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Thread: Quadcopters?

  1. #1
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    Default Quadcopters?

    Any quadcopter fliers here?
    I'm fascinated.
    Recently watched a guy inspecting a roof on a three storey Victorian home. The pilot wore a visor so that he could see what his copter camera as filming. His assistant was operating a laptop, but his main job seemed to be keeping folks from bothering the pilot.
    I chatted for a bit. His rig set him back about $10K. It's got GPS, terrain following, onboard recording.
    He said that there are hobby versions for less than $500.
    IMMIGRANTS BUILT AMERICA - IMMIGRANTS BUILD AMERICA

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    I've been flying one around the living room for the past month or so. It set my back $12.50. Cat doesn't like it.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    The future of 'multi-copters':

    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  6. #6
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    I've been flying one around the living room for the past month or so. It set my back $12.50. Cat doesn't like it.
    My daughter gave me own like that for Christmas. The instructions were written by an English-challenged translator of the original Chinese, I believe, so I haven't figured it out yet. Waiting for warmer weather before taking it outside. Wife got tired of me slamming it into things....
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Fly no higher than you're afraid to fall.

    Certain death if the power fails on all of those.
    The best statement I've seen from this latest carnage came from a student who lived through it -

    "My generation will not allow this to continue!"

    Remember voting age is 18. Read it and weep reds.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by John of Phoenix View Post
    Fly no higher than you're afraid to fall.

    Certain death if the power fails on all of those.
    That's the Army's theory:


    US Army to develop futuristic hover bike to transport soldiers

    June 27, 2015With a new military deal in near future, the hover bike may be more than a Hollywood dream.The U.S. Army is working on a futuristic “hoverbike” that could carry one to two soldiers up to ten feet off the ground at speeds around 60 miles per hour over land and water.The Army Research Laboratory signed a contract nine months ago with SURVICE Engineering and Malloy Aeronautics to develop a hoverbike prototype for the Army to test in three to five years.SURVICE is based in Maryland and Malloy is based in Britain. The two companies will first develop a commercial version of the hoverbike that can carry about 250 pounds and cost about $80,000 before the companies produce a military variant, said Mark Butkiewicz, SURVICE Engineering’s manager of applied technology. He explained that the Army would like the bike to carry about 400 to 800 pounds to allow soldiers to pack their weapons and equipment on board.The Army said the hoverbike doesn’t necessarily need a soldier on board to steer. Butkiewicz compared the commercial and the military variants of the hoverbike to the differences between the Humvee and its commercial version, the Hummer. He didn’t want to give many more details of the requirements and details of the contract signed with the Army.The hoverbike could potentially go faster and higher but the Army wants to make sure its safe for soldiers to ride and not drifting into a helicopter’s mission set. Butkiewicz said to think of the project in some ways like a horse.“If you fall off a horse you can get up and keep going. You can’t do that with a helicopter. That’s what we’re talking about here. Keeping it at about 10 feet off the ground, which in some ways is tougher to do,” Butkiewicz said.

  10. #10
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    I have a DJI Phantom. Its fun. Takes some time to get the knack.

    Kevin


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    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  11. #11
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    I had a Hubsan until it flew out to sea and didn't come back. My nephew Matt is building me a replacement, a qav 250, which he is intending to teach me to fly.

    I really enjoyed flying the Hubsan but the tiny motors on them don't go many hours before they need replacing.


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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    I've got a DJI Phantom.

    Haven't done much with it lately. Here's a hastily edited flight over a nice blue lake in Laos. We weren't out to make pro videos, we were mapping the country, but flicked the drone up over some high spots.

    Netflix contacted me a little while back... they're using a short clip of mine in a documentary that's about to screen on a Medal of Honor winner

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    The Ehang 184 seems to be coming along well in test flights.

    Will

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    I have a Tianqu XS809, which is a knock off design of the Mavic. It's a fun little toy and it flies well, but it has a very basic flight controller. I'd buy a DJI if I didn't have to be in the middle of nowhere to fly it.
    Nosce te ipsum

  15. #15
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    I'm helping my nephew build me a sailing voyaging quadcopter. It's under construction. The plan is to take it away touring and get some sailing under way photos and video footage, and same of interesting places visited.

    The controller is a FlySky FS-i6S with a T-RS2000 fpv screen.



    The body framework is an open carbon fibre construction. The frame and brains are being sorted out now. It has skids which will have flotation material so that it can mostly be retrieved after an oops. Most of the parts will have multiple point replaceable components.



    There are two complete frame kits at the moment. At around $20 each there's no reason not to have lots of spare bits.






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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    For use over water, saltwater in particular, I think I'd want a waterproof hull.
    Nosce te ipsum

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Anybody ever consider shrouds on those rotors? Just a question of time before the s--t hit the fan, eh?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Most of them do have provisions for removable shrouds. I can pop them on and off of mine in just a few seconds.
    Nosce te ipsum

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    I have a DJI Mavic. I parked my first one about 80 feet up in a pine tree. Operator error. Bit of an ordeal, but I managed to retrieve it. The camera gimbal was damaged but I had purchased the insurance so I sent it to DJI for repair or replacement, and they replaced it. Took a few weeks. I haven't flown it much over this past winter and I just started getting back into it this week. I use it occasionally to locate my burros.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    A quadcopter is just a snack for me. . .

    8C515018-1E62-436D-9334-5F1DD8BDED94.jpeg
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    I have a Tianqu XS809, which is a knock off design of the Mavic. It's a fun little toy and it flies well, but it has a very basic flight controller. I'd buy a DJI if I didn't have to be in the middle of nowhere to fly it.
    I bought an XS809. Weatherswas lousy, so I practised in the basement.
    First day with no winds, I went to a local ball field. After a couple of minutes, I took it up to about 50 feet. It took off on its own, last seen about a block away. I couldn't find it.
    I think it happened because the AA batteries in the transmitter went dead.

    I must note that this was a toy. The large dollar quads will return automatically when power is ebbing.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    I bought an XS809. Weatherswas lousy, so I practised in the basement.
    First day with no winds, I went to a local ball field. After a couple of minutes, I took it up to about 50 feet. It took off on its own, last seen about a block away. I couldn't find it.
    I think it happened because the AA batteries in the transmitter went dead.

    I must note that this was a toy. The large dollar quads will return automatically when power is ebbing.
    Yeah, they have nothing that'll prevent that. Altitude hold and that's it.

    Try an online lost and found, you might get lucky.
    Nosce te ipsum

  24. #24
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    QAV250 build is progressing.




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  25. #25
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    QAV250 next stage of dry fitting bits. The camera is a 1080p res with 120 FPS max, but will be run at 60 fps.

    Battery, to be underslung under the frame, is still to come, but it's shaping up.






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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    The advice from a workmate who is heavily into his model aircraft, is remove the propellers before you put power on the first time. That way, you can check rotation and basic control without worrying about severing fingers, or have the thing launch full blast into the ceiling of your workshop. He says you should also be able to do propless things like select altitude hold, and hear the motors change speed if you move the quad up and down relative to water height it was at when the hold was enabled.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Bruce, is that camera fixed for forward viewing only? I found that I had the camera pointed down most of the time... very rarely just looking forward.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  28. #28
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    Default Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    Bruce, is that camera fixed for forward viewing only? I found that I had the camera pointed down most of the time... very rarely just looking forward.


    Yes it's fixed. The weight of a direction controlled gimbal device is relatively high. It may end up going to a controllable-view angle camera mount but not until we do some power and duration tests first. As it is configured now we expect to be able to do 2km out and about and return flights. The mental guesstimates seem to work for that. If we have a bit of a buffer in the power calcs the first additional capability upgrade will be in camera control. If not we may just settle for manually adjusting the vertical view angle prior to take off each time, by adjusting the camera mounting plate.

    Pete thanks for the tips re first power on and configs. I can see fingers being tested to destruction if we don't approach it the right way.

    The big worry at the moment is coming up with a good way to retrieve the aircraft on a moving boat in sea conditions. We have made the whole thing buoyant, and all parts modular and replaceable, so ditching would be bad but not fatal to the mission. But we want a near 100% landing success rate. Not sure that's a realistic aim at this stage.


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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by brucemoffatt View Post
    Yes it's fixed. The weight of a direction controlled gimbal device is relatively high. It may end up going to a controllable-view angle camera mount but not until we do some power and duration tests first. As it is configured now we expect to be able to do 2km out and about and return flights. The mental guesstimates seem to work for that. If we have a bit of a buffer in the power calcs the first additional capability upgrade will be in camera control. If not we may just settle for manually adjusting the vertical view angle prior to take off each time, by adjusting the camera mounting plate.

    Pete thanks for the tips re first power on and configs. I can see fingers being tested to destruction if we don't approach it the right way.

    The big worry at the moment is coming up with a good way to retrieve the aircraft on a moving boat in sea conditions. We have made the whole thing buoyant, and all parts modular and replaceable, so ditching would be bad but not fatal to the mission. But we want a near 100% landing success rate. Not sure that's a realistic aim at this stage.


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    Re recovery, with my DJI Phantom, the legs make a good way to grab it. Bring it down to a hover and grab a leg. Make a mistake though... and one might get a haircut.

    My Phantom was saved a couple of times by a nice feature - return to home - which works by the unit, when it loses contact, immediately going up to a pre-determined (and adjustable) height, then returning to the set home point. That's going to be interesting on a moving boat. I've lost contact when flying around a kaarst formation. Up she went, back she came.

    Far point for me was 3.17 km out to sea... then she was losing signal. I had a clear line of sight (I was looking for whales).

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  30. #30
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    Cool Re: Quadcopters?

    Keep calm, persistence beats resistance.

  31. #31
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    Default Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    Re recovery, with my DJI Phantom, the legs make a good way to grab it. Bring it down to a hover and grab a leg. Make a mistake though... and one might get a haircut.

    My Phantom was saved a couple of times by a nice feature - return to home - which works by the unit, when it loses contact, immediately going up to a pre-determined (and adjustable) height, then returning to the set home point. That's going to be interesting on a moving boat. I've lost contact when flying around a kaarst formation. Up she went, back she came.

    Far point for me was 3.17 km out to sea... then she was losing signal. I had a clear line of sight (I was looking for whales).



    I thought I remembered that you had a dji phantom. Great choice. I've seen the Smokey cape vid of yours before and I'll enjoy another look in a sec.

    Good point about the legs and catching the drone. This one has skids and depending on what it goes like we may try something tricky with them.

    Regarding return to home, I'm not sure yet what the software will support. The Hubsan had a return to home that used the take-off point as home. That saved me more than once, but ultimately the sea claimed it. This time I get to select which flight options and parameters to use within bounds. We are using Cleanflight software and I don't yet know what is possible with that. A predetermined gps location, a preset height and a dinghy might be a good combination. I saved a dji Mavic Pro once that was returning from a 2k over-water flight. For whatever reason it lost contact with the pilot and came down to hover at 2 metres above the main road at the end of our street, just above roof racks of the traffic. I put myself in the camera view and signalled then grabbed it off the roadway and waited for the pilot to come running. Made a good mate that day.

    Anyway I'll keep all up to date with the progress here as we move forward. For interest it has cost $550 Aus for all the components, including many propellers, spare frame kit etc etc.


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    Last edited by brucemoffatt; 05-19-2018 at 04:00 AM.
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    I've got a couple of boxes of components in the garage too. Been there for a couple of years. It's well down the list of projects now.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Great, they will make the annoyance of jet skis seem trivial

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Great, they will make the annoyance of jet skis seem trivial


    My drone will be used to document voyages in two vessels, in the waters between Adelaide, South Australia and Cairns, Queensland, Australia, over the next five years. If you are likely or planning to be in the vicinity in that timeframe I'd be more than happy to avoid your location when flying my drone. Please advise likelihood of my drone annoying you.


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  35. #35
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    Default Re: Quadcopters?

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Great, they will make the annoyance of jet skis seem trivial
    I was idling out of my cove last summer (on the flybridge) when I heard a weird low buzzing noise. Turned around to see one of these things 6 feet away at eye level.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
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