Have you wonder why at times, your DJI drone just dont fly as far as your friend’s? You get video interferences when you friend’s Mavic Pro just flys perfectly ok? On the same day, at the same location?
Are you setting up your antennas on the DJI Mavic or for the matter any DJI drones crossed or facing on another?
Check out Sally. She’s the drone girl who loves taking pictures, pictures of her flying a drone that is.
ok, photo op or not, taking pics of you enjoying flying has to be realistic. See all her antennas “placement”. It’s a simple rule of folding them and have it face the drone. You’ll get far (pun) better range.
Dont take our word for it. Download any DJI manual, you’ll see this section.
So the next time you setup your antenna, do that both standing setup. Not cross, not have it parallel to the ground (unless you’re flying directly overhead all the time) and remember, dont be like Sally.
Some got really happy when they saw the list published by NParks on parks that has no drones allowed sign. Does that mean other parks not listed can fly? Dont be stupid …Why i say NParks list is useless. There are a total of 69 parks listed on nparks website. www.nparks.gov.sg
The list they provide has 20 listed. Does it mean you can fly at the other 49? Of course not! Because places like Changi Beach park is a no brainer. It’s in the direct path of landing planes and you won’t be able to start your DJI drones anyway as it is a DJI No Fly Zone. I was free , i made a google worksheet. Will do a proper post later on my website http://bit.ly/NParksdrones
NParks shouldn’t have release a list of parks with no sign. They should have been straight forward and release a list of parks where we can fly. We can understand there is no such list as:
They do not want to be liable if there’s accidents to park go-ers who do not fly drones but are there to enjoy the park.
Then don’t have any list to begin with. CAAS has clear rules and the law is clear. Keep your drone in line of sight, keep it below 200 ft, do not fly within 5km of airports.
After unboxing, we really didn’t like the charger… nor the battery. Since the Phantom 3 to Phantom 4, the Inspire 1 to Inspire 2 and maybe the Mavic Pro to the Maciv Pro 2, the batteries have always been redesigned. Nothing is usable after an upgrade. Upgrading your DSLR from a Canon 60D to 70D or upwards to a 6D, 7D or 5DMK2 or MK3 do not require you to change the battery. It all uses the same LP-E6.
Option of the transmitter stick to be removed is good for those longer haul transport/ trip. Careful of dropping them onto grass in the field. A pair of spare is provided but we’ve installed it and has never removed it since.
It doesn’t handle wind well. Simple as that. We saw it drifting as we were flying near waters and usually what the Mavic Pro can handle, the Air could not. It wasn’t even huge gust of wind to begin with but we have trouble bring it back, lowered it to behind some trees and flew back behind trees.
It’s small, it’s compact so you have to know the battery life is affected. The Mavic Pro seems to still have hit the balance better of weight vs flight time.
The build quality isn’t fantastic but you pay for what you get. It feels plastic and not as sturdy. We don’t think it’s meant to replace the Mavic Pro. It sits squarely between the Spark and Mavic Pro. Distance wasn’t great but we hit 1.8km easily before getting video signal lost but when back at our regaulr flying field, we can’t manage anything more than 400 meters.
We did some slow 8 to 12 meters/ Sec, car chases shots at 4K. Front and back obstacle avoidance is a great feature. If you don’t own one yet, get a Mavic Air, if not go for the Mavic Pro. By real commercial work, don’t get Mavic anything, look at the Phantom 4 or the Phantom 4 Pro.
We took Dronedeploy (DD) and Altizure (AZ) out for a spin. Unlocking the world of 3D mapping with drones. It’s fun seeing the pictures turned into 3D Models of buildings and structures we took.
Please note we only emphasis on doing 3D Models of structures, not agriculture monitoring or agriculture mapping.
Each has their own way of taking the pics and are fully autonomous. So warning!
Always make sure you survey out the location before you attempt to map an area or building. Note the highest structure around the area you are mapping and make sure you clear the height.
DroneDeploy uses a map service we are unfamiliar with. In Singapore, there are so many areas that has clouds, incomplete buildings or showing that it’s a construction site. Some building or areas has been around for at least 2 years. That’s how old the maps are.
Altizure uses, simply, Google Maps. It is preferred and it’s something we are already familiar with for daily use. So no figuring out required.
DD Flight planning need to be given a thumbs up. You can pre plan a flight on your PC via a web browser then continue working on it while on your Android phone when commuting home then edit it further when you are at the field on your iPad before the actual flight. It syncs across all devices so long you log in to the same account. It is a no brainer….so we thought.
AZ do not have this. All pre planned maps are saved within the device you are using in and only the device you first created it in only. It’s wierd why such a basic function is not implemented (yet?). We could be doing a site survey and doing pre planning but if we forgot to bring the device we have used on flight day, you will have to redo the whole planning and hopefully you remember all the settings, area, height required etc…. the client requested.
Straight to the point. Altizure win hands down. Their engine stitches better and is not as picky or restrictive. DD only allows 500 images for structures. Boo! AZ allows you to stitch then add more pics later still!
So we went back and took close to 700 images. The output was great!
AZ allows you to showoff your 3D Model by embedding it on a webpage like the above. DD do not have this option.
Only DD has this option. They integrate other services into their marketplace where you can chose to say, do a 3D Print of the 3D Model you have create via Whiteclouds. You can of course download the 3D Model file from AZ and go to Whiteclouds and have it printed of course, you will need to buy 1 Diamond (see pricing below) to download the 3D file.
It can be confusing but we prefer AZ as we may not get assignment often for 3D Mapping and AZ allows us to get 1 x “Diamond” to get the project over and done with.
DD offers no such one off payment plan. Only monthly or yearly payments. You do get 5 free project, per month.
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While flying the Spark, you must first and foremost understand, this is not a photography or videography drone like the DJI Phantom or even the DJI Mavic. The Spark is in the selfie range of drones. It can’t do shots like:
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Image and video at full resolution are: 12 megapixel/3968 x 2976/, 1080p/ 30 fps videos.
Photography and videography with the Spark is so-so. You’re better off finding a high point, climb it and take a pic with your handphone. You’ll save more time. Gentle breeze causes it to moves around quite a bit. It’s very hard to track subjects when using the transmitter, if that’s what you are taking videos of.
Can you get shots like the above? yes you can. It won’t be easy considering battery life, it’s size that it moves around in gentle breeze… and it may not have the range needed to go where you want it to.
Note the resolution is already quite low and it’s lower if you do not have a SD card, the photos will be saved to your phone at 1024 x 768 and videos will be 1280 x 720
The resolution drops to 1440 x 1080 or 1.5 Megapixel, no not a typo it is 1.5 (instead of 12 megapixel/3968 x 2976) when you are in Gesture Mode.
Kinda useless when the camera can’t keep up. You get tilted videos the second you need to change directions. Useful for getting back to landing point, quicker. Normal non sports mode is slow.
The spark transmitter connects to your phone via wifi and the usual RC channels 2.4ghz or 5.8ghz to the Spark. We used 5.8ghz, we managed to fly 300 meters and it’s really pushing it. It keep dropping video while we have full control of the Spark but if you can’t compose shots, it’s as good as useless to us.
On the way back to land from 300 meters, at 105 meters, we tried flying over trees to take some shots, RC link lost, video feed lost. Only trees and leaves made us lost connection.
TL;DR version – DO NOT USE IT.
But we’re very sure, people won’t listen till they try it. So try it in a big field with no obstacles.
It worked half the time. We get 50/50 success rates. First don’t do this indoors, it’s so unpredictable but of course, we had to try. We thought it’s the lighting, so a sunny bright day, we went flying the Spark and tested it again.
During 1 take-off indoors, the spark refuses to land on our palm and keep moving around ever so slightly. We had the transmitter on at all times so we took over using the transmitter and landed in manually.
Sometimes it takes off after double tapping the battery button, the camera scans up and down for a face, most times it does not and goes back to waiting. When it works, gesture controls will make your arm ache trying to get it to obey your palm. Waving at it worked once from the 5 times we tried it. Y arms to bring it back and land worked when waving worked. At all times, the transmitter can be used to take over the Spark to manual flying. You’ll have to land the sparky with the transmitter once you fly it around for a while.
Battery/ Flight Time
15 mins. A mixture of sports mode and normal flying but mostly, we get around 10 mins playing with gesture mode and a little manual flying. Landing and taking off again and again tends to drain battery quicker.
The transmitter now connects to your phone via wifi and not cable, then the transmitter to the drone with the 2.4 or 5.8ghz RC connection. So your phone batt is constantly drained.
As a selfie drone, this is quite fun to have. Small and dandy, easy to bring around. For shots like the below, 30 to 50 meters, it’s not bad to remember a holiday, a trip.
Taking selfie from a height of 5 to 10 meters showing the surrounding with you and your loved ones, not too bad but could be easier to setup a tripod or place your camera on a ledge or in a tree.
Low altitude flying on grass fields is quite fun, we can imagine using this on a calm day flying over padi or tea leaves fields. See video below.
BUT, If you want to take some shots of a building from 50 meters height, do not use this.
Order 1 more set from Hobbyking. Didn’t get the pre-built set from RCMart as we just love building it. Hope it wasn’t our building that caused all the problem. Week of 23 Jan 2017. 2nd set arrived from Hobbyking. Decided to change to lipo! 2S seems to work fine. 1
22 Jan 2017 – Ordered the hop ups from Asiatees. Going to love the red…i hope.
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Wifi is a great alternative to control the Mavic but as the transmitter is already so small, dont think why you wouldn’t want to bring it out. It’s also useful for that 1 quick photo you need but do not need to go a far distance or need much control. Something like take off, go up to 100 to 200 meters, snap and land and be on your way.