Archive for the ‘Drones’ Category

Flying Camera

Well, it’s been just under 2 months since I got my first drone. I have taken a ton of pictures and video and I have had a lot of fun!

Some of the things I learned, it is far different standing at one point and flying a craft you are not in. Being a pilot, I didn’t think it would be that much different. I was mistaken. Perspective and orientation is totally different. Plus, you have no sensation of movement.
You do you carry over a lot of principles (roll, yaw and pitch etc.). Will you crash? Just a matter of time.

I recommend getting a $70 drone (Ominus or equivalent) and learning a lot of the different maneuvers (figure eights, flying sideways, point of interest etc.). Learn how to fly out of Vortex Ring State (more info) which is easy to have happen while descending with a quad copter. Better to make mistakes and learn from a craft that won’t get damaged doing that. The current drones will give you a false since of control since the electronics (GPS lock, ATTI and Compass controls) do a lot of the flying. Lose any or all of that and it is a lot different flying them. Most people will crash and then blame it on “Fly Away”.
Read the information that comes with the drone (completely and then again and once more). Many people lose or damage (or worse hit a person) their drone because they pull it out of the box and fly it first without any training or knowledge. That is a mistake.

Here is a tip that can save you time and energy. You cannot fly within 5 miles of a controlled airport(FAA rules. Follow this link for the current rules) without an okay from the airports ATC. People do, I know. But, if you are, contact the ATC and tell them you are going to fly/take pictures (wherever you are wanting to). If you are outside the “No Fly Zone” (which is programmed in most of the newer machines firmware) and you aren’t in the traffic pattern, then they will usually let you. Stay under 400 feet or whatever they ask, and you are good to go.

Here is how you determine if you are outside the 5 mile radius using Google Maps. It’s easy. Bring up the maps.
Find the airport and drop a pin.

Right click on the pin and select measure distance.

Now click on the map and it will show the distance. You can drag the point around and you will see it calculate the distance!

Give it a try. If you want clear the measurement, just right click on the point.


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Lately I have been having a blast with a couple of different drones from DJI ! One is the Phantom 2 Vision + and the other is the Inspire 1. Both of these machines bring an amazing way to take video and pictures! These are NOT toys. They are a lot of fun though!
I will be posting tips on things to do and not do. DO read as much as possible before you fly it. It will fly very easy but you can get into trouble very quickly. Damage, injury and loss of your drone can happen in quick order! I have talked to two people this week that lost $3,700 worth of drone (Inspire 1) and another that crashed theirs. Ouch.

Tip number 1
Put your name and phone number on the drone before you do anything! You might even consider putting “Reward if found” along with you phone number. Most people will call you if found.

Tip number 2
Read all paperwork (including manual) before you fly it. If you have a friend that has one or the place you bought it is willing, get some instruction. While these have GPS guided flight (by default and if signal acquired) you can get into trouble fast!

Tip number 3

(click on image for full size)

This may sound funny, but the very first difficulty was getting the battery out of both drones! Here is a super easy fix with NO modifications. On the battery (see where my finger tip is pointing) lube this tiny little groove with a small amount of Vaseline. It is unbelievable how easy the battery (that was stubborn on removal) now comes out! This is true on both models of drone.

Have fun! Be safe. If you’d like, I posted a few videos on YouTube. Take a peek and make sure to select HD!

I’ll be posting more soon!

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