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WaterStrider for DJI Phantom 3
3251 28 2016-5-3
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scschulte
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Flight distance : 159370 ft
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First I am not wanting to break any rules about posting here-- this is not an advertisement for this product I am about to mention but just a neat concept that I literally just discovered and so I wanted people to be aware of it!

WaterStrider is a strap-on landing gear for the Phantom 3 series that permits safe landings and take-offs from water as well as rough terrain.  I have a landing-gear extension for my P3S - "Phantom 3 Landing Gear Stabilizer" via Amazon.com but this WaterStrider goes way beyond that. (Actually I built a similar one for my Propel Altitude 2.0 drone - the drone only weighs only 5 oz - my balloon gear was pretty basic but it worked fine--). This WaterStrider is specifically engineered for the Phantom 3 -- but of course is not a DJI original piece of equipment (nor is my landing gear stabilizer from Amazon).

OK check it out on KickStarter -- still about 4 weeks for them to get funding-- this would be a LOT OF FUN for the P3!!  Like to hear what everyone thinks!

Thanks,

Steve
Tuesday 3 May 2016
10:30
2016-5-3
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John Boy
lvl.2

United Kingdom
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This has already been discussed on a previous thread.....some liked some disliked.
2016-5-3
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connorschulte
lvl.4
Flight distance : 261033 ft
United States
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As John said, there have already been threads made about this product. Personally I wouldn't be using any kind of water landing as it's not worth the risk. Guess it's up to the user.
2016-5-3
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JtrJr-UAV Pilot
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Flight distance : 4341 ft
United States
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Steve,

I love the idea but wouldn't gamble the kind of money they want for this thing. From a water standpoint (I have a home on a lake) the water isn't calm most of the time. I really do love the idea though!

Jerry
2016-5-3
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ArcticM39
lvl.3

United States
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Since I don't have one in hand to play with, my opinion is only conjecture...
To me, it looks like the attachment will affect flight characteristics and duration.
I would hate to take it up on a windy day or use it at the beach.
Plus, it is expensive (for me).
However, I do applaud the developer's effort.
I am glad someone is thinking and working to save and keep our Phantoms flying.
For someone who flies over long body of water during a calm day, it may be a good investment.
2016-5-3
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Bhujang
Second Officer
Flight distance : 322867 ft
United Kingdom
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Never used one, but looks fun. Would be great for adding confidence when flying over water.
2016-5-3
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dieselwind
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United States
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I think they might be a good investment if you launch and recover from a boat frequently.  
2016-5-3
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FAS1
Second Officer

United States
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Meh...For starters, I'd be too concerned about having a failure due to water spray getting in where it shouldn't and having the P3 stuck out on the water and no way to get it. Also concerned about water and spray affecting the open gimbal motors. Also concerned about water spray getting in the microSD card slot and other places not designed to be wet.

Think I'll pass.
2016-5-3
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waynekathy7
Second Officer
Flight distance : 175492 ft
United States
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I think it is cool. I  have flown RC Helicopters with floats on them. I will be getting one if the price is right.
2016-5-4
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scschulte
lvl.2
Flight distance : 159370 ft
United States
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Thanks everyone for the replies!  This is not cheap - Like around $170 on Kickstarter with delivery to the USA - will likely go up in price after the campaign - but they are not yet 1/2 way there so this may not make it…

I agree that this is not for white water rafting-- the pond where I live is so calm and if it got 'stuck' on the pond I just swim out to get it.  As to water on the camera -- I think I might wrap this a bit in cellophane or something (without restricting the gimbal - so this won't be all that easy to do) -- and a piece of tape over the Micro SD Card slot.  Maybe a plastic "umbrella" type device to protect the underside-- have to experiment a bit and do this on dry land first.

It certainly will cut back on maneuverability and flight time- no question there.  Wind stability will likely be affected too- so 5-10 mph tops on wind speed likely best.

OK appreciate the comments and I am following the KickStarter-- will know more on 31 May (if they charge my credit card I'll know I've got one coming in July!).

Best regards,

Steve Schulte
Wednesday 4 May 2016
2016-5-4
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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Here are the comments that came in last time this piece of junk was discussed: http://forum.dji.com/thread-50566-1-1.html
2016-5-4
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JtrJr-UAV Pilot
Captain
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United States
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-5-4 16:36
Here are the comments that came in last time this piece of junk was discussed: http://forum.dji.com/ ...


Lab,

No reason to get hot. The market will decide. JMHO but It could be a good tool in certain situations. It's a dead duck at any price point over $50-$60 anyway.

Just my opinion, of course.

Jerry
2016-5-4
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dieselwind
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JtrJr-UAV Pilot Posted at 2016-5-4 14:42
Lab,

No reason to get hot. The market will decide. JMHO but It could be a good tool in certain si ...

Haha!  Every forum has their share of admin-wannabes.  I think you're right.  The market will decide this one.  I lived in Hawaii for a while and I would have loved to have these - primarily for the beach landings.
2016-5-5
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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dieselwind Posted at 2016-5-6 05:27
Haha!  Every forum has their share of admin-wannabes.  I think you're right.  The market will deci ...

You'd pay mucho $$ and handicap your Phantom so that it couldn't deal with wond and had lower battery life, rather than fly free and cheap and hand catch your bird on the beach?

That's like the old (and not quite true) tale of the Americans spending millions to develop a pen that would work in space ..... while the Russians just used pencils.

Unless you specifically want this for water landings on still ponds, it's a very imperfect solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
2016-5-5
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taylordavid
First Officer
Flight distance : 115328 ft
Canada
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Would love to have one but certainly not at that price. Needs to be no more than $50
2016-5-5
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adam
lvl.1

United States
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Hi all. I'm one of the co-founder of DroneRafts (we make the WaterStrider). I don't intend to advertise the product, but this does happen to be a thread specifically talking about it so it seems appropriate to comment. Therefore, I would suggest that you go take a look at the latest Kickstarter page and pricing as we have made many additions and changes to the page in the past two weeks that could address some of the concerns expressed in the discussion above.

The price is actually $159 plus a nominal shipping charge. Given the extensive engineering and development in the product and the added capability that it brings (including in some cases additional usable flight time for filming), we believe the price is very fair. It's on par with the cost of a P4 battery or a hard case. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people saw it in person at the AUVSI Expo earlier this month and most who saw it in person agreed that this is a very innovative and enabling product. You can see a short video of the conference on our YouTube channel.

2016-5-21
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AG0N-Gary
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Flight distance : 700846 ft
United States
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dieselwind Posted at 2016-5-3 13:48
I think they might be a good investment if you launch and recover from a boat frequently.

What do you do about the fact that it is top heavy, very close spaced, and would have to have almost dead calm water?

SEE BELOW
2016-5-21
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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adam@dronerafts Posted at 2016-5-22 03:04
Hi all. I'm one of the co-founder of DroneRafts (we make the WaterStrider). I don't intend to advert ...

One of the critical factors to consider is how does this affect flight time.
The FAQs say: "We see a roughly 30% reduction in a lab environment (side-by-side indoor hovering) with a Phantom 3"
That doesn't sound like a very good test.  
Indoor hovering isn't what most users do with their Phantoms and is unlikely to really show what impact Water Strider has on your Phantom's flying.

The real questions that aren't answered in the FAQ are:
How much does the Water Strider affect your Phantom's speed?
How much does the Water Strider affect your Phantom's flight time in out door flying at meaningful speed?
How much does the Water Strider affect your Phantom's flight time in moderate crosswind & headwind conditions?
2016-5-21
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adam
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JtrJr-UAV Pilot Posted at 2016-5-3 12:44
Steve,

I love the idea but wouldn't gamble the kind of money they want for this thing. From a water ...

In the hundreds of normal takeoffs and landings we've made from water, we've never gotten any mist, droplets, or moisture on the drone. In some really aggressive forward motion landing testing (nowhere close to a normal landing), we managed to get a bit of spray.
2016-5-23
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adam
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dieselwind Posted at 2016-5-5 15:27
Haha!  Every forum has their share of admin-wannabes.  I think you're right.  The market will deci ...

The WaterStrider is great for beach landings!
2016-5-23
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adam
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-5-5 19:48
You'd pay mucho $$ and handicap your Phantom so that it couldn't deal with wond and had lower batte ...

Thanks for the comments. Check out the wind video put out recently. The wind limitations set for the product are 17-23 mph for the Phantom 3 and 23-28 mph for the Phantom 4.



In an indoor, side-by-side test we see approximately 30% reduction in  flight time. We know how to make this impact less, but it requires a  trade-off on the incredible durability and performance of the current  product. We believe we've found a really nice balance of  protection/durability, effortless takeoffs and landings, and flight  time/handling.

With all of this said, in real-life flying situations we've found that in some cases we can increase our useful filming time  by landing some distance away to 'rest' and save batteries (instead of  hovering) while waiting for the situation to be perfect for filming. This can even be done on water!  For example, with the stock drone we would never consider landing 200  yards away where you can't see the landing surface close-up, but its a  regular occurrence in our flying with WaterStrider. In addition, we  spend less time thinking about and setting up takeoffs and landings. You  just set it on the ground or in the water and take off. When you want  to land, you just land. This all saves a lot of time finding a landing  spot or dragging out a landing pad or flying back and forth for  landings.
2016-5-23
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adam
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AG0N-Gary Posted at 2016-5-21 18:33
What do you do about the fact that it is top heavy, very close spaced, and would have to have almo ...

The WaterStrider equipped drone is much, much more stable and less 'top heavy' than the stock drone.
2016-5-23
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adam
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-5-21 19:35
One of the critical factors to consider is how does this affect flight time.
The FAQs say: "We see ...

The top speed with Waterstrider is similar to the drone without it. The acceleration is a bit slower, though, so it takes a little longer to get to speed.

The affect of flight time in the field is highly dependent on what you are doing with the drone. We've done some flight mission profile work and find that the overall hit during typical operations isn't really any more than 30%. In some situations--where setting up a shot or waiting for certain conditions or simply operating where there is no good landing spot--the flight time usable for filming is very similar.

There was just a response to another question about wind. Check out the video in that response.
2016-5-23
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AG0N-Gary
Captain
Flight distance : 700846 ft
United States
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adam@dronerafts Posted at 2016-5-23 15:58
The WaterStrider equipped drone is much, much more stable and less 'top heavy' than the stock dron ...

My apologies.  I see now (after seeing the video), that this is NOT the product I thought it was.
2016-5-23
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adam
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United States
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Check out another new video that shows some really cool landings that would have otherwise ruined the drone (or at least the camera) but had no damage at all.

The campaign ends on Monday, so time is running short to get a WaterStrider for $159 from our production runs in June and July (June is already full). There are more great videos on the campaign page. Check it out.

https://www.kickstarter.com/proj ... nfident-landings-an

The team is really experienced in product development and production. In addition, we have a money-back guarantee for backers, so there is very little risk. If the campaign is not fully funded, you spend nothing. If it is fully funded, our experienced team will deliver. If you're not happy with the WaterStrider, return it within 30 days for a full refund.


2016-5-25
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scschulte
lvl.2
Flight distance : 159370 ft
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These guys have tested the WaterStrider in 31 mph winds!  Don't know about you, but I fly max 20 mph winds!  Here's the link to the wind-video-- and only 3 days left - 93% funded -- get one before you start the Memorial Day grilling!!!   Steve

2016-5-27
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scschulte
lvl.2
Flight distance : 159370 ft
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Just to let everyone know that this KickStarter project "WaterStrider" for Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 drones did succeed and will be funded.  If they stay on schedule then by end-July I should have one strapped to my Phantom 3 Standard and will do a short write-up here and if I can a YouTube review with some landings on water and rough terrain.  

Steve on Tuesday 31 May 2016
2016-5-31
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microcyb
First Officer
Flight distance : 1095955 ft
United States
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adam@dronerafts Posted at 2016-5-25 09:35
Check out another new video that shows some really cool landings that would have otherwise ruined th ...

Good Luck Adam with your product!

Well I know I would like to get one since I am surrounded by lakes and such, but the price point is quite high. I know research and development has costs, but isn't that what the kick starter was for?
Not trying to be rude or anything as many innovations have to start somewhere, but from my experience start ups need to go cheap to build up the product first, then they can raise prices when they are out for a bit and have the consumer market.

Something like a door buster open house product sale of $65.00 US for the first 4-5 months to get the ball running.

Sure profits wont be there, but you need sales volume first, but who knows. I will be watching and see how this turns out for you.

Again, looks very promising.
2016-5-31
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microcyb
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scschulte Posted at 2016-5-31 15:32
Just to let everyone know that this KickStarter project "WaterStrider" for Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 d ...

Hope to hear soon on this?  Snow and lakes here so interested if this is worth while.
2016-5-31
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