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Def Droning on again

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #60 on: May 07, 2022, 08:04:02 PM
The Mini 2 is a great drone, and every day I fly it I wonder why the heck anyone would get anything else.

It has a 4k camera, you don't need a license, the batteries don't need a giant charger, they can be charged by a power bank, they can operate as a power bank.... and, if you spend an extra $30 to get Litchi you will find that it does even more.

And, under 250g, there's a lot less restrictions on where and how you can fly it.  Basically, don't be a smurf and you should be fine.

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #61 on: May 07, 2022, 08:05:33 PM
Not much instructions came with the drone. I haven't downloaded the app yet.
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #62 on: May 07, 2022, 09:20:43 PM
There is flight training and instructions in the app.  Stick with it for now, and when you a bit of experience, try Litchi.

Def
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #63 on: May 07, 2022, 11:17:09 PM
A few more thoughts now that I have a keyboard....

The Mini 3 looks like an impressive drone, and appears to have front facing collision avoidance sensors and the ability to look up- something DJI hasn't done until now.  Previously, the only drone that could look up was the Parrot Anafi, which is a nice drone, but sadly not on the same level as most of the offerings from DJI.  Still, the ability to look up is important for professional use like bridge inspections, so it is nice to see DJI finally offering it.

As I mentioned above, the Mini series is quite powerful, and unless someone needs/wants something extra, I don't see the point of getting a bigger model.  Yes, the larger models have some features (not many though!) that the Mini doesn't have, but the larger models also have greater restrictions such as licensing, zone restrictions, altitude restrictions etc.

I love my P4 Pro.  I think it is an amazingly beautiful piece of technology, and I am very glad to have gotten one.  There are occasions where it is far superior to the Mini 2, however, as I am not a professional, or even especially gifted at photography, I personally don't see enough of a difference to use it instead of the Mini 2.  As it is, 9 out of 10 times I fly, I reach for the Mini 2, for a lot of reasons.

One of the issues is batteries- I have 4 batteries for each drone, but the ones for the Phantom are smarter, and will self discharge if not used in a day or two.  As I don't often get to plan my flying too far in advance, I charge the batteries when convenient and often by the time I actually get to use them they have self discharged to about 55% power.  And, they require a large charger- the Phantom comes with a charger that does one battery at the time, but as I got mine used I got some extras with it, including a charger that will charge three batteries at a time.  Handy, but also very large and bulky, plus it draws a pile of power.

Meanwhile the Mini 2 has (if you buy the Fly More combo) three batteries and a three battery charger, right out of the box.  This charger also functions as a carry case, and, as mentioned, can be charged from any USB port, including a power bank.  Further, it functions as a power bank, and the Mini 2 batteries can be used to charge your phone, the controller or any other USB powered device.  That's pretty darned handy if you ask me.

The real limitations of the Mini 2 are few- it does not include a Follow Mode, where a subject can be selected and will auto track that subject, keeping them in frame, nor can it fly Missions.  Missions are important for professional use, because it allows patterns to be pre-programmed and flown as often as required, and this is important to track progress of a project, creating 3D area mapping, surveying and agricultural uses.  But, an aftermarket company has created software called Litchi that makes up for that- it includes those features (and more!) that then makes the Mini 2 pretty well on par with the bigger boys like the Mavic and Phantom series.

In short, if anyone is thinking about getting into drones and is concerned about the licensing and restrictions, don't be- get yourself a Mini 2 (or Mini 3 when it's released next week!) and don't bother with licensing.  Chances are, if the tech keeps improving the way it is, there won't be a need to go over 250g in the future, as the sub-250g drones get to do more and more.  With the power in these little models, licensing is barely a requirement now, and the need will lessen with each generation.

Just don't be a dick with it, which will encourage the governments of the world to respond with stricter controls and sillier laws that don't accomplish a damned thing.

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #64 on: May 07, 2022, 11:33:43 PM
Noticed all the manuals as PDF...yay me. I would have preferred a paper manual so I can re-read it away from a computer. Got my last battery charging now, and I now have the app installed. Getting there in baby steps.
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #65 on: May 10, 2022, 04:01:24 PM
The Mini 3 has been officially launched now.

https://www.drdrone.ca/pages/dji-mini-3

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #66 on: May 12, 2022, 11:31:25 PM
The hard plastic case came in today. Thus far the only piece I am waiting on is the sunshade for the cell phone. I still haven't synced the drone to the phone yet.
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #67 on: May 13, 2022, 10:08:32 AM
Very cool. 

FyI, a lot of guys are using Maximum cases from Canadian Tire for the Mini.

https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/maximum-waterproof-tool-box-large-0581545p.html

There are several sizes and they come on sale often enough.

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #68 on: May 13, 2022, 11:13:53 AM
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #69 on: May 13, 2022, 11:52:32 AM
Very nice!

I bought a case at Bass Pro a while back because it was on for half price.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but a couple ofnyears later when I got the Mini 2 it seemed like a slam dunk.

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


ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #70 on: May 13, 2022, 10:30:24 PM
I hear you. I did the same buying 4 pick and pluck aluminium cases on sale at Canadian Tire back in 2014. I found uses for all of them.
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #71 on: May 14, 2022, 12:41:21 PM
I was hoping for better weather this weekend. I feel like I am ready for my first inaugural flight. Still haven't activated the drone yet. I am digging the new case however. Far better than the shoulder bag the fly more kit came with.

20220514_063024A by Chako, on Flickr
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #72 on: May 14, 2022, 01:13:50 PM
Yeah the shoulder bag is poo.

You may also want to check out Master Airscrew for some replacement props.  They claim they are quieter, more responsive and provide better flight times.  I don't know if it's true or not, but they certainly do look cool.  :D

I'll be in the Soo for a bit on Monday- if you have any problems maybe we can meet up for some pointers!

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


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #73 on: May 14, 2022, 01:37:59 PM
Oh, and I would suggest connecting your phone or tablet sooner rather than later as there are likely to be updates to download and install.

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #74 on: May 14, 2022, 04:05:28 PM
I ordered a filter set for the drone. This also came with an extra 2 sets of props. I will try tomorrow syncing up the drone to my phone. Safe travels.
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #75 on: May 14, 2022, 10:55:57 PM
Just activated the drone. You were correct. Busy doing multiple downloads right now. Also purchased the DJI Care Refresh package for the Mini 2. I am now dying to try it out...but it just started to rain. While typing this up after coming back inside...my sunshade and lanyard came in for the remote. I have a terrible 16GB micro SD card right now. Just ordered a pair of SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I U3 A2 V30 128GB cards. I figure the low end 16Gb card should get me through my first flight. If it is nicer tomorrow, I am going to play with it for the first time outside.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 11:14:02 PM by Chako »
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #76 on: May 15, 2022, 12:36:11 AM
The app does a good job of warning you where you can and cannot fly, but you should also check with Transport Canada:

https://nrc.canada.ca/en/drone-tool/

Technically these zones don't apply to the Mini 2 because it is under 250g, but you should still be aware of what else may be going on in your area.

You are also still required to give way to manned aircraft, no matter what.

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #77 on: May 15, 2022, 12:51:59 AM
Thanks for the support.

I already looked at local bylaws and read everything I could on drone flying in the area. If I had to register this drone, and get my basic licence, I wouldn't be able to fly anywhere in my city due to the airport located in the east end, and a heliport at the hospital and a sea plane port on the river. Knowing that I can fly this micro drone in places that you can't with the slightly heavier drones, is a big boost to getting this. Mind you, there is a common sense rule that if broken, can impose heavy fines. In other words...don't do stupid stuff. I think I can follow that. I also have a fellow colleague at work who has his advanced flight licence and teaches photography at our school. He has been a great source of information as well. So with a few knowledgably folks helping me, I hope to avoid some errors.  :tu:

https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/looking-to-fly-your-drone-for-fun-in-sault-ste-marie-568082

That link is a good one. Thanks for that one. I see I would be in a yellow zone and not a red one...good to know if and when I upgrade to something heavier.  :hatsoff:
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 12:58:08 AM by Chako »
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #78 on: May 15, 2022, 01:41:17 AM
You may also suffer some from the app restrictions.  DJI has a loose understanding of the restricted areas and has taken a few liberties when programming the various zones into it.

It hasn't happened to me, but my buddy who does this professionally had to switch to a different branded drone when starting a shoot because the DJI software geolocked him out of a site that was legal to fly in according to Transport Canada.  Fortunately he also had a Parrot drone in the truck that he was able to use!   :ahhh

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #79 on: May 15, 2022, 02:00:33 PM
Got it.

So much information found in the following link, it isn't funny. Thinking I might eventually go for my basic drone license, may as well start reading. Even if I don't go for it, the knowledge should prove useful.

https://tc.canada.ca/en/aviation/publications/transport-canada-aeronautical-information-manual-tc-aim-tp-14371

 :ahhh
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #80 on: May 15, 2022, 02:43:38 PM
The basic license is $10 and will take you ten or fifteen minutes to do online. 

I imagine you will have bigger challenges in life!   :ahhh

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #81 on: May 15, 2022, 03:42:57 PM
 :tu:
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #82 on: May 15, 2022, 04:58:00 PM
I just took my first flight after following the APP tutorials. Man oh man...is this thing a joy to fly. I was able to take off from the landing pad, and land on it with some slight corrections after pressing the go home function. Today was a short flight, and I was dying to try out 1 of the panoramic functions. I got really nervous the higher I went. I didn't go very far up...and took my first image. It was awesome to see the drone hover steady and move with precision to take a series of snap shots. I was anxious to see how it went. I was a bit confused when i got into the micro SD card via my computer. It offered a series of single shots but no panorama. I had to go online and find a tutorial that directed me to the album part of the DJI fly app. There it was, and I didn't even have to make one from the series of shots. That is a time saver. I also appreciate that I am given the option of buying a third party panorama software to make my own from the series.

So here is my first photo taken with the Mini 2. Taken from my back yard looking out over the steel plant. A series of 8 or 9 shots was compiled. I was so nervous I didn't even check my height off the ground. Either way, this was a bit of confidence boosting for me. I was certain I was going to crash it much like my old cheap manual drones.

DJI Mini 2 First PanormicA by Chako, on Flickr

Also very happy that the sunshade came in. I did my research and thought one that fit to the phone wouldn't be all that useful. After doing some research, I found this model that clips to the antenna attached to the controller. It is big enough that I have access to the phone display. In fact, the sides are held on by magnetic flaps that are easy to fold away allowing great access to the screen. It also offers a lot of sun shade, which today, was very useful. This one also came with a lanyard that allows hands free operation. I didn't think this would prove as useful as it did for my first inaugural flight.

20220515_100731A by Chako, on Flickr
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 05:08:14 PM by Chako »
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #83 on: May 16, 2022, 12:07:10 AM
Glad you had a successful first flight!   :tu:

These drones are way better than the cheapos and virtually fly themselves.  In fact, I think the cheapo drones make people so paranoid they never try anything else.

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #84 on: May 16, 2022, 01:04:11 AM
You got that right.
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #85 on: May 23, 2022, 01:03:15 PM
Second flight today. All did not go as planned. I had no issues taking off or flying the drone. This thing is super stable and easy to fly. I even manually took off and brought it down and landed it that way without the use of the take off or go home feature. Yay me! I did encounter 2 issues. The first time I took off, I had a pair of crows wanting to bring it down. I got them to leave my drone alone after bringing it down in a controlled fashion. The second issue I had was taking a video. For some reason, my video suffers from file corruption. Thus I wasn't able to play the video. Possibly something I did, or the drone did. I am still learning as I go. At least I was able to get another panorama shot off. This was taken early in the morning from my backyard once again. First time using the UV lens on the drone as well.  :tu:

dji_export_1653302503567A by Chako, on Flickr

I did go higher this time, but I am still a little hesitant to go too high or far away from me. Especially now that I have to worry about the local birds...I guess that IS a thing lol.  :ahhh

EDIT: After giving this some thought, I think I may have not stopped recording before landing and turning the drone off. I think that would do it.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 01:16:26 PM by Chako »
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #86 on: May 23, 2022, 02:33:48 PM
Yes, many birds do not care for drones.  And we have a lot of birds here that are large enough to hassle the Mini 2.  That is one of the drawbacks of being under 250g!

Def
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ca Offline Chako

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #87 on: May 23, 2022, 03:56:50 PM
Well they did not attack just now for my third flight. I am figuring that I just am not that confident with the file saving scheme. I know there is a DJI drone folder that is found on my camera under DCIM folder once I plug the phone to my computer. However, i just noticed that my videos are residing in the app...and that I need to share them to my phone...at which point I am able to download them to the computer. It is a bit convoluted but I think I am sort of getting the hang of this.

I tried the last panoramic setting...the one that gives you a wider global view. In the app it shows the image a neat globe. When I transferred it, this is what I got.

dji_export_1653313152117A by Chako, on Flickr

It was kind of neat that I figured out how to transfer the video. Here it is. Nothing glorious...just me trying to figure out if this is working. It is a short low no sound flight in my driveway and I make a sort of cameo appearance landing it.

First video Drone by Chako, on Flickr

I can see the possibilities...just need the skills lol.

I haven't tried any of the Quickshot modes yet. I know my backyard doesn't offer enough space to let those fly.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 04:06:03 PM by Chako »
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #88 on: May 23, 2022, 05:22:53 PM
For some annoying reason, DJI software doesn't export the 360 photos with 360 identifiers, and in many cases it just comes out as a distorted photo like what you have posted there.

It is a huge frustration and despite everyone complaining about it, no one at DJI ever seems to actually do anything about it.

Def
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Re: Def Droning on again
Reply #89 on: May 23, 2022, 11:59:38 PM
 :tu:
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