My introduction to quadcopters/drones...

Jul 2, 2018
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Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
Getting started with quadcopters July 2018

I needed a project and was wondering if quad copters/drones could be something I could handle and enjoy with my physical disabilities AND especially my Diabetes related failing eyesight. I bought a couple of cheapies to have a play with indoors during the terribly cold Ballarat Winter. Had quite a bit of fun with these and the grandies as well as our grown up kids showing me up with the skills.

After a few weeks, well, you never know what is in store when you wake up!!! A couple of days ago I woke and had a look at my phone while the electric blanket warmed up my back. Opened FB and noticed there was a new message in FB market place. I opened it and there was a DJI Phantom 2 vision+ drone for $450 available here in Ballarat. Thread said it had never been assembled or flown. Also had a spare battery. The ad also mentioned it was back on the market after a sale fell through.

After getting organised I began researching this drone model and could see no reason not to buy it. Messaged the guy offering $400 cash and immediate pick up. He got back to me and we split the difference and I would pick it up at 5.30. I really had not made a decision on whether I would be able to continue with/afford a good drone BUT at that money and the little bit of success with the cheapies I bit the bullet.

Got it home and plugged a battery to the charger. Strange that after an hour nothing showing. Now to my friend "the web". Ah ha, batteries probably stuffed. I messaged the seller and he was unaware of drone battery storage requirements as was I. He sent me his receipt (he paid $1479 in January 2015) so I could approach DJI for some help. They did not want to know me as out of warranty so back on the web to learn more. Batteries may be able to be rejuvenated, refurbished, buy new OEM @ over $100, or knock offs.

I still believe I got a bargain though. ;)

I decided on a “knock off and ordered it, of course a few weeks wait. In the meantime son Matt was trying to organise a drone simulator for me to train the finger muscles and brain to a different set of movements compared to all the real flying I had done. DJI the manufacturer does not have one in their software!!! Getting close BUT have to be able to have the aircraft turned on and of course no battery as yet. No simulator before the battery arrives. Finally it arrives and Matt and I start to set it up via the manual and the many helpful YouTube vids. Re run into trouble getting the camera view to the Ipad, so forum searching again.

Time was running out as we were leaving for a 3 week caravaning trip to visit Eril’s sister and hubby in Adelaide and to do some touring around the Yorke Peninsula. I managed to find out that the aircraft could be flown without the camera view being displayed so I said to Matt I reckon he was capable to try it as I was pretty sure my brain would not be quick enough these days. Just on dark on the front lawn Matt gets ready and fires her up BUT the new battery collapses!!!! I am right in the “spitting the dummy” mood right at this moment. Thursday this is and we leave Tuesday. :( Not one to give up and be b eaten I researched Gumtree and EBay, guess what? A later model in Melbourne on EBay auction that ended Friday morning at 11.55. The bidding was up to $560. The seller was a photographer who had upgraded his drone and had only used it around 20 times. As the auction was ending I had to make an executive decision as to what I was prepared to go to. Decided $810 and got it for $730.

Daughter Emma lives in Melbourne and was coming to visit that weekend so she said she would collect it and bring it home. Em arrived Saturday and Matt and I plugged the battery to the charger. I swapped the propeller guards I had bought for the P 2 as I had already broken 2 props mucking around with it. L Matt and I had never been close to these larger drones and this was definitely not an inside drone. The weather had been extremely wind for days and I needed Matt to help get me sorted before we left on the Tuesday. Sunday we went looking for a less windy site and we found a piece of not used much gravel road in a hollow with trees protecting a small area. Excitement is now growing as Matt prepares.

My first go. YouTube

Getting better.

A bit too much yawing for fun and too much grass at the end. :(

Now waiting for a replacement battery (warranty) so that I can get the P 2 going to sell and get some of my money back. :(

Aussie Paul. :)


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Well, we had our caravan trip of almost 3 weeks and really enjoyed getting to know our P-3. While Eril and I were away the P-2 warranty replacement battery arrived so son Matt got the P-2 flying but had a crash and has the gimbal and camera removed while he is getting the hang of it. He is about to go about re fitting them to frame and then chase the non camera view through the Ipad/Android display problems that we were having.
I will now have to take more of an interest in photography beyond "point and shoot" I now do.:rolleyes: Also to get better at editing and adding audio. :D

Aussie Paul. :)
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