NParks didn’t say where you can fly.

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.

We took the DJI Mavic Air out

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.

Come on DJI. It’s something that’s adding costs to users who upgrade. Reasons of profit or trying to squeeze it into a newly designed body of the drone are simply too expensive for end-users.

We didn’t like the charger either. It has to unfold, batteies stand vertical. The cube charger for the Mavic was better.


the mavic cube charger.
The new mavic air charger where the battery have to stand.

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.

Wind

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.

Asteroid Mode

It is cool but if you were to get the Mavic Air to do one thing, this is about it.

Can you do car chase with it?

In 1 word. Yes, albeit a slow car.

Conclude

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.

The DJI Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Pro are available from Camera Rental Centre at a limit rental price. Check them out.

3D Mapping with DroneDeploy and Alitzure

Published 29 Sept 2017.
Updated 4 Oct 2017.

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.

Maps

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.

Flight Planning

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.

3D Output

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!

Embedding/ Displaying

AZ allows you to showoff your 3D Model by embedding it on a webpage like the above. DD do not have this option.

Market Place

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.

Pricing

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.

Overall, we prefer AZ over DD.

Maybe it’ll finally be easy to reach some fields in Tuas

With the Tuas West Extension opening soon in end of 2016, we hope to be finally exploring Tuas as a flying alternative.

These may not be the location and only based on what is described below and plotted.

– Fully Elevated line
– 13.5 km long with 2 legs: Tuas West Extension and Tuas South Extension
– Total 6 stations and a depot
– West Extension is 7.5 km long with 3 stations plus one interchange station with South Extension.
– South Extension is 6 km long with 2 stations, a future line.

EW30 to EW33 will be on Tuas West Extension to be completed in 2015. EW34 and EW35 will be on Tuas South Extension, a future line.

EW30 (the next station after EW29 Joo Koon) will be the interchange station of the 2 extension lines. EW30 is proposed to be located along Tuas Road, near the junction of Tuas Ave 3 and Gul Circle. EW30 will be at least 20m from ground level.

EW31 will also be at least 20m from ground level, it will be build around 8m above a proposed road viaduct along Pioneer Road. EW31 is proposed to be located above the Pioneer Road viaduct near the junction of Tuas Crescent and Tuas Avenue 2.

EW32 is proposed to be located along Pioneer Road near Tuas West Road.

EW33 is proposed to be located along Tuas West Drive near Raffles Marina.

Lithium based batteries on planes

Created 2 March 2016
Reviewed – 28 Dec 2017
Updated 2 Feb 2018

In what was problem that was actually caused by the manufacturers, passengers are actually penalised on how much watt hours worth of batteries you can hand carry on board planes.

Watt hours is what airlines uses. We are lucky there’s the Internet. It’s actually not much, for example, we use the popular 5200mAh and 5000mAh 4S lipos.

Converted, they are 76.96 and 74 watt hour respectively.

Convert using this or use

(mAh)*(V)/1000 = (Wh)

Other popular batteries (values are per battery) –

DJI Mavic – 43.66 Wh
DJI Phantom 3 – 68 Wh
DJI Phantom 4 – 81.3 Wh
DJI Inspire 1 – 129 Wh

***Do Not Check in Any Batteries in luggage. Always hand carry.***

Singapore – Cargo shipments of lithium-ion batteries will be banned from passenger aircraft from April 1 to reduce the risk of onboard fires.

Gist of it:

index

Jetstar Asia – carry on only, two lithium-ion batteries under 101 (6824.32 mAh 4S Lipo) watt-hours each that are part of electronic equipment.

– Only one other spare battery under 101 watt-hours may be carried on board,

  • There are no restrictions for batteries under 101Wh (eg found in mobile phones, laptops)
  • All spare batteries must travel as carry-on baggage.
  • Batteries in checked baggage must have the ON/OFF switch protected to prevent accidental activation.
  • Batteries between 101Wh and 160Wh (eg in medical equipment) require airline approval, which you can request by emailing dg@qantas.com.au.
  • Any batteries over 160Wh must be sent by Qantas Freight (except motorised mobility aids, see below).

(Source)

taindex

Tigerair – board personal devices with a capacity of up to 160 watt-hours (10810.81 mAh 4S Lipo).
(Source)

unnamed

Singapore Airlines allows laptops and mobile phones with less than 100 watt-hours (6756.75 mAh 4S Lipo) and a lithium content of less than 2g as onboard items.

But the move will not apply to personal devices that are carried on board, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said yesterday.

The United Nations aviation agency’s precautionary step comes after years of industry concerns that lithium-ion batteries could fuel undetected fires in the cargo hold of planes.

Most airlines now do not allow passengers to check in lithium-ion batteries unless they are contained within personal devices such as laptop computers and mobile phones.

While there have been no serious incidents so far, lithium battery-powered equipment is suspected to have caused a fire in an empty aircraft parked at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2013.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said ICAO’s latest restriction will be conveyed to airlines and other relevant industry players.

“Currently, passengers are permitted to carry portable electronic devices containing lithium batteries in checked-in or carry-on bags,” she said.

“However, spare batteries, including power banks, are not permitted to be carried in check-in bags. They are permitted in hand- carry bags only.”

Singapore carriers also have their own guidelines, on top of what is now required by the regulator.

On Jetstar Asia flights, those who wish to carry the items onboard are allowed two lithium-ion batteries under 101 watt-hours each that are part of electronic equipment.

Only one other spare battery under 101 watt-hours may be carried on board, said a spokesman.

On Tigerair, passengers may carry on board personal devices with a capacity of up to 160 watt-hours.

Singapore Airlines allows laptops and mobile phones with less than 100 watt-hours and a lithium content of less than 2g as onboard items. A mobile phone typically uses a battery that is less than 10 watt-hours.

CAAS conducts regular audits and inspections to ensure guidelines are adhered to, said a spokesman.

ICAO president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said: “Safety is always our most fundamental priority in international civil aviation.”

The prohibition, coming after extensive reviews, is an interim measure until a new lithium battery packaging performance standard is introduced, possibly by 2018, he said.

The latest move has been eagerly awaited by aircraft manufacturer and pilots associations, which have been the most vocal advocates for the new safety measure, he said.

160Wh per battery. You are permitted 2 pieces. Total 320Wh. (That’s 8 x Mavic batteries per passenger.)

“Maximum of two spare batteries in carry-on baggage only”

(Source)

Smart baggage are allowed as checked baggage provided it meets the following requirement:
  • The battery must be removed
  • The battery must be kept in a protective pouch
  • WH (Watt Hour) of the battery must not exceed 160Wh
  • Ensure the Wifi/Bluetooth/GPS is switched off
  • A maximum of 2 spare batteries in the cabin baggage is allowed*
    160Wh per battery. You are permitted 2 pieces. Total 320Wh. (That’s 8 x Mavic batteries OR 4 x Phantom 4 batteries per passenger.)

(Source)

Cathay

160Wh

(Source)

Build: 650X6

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It’s been a while since we built a hexacopter. We’ve chosen the Hobbyking 650X6 for it’s affordable price. This will be more for use to lift heavier loads with redundancies.

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When folded this hex is 9250mm with 10 inch prop from center motor to opposite center motor.

680mm motor center to motor center and width 340mm when folded.

When opened and ready to fly, it’s 680mm than the named 650mm X6.

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Above: No love for the 650X6, not even a box. It comes in plastic bags. You pay for what you get. It’s only USD $29…

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One page instruction.

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Tubes are 15mm x 15mm

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Above: Design of the motor mounts. Cumbersome and hard to install thus we only installed only 2 of them…it lead to bad choices. See flight video at the end.

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Motors fitted, Emax 2213 with 10 inch prop. Going to run 4S on this.

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Above: Note the mounting of the horizontal bars under the hex for these are about 71mm center to center of hole on the rubber.

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Above: Messy cabling, get it flying first. Tidy up later.

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Build:

– Hobbyking 650X6
– Emax 2213 motors
– Gemfan 10 inch propellers
– 4S 5200mha Multistar
– DJI Naza M V2 with GPS, miniOSD
– Frsky D4R II

Flight:

Nothing broken but one motor came off during flight. We did hear some wierd sound thus the really low flying and came close to take a look…then flew out and the motor came off. Time to install more of those cumbersome nylon poles.

Jiyi P2 Pro – The Pro version

DSC00351

31 May 2015, updated 16, 30 June 2015.

It’s a welcoming email from JIYI Robotic (Shanghai) Co.,Ltd, who contacted us after the first review of the P2 Flight Controller (FC) for them. They are once again and generous enough to send a unit to us after they launch the P2 Pro.

Miss Demi Sheng, the Sales Manager sent out the unit really quickly after some communication via email. So what can this USD$209 unit (Goodluckbuy is selling way higher at USD $250) do compared to the P2 retailing at USD$119?

Packaging.

The Packaging is important. Yes, Apple has some guy that works only on the packaging but we’re not expecting that but at least have a groove that fit the P2 Pro please.

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The groove seems meant for P2 version 1 with the P2 Pro forced into the packaging.

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Installation (Mandarin)

The following video is in Mandarin but we believe, it’s easy enough to follow. A pity the video seems to be using non production unit, however, you should be able to figure out what is the LED/ USB module and the Power Module.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgnUt8WiD-s

Update: Installation Video 29 June 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c0P1jWjP2Y

Note: There’s mention that the COM Port is for a Ground Station! We are excited to hear that. He added that for the time being, he is not showing that demo.

Specs

For specs, see here.

Features:
8th generation U-Blox GPS
9 types multi-rotor support
New advanced algorithm
Low Voltage Protection
Failsafe mode
Intelligent orientation Control Mode
One Key take off
Click and fly
Smart circle flying
Skyway flight remote
OSD and groud station support
Cell phone adjustment

GPS is huge!

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USB Port is relocated to the LED module. Jiyi do hear feedbacks! Thank you!

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Documentation

Note: Dump the Quick Guide that came with your P2 Pro and download the latest documentation here. It shows the right diagram.

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Quick Start Guide do not match the actual unit that we received but from the looks of it, all production unit looks the same.

The P2 Pro changes are in bold as compared to the P2.

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Left – Channel 1 – 6 then there’s an addition of the USB port that relocates the USB Port to the LED module. Then LED, GPS1 and GPS2.

Right – Addition of POW (Power) module like the VU in DJI lingo, COM port that’s mentioned, for ground station not available as of writing then motor M8 to M1. (P2 has motor ports on right side but top down, M1-6). Meaning now the P2 can support an Octocopter.

———————————————————————————–

Hardware Setup

DSC00374

Do the calibration first. Right out the box. It’s quite a hassle to do it after installing it onto a craft and a USB cable attached.

We took out our trusty Whitesheep/ Blacksheep clone quadcopter. Removed the P2 and got to work on the P2 Pro.

Compass Calibration

This had us baffled once again.

Compass

fig3

This video shared by a fellow tester helped!

Thoughts

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The Jiyi UAV’s P2 Pro is promising and it’ll be a lot more nifty if it has been launched together with the ground station. At time of writing, it’s USD $209, up from the P2 non pro’s $119 with only the added function of “circling”. It can be kinda hard to shell out an extra $90 for that.

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Likes

Default Settings and it flew great. Not much tweaking to the PIDs needed. Out of the box, it flies great!

Dislikes

The LED on the P2 Pro still pretty much does nothing much. It shows, it’s in compass calibration, there isn’t enough GPS signal(s) if you try arming and it blinks, and it blinks on normal operation. There’s much improvement that can be done to the LED module. Say, green for all system go, enough GPS when in GPS mode. a different color for each mode that we are in, GPS, Stablised, etc etc and one more color or behavior (red fast flashing?) for failsafe activated or Return to Home.

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Overall, The Jiyi P2 Pro is a nice little Flight Controller great for beginners and hobbyist alike. The upcoming OSD will add a punch to the whole package and hopefully the price will stay at the current one even with the OSD added.

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Flight Video coming soon.

Links:

P2 Pro Downloads
Our P2 (non pro) review
Jiyi P2 Pro at Banggood
Jiyi P2 at Banggood