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Let's add audio recording feature to our Phantoms: here is how!
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9417 75 2015-8-19
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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Hi guys, I wish to share with this DJI Forum community my last project: adding audio recording feature to the Phantom 3.
I have designed and 3D printed a custom bracket, mountable around the landing gears, that is perfectly shaped to host an Apple iPod nano 5th Gen (mod. A1320).
The bracket can be mounted in the frontal side of the Phantom just above the camera and it is very stable.


DSC08826r.jpg


I have also published on YouTube a movie of a flight of my Phantom 3 Advanced that shows a comparison between the video recorded by the onboard camera and the video recorded by an Apple iPod nano 5th Gen.





The audio recorded by the Apple device is quite acceptable. I believe that audio recording is a feature that every DJI drone should have for many good reasons.
The comparision of the two videos also offers the opportunity to see how good is the job done by the gimbal of the Phantom 3!!!

I wish to let you know that you can buy a "Phantom 3 iPodNano Bracket" for only 14,00 EUR + shipping fees, paying with PayPal to my ID "giuseppe.finizia@gmail.com".
Even if the iPod nano 5th Gen has been discontinued by Apple, you can still find a lot of these devices on eBay for a resonable price.


DSC08827r.jpg


I also offer the opportunity to design and 3D print a customized version of my Bracket that can perfectly fit your audio recorder device.
Feel free to contact me for any information or for a quotation about making a customized "Audio Recorder Bracket" for your Phantom 3.

Have a nice flight with your Phantom 3!

2015-8-19
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rayrokni
Captain
Flight distance : 8139875 ft
United States
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what is the reason for audio, because alll one hears is buzzing from props. which then has to be edited out of the video.
2015-8-19
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Johncoffee
lvl.2
Flight distance : 1502290 ft
Switzerland
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Awesome job Giuseppe. Can you show your bracket in more details? (by the way - what 3D printer do you use?)

2015-8-19
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Willie Wonka
First Officer

United States
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In my humble opinion that is the most useless modification i have ever seen, but sorry man it is a VERY bad spot for a mic on a quad with 920 KV motors , i would ok if it was on quad with 420kv's but not this, too much noise, you need to find a spot under the phantom if you want to record motor noise. it's not worth it.

Can you please tell me what made you do this? can you provide a video of what you mainly wanted to use it for ? as the provided video does not serve as an excuse to design and print such mount, unless we go on to the creepy side of things and you land the phantom close to someone's location and you start evesdropping on them ?!?!?!
2015-8-19
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Skater67
lvl.4
Flight distance : 417149 ft

Colombia
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Giufini, Bracket is an awesome design, not sure I will need the prop noise.  

What else do you have planned?  Pontoons for water landing or maybe a wheel system for hover taxi on hard surface, or a device that really protects the gimbal during a hard landing?  Can you print decals for personal identification:  example:https://cherrieswriter.wordpress ... ng-the-vietnam-war/

Best of luck and will follow your progress.
2015-8-19
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Mark97564
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
United States
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I love to hear the sound of my props while flying..  I like watching video from where. I fly my f550 with h3-3d gimble and my hero 4 black.. Lol...  I guess for the samereasons people like loud and rumbling exhaust systems on their harley's and older muscle cars.. lol. Something about having noise is nice vs watching video that's quiet ya know...
2015-8-19
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rseal
lvl.2

United States
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That would have been pretty cool if them damn bees hadn't been flying around you.
2015-8-19
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Amber
New

United Kingdom
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Goodness me, No I would not wish to hear the rotors and motors.  The only good thing I see from the video is the amazing job the P3 Gimbal does.  Sorry not for me
2015-8-19
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CaveDrone
Second Officer
Flight distance : 11549 ft
United States
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Very Interesting,  Noise non-withstanding,  I am wondering if you can use a free audio program like Audacity  to remove noise produced by the motors.   I have used this program to remove tape hiss successfully, basically all you have to do is highlight a section of noise for it to analyze then tell it to remove it from the entire audio file.

Giufini, maybe you can send me the audio file to try this, or you can download the program from: http://web.audacityteam.org/  

If you want to save as a mp3, you will also need as version of  LAME which is a MP3 encoder that you just copy into the audacity install folder.

   I really like the fact the people are "hacking" and thinking about things they can do improve/add a missing function to a established product.   This is what human ingenuity is all about, it's the thing that separates us from animals. Keep it up  Giufini,  a fellow thinking man.
2015-8-19
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shango
lvl.2
United Kingdom
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Amber Posted at 2015-8-20 06:39
Goodness me, No I would not wish to hear the rotors and motors.  The only good thing I see from the  ...

Good comparison for that

but another good comparison, notice how the footage from gimble is tilted where ipod is pretty straigh
2015-8-19
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HunterBrooks
Second Officer

United States
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I could see a use case for sound as being able to listen to the sound of your motors for any irregularities while flying, giving you a warning to land quickly - but the issue is you would need a way to listen in real time while it was like 1/2 mile away.  Otherwise, if there was an issue with a motor, you'd still never know until after it feel to the ground, and you listened to the recorded sound afterwards - assuming the iPod survived the crash.

But I do like all the hacks.  Keep those cards and letters comin'.
2015-8-19
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HunterBrooks
Second Officer

United States
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Mark97564 Posted at 2015-8-20 06:01
I love to hear the sound of my props while flying..  I like watching video from where. I fly my f550 ...

Ha .... I'd take the sound of a 454 Chevelle any day over the sound of my P3 props spinning.
2015-8-19
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rayrokni
Captain
Flight distance : 8139875 ft
United States
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CaveDrone Posted at 2015-8-20 07:06
Very Interesting,  Noise non-withstanding,  I am wondering if you can use a free audio program like ...

ok let me make sure i understood this correctly: so u wanna device to record the motors and then edit the motor sound  out of the video, right?
is it full moon out there tonight?

hey guys just messing around, i think it is great to design things, keeps the mind young and active. please dont mistake my jabs for knocking your inventions. i wish you the best.

BTW: if there is any other use for the noise that i ve missed, please share, cuz maybe i actually would be interested
2015-8-19
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CaveDrone
Second Officer
Flight distance : 11549 ft
United States
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rayrokni Posted at 2015-8-20 10:14
ok let me make sure i understood this correctly: so u wanna device to record the motors and then e ...

Who knows what sound is left after filtering out the motors,  will we hear birds squawking while attacking the Phantom?  Hear  the wind blowing through the mike, sure!  Hear the gimbal  complaining about working so hard?  ... who knows?    Let's find out,  Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's a tiny tidbit of some new that we didn't know before.   Anything helps satisfy this great and deep curiosity of how things work that is innate in every human being OR just maybe it's  because it's free and better than watching TV!
2015-8-19
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rayrokni
Captain
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CaveDrone Posted at 2015-8-20 10:50
Who knows what sound is left after filtering out the motors,  will we hear birds squawking while a ...

ok i got u now, u mean to just cut out the noise produced by the motors and leave theother frequencies be to see what we can hear up there. ok now i can say yes why not, that be interesting to try. in fact i like that idea and gonna try it
2015-8-19
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ag0n
Captain
Flight distance : 659898 ft
United States
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This is just my opinion, but I see no use for it in this version.  "Quite acceptable" doesn't come near describing it.  The audio is extremely distorted due to microphone or preamp overload.  As for filtering out the noise and hearing the rest, that will be nearly impossible due to the signal to noise ratio and distortion.  The project concept is solid, just not practical.
2015-8-19
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zoti
lvl.4
Flight distance : 101526 ft
United States
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I like the innovation but you might as well record a fan blowing and add it in the edit.
You can probably get better results by putting the iPod on a printed camera guard under the camera and adding a microphone sponge to reduce the wind noise.
2015-8-19
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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Thanks to all of you guys!
I have appreciated every single comment that you have posted here, both positive and negative.

I hope I have enough time to reply to each of your comments, anyway now I just want to explain shortly few reasons why I made this "extension" available for our Phantom 3 drones:

- The main reason is that I like the idea of having the opportunity to edit my family videos, recorded (also) with the Phantom 3, adding and mixing in some points of the movie the sound coming from the motors of the drone, so I am going to use this sound as a particular sound effect. I think it gives a nice addition to the final movie...

- Another reason is that, as I am a forensic technician, I like the idea that our drones give us the chance to analize also the audio of the flight  in addition to the video. You can consider the audio recorded by the Phantom as an additional element to the technical assessments.

I will return to these pages to discuss with you about the many open questions.
Thanks again and see you soon!

Giuseppe
2015-8-19
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Mark97564
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
United States
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Sound helps big time with diagnosing copter problems too..  Our copters beep even at 60 meters when they are too far to hear.. I rather have the option to record the audio too and then edit it out..  Being able to hear what's happening around any copter is priceless for diagnostics and what not
2015-8-20
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aerdt
lvl.2
United Kingdom
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All the effort to hear... rotor noise?
2015-8-20
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Johncoffee
lvl.2
Flight distance : 1502290 ft
Switzerland
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Guiseppe - I like your approach with the audio. Some folks here shot really quick with there answers.... don't bother about them,
Infact when I viewed my first video taken with the Phantom 3, I thought that my mic is bad since there was no audio... until I learned that there is no mic installed.

To filter out prop noise to some extent is for sure the interesting thing.

Looking forward for your analysis etc.

As I'd like to buy my own 3D Printer I'm curious what model you have.

Best regards
*John*
2015-8-20
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shango
lvl.2
United Kingdom
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CaveDrone Posted at 2015-8-20 10:50
Who knows what sound is left after filtering out the motors,  will we hear birds squawking while a ...

you wont be able to remove that amount of noise and be left with anything useable. actually anything at all
2015-8-20
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CaveDrone
Second Officer
Flight distance : 11549 ft
United States
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Maybe. . We will see.  The whole point of experimenting is to prove or disprove,  otherwise it's just talk without anything settled,  might as well talk about the weather
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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Johncoffee Posted at 2015-8-20 04:47
Awesome job Giuseppe. Can you show your bracket in more details? (by the way - what 3D printer do yo ...

Hello Johncoffee, thank you for your generous comments.
I have a ZORTRAX M200 with Z-ABS white filament.
It is a high definition 3D printer and I am very happy with it  
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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pcmaconly Posted at 2015-8-20 06:47
Can you make this, iPad ( tablet ) Holder Extension for less than, let's say $10
Then I would buy

Hi pcmaconly, I can 3D print this iPad Holder Extension for you.
If you wish more info, please contact me at "giuseppe.finizia@gmail.com", thank you.
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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CaveDrone Posted at 2015-8-20 07:06
Very Interesting,  Noise non-withstanding,  I am wondering if you can use a free audio program like ...

Hello CaveDrone, thank you for your feedback.

I could upload to Dropbox the original movie recorded by the iPod nano to let you try the proposed audio editing. If you wish, please send me your email address to "giuseppe.finizia@gmail.com" and I will give you the link to the file.

Anyway the ambient audio of the published movie was very quiet, so you could not be able to isolate other particular sounds...
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-8-20 08:51
I could see a use case for sound as being able to listen to the sound of your motors for any irregul ...

Hi HunterBrooks, you are perfectly right.

Anyway you have just proposed the situation that I have to analyze very often during my professional activity as forensic technician...

Thank you for your comments.
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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ag0n Posted at 2015-8-20 11:39
This is just my opinion, but I see no use for it in this version.  "Quite acceptable" doesn't come n ...

Hello ag0n, thank you for your feedback.

You are right, the audio is very distorted, I know.
I have already realized that maybe it could be useful some kind of protection for the mic from the strong currents of air generated by the wings of the aircraft during the flight.

Anyway I am still working on this project, so I hope to improve it as soon as possibile.
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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zoti Posted at 2015-8-20 12:32
I like the innovation but you might as well record a fan blowing and add it in the edit.
You can pr ...

Hi zoti, I agree with you, in fact I am still working on this project and I am going to add some type of protection for the microphone.
I am also thinking about changing the iPod nano with something more performant in audio recording.
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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aerdt Posted at 2015-8-20 18:17
All the effort to hear... rotor noise?

Hi aerdt, I think that also DJI technicians would be very happy to make diagnostic evaluations on a crashed drone having available the audio recorded by the aircraft.

Anyway, as I already described in a previous post, I like the idea to add the "noise" of the rotors to the family movies recorded with my Phantom 3. I use those sounds just like "sound effects" and they can give a special taste to the final movie.
2015-8-20
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dbeck
Second Officer

United States
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Sorry,  recording audio of buzzing prop noises is a lame and wasteful concept.  Have fun with your experiment!
2015-8-20
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geoffreywolter
lvl.1
United States
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Ok, my $.02... Audio from the quad is a perfectly fine idea, but as someone who used to deal with audio equipment for a living I'd like to make some suggestions...

1- You need to use a more directional microphone capsule pointed away from the propellers (down towards the ground). I would start looking at something with a cardioid pattern.
2- Wind filter is kind of a must. Not sure that needs further explanation... lol.
3- Seems to me you might be able to reduce the weight by using a Raspberry Pi instead to record the audio, or maybe not, I haven't really looked into it much. My point being that the battery on the iPod is much larger than it needs to be for 20 or so minute flights. With a Pi you could use smaller, replaceable batteries instead and swap them when you swap the battery on your P3.

I'm actually interested in this concept now, would love to find a way to get some decent audio from this thing, but I'm also realistic that the noise from the props will always be somewhat of an issue.
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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geoffreywolter@ Posted at 2015-8-21 02:49
Ok, my $.02... Audio from the quad is a perfectly fine idea, but as someone who used to deal with au ...

Hello geoffreywolter,

probably you have spent more time writing your reply than reading my posts... ;-)

Anyway, I am using a (discontinued) iPod nano 5th Gen that weights only 35 grams.
The Raspberry Pi weights 45 grams and I should add at least a battery and a microphone.
Of course I agree with you about the need of a directional mic to improve audio recording.

Your suggestions are always welcome, so please don't hesitate to give any kind of contribution to this project, thank you.
2015-8-20
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CaveDrone
Second Officer
Flight distance : 11549 ft
United States
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giufini Posted at 2015-8-20 23:54
Hello CaveDrone, thank you for your feedback.

I could upload to Dropbox the original movie record ...

I am sure you are right,  it would be an interesting exercise for me,  more for the learning than results.  
2015-8-20
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bobasbury
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1014173 ft
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United States
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If you're gonna add sound, it seems more practical and easier to leave your recording device on the ground.    You can use it for something useful, like this:  
2015-8-20
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giufini
lvl.3
Flight distance : 399039 ft
Italy
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Hello young.selina, thank you for your comment.

I have already given the original file recorded by the iPod to the user CaveDrone, and he is going to try to extract some "useful sound" from the audio other than the noise of the rotors.

Anyway, as I said in a previous reply, there are two main reasons that give sense to this project for me:

- The main reason is that I like the idea of having the opportunity to edit my family videos, recorded (also) with the Phantom 3, adding and mixing in some points of the movie the sound coming from the rotors of the drone (taking off, landing, etc.), so I am going to use this sound as "sound effects". I think they give a nice addition to the final movie.

- Another reason is that, as I am a forensic technician, I like the idea that our drones give us the chance to analize also the audio of the flight in addition to the video. You can consider the audio recorded by the Phantom as an additional element to analyze during technical assessments.
2015-8-21
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bobasbury
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1014173 ft
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United States
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If you wanted to achieve both of those, why not put a digital audio recorder on a 20 foot (more or less) string?  At take off, you'd get some real motor noise.  Later in the flight, you MAY have a shot at some usable audio.
2015-8-21
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Kyokushin
Captain
Flight distance : 296378 ft
Poland
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useless, but record a track with comments from a control device would be nice.
2015-8-21
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geoffreywolter
lvl.1
United States
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giufini Posted at 2015-8-21 03:46
Hello geoffreywolter,

probably you have spent more time writing your reply than reading my posts. ...

No need to get snarky, I read all of your posts, this isn't a very long thread. Good luck with your endeavor.
2015-8-21
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Skater67
lvl.4
Flight distance : 417149 ft

Colombia
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Guess you missed out on my idea of Pontoons for water landings.  Someone just won a few pesos from DJI for the design.  Get ahead of the game!
http://3dprint.com/91021/shapeways-3d-print-drones/
Grand Prize: Fusion Marine FM1
2015-8-22
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