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Def Droning on again 617

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Def Droning on again
« on: November 27, 2021, 04:28:53 PM »
I get accused of droning on a lot.... but in this case it will at least include real drones!  :D

A good friend of mine started a business a few years ago flying drones for film/TV and real estate.  It has been very successful for him, and he has branched out into all kinds of cool other stuff, including 3D scanning buildings to create virtual walkthroughs.  But, the really cool stuff, is the drones.  Shameless plug here, but if you are on Instagram, make sure to follow him, or at least check out his stuff HERE.

I've helped him out on a few jobs and got the flying bug too.  Pictured below is my DJI Mini 2, which is perhaps the most powerful drone you can buy without a license.  In most areas that have drone laws, the laws only apply to drones over 250g, as anything under that is considered a toy.  In response, a few of the big manufacturers (and DJI is the biggest, by a wide margin) made full featured drones specifically to skirt the rules.  :D

The Mini 2 has a 4k camera, and, as it is under the 250g limit (proudly emblazoned on the side of it!), can be flown Beyond Visual Line Of Sight or BVLOS.  Because of this, I could get cool videos like this one when I was on vacation last week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3X1aT2c2C8&list=PLFbat-1lFKBj-9jMEAE4pQoYTNxC22ITX

Yes, I know it isn't the sharpest video, but that's thanks to my older video software and me trying to crop bits of it out.  the original is stunning.

More coming up....

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2021, 04:39:09 PM »
Naturally, with a new (and pricey) doodad like this, you want it protected, and pictured below is a Bass Pro fishing case with pick and pluck foam that I have set up as an ideal little home for the Mini 2.  It seems to be effective, as the Mini 2 has survived the trip from Halifax to Ottawa, despite the airlines gentle touch!   :ahhh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

Thankfully it wasn't a guitar!

This is a remarkably easy drone to fly, and I highly recommend it.  It uses sensors to determine it's height, and it has a GPS system so you always know where it is- and more importantly, it can auto return to home if the battery gets low or it loses connection.  Just make sure you set the Return to Home (RTH) height higher than the surrounding trees or other obstructions!   :facepalm:

My father was very impressed with it as I flew over his house and up the river he lives on, to another river that connects to it (the Potomac in the video above, and no, not the same one you probably know in the US!) and upstream there.  He was certain it was lost, but as it wasn't even a kilometer away it was nowhere near it's 10km range.  And, since the battery only lasts for about 25 minutes, it won't make it ten kilometers away anyway!

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2021, 04:45:56 PM »
More photos and video coming, but for now I want to share a funny story with you.  I wanted to try taking some cool short video shots of multitools with the drone as the short video stuff seems to get a lot more attention on IG (as if I give a damn, it was more an excuse to play!) so I took a few tools out to the usual spot in the woods and flew the Mini 2 around, using some of it's built in smart flying modes, like Selfie, Rocket, Orbit etc.  In these modes, you select a person or object, set the mode, and the drone does the rest itself- for example, if you want to do a circular shot, where the drone goes 360 degrees around something while maintaining that thing in the center of the frame, the Mini 2 does that easily enough.

Unfortunately, the Mini 2 doesn't really do close up shots very well, largely because you really don't usually want to be flying that close to things.  This meant that the altitude sensor was going nuts as the drone tried to maintain a safe altitude while flying over very uneven terrain, and it kept "losing" the subject- in the case of the pic below, an orange Raptor, chosen because I figured the colors might help it stand out.... in the fall.   :oops:

Anyways, there is a hilarious video from that day that I will post at some point and you can all get a laugh at my idiocy!   :D

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2021, 04:59:54 PM »
While the Mini 2 is an excellent little drone, and the best you can get without a license, I have a little secret to tell you all.  I have a license, and so while I was on vacation last week, my friend picked up this monster for me, for a price that was far too good to pass up.

It's a Phantom 4 Pro, also from DJI and the difference between the two is staggering- for example, the batteries alone for this monster are almost as big as the whole of the Mini 2.  And they weigh more than the Mini 2 even with it's battery installed.

Not only that, the lens on the P4P is larger than the entire camera of the Mini 2, and the blades are twice as long!   :ahhh

I'd like to tell you all about how cool it is to fly the Phantom 4 Pro, but to be honest, it has been pissing down rain for over a week here, since before I got home, and I have yet to take it out!   :ahhh

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a break in the weather long enough to try it out.  I was getting  a bit antsy yesterday and decided to see if the damned thing even worked, so I assembled it in the kitchen, blocked Megan's cat and dog in the other room and fired it up.  At first I lifted off about three inches in the air, hovered, then set it down.  Then I took off again, flew up to about three feet, hovered, then landed it again.  I then took it apart and put it away, because I learned a few important things:

1- It works.
2- It's really smurfing loud and shouldn't be flown in enclosed spaces.
3- It really moves a lot of air in a hurry.
4- It's very uncomfortable to have a massive windstorm in my kitchen.

With all of those data points duly logged, the Phantom got put back in it's case, and I spent a little longer than I am willing to admit cleaning up the stuff that blew everywhere.  I may have a good sized kitchen, but it's apparently not large enough to fly large drones in.   :facepalm:

That's it for now.  I hope you all have enjoyed it so far- I will continue to post pics, videos and my experiences whether you liked it or not, so consider yourselves warned!   :P

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 3,531
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2021, 06:38:11 PM »
Nice! I would love to have a drone but the cost/usage equation is not to my favor I think

[It's not failure if you learn something from it]

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2021, 10:51:31 PM »
Nice! I would love to have a drone but the cost/usage equation is not to my favor I think

[It's not failure if you learn something from it]

I am in the same boat, but I am hoping this will be an investment into my day job... or rather a better one....   :whistle:

The interesting thing is, not only do these pretty well fly themselves for you, they also help in the photography department.  I am not much of a photographer, preferring to use the automatic setting mode on most cameras, but DJI has given us something kind of cool- bracketing.  This may be a normal photography thing, but as I said, I know nothing about photography, but I think this is really cool.

Basically, it takes a shot with what the "normal" auto setting would be, then goes a bit lighter and a bit darker, snapping three separate photos in under a second, with three different levels!  Then, once you are back at a computer and not squinting into a tiny phone screen in the sun, you can see the difference and pick the best one.

This is a pic of my parents'  house on the river, taken with bracketing shots.  These are reduced quite a bit, but even so, if you look closely you will see my father and I standing on the patio!

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 57,330
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2021, 10:59:02 PM »
 :like:

The video needs a soundtrack  :pok:
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2021, 11:50:56 PM »
Yeah yeah, that's what everyone says!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2021, 12:26:34 AM »
Here's another one without music- it it helps, imagine that I am humming in the background!  This one is hilarious, or at least the story behind it is!

This was shot the second full day we were there.  Everything was green the first day, then we woke up the second day to everything covered in a thin layer of snow.  It wasn't shot in black and white, it just looks like it because of the contrast of the snow.  Believe it or not, this is a full color video.

You can just see my father walking in the yard right at the beginning of the shot.  He was trying to find it, and was convinced that I'd lost it.  I love my father, but he is used to my nephews flying cheapo drones that they crash of lose almost constantly.  There was nothing I could do to convince him that the drone wasn't lost, I still had control of it, and I could bring it back any time, either manually or on automatic. 

Over and over he said things like "you've lost it, it's gone" and nothing I could say would convince him otherwise.  I insisted it wasn't lost, and he said "where is it then?"  This was when the drone was about center of this arc (which I flew manually rather than using the circle feature) and I said "it's right behind us!" 

He still didn't believe me as it was still a bit hard to see... but when I brought it back and we transferred the video to Mom's computer with the giant monitor, he was absolutely blown away.

https://youtu.be/5eIg_u1jdec

Also, he would kill me if he knew that I was posting pictures and videos of his house on the internet, so no one tell him, okay?  :D

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2021, 01:19:39 AM »
Here's one I shot before I left.  I don't recall where I was at the time, but I do recall that I wanted to get home ASAP, before the sun came up too much and I would miss some cool dawn over Halifax Harbour shots.  I live just a little off to the right of this video.  :D

https://youtu.be/5SiXsklX2W4

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,704 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2021, 04:13:59 AM »
Very impressive.  :hatsoff:

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,197
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2021, 04:27:33 AM »
Great shots!

I want to try an entry-level drone. My problem is that with my long history of cheap small RC helicopters and planes, I tend to crash them into something--hard. They usually break within a month.
No Life Club Posts: 4,110
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2021, 11:02:22 AM »
Nice videos! Drone tech has come a long way since I first tried my manually controlled and not stabilised micro-drone 5 years ago (without much success, by the way) :D

As an aerospace engineer and erstwhile low-level hobby photographer these have always fascinated me no end. In the hands of the general public though, they are also becoming something of a risk for aviation - several drone incursions have been reported at airports like LAX, LHR etc. Not sure how the situation is in Canada but over here, above a certain weight, licencing and registration is mandatory, and at the office we see a lot of patent applications for 'geofencing' systems that should keep drones outside sensitive areas.

By the way Grant, no worries about your videos, they'll be in China already if the rumours I read have any truth to them :D. I'm not sure I believe the rumours, but as you may be aware US defence forces have recently been forced to stop buying Chinese drones, including from DJI, for fear of illicit storage of data on Chinese servers.

Cheers!
Dutch_Tooler

Location: Southern Germany, most of the time
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2021, 11:28:57 AM »
Great shots!

I want to try an entry-level drone. My problem is that with my long history of cheap small RC helicopters and planes, I tend to crash them into something--hard. They usually break within a month.

Don't buy the cheap, over the counter ones from Wal Mart.  You will be disillusioned quickly as you watch your money crash and burn.  I'd suggest a Mini 2 or Mini SE (same drone, slightly cheaper due to only a 2.7k camera instead of a 4k camera) as you will find these drones fly so much better and easier.  Better drones stay where you leave them- I can put down the controller and the DJI models stay where they are, using downward facing sensors and GPS to maintain their position, even in the wind.

I have tried actually pushing my Mini 2 out of position, and it resists movement with a force you don't expect from such a small drone.  If you do succeed in moving it, as soon as the pressure is off, it returns to the spot it was in before you moved it.

That feature alone makes them worth more than the $39.99 you'll pay for a Wal Mart special!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2021, 11:39:46 AM »
Nice videos! Drone tech has come a long way since I first tried my manually controlled and not stabilised micro-drone 5 years ago (without much success, by the way) :D

As an aerospace engineer and erstwhile low-level hobby photographer these have always fascinated me no end. In the hands of the general public though, they are also becoming something of a risk for aviation - several drone incursions have been reported at airports like LAX, LHR etc. Not sure how the situation is in Canada but over here, above a certain weight, licencing and registration is mandatory, and at the office we see a lot of patent applications for 'geofencing' systems that should keep drones outside sensitive areas.

By the way Grant, no worries about your videos, they'll be in China already if the rumours I read have any truth to them :D. I'm not sure I believe the rumours, but as you may be aware US defence forces have recently been forced to stop buying Chinese drones, including from DJI, for fear of illicit storage of data on Chinese servers.

There are idiots everywhere.  Drones have been flown in stupid places here, and thankfully governments all over the world are going to the effort of fighting crime by increasing regulation that only the honest people are going to be restricted by.

As I mentioned, you require a license to fly anything over 250g in Canada (and most countries) but you can buy drones without being licensed, which basically means the license is voluntary.  I'm not sure how that makes sense, but there it is.

As for DJI, yes, I assume everything is being sent directly to parts unknown, but good luck finding anything NOT made in China these days.  Most things (especially electronics) may not be made in China, but I'll bet anything there are components within that are.   :facepalm:

I had been looking at an Anafi from Parrot as well, and I'd rather give my money to France than China, especially after recent events in Canada, but honestly, DJI is better. 

The other contenders I was looking at were Splash (waterproof drone makes a lot of sense around here) and Skydio.  Unfortunately there seem to be a lot of problems with Splash and Parrot, and the Skydio is expensive to buy, followed by having to purchase the software on an annual basis to use the features.  No thanks, I don't have that kind of money.

All in all the US government is helping to find development at Parrot and I truly hope that takes them above DJI, but the US has also decided that DJI is an acceptable threat and started using them again, likely due to a lack of decent other options.

The DJI spy risk is minimal in places I fly.  I'm not concerned that China may discover we are building a new highway between Halifax and Bridgewater!  :D

Even so, I'm not pairing it with any Huawei devices.  :twak:

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Hero Member Posts: 687
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2021, 08:47:51 PM »
Ahh, grown up toys. Love it. Admire your friend to do something he loves.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2021, 11:05:19 PM »
Ahh, grown up toys. Love it. Admire your friend to do something he loves.

I absolutely do, and I'm thrilled that he has been quite successful at it!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2021, 03:56:47 PM »
Taking some shots at work- this is the site of one of the new bridges we are building.

This was shot with the Mini 2.

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,692 Little to the right...
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2021, 12:17:30 AM »
Thanks to the boss for pointing me here!  I picked up a DJI Mini 2 on the weekend, and I was blown away by how small it is (yes, that's what she said).  Now this is my second drone.  I had a DJI Phantom 2, but sold it when all the new regulations starting coming into play.  I wanted to get the Air 2s, but I also wanted the freedom that the Mini 2 offers where it falls under the 250g limit, making it pretty much able to fly anywhere you want.

Here's my first vid with it.  Now I'm no videographer, and I rather dislike video editing, so please be gentle with me lol.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKBVQgwHiH0


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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 57,330
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2021, 01:46:24 PM »
Nice vid dmac !    :like:
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 26,454
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2021, 07:25:14 PM »
I'll say  :salute:

Esse Quam Videri
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2021, 07:31:44 PM »
Here's a shot I took while flying around at work today.  The same shot tomorrow will be all white as we are expecting 15cms of snow tonight!   :ahhh

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2021, 10:28:29 AM »
I'm on an overnight project this week and I snapped this picture of the container pier near my house last night.

It was my first time flying in the dark, and I felt it was fitting that I do it here, since I have spent an awful lot of time working on that Pier.

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,692 Little to the right...
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2021, 12:01:21 AM »

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2021, 01:09:11 PM »
Very cool footage!

Those Mini 2's are remarkably powerful for such a small unit!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2021, 10:13:55 PM »
This is the Onego Maas, a bulk carrier.  She's currently in Halifax to discharge cargo

Taken at work today with my Mini 2.

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,509 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Def Droning on again
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2021, 10:16:52 PM »
This is a whole different Pier, taken a couple of weeks ago while working at night- obviously!

Def

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Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.

 

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