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View Full Version : Drone pilot recommendations for Christmas.



Jaydoc1
12-05-2015, 06:33 PM
Hey, guys. I know there is a fairly large contingent of RCers here on Wayalife but I was curious if there are any drone pilots. I've always wanted to get one but haven't because I really don't need another hobby. Now I have a good excuse to get one. My daughter has asked for one for Christmas and has, in fact, stated that that is the number one thing she wants. So what I'm looking for is a drone that has a live video feed to the controller (or iPhone/ipad if it would happen to be one that is controllable that way. Those would probably have a limited range, I would guess.), has a decent range, and is stable enough for a child to learn on. Several of my partners at work have bought various drones to use to sort of scope out their properties from their decks and have had a wide range of success with them. One of them bought a very expensive one and he is obviously the happiest with the performance of his. Several of the guys with the cheaper ones basically have AirHog-like performance out of them. They fly but are basically not very controllable.

So does anyone have any good recommendations? I'm not looking for something in the thousand dollar range if I can help it. On the other hand I don't want something that she'll lose interest in because it's uncontrollable.

p.s. She has also asked for an RC 4wd that she can use outside. So any recs in that regard are welcome too. The Christmas bucks will be going mostly towards the drone, however.

allwhitejeeps
12-05-2015, 07:37 PM
I would definitely recommend dji. I have played with their new phantom 3 and it is so much fun. It is super smart and you can program it from its sensors to use indoors. It would probably be the best all around. I have heard of Hubsan that they make good drones for beginners and are easier to learn and use too.

JKCRWLR
12-05-2015, 10:27 PM
Here's a subject I can answer to.
I fly a variety of drones for recreation. From a DJI Hexacopter with gimbal, live feed to headset and monitor and ground base iPad driven mapping system all the way down to what they call 3D acrobatic mini drones and full on FPV (First Person Video) racing drones.

With that said I have a few questions.

1. How old is your daughter?

2. Has she flown anything remotely before, if so, what and for how long?

3. Will she be supervised while flying?

4. Have you flown anything remotely before? If so, what and how long?

5. Where would she be flying it?

A lot of questions I know but drones are way awesome and yet dangerous at the same time so I want to base my suggestions off of the circumstances.

sean112280
12-05-2015, 10:29 PM
Look around on hobbytown USA. They have a great variety of drones. Thats where I got mine from.

jesse3638
12-06-2015, 06:29 AM
Sounds like a fun hobby. Just remember if you live in a wildfire area, although it would be pretty cool to fly over a fire to film it. If they are spotted all firefighting aircraft is grounded until the airspace is cleared. Sorry had to put that plug in..haha

NFRs2000NYC
12-06-2015, 05:25 PM
I have finally been interested in drones because only now are they coming out with ones that suit my purpose. There seem to be two drone camps....one camp is for people that enjoy flying a drone, like an RC airplane...and the other, like me, which don't give a rats ass about the drone or flying a drone, but care about the videography aspect. I just want a way to get cinematic shots of my vacations, be it jeeping or otherwise without too much work. The newer drones (like the 3DR) have the ability to be completely self sufficient, execute cinematic commands (like orbit, etc) and return to base. I held off this whole time because I wanted one that also had obstacle detection that wouldn't slam itself on a canyon wall.


So, which camp are you in...do you actually want to fly the drone, or do you just want to get the best possible cinematic shots without going through a whole lot of training and repairs?

JKCRWLR
12-06-2015, 07:58 PM
None of them will stop themselves from you or themselves flying them into obstacles. Just YouTube search any of them and crash and you will see for yourself.

Be also mindful that legally you are not permitted to fly within five miles of an airport. The mapping software from DJI will not let you program a flight within the circles it displays.

Buy any one of the flight simulators for your computer. $99 for most of them. They will teach you to fly without any breakage.

NFRs2000NYC
12-06-2015, 08:01 PM
New tech will have drones have obstacle avoidance, which is what I'm waiting for.
http://www.gizmag.com/dji-launches-developer-focused-matrice-100-drone/37933/

JKCRWLR
12-06-2015, 08:42 PM
Well yeah that drone will, it's $4k and you have to program it yourself.
Look up videos of the MIT drones. It's amazing what they have them do. But it is in a controlled room with cameras all over the place to control them.

I would be surprised to see the obstacle avoidance ever work in the wild, there are too many variables, light, size of obstacles, speed of aircraft, etc.

With the way that people are flying drones in dangerous areas I would be led to believe that recreational drones will be either extremely limited or obsolete.
Federal government is already hot on the war path to take the drones out of our hands and leave them only for the people with the way and means to follow their ridiculous flight laws they are moving forward with.

JKCRWLR
12-06-2015, 08:49 PM
If you want to learn to fly for a reasonable price. Buy "Horizon Hobbies" Nano models in "RTR" (Ready To Fly). I love my little "Nano 3D". It is a blast to fly and has what they call "SAFE" flight properties that will allow you to center the sticks and it will hover with very little input.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/nano-qx-3d-rtf-blh7100

You can get it for $70 on sale right now.

I fly this inside, outside, right side up, up side down and it is awesome!

NAUJK
12-07-2015, 03:19 AM
If anyone wants to REALLY get into this hobby. You MUST watch the Flite Test YouTube channel. They have amazing information and recommendations for beginners and so on.
Get the small indoor quads first. Learn the basic movements of multirotors flight... then forget the stupid RTF out of the box multirotors like the DJI phantom thats ruining everything. Build one. But the parts the frame and so you learn how it works and learn about the rules and regs and how to program them. It'll make you a much better pilot and you can save money.

The RC model aircraft is another hobby of my other than my jeep. And it pains me how little people really understand about it when they make comments. Just as it does when people think off roading means driving off roads destroying the forest and stuff and not in trails that we take care of.

Watch Josh and the team at Flite Test learn get into it. Also Rc model reviews YouTube channel with Bruce is another amazing source of information for RC flying products.

But really the best advice for getting into to. Is the small indoor quads then move to the bigger outdoor quads.

NAUJK
12-07-2015, 03:22 AM
As has been said the small hobby zone and stuff ones would be perfect for your daughter to start with!! ☺

Ddays
12-07-2015, 04:29 PM
Anyone have a recommendation for a drone that a GoPro can be hooked up to that is easy to fly?

sean112280
12-09-2015, 03:27 AM
http://www.helimaxrc.com/quadcopters/hmxe0846-230si/index.html

This is the one I have

Jaydoc1
12-10-2015, 12:39 AM
Holy smokes! Great answers guys. I haven't been able to get on for a couple days so please don't think I was ignoring you. It's going to take me a bit to digest all the answers!

Briefly:

My daughter is 10 and will always be supervised. She has never flown anything before. I am 46 and flew RC planes with my dad a lot as a kid. Haven't flown anything RC since college. My plan is to get an inexpensive quadcopter for both of us to learn on. We would like one for the fun of flying but I would also like one for the videography capabilities. I'd love to use it in Moab, hiking trails here in Colorado, and skiing. I believe that we will be sharing a DJI Phantom 3 advanced as a Christmas gift to be used only after we've mastered flying the inexpensive one. That might change after reviewing all the information in this thread!

Thanks again! I'll let you know if that's what I end up doing.

Ddays
12-10-2015, 03:18 AM
Holy smokes! Great answers guys. I haven't been able to get on for a couple days so please don't think I was ignoring you. It's going to take me a bit to digest all the answers!

Briefly:

My daughter is 10 and will always be supervised. She has never flown anything before. I am 46 and flew RC planes with my dad a lot as a kid. Haven't flown anything RC since college. My plan is to get an inexpensive quadcopter for both of us to learn on. We would like one for the fun of flying but I would also like one for the videography capabilities. I'd love to use it in Moab, hiking trails here in Colorado, and skiing. I believe that we will be sharing a DJI Phantom 3 advanced as a Christmas gift to be used only after we've mastered flying the inexpensive one. That might change after reviewing all the information in this thread!

Thanks again! I'll let you know if that's what I end up doing.

Looking forward to hearing about the DJI - I want one for the same purposes.

Skid_Kid
12-15-2015, 03:41 PM
As of yesterday for all you drone users.

https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/
https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=19856

DWiggles
12-15-2015, 03:50 PM
As of yesterday for all you drone users.

https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/
https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=19856

I was actually JUST about to post that same link... But wanted to vent about it for a little first... :grayno:

JeepJeep75
12-15-2015, 05:32 PM
I get the concern for model aircraft flying around near sensitive areas. But really?!?! Registering and identification numbers?!?! How the hell could one read a number off of a 9 ounce droan?? :bleh: [emoji13]

Skid_Kid
12-15-2015, 06:03 PM
I was actually JUST about to post that same link... But wanted to vent about it for a little first... :grayno:


I get the concern for model aircraft flying around near sensitive areas. But really?!?! Registering and identification numbers?!?! How the hell could one read a number off of a 9 ounce droan?? :bleh: [emoji13]

This is more to help catch the ones that are dumb with them, flying near a wildfire, military airspace or into power lines and cause outages.

DWiggles
12-15-2015, 06:16 PM
This is more to help catch the ones that are dumb with them, flying near a wildfire, military airspace or into power lines and cause outages.

but you can fly a RC plane/helicopter without "registration" and do the same shit. Buy it if you belive the B.S. reason. but $5 each, times a few hundred thousand drones... i'm sure its to protect the USER... yep... thats it... just saying... :thumb::crazyeyes:

Skid_Kid
12-15-2015, 06:36 PM
but you can fly a RC plane/helicopter without "registration" and do the same shit. Buy it if you belive the B.S. reason. but $5 each, times a few hundred thousand drones... i'm sure its to protect the USER... yep... thats it... just saying... :thumb::crazyeyes:

Free for the first month.....

Harley74
12-15-2015, 06:41 PM
I guess I will have to send in the information after my son opens his on Christmas

JeepJeep75
12-15-2015, 07:25 PM
but you can fly a RC plane/helicopter without "registration" and do the same shit. Buy it if you belive the B.S. reason. but $5 each, times a few hundred thousand drones... i'm sure its to protect the USER... yep... thats it... just saying... :thumb::crazyeyes:

My understanding is its any model aircraft over 8 ounces and under 50 pounds. I believe that the registration fee also goes to a fund that covers you, should your model crash into something causing damage. I could be mistaken, but that's how it was before this new law that requires you to register. Looks like it'll be a head-hunt next time there is an "incident".

JKCRWLR
12-15-2015, 08:08 PM
The $5 is not to help the drone pilot in any way. It will not cover you In wreck, it will not help you in court, it will not be a fund to create safe flying areas, etc.
It is all just another way for the government to get into our pockets.

Here is why I say that.

1. They do not require the serial number for your aircraft.

2. They do not require your phone number or email address.

3. The information will not be shareable by the Freedom of Information Act since there are minors involved.

This is the FAA's way of looking like they're doing something about all the idiots that don't realize that you should not fly in the path of an airliner. It is also a way for them to help find themselves in the name of safety.
To correct DWiggles, it is millions of drones and not a few hundred thousand. They speculate over a million will be sold just during the holiday season.

But as long as you have people flying where they shouldn't and then even posting it online for the news and everyone else to see, we only have our selves to thank for letting the FAA take our money.

NFRs2000NYC
12-15-2015, 09:12 PM
The $5 is not to help the drone pilot in any way. It will not cover you In wreck, it will not help you in court, it will not be a fund to create safe flying areas, etc.
It is all just another way for the government to get into our pockets.

Here is why I say that.

1. They do not require the serial number for your aircraft.

2. They do not require your phone number or email address.

3. The information will not be shareable by the Freedom of Information Act since there are minors involved.

This is the FAA's way of looking like they're doing something about all the idiots that don't realize that you should not fly in the path of an airliner. It is also a way for them to help find themselves in the name of safety.
To correct DWiggles, it is millions of drones and not a few hundred thousand. They speculate over a million will be sold just during the holiday season.

But as long as you have people flying where they shouldn't and then even posting it online for the news and everyone else to see, we only have our selves to thank for letting the FAA take our money.

They require the opposite. When you register, you will be issued a number. You must put THAT number on all your drones....this way, if you crash it on say, the white house lawn, they can trace it back to you.

JKCRWLR
12-15-2015, 11:01 PM
They require the opposite. When you register, you will be issued a number. You must put THAT number on all your drones....this way, if you crash it on say, the white house lawn, they can trace it back to you.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm going to do is put the number on my drones. Good luck in getting anyone to do that.
What is the penalty for not submitting to this?
Who will enforce?

Sorry, I know I'm on a rant here but as you can tell this really chaps my hide.

Stepping off the soapbox now.

NFRs2000NYC
12-16-2015, 02:07 AM
Yeah, that's exactly what I'm going to do is put the number on my drones. Good luck in getting anyone to do that.
What is the penalty for not submitting to this?
Who will enforce?

Sorry, I know I'm on a rant here but as you can tell this really chaps my hide.

Stepping off the soapbox now.

The penalty is stiff as hell, like a $27k fine. Not only that, but you must also keep your FAA drone "license" on you at all times. As for who will enforce it, that depends. If the FAA authorizes local police to enforce it (and gives them a cut), they will start carding anyone they see with a drone controller, and god help you if you accidentally crash your drone into your neighbor's backyard.

JKCRWLR
12-16-2015, 02:24 AM
The penalty is stiff as hell, like a $27k fine. Not only that, but you must also keep your FAA drone "license" on you at all times. As for who will enforce it, that depends. If the FAA authorizes local police to enforce it (and gives them a cut), they will start carding anyone they see with a drone controller, and god help you if you accidentally crash your drone into your neighbor's backyard.

Well everything you said is absolutely correct. Definitely a shame. I've been flying r/c and autonomous aircraft for many, many years now and will definitely rethinking flying drones any longer. Though it looks like they will do away with fixed wing pleasure down the road.

Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
Don't fly near people or stadiums
Don't fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
Don't be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft

The above rules are for all other aircraft. Which rules out everywhere in the Las Vegas valley.

Sorry to takeover your thread Jaydoc1, but I think you can see the writing on the wall. Stick with the indoor small drones.