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Questions before I dive in
438 8 2017-12-11
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howlingbaboon
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Hi All,
Just Joined up. I've considering getting into drones. I used to be a keen outdoor sportsman but health problems over the last few years have made it extremely difficult to access much of that huge world out there and experience that sense of freedom that is so important to me. I'm wondering whether I could regain tha freedom and range with this hobby and am particularly excited about head tracking but have a few questions for you good people if you don't mind before I dive in. I'd like to be able to go to all the places that I just can't get to anymore and really have that sense of being there.

How far along with the head tracking are we? Are all the creases ironed out with it yet? Is it the hassle free immersive experience that I'm craving?

I'm a little concerned about flying to places that I can't physically get to becuase of my disability. I can't really get too far away from my house/car but obviously I'd want to get my drone back. With the features such as stabilization, GPS and "return to home", am I ever likely to end up in this situation? Are these features reliable? Are crash landings common during the learning process for someone reasonably techically minded and if so do they usually require retrieval?

How good is the signal when there are obstacles around? Are trees a problem? Unduating landscape? Mountains? I like the idea of being able to head up a mountain as I used to or to tag along with friends on their climbs. Does one need to constantly worry about losing signal or staying high up to keep it?

Sorry I know that's a lot of questions. I guess I've always pushed things to the limits so just want to know what they are with drones.
Cheers
Dave
2017-12-11
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PeteHB
Second Officer

France
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You can shoot good climbing footage with a drone providing the climbers don't mind or find it to intrusive, that is where a good zoom lens would pay dividends but we are not going to get that on budget drones.
2017-12-12
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Hellsgate
Captain
Flight distance : 1991555 ft
Australia
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Wow that is a lot of questions lol.
Ill try and answer as many as i can.
Firstly this will answer a few of your questions in one answer there are limits to were you can fly a drone ok some by law and others by terrain.
Legally your only allowed to fly 120 mtrs in altitude now that height can be interpreted in different ways and there have been many threads but from my understanding is max altitude is distance from ground to drone this can vary depepending on your local laws i guess others will state that it is height above take off point. You should check your local laws to confirm.
Secondly terrian will play a big part in were you can or cannot fly your drone again there are some legalities involved the main one being that your not allowed to fly your drone out of visual line of site (vlos).
You may end up with signal problems if you fly your drone behind rocks mountains buildings etc etc etc.
Now there are also limits on how long you can fly this is normally governed by your battery it only can last for x amount of time depending on how you fly and a variety of other variables.
From what your telling us you plan to use goggles to fly your drone ? If this is the case then legally you cannot fly as the drone must stay within vlos that means no goggles but i would check your local laws regarding this issue ok, in some countries there are no such laws but many have very strict laws.
You mentioned climbing mountains this should not be an issue except for a few limitations one being max altitude limit from point of take off being limited to 500 mtrs.
Other limitations will be the terrain of the mountain itself if you stay clear as in dont fly close to the surface of the mountain you should be fine but if you want to fly in close you may loose signal due to the variable terrain.
Are crash landings common ? The answer is simply no they are not common unless you intend to fly beyond the capabilities of the drone. Most common causes of crash landings for beginners is 1. Hitting a tree or other such obstacles and 2. Letting batteries get to low that the drone does not have enough power to return back to its take off point.
Ok now having told you all that i personally have never had a problem with trees and have flown well outside of vlos as im sure nearly every pilot has at some stage without any issues what so ever.
Would i reccomend you buy a drone ............. most definatly yes.
Which one would i recommend.............. in your case simply due to portability i would have to recommend the mavic pro.
I hope this has answered your questions for you.
I wish you best of luck and hope to see you back here with a new toy to play with.
2017-12-12
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howlingbaboon
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Hellsgate Posted at 2017-12-12 02:50
Wow that is a lot of questions lol.
Ill try and answer as many as i can.
Firstly this will answer a few of your questions in one answer there are limits to were you can fly a drone ok some by law and others by terrain.

Oh wow, thanks so much for all that advice guys, really appreciated. So I guess a good high vista point makes the best launch site then; allowing me to fly up a mountain opposite. I guess a spotter or 2nd person piloting is a good work around for goggles  then.

What do drones of this level do when they get out of signal then? I'm guessing they have some kind of automatic feature to find you again rather than crash or just keep going. Can you program them to follow GPS routes then? and if so does that also need to remain within communication range with the RC at all times or can they fly solo for periods of time?
2017-12-12
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Hellsgate
Captain
Flight distance : 1991555 ft
Australia
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Dji drones have a return to home feature that automatically initiates upon signal loss. So your drone will accend to its pre determined altitude then fly autonomous back to the home point and land.
Now sometimes this can have an adverse effect especially if there are objects above the drone. But if you stay away from trees and rock ledges you wont have a problem.
Yes you can program the drones to do pretty much anything you want. As long as your flight path does not cross a no fly zone. These are set by you countries civil aviation authority in the states thats the faa in australia for example we have casa. Each country will be governed by its own authority so check your local no fly zones before you decide to fly. There are quite a few free apps you can download that will show you your local no fly zones.
Can they fly solo ...... yes to a certain degree but only on the return to home feature. If you wish to pre program a flight path then it is the app that controls the drone so you must stay within signal range. This range can vary depending on terrain from a few hundred meters to approx 7 klms out.
Having a spotter with a portable uhf radio is always a good idea especially if you plan to fly out of vlos.
The reason for the vlos rule is very simple your drone has limited vision it can only see in one direction it cant see the overall picture. So when you put your goggles on you now have the same problem you cant see whats is behind above or to either side of the direction your drone is currently facing.
Having someone else using vlos pilot the drone while you wear the goggles is the preferred legal method.
Having a high vantage point to start with is a very good idea. Just have keep in mind that you have limited flight time this can vary depending on your circumstances. Dji have put in there specs that flight times of upto 30 minutes is possible well in a way this is true if we lived in an ideall world and just let the drone hover in one place the whole time. But in the real world you can expect flight times of around 20 minutes sometimes less. The app will let you know and if neccessary will automatically initiate a return to home once your battery gets to a point were there is only just enough power left to get the drone back to the home point.
2017-12-12
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M.C. Pilot
Captain
Flight distance : 9630837 ft
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United States
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First off welcome to the DJI site !

- I've considering getting into drones...........and experience that sense of freedom that is so important to me. Good place to start here at the site and flying drones/copters will give that sense of freedom and enjoyment so you'll be right at home.

- I'd like to be able to go to all the places that I just can't get to anymore and really have that sense of being there.
You can certainly get to areas within a matter of secs/mins that would otherwise take longer to provide that sense of 'being there' Depending on the regulations/laws where you live, you might be limited in terms of distance. Be careful starting off and keep the drone within line of sight especially as a neophyte.

- Are all the creases ironed out with it yet? Is it the hassle free immersive experience that I'm craving?
You'll have updates to download using the DJI app or by using the DJI assistant 2 (some choose not to but I would recommend). I have tons of miles under my belt flying the Mavic and P4P and I can tell you I have always updated without any major issues. Is it hassle-free? nothing is ever 100%. Sure you might run into an issue but that's partly why this site exists. We're (Moderators/members) are here to assist.


- I'm a little concerned about flying to places that I can't physically get to becuase of my disability. I can't really get too far away from my house/car but obviously I'd want to get my drone back......am I ever likely to end up in this situation?
As I'd mentioned before then you'll want to fly closer to home and within VLOS. If later on you decided to venture out and further out then keep a close eye on that battery %. Set it warn you earlier than the typcially 30% low battery warning. Try 40-45%. This will ensure the copter works it's way back to you sooner. You can also adjust accordingly.


- Are these features reliable?
Ha ! You'll probably get a bunch of different answers about reliability. It's been reliable in my experience. Mavic has been extremely reliable and the P4P, took it out the box and flew it without any IMU/CC adjustments. Yep, flew it without any issues. Will there be glitches here/there, of course but nothing you can't resolve unless you've gotten a severly malfunctioning copter.

- Are crash landings common during the learning process for someone reasonably techically minded and if so do they usually require retrieval? Possibly. Can't rule that out especially starting off and not having a sense of how the controls operate.


- How good is the signal when there are obstacles around? Are trees a problem? Relatively strong (my experience). I've had loss temp loss of signal, I've rectified the issue by adjusting the altitude. Never, ever fly the copter behind an object (whatever that may be). You'll lose signal (if lost for a few secs) RTH will kick in. However there has been experiences shared on here that the copter was lost. (variety of reasons - who knows). Don't risk it.


- Does one need to constantly worry about losing signal or staying high up to keep it? I rarely ever lose signal and if I do it's because I'm too far out but not because I'm behind an object.


Good luck, share your experience once you've gotten the copter of your choice in the air and have tons of fun !








2017-12-12
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howlingbaboon
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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M.C. Pilot Posted at 2017-12-12 15:49
First off welcome to the DJI site !

- I've considering getting into drones...........and experience that sense of freedom that is so important to me. Good place to start here at the site and flying drones/copters will give that sense of freedom and enjoyment so you'll be right at home.

Thank you so much for all your advice guys, a warm welcome!

I've been doing quite a bit of research and am still a bit torn on which model. A few more questions though if you don't mind

Can you plan a route in advance which the drone can follow automatically then allowing you to focus more on the camera work? Can you get these drones to repeat a previous flight (using recorded flight data etc)?

Initially I liked the look of the PVP, especially for it's camera. I figured seen as I'd only ever be getting it out of the car and not really carrying it anywhere, then portability might not be so important. However, and please correct me If I'm wrong here, it seems the issue of not being able to use full head tracking modes whilst having a tablet app (+ pilot) control  the flight at the same time, means that I might not be able to do what I was hoping to do with it. If this is true, what a shame, big drawback! Do you think this issue is likely to be solved for this model of drone and goggles or more like a thing for future models? I'm guessing trying to switch between goggles and tablet mid-flight isn't an option at this stage...?

I guess that leaves the MP and the trade off of cam quality, flight time and RC battery power. I'm sure I'm not the first to wish for all the best features of both models combined! Am I on the right lines here? Hard to tell without hands on experience.
2017-12-15
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howlingbaboon
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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howlingbaboon Posted at 2017-12-15 06:53
Thank you so much for all your advice guys, a warm welcome!

I've been doing quite a bit of research and am still a bit torn on which model. A few more questions though if you don't mind

P4P (not PVP)
2017-12-15
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Kneepuck
Captain
Flight distance : 275102 ft
United States
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howlingbaboon Posted at 2017-12-15 06:53
Thank you so much for all your advice guys, a warm welcome!

I've been doing quite a bit of research and am still a bit torn on which model. A few more questions though if you don't mind

You are probably referring to the P4P , or Phantom 4 Pro.   You can use an app called Litchi, downloadable from the playstore for a small fee.  It lets you plan waypoint flights from home on your computer or device.  Then you can download the route to your device and fly it.  The Go app that is made by Dji for the Phantom will not do this.  
2017-12-15
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