The Drone/Quad/UAV Thread
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  1. #1
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    Default The Drone/Quad/UAV Thread

    This may be a long shot, starting this topic at a time of social distancing and what's now been dubbed the "Great Lockdown", but what the hell.

    I wanted to become a pilot since I was a wee little lad, with my dad being a helicopter pilot and all, unfortunately I've always had a relatively poor vision so this was never really an option. For many years, various flight sims managed to partially quench my urge to fly, DCS World in particular is great in that regard, still, a joystick and a flat screen can only do so much in terms of immersion.

    Several months ago I decided to up my game and bought a moderately cheap $300 drone off Amazon. Instantly fell in love with it. While it had a horrible fish-eye camera with no gimbal, it was still packed with enough tech to allow for a pleasant flight experience and a gentle learning curve. Took me a couple of weeks to get the hang of the basics, and another month or two to get fully confident with the drone controls, so I took the next step and just got myself a Mavic Pro. Now, I am fully committed to following the lockdown rules so I've only managed to fly it once, even so, I was totally blown away by the aircraft and the things it is capable of. So much so that I'm considering getting a commercial licence (obviously I have an operator's ID, but we're extremely limited to what you can do with the drone here in the UK without acquiring any further permits from the CAA). While I'm able to fly the drone quite well, I still have a lot to learn in regards to areal cinematography and video editing, but it's ridiculous how much joy it brings me just to fly that thing up in the air. Granted, it's not the same as operating a manned aircraft, but it's the closest I can get to being a pilot.

    I wonder if this could become a viable profession in the future - besides photography and video recording, drones could be exceptional for search & rescue, surveying, recon and law enforcement (my boy Mavic is actually employed by the French & the British police amid this whole CV-19 situation). Are any of you'se quad enthusiast so we can share tips and stories and perhaps some drone footage as well?

    I'll leave this here with a short clip of my latest drone's maiden flight, it's bland AF but I aim to improve.


  2. #2
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    First thing I thought of was this Italian mayor who chased and cursed at citizens..Where the fuck are you going? LOL


  3. #3
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    but to be serious I know a photographer who makes quite a good living doing drone videos of businesses that use them in their advertising and on their websites

    And I know farmers who use them as well

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    I read they are using drones over here to shout at people congregating on the beaches. They are definitely finding more and more uses for them.

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    Drones get a bad rep for the same reasons that guns do. "Drones don't yell at people, people yell at people"

    The technology is developing at an extremely rapid rate for sure. A decade ago it was limited to the US and the Israeli military, now a uni student with a part-time job like myself can get a pro-level quad with dual GPS/GLONASS navigation and active track features for a couple of hundred bucks. I hope they don't develop self-consciousness though, or we'll be stepping into the hunter-killer territory.

  6. #6
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    We had horrible wind here on Easter. My 9 year old cousin came out with his brand new drone...it was just a little thing and he was so excited about it that he sent it up before we could stop him...suddenly everyone was yelling NONONONONO NO NO NO...and he just looked at us in confusion then looked back up and his drone was taking off like Dorothy's cottage in the Wizard of Oz We watched it for a moment
    as it passed over the neighborhood then disappeared in the clouds

    75 bucks pissed away poor kid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Hill View Post
    We had horrible wind here on Easter. My 9 year old cousin came out with his brand new drone...it was just a little thing and he was so excited about it that he sent it up before we could stop him...suddenly everyone was yelling NONONONONO NO NO NO...and he just looked at us in confusion then looked back up and his drone was taking off like Dorothy's cottage in the Wizard of Oz We watched it for a moment
    as it passed over the neighborhood then disappeared in the clouds

    75 bucks pissed away poor kid.
    Damn, really sorry to hear that. But yes, smaller drones without any sat nav are pretty much at nature's mercy.

    Hey, if this would make your cousin feel any better you can tell him a story about how a 30+ year-old dumbass (me) lost their first drone. Shortly after getting it, for no damn good reason what so ever, I decided to lift it up from my backyard in the middle of the night. Then my ex messaged me on Facebook, I swiped to hide the notification on my phone and pressed "return to home" on the drone app by mistake. Last recorded home point was a cow field about a mile away, so the drone ascended a hundred feet up and vanished into the void. I spent a few fruitless hours searching for it, also it didn't help that I have a massive sealed-off construction site behind my house. On the off chance that it could have landed somewhere in that area I contacted the head of the site security the next day, poor fella had to allocate some of his crew to search for the damn thing to no avail.

    It did come back to me in the end though - I had labeled it with my phone number, so around two months later I received a call from one of the nearby university buildings, turned out it landed on its roof and they found the quad during their routine maintenance. The battery was bloated and one of the motors wouldn't start, but at the very least I can reuse it for parts for the second model I had reordered. Still, user errors happen even with more sophisticated drones, I hope your cousin doesn't get too discouraged.

  8. #8
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    when those things first came out every other post on our town face book page seemed to be "lost drone" or "found drone"

    I got so sick of it I finally asked why no one took a sharpie and wrote their phone number on the damn things. The responses were a collective …."hmmmm…. didn't think of that". So you were a dang GENIUS compared to my neighbors

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    , I mean, a literal "duh" moment. To be fair, I had to buy a label maker as it's illegal in the UK to operate a drone without a personal ID printed on it anyway, but I didn't wanna risk my $300 device AI'ing on me without a way for someone to contact me if it was found. Especially that that's exactly what happened

 

 

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