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Drone Discussion & Advocacy

Discussion in 'The Vapor Lounge' started by FlyingLow, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    Some of you know I am heavily involved in all things that fly.

    I have given several FCers advice on what to buy, and it seems more and more of y'all are wanting to put cameras in the air. Let this forum serve to answer any questions you all might have and perhaps I can help with some of my experience and provide some guidance.



    Not to be limited to purchasing discussions, share your thoughts on positive uses, concerns of abuse (both civilian and government), legislation, and any other drone-related topics that come to mind like commercial and recreational use.

    My involvement in the industry has ranged from test pilot and product reviewer, to design and development of new RC aircraft... and lots of repair work for DJI Phantom owners ;)


    I will be posting some of my favorite flights to this thread over the next few days, I encourage you to share your success stories and failures so we can all learn from each other.

    This is the video that inspired me building my first long-range aircraft:

    Click to play YouTube Video



    I have so much more info to share and I look forward to getting a few of y'all hooked!
     
  2. VegNVape

    VegNVape BBC Computer 32K Company Rep

    Messages:
    1,521
    Location:
    Lost in the vapor trails...
    Absolutely awesome :cool:

    This looks like it will be a very interesting thread that I will be keeping a close eye on :nod:

    :tup:


    :peace:
     
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  3. stickstones

    stickstones Vapor concierge

    Messages:
    12,147
    fuck yeah...I didn't even know that was possible! I'm gonna have fun following this thread, too!
     
  4. h3rbalist

    h3rbalist I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too

    Messages:
    932
    Wow, nice video.

    I am just getting into RC vehicles and discovered this.

    RealFlight RC simulator

    I figured best to give my skills a whirl on a sim before I fork out on some gear.

    The sim has two controller options. A usb interlink jobbie designed for the sim or you can just have a RF reciever that allows you to use any RC controller.

    Which do you suggest?


    P.s. I have about 20 hours clocked up at the Burgess Hill CAE simulation training centre flying a comercial 777 airbus.
     
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  5. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    Real Flight is excellent, when I was starting I used earlier versions of the program to learn new acrobatic maneuvers and it is one of the best trainers available (every crash is free!). IMO of all the sims, RealFlight has the most realistic physics- especially with the helicopters. The wind physics are a little off, but no RC sims model wind very realistically. I strongly recommend this for anyone wanting to learn quickly... And I still use it today to practice long routines and new moves.

    I told my 5 year old nephew, if he could land planes on RealFlight, I would let him fly mine. He is now flying a real quad with my help, a Blade NanoQX.

    Here is a sample of what you can do with RealFlight's newest offering:

    Click to play YouTube Video


    Do not do RealFlight Basic, it is just RealFlight v2 and does not have all the drone/FPV features that v5-v7.5 have... FPV simply did not really exist at the time it was released. Until you figure out what radio transmitter (tx) you want to commit to, I would also just get the included controller. A real tx will cost an additional $100-1000, depending on the capabilities you are looking for. For example, my Futaba 14sg will do anything I can imagine, but for beginners I recommend a DX6. It is a lot of radio for the price and will do anything you need for your first 2-5 years in the hobby.

    Once you advance, you might need more channels. My next radio is going to be 16 or 18 channels to allow for easier programming on my large planes.





    While the video in the original post is alluring, I have given up most of my long range flying for close proximity flying. Here are a couple videos showcasing each.

    You will note the fighter jet style on-screen-display (OSD), this points the pilot home, indicates how much battery has been used, how much is left, altitude, airspeed, radio signal strength, video signal strength, GPS coordinates, distance from home, and more. You can even plot this data into a google maps for further flight analysis. Day or night, we fly!

    Click to play YouTube Video



    Click to play YouTube Video



    This was a down on the deck race with 4 quads... but Steele is so fast, no one came close to catching him:D I know I posted this in the Video thread, but it was so badass it deserved another posting!
    Click to play YouTube Video
     
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  6. nihil

    nihil Member, Known Well

    Messages:
    410
    Very cool thread @FlyingLow, thank you. I'm going to seriously look into RealFlight, looks like a good intro to the entire scene. I was a heavy Flight Sim X guy back in the day, as well as the timeless IL-2 Sturmovik.

    Regarding your offer for help in the other thread, it's appreciated. I'm a state north of you however..
     
  7. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    Thats not too far:D I will let you know when we are having another event.
    I am a huge sim fan, in the long run it will save you a lot of money and time on the bench.

    Without sims, getting to this level and understanding the physics and controls would take a lifetime.
    Click to play YouTube Video
     
  8. h3rbalist

    h3rbalist I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too

    Messages:
    932
    Dude, that video was un fucking believable. I had no idea that shit was even possible with a chopper.

    I am buying RealFlight 7.5 tomorrow.
     
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  9. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    Here is an idea of the pilot workload that goes into flying 3D heli, loose focus for one moment and it is back to the wrenching pits :)

    Also, IMO one of the best features of RealFlight is the 1000s of aircraft selections. See this link below. All the files for old versions are compatible with 7.5. http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/downloads.php

    Click to play YouTube Video
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  10. h3rbalist

    h3rbalist I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too

    Messages:
    932
    Hey, so been to two massive RC shops, one of which is less than a mile from my home. (Not sure if this is a good thing or not)

    Both shops turned me away from RF 7.5 saying its a US thing and I need Phoenix 5 sim instead.

    The main difference being (I am told) free updates to Phoenix so if a new UK hobbycraft vehicle comes out, bam there's a sim update for it.

    Also there is no usb controller you must have an RF one.

    Anyway I'm really confused so ended up buying a Hubsan Q4 mini quad copter.

    Destroyed that within the hour. :tinfoil:

    Now I have a xeon X.

    [​IMG]

    This thing is great. Much tougher lol. And not quite so powerful.

    Having loads of fun. But really struggling to maintain altitude. To be fair that seems like the hardest thing to control.

    ... the adventure begins.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  11. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    7,490
    Location:
    Oregon
    Looks like some civilians want armed drones too . . . :o

    Click to play YouTube Video
     
  12. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    This one will rip the balls right off your face!

    This video was taken after the 2015 Drone Racing National Championship last week. It was the best of the best pilots, fast, and fearless... this was after the races and all about having fun.


    Enjoy, and hold on!:rockon::puke:

    Click to play YouTube Video


    These ships eat GoPro's like TicTacs.

    Trappy, Charpu, Mr. Steele, and more!
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    Poostuff, lazylathe, VegNVape and 3 others like this.
  13. stickstones

    stickstones Vapor concierge

    Messages:
    12,147
    So THAT's what it's like to be a dragonfly!
     
  14. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141

    The RC and FPV community are all pretty much up in arms at this asshole. With so many positive uses of civilian drones, this guy attached a servo to a gun and this incident is now tender picking for new and more restrictive legislature for drone use.

    ABC did a piece on the news tonight, here is the article/video - saves me some typing.
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/gun-firing-drone-subject-federal-investigation/story?id=32585072

    In short, he is a fucking idiot, a negligent young man who ruins the hobby. ASSHATS like this, flying in a park, are the reason why it is now prohibited to fly any RC vehicles in national and state parks.



    Trappy's Flight over NYC and the Statue of Liberty also spurred a lot of new FAA regulations on model aircraft and helicopters. However, Trappy was not slinging a gunship! His was just a foam wing...

    His flight is essentially what started it all , and what put Trappy in a Federal court room for a couple years:
    Click to play YouTube Video

    Click to play YouTube Video
     
  15. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    7,490
    Location:
    Oregon
    Sorry didn't mean to make you upset. I just happened across the video and remembered this thread. Yeah I think he is an asshat too but leave it to idiots to ruin anything nice . . . :peace:
     
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  16. Tommy10

    Tommy10 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,266
    Awesome! I'd loveeee to get into drones but cost and legalities are an issue! Great videos.
     
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  17. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    LOL t-dub! You didn't... blame it on the Asshat!
    This is the perfect venue for that video, thank you for posting! IMO the only way to properly educate the public is to address the good, the bad and the abuse of drones. This was a great civilian example.

    Without getting into the the politics of gun control, do you all think that Americans should have the right to arm a RC helicopter with a gun?

    This is Free 'Merica, land of beer-bellied, Nascar-lovin hillbillies. Kinda makes a tough crowd to win over with regards to outlawing guns....however the FAA has very clear definitions of the words: "hobbyist" "Drone" and "model airplane." The moment you arm an aircraft with a firing weapon, you are no longer a hobbyist and likely Uncle Sam will be coming down pretty hard.

    I am really curious to see how this plays out. Even though the young man did not have any malicious intent, I am still pissed that people like him are why I can't take my aircraft to Yellowstone, Rainier, the Badlands, the Everglades, etc.
     
  18. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    7,490
    Location:
    Oregon
    No, not really. I think that is a recipe for disaster. Too many idiots out there. Maybe for something work related like varmit control or something but it would have to be regulated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
    NickDlow and FlyingLow like this.
  19. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    Cost is kind of subjective, what kind of budget are you trying to stay in? Costs have come down considerably the past 5 years with advancing electronic and battery technologies.

    One can start with a $50-100 beginner heli. It will come with battery, charger, remote and aircraft. I tend to recommend bladehelis.com the most for beginners or Parkzone.com if you are into planes. All in one packages, very well designed, durable, and most importantly cheap and accessible parts are carried at every single hobby store with RC (Hobbytowns for example in the US).

    I have taught countless persons to fly, from my 4 year old nephew to my fiancé, with an older version of the Blade Nano QX... I even recommended it to Stu earlier today after learning our fellow FCer's Hubsan was downed.




    So here is another video showcasing one of Gryphons airframes, one of the most totally badass aerial photography (AP) companies available. This is category is known as Heavy lift. They can weigh as much as 30 lbs with cameras, gimbals and batteries, and can fly for about 30 minutes to an hour (dependent on batts and payload). They are primarily used with Red cameras, some of the best cameras available today. The camera, camera gimbal and batteries can weigh over 15 lbs...

    A rig like this, without the camera, batteries, and video equipment will cost about $2500-$3000 for a kit. Got deep pockets and don't think you are ready to build one yourself? Some companies are charging upwards of $10,000 to deliver one of these in Ready-to-Fly condition!

    Click to play YouTube Video
     
  20. Tommy10

    Tommy10 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,266
    Awesome advice, would you recommend a fourm that is similar in usefulness to FC? Always good to have a community of knowledgeable people.
     
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  21. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    There are! A lot of specialty ones but there are a few notable to point out.
    I am glad you asked, so to keep this info in the front pages:

    RCGroups is one of the most active and informational forums available. It covers all aspects of the hobby.

    RCUniverse is old and dated, but it was the best of the best for info 10+ years ago before RCG took off. IMO lots of old school guys still use it but the site feels very antiquated to me.

    FPVLab.com is a wealth of information for flying from the cockpit, or FPV. These are the wild guys.

    There are others for IMAC (acrobatic competition), 3D (extreme acrobatics, primarily post-stall), and more.




    This is the kind of stuff that got me into RC in the first place. Jobless, no cable, Xbox broke, and I saw this thinking "I can do that":

    Click to play YouTube Video


    Then I started flying these as soon as I saw their videos... Here is oneof the [RC] Malaysian Mafia's productions:

     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
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  22. lazylathe

    lazylathe Almost there...

    Messages:
    3,779
    Location:
    SouthWest Ontario, Canada
    Finally the thread has been started!!! LOL!!!
    Been away for a while...

    Getting into quads is super fun and easy and can be very cheaply done as well!
    Lots of Chinese online stores for a variety of RTF quads makes it super easy!!

    Started with a KODO Dromida to start with, lots of fun but burnt out a motor pretty quickly.
    Then came the Syma X5C-1, more fun with a camera and video option this time!
    Still lots of fun but a very stable and easy to fly quad.

    I am now onto a LaTrax Alias, much faster and crazier to fly!
    Still in beginner mode with switches over the FAST mode, this get interesting quickly!
    Expert mode takes off the easiness and it is almost impossible for me to fly it in that mode yet!
    Lots of practise still to work in!

    @FlyingLow
    I am looking into building my own quad in the winter and would love some recommendations!
    So far i am quite liking the look of the DJI F450 size kits.
    The incorporated PCB in some frames is an amazing idea!!

    Unfortunately i am a MAC guy so sims are few and far between...
    So far i have found X-Heli to be about my best option but still looking!
     
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  23. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    Welcome!a

    With your experience, going into the 450 size there are countless options. DJI is still an industry powerhouse but with your progression I would put you into something different altogether.

    Take for example a Hoverthings Flip FPV. The Flip is about the same size, but far more durable and with more room for equipment separation if you were to add cameras and video. I have been bashing the hell out of mine for over 3 years. Go to HobbyKing for cheap motors, esc and flight control. DJI Naza is nice, but you can do the same thing with a $30 KK2 board and save a ton of $$$.

    Also take a look at the TeamBlackSheep. A lot of die-hard FPVers LOVE this one, t has the built-in board and uses the DJI flame wheel arms.
    http://team-blacksheep.com/products/product:98
     
  24. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Messages:
    3,141
    This guy bought off a little more heli than he could operate...
    Click to play YouTube Video


    Mistakes happen, but with jets they are costly. This is probably $6k lost in this crash, but these types of aircraft can easily run into the $20k-$30k range.

    Click to play YouTube Video



    This is at the higher end of that price range, and can conservatively estimate Ali had over $20k into this jet, and that does not include the countless hours required to build it. He is a jet master designer and pilot but sometimes shit hits the fan and failures happen!

    Click to play YouTube Video
     
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  25. stickstones

    stickstones Vapor concierge

    Messages:
    12,147
    That heli vid is funny! I'm sorry, but big, spinning metal blades scare the shit out of me.
     
    FlyingLow likes this.

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