Anyone here flying drones?

chromedome52

Member
When I was younger, a buddy of mine had a radio controlled airplane, which I watched him fly about at a nearby field. I could never afford anything like that (we weren't poor, but we weren't rich, either.) Later, while riding Sunday morning Shore Patrol around the Navy Yards in Philadelphia, my partner and I would stop and watch some guys flying really big R/C planes at the abandoned air strip on the base. Again, I was fascinated, but military pay wasn't a lot in those days. When I got out of the Navy, my extra money went to fish and equipment. There was no money for another expensive hobby.

Not long ago, small, remote controlled drones started to become very popular. What's more, they almost all carry cameras that link back to your phone. They were, like the R/C planes, also not cheap at first. Recently, I have noticed the proliferation of models, and considerable reduction in prices. Having been forced to abandon my fishroom, I've been looking for another hobby, and while the federal stimulus was nice, I had nowhere to spend it. I saw a couple of drone flight films over the shore of Lake Michigan on Facebook, and thought, I'd like to try that.

So this Saturday I am expecting the delivery of my first drone. I've been researching for a couple of months before making the commitment to buy. I learned that you have to register with the FAA to fly drones that weigh more than 250 grams. There are lots of restricted areas - you cannot fly them over National Parks, airports (obviously), and certain other places. I am fortunate to be out in the country, where there aren't a lot of houses, and my neighbors are not close. But some folks have had drones shot down by annoyed people who didn't like being spied on, even if they were only imagining it.

So I was just wondering if anyone here has flown drones, and maybe get some tips and/or other warnings from them.
 

PurpleReign19

Member
chromedome52 said:
When I was younger, a buddy of mine had a radio controlled airplane, which I watched him fly about at a nearby field. I could never afford anything like that (we weren't poor, but we weren't rich, either.) Later, while riding Sunday morning Shore Patrol around the Navy Yards in Philadelphia, my partner and I would stop and watch some guys flying really big R/C planes at the abandoned air strip on the base. Again, I was fascinated, but military pay wasn't a lot in those days. When I got out of the Navy, my extra money went to fish and equipment. There was no money for another expensive hobby.

Not long ago, small, remote controlled drones started to become very popular. What's more, they almost all carry cameras that link back to your phone. They were, like the R/C planes, also not cheap at first. Recently, I have noticed the proliferation of models, and considerable reduction in prices. Having been forced to abandon my fishroom, I've been looking for another hobby, and while the federal stimulus was nice, I had nowhere to spend it. I saw a couple of drone flight films over the shore of Lake Michigan on Facebook, and thought, I'd like to try that.

So this Saturday I am expecting the delivery of my first drone. I've been researching for a couple of months before making the commitment to buy. I learned that you have to register with the FAA to fly drones that weigh more than 250 grams. There are lots of restricted areas - you cannot fly them over National Parks, airports (obviously), and certain other places. I am fortunate to be out in the country, where there aren't a lot of houses, and my neighbors are not close. But some folks have had drones shot down by annoyed people who didn't like being spied on, even if they were only imagining it.

So I was just wondering if anyone here has flown drones, and maybe get some tips and/or other warnings from them.
Yeah I have a Force1 Shadow. Can go extremely fast and has pretty good camera quality. Havent been able to test how high it can go because I have an airport nearby and havent been able to find a flight range. Only tip is to really get used to controls before flying high or in more compact spaces.
 

ForceTen

Member
I am also interested. How much would a novice buying a decent drone expect to pay?
Is the camera to phone only for video or is the drone controlled by the phone? Or both?
I ask as I am not sure how one can watch video and fly the drone at the same time?
Also any suggestions on brand or price?
Thanks in Advance.
 

PurpleReign19

Member
ForceTen said:
I am also interested. How much would a novice buying a decent drone expect to pay?
Is the camera to phone only for video or is the drone controlled by the phone? Or both?
I ask as I am not sure how one can watch video and fly the drone at the same time?
Also any suggestions on brand or price?
Thanks in Advance.
Mine was like 200-250 dollars but there are many novice ones thats are cheaper. Camera and video are controlled by a phone. There are a lot of good brands, mine is a Force1 but there are many other quality brands. You can watch the drone but once you get more experienced you can fly just by watching the video on the phone, though I always watch the drone itself. You control with a remote but usually remotes have a phone holder so you can see the video as well. Hope i could help!
 
  • Thread Starter

chromedome52

Member
Thanks for those tips! The one I ordered was around$100, but was supposedly heavily discounted at that price. I was also considering the DJI Mavik Mini, as that is under the 250 gram weight limit. Apparently Mavik is a "hot" brand right now.
 

PurpleReign19

Member
chromedome52 said:
Thanks for those tips! The one I ordered was around$100, but was supposedly heavily discounted at that price. I was also considering the DJI Mavik Mini, as that is under the 250 gram weight limit. Apparently Mavik is a "hot" brand right now.
Sounds fun! Good luck flying!
 

Flyfisha

Member
I have been flying RC for many years. Having been a member of multiple local clubs and seen more than one incident that required a hospital trip I think safety is something you need to be aware of. Many drone flyers do not have the rules and regulations established by of a group of old men over many years. While I don’t want to spoil anyones fun the modern drone has removed a lot of the “ fly by the seat of your pants “ stuff only learnt the hard way in the good old days For example the first time you fly in front of the sun should be the only time you ever make that mistake. I strongly recommended glasses at all times. Flying at a model aircraft field a few times or indeed just visiting will give you an insight into what is missing from flying on your own.

When flying in a public park the dog walkers think it’s funny how their dogs attack your electric craft at it’s most vulnerable as it runs out of battery and you can do nothing about it.

Personal favourite.
Slope soaring with or without eagles.
Long flight times of many hours on a hot summer evening.
 

86 ssinit

Member
I’ve got the DJI mavic air. It’s a small drone but has a mile and half range. It is fun to fly and film. Ive taken it on all vacations. But as of late restrictions have gotten a lot worse. I’ve got an small plane airport about 15miles from me but my area has become a no-fly zone. With DJI your hooked up to the internet. It flys from your phone. So when there’s a restricted area it just won’t fly. So practicing hasn’t been happening. From the phone they are very easy to fly. Picture quality is great 4g. Unforunatly the cheaper ones are harder to fly and break easily. Fly it in an open field with no trees. Stay within the range listed. When out of range they just go. Very easily lost.
 

jmaldo

Member
In my younger days, years ago. I had a small economy RC plane.
It was fun they had a designated RC area/park nearby. Have thought about picking up a drone, but...
I am in the city with 2 airports within 15 miles, which I am sure are restricted "No Fly" zones.
Maybe someday.

Have fun, Guys.
 
  • Thread Starter

chromedome52

Member
Well, I got it. To say the least, I'm underwhelmed. It is a relatively small, not too expensive model. Having trouble getting the camera to sync up with my phone, did it once I don't know how, and now I can't do it again. Batteries don't have a very long life, and one of them is broken already because the casing on the drone is tight and pulled a plug loose from the battery. Still have 2 good batteries. They charge off a USB port, takes 30-40 minutes to charge.

Been flying strictly indoors first day or two, until I get more instinctive with the controls. Instructions are in English, but translated from Chinese, apparently. They are rather thin on explaining things, I don't think it would help even if I could read Chinese. However, as I work with it, I'm figuring it out on my own, mostly.

Given time, and once I figure out the quick way to sync up the camera, I think it will still be fun for learning how to handle one of these. Maybe down the road I'll start looking at a more expensive, and more capable, model.
 

PurpleReign19

Member
chromedome52 said:
Well, I got it. To say the least, I'm underwhelmed. It is a relatively small, not too expensive model. Having trouble getting the camera to sync up with my phone, did it once I don't know how, and now I can't do it again. Batteries don't have a very long life, and one of them is broken already because the casing on the drone is tight and pulled a plug loose from the battery. Still have 2 good batteries. They charge off a USB port, takes 30-40 minutes to charge.

Been flying strictly indoors first day or two, until I get more instinctive with the controls. Instructions are in English, but translated from Chinese, apparently. They are rather thin on explaining things, I don't think it would help even if I could read Chinese. However, as I work with it, I'm figuring it out on my own, mostly.

Given time, and once I figure out the quick way to sync up the camera, I think it will still be fun for learning how to handle one of these. Maybe down the road I'll start looking at a more expensive, and more capable, model.
Can definitely be tricky at first. I would recommend trying to fly in a huge open area to get used to it. Good luck
 

pagoda

Member
I have always thought about trying to fly a drone but with the amount of paperwork and restrictions in the UK and my complete failure with flying an ordinary RC aircraft, I decided against it cos knowing my luck it would probably get me arrested
 

86 ssinit

Member
Thing is those small ones are much harder to fly. The DJI ones are almost too easy. Not joking! I was up and flying within an hour. All on basic settings. Yes there are faster settings but that’s more than I’ll ever use. They are great for filming and taking pictures. There was another thread on drones here with some footage.
Drones | Our Other Interests Forum | 374611
 
  • Thread Starter

chromedome52

Member
Huh, I did a search in this subforum for drones, wonder why that didn't come up for me before?

Well, I'm getting to know it a little better. Was able to fix the third battery, took the casing apart and put it back together properly. I've been practicing in my living room, which is quite large, but the flight time is about 10 minutes per battery and an hour or more to recharge it.

Watched a youtube review/tutorial for a drone that's almost identical to mine. I understand some things better. I guess I still need to get the FAA license. And I do need to get outside to practice with it. I may yet get one of the more expensive drones with the extra capabilities.

Thanks for the tips and support, and for pointing out that other thread!
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
At work, i am instructed to watch drones and figure out who is controlling them so we can have them aporehended. My main job, the CEO told me i could shoot them down! However, there is one phitography company that is allowed to fly a drone occasionally and take pictures. He lets me watch his phone on occasion to see the views. It is quite amazing! I also like watching videos people do drone flyovers of old abandoned places. Probably won't try to fly one myself, as my R/C driving is atrocious
 

Dunk2

Member
I’ve had a DJI Phantom for around 7 or 8 years.

I really enjoyed flying it and taking pictures and video, but the number of restrictions on them has honestly made it more aggravating to me than it’s worth at this point.
Betta'sAnonymous said:
At work, i am instructed to watch drones and figure out who is controlling them so we can have them aporehended. My main job, the CEO told me i could shoot them down! However, there is one phitography company that is allowed to fly a drone occasionally and take pictures. He lets me watch his phone on occasion to see the views. It is quite amazing! I also like watching videos people do drone flyovers of old abandoned places. Probably won't try to fly one myself, as my R/C driving is atrocious
Betta'sAnonymous For your own sake, tell your CEO to research the law related to shooting down drones.
 

ForceTen

Member
86 ssinit said:
I’ve got the DJI mavic air. It’s a small drone but has a mile and half range. It is fun to fly and film. Ive taken it on all vacations. But as of late restrictions have gotten a lot worse. I’ve got an small plane airport about 15miles from me but my area has become a no-fly zone. With DJI your hooked up to the internet. It flys from your phone. So when there’s a restricted area it just won’t fly. So practicing hasn’t been happening. From the phone they are very easy to fly. Picture quality is great 4g. Unforunatly the cheaper ones are harder to fly and break easily. Fly it in an open field with no trees. Stay within the range listed. When out of range they just go. Very easily lost.
So the software knows your location and the drone just grounds itself? And what happens when they go out of range? "They just go" is what I am asking about.
You would think these things are so smart they would just fly home.

And I am interested in the helicopter style, not the airplane style. It would seem the airplane would be very difficult to learn.
I had a very small helicopter that I could barely hover with. Of course it was like $49 and my wife saw it on TV. I even bought spare rotors but it quit charging and I got tired of chasing it around and having to bend over multiple times to retrieve it.
I lost interest quickly.
 

86 ssinit

Member
Yes on mine the software keeps it from taking off in restricted areas and it has a return to where it took off on it. So to lose it you’ve got to go out of area without enough charge to get home. But even with that it will land itself and keep filming. There is also a map that shows you where it landed. Again I’m not even a gamer and I was flying within an hour.
 

ForceTen

Member
Does it navigate around obstructions on its own? Like if you are flying towards a tree. Will it smash into the tree if you do input instructions?
 

86 ssinit

Member
It has sensors to avoid obstacles. But can still get in between branches that are spread apart and can be a problem. So always best to stay away from trees .
 

ForceTen

Member
86 ssinit said:
It has sensors to avoid obstacles. But can still get in between branches that are spread apart and can be a problem. So always best to stay away from trees .
Amazing. Now I have to give myself the okay to buy a real good one. Will $1000 do it?
 

86 ssinit

Member
Yes you can be flying for that price. But understand there are many restrictions now. It does become a bother! Also I’m noticing that the 4g picture quality does seem to break down with time. Don’t understand why but if you look at the other thread where the drone is over New York. Those pictures are not as crisp as they were originally. There around 4 yrs old.
 

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