State of the hobby

It is end June 2016. A round up of what is the current status of multicoptors to us.

We’ve always love folding quads. Just look at our fleet. 30 builts later, we’ve partnered up and now flying Phantoms and Inspires do make us ponder and wonder.

The neatness of these ready to flys. Less hassle of packing things. We primarily fly for aerial videos and photos. Seldom fpv racing/ mini quads. We have a few (See our fleet) but its just for speed and fun mostly. It also means less things to be messing around with. Gains, programming knobs, it’s great knowledge but the hassle with so many China based made with crude documentations, don’t get us wrong, even leaders like DJI has manuals that seems written by school students but they’re getting there…slowly but surely.  

 

 

Being able to push out products in a lot shorter time frame and putting in technologies that they heard feedback from is critical. We all don’t need that new iPad or iPhone, that new Android tablet or new graphic card or cpu,it however makes your competitors play catch up.

Gimbal
Even powering up our good old Phantom 2 with a Hero 4, on a H43D seems a hassle now. You power up the Phantom 2, the Hero 4, connect your antennas to the Black pearl monitor, turn it on….

With the Inspire 1 or Phantom 4. Power up, connect iPad/ your phone, wait for GPS, fly, enjoy the scenery.

Auto Modes/ follow me, circle/ polar
It’s ridiculously easy with the DJI Go app for the POI or follow me.

We love to DIY. The smell of solder get us going and the ability to mix and match motors and ESC and learning the different Flight Controllers can be both fun and frustrating at the same time. If you’re the casual flyer, do not hope to purchase one but hope to have an aerial shot of your holiday or a one off shot of your loved ones having fun flying a kite or spending a day skating, consider renting as even buying one has some maintenance to be done. The least is the firmware updates for your drone and at times, all the bits that come with it, the batteries, gimbal, camera etc etc may all require update(s).

Another important point is, on tiny Singapore and with strict DJI No Fly zone implementation, we weren’t able to take on some past assignment with the church sitting on the edge but inside the no fly zone. On Google Map, go to 1.373587, 103.898441. From the church, you have to fly past 5 blocks of more than 12 storeys high buildings, cross a river and then a forested area of about 500 meters even then, you’re only at the edge of the airport. We needed the church tower video-ed and it’s no more than 20 meters tall…the solution? A DIY hexacopter.

There’s even guys who are certified circumventing this by disconnecting their GPS from their Inspire 1 and fly it in ATTI mode. Go google…

We hope one day, DJI will release what is in the DJI Go app to any Naza DIY-ers that they can build and making the geo-fencing a little more flexible.

Till the day comes and for all commerical jobs we received, seems like mostly, Inspire 1 and Phantoms prevail…for now.

Toy shops selling drones

 

Recently we were on flying assignment that requires us to move around a few locations. At a location we met a fellow drone flyer at a field. He was flying a Syma he said to have got it from a toy shop. His first drone, he proclaim. Then he went on to complain about how lousy it flies then he flew it and showed us. It scare the shit out of us. There is basically no control and it ascend on its own when he had it on the throttle at middle position. He held it out and showed us. It kept going up then it crashed after hitting a tree. Thank the gods there wasn’t any children at the playground of this hot afternoon.

Toy shops not knowing what these are must not be trying to make a profit and sell these drones. We visited the said shop and there are a lot of models. Traditional toy shops know nothing about drones, it’s care, repair and most importantly how to operate it safely. It’s not like the trucks and cranes or dolls and action figures they’re selling. These don’t crash or drop out from the sky and hurt or worse, one day, may have someone, a child no less, lost an eye ball a finger or… get killed.

He ended his day after we let him tried out the Phantom 4 after some explanation why it is dangerous, how it is dangerous and how to have fun, real proper fun with the Phantom 4. He was real happy and say he’s getting a “DJ”. Yes, that’s what it’s known to him, a dji Phantom to him. We told him in the meantime to look at renting it from us and left him out contact and website address. He’ll be back, we’re sure of it and we look forward to have him enjoy one with some shots of him and his kids and wife having a good time, safely.