Phantom 4 Battery Use Scenario

Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Hi Folks,

So, here's a rather random but specific question for anyone out there who has done this.

Anyone with a Phantom 4 shot an entire average sized golf course in one visit? Average meaning roughly 6500-6800 yards (at least to me)? If so, how many batteries did you go through?

I am in the process of lining up a few courses to shoot but I only have 2 batteries at the moment. Need to know if I have to run out and get 1-2 more or plan on a 2 (or more) day engagement.

Thanks!
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
46
Age
67
Hi Inforguy.
Last summer I had the opportunity to fly a mission over a small course (only nine holes, 50 acres, 3400ft length, 750' wide).
It was a nice day, somewhat windy, but weather did not delayed the flights.

A full battery was used to film overall views of terrain, general installations and surroundings of the course.
Then we flew all holes, starting at 50 to 70 ft altitude over each teeing ground, and following the corresponding fairways until the putting green. I spent two more full batteries.
Lately, the fourth battery was spent filming the club, bar, resting and fun areas, the training greens, etc. Starting very early in the morning, all these took us about five hours. Then we stopped to have a "late lunch" while charging batteries, and ended flying two more batteries, this time repeating some paths and routes to have different lighting conditions and shadowing.
We were using a buggy cart to translate material (and me, the pilot!) from hole to hole.

I thought I had well prepared and rehearsed the flights plan and logistics, but with a little bit more of planning I am sure one could make all needed flights in half the time, and probably half the batteries.

Hope any of rhis might be useful to you.


Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Hi Javier - thanks for the detailed reply. This really does help give me an idea of what I am facing. I think I may pick up 2 additional batteries for a total of 4. Can't see any downfall to having enough batteries. Better to have more than not enough. I also am going to use Litchi to program way points for each hole so hopefully the automation will help shave off some time.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Absolutely. My plan would be to pay the course a visit and tour the course prior to putting the bird in the air. All of this prior to creating the mission. I've been around golf courses all of my life and understand the different terrains, tree/ obstacle heights, ect. And also some pretty steep hills.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Hi Javier - quick follow-up question along the same lines..

What size were your memory cards and how many did you go through? And what was your video setting?

Thanks again,
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
46
Age
67
I was shooting 2,7k video size, with 32Gb cards. These days (back in June) the DJI Go App did not show remaining memory, so I had to change them every three batteries to be sure I could record the flights.
Nowadays I have started to use 16Gb cards and to change them when the App shows less than 20 minutes remaining video memory.
After reading many posts here, it is my intention to shift to 4k and with this setting I will have to change 16 Gb card almost every time I have to change a full charged battery.


Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Thank you! Sounds like I just have to come up with a few test cases and I can get this all figured out. Just ordered more batteries and a 64 GB card. Will see how that goes.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
46
Age
67
Good luck with your flights. I have one 64Gb card also, and used it frequently. As I said before, after reading some posts, I decided to go via 16 Gb cards just to avoid losing precious previous footage in the case of a lost drone!


Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
257
Reaction score
36
Location
North Central Florida
If you guys don't mind me asking, what are you charging golf courses?
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
52
Reaction score
28
Age
57
I recently did a 6668 yd course with three batteries on a fairly windy day. Starting each hole from behind the tee box I found it the most efficient from a battery standpoint to fly the hole and land near the green after taking the video.
Never being on the course It helped to have someone with me who knew it very well.


Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
503
Age
58
You'll need at least 4 batteries to keep flying constantly for 4-5 hours. Shot our local club this summer. I would keep your altitude flying over each hole at 30ft or less for the speed you want. I flew a point of interest around every green manually as well. Got maybe 2-3 holes on each battery btw. Do some overall beauty shots of signature holes to finish off. I don't have a part 107 yet. So I did this for our course free of charge for the experience. But I would say these kinds of jobs are worth 2-4,000 bucks depending on how much editing you are doing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: InforGuy and jlrsn
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
236
Reaction score
87
Location
8,000' up in the Rockies
The last course that I flew I did 18 holes plus the clubhouse in an hour on one battery about 20 years ago. I was flying my MD 500 Helicopter with a cameraman in the rear seat using a mount. Since I got my Phantoms I've thought many times how neat it would be with a drone. Good luck!



Sent from my VS995 using PhantomPilots mobile app
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
If you guys don't mind me asking, what are you charging golf courses?
I'm just getting started so right now I am not charging. I'm looking to do a few for free in order to get my feet wet, and also to gauge the level of effort from start to finish. Once I know exactly how much effort/time is involved I can at that point come up with a good estimate.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
You'll need at least 4 batteries to keep flying constantly for 4-5 hours. Shot our local club this summer. I would keep your altitude flying over each hole at 30ft or less for the speed you want. I flew a point of interest around every green manually as well. Got maybe 2-3 holes on each battery btw. Do some overall beauty shots of signature holes to finish off. I don't have a part 107 yet. So I did this for our course free of charge for the experience. But I would say these kinds of jobs are worth 2-4,000 bucks depending on how much editing you are doing.
Good tip on the altitude. I have been trying to determine an appropriate height for shooting more of a tee to green tour of each hole.

I'm going to be shooting a local course tomorrow morning as "practice" and will see how much I can get done with the amount of battery I have and also card space. Didn't know one could command that much but it's good to know. Won't be able to determine exactly until I get a few full courses done to gauge level of effort. This particular course also wants to chat about getting an overview of their irrigation system and how well it's functioning. I've been playing with Drone Deploy and it seems like it may do the job. Will be challenging though since this course is spread out over around 500 or so acres.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KevMo Photog
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
46
Age
67
Good luck and good flights, InforGuy!

Not told before, but I had "problems" with my edited videos when delivering them to the golf club: I proudly gave them a couple of USB pendrives, each with MP4, 2.7 k videos, which took me quite a time to edit... and THE VIDEOS WERE NOT SHOWING AT ALL when USBs were plugged to the tv sets at the golf lobby and bar.
Lesson learnt: Ask the customer what kind of device will they use and what format do they need. Normally they will not even know what 'format' is. In the case of standard flat panel tv, I have found that is better to include always a file saved as DIV x format. It will create a . AVI file. It will not have very high resolution, but at least will be seen almost bu every television with an USB socket.



Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: InforGuy
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Good luck and good flights, InforGuy!

Not told before, but I had "problems" with my edited videos when delivering them to the golf club: I proudly gave them a couple of USB pendrives, each with MP4, 2.7 k videos, which took me quite a time to edit... and THE VIDEOS WERE NOT SHOWING AT ALL when USBs were plugged to the tv sets at the golf lobby and bar.
Lesson learnt: Ask the customer what kind of device will they use and what format do they need. Normally they will not even know what 'format' is. In the case of standard flat panel tv, I have found that is better to include always a file saved as DIV x format. It will create a . AVI file. It will not have very high resolution, but at least will be seen almost bu every television with an USB socket.



Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
Great to know. Thank you!
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Hi Again folks. Hoping it's OK that I solicit a bit of feedback about my very first attempt at this today. First off, Litchi is the way to go. Absolutely flawless. Below are links to the very first mission I flew. Now, this is raw and there has been absolutely no editing. If you have any initial pointers, great. But my main question is, halfway down the fairway it seemed to start "twitching" like it was constantly trying to pan the camera just so slightly to the left. Just after that, it almost seems to start slightly bobbing up and down. Anything I can do next time to help? Or, could it be as simple as it was fairly windy? There were some decent wind gusts this AM.

Also, my very last waypoint was the back of the green and I also added a POI towards the center. Last waypoint I increased the altitude to 85 ft. and had it turn around to focus on the green. Any ideas why it seemed to stop a few times when it hit the green? And also is there a way to slow down the spin at the end? I know I can slow it down during editing, but I would like to slow it down in the field to avoid the flash of white from the base of the drone. Also uploaded raw video of the 2nd hole as well.

One thing I am noticing right away is the device you use to view makes a huge difference. Video looks smoother on my surface pro, and is more choppy on my laptop. Don't know the specs on the graphics card but there is a big difference.

1st:

2nd:

Thanks very much!
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
503
Age
58
Hi Again folks. Hoping it's OK that I solicit a bit of feedback about my very first attempt at this today. First off, Litchi is the way to go. Absolutely flawless. Below are links to the very first mission I flew. Now, this is raw and there has been absolutely no editing. If you have any initial pointers, great. But my main question is, halfway down the fairway it seemed to start "twitching" like it was constantly trying to pan the camera just so slightly to the left. Just after that, it almost seems to start slightly bobbing up and down. Anything I can do next time to help? Or, could it be as simple as it was fairly windy? There were some decent wind gusts this AM.

Also, my very last waypoint was the back of the green and I also added a POI towards the center. Last waypoint I increased the altitude to 85 ft. and had it turn around to focus on the green. Any ideas why it seemed to stop a few times when it hit the green? And also is there a way to slow down the spin at the end? I know I can slow it down during editing, but I would like to slow it down in the field to avoid the flash of white from the base of the drone. Also uploaded raw video of the 2nd hole as well.

One thing I am noticing right away is the device you use to view makes a huge difference. Video looks smoother on my surface pro, and is more choppy on my laptop. Don't know the specs on the graphics card but there is a big difference.

1st:

2nd:

Thanks very much!
Couple of things InforGuy. First I would say it is totally the wrong time of day to be shooting at least hole that you shown here. Totally in shadow and not much sparkle to the course. You have to open up so much to expose the fairway that it just looks weak and noisy. You'll want to shoot this at a diff time of day for sure. So there is more light on your course.
As for the jerking of your gimble, that has to be your programmed settings in Litchi I'm sure. I had Litchi do that once on our course. Mine was doing it becaue Litchi does not correct for terrain alt change. So some of our holes change 60-80ft in elevation so as I was running up an uphill fairway it got close the ground and object avoidance actually started kicking in and making the bird kind of hop as it was moving forward until it finally just stopped and hovered. I agree that it is awesome to program golf course holes and let it do it's thing if it's really smooth. But I have got to where I like the challenge of flying the hole maually. You can do it with practice for sure! Sometimes you don't even have to follow it as you want to be very still as you are filming and flying at same time.
Hopefully some others will chime in on your Litchi Issues too. It's a great program but I just have not had a serious need for it yet tbo.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
33
Hey KevMo - thanks for the feedback. I agree/disagree with the time of day but I do agree the lighting was poor for the ones I filmed. The sun was up and the light on other areas of the course was soft and absolutely perfect. My trip out there today was 100% just to practice. My plan is to go back same time in the AM and film the parts of the course where the lighting is perfect, and the darker areas of the course probably late in the afternoon or early evening.

Are there specific settings you could recommend I read up on? Thinking back to these two holes I don't recall any major elevation changes. It was fairly flat.

Thanks again!
 
  • Like
Reactions: KevMo Photog

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
139,571
Messages
1,439,864
Members
101,350
Latest member
Wanborough