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  1. Today
  2. Am I reading this correctly?

    Too funny!
  3. Yesterday
  4. Am I reading this correctly?

    Looking through a job forum for drones and found this
  5. Drone Radio Show, Interview with 3DR CEO Chris Anderson

    Well said. More context in some of our reporting over here: Just finished my Monday morning coffee (always the best one of the week) and had a chance to listen to Chris's interview with Randy. Randy has a career in urban planning and asks some poignant questions. Some of my notes: Construction is the second largest industry in the world. It's also one of the least digitized, and because of that there are many highly inefficient aspects of projects. BIM = building information modeling and is one of the big trends in construction right now 3DR's SiteScan software helps capture the data, but the real meat of the software is how once the data is captured, it's then run through photogrammetry engines like Pix4D or Autodesk ReCap. It's also run through analytical tools, volumetric calculations, change detections, clash detections, then ultimately integrates into the rest of the AutoDesk suite. It's an enterprise workflow software. Competitors are SkyCatch, Kespry, Airware, Redbird, Intel...lots of partnerships happening in this space and lots of folks thinking BIM is the big trend in construction. His big bet is that the "deepest integration with Autodesk is going to win." Construction industry has an average of 80% cost overruns. Measuring = more predictability. Maybe demand will come from customers instead of construction companies? Push for measurement and digitization is coming from a few places, not just construction companies. We're now in the "data must be useful" phase of the drone industry. Yes, drones are sexy, but companies are now looking more closely / deliberately at ROI, clear utility. We're going from a 'nice to have' to a 'need to have.' Makes sense. Use of technology like an iPhone or tablet on a construction site has been taking decades. Drones integration will not happen overnight.
  6. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    I also use a cheap laptop with a pair of telemetry 915Mhz radios but mainly for configuration indoors on the bench as the screen is really difficult to see outside even with a sun screen. When flying I move the ground station side of the radio from the laptop to the Raspberry PI. Its setup as Wifi access point and operates as a bridge between the wifi and telemetry radio. I simple access the wifi access point from my iPhone. I would like to find a reasonably priced android tablet with out door viewable screen and simply plug the telemetry radio in it but it does require the tablet's USB to support host mode and not all do. I believe that your battery will be just fine. I use a 3S, 5000mAh, 15C and that works. I just wanted to make sure that the ESCs and Motors support a 4S battery and it looks like they do. It does take a bit of time and effort to get everything calibrated but that's half the fun.
  7. Hey Guys, I was just wondering if any of you have had any experience completing any of the Drone Base EagleView missions. they are insurance inspection missions and are supposedly guaranteed payout. It seems like a pretty good gig, you do have to use a DJI system though, I was curious about the reason behind this also but I think it may have to do with the GPS META Data. I would love to hear about your experience with this. Thanks.
  8. Large Print Photomerge

    This makes me miss Maui! I've been three times and it's my favorite vacation spot. The diving is fantastic, too. I've never been there with a drone, though. I guess it's time to start planning! Edit: Geez, man! Just clicked through to your website. You could single-handedly OWN the postcard market, LOL!
  9. Hello from Atlanta, GA

    Hello my name is Jeremy Kight. Im flying a DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ and just recently started my own business in aerial photography. All tips or advice are welcome. Thx
  10. Need DJI Replacement Advice

    Hello Mark and everyone! I recommend our OGAR Mk2 from Novelty RPAS with GeoScanner module for mapping and WatchDog module for inspections. I have noticed that meet your expectations. You can see more here: - Product overview catalog - OGAR Mk2 - The data hunter movie - Novelty RPAS website, Novelty RPAS Facebook Page Please let me know if you need any further information.
  11. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hello... Nice setup.. I'm going to use a cheap laptop and make some sort of detachable sun screen, Hook it up for starters with Mission Planner and a 3DR Radio Telemetry Kit 915Mhz Air + Ground Module. Ill figure all that out later, The battery did NOT come with the kit. Neither did anything else in the form of directions. LOL I purchased it as It said,,, and I quote "Comes with high quality electronic accessories, only need a 3s-4s lipo battery and a 6ch above radio system to complete." So I bought the 4S Being 5000mAH at 50C I should be getting 250A continuous draw. From what little I know that sounds like way to much and I'm just increasing the weight, I could still return the battery too, you think a 3S 10-20 C should be plenty? Or Should I keep this one? Here is the link to the battery. Not to mention to connect the Power Module I had to make a couple of connectors to get it to work This battery comes with a deans connector and the power module has t60 male to Female. Sorry I'm really a newbie to all this, but am learning a great deal by building this one and love the hobby!! Thanks again for your help, Jeff
  12. Need DJI Replacement Advice

    Won't be at any more shows this year
  13. Not sure my crystal ball is better than anyone else's. I'm noticing something a bit different. I've mentioned this in a couple of other threads, the military ban on DJI might be having an interesting effect on the commercial drone industry. We're certainly seeing a lot of interest in finding an alternative to DJI from several utilities, DoT's and telecommunication companies [cell towers]. I don't think any of them want to start their own drone departments even though many of them have their own manned aircraft divisions. Also, they seem to be getting much more sophisticated quickly to the type of data they need. Most customers are now insisting on at least a Sony A7RII [43+MP] camera. They are also beginning to insist on processing that data in-house. Granted most of our customers use Bentley Systems analytical software. But I think the trend that the ban may have started is that not only are our customers evaluating an alternative to DJI, they're evaluating every aspect of the value chain. Things that they might have excepted at face value of DJI's marketing is no longer the case. Chris Andersen is a master of spin, 3DR was the industry leader in the commercial drone market, then they hired a bunch of Ph.D.'s who totally misread the market and launched the SOLO head to head against DJI and got their ass handed to them. Now he's partnered with DJI and he's trying to tell the world he meant to do that. The irony is that about two weeks after they announced the deal with DJI the military bans DJI.
  14. Need DJI Replacement Advice

    We've been working hard to get to that show, but we're not ready so we won't have a booth there. We might have some drones in a couple of booths. We've partnered with one company to develop a Hybrid gas-electric drone that can fly for about 65 minutes and they're working on another model that will fly about 90 minutes. The smaller drone can fly about 22 pounds all up and the larger about 36 pounds so they can carry a payload of about six to ten pounds respectively. I will be there. Anyone else attending the show. Alan, are you buying breakfast again?
  15. Last week
  16. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Yes, just remove the red wire from the APM end of each of the ESC control cables. Use a thin blade hobby knife or razor blade to gently lift the retaining catch and pull out the pin. Wrap electrically tape around the exposed pins or use another connector housing to keep the pins isolated. Did the battery come with the kit ?. The reason for asking is that the ESCs and motors should be able to support that battery voltage and some only support up to 3 cells. For a ground station you really need a laptop or tablet that you can see in daylight and I have yet to find a relatively cheap one. At the moment I am using my iPhone running QGroundControl but I have to connect via a Raspberry PI running Mavproxy bridge. Here is my setup. The idea is that the monitor on the tripod is used as a console for the raspberry pi and will eventually display live video from the camera.
  17. DJI M600 Complete Package - Price Reduced

    Thanks for posting, Greg. Hopefully you get some bites!
  18. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hey again...So in that case I will be using the power module. Do I just remove the positive wire out of the ESC's and clip them or tie them up so there not touching? My battery that I'm currently using is a 5000,mAH 4S 50C 14.8v. I think the joints are good, if it comes to that I have a friend who can hook up a good solder joint, or at least inspect mine. I guess at the point I'm just waiting on the transmitter and receiver. One I have them I will start the ESC testing. Thanks again for all your help. BTW- Was thinking about buying a cheap windows tablet to to run mission planner in the field. Any suggestions? Thanks again.. Jeff
  19. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hello Jeff @DroneZoom. The advantage of using the power module over an ESC/BEC is that it provides both voltage and current monitoring which can be used to setup a failsafe action to land the drone before it completely runs out of power and falls out of the sky. What are your battery specs ? (number of cells, "C" value and mAh rating). The solder joints need to be solid as there will be a lot of current going through them but adding a bit of hot glue to insulate them is not a bad idea.
  20. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hey.. Happy Sunday! So yes I am using a power module Just like the one in your picture. Which would be better? Using the Power Module or the BEC from the ESC's? I would rather use the BEC from the ECS's but I want to have it the best way possible since I have an option. The white stuff is hot glue. After I soldered the all the connections I put a little hot glue over each solder joint to give a better connection and provide some insulation. Saw this on a YouTube video. Could this be a problem? I'm also very new to soldering so, I used solder with Flux in the center. They all turned out "OK", Some not as shinny as others.. Anyway, Thank you again for all your help. The video series is great. Learning a lot!!! Thanks, Jeff
  21. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hi @DroneZoom those photo's and link to the kit helped. I do have the same hex frame although I purchased it separately and not part of a kit. I also use the bottom PCB as the power distribution to the 6 ESCs so, unless there is an issue with the frame PCB, you don't really need that PCB from Amazon. I could not really see it in the photos but you said that you were using the power module. One side goes to the battery and the other to the bottom PCB of the frame. The small connector should plug into the "PM" socket on the APM. Is that how you have it connected ? The power module does not reduced the battery voltage to the PCB so you should be getting the full battery voltage (over 12v with a fully charged 3 cell lipo battery) to each of the ESCs. The PM monitors the battery voltage and current and provides that information to the APM via the small connector in addition to providing it with +5v. This can be used to setup low battery alarms or failsafe actions but more on that later. If you have the PM providing the +5v power to the APM then there is no need for the ESCs to provide it. I see that your ESCs do have internal BECs so I would suggest eventually removing the middle red wire of each ESC to avoid power conflicts but hold off on that until you have performed the ESC calibration as the BEC can power the receiver during that procedure. What is that white stuff on the end of the wires attached to the PCB as it does not look like solder ?
  22. Do We Need Competition?

    Again it depends on how we're defining the market. Clearly, DJI is the largest drone manufacturer but I would argue that they are not the market leader in the commercial market. Sure a large number of consumers who wanted to hang out a shingle as a professional use their products, but if your measuring market traction based on the "data" being sold and profitability there are better solutions. Microdrones: SenseFly: Ascending Technologies: Kespry: Leica: Aeryon: DragonFly: R4Robtics: Also, and most importantly, the US Military banned DJI. Two-thirds of the Civil Infrastructure in the US is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers which prohibits the use of any kind of DJI product. Another thing that effects DJI's ability to compete in the commercial market is that professionals want a platform that doesn't require firmware upgrades every month, they NEED to know that the drone will work tomorrow the same that it worked today. They don't want to show up on a location, regardless of where it is and have to "ask" the manufacturer for "permission" to fly before the drone will arm. And large enterprise companies want to know that ALL aspects of the data collected by a mission is secure. Even if the customer is not directly affected by the military ban in the US, large companies, especially those in infrastructure, Oil & Gas, and Utilities, for example, are evaluating alternative products first which will affect DJI sales. Off-the-shelf drones are tightly vertically integrated making them more difficult to integrate into already existing engineering workflows. Sure, DJI has an SDK with an army of people developing some cool tools for the drone, it's not clear that a tool developed in an SDK for the Inspire2 will work with the Phantom or the M600, but even giving DJI the benefit of the doubt that they sort out those issues, that SDK doesn't extend to 3rd party payloads, secure communications or advances mission control. All drones that I know of with GPS have RTH, however, often times RTH is not the failsafe you want to use around dangerous or expensive objects like cell towers and power substation. All of our missions are autonomous so we have little or no use for object avoidance. The type of object avoidance on consumer or hobby grade drones does not provide the kind of stand-off capability required for the level of safety necessary for autonomous missions. The SDK for PX4/Ardupilot is DroneCode's-DroneKit. Never really understood why you'd need an SDK for OpenSource software? Q-Ground Control is the successor to Tower. QGC is far superior but its still quirky OpenSource. Intel, Qualcomm, and Insitu (Boeing), and many others are spending millions. You're a software developer and you know methodology is important. The solutions these companies are already demonstrating are orders of magnitude more capable than anything DJI has developed, in part because they are creating open and extensible development platforms that systems integrators, payload manufacturers, and high-end customers can innovate with. This is what they do, they did not start out as toy manufacturers. I'm not saying that DJI will not be a part of the commercial market, but I am saying they are not, nor will they be the market leader. In fact, I'll go a step further and say that the decisions they make regarding the US Military ban could have a profound effect on their consumer market. Less than 10% of their revenue comes from commercial applications, yet the commercial applications seem to be influencing 90% of their development and policies. Every company that loses focus on what got them there goes out of business. I guess it depends on how you define simpler and coming out with new products. DJI is selling the Zenmuse Z30 for $8995. Did they develop it? Take this: And mount it on this: and save yourself about $6000. Take this: And mount it on this: You can remove this from the drone and mount it on a jib, car mount handheld, remove the camera from the gimbal and use it any way you like provide far more utilization than an X7
  23. Drone Radio Show, Interview with 3DR CEO Chris Anderson

    The cost (in $ but mostly in time and training) to obtain a remote pilot certificate is very low. This can be looked at as a good thing. But it certainly has consequences. For companies, whether large or small, that finds value in repeated uas collected data of any kind, is likely to have their own staff get certified and "operate" their drones. The more autonomous the better for their purpose. If the FAA had decided to require at least a sport pilot certificate to operate drones commercially. Then a large majority of companies would more than likely use uas subcontractors. Ironically, the fact that the remote pilot certificate is so easy to get. I suspect those that are independent uas operators will be the minority of the total of Remote Pilot Certificate holders. There will still be specialists needed of course. But they will be the smaller % of commercial operators. I don't particularly like this paradigm. But that's what I see happening. I welcome other's opinions.
  24. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hello... Here is the kit that I bought so the ESC's have GND, +5V and Signal. The GRD and positive wires are soldered to the board and there are 3 wires for the signal. I'm also using the power module to power the AMP. I just ordered the PCB board from amazon. I'm currently using the bottom of the kit which doubles as the PCB. Here are some pictures as well. Thanks for all your help. Already learning!! I'm gona get this bird in the Air one way or the other.. Let just hope its not a short trip off the back deck...LOL
  25. Drone Radio Show, Interview with 3DR CEO Chris Anderson

    @Alan Perlman, it was sad to hear Chris say "We love DJI". Of course now that 3DR are no longer a drone manufacture but an application provider they did not have much choice but to work with what was once was their competitor. I also found this interesting:- "if they touch the sticks then we have failed". He was referring to the construction worker that operates the drone using 3DR's site scan software. Although they are part 107 certified they are not referred to as pilots but drone "operators" and have "one button" control from the iPad. My thoughts - I don't believe being just a "drone pilot" can be a career anymore unless its with the military as the trend will be to train a company's existing staff to operate the drone and applications similar to a PC or it will eventually operate on its own. Maybe drone maintenance is the business to get into.....
  26. Do We Need Competition?

    I'm not being facetious here but what is the competition? I'm running a business writing custom solutions use DJI drones and their sdk. I can go to a client and knock out a proof of concept app for a business within a couple of weeks. Granted the proof of concept app is pretty limited but the drone flies, integrates a mapping solution, comes with a variety of built-in safety solutions like return to home and object avoidance etc.... A full fledged solution that is very user friendly of course takes much longer but the DJI sdks are quite good, have good documentation that is updated frequently, it is actively being developed with a large company (DJI) putting a lot of resources into making the sdk even better. Also DJI has new products coming out on a quarterly or semi-annual basis to make the entire process even simpler. I began all this writing drone apps using the 3dr ecosystem. It was ok for a while but the sdk (last called tower I think) was not near as sophisticated as what DJI has available. I know that intel wants folks to use their drone solution - software and hardware - but quite frankly until Intel or someone else puts millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, behind their solution it will be difficult to develop the intel solution. If I had a couple of million of dollars from a venture capital fund to develop a drone solution then I can see using pixhawk and other open source items out there, but I do not. Again I'm not knocking pixhawk and other open source solutions out there. Far from it. I do regret when 3DR was no longer an option for me as a developer. But again, in all seriousness, what are the other options out there for me that is as good as the DJI ecosystem for me to quickly develop drone solutions that focus on the solutions and not just getting hardware working together or getting the drone to fly?
  27. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    @DroneZoom you will need the transmitter to perform the ESC calibration. Actually as you will see in the 2nd video there are a couple of ways to do it, one is with the APM flight controller and one without. It takes a bit longer without the APM as you have to calibrate each ESC at a time instead of all at once but I would suggest that you use this method. You typically only have to do it once so its not a big deal. Since you have to wait for your replacement transmitter lets check all the wiring. Can you tell me if your ESCs have internal BECs or are they OPTO ESCs. One way to tell is that ESCs with BECs will have 3 wires, GND, +5V and Signal and OPTO will only have 2 wires, GND and Signal in the cable that connects to the APM. Also how is your APM powered ?. Do you have the Power Module or are you powering from a BEC, either from an ESC or a separate BEC ?. This is a typical power module for the APM. Also I see that the power distribution board that you now use has a built in BEC that provides 5V so maybe you are now using that. Its important that you only have 1 BEC supplying the +5 v to the APM, which in turn will power the receiver and telemetry module (if you have it). If you can upload some photos that will help.
  28. Large Print Photomerge

    Nicely done! Having photomerged many images (from a ground based tripod) I can appreciate what you have accomplished from the air. What is the detail like at 1:1 view (100% crop)?
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