If you’re located in Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin then you NEED to come to Asylum Skatepark’s Monday night whoop racing in Lake Bluff, IL!  

Asylum Skate Park hosts races every other Monday night and it is an absolute blast.  It doesn’t matter if you’re an FPV beginner, or a more seasoned pilot, all are welcome to come and hone their skills.

Myself and the APV Drone crew decided to give whoop racing at Asylum a try and it was the best decision we ever made. 

We arrived around 7:30 pm and were greeted by @badmechaaron_fpv and @karbon_killer.  Since this was our first time flying at the skate park they helped us get setup.  They explained the fundamentals of how the night would be structured and also got us all setup on the correct VTX channels.  

When flying FPV with other pilots it is very important that there is enough channel separation to avoid video interference.  There needs to be some communication about who’s transmitting on which channel otherwise there will be interference and racers will not have clear video feeds.  

The video frequency we’re flying on, 5.8 GHz, only has a limited range of channels to choose from. The closer those frequencies are to each other, the more chance you have of cross talk. 

The simplest answer is that we spread pilots out over channels so we can get the most people in the air with the best video quality possible.  We use an output power of 25 mW to further reduce the risk of video interference between channels.  

Once that’s all squared away we get ready to fly.

It was finally fly time!!!

The track was setup by @badmechaaron_fpv with 6 gates spread out over the skatepark.  The ramps themselves added another level of obstacles to avoid which was challenging but fun.  @karbon_killer had a timer system setup so lap times could be tracked. We were shocked to see some of these guys regularly putting down times under 15 seconds!  @jansonluedtke was able to get a 33 second lap on his first night out!

We asked fellow pilot @2SlowFPV what advice he would give to us beginners. Here’s what he had to say:

“I guess the main thing I’d say is find your tribe. Everyone sucks when they start out. This is a hobby with a huge learning curve. You need to learn to build, configure, tune, and fly.  And that’s if you don’t want to shoot videos. Nobody can really do it alone. Find pilots who are skilled but also willing to share their knowledge, then get out and fly. And once you get good enough that people start asking you questions take time to answer them.  Don’t be a dick. The only way this sport is going to grow is if we keep getting new pilots starting out. The community needs to be inclusive rather than exclusive or people will just go play video games.”

@Asylumskatepark hosts indoor whoop racing every other Monday night starting 9/16/2019 from 8:30PM until 11:00PM.  Beginners can arrive at 7:30PM for help with VTX setup and practice. The cost to race is $10 per pilot. For location information visit:  https://www.asylumskatepark.com/

For information about the racing, scheduling, etc. visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lakecountyillinoisfpv/

Also make sure to check out the awesome pilots we had the pleasure of flying with at Asylum:

We look forward to bringing you more stories and interviews in the coming months from important figures within the drone community. You can check out our conversation with Jeff Grabowsky of Salt City Racing here.