My New Drone

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Funkworks

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I'm wondering how you chose a drone and what features or specs it has.

My present one is a palm-sized one for indoors only. I got it because it got me to practice handling the controls and it was cheap. It also has a camera so I can get a feel for aiming.

My next one would be heavy enough for outdoors flying and have some automatic features, but I'm not yet sure which features I need the most.
 
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David Schwantz

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Drones have just about ruined my hobby of over 40 years. In the "now" RC world, we are considered "drones". We can't do this and we can't do that any more. Altitude limit, every try to fly turbine under 400'? We have to have remote ID. We are going to be tested.
I am very unimpressed by your flying. You ARE looking down into peoples yards. Don't you think that is an invasion of privacy?? We have had idiots fly over the runway to watch planes land and take off. How safe is that?? I'm on final, watching my plane while I control it, and all of a sudden there is a drone in the flight path. I cannot believe some of the things stupid people do. You can by a drone and just go out and fly and endanger life and limb in doing so.
I have flown RC for over 40 years, I am a turbine rated pilot, turbine rated Contest Director for both fixed and rotary. I am also a large aircraft inspector.
You do not have to belong to "anything" to fly these drones. No one is there to hold you accountable for your actions, you have no safety code. These toys are dangerous!!!!!!!!!
 

cerving

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Sadly, R/C has become a victim of the "least common denominator" school of regulation. "If it flies, then it must be a "drone", and "drone" pilots have shown themselves to be an irresponsible lot, so we're going to crack down on them." Nevermind that AMA-sanctioned R/C has a 70 year history of safety, courtesy, and responsibility, with an excellent self-policing system in place.

I have the same concern with the hobby rockety guidance systems that are starting to pop up. When they get cheap enough and small enough for people to put into garden-variety Estes rockets, you're going to see a lot of wahoos using them for target practice. When that happens (note that I did not say "if"), we're going to see a whole lot more scrutiny and regulation on our hobby than we have already. Again, nevermind the safety and common-sense policies that are entrenched in the hobby... "least common denominator" mentality is going to trump them.
 

n3tjm

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I did not have the camera "Pointed down" in anyone's yard. The only shots that were looking down was over trees and over my brothers property. The altitude was high enough that you can't see into windows and recognize people in the shots. This was very deliberate since I did not want to invade anyone's privacy.

I chose the Mavic Mini due to the fact of its range and battery capacity. It came with three batteries that are rated 30 minutes each. The drone is rated 4 Kilometers although I did not test this due to being in a urban area. The drone will not allow you to fly in restricted areas. This drone is under the weight limit that requires registration or permits to fly. While this drone does not let you set waypoints by defaults, there are apps that allow you to program waypoints.

This drone is very easy to fly!

Now for some complaints. The instructions that come with it are very vague and font and illustrations are to small to read. Fortunately they have the full manual online and there are plenty of you tube videos that show you how to turn on the equipment, how to pair the controller to the drone, and how to turn off the equipment. Yeah, that was not obvious.

Another complaint is you need a high end phone to pair with the controller. There is no where in the advertisement or packaging that says this. The reason for this is the app only works on 64 bit smartphones. While a lot of smartphones have 64 bit processors, most run the 32 bit OS version due to the fact that many phones do not have the memory needed to run 64 bit efficiently. Fortunately, my brother gave me his previous Samsung Galaxy.

I also was impressed with the $320 price tag. You get a lot for that price, I also opted for the $41 extended warranty plan which covers accidental and water damage. The plan includes 2 replacement drones for under $50 each if you loose or completely destroy a drone. if you have at least 1 replacement left, the plan can be extended another year.
 
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gtg738w

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Congrats! Would strongly encourage you to join the AMA or at least review the safety code. Specifically with regard to flying over people/buildings and having a spotter for FPV. Like rocketry, it's mostly common sense but it's the only thing left between us and even more regulations... Finding a club to fly with will also eliminate most of the new headaches with the FAA.

 

cerving

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I haven't flown R/C in quite awhile (my R/C gear was 72 MHz FM...), but I wonder if drones are flown at AMA-sanctioned sites, or if they're even welcome. I think part of the appeal of drones is that "you can fly them anywhere since them come back to home"... plus they don't take a lot of skill or practice, like R/C planes do (or .30-size gas R/C helis...)
 

KC3KNM

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I did not have the camera "Pointed down" in anyone's yard. The only shots that were looking down was over trees and over my brothers property. The altitude was high enough that you can't see into windows and recognize people in the shots. This was very deliberate since I did not want to invade anyone's privacy.

I chose the Mavic Mini due to the fact of its range and battery capacity. It came with three batteries that are rated 30 minutes each. The drone is rated 4 Kilometers although I did not test this due to being in a urban area. The drone will not allow you to fly in restricted areas. This drone is under the weight limit that requires registration or permits to fly. While this drone does not let you set waypoints by defaults, there are apps that allow you to program waypoints.

This drone is very easy to fly!

Now for some complaints. The instructions that come with it are very vague and font and illustrations are to small to read. Fortunately they have the full manual online and there are plenty of you tube videos that show you how to turn on the equipment, how to pair the controller to the drone, and how to turn off the equipment. Yeah, that was not obvious.

Another complaint is you need a high end phone to pair with the controller. There is no where in the advertisement or packaging that says this. The reason for this is the app only works on 64 bit smartphones. While a lot of smartphones have 64 bit processors, most run the 32 bit OS version due to the fact that many phones do not have the memory needed to run 64 bit efficiently. Fortunately, my brother gave me his previous Samsung Galaxy.

I also was impressed with the $320 price tag. You get a lot for that price, I also opted for the $41 extended warranty plan which covers accidental and water damage. The plan includes 2 replacement drones for under $50 each if you loose or completely destroy a drone. if you have at least 1 replacement left, the plan can be extended another year.
Camera pointed down or not, it’s lame to fly over residential areas. Can you honesty claim to be able to see such a small quad VLOS at the distances flown in the video? I understand you mean no harm, but this kind of stuff is what’s killing the hobby.
 

gtg738w

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I haven't flown R/C in quite awhile (my R/C gear was 72 MHz FM...), but I wonder if drones are flown at AMA-sanctioned sites, or if they're even welcome. I think part of the appeal of drones is that "you can fly them anywhere since them come back to home"... plus they don't take a lot of skill or practice, like R/C planes do (or .30-size gas R/C helis...)
Our club has separate flight boxes on the heli side. I’ve seen some with semi-permanent race courses setup. Our thought is if they have their own space it’s better to have people there than flying in parks and causing trouble. The biggest problem is always someone trying to fly FPV without a spotter. It’s really easy to end up far away or behind yourself.
 

cerving

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Our club has separate flight boxes on the heli side. I’ve seen some with semi-permanent race courses setup. Our thought is if they have their own space it’s better to have people there than flying in parks and causing trouble. The biggest problem is always someone trying to fly FPV without a spotter. It’s really easy to end up far away or behind yourself.
That sounds like a pretty good arrangement. I know back in the day when I showed up at a flying field with a heli, I got the stinkeye from some of the airplane guys... they put me way over by the fenced-in control line area, and I had to fly in a relatively small space, they didn't want me flying over "their" field.
 

JLP1

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At our R/C field they are tolerated, our only rules are they don't fly out of sight of the field, they stay out of the pattern, the pilot must have a spotter with them when airborne. We have a healthy mix of planes and helicopters and the drone pilots do tend to stay with the heli group. I think AMA made a mistake when they tried to take them into the regular R/C hobby but that's a discussion for another day and another time. With the proliferation of drones in military operations and their use by other unscrupulous groups including the entertainment industry it was only a mater of time before it filter down to the hobby level of flying model airplanes. Mr. Eggtimer is correct with the advent of GPS and miniature guidance systems coming into play we are going to see even more scrutiny of any type of hobby that can be weaponized. All part of asymmetrical warfare.
 

kuririn

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I did not have the camera "Pointed down" in anyone's yard. The only shots that were looking down was over trees and over my brothers property. The altitude was high enough that you can't see into windows and recognize people in the shots. This was very deliberate since I did not want to invade anyone's privacy.
Your brother owns four houses on four adjacent lots?
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I would rethink flying your new drone over a residential area.
How would YOU feel if a drone with an FPV camera flew over your back yard while you were skinny dipping swimming in your pool?
I have no problems with drones flying over large fields recording rocket launches.
Or looking for lost rockets over scrubland.
Houses, that's another story.
 

Funkworks

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How would YOU feel if a drone with an FPV camera flew over your back yard ...
No matter what I’m doing, I’d probably start a new hobby of my own immediately, involving launching some kind of projectile with ever increasing accuracy.

In any case, I still want a drone and fly it legally.
 

Tobor

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Well, some of you are going to hate me. No matter....

Flying a drone over a residential area is not illegal and it is not an evasion of privacy. I live in Chicago with lots of 3 story apartment buildings adjacent to single family homes. My sister lives in such an apartment with a back porch. So, if her or her husband are out on that porch and look into a neighbors back yard, is that invasion of privacy? No, it is not. A drone is no different then my sister on her back porch.

And what about urban photography? Is taking a picture of a plastic flamingo in someone's fenced off yard invasion of privacy. Nope, it isn't.

Did you know most insurance companies that deal with home owners insurance can use high rez satellite images or contract a helicopter with a high rez steady cam to "inspect" your property? And they do not need your consent. My uncle (may he rest in peace) and I found that out in 2014 with his house in MI.

Now, some yutz using a drone to buzz a bedroom window and taking video of the goings on inside? Yes that is invasion of privacy and illegal.
 

AfterBurners

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Look the OP bought a drone and flew it high enough over some houses. He wasn't looking into peoples windows and who nowadays swims naked. If you are swimming with a swim suit gezzzz get over it. Everyone on here has their panties in a twist. Yes I agree some drone operators are idiots and fly where they shouldn't I seriously doubt the OP is one of those people. Get a grip people. Don't let your a$$ pucker up when you walk.
 

Sandy H.

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<snip> and who nowadays swims naked. <snip>
I do at times. I'm pretty sure this confession has just established a permanent 'no-fly zone' over my house, as nobody would want to see that. In all fairness, it is only at night, so no drone operators or commercial passengers are likely to be scarred for life. . .

Sandy.
 

kuririn

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Well, some of you are going to hate me.
Not at all. This is a forum for free and open discourse. No room for haters.

A drone is no different then my sister on her back porch.
Except that porch was there yesterday, today and probably tomorrow.
The single level homeowner knows that and can plan accordingly if he wants privacy, i.e. erect a canopy for example.
A camera drone overflying your back yard is unexpected and unplanned.
And somehow I doubt that the OP asked permission from every home he flew over in that video.

Is taking a picture of a plastic flamingo in someone's fenced off yard invasion of privacy. Nope, it isn't.
I'm not a lawyer but.....
True if the flamingo is visible from the street. Quite another story if the photographer climbed a ladder to take the picture over a high fence. Then the homeowner would be well within his rights in calling the police and filing an invasion of privacy lawsuit.
Don't let your a$$ pucker up when you walk.
But isn't it supposed to be? Or are you wearing Depends? 😁
 

sl98

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I'm wondering how you chose a drone and what features or specs it has.

My present one is a palm-sized one for indoors only. I got it because it got me to practice handling the controls and it was cheap. It also has a camera so I can get a feel for aiming.

My next one would be heavy enough for outdoors flying and have some automatic features, but I'm not yet sure which features I need the most.
The Mavic Mini is a great little drone. It was recently replaced by the Mavic Mini 2. The main difference is the Mini 2 has a better camera. The Mini is easy to fly and takes nice photos and videos. Take you fingers off the joysticks and it will just hover. The return to home feature is also nice if you ever lose sight of the drone or if the drone loses contact with your controller. When it returns to home, it will climb to a preset altitude, fly to the launch coordinates, and descend to the ground. The fly more combo with the extra batteries are a must. The DJI extended warranty is also cheap insurance if you damage your drone.

If you don't add any accessories, the Mini is under 250g and therefore does not have to be registered with the FAA. However, FAA laws and regulations still apply to sub-250g drones. When flying recreational, the exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft law applies. 49 US Code 44809. For recreational flight, the drone must remain in visual sight of the operator, you can't exceed 400' in altitude, you can't fly over people, and you must get approval from the FAA before flying in class B, C, D, or E airspace. You also can't engage in commercial use, which the FAA broadly defines as including direct or indirect compensation such as goodwill or something of non-monetary value. There are reports of FAA agents trolling websites looking for drone videos that violate these rules and tracking down the operators. There are also state and local laws in many areas governing drone flight.
 
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