Quadcopters, drones, and other RC fun


Awesome stuff, @Vesper!

Shot another 360 panorama, this time using HDR to keep the sun from blowing out. So it’s actually 26 photos, each one made of 5 bracketed exposures to create an HDR image, so 130 total pictures.

The shooting is all automated by Litchi, but the HDR stuff took me about an hour in Photoshop. :)

Sorry, haven’t found a viewer off FB for these that will let me embed:


Cool stuff Vesper. 2 things:
-Adjust your horizon =)
-That embedded video doesn’t work, you have to go to Youtube due to some setting you have selected.


Snowy Snoqualmie Valley Sunset by DennyA, on Flickr

I need to tweak the rightmost shot’s exposure a little (this is a collage of four vertical HDR photos, 20 shots total), but overall, pretty pleased with this capture of last night’s sunset. My son was like “Dad, get the drone.” Told him I was busy. Looked at the sky. Got the drone. :)

Looks better on the Flickr link, BTW. Not sure why, but the color’s muted on the embed compared to the version on Flickr.




17-EaglesRestMavic-0031[/URL] by [URL=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/’]Sam Posten III[/URL], on Flickr


17-EaglesRestMavic-0015[/URL] by [URL=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/’]Sam Posten III[/URL], on Flickr


So, I did get the Phantom 3 Pro, thanks for the advice in the thread earlier. Flown a bit, but haven’t taken any really cool videos.

Mostly by virtue of having the RP certificate and a drone I’m willing to use for work, I’ve sort of become the unofficial part 107 coordinator for the natural resource management agency that I work for… we’re trying to use the Phantom for mapping/vegetation monitoring, and once we have some completed projects will probably be able to justify buying Inspires.

Here’s an example of the south side of a lake, automated flight using MapPilot and then processed by MapsMadeEasy:

Question- I think MME is using structure from motion to generate the rectified mosaic. There are programs which can do this on our hardware, or on a EC2 instance (eg. VisualSFM, OpenDroneMap). My one concern is that we’d lose geopositioning since SfM seems more oriented towards building 3D models than mapping. Generally our projects will not have surveyed ground control points, we’re relying on onboard GPS. … I’m not a GIS/cartography specialist… is there a better workflow to get geopositioned orthomosaics than paying MME for processing? Anyone have experience with Drone Deploy vs MapPilot?

Thanks in advance!


Anyone looking for a fun starter “fly in the house” drone, Amazon has the Air Hogs Star Trek Enterprise on sale for $29.97 today! Retails over $100 and even on sale usually costs $70-ish.

It’s pretty easy to control – not as easy as something like a Phantom, but much better than the micro quads – and it looks pretty cool to have the Enterprise flying around in your house. :) Plus it has Phaser sounds!


I started playing with minidrones :)


Quarter is for scale. The lower one is a CX-10D… Does anyone know what the upper one is? Its controller is on the right. It looks like a Mould King X6-33022, but it doesn’t have any of the markings and the UPC resolves to a ring. I picked it up for $12 at a local farm and ranch store. The CX-10 was $20 from Amazon.

Both are pretty indestructible, but the orange one is a little touchy. The CX-10D hovers in place (or close to it) if you take your hands off the controls-- it’s almost like a mini-Phantom. The orange one needs constant attention. I’m keeping battery logs … charge time for the CX-10D is 21-22 minutes and I’m getting 5-6 minutes flight time. The orange one is 27-30 minute charge for 5-8 minutes flight. I think using the flip features reduces the flight time, but I haven’t been careful enough with my records to say for sure.

I find them both really fun! Next for me is probably a CX-10 model without altitude hold to see what the difference is.


An appeals court has vacated the registration rule for model aircraft. There’s lots of news coverage, the forbes article has a link to the opinion.

I don’t think this will affect drones being operated under part 107.


I regret that there are no likes to give to that post, TF, thanks!


Can you summarize what this means?


Sure… caveat here that I’m not a lawyer…

  • The FAA had issued rules in 2015 saying any UAV (drone, unmanned airplane, whatever) weighing more than 0.55 lbs and less than 55 lbs needed to be registered with the FAA through a simplified process. Less than 0.55 lbs did not need to be registered, and more than 55 lbs needed to have a full airworthiness certificate.

  • This applied to all small UAVs, model aircraft being flown for recreation as well as commercial purposes. (Part 107 refers to the regulations that govern the latter). Both types of operation required the same registration. (Government UAVs have yet another set of regulations)

  • A vocal proportion of the model aircraft community and recreational drone community find the registration requirement onerous. Amongst other things, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 has language stating that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft." (Personal opinion - I’m sympathetic, but don’t think harm is done by the registry).

  • A smaller (my opinion) proportion of the model aircraft community and recreational drone community think they should not be subject to any type of flight restrictions. (Personal opinion - I’m not sympathetic at all to this).

  • A person in the second group sued the FAA to void AC91-57A (Model Aircraft Operating Standards, which amongst other things requires model aircraft operators to comply with FAA issued Temporary Flight Restrictions) and the registration requirement. He succeeded in having the registration requirement suspended, but not the AC.

  • Also opinion - in the short term no one who’s operating for fun needs to register. But the registration system was pretty painless, and in the long term I think there’s going to be something more draconian coming down the pipe. I’m also worried (as someone managing a part 107 fleet) that the existing website and registry may go down before a 107 only, or 107/gov registry is built.

Edit: None of this applies directly to non-US pilots, but companies like DJI are trying to incorporate FAA guidance directly into their controllers.


Cool, thanks.


DJI now also in the mini drone business…


Yeah, it’s pretty amazingly capable for the price. $499 for the drone, but you’ll want the remote or the range kind of limits it to being a selfie drone. The $699 combo pack with the extra battery, charger, remote, etc. is what you really want. With the remote, its range is more than a mile. It really packs a lot of what my Mavic does at half the price. Biggest caveat is video is limited to 1080p 30 fps, vs. 4k on the Mavic, but for many people that won’t matter.

Here’s a fun review of it from a trustworthy and entertaining YouTube reviewer. Love his demo of the handfly mode in his office.


Gotta say that is slick as hell. I loved the auto-follow mode.


Living the dream.


A coworker picked up the DJI Phantom 3 Standard for a fantastic price recently and can’t stop showing me stuff on it.

Need to spend money … rising.


We bought this $50 model (as it was the recommended entry level model a bunch of places in 2017) and it is a super fun toy to mess around with so far. Incredible what you get for the price: 720p video, 4gb sd card, two batteries and a dual USB charger, plus of course the drone itself gets solid reviews as well! About 8 minute runtime per battery, very easy to slap a new one in.


Got a drone back in June (Mavic Pro), spend a bit of time learning how to fly it, and then went to some awesome places like this…

Now using it as a great research tool (it’s far cheaper than a helicopter!) and still filming stuff. Got my CASA pilot’s license (Australian equivalent of FAA) which I need for research permits. It’s definitely addictive.


Shit that’s awesome. In your line of work, these things are a fucking no-brainer. And a tax write off to boot! just be careful depreciating them too quickly - too many ‘Smaug ate my drone’ year one write-offs and the ATO might cotton-on…