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Looking for a Drone

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seacowboys, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I am bidding a project that requires frequent aerial photography as a submittal and have decided to purchase a Drone and commercial license to utilize for this, along with exceptions to operating elevations, should I require flying higher than the 400' limit. I am researching quads that can hover in some breeze and return to launch as a default.
    I am interested in any input from experienced operators that might influence my purchase. Also, I am interested in aquiring information about the remote cameras they use, thinking along the lines of a semi-stationary observation post from a tethered balloon for security purposes.
    chelloveck likes this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Do not forget over .55 lbs you are required to registrar with the FAA.
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I not only have to register with the FAA, I have to get exemptions and a commercial license to use for project surveys.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I can maybe get you in touch with the Drone Pilot for the ABP Production Team, if you want... He has been doing all the aerials for them for 2 years....
    chelloveck and ghrit like this.
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    I know two people with the DJI Phantom 3 drones. I have flown one of them. It is a very sound machine and very easy to operate. Maybe because I have a couple hundred hours of piloting submersible ROVs for underwater inspection work, but I had zero trouble flying it my very first time.

    It has closed loop position control using GPS and gyro feedback. So push the left stick up to ascend and when you let go allowing it to return to neutral position, the drone parks right at that altitude. Ascend 5 feet and let go and it will hover right at 5 feet regardless of wind etc. You can even walk up to it and push it around and it returns right where it was at exactly 5 feet. Very very cool and well engineered PID control system. It even can maintain a stable camera as well. Aim the camera at something then hit the sideways control hard. The drone will roll 20-30 degrees to accelerate in the commanded direction but the camera mount compensates maintaining a level perspective by the camera. I flew it over a mile away at 400 feet AGL and still had adequate signal strength. When I turned to head back ground speed was 35 mph but I think it had a bit of tail wind (I didn't pay attention to ground speed when heading out.) Probably 30 would be close to top air speed. If the drone looses communication with the controls it will auto return and land about where it took off. My understanding is battery life is about 20 minutes.

    You can get different camera options and spend from $500-$1300 but what I saw it was well worth it. Another negative, it does not work well inside as it can't get good GPS signals.

    I was very impressed flying this and I'm not very easy to impress. Having engineered submersible ROVs I appreciate the closed loop controls, they did a very good job with those.
    I also believe a new Phantom 4 is coming out soon. Not sure what the differences may be but you should investgate before buying.

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  6. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Thx Airtime, That is one unit that have been looking at the most, I think it will meet my needs. I fly mini-rovs too, started out with DeepSea Systems mini-rover but now mostly just the little videoray. I met Chris when he sold one of his first units to the TVA, I was a diving consultant to their water quality division.
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I will have Barry get in touch with you. He's a commercial Drone Pilot now. He's moved up from the flying pumpkins and can actually make a very substantial living with the Drone license which now has a pilot's license as a prerequisite.
    chelloveck likes this.
  8. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    LOL, remember the jackass that shot the flare at the drone on the Knob Creek Machinegun range?
    RightHand likes this.
  9. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    that was as funny as the battle of the laser beams
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  10. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Have made a decision on a DJI Phanthom 4, think it will meet my immediate needs quite well.
    Ganado and RightHand like this.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Do, please, let us know how it works out.
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