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High-end drones

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by AnalogKid, Dec 30, 2017.

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  1. AnalogKid


    Jun 10, 2015
    Does anyone here know anything a lot about drones? I need a short course on the current state of affairs. This would be for personal use.

    Question: Do all "decent" or middle/upper class drones need a smart phone and GPS to function? Seems like a lot of complexity just to fly around and take pictures. I get that live streaming would be difficult without the phone, but is there a stable, relatively easy to fly critter that records to an SD card?


  2. kellys_eye


    Jun 25, 2010
    I was gifted one from Santa LAST year and its only been out the box once! It flies via mobile phone or visually and has a camera that records HD onto SD card plus stills. The only flying features it has that helps the pilot is auto altitude and emergency landing.

    I wouldn't call it 'high end' (cost £150 ($200?)) but appears to do everything you seem to want? IIRC it's now available for half that price if you look around.

    Spending anywhere between £100 and £200 will get a pretty decently equipped version and the prices are coming down rapidly.

    Depending on where you are you might fall foul of new regulations (soon to be implemented in the UK anyway) that require the owner to be registered and, for some larger drones, obligatory flying lessons......
  3. Minder


    Apr 24, 2015
    I picked up a Parrot drone couple of years ago to amuse the grand kids. Can be flown from Tablet or phone.
    Automatically clears obstacles with height setting, clearing a roof say.
    They have demo videos on the site.

    Her are some spec.s:
    During each flight, an HD video is recorded and sent directly to your device. Download your video to YouTube with just one click from a user-friendly interface, or share your pictures on Picasa. Everything is simple and quick with the wireless control application! If you want to save longer videos, a USB plug-in lets you store larger files. Keep your flight information (data, locations, photos and videos) and share them with a worldwide pilot community using AR.Drone Academy. Discover pilots in action in your neighborhood and view videos from pilots living on the other side of the world.

    Using the AR.Drone 2.0 Wi-Fi N connection, the AR.Drone 2.0 can go up to 50 meters from you (depending on the Wi-Fi environment). The integrated pressure sensor offers supreme stability allowing the AR.Drone 2.0 to correct and maintain its position automatically whatever its altitude while being able to withstand wind speeds of up to 15 m/h maximum. The automatic flight control system of the AR.Drone 2.0 and the integrated sensors which facilitate take-off and landing, let you pilot the craft like an expert, even if you are a beginner! The AR.Drone 2.0 is also equipped with an exclusive and patented Absolute Control mode intended for beginners, and it adapts to your skills,.performs flips by simply pressing twice on the screen of your control device.
  4. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    Now this is what you call a "high end " drone.

    or if one cannot get access with the trailer......
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  5. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    AnalogKid, this depends entirely on your preference for a drone.

    Many of the DJI and the DJI knock-offs can be flown with the remote control only (The Spark does not come with a controller unless you buy a deluxe model, but the controller can be purchased separately).
    These are semi-expensive drones that record 1080p for the smaller/cheaper drones, and 4K for the middle range/'high end' drones. They record to SD card, but something that you may not consider is how do you aim the damn camera?
    It is a heck of a lot more difficult than one would assume to fly a drone a few meters into the sky, and aim the camera properly to take a photo of any subject in particular unless you just want some generic "I'm flying!" photos and videos. If that's all you after, I would suggest buying a much cheaper drone or building one yourself.
    Here's the funny thing about the cheap drones though... They are usually WiFi and need a phone or tablet to control them. So a cheap drone with a camera and a controller may be difficult to locate in most of your stores. (Hint. Check online)
    I've got decent experience with the DJI Phantom and Spark, and have built 4 race drones, each range between $200-$350 CAD. They can all either carry a GoPro, or something like a 'RunCam Split' which can record HD footage. These types of drones don't have a gimbal for the camera, so they can only record what the drone is oriented toward... which means I can't look straight down without doing a dive! (Of course, this is my hobby, and this is the type of drone I enjoy.)

    So.. I ask of you some items of importance that you want for your drone. This will help locate a drone that fits your needs, (either to build it yourself which is becoming much easier or to buy one pre-made)
    - What resolution camera would you like? (SD, HD, 4K)
    - Does your camera need a gimbal for stabilisation and aiming independently of the drone's heading/angle? (This will really only benefit you if you have a display! Phone/Tablet, Headset or build-in screen on the controller)
    - What kind of flight times are you after?
    - Drones come with many 'ease of use' features such as auto-level, position-hold (including altitude), object follow, obstetrical avoidance, return-to-home (gps auto-return). Which ones, if any do you require? (Many pre-build and the DJI series comes with them all)
    - Are you looking to build or buy?
    - What kind of flight do you want to have with your drone? (easy/simple for photos/video only, sporty fast, or tricks! Backflips,etc.)
    - What kind of drones restrictions do you want to work around? (Canada has restrictions on drones that weigh more than 250g... so many people get away with flying a DJI spark or other small craft.. The spark is technically overweight, but it's close enough that many pilots don't get bothered... The larger craft require filing flight plans or flight in dedicated areas only... Do some drone research for your country/region first)
  6. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    Find out your countries regulations.
    If as in Aus, CASA actually provides a free app that shows if you can fly at your current location as well as the current laws regarding use. I fly a lot of other gear as well and it pretty much goes without saying to get some insurance cover.
    There used to be just the one mob here but now the market has opened up a bit and others offer the same cover at a much reduced cost per annum.

    For the quad, probably start cheap and learn to fly. Painless360 have many videos about building/ flying and there is this one for starting out.

    Quad is here.....

    Once up and going, perhaps on to something like the CX-10W .....
  7. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    hehehe. That quad BlueJets linked is excellent as an indoor starter!
    It does not have altitude or position hold, but it does have stabilisation and comes with a controller.
    If I recall correctly, those little drones use 'Mode-2' control scheme which is pretty standard.
    I'd certainly suggest this little drone over a simulator, as most of the good simulators tend to be just as expensive.

    Keep us posted, I'm sure there's a lot of drone knowledge in this forum depending on how you plan to fly and what type of footage you want.
  8. bigkim100


    Apr 17, 2013
    BUILD ONE FROM SCRATCH!...I have about 20 drones at this time, but mostly I concentrate on Tricopters, easy to build, dirt cheap, and even an idiot likle me can fly one.
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