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Old 07-05-2015, 03:28 PM   #101
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Just got a $56 Soma X5C in the mail.. said to be the perfect learning quadcopter. It is a lot of fun and seems easier than any of the RC helicopters I tried..but will take some time to get it down.

Meanwhile, July 4th, we were at Horseshoe Bay Resort at Marble Falls Texas for their party and fireworks on the lake. There was a drone flying over the boat parade , the party and the boat slips shooting video and man, could that pilot fly. He was able to keep aloft for about 20 minutes each flight. I thought for sure that he's a pro shooting video for their marketing. When the fireworks began, he flew up into the zone close to the action and captured 15 minutes of the 20 minute show.

I caught up to him when he landed and found out he's a professional photographer who asked permission to shoot from the resort and was just having fun,practicing and shooting demos to sell his drone services. He is starting to get more work with the drone in his business (real estate appraisal video, etc).

Here is a link to his Youtube Channel

As of this (Sunday) afternoon, the boat parade and the fireworks video were not up yet, but there are other videos of his work that are beautiful. His drone is a DJI Phantom 3P, which according to online shops, is about $1,200 for the basic model.

I'll try to bump this thread when he gets the fireworks video up.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:46 PM   #102
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GoPro releases footage from the drone they're developing:

This is the first footage shot by the GoPro drone | The Verge

They tout that they did not stabilize it with post processing.

I've been waiting to see what they'll put out, as there was some speculation about it being in the $500-1000 range, to attract a bigger market than the DJI Phantoms, which start at around $1000 and up.

However, if they charge $500 just for their cameras, it's hard to conceive of a drone with a real good camera being less than $1000, unless they use a cheaper camera as opposed to mounting one of their top of the line Hero 4 on a gimbal.

Even then, they only support 4k 30fps. With 4K TVs becoming more affordable, I'd prefer to see at least 60 fps support and possibly HDR support.

Of course eventually all these refinements and specs will come to this market, unless the FAA and other regulatory bodies make it more difficult to get into this hobby for people. I don't have a problem with this talk of registration, since some people have done foolish things with drones, like fly them near planes.

But I have some upcoming trips where I'd like to try them, including New Zealand in February. So I may have to consider something like the DJI Phantom 3. Heard on a photo podcast that it could be piloted from a mile away. The founder of 500px went to Europe and was worried that he wouldn't be allowed to fly over some famous site so he went a half mile away and flew his Phantom 3 remotely, through the iPad he had paired to his controller, which allowed him to pilot just through the streamed video.
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:56 PM   #103
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But I have some upcoming trips where I'd like to try them, including New Zealand in February. So I may have to consider something like the DJI Phantom 3. Heard on a photo podcast that it could be piloted from a mile away. The founder of 500px went to Europe and was worried that he wouldn't be allowed to fly over some famous site so he went a half mile away and flew his Phantom 3 remotely, through the iPad he had paired to his controller, which allowed him to pilot just through the streamed video.
BJ's has a clipless coupon.. DJI Phantom 3 Standard for $449. I was on my way to the trash with the BJ's coupon mailing when I saw this. Not sure if it's a good price or not. 5/19 to 6/8.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:19 PM   #104
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The big difference I see between the Phantom 3 standard and the Phantom 3 advanced or professional is the range. 1km on the standard, 5km on the others. Also the professional does 4k video but it is double the price. They all seem to have the same motors, gps, and gimbal.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:32 AM   #105
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The big difference I see between the Phantom 3 standard and the Phantom 3 advanced or professional is the range. 1km on the standard, 5km on the others. Also the professional does 4k video but it is double the price. They all seem to have the same motors, gps, and gimbal.
I got the Phantom 3 Standard online for the same as the BJ's price (less really since I paid no state sales tax). I've flown it a few times. There's very little eye-hand skill required...hands off and it stops in place immediately, even in a pretty decent wind. So I'd say it's not all that "fun" to fly. The real skill involves knowing how all of the automatic guidance features work. There are several modes where you delegate control (they call "F" mode or "IOC"). It can keep the camera pointed at the launch spot (home), or it can follow you (if your phone has GPS), or you can have it circle a point of interest, which is kind of cool. As long as you don't run into anything, and have the return to home altitude set high enough, it'll land itself where it took off from without input from you. It knows how much battery it will take to do it, and can do it even if it doesn't have a connection. Still many ways to crash it, but I've managed to avoid those, so far.
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Craziest drones on YouTube
Old 08-29-2016, 08:19 AM   #106
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Craziest drones on YouTube

Ran across a flying dead cat quad, a flying toolbox and more in this video...
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Old 08-29-2016, 12:59 PM   #107
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Geez, these things look pretty cool. Some of you must be so experienced, you might be good candidates to fly for Amazon.
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:06 PM   #108
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On the news today a guy was fishing with his quad and caught a good size bass.
Fishing line and bait hanging from bottom of quad.
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:18 PM   #109
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Some of you must be so experienced, you might be good candidates to fly for Amazon.
I'd thought of that. Too bad the FAA eliminated the requirement to have a pilot's license, now the employment pool is greatly enlarged.

BTW, if you want the license, apply here: https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:08 PM   #110
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There was a story today about some 65-year old woman who shot down a drone over her property in VA. Turns out she used to shoot skeet and happened to be cleaning her shotgun when the thing came up.

The owners tried to object and she told them she called the cops, told them about trespassing.

Nobody claimed for damages on the drone.

There are no clear rules on how far above a property is public or private.
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:21 PM   #111
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I have been making enhancements and selling them for the 3DR Solo SmartDrone platform on my 3D printer for about 2 years now. I have 3 quads. Solo SmartDrone, 3DR Iris+ and a 200QX for Buzzing DW... LOL. That is what I first adopted as one of my RE hobbies.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:06 AM   #112
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I haven't read through all the posts but with the cheap quad copters you can modify the control unit to extend the antenna and get it higher in the air. Search Youtube and you'll find a video explaining how to do it.

I am not a video game player so when I got my modified unit high up in the sky I had trouble knowing knowing exactly where it was. I brought it down in a tree...about 80' up. A year later we shot it down with a potato gun (<- another fun story). The copter still worked but needed some repairs from being shot out of the tree.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:15 AM   #113
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I am not a video game player so when I got my modified unit high up in the sky I had trouble knowing knowing exactly where it was. I brought it down in a tree...about 80' up. A year later we shot it down with a potato gun (<- another fun story). The copter still worked but needed some repairs from being shot out of the tree.
My housemate got a drone for Christmas, a fairly inexpensive one that tends to run out of battery charge really quick. One day I asked him to take it up above the treetops in the yard, maybe 80 or 90 feet up and get some video. He did, but then on the way down, the wind caught it and it ended up stuck about 30 feet up in a tree. It did come down after a few minutes, thankfully.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:08 AM   #114
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Local paper had an article the other day on all the people applying for licenses to fly drones on a commercial basis, just have to be 16 yo and pass the written test:
Age of drones begins as thousands sign up for drone-flying licenses | The Star-Telegram
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:53 AM   #115
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I haven't read through all the posts but with the cheap quad copters you can modify the control unit to extend the antenna and get it higher in the air. Search Youtube and you'll find a video explaining how to do it.
I made the mod to the Syma X5C transmitter (the doubling of the antenna length). But when I tested it, I found it to be BS...didn't extend the range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer08 View Post
I am not a video game player so when I got my modified unit high up in the sky I had trouble knowing knowing exactly where it was. I brought it down in a tree...about 80' up. A year later we shot it down with a potato gun (<- another fun story). The copter still worked but needed some repairs from being shot out of the tree.
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My housemate got a drone for Christmas, a fairly inexpensive one that tends to run out of battery charge really quick. One day I asked him to take it up above the treetops in the yard, maybe 80 or 90 feet up and get some video. He did, but then on the way down, the wind caught it and it ended up stuck about 30 feet up in a tree. It did come down after a few minutes, thankfully.
If you listen to any multi-rotor pilot's stories, you'll hear about the one that ended in the tree. I buy two X5C's at a time now It's like homebrewers...if you listen to their horror stories, you'll inevitably hear one about how they had to use a mop on the ceiling
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:38 AM   #116
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I made the mod to the Syma X5C transmitter (the doubling of the antenna length). But when I tested it, I found it to be BS...didn't extend the range.
....
That's what I'd expect - the antenna length is likely tuned to the frequency and input characteristics of the receiver. Increasing the length to an integer multiple would probably require corresponding changes to the receiver.

I'm no antenna expert, but I picked up some by osmosis from the experts I worked with. I'm pretty sure the different lengths have a different impedance, and this needs to be matched, or you might do as much harm (degradation, not breaking anything) as good. Though there is always the chance that they cut the length down for aesthetics or other constraints, but since reception is an important feature, I kinda doubt it.

-ERD50
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:16 PM   #117
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Karma finally announced Karma drone. It folds so good for travel.

$799 or $1099 with Hero 5 Black camera.
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:20 PM   #118
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I just saw an article in an aviation newsletter where they have issued half a million licenses.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) I live half a mile from an airport
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:51 AM   #119
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I started out in July with a 75 dollar drone from Amazon. It was a load of fun to fly but very sensitive to the wind. Ended up with it way up in a tree. I couldn't live without it so I bought another one. A few weeks later after trying several methods I picked up on YouTube I got the one in the tree down but two of the motors were dead.

After researching drones in the $500 to $1000 range I bought an Autel X Star Premium. 4k camera on a gimbal, 25 min. flight time, over one mile range. It's just great! I'm still flying it in beginner mode which limits you to 100 ft. altitude and 325 ft. distance. It has many features such as a go home button which when activated the drone goes up to 98 ft turns and flies back to its take off point and lands within a couple of ft. of the take off point. Anybody interested in drones check them out on youtube.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:05 AM   #120
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ESPN signed a deal to air drone racing starting in October. Should be fun to watch.

http://www.espn.com/moresports/story...ting-agreement


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