a Disney just disarm arm Take off You know what it feels like to me it Feels like if you're watching somebody Have a really good run on like Tony Hawk Pro Skater and they're just bouncing off Of this and bouncing off of that and They're always you know What it feels like to me Yeah try and use the whole area too Because it gets boring if you see the Same location the same spot over and Over and over and over and over again Some areas it's tough to do that if it's A small location but Like this church is interesting quite a Few acres in size so Trying to use all of it So speaking of bashing up bashing up Your stuff let's talk about your gear Um let's talk about run down your gear For for us So Apex frame been flying that quite a While I have now a kiss V2 flight Controller the kiss Ultra fcfc V2 flight Controller there's a V1 the V2 is not Released yet still use a fat Tech ESC so The 45 amp four in one Um the zip Luminaire zip popo Motors That's the only reason good Lumineers Still makes popo Motors is that you buy Do you break a lot of Motors yeah I have

So I had a question actually a guy named Uh Derby he was like how many Motors you Go through a year and I was probably Like 50 100. a lot it's obscene it's a Lot about um lately I haven't broken too Many Motors so I've been on a good a Winning streak here but uh 2407s because they are more durable for Me and then the 2207's preferred as Lighter I feel like it's better Performing motor but um they're more Fragile on the zip so I go through those Things like candy versus anybody knows Right right Um I switched over to the dji03 air unit Which I like and I'm still using the V2 Goggles because I haven't gotten the Goggle 2's shipped to me yet and then The controllers the good old uh free Sky Tyrannos X light Pro and then that ghost Link For the actual uh control link so There's a couple interesting things in There I think we just take them one by One um I don't think anybody's gonna be Surprised that you run the Apex frame It's a great frame very durable Top-notch frame right so set that aside Um you run kiss you don't run beta Flight talk about that what's going on There Uh and I know this is largely debated Right the feel the feel of how it flies And you know there um to me there is a

A definitive feel of how the quad Performs and flies Um beta flight 4.3 I think was the first Time I've flown a betaflight quad where I was like wow this actually has that Buttery smooth feel which actually the Video that you played is betaflight 4.3 Um and I like flying it feels really Good it's smooth so kiss just has always Had that really It's easy to set up it's easy to Configure it's easy to bolt onto your Quad so the installation setup is there It's really simple hence kiss keep it Simple stupid and then the way it flies It just feels really good and I don't Have to tune it I have to spend a lot of Time tuning it I can go out and just Kind of get some of the bobbles out and Just start sending it yeah I mean Straightforward it's not like you don't Know how to pit tune it's not like you Don't it's not like you're afraid of the Technology I mean you know your stuff uh But it sounds like it just works for you No durability issues with that fat Tech ESC I know I've heard so questions Originally let's say I think I've Cracked the code on it say this with Caution because I was going through uh Hold on And consider these hundred dollar bills Right one They sent you an eighth one for free

Right yeah you heard about that right Yeah well I could I could use a couple Of free ones so I think I've cracked the Code on burning them up I have not knock On wood loss of fed Tech ESC and easily Four to six months okay and um I run two Caps Spike absorber and I run my power To the flight controller independent Right off the battery release so key Back to vbat so I don't run it out of The ESC and I think what was happening Is I was getting Um without the spike absorbers or the Multiple casts just the system failure You know things heat up spikes it was Just burning there it's a pretty small ESC with a lot of small components so It's just not as robust as it could be Yeah hopefully someone comes out with Like a 65 amp so fed Tech or kiss you Guys are out there listening pick it up A little bit right beefy ESC please yeah But um I've actually had really good Luck with the fat Tech ESC but yeah Lately so even though so 100 just Dropped on the ground whatever uh Whatever it is if it's working for you Keep doing it right yeah uh they would End up people will probably argue in the Comments like oh whoa that can't that Can't matter but at the end of the day If you stop stop well I also don't beat It up so when I crash if I'm stuck I Stop okay I know I'm stuck I know I'm

Stuck and I'll go that's when you were Building them up that's when I was going If I'm like refusing to walk to go get My quad or flight back I'm just Branching on you know crash mode Don't do that just walk and go get it Save yourself 100 bucks I'll pay myself a hundred bucks to walk Over there and get my phone okay sounds Like a deal Um so then you used to run analog and What what VTX did you run when you ran Analog Um I was on the TBS so I had the TBS UniFi Run yeah 800 milliwatt version of that It was the HP I think a lot of people Are going to be surprised to hear that You switched to DJI because you're Clearly you're going fast you're in Proximity they would think that you want That ultra low latency and that Smoothness that a lot of people feel Like you can't do this stuff on DJI so Well you know why'd you switch and what Was the effect of switching So um from the very first day I got into Fpv I wanted to be able to fly in HD I Was the guy out there buying all the Antennas the circular polarized when you Know Alex was making them and true RC Was putting them out and they're 40 50 Bucks a piece and smashed them up and This video was terrible and I was back

With like 600 milliwatt maximum But um like immersion RC vtx's but then When DJI released actually it was either Yours or stingies that I tried first or Maybe it was even Steels it was one of The three of you But it was very late and then they had That firmware update where they bumped It to 50 megabit and I tried it and it Fixed the jittery so the frame rate Issue and it felt faster it took me About two weeks to adjust but flying it Consistently for about two or three Weeks I finally got over the you know The felt latency if you will and then And I was Almost three years ago when the caddocks The caddock's Vista when was that Released two years ago so Now it's just not an issue I can fly as Close as I want to fly to whatever it is That I want to fly around as fast as I Want to fly and it just doesn't It's not an issue I wonder if you've Flown analog since you've adjusted the DJI and were you like oh oh no this is So much better So Uh about three or four months ago I was Flying analog quite a lot for work And To be completely 100 honest the latency Was not an issue I wasn't like holy cow This is so much faster I gotta have

Analog again it was the terrible video Not in a way that was so significant That I was like I'm gonna shelve DJ out Or shove digital okay go back to analog Because Again the video Clarity for me Is like It's Paramount yeah like I love the HD And then when the O3 came out now I'm at 800 plus with the with the goggle 2 1080 You know 100 feet per second because I Tried the fat sharks too and they were Really good the Avatar system where I Saw the 1080 for the first time I really Liked it so I'll I'll train my brain to work with a Little latency however many packs it Takes interesting yeah uh I think you're Not the static I think you're not the Only one who feels that way uh obviously The DJI system is pretty successful but Uh for someone I think a lot of people Out there might say well that's fine if You're like intermediate or if you're You know your computer but it's holding You back but when you see people out There doing the things you do with it I Think it's hard to argue that it's Holding you back I don't know uh I think So the amount of packs on flies holding Me back I need a flower pass That's true for all of us isn't it yeah Um uh now you've gone to the O3 recently How's that working out for you really Well

Um so I configured it just like I had my Vista configured and performance is Better so range performance penetration Performance I was dealing with some low Light issues yeah I was going to say no Complaints at all yeah I have a Complaint it's the uh ISO the low light Settings are pretty bad but I just Updated my goggles yesterday and did see That they I think there is more range in There now so I haven't tested it yet but Um that was my biggest complaint yeah Was the uh inability to fly in low light Situations as I could with the Vista Because vista's performance and low Light's great you're not just talking About like I want to fly it at Twilight But also like you flying like into a Bando and it gets dark inside the Bando And you can't see where you're going That's kind of a big deal it is or even Nighttime yeah So then uh you feel like ghost as your Control link sure and I I I I would say Probably you know like Crossfire very Popular Express seller is very popular Gotten more popular in the last couple Years tracering goes maybe not quite as Popular how'd you end up on ghost S um pure chance I guess maybe uh I Started on CrossFire big antennas I was Tearing them up so it was cost Um then elrs came out and I think no Tracer came out I bought Tracer because

Two four small everything was smaller And I had a lot of really good luck with With Tracer I like it a lot I still Actually have it on one of my quads Um and then elrs came out and I heard You guys I watched a couple of your Videos and everybody else I think stingy A few a few of the big names out there Touting elrs is the hotness so I bought It and it for me uh my patience level With dealing with the firmware updates And programming and this and that and The other I finally and I had some fail Safes with it was it my fault I'll say It was Um and when I have a fail safe I'm just Like an unexplained Fail-Safe when Everything I think is right right when I Haven't had fail safes with any of the Other protocols I just was like all Right I'm gonna put this on the side for A minute and then that's when the ghost System was released that boasted the Higher Hertz rates So now I can have even faster lower Latency link with the same performance As Tracer and I tried it and I haven't Had any fail safes whatsoever borrowing A broken antenna Um And I just haven't felt a need to change Back to anything else yeah that I do Think that's one of the gotchas with Express lrs is it does take a little

More uh it's easier to sort of put your Foot in something like maybe you bought A receiver and it's like oh well if you Were keeping up with the Discord server Then somebody would have told you that That receiver had a problem but like Right that's a lot to keep up with uh And and yeah it's much better now I mean Now it's fully integrated I know the box Of Radio you were showing yesterday is Like it's all fully or the other day is Fully integrated Um it's into everything it's just and It's a great system it just now I've Moved on yeah hey you stick with it yeah Uh now you sent me uh your pids and We're gonna share uh I bought an album I Can actually upload this stuff to like An imager album or something so people Can look at it I asked you to send uh Over your pids and uh And uh you know standard disclaimer Applies unless you're flying in the Exact same quad he is you may not be Able to directly copy the pids but I do Think people are going to be very Curious like just to to learn that stuff Uh what's your yeah if you're flying Kiss Um there's some new firmware that most People probably won't be able to get Right away but um Alex is pretty good About releasing it but I will say if you Use the default tune as a start it's

Going to be really good it's kind of Like the betafly 4×3 stuff now that some Of those default Tunes are as a baseline Really good and most don't even need to Touch them but for me that I'm I get a Little bit picky and I want to dial it Up or dial it down it's just trying to Refine it even further well what's your Process for pin tuning like how do you Not like how do you approach that We start with the kids do you start with One of the kiss presets I'll start out with kiss preset because I know it's basically like it's a good Baseline tune um Crunch it's just the first one I think Well it's not called crunked it's it's Um I think it's just called the kiss Preset I haven't selected no I don't even think They call it that anymore I haven't used It so long because I just flash over my Other presets but um all right So I'll start there I'll go fly if I Hear oscillations then I'll start either Raising D or if it's not Um locked in or as tight then I'll start Raising p But uh I'll just go out and fly and feel It and see the you know where it's Bobbling or not bobbling or if it's Holding a line or not holding a line and Then I'll just slowly make adjustments From there yeah I do the the painful

Like I don't put like a big number in And change I'll do like 100th of a point Or 200 so it would just make incremental Changes until it starts to get locked in Yeah so mostly mostly sort of by feel Though Uh just intuitive yeah yeah okay I'm Looking at you you also yeah go ahead I Will say on betaflight because you have Black box logging which you can do on Kiss two just add a logger which I did I Figured that out just that simple right That's it it actually is that simple it Just took me a little bit to figure it Out but um on betaflight I do look at Frame resonance uh motor noise gyro like I do look at the actual Black Box log Black Box logs to to drive my tuning Where I put filters and Notch filters or How high or low I run the filtering yeah So I will say there on betaflight I do Actually take the time to look at the File the view the black box to get it Dialed and I Feel It In Flight and Listen to it yes you basically just Upped the master pulp multiplier a Little bit here on your betaflight tune You sent me everything else looks pretty Stock any uh anything uh sort of like uh Out of the ordinary or unexpected that You that you do in your pit tuning that People might uh not see coming No I don't think so let's see in the Filtering side there might be some stuff

Where I add Notch filters and some may Frown against that due to like you're Adding latency or something like that to The system but I've not noticed any Latency by adding a notch if I see a Spike I see yeah no it doesn't look like That's here on this one but you're Saying sometimes you're not a static Notch yeah if you got frame resonance Gotcha I started this project What do you got going on here I thought it was ironic yeah I thought It was this was given to me as a gift Broke the uh prop on it but now I'm Going to turn it into a long range High-speed Boat fpv Boat which I thought Was funny because I saw a bot grinder The other day he's just got a boat on a Boat too I was like ah yeah now it's Gonna look like I'm stealing his idea But I was like I'm like heavily involved In this brushless upgrades all the Things like nice it's all nice yeah that One of the seven inch game seven inch Game u5 mostly five inch freestyle what Else do you fly Um I had a beast class for a while I Started with a 10 inch which I enjoyed And I had a beast class for a while it Just became too expensive uh just a risk So I started out too expensive and Stayed that way that's right

So now I want to get back into some long Range medium range I'll say because it's Not long range Um so I'm getting a I just ordered the New Apex uh long range Frame that they have the seven inch Hopefully have that the next week I've Got the older Apex seven inch right now So uh I want to start down some medium Range flying get back in the crossfire And seeing how far I can push the O3 Link Yeah nice don't forget a few miles out Of it Well uh I appreciate you taking the time Uh to talk to us talk to me uh of course We got links to your social your YouTube And so forth all down in the video Description and uh if anybody out there Isn't familiar uh we'll put some Highlights uh down there so people can Focus on really get a sense of uh what You're doing but uh it's been really Good talking to you Phantom yeah I Really hope we reached out thank you Very well appreciate it man my pleasure