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Bailey Guns

Drones & Stuff...

Rating: 2 votes, 3.00 average.
For those interested in the drone pic I posted in the "Post A Picture" forum...

I've been wanting a drone for a long time. I got the Karma with Hero6 camera even though there are some nice drones out there with some features the Karma doesn't have (like obstacle avoidance) in that price range. But no other brand comes close to offering the cool accessories and mounts and such that GoPro does.

The Karma bundle I got includes the drone, GoPro Hero6 camera, really nice backpack/carry case, Karma Grip (take the stabilizing gimbal and camera off the drone and put it on the grip...keeps your camera rock steady), some mounting accessories, charger, cords, etc...

I got a Black Friday special on Amazon...$999. Back to $1199 now but I'm sure they'll go back on sale before Christmas. If you already have a compatible camera (Hero4 - Hero6) you can buy just the drone and save some $$. I also bought an extra battery for $99 and paid $209 for GoPro Care. It's basically insurance good for 2 years in case you crash your drone. They'll replace damaged parts like props for no charge and will give you a new drone (if it's lost or stolen or destroyed) for $159 I think. I thought that was well worth the price.

And, I paid $5 to the FAA to register it as a UAS (Unmanned Aerial System). That's required for any drone weighing from just over a half pound to fifty-five pounds.

GoPro had kind of a shaky start...bad design on the battery clips. Battery would come loose during flight and drone would fall outta the sky. That's fixed. From what I can tell they had an issue with the drone losing contact with the controller early on but it looks like that's solved, too.

They also added a "Follow Me" mode so the drone will track you as you move across the ground.

I flew it for the first time today. Prior to flying for the first time you have to update the software on the drone, the controller, the camera and the grip. I had some issues with that but once I figured it out it went smoothly. It took about 2 hours to charge the battery and I finished the updates while that was going on. It's also a good idea to spend some time on the built-in flight simulator on the controller.

Once you've done that you're almost ready to fly. Find a nice open space, preferably not close to metal buildings or things like large power lines or sub-stations. That stuff can mess with the GPS signal and controller signals between the drone and controller. Power up the controller and drone. The first time the controller will prompt you to "Calibrate Compass". Just follow the prompts. It's easy. Once that's done you're ready to take off.

The controller will prompt you to start the motors. The rotors will spin at idle speed. Then, when you're ready, press the "Take Off" button and Karma will spool up and take off. It will hover at about 6 to 8 feet above the ground. You can really feel the rotor wash from this thing, too. It's a lot more powerful that I thought it would be. From there I just flew around the yard a bit, over the house, etc. Pretty tame stuff to start. I tried the "Return to Launch" function and the Karma flew right back and landed within inches of where it took off from. Be careful when you do this because Karma will fly straight back to the launch location. So, if you took a meandering course to get where you're returning Karma from, be sure there are no obstacles in the direct path back.

This machine is capable of some pretty incredible video and photo action. I'm not anywhere near the point of trying a lot of that since I'm still just learning how to fly it. But I'm looking forward to it. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination, though. Well, within the flight capabilities of the machine anyway. Oh...and the FAA. I think it limits the altitude to 400' if I recall so as not to get in trouble with the feds. There are just a few rules you have to follow for flying and they're on the FAA registration website.

Cool stuff. I had to sell a pretty nice gun to fund this thing but it's gonna be worth it. Eventually I'll post some video up here too. Feel free to post up your own drone stuff here as well.

Updated 12-02-2017 at 21:40 by Bailey Guns

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Comments

  1. theGinsue's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing. Lots of good information and advice.

    We'll be waiting to see some short video clips once you get the flying all figured out.
  2. Bailey Guns's Avatar
    Flew it again today and learned how to take video. Not good video. Pretty much just how to control the camera. It kinda freaks me out to take my eyes off the drone. It was a bit breezy and when it compensates for the wind the motors make different noises and I don't trust myself or the Karma just yet. It'll get easier as I get a little more stick time under my belt. You can see the trees moving in the last 30 seconds or so of the video.

    Just a quick takeoff and flight over the house. A few lessons:

    1) If you're going to orbit, orbit in a wide radius...don't just sit over the house and spin around. Makes me dizzy watching it.

    2) When panning with the camera, do it slowly.

    Anyway, here's the first video:

  3. Mazin's Avatar
    Nice video!
    You are correct you can't exceed 400' in Altitude, you can't fly over people, you can't fly at night, you cant fly from a moving vehicle etc. Now if you get the sUas rating you can apply for wavers for all the stuff you cant do except the 400' ceiling. You might also want to learn the different classification of airspace. There are a lot of nice farms out there that you can map too if you get you sUAS rating and make some nice money doing it. The hardware and software isn't cheap but its a new market and there's tons of possibilities from agricultural mapping and spraying, S&R, Real estate photography etc.

    Have fun and just remember the ground is hard