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My short time as a drone pilot!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by RoyB, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. RoyB

    Feb 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Dartmouth, Massachusetts
    First I want to say THANK YOU to all the folks on this forum that have helped me and other wade through this exploding world of drones.

    I work in the world of broadcast video distribution. My company builds and sells digital modulators and IP video distribution hardware ( ZeeVee.com) . Last year, at InfoComm in Florida, a number of electronic distributors were selling drones. An entire area of the expo center was screened off and folks were flying drones all over the place!

    A few years ago, my oldest son and I got involved in RC helicopters. From little hand held models to one with a 6' prop and a weed wacker motor that could lift 5 pounds! (The cat will never forgive us!).....My son became VERY proficient in flying these helicopters. Me, not so much......Never did find one of them that the wind had its way with....It lives in the trees somewhere on my property. I could fly RC airplanes quite well, but simply never got the feel for a helicopter.

    My interest has always been photography. I'm a real Nikon nut. Adding aerial photography is something I always wanted to do. I used to fly private planes when younger and photography from up in the wild blue yonder was always fun. But planes fly too fast and too high. I even tried Estes Model Rockets with small cameras in them. I guess in another life I was some kind of eagle! My aerial photography would need to wait until technology caught up.

    This summer I worked with a film crew from the TV series "Barn Wood Builders" a DIY Network show. We found an old log cabin out in the woods in Missouri on a hunting trip that research showed was built during the Civil War and we were disassembling it and moving it to another piece of property to be reassembled as a guest cottage and to preserve it. The film crew had a DJI copter and to say I was impressed was an understatement. They were flying it through the woods, following streams. 200-300 foot down shots. Following the tractors towing the disassembled cabin. Fantastic! And the video quality was amazing.

    So my interest in DJI drones was peaked.

    But when I looked into the price of anything DJI, I couldn't help remembering all the helicopters I crashed and lost. I needed to walk before I could run!

    A few months ago I bought myself an early Christmas present. Based on reviews I found on the internet, I purchased a Skyviper V950STR for $100 from Toys R Us. I really enjoy flying this bird, but forget about any type of photography. Stability is simply out of the question. And it does not have any type of "course lock" and this makes control very difficult for a new pilot when you are filming to the side of the drone. But I learned a lot about drones and the forums on the internet kept bringing me back to DJI

    Well, My Birthday is this week and I needed a birthday present. A relative of mine bought their 16 yo son a DJI Phantom 3 Professional for Christmas. The videos and stills that he showed me blew my mind! I looked into DJI again and was pleasantly surprised to see that the price of the Phantom 3 Advanced was $799. That is a huge drop and a much improved product from only a year or two ago. An order to B&H Photo went out for a P3A, extra battery and a set of prop guards. It all arrived in under 24 hours!

    And now, like just about every hobby I get into, "Droneitis" sets in

    I've now ordered:
    Hard Case
    Camera Guard
    GPS Tracking Device
    Ipad Mini 4
    Garmin GPS
    Another battery
    Advanced multiple battery charger

    Whatever! You can't take it with you!

    I've watched YouTube videos well past midnight for the last week! I'm usually in bed by 9pm! And read EVERYTHING on this site and others on the "Dos and Don'ts".......

    But I've yet to fly the darn thing. We had a huge snow storm right after I digested just about everything I could....and just as it started to clear, we are currently getting 12-18" here south of Cape Cod Massachusetts....And I leave day after tomorrow on a two week vacation with my wife and family! Ugh!

    But in the meantime, one of my grandsons is turning 10 years old tomorrow and he has shown great interest in anything "RC"....So with more research I bought him a Syma X5SW FPV Explorer2 for $58 from Amazon. I went with this model on another bunch of great reviews. One of them said "Your grandmother could fly this drone!" This unit has a 6 way gyro and it has a version of Course Lock.

    Amazon.com: Cheerwing Syma X5SW FPV Explorers2 2.4Ghz 4CH 6-Axis Gyro RC Headless Quadcopter Drone UFO with 2MP HD Wifi Camera (White): Camera & Photo

    It arrived yesterday, Sunday...(Ordered it Friday night!)...Of course I had to take it out and be sure it works! Simply amazing little drone! Great video quality, extremely stable (will actually hover unlike the Sky Viper which jumps around like jack in the box) and their version of Course Lock works great. A set of four extra batteries with a neat little multi battery controller was $15

    Amazon.com: BTG 3.7V 600mAh Battery 4PCS & 4 In 1 X4 Battery Charger for Syma X5C-1 X5SW X5SC X5SC-1 X5C X5A: Toys & Games

    I highly recommend this unit for a youngster that wants to get into flying and for $58, crashing or lost won't break the bank.

    So there you have it...My journey into Dronedom.....Once again, Thanks for all the great help and someday I'll get to fly the P3A and I'll report back.

    (By the way....I don't get any compensation for mentioning these products.....simply passing on real life experience.)
    #1 RoyB, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    Valkster likes this.
  2. GMayberry

    Jan 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Roanoke, Va
    Welcome aboard!! You have stumbled upon a great group of people who have greatly helped me along the way as well!

    (sidenote, I would remove the links to your websites. That is prohibited except for approved vendors) ;)
    dirkclod likes this.
  3. RoyB

    Feb 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Dartmouth, Massachusetts
    Oops! Links removed
  4. daveleeds

    Nov 10, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Alfreton, between Chesterfield and Derby
    Welcome home
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