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Quadcopters aka Drones aka Toys

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Burt Gummer, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Been thinking about getting a Quadcopter. Actually, I have two cheap ones around $50 and they've given me a lot of entertainment for the money.

    Anyone here into them? Might get a DJI Phantom or a Blade QX. Unlike a few years ago, the tech/GPS allows just about anyone to fly one of these pretty well.

    They all work with the GoPro cameras, although I like the Mobius better ($70); 1080 30fps.

    [video=youtube;Q0gWnp9LcyA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0gWnp9LcyA[/video]


    It is hard to find something for $40 that can entertain as much as this thing. I took it out last night. Was buzzing around my street with it, over 120' in the air.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/140781284724?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
     
  2. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    ive looked into them but didnt invest in it because of the cost vs flight time. its something along the lines of 10-15 minutes of flight for about $500-$600 and it doesnt increase with cost. the standard helicopter type R/Cs will get a bit more time but can be a bit more difficult to fly and can be a bit cheaper.

    still they look like they would be a lot of fun.
     
  3. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Well I am glad I decided to wait a bit. The Blade's propellers were not well designed and are breaking off mid-flight.

    The Phantom just doesn't 'look' as fun to me. The Phantom II is coming out in Nov.

    For now, I'll stick to my cheap $50 units as I learn more - great fun for the $$. Just another reason for my neighbors to shake their heads.


    My fav <$50 unit -

    [video=youtube;LphF99OcbZo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LphF99OcbZo[/video]
     
  4. rufus

    rufus State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Rename your wi-fi to "NSA Drone Uplink" and buzz one of those things around the hood for maximum enjoyment.
     
  5. Navman

    Navman Canby Oregon Active Member

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    You'd have a blast Burt, but caution, RC flight can be very addicting.

    I fly RC Heli's and Quads, if I put a 700 class Heli in the dirt I could spend $300/$400 easy considering just a set of blades could set you back $125, bust the carbon frame and keep adding it up.

    With a Quad, about the worst I've wrecked is a couple of props at a few dollars each.

    Aerial photography & video is my newest addiction.
     
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  6. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Well like I said for now if I crash a $50 one into the street who cares. Better to practice with a $50 one than have a $479 unit w/ a couple hundred dollars in extras bite the dust.

    BTW, the little x4 I have has its own on-board non-HD camera.

    All of these guys use expensive $325+ GoPro Black Cameras on the nicer quads. Why? You can't use the WIFI feature w/o messing up the 2.4 link to your transmitter.

    A Mobius Camera is $69 and has near the quality. 1080p 30fps vs 60. Plus it is smaller, lighter. I can't even find adapters for the quads to just a regular camera mount. The Mobius has a mount that would work but no shock absorber. I would think the Mobius would be a much better choice for airborne photography.
     
  7. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Or DEA! My home network says "FBI Surveillance Van"
     
  8. Navman

    Navman Canby Oregon Active Member

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    Mostly I use 2 cameras onboard right now, the GoPro "Black" or the Gh2.

    I get a live video feed to the ground FPV (first person view) to a monitor to line up the shot/video.

    In addition, I have a 2nd GPS onboard sending info to the monitor display, distance from pilot, elevation, speed and the way back home.

    I can trigger the GH2 from the ground using a video down link to line up the shot, as you pointed out Burt, I had worries that it would interfere with the 2.4 on the radio, but so far never an issue.

    A few years ago I got this idea to learn Video Editing using Adobe CS4 or 5, Nothing Special about the flight, the shots or the flying, just my first attempt at video editing ( that in itself can be addicting Burt) lol

    Using the ol' faithful Raptor 550e with Helicommand and turning it around when it was a spec in the sky for my old vision and getting it back home in one piece nose in...

    Raptor e550 - YouTube
     
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  9. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Navman - what do you use for video editing software. Something simple a beginner can figure out?
     
  10. Navman

    Navman Canby Oregon Active Member

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    Burt, I use Adobe CS6 now and watched tons of step by step how-to videos

    Here's a good program to get you going and it's free :thumbup:

    Great online support with tutorials, makes it easier to pause a video and try different steps in your own program

    Lightworks
     
  11. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Thanks!

    I ordered a Blade Nano CX to play with as an indoor toy. Has 'safe' tech where you let go of the controls and it stabilizes - good for beginners like me. Also got a steal on a DX8 transmitter.
     
  12. Navman

    Navman Canby Oregon Active Member

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    Looks good Burt, that would be a lotta fun for indoor flight when it's raining outside!

    Great way to get orientation skills down too.

    Since you have the radio, may want to look into Phoenix simulator.

    I did it backward, going inverted with a Trex 450 and it chased me down the street, I got away though...

    After that I learn manuvers on the sim first ;)
     
  13. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    You are a life saver! Such a noob I'd never heard of such a thing. That sounds like a blast! I'll run it on my notebook w/ HDMI out to a big TV off of the DX8. Ordered Phoenix V4 off Ebay just now.

    I have been practicing with a tiny X4 Quad and crashed it pretty bad attempting a night flight - ordered more props, etc LOL. Damn fun hobby!

    Funny about the Trex.
     
  14. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Went down to Willamette Park to practice and chase some geese around.

    Damn. Willamette Park used to be so nice in the late 80s, early 90s. You could go down there, hang out with friends and have a BEER or THREE. (Oh no!, can't have that now).

    A sea of dog turds and mud.

    This is what my taxes are NOT going for obviously.
     
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  15. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I used to be an avid RC airplane pilot. Had a tiny bit of heli time, enough to be competent. Im gonna HAVE TO get me one of these! Soon as I finish renaming my WiFi to "NSA UPLINK ".
     
  16. scientist

    scientist Willamette Valley Member

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    Check these guys out:

    3DRobotics | UAV Technology - 3DRobotics Inc

    These are heavy lifter UAVs that can lift substantially more payload than a Phantom. I got to mess with the four arm 8 motor version because the company my son was working for this summer bought one to "drop test" avionics hardware. Considering what they are, they aren't priced too badly.

    You can get some in kits and some ready to go that would allow you to really max out the camera hardware: build your own live telemetry surveillance drone. At a price far below what the government pays, I'm sure.
     
  17. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    I did a dumb stunt the other day with a 350qx quad. Didn't know that I shouldn't go above 400'.

    Just punched up straight up and it took off like a rocket into the clear sky abyss above. Disappeared completely. Neighbor and I couldn't see it at all. My best guess is it was up there, somewhere, about 1000-1200' or so? A couple times taller than the Bank Tower on 5th Downtown hahahaha.

    I looked at him and said 'well, damn, that was the fastest flush of $400 down the toilet ever.' I throttled down and nothing after a minute. Then I hit the 'return to home' switch and waited another 2-3 minutes - not a sign at all.

    Actually, it was disappointing but kind of funny. I was concerned about the 2-3lb flyer crashing down somewhere - my luck it would crash atop someone's Mercedes, or worse yet, hit a kid somewhere.

    Then after about another 9-10 minutes I could hear a distant buzzing sound. The damn thing was coming back from its moon shot! Landed within 5' of its takeoff place all by itself.

    I won't be doing that again though.
     
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  18. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    I had too much wine and decided to fly my drone around the neighborhood Thanksgiving evening - UFO attack!

    Note to self - flying requires great concentration - don't fly drunk. Accidentally hit the kill switch at about 400' - LOL! Dammit. Dropped out of the sky like a bowling ball. Hit neighbors roof.

    Got new plastic for about $35 though. So will get to rebuilding.

    1441.jpg

    1441.jpg
     
  19. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at those. Are they worth the $? seem like some good features on them (safe mode so you don't have to run because of your bad flying skills)
     
  20. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Yeah they are a blast. Safe mode is foolproof unless you are drunk and decide to go to Stability mode then Agility Mode hahaha.

    People see you flying it in Safe mode and think you are a pro. Nope!