Tiny drone

Tiny drones are fun too!  See where you can take it…

With joystick in hand, controlling your drone now seems to come very natural.  No longer do you need to be overly concerned with questions as : what is a remote control drone?  Why?  Armed with the below knowledge, you are now in full control!

We have covered five of the most popular types of drones already.  However, we need a brief overview of each of them in order to make an informed choice.

(ARF – BNF – RTF explained here)

They are;

DJI Phantom 3 advanced quadcopter drone bumble (extra battery)

3DR Solo drone quadcopter

Blade 350 QX3 AP combo RTF C-Go2

UDI 818A  HD+RC quadcopter with HD camera

Holy Stone F181 RC quadcopter with HD camera RTF

  DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter  

For the average consumer, you can say the Phantom 3 would be “head and shoulders” above the rest of the pack.  It’s performance, control, and reliability make it an excellent choice.  High tech features make this quadcopter easy to fly.

However, keep in mind that though this is simple to fly, it will take a bit of time to learn how.  Seems that the instructions that come with this little unit could be simplified.

But even so, it is one of the top selling quadcopters on the market today.

3DR Solo Quadcopter

Like seeing where your quadcopter is and what it sees?  Super easy to fly and follow manufacturers instructions.  If you have ever used a joystick, then this will feel right at home in your hands.

With just a push of a button, you’ll be in full control with any of its command features.  From take off to landing or even stopping mid-flight, you’ll find the button for each.

How about recording as you go?  Perhaps snap a photo?  All available on this little guy.

Have a spacial screen you want to use?  You’ll be able to connect 3DR Solo to almost any screen.

I am concerned though, with how short the battery life is while in use.  Seems that you may want to purchase at least, one or two more along with a good quick-charge, charger.

Blade 350 QX3 AP RTF

Stability is peace of mind to every operator.  This 350 Blade has it all.  Within minutes of setup, you can be flying this quadcopter along with high definition video.

It’s internal ‘smart mode’ makes it so simple to get started.  It also has a ‘return home’ feature, but it seems that it can be improved on.

Though small in size, it’s performance seems to almost equal those more expensive quadcopters.

UDI 818A  HD+RC  HD camera

Excellent starter quadcopter!  This baby has the return home function, strong battery and even and extra battery that come with it.

One thing though, this quadcopter does not fly very well in windy weather.  If you can get it out on calm days, you’ll have a blast!

Holy Stone F181 RC Drone HD Camera RTF

Concerned about damage?  Not sure of your flying abilities?  The Holy Stone F181 is ideal for beginners.  Not super expensive, but can stand up to most crashes.

Put this drone through its paces with acrobatic precision.  Simple, easy to fly and holds up to all but the solid wall impacts.

Great if you are new to flying.  It gives you a real basic understanding of drones and how they fly, giving you that needed confidence to move up to more sophisticated designs.

All without breaking the bank account.   Drawbacks are a rather short 7 to 10 minute battery life.  That is plenty of time though, to work through the basics several times.

Flips, right, left, backwards, forwards or even a continuous roll is right at your fingertips.

Everyone wants to know which drone is right for them and the cost up front.

Unlike many of the hoverboards, drones can surprisingly hold up to crashes and not start fires or explode.

The Most Bang For Your Buck

We’ll continue educating you about your drone purchase and give you the very best information.  After all, these drones can last many years to come.  There are the wildly popular low-end models and the higher priced, better quality models.

Wide open spaces are best for flying.

Remember too, that not everyone is “thrilled” to have a flying machine going through the neighborhood.

Be sure an leave a comment below and share this information.

Written by Tom McDaniel




Quadcopter

Remote Control Drone Quadcopter for the serious minded

A flying drone a.k.a. quadcopter, is likened to a miniature helicopter with two, three, four or even more, rotating props (propellers) that are operated from a joystick type ground controller held by an individual.

A remote control drone is a great way to become introduced into the world of rc (remote controlled or radio controlled) devices.  Model airplanes and helicopters have be around for years and their promoters of this sport just can not get enough “fly time” every week.

It’s addictive!

RC helicopter

RC helicopter…Radio Controlled…Remote Controlled

They Are Here To Stay

Whether we like it or not, the drones are here to stay.  Especially those with the options of camera ready displays onboard.

They are already buzzing through neighborhoods, back streets, open fields and even crashing onto the D.C. White House lawn.

Companies are jumping on board in order to try and keep up with demand. So you need to be informed before plunking down your dollars.

Just like anything else, you can purchase a “starter drone” or on the other hand, go for a much more sophisticated one for the serious minded.

Legal Stuff  You Need To Know … To Stay Out Of Trouble With FAA 

Just like most things that are popular and fun.  There is always someone who goes a bit too far and causes some issues with the legal authorities.  With that, comes rules and regulations that will effect all of us.

Drones are no exception, especially with the FAA here in the U.S..   Seattle is not any different when it comes to complying with FAA  laws.

As of December, 2015,  the FAA is requiring all owners of drones for their personal use to register online with their database website.

This is mandatory to all drones and model planes, helicopters and so on, that weight between 8 oz. and up to 55 lbs.

Know the laws

Know the laws

Don’t like the new law?  Well, that could be a similar view for most folks.  However, keep in mind that the new laws are going to be strictly enforced, especially with huge amount of money that the new laws can generate.

How so?  The breaking of this law would be considered to be a criminal act.  It carries with it a penalty of $27,500.  fine and could be as much as $250,000.  in fines.

So, if you’ve gotten a drone for the new year, keep in mind that you’ll have until February 19, 2016 to get the online registration completed.

Want to save $5 ?  Then get it done by January 16, 2016 and that little fee is waived.

Why So Strict?

Follow FAA rules and you'll be A-OK

Follow FAA rules and you’ll be A-OK

The main concerns is airspace with other legally registered aircraft, esp. large commercial planes with passengers.

Picture yourself flying along and up comes a small drone that takes out one of your planes engines.  How are you feeling now?

The  FAA in keeping folks safe while flying, has implemented the following rules for safety.

Keep clear of surrounding buildings and obstacles while staying BELOW 400 feet.

Be able to actually SEE your drone or aircraft at all times.

Keep clear of any and all types of MANNED aircrafts.

Do not fly near or around people or stadiums.

Weight MUST be under 55 pounds.

Use common sense.  Don’t fly your drone around people or animals.

The Most Popular Drones

Simply put, the more expensive type drones…the easier they are to learn to fly.  Period !

To name a few drones :

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter is considered to be one of the very best.

Then the 3DR Solo drone Quadcopter comes in at a close second.

Blade 350 QX3 AP RTF (see my earlier blog for RTF)  C-Go2 is also an excellent choice.

Then comes the UDI 818A  HD+RC Quadcopter with HD camera.

Not to be overlooked as also an excellent choice is the Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter also with HD camera RTF 4 channel 2.4 ghz 6-G.

Which One Should I Choose?

Click each of the links above for Amazon prices and a bit of information for each one.

I will also give a brief overview of all of the above in this next blog.

Comments?  Leave them below and share this site.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images by: blogoscarliang,enwikipedia,chickenwingscomics,buythebestdrone




Multi Drones

Two RC flying drones

Drones are literally  “flying off the shelves”  throughout the world.  All will be using the R.C. or rc type drone.  Yet, being so new to consumers, many ask :  What is an rc drone?

Put very simply, rc stands for radio control or as some call it, remote control.

In other words, the operator will be on the ground with the flying drone in view, and will remotely control or radio control the drone as he/she see fit to do so.

However, controlling a flying machine while being safely on the ground has not always been the case with drones.  In fact, drones have been around since before WW II.

Germany had drones, but they did not fly along routes.  In fact, they  flew on a rather random path.  What Germany was trying to do was to inflict terror, pain, fear, destruction and death, on Great Britain, especially the city of London.

Keep in mind that the word Drone originally referred to flying machines that do not have a pilot.  Often times these drones would fly along certain flight paths or directions set for them.  It was hoped that they would do their damage upon arriving at their destination.

The Early Drones

German drones of WW II had a type of guidance system that would keep it in the air without rolling or altering its path.  Without a specific target, these flying bombs would fly until they simply ran out of fuel or the fuel supply was “cut off” internally.

When the noise of these flying terrors being heard from the ground stopped, down would come, destroying all that was below.

It was the infamous V-1

Interestingly, the V-1 had a type of odometer.  When launched, the odometer was set to shut down when the countdown counter reached zero.  Zero was above the city of London…somewhere.  When zero was reached, fuel supplies were shut off internally.

These early drones (unmanned flying machines) had the nicknames of :  cherrystone, buzzbomb, doodlebug, maybug and finally, crow.

V-1 ready for launching.

WW II   V-1 ready for launching.

Drones Of Today

Drones today and our understanding of the word drone, refer to any unmanned flying aircraft that is remotely controlled (radio controlled) from a safe position.  This can also include model airplanes to a certain degree.

However, the FAA in the U.S. is making very clear guidelines to register RC drones and perhaps, model airplanes.

How To Fly A Drone

Similar in design to the model helicopter, the drone has a “flight controller” inside that allows these units to have a measure of stability and agility while flying.

One thing that seems to go in the opposite direction of the drone vs. the model helicopter is price and control.

Enjoying an RC helicopter

Enjoying an RC helicopter

 

How so?

Model helicopters get more and more difficult to control (fly) as the price gets higher and higher.  On the other hand, the drone gets more and more simplified and easier to control as the cost of it gets higher and higher.

Mainly it is because of the added sensors and functionality  added to the higher priced drones that make flying them much better.   Most of the issues with keeping it on its course has automatically been corrected with the internal hardware.

In other words, simplicity of flying will cost more dollars.  You really do get what you pay for in this case.

Open spaces are needed in order to learn how to control your RC quadcopter.

What To Look For Before Purchasing

You will see acronyms at every turn.  RTF, BNF, and ARF.

RTF refers to :  ready to fly.   Usually no assembly is needed.  Often times though, you may need to charge the battery, install the props, or set up the drone (a.k.a. quadcopter) and your controller so they will recognize each other through radio controls from the joystick control unit.

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view with an RTF quadcopter drone.

BNF refers to :  bind and fly.  Most BNF drones (quadcopter) will come as an assembled unit…but without any type of controller.  You will have to supply the joystick control unit and “bind” it together with your quadcopter receiver.

You will also have to check to make sure your control unit is compatible with the quadcopter.  Mostly it has to do with having the same manufacturer of the quadcopter and the control unit.  Transmitter and receiver need to not only run on the same frequency but also the same protocol.

ARF refers to :  almost ready to fly.  These quadcopters are more or less, a kit.  In other words, not only do you have to put it together, but it may also be missing many important components.  The reason is so that the individual (usually highly experienced) can piece his/her quadcopter  together the way they want it.

Much like some folks who can build their own computer systems which is  made up of a variety of different components.

On the other hand,  many just purchase a computer/tablet/smart phone and so on, and it is ready to be put to use. (RTF ?)

ARF kits usually do not come with either a receiver or transmitter.  Most always need some type of assembly.  They may or may not, have a motor or ESC firmware.

 ESC refers to : electronic speed control.

(If no ESC is installed, you will have to go online and learn how to flash and optimize the pre-written firmware for your particular application.  Thankfully, Simon K has done that for us.  (I would recommend this to those who are highly experienced only))

The flight controller, battery and other important components may also be missing.  So you can see that the understanding of the acronym ARF kit has a huge definition.  If you come across an ARF kit and choose to purchase it, be sure to read what is in the kit, it’s description, and what you will need to do in order to begin flying your quadcopter.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

A few more necessary bits of knowledge can be found here.

Written by ;  Tom McDaniel Share this site

Images by:latrax,shotinthedark,enwikipedia,roboshop