New camera

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Steve M
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New camera

#1

Post by Steve M »

As anyone who has read any of my threads will know, I have been known to take a picture or two. And harking back to when I left school, I seriously entertained a career in aerial photography, but missed that year’s intake at Fairey Surveys who were just down the road from where I lived at the time.

I have been keeping an eye on the developing drone industry and finally decided to take the plunge.
Now drones and their operators have tended to get a bad press in recent years so even though he model I had chosen (after much research) was below the weight threshold for registration, I thought I would ‘do it right’ by the Law just in case anyone questioned me while using it.

So I signed on with the CAA, sat their test (passed) and obtained a UAV registration. I also upgraded my phone so it can act as the view screen and storage for the wee beastie. Heck, I even watched any number of YouTube videos in preparation.

I made sure I chose a model that had a decent camera but more importantly had features included that would allow it to hold station (gps), and return to its take off position either at the press of a button or when its batteries fall blow a safe level. And spare part availability.

You see, it’s important to show a responsible attitude with what can be a dangerous piece of equipment.

The big day came - yesterday - for the first flight.

I set it up, pressed the ‘one-touch take off’ button and it rose gently to a height of three feet just begging me to ‘take control’ - and I promptly crashed the bl##dy thing, turning it into a tri-copter.

It seems the one precaution I didn’t take was to get someone else to fly it for me. :roll:

Spares on order (shame Christmas gets in the way of express delivery) but we’ll have another go next week.

Pray for me.
"Not very stable, but incredibly versatile." ;)
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Walkingthedog
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Re: New camera

#2

Post by Walkingthedog »

Think they should only be used by professionals. Having said that I hope the spares arrive and you manage to fly it. Not as easy as it looks.
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LC&DR
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Re: New camera

#3

Post by LC&DR »

What a pity, it is so frustrating when your new Christmas toy packs up on Christmas Day.
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yelrow
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Re: New camera

#4

Post by yelrow »

Hi, steve, what bad luck. Sabotage by anti drone protesters, ?. I looked at one last year, but my son in the states, very much against my purchase. He told us to look at same footage in usa, giving statistics of how many were destroyed, on their maiden flights. Its an awful lot. Not as many as helicopters, but he muttered on about if i must, join a club, and have lessons from a professional. Years ago, i built a radio control plane, which i spent months, building, launched, then watched it fly out of range, never to be seen again. Just bought my lad a radio controlled boat for xmas, hoping lightning does not strike twice. Was it insured, if thats possible.
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Steve M
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Re: New camera

#5

Post by Steve M »

Hi John, the laws are much stricter in the States so the club/training advice is very sound. My approach however is to stand in the middle of a cricket ground (I have access via my son) and use the built in mode that limits the range to 30 metres, plus the total absence of people, animals and buildings keeps me well in compliance with CAA regs.

Unfortunately I hadn’t accounted for the bush that was 29 metres away add a bit of drift in the breeze and........well you know the rest. Actually my main mistake was assuming that the emergency stop button would shut off the motors - it doesn’t, as it maintains enough power to allow a gentle descent. Quite a good safety feature to avoid an uncontrolled plummet onto something expensive.

The ‘29m bush’ snagged a motor but they are less than £10 as a replacement pair - not the end of the world.
And as for insurance, well even with all the bells and whistles, including an HD camera, a complete kit is currently less than £100 - not a huge investment to risk while I’m learning.
"Not very stable, but incredibly versatile." ;)
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teedoubleudee
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Re: New camera

#6

Post by teedoubleudee »

yelrow wrote: Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:51 pm Hi, steve, what bad luck. Sabotage by anti drone protesters, ?. I looked at one last year, but my son in the states, very much against my purchase. He told us to look at same footage in usa, giving statistics of how many were destroyed, on their maiden flights. Its an awful lot. Not as many as helicopters, but he muttered on about if i must, join a club, and have lessons from a professional. Years ago, i built a radio control plane, which i spent months, building, launched, then watched it fly out of range, never to be seen again. Just bought my lad a radio controlled boat for xmas, hoping lightning does not strike twice. Was it insured, if thats possible.
John, your tale of the fast disappearing model aircraft reminded me of a similar incident of mine. Many years ago (1963 IIRC) I was stationed at an RAF base in Cambridgeshire (now an army camp). Weekends were quiet with no flying so the airfield was virtually closed down. So me and a couple of mates took my newly completed free flying aircraft out to a far place on the airfield to give it a first flight. It was about 3' wingspan with top mounted wing. I put a drop of diesel fuel in her. started the engine and hand launched it away. It flew in a tight circle but didn't climb above head height causing us to dive for cover!. After a short flight the engine cut and it landed safely. Right I said, easy to fix. So I trimmed the rudder and elevator to give a wider circle and a steady climb. Then I made a fatal mistake. I filled the fuel tank up to full!.

It's second (and final) flight was "interesting" to say the least. My trim changes had done the trick and soon after launching it began a slow wide 50' or so circle and a nice steady climb.And so it climbed, and climbed and climbed. The fuel must have lasted about 10 minutes by which time it was a dot in the sky! This wouldn't have been so bad except there was a slight, hitherto unnoticed, wind across the airfield which was taking my lovely model away from us and towards a busy main road that bordered the base. Now the fuel was exhausted it began it's descent, which in itself was "fascinating". It continued to circle which was fine but because of the elevator up trim it began a kind of dance where it would stall, then as it fell away the nose dropped and it picked up speed until the combination of forward speed and "up" trim forced it to try and climb, the speed dropped and it stalled again. This ritual slowed the descent dramatically and all the time it was drifting away from the center of the airfield and towards the road. I started to panic!

Well it eventually reached the road but thankfully was still too high to become a danger to traffic, but after crossing over it found a small thick wooded area (the only trees for miles around!) and must have landed in the tree tops. I never saw her again. The wood was as thick as any jungle you might come across so I gave up any hope of retrieval. I never built any more model aircraft.
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Tricky Dicky
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Re: New camera

#7

Post by Tricky Dicky »

As a youngster in the 50s and 60s I was often taken to a local moor where a lot of model aircraft flying took place. As powered flight was quite expensive in those days and for RC you had to be well heeled, most models flown were gliders. Most were launched off a hillside and the place seemed quite good for catching thermals.

I was always intrigued how the models were brought back to ground? What most used was a dethermalizer which was a rubber band mechanism held in tension once released pulled the elevators and rudder I think into a position to cause a long slow circular dive safely back to ground. Most used a clockwork timer that held another band in tension which in turn held the elevators to give lift. After several minutes flight the mechanism released the band to set the model on its downward spiral.

I did notice some of the owners appeared to be setting light to their models. Turned out to be a cord fuse similar to those used to light fireworks. This cord was inserted into a metal tube and as it smouldered down it burnt through a thread or cord which released the band holding the flight surfaces in their lift position. I always thought with all that balsa and doped tissue this was a risky undertaking but somehow was never treated to the sight of a ball of flames rapidly returning to ground! :o

Richard
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Steve M
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Re: New camera

#8

Post by Steve M »

Spares arrived and fitted. Two successful flights at the local cricket club. Only one mishap when I found the off switch instead of the return to home switch. :roll:
But there may be something wrong with the camera as I seemed to capture far too many pictures of an bald bloke frowning at a remote control unit. :D
In all seriousness it actually proved very easy to fly but practice will be needed to perfect fine control for decent camera shots.
"Not very stable, but incredibly versatile." ;)
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Steve M
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Re: New camera

#9

Post by Steve M »

First proper video test of the drone at the local cricket club after the rains.

https://youtu.be/Bj4TtArohKQ
"Not very stable, but incredibly versatile." ;)
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Re: New camera

#10

Post by RogerB »

Well, that was very peaceful to watch. It's the music what does it. I don't know much about drones but I'm assuming the view you have of what the camera sees whilst operational must be quite good as you seemed to find various objects and zoom in on them quite accurately? I note you cut [rather abruptly I thought :D ] from a long shot on the final inbound as the operator came into view. :D R-
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