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Buying a drone - help me out #7237098
04/07/21 08:07 AM
04/07/21 08:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 137
Monroe City, IN
T
Toby Like Offline OP
trapper
Toby Like  Offline OP
trapper
T

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 137
Monroe City, IN
I am looking into purchasing my first drone. My knowledge of them is limited at best. A friend suggested the company DJI, but most of their models seem to be out of my price range. (I would like to keep it under $500)

Hoping to use it to take some still photos of my house as it's being built. And to do a little pre-season turkey scouting. I am sure many other uses will come up too.

Features that I would like include: auto-take off, auto-land, object avoidance, and some sort of "find me" option for when I lose it in a cornfield

Features I don't need are: extra long battery life ,super high quality camera/video


Any input or links to specific models would be appreciated.


Toby Like
Nuisance Animal Solutions
Summitt Hill Taxidermy
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237109
04/07/21 08:18 AM
04/07/21 08:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,114
Western Shore Delaware
SJA Offline
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SJA  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,114
Western Shore Delaware
DJI is expensive, but excellent quality. Start out with a cheapy brand. There's a learning process to use it properly so you don't crash it. Also has to be registered with the FAA. :-)
[Linked Image]


"Humans are the hardest people to get along with."
Dr. Phillip Snow
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237168
04/07/21 09:39 AM
04/07/21 09:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,043
Southern NJ
maintenanceguy Offline
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maintenanceguy  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,043
Southern NJ
Just bought my first drone about 4 months ago. Didn't really know anything about them until I got one. I bought a DJI Mavic Air 2 - just under $900.

I am still amazed at the technology in these things for under $1K. 4K video, capable of 48MP photos. Can fly for 30 minutes. Top speed of 42mph. I've flown mine 3-1/2 miles from where I was standing. I can tell it to "follow that car" or "fly a circle around that building" and it will - without me doing anything. If it gets too far away and loses the radio signal, it ascends to an altitude I pre-programmed, flies back home on it's own, and even lands without me. It will do the same if the battery starts getting low. Of course, as it gets closer and the signal returns, I can take over if I want too.

Two front, two rear, and two down cameras are built in. I don't get to see what those cameras see. Those are for positioning so the drone doesn't drift and for obstacle avoidance. If I try to fly into my house, it stops about 10 feet away and refuses to hit anything.

There's a learning curve but if you aren't being risky on purpose, they are amazingly easy to fly. If you've ever flown anything else remote control, you needed to think about angle of attack, bank angles, etc. Not with a drone. All of that math is done internally. Push the stick forward and it goes forward. Push the stick left and it goes left. It's not like flying. You don't need to understand how they fly. You tell it what to do and it figures out how to bank, speed up rotors, etc to make it happen. Easy!

If anything ever goes wrong and it does crash, there's a flight log stored in your cell phone (which is used as the view screen for the controller). You can look at that flight log and it will show you exactly where the drone went down using GPS. When you get to the site, you press "find my drone" and the drone starts flashing and beeping. Fortunately, that hasn't happened to me. So far I've flown 170 miles total with mine with no incidents.

Other drones may be similar. I've never owned or used anything else. But I would highly recommend DJI.

If you want to investigate trapping or hunting land, you can cover a lot of ground with a drone and review the video later. Plus, there's are tools that let you watch the video and shows where you are on the map at the same time. Great way to explore new areas.


Last edited by maintenanceguy; 04/07/21 09:42 AM.

-Ryan
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237170
04/07/21 09:41 AM
04/07/21 09:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,221
SE Iowa USA
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AKAjust Offline
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AKAjust  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,221
SE Iowa USA
I bough a cheap one so I could figure how to fly one before spending the money for a good one. BAD IDEA.
Still haven't flown it further than the crash site a few feet away.
just

Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: AKAjust] #7237195
04/07/21 10:13 AM
04/07/21 10:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 6,224
Maine, Aroostook
Posco Offline
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Posco  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 6,224
Maine, Aroostook
Originally Posted by AKAjust
I bough a cheap one so I could figure how to fly one before spending the money for a good one. BAD IDEA.
Still haven't flown it further than the crash site a few feet away.
just

Lol.

Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237209
04/07/21 10:56 AM
04/07/21 10:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 137
Monroe City, IN
T
Toby Like Offline OP
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Toby Like  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 137
Monroe City, IN
Maintenanceguy, what you described sounds fantastic. All of the "autopilot" features make it sound like it's relatively fool proof which is exactly what I need. But, the price is above my self-imposed budget and some of the bells and whistles seem like overkill. The DJI Mavic Mini 2 is what I am leaning toward at the moment. Its seems to be an appropriate compromise.

AKA - I have heard similar stories of folks having no luck with the cheaper models. Frugal is my middle name, but it seems like buying a real cheap model is a waste of money


Toby Like
Nuisance Animal Solutions
Summitt Hill Taxidermy
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237219
04/07/21 11:08 AM
04/07/21 11:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 12,418
Central Oregon
AntiGov Offline
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AntiGov  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 12,418
Central Oregon
My son has had a couple cheap ones . Both are gone forever . We suspect the nearby radio towers caused some sort of frequency jam up and they uncontrollably flew into the abyss.

We've been looking at some in the $800 to $1200 range but I'm afraid to try it at the house . frown sick

Last edited by AntiGov; 04/07/21 11:09 AM.

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Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237225
04/07/21 11:21 AM
04/07/21 11:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,702
Northern Minnesota
BernieB. Offline
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BernieB.  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,702
Northern Minnesota
I have the DJI mavic pro, very good drone for the money. Learning curve is pretty short, anyone can fly one with a little practice.


Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237245
04/07/21 11:40 AM
04/07/21 11:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,541
North Central Idaho
Jumperzee Offline
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Jumperzee  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,541
North Central Idaho
Buy the insurance policy. There's a very high probability you'll crash it (as most of us have found out) and the replacement plan was well worth it.

Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237285
04/07/21 12:38 PM
04/07/21 12:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 2,333
Bismarck, North Dakota
grumley701 Offline
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grumley701  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 2,333
Bismarck, North Dakota
You get what you pay for is certainly a true statement when it I comes to drones. I ponied up and paid the price for a DJI Mavic Pro, it's a great drone but they ain't cheap.


Trump won....
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237299
04/07/21 01:13 PM
04/07/21 01:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 3,105
Nevadafornia
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Lazarus Offline
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Lazarus  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 3,105
Nevadafornia
The best help I can be -- which is what you asked for --- is to tell you the parable of the binoculars. A long time ago, I wanted a pair of binoculars for hunting, scouting, sightseeing, etc. So I bought a pair of binoculars. In the blister pack at a discount store. They worked fine and I was happy.

Then one day I went hunting with a friend who had binoculars. He let me look through his. I was amazed! The clarity and brightness were amazing. I never knew what I was missing. So I bought a pair of binoculars like his. They worked fine and I was happy.

Then one day I went hunting with a friend who had binoculars. He let me look through his. I was amazed!! The clarity and brightness were amazing. They were lighter, more ergonomic and fit my eyes better. I never knew what I was missing. So I bought a pair of binoculars like his. They worked fine and I was happy. Then they had a problem and I learned the warranty wasn't very good, so I went shopping for another pair of binoculars. By now my needs had changed somewhat. I was hunting sheep and goats, and mule deer in wide open country. I bought the best glasses I could afford, and they had a lifetime, no questions asked, warranty. And I was happy. Since then, I have looked through a lot of glasses but haven't seen anything dramatically better than the ones I own.

The point is that we sometimes set an artificial price on what we want, but in the end, we often spend far more than the original price in order to get what we wanted in the first place. I can tell you that your budget price of $500 won't buy you anything in the drone world but a toy. If that's what you want, go spend your money and enjoy your toy. I suggest that you go about your search different than I did my search for binoculars. I would have SAVED a lot of money had I bought my current binoculars first. And I would have enjoyed their quality all these years, instead of not knowing what I was missing.

Not putting you down, but trying to help. Ask what you want your drone for, and then go find one that does what you want it to do, and make sure it has a good warranty or that you can buy an add on warranty.

When I went looking for a drone, I knew exactly what I wanted and why. At the end of the search, there were only two drones that would do what I wanted, so then it was a matter of facing up to what it cost. But that was over a year ago and I've flown literally a thousand miles with it. Other than one pilot-caused-malfunction, it has performed flawlessly. It is rugged, dependable, stable in high winds, has a great camera, uses a zoom lens that allows me to capture incredible detail, etc. I am perfectly happy with it. That doesn't mean I haven't "looked over the fence" to see if there has been something better come along, but there hasn't, so I continue to enjoy the quality I paid for in the initial purchase.

Anyway, that's my suggestion. By the way, here is a photo of a cat in a trap. I took the photo with my drone. I am about 3 miles away. The set was on the other side of a ledge from where I was standing, but because the drone has a zoom lens, I could stay above the ledge (where I still had reception with the drone) and zoom in on the cat.

[Linked Image]


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Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237314
04/07/21 01:36 PM
04/07/21 01:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 137
Monroe City, IN
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Toby Like Offline OP
trapper
Toby Like  Offline OP
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T

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 137
Monroe City, IN
Lazarus - your analogy is spot on. To play along, this is going to be just a toy. I have a handful of simple uses for it, and that's it. I doubt it would get used more than 10x a year. If I find it is something that I utilize a lot, I'll give my first one to my nephew, and upgrade to a better model

My primary "need" for it is to take aerial photos of my new home as it is being built. Having an accurate map of where all the buried lines are will prove handy in the future and has some value to me. Scouting for turkey, deer, etc... has some value too, but there are some legal and ethical limitations along with that. Other handy and/or entertaining uses will pop up I'm sure.


Toby Like
Nuisance Animal Solutions
Summitt Hill Taxidermy
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237345
04/07/21 03:02 PM
04/07/21 03:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,291
Asheville, NC
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charles Offline
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charles  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,291
Asheville, NC
My grandson flew his into the back of his sisterís head. It became hopelessly snarled in her hair.

Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237412
04/07/21 04:52 PM
04/07/21 04:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,801
West Michigan
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Getting There Offline
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Getting There  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,801
West Michigan
The only thing I know is buy lot of PROPS. Why because I have a friend that got a drone that is still on the market being sold every day and he broke a prop and can not find one anyplace. His drone is worthless. I think he paid $1,800.00 dollars for it. Have fun and good luck!


To Old
U.S. Army 60-63 SGT.
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Getting There] #7237449
04/07/21 05:44 PM
04/07/21 05:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 474
Pa,
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trapper4002 Offline
trapper
trapper4002  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 474
Pa,
Check out Master Airscrew for Props www.masterairscrew.com they have all kinds of props. Iíve only every replaced one set of props which they tell you to replace after so many hours

Last edited by trapper4002; 04/07/21 05:45 PM.

Cpl USMC. 1989-1993
Re: Buying a drone - help me out [Re: Toby Like] #7237450
04/07/21 05:47 PM
04/07/21 05:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 474
Pa,
T
trapper4002 Offline
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trapper4002  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 474
Pa,
I fly a Mavic 2 Zoom great drone definitely worth money. Check the laws before you spend money on a drone and learn the rules so the FAA donít pay you a visit


Cpl USMC. 1989-1993
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