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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been thinking about getting a drone. I would be a novice operator. I would like to get a drone that could travel about 1.5 km along a predetermined waypoint route. The route would be primarily along roads and some public water. My idea is that I would launch it with out operating a joystick and just sit at my home and see anything around my property. I understand that I can get a drone that will basically take off follow the route and return to base. If i see something along the way that requires detailed observation then I can manually divert from the route and investigate. Then return.

I am wondering if anyone has ever done this? In layman’s terms, describe pitfalls or considerations. What models do I want to consider / avoid. Trusted resources. What cameras will be able to get facial reconginition, license plates, stuff I can use or be able to forward to the sheriff. My initial research leads me to believe I am gonna have to spend about a grand.
 

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Interesting concept- essentially a roving patrol, in the air....
The only real limitations would be terraces and obstacles, and wind....
I'd be interested to hear what those more knowledge about drone have to say about such an application.
 

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My experience is that battery life tends to be the limiting factor. Depending on wind conditions you with get about 15 min of flight time. If you choose to follow the flight rules you must maintain visual sight of your drone while in flight so that may hinder your patrol area. Final thing to consider is you will only see what is in front of your camera, lots can happen on each side and behind you that will not be observed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting concept- essentially a roving patrol, in the air....
The only real limitations would be terraces and obstacles, and wind....
I'd be interested to hear what those more knowledge about drone have to say about such an application.
Yea, so the nice ones have all sorts of sensors that will automatically avoid trees and obstacles. Even some wind is automatically adjusted for. GPS. In preplanned routes you don’t even “steer them” unless, in real time, you decide to. One of the options I want is a “follow me” feature, where the drone gets to a certain altitude and follows you - you can get a “birds eye view” as you move forward. I was thinking of making a helopad in the bed of my truck and in a bugout situation, you could stop short for observation - launch, take a peak... move forward. Overwatch. You blue tooth and watch via I pad or cell app.

My county recently built a few football and baseball fields (no soccer here!) all only about ten miles from my house. I was thinking before the kids get on the field, at first light, it would be a perfect place for me to practice. The drones that are optioned out the way “I think I want” run about a grand with extra batteries and props.

Lots of trees, rough hilly terrain and water where I live so, definitely not a good place to learn. I was thinking about getting a cheap one and learn, but the more expensive ones have lots of automatic features that will help you land and have “return home buttons”. I am sure it will be a steep learning curve and I will need all the extra propellers I can get. Btw brushless motors.

I think they would be a lot of fun. I have found some YouTube’s on drones... of course I have also seen some gun YouTube’s and know there is a lot of crap out there. Just wondering if anyone can put me on a good source of info for drones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My experience is that battery life tends to be the limiting factor. Depending on wind conditions you with get about 15 min of flight time. If you choose to follow the flight rules you must maintain visual sight of your drone while in flight so that may hinder your patrol area. Final thing to consider is you will only see what is in front of your camera, lots can happen on each side and behind you that will not be observed.
This one is kinda what I was looking at. Maybe not this exact model. They got some on amazon... many of these have ranges well over a KM and >40 minutes Fly time. These fly pretty fast. GPS, gimble, good cameras. I am trying to make sense of all the options. I don’t think the FFA will mess with me - at least at my home, or places that tend to travel. I doubt I will register it. I am wondering if the sensors will pick up power lines? I really think it would be cool to go fast four wheeling with a drone following me. Find coyote, pigs... for killing.

https://www.google.com/shopping/pro...rds=epd:7392046419760026081,cdl:1,prmr:1,cs:1
 

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The idea is sound. Many law enforcement agencies are already using drones to get better looks at things. It's a great way to get a good view of things, cover a lot of ground quickly, and remain safe while doing so. Now if you could just figure out how to mount a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range to it, THAT would be awesome! :D
 

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I have a Mavic Pro. I just had it out this weekend to get some shots of the homestead. You will have to keep it in sight, which will be nearly impossible at 1.5 km away. I fly my 40 acres, use it to herd the horses and look at curious noises. You can get high enough so terrain and not seeing left and right is not that big a deal. I just linked my goggles this weekend and its is much easier to see smaller things than trying to squint at your phone on a sunny day. You could fly it to the center of your zone, pick an appropriate height and then just do a slow rotation. If something catches your attention, fly to it. Get the goggles. It makes things much easier to see. I don't think my sensors pick up power lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a Mavic Pro. I just had it out this weekend to get some shots of the homestead. You will have to keep it in sight, which will be nearly impossible at 1.5 km away. I fly my 40 acres, use it to herd the horses and look at curious noises. You can get high enough so terrain and not seeing left and right is not that big a deal. I just linked my goggles this weekend and its is much easier to see smaller things than trying to squint at your phone on a sunny day. You could fly it to the center of your zone, pick an appropriate height and then just do a slow rotation. If something catches your attention, fly to it. Get the goggles. It makes things much easier to see. I don't think my sensors pick up power lines.
I am looking at the Mavic too. What kind of goggles are you talking about?

I have some military experience with drone (not the operator) I understand some of the limitations. Did you have any droning experience before you went to Mavic? Did you crash a lot? If you crash the drone out of eye sight will the gps guide you to it? Warnings on learning curve?. What do you think about me starting with such a nice drone as a beginner model? I know that I am gonna enjoy droning, so I don’t want to spend money and learn on a system that I know but I won’t stay with, and then I need to relearn a new system. I have property that has a long shoreline eventually I want to fly over water. I assume that if you crash in water your screwed.
 

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What are (in general terms) the wind limitations of commercial roto drones?
If a drone has a maximum forward velocity of 15 kts (as an example), then-in the broad strokes- a 15kt headwind would put it in a hover at full forward thrust. This is a very rudimentary approach to the potential problem, but a consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What are (in general terms) the wind limitations of commercial roto drones?
If your asking me, I don’t know. I am sure that wind will affect thier flight. They are pretty lightweight. My guess is that an operator who has lots of experience could fly it a lot better in winds that a novice. It is the Indian not the arrow... up to a point. I also think rain especially a heavy rain would degrade a drones performance.
 

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If your asking me, I don’t know. I am sure that wind will affect thier flight. They are pretty lightweight. My guess is that an operator who has lots of experience could fly it a lot better in winds that a novice. It is the Indian not the arrow... up to a point. I also think rain especially a heavy rain would degrade a drones performance.
The question was general in nature... I'm open to any insight.
As a 30 year paratrooper, and new student of aviation, I have a rudimentary understanding of true vs indicted airspeed- vs true ground speed...
In an MC6 static line parachute, I can generate about 10 knots of airspeed. In a dead calm, no wind day, I can move at 10kt in any direction. With 10kt of wind, Ill have vertical drop, facws into the wind, wide open. Running within the wind, up to 20kts....
In the Citabria, 120kts is normal cruise. With a tailwind, I've seen 160kts at cruise; with a headwind, 40kts- all true airspeed.
The effects should be magnified when applied to a light, roto drone.... living in an area where 10kt winds are not uncommon, it becomes a consideration....
 

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Funny you should post this. Just yesterday I got in my used in excellent condition Mavic Pro with the fly more kit from Adorama. I'm still getting it ready. One thing you need to do is register it with the FAA and put the serial number on the outside. You can do so as a hobbyist. I'll start that way, but plan on studying for the Part 107 drone pilot's license so I can use it for photography, maybe some stock footage, or if I ever get a video channel going that gets monetized.

Try this link. It's my YouTube playlist of videos I've been watching. I set it to unlisted so it should show anyone who has the link. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpVPnbu_Tner3MLWFVVmsvuV7GU8n8bMO

I was looking at the Mavic Mini with kit due to costs. However, the Mavic Pro can handle higher winds and has a lot more abilities. The DJI drone controller has a beginner mode which will keep things moving slow and limited distance while you learn. You can then change modes after you are comfortable. I'm wanting it for relatively serious video so the MP got the nod when I found the used kit for about what I would pay for a new Mini with combo. I was comfortable buying from Adorama as they have a 30 day money back for any reason deal and a 90 day warranty on used gear. Since I've bought photo gear from them over the years I felt okay with it.

My kit came with two extra batteries, smart charging hub, several extra sets of propellers, car charger, and the odds and ends. I bought a landing pad separately that was a demo and it was new for all practical purposes. The chargers still had the plastic sleeves around them and the controller screen still had the film on it. I also bought some ND filters for it that were NIB.

The drone itself was $740, the Polar Pro ND filter set was $49, and the landing pad was $12. So total with shipping and tax was $813.77. So looking at something like that just read the descriptions, contents, and condition really careful.

The things aren't stealthy in the noise area. You can get quieter propellers, but they still make noise. Still better to scare someone off or get the drone shot (at) rather than yourself. However, I can see some use to scout ahead, take a better look at areas that are harder for you to get too on foot. Check conditions around. Check the roof of the house for that matter. Just work within the limitations and remember it's just one tool in the toolbox. I'm kind of thinking on those days when it's just me at our club range, or just me on the rifle range I'll just use the drone to fly down and let me see the groups and record them. If they don't suck too bad. :biglaugh:

One advantage to getting new though, and I obviously like the Mavic Pro, is you can get the DJI Care Refresh program. Even if you crash and burn your drone they will replace the first one for $40 and the second time for $49 in one year.

Hopefully, I will get mine airborne by the weekend, time and other projects permitting. Hopefully I will also learn it well and not crash. Yeah, first timer here too. I've put a lot of time into researching and studying, now to put that into practice and practice much.

Let us know what you do and how it works out.
 

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The question was general in nature... I'm open to any insight.
As a 30 year paratrooper, and new student of aviation, I have a rudimentary understanding of true vs indicted airspeed- vs true ground speed...
In an MC6 static line parachute, I can generate about 10 knots of airspeed. In a dead calm, no wind day, I can move at 10kt in any direction. With 10kt of wind, Ill have vertical drop, facws into the wind, wide open. Running within the wind, up to 20kts....
In the Citabria, 120kts is normal cruise. With a tailwind, I've seen 160kts at cruise; with a headwind, 40kts- all true airspeed.
The effects should be magnified when applied to a light, roto drone.... living in an area where 10kt winds are not uncommon, it becomes a consideration....
Ummm...WHAT?? I know several people into drones and drone videography...NONE of them are studying "true-vs-indicated airspeed". I have the DJI Phantom 3 Pro that I got as a trade for a Walther PPS M1. Its fun, but it does all the work with me taking a course in aviation science. Its compensates for wind and will remsil static in a strong breeze.

Just buy one and have fun...dont overthink it man. Oh yeah, and buy EXTRA batteries!!
 

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Ummm...WHAT?? I know several people into drones and drone videography...NONE of them are studying "true-vs-indicated airspeed". I have the DJI Phantom 3 Pro that I got as a trade for a Walther PPS M1. Its fun, but it does all the work with me taking a course in aviation science. Its compensates for wind and will remsil static in a strong breeze.

Just buy one and have fun...dont overthink it man. Oh yeah, and buy EXTRA batteries!!
So are you suggesting that in a 20kt headwind, or even 10kt, a recreational roto drone can produce forward airspeed? How much?
Making an assumption, based on your uaer name, you have some aviation experience.
Wind matters to a UH60 medium lift helicopter- moreso to a light civilian medical helicopter.
A couple pound, battery powered, roto drone would seem to be even more susceptible.
Just because hobbyists don't "study" it doesn't mean its not an operational factor. I understand that they compensate for some, light, wind.... Put your drone up in a hurricane, and it'll wind up in Oz.....

How do you define a "strong breeze'?

From a static line parachute perspective, 13kt wind is max safe. A gust of 13.1 for 1 seconds is a 10 minute weather hold... winds at altitude can howl, but ground wind is a hard go/no go as a DZSO. And winds DO change with altitude....
 

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Ummm...WHAT?? I know several people into drones and drone videography...NONE of them are studying "true-vs-indicated airspeed". I have the DJI Phantom 3 Pro that I got as a trade for a Walther PPS M1. Its fun, but it does all the work with me taking a course in aviation science. Its compensates for wind and will remsil static in a strong breeze.

Just buy one and have fun...dont overthink it man. Oh yeah, and buy EXTRA batteries!!
So are you suggesting that in a 20kt headwind, or even 10kt, a recreational roto drone can produce forward airspeed? How much?
Making an assumption, based on your uaer name, you have some aviation experience.
Wind matters to a UH60 medium lift helicopter- moreso to a light civilian medical helicopter.
A couple pound, battery powered, roto drone would seem to be even more susceptible.
Just because hobbyists don't "study" it doesn't mean its not an operational factor. I understand that they compensate for some, light, wind.... Put your drone up in a hurricane, and it'll wind up in Oz.....

How do you define a "strong breeze'?
 

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From https://www.letusdrone.com/what-is-a-safe-wind-speed-for-dji-drones/

Mavic Pro
The Mavic Pro was released back in 2016 and was the first drone in the Mavic series. Capable of recording 4K video, the drone has a maximum flight time of 27 minutes. The Mavic Pro can be flown in wind speeds of up to 22 mph.
Generally the DJI drones are rated at 18-24 mph depending on model. Higher wind speeds will decrease your battery life. Battling a strong headwind coming back to home that you miscalculate can drain the battery before the drone gets back to you.
 
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We operate 3 drones, all legally. Suggest some reviewing of what is and is not legal. In Texas use during ANY phase of hunting is a no-no. Rules for drones are easily found and frequently broken. Many folks hate them (privacy issues) and will shoot them for sport.
 
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