Just bought a drone

TLB

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So yeah, I'm married with kids (and unemployed since early September) = small budget. "Santa" brought the family kids (Daughter 11, son 8, and dad 47) a brand new DI Discovery U818A-1 ($60) that comes with a built in HD camera.

udi-u818a-1.jpg



Being in Pennsylvania at Christmas time, we were below freezing for about 3 weeks straight, so no flying outside. I moved the cars out to the driveway and used the 2 car garage space as a training room for me and the kids. The goal was to get good at hovering, controlling movement, and eventually camera control so that by spring we would be ready to head out to the local parks and fields. After about two weeks, the kids could manage flight control, but I'm still beating it against the ceiling and walls.

Pros: Relatively low cost, Blade protectors (training wheels as mentioned earlier in the thread), came with two batteries (hour to charge, flies for 5-8 minutes), built in HD cam stores onto microSD card you can swap out easy, replacement blades (haven't broken one yet), good lighting on the drone so you know front-back and when camera is on/off, lets you know when you have 40sec of flight left to bring it home before batteries die.

Cons: Short flight time, cannot self-hover (let go of sticks it will fall) or self-return (you have to control it); camera records to SD on drone so you don't know what you videoed until you land and remove the SD so there is no immediate feedback on what you are seeing during flight.

Overall I'd say it's a great trainer for the price, and if you beat the crap out of it you can replace it easily enough. My plan was for the kids to get good at this one and enjoy it; expecting I'd master it quickly and therefore justify spending a few hundred on myself. I think I've scrapped that plan for awhile. Still, I'd recommend it for someone wanting to try it out without the heavy investment and know if you can handle this, the more expensive ones that fly themselves will be a breeze.


My daughter (11) gave me $60 of her own so me and the boy can play with ours while she uses hers for 'professional' videos. :rolleyes: Then we spent an extra $22 for a six pack of batteries (each about the size of a stick of gum, easy to swap out) with chargers so we can fly for longer before coming home.
 

oxrageous

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Beautiful video. How does it fly? Smooth?
 

Zambo

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Beautiful video. How does it fly? Smooth?
Its super easy to fly and holds position better than my old phantom. Has lots of cool modes. One I haven't tried out yet is cinema mode.....when you get in position you turn on cinema mode and it slows down all the movements so that there are no jerky camera movements, especially when rotating left and right or tilting the camera up and down (those are the two hardest things to do smoothly IMO). It also has several different optical tracking modes so you can designate a target and then have the drone follow it in trace or follow it from the side shooting in profile, or it can keep the camera pointed at the target while you freely maneuver the drone around the area.

By far though the biggest feature of this thing is the portability. When I shot the above video we were just meeting friends for dinner at that restaurant by the fountain, and while we were waiting for a table we took the drone out of the wife's purse and just flew it around for about 15 minutes. Totally easy compared to getting that Phantom in the air.
 

Zambo

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Here is a pretty cool video showing all of the "dronie" modes of automatic video capture.

 

Zambo

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I was waiting for him to saw off the other side and watch it drop to the ground.
 

crosscreekcooter

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I was waiting for him to saw off the other side and watch it drop to the ground.

I was actually hoping he was gonna get his ass lit up. Those nests are frightening, wonder why he didn't set off a bug bomb under it. Irritating them will just make them move into say his barn.
 

Zambo

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I was actually hoping he was gonna get his ass lit up. Those nests are frightening, wonder why he didn't set off a bug bomb under it. Irritating them will just make them move into say his barn.
Because he's a moron. But it makes for good entertainment.
 

crosscreekcooter

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Anybody else have one? I just got the Phantom 3 standard. 600 clams for the drone, some extra props, an extra battery, and a hardshell backpack that carries it all around.

It came fedex today and it took about an hour to charge the batteries, get the app installed on my phone, bolt on the rotor guards (training wheels), and figure out how to wirelessly connect everything and get it ready. Then I drove to a nearby field that I figured was big enough to avoid catastrophe and fired it up.

Super freaking easy to "fly." I say "fly" in quotes because you aren't so much flying it as simply telling it where to go. I'd imagine if you want to sport-fly the thing like racing through a forest it would take some time to get the hang of it, but for just moving about, climbing and descending, etc its pretty intuitive. If it starts to get crazy you just let go of everything and it stops on a dime and hovers.

After one battery worth of flying at the field (about 20 minutes) I came home and flew it around outside the house to torment my dogs. Pretty easy to keep it about ten feet off the ground (out of jaws reach) and move it around the yard. The flying part gets so easy after a while that you can concentrate on pointing the camera.

There are advanced modes which let you automatically fly around preprogrammed paths or orbit around a fixed point, etc. These let you spend more time using the camera for filming. I'll play with those a little tomorrow. Anyway if someone has some drone tips lets hear them.
 

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