Hobby Drones

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Didn’t know whether to put this is the photography forum, cars bikes and AFVs or what.

Anyway I noticed we don’t have a dedicated thread on drones.

Any drone pilots out there? What you got? Let’s see some of your phots.

I have a professional interest in the things. One of my many hats at work is running a commercial UAV team. It’s taken me a while to pull my finger out, but I’ve decided it might be cool to have one of these at home too.

Budget is fairly low, I get to play with 40 grand drones at work all day and really don’t think I’ll get that much use out of anything that expensive. Even things like the DJI Spark are 500ish quid. I’m looking at something under 200 quid max. I’ll probably use it a couple of times then get bored of the thing. I’ve got a few Mavic Pros at work that I can borrow if I really want to do any serious stuff.

I know the Ryze Tello is the best cheapo drone by a long way but it’s a little bit small and I want something that can cope with a slight breeze. Follow me and GPS would be a bonus too. I’m quite tempted by this cheapo Amazon job. Looks like a DJI Spark clone. Obviously it won’t be anywhere near as good, but it’s got some pretty decent features for the price. 1080p and 5g at that price is a steal.

Hotbird Drone with Camera 1080p, 5G Wifi FPV GPS Auto Return Wide-Angle Camera, HD142 RC Quadcopter for Adults Beginners, Follow Me
 
Didn’t know whether to put this is the photography forum, cars bikes and AFVs or what.

Anyway I noticed we don’t have a dedicated thread on drones.

Any drone pilots out there? What you got? Let’s see some of your phots.

I have a professional interest in the things. One of my many hats at work is running a commercial UAV team. It’s taken me a while to pull my finger out, but I’ve decided it might be cool to have one of these at home too.

Budget is fairly low, I get to play with 40 grand drones at work all day and really don’t think I’ll get that much use out of anything that expensive. Even things like the DJI Spark are 500ish quid. I’m looking at something under 200 quid max. I’ll probably use it a couple of times then get bored of the thing. I’ve got a few Mavic Pros at work that I can borrow if I really want to do any serious stuff.

I know the Ryze Tello is the best cheapo drone by a long way but it’s a little bit small and I want something that can cope with a slight breeze. Follow me and GPS would be a bonus too. I’m quite tempted by this cheapo Amazon job. Looks like a DJI Spark clone. Obviously it won’t be anywhere near as good, but it’s got some pretty decent features for the price. 1080p and 5g at that price is a steal.

Hotbird Drone with Camera 1080p, 5G Wifi FPV GPS Auto Return Wide-Angle Camera, HD142 RC Quadcopter for Adults Beginners, Follow Me

Don't be soft, in your hood some twat in hand me down tweed will blat it with a 200 year old blunderbuss...


Or a hideously engraved Turkish knock off
 
Last edited:
...One of my many hats at work is running a commercial UAV team...

UAV? Keep up! They've progressed through being known as UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) to SUA (Small Unmanned Aircraft).
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
UAV? Keep up! They've progressed through being known as UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) to SUA (Small Unmanned Aircraft).
You are of course correct but most people wouldn’t understand.

Our head UAS geek at work gets really upset when we call them drones.

Apparently drones are self flying and are usually weaponised.

Don’t care, drone is easier to say than UAS or SUA or whatever the CAA are calling them this week.

I think for it to be a UAS it needs to have a payload I.e to make it a complete system.
 
You are of course correct but most people wouldn’t understand.

Our head UAS geek at work gets really upset when we call them drones.

Apparently drones are self flying and are usually weaponised.

Don’t care, drone is easier to say than UAS or SUA or whatever the CAA are calling them this week.

I think for it to be a UAS it needs to have a payload I.e to make it a complete system.

I think a camera counts as a payload, but, meh... :wink:

My recommendation would be to go for one of the matchbox-sized FPV quadcopters, plus goggles, and plenty of batteries. Loadsa fun zooming around the house, annoying pets/kids/spouse! :D
 
I’d be interested to understand how that works. How is the purchase of small cheap stuff regulated?
It'll be like Ameriky where they need to be licensed/registered - fly it all day long until something goes wrong. Then plod is all over you for whatever you did wrong AND flying an unregistered drone.

We made one a few years ago for the nippers school science project after about 6 months it has since sat doing nothing. Recently I was thinking about getting one with a follow me facility for doing some self-posing whilst off-road motorcycling - with the price of the commercial one's a long stick and a piece of string is looking a good option.
 

LepetitCaporal

Old-Salt
I’d be interested to understand how that works. How is the purchase of small cheap stuff regulated?
After many malious incidents (flying over the Elysee, nuclear centrals and the rest etc
The government has decided to make drone users to register thier equipment
It's a recent law (came after the Heathrow shut down)
I do not know all the specifics
But i do know that it's the Civil aviation authorities, with the Préfecture that handles the matter
Does it apply to the mini drones? That you can buy from any super market. ..dont know
Seems reasonable to me
Even if it's only because of a minority who spoil the fun for a majority of reasonable users
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I've always fancied the drone racing. What great viewing from the onboard.
 

LepetitCaporal

Old-Salt
They have their uses and especially in the civil protection areas
Can save time money and deploying man power
Lost persons, dead bodies, rail track survielance. ..list is exhaustive
A new profession
 
I fly a typhoon H and I am serious considering doing my PfCO this year if finances permit
 
I see hobby drones as the 2010s equivalent of CB radio.

A growing hobby that is being abused by ever larger numbers of people until it eventually becomes licensed and restricted. After a while most droners will get bored and give it up for the next fad that comes along.
 
It'll be like Ameriky where they need to be licensed/registered - fly it all day long until something goes wrong. Then plod is all over you for whatever you did wrong AND flying an unregistered drone.

We made one a few years ago for the nippers school science project after about 6 months it has since sat doing nothing. Recently I was thinking about getting one with a follow me facility for doing some self-posing whilst off-road motorcycling - with the price of the commercial one's a long stick and a piece of string is looking a good option.
I just brought my self a wizard controller for my drone its about half the size of a wii controller you put the drone up and switch to follow me stick the controller in your pocket and the drone will stay on it where ever it goes and will maintain connection upto to 40MPH
 

LepetitCaporal

Old-Salt
The french have developed a anti drone rifle. Jams the radio freqyence
Also, a detector that can narrow down the location of where the signal is coming from

Dont know how much the Heathrow shut down cost, but thing's had to be done
 
Told Mrs Gouty and said I wanted to start small. This is what she got me. The mustard jar is for scale and a ham sandwich after.

image.jpeg
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
They have their uses and especially in the civil protection areas
Can save time money and deploying man power
Lost persons, dead bodies, rail track survielance. ..list is exhaustive
A new profession
The big thing now is civil engineering and surveying.

A drone can take loads of pics of a building or structure, then computer software stitches the pics together to build a very very accurate (to 1 or 3 mm) 3D computer model.

The national grid use them to inspect electricity pylons. Before it’d be a very dangerous 3 day job for a man attached to a rope. Now it takes an hour and there is zero risk.

The rope access industry is definitely gonna suffer as drones get cheaper and better.

Police and fire services in the U.K. are quite far behind the curve. They’re catching up slowly but the problem is having a drone in the right place at the right time. Unless every copper has one in their car ready to deploy, the incident is often over by the time a UAS team arrive.

I was at a large emergency services conference late last year and everyone was talking about UASs but not many people could give examples of the police or fire services successfully using them. There is still a big fear of flying them over crowds at footy matches for example.

Still a bit of a gimmick for them.
 

endure

GCM
Hubsan 501s. Has GPS and its own controller with screen rather than relying on a mobile phone. Pro version with better transmitter is £180 from Hubsan Ebay store. Lots of Facebook groups and a company forum for advice.
 
I have a DJI Spark, I bought it to take to America as we went on an RV holiday around Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. As you said @Ravers, it cost £500, but in my opinion really really worth it. My expectations were low when I purchased it as I thought the quality would be low for such a bottom of the market machine, as you said, 40 grand for professional machines.
I was very pleasantly surprised, it’s easy to fly, easier still once I purchased the remote controller in America, the picture quality is fantastic, my wife is a semi-pro photographer and she commented on the high quality produced by it. The thing that impressed me the most is the platform stability, for a small drone of its cost, it is so stable, it really holds its own in high winds, fighting to stay absolutely still. It also impressed me that there are so many fail safes and get out of trouble features, low battery return to home, no fly zone warnings, collision warning and avoidance. The only thing that is not brilliant is the fly time, about 15 minutes maximum, dependant of mode, wind, etc. Overall a very impressive buy, if you can afford the extra cost @Ravers , then I would push the boat out, I actually bought mine on HP from Curry’s over 2 years.
As a side thought, I also joined the American Federal Aviation Association before going to America, this was purely for SUA’s and made transporting the Spark around the US easier as you are demonstrating that you know what you’re doing and any reservations airports etc. have is quickly smoothed over by flashing the FAA card.
I would also say that you also need to do your homework with regards to airlines if you are taking your drone on an aircraft, I flew with BA and they were happy to have the drone onboard as long as the batteries were in a special fire retardant bag, not attached to the drone and packed separately to the drone. Lithium batteries are the issue not the drone.
Verdict- I am utterly impressed with the DJI Spark and have some fantastic photos and videos, such an impressive machine.
 
Good thread Ravers. I've been swithering about getting a drone after seeing some cracking photos and videos by fellow hill walkers and history buffs, but I have no idea of a decent, relatively cheap starter kit that does good photos. So I shall be following this thread with interest.
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top