Sunday, December 18, 2016

Been going droning lately

Think I just made up a new word.

Recently I bought a new drone, a 3DR Solo, from Best Buy, after reading about it as a daily deal from the Cnet Cheapskate. I got it for $379 which included extra propellers, one extra battery, a 3 axis motorized gimbal, plus a controller which uses your smartphone or tablet as the viewing screen. In addition, you use the phone to setup a wifi connection between the bird and the controller.

By the way, you can now get the drone and controller from the same outfit for $299. In case you are wondering why this is so cheap, it is because 3DR is out of the consumer drone market and now is a business provider for air surveys, etc. There is talk on the drone and RC forums that it may be the end of the line for them and parts may get hard to find to repair them. I will cross that bridge when it happens.

The Solo is not so much a plane to fly as it is a flying camera system. It was designed with integral help from Gopro to carry their action cameras and make aerial videos that used to require one person to actually fly the thing and one to control the camera.

I haven't got that far yet, I am still learning how to fly it around and make sure the camera is working, but I have hope that one day, I might get some decent footage.

I have got a decent crash video however, which the Solo survived without a scratch.
From the sun, you can see how it happened. I just couldn't see the screen and lost it in the bright sun. This happened after the train I was filming passed by and I decided to follow it. Flying at 23 feet, I failed to consider that the ground rising up would stop the drone in its tracks.

Most of my flights have been out in the desert away from people and their wifi signals. There is something about getting way the heck out of the city and being able to fly in a beautiful area. I have had other close calls as well but managed to luck out of hitting the obstacles as the photo below shows.
Here are a couple of other photos that might be of possible interest to some.

That's it for tonight. Except for this video showing how I managed to get the sun off my controller screen.


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