Jazee

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Jazee last won the day on December 19 2018

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  1. So what do you think would be a fair cost to charge for travel time in cases like this when the travel time can be 2, 3 or even 4 times the onsite time? Let's say your rate is $225/hour and you have a job that will take 2 hours of onsite time (assume no post processing). That's $450 total. But let's assume the job is 2.5 hours drive away, 150 miles. So 300 miles total, 5 hours total travel time. The standard mileage rate is currently $0.58/mile - so by that rate, the travel time charge would be $174, or effectively $35/hour. This per mile rate is suppose to compensate for all costs of operating the vehicle, including fuel. I know in the consulting industry, consultants charge their full hourly rate during the portion of the travel they can work on your project (sitting in a plane or train). The travel time they aren't working, I've heard typically they charge half their hourly rate. This is because while they are traveling, when they can't work, that is downtime caused by the project that prevents them from otherwise working and making their full hourly rate. If your standard rate is $225/hour and onsite is 2 hours and travel is 5 hours for the job, let's do the math... $450 + $174 = $624 divided by 7 hours total of your time = $89/hour. Note, this travel time is traveling at freeway speeds. Travel in a crowded city, it could take you an hour to go 30 miles - so at the mileage rate, while you were in your car, you would be making $17.40 an hour. So an effective $89/hour for this hypothetical job is on the high side using the standard mileage rate. $89/hour doesn't sound that bad but that's just gross revenue and not including cost of equipment depreciation, insurance, advertising, software, and on and on and on. Similarly, if you have to fly, you might charge for your airfare, hotel, rental car, and mileage. But if you are flying, including time spent in airports and rental car counters, you are probably spending a good part of a day (4-8) hours traveling which is time you can't spend onsite during another job at $225/hr. So seems to me, charging the mileage rate and/or actual travel costs without factoring in any value for your time spent traveling is shooting yourself in the foot as for every hour you are spending driving you are making $17-$35/hr instead of spending that time onsite at a second closer job at $225/hr. One might argue assuming you have the option to do a second job during that time is not realistic. Better to make $17-$35/hr driving to a job than nothing at all but that time could be used for other valuable activities like networking with potential large clients. So what do you think would be a fair cost to charge for travel time in cases like this when the travel time can be 2, 3 or even 4 times the onsite time?
  2. @MyrtleDrone you can enter the coordinates for the base station. It's done in the controller app not the base station. I'm surprised you have a P4RTK and you didn't know you could do that? Very understandable though since DJI did a complete fail on the documentation. Users around the Internet have had to discover how to do a lot of things and share the workflow since so much is missing in the P4RTK documentation. The other myth is you cant use a 4G dongle on the base station because DJI never released one. The known coordinates of the base station can be entered under Main Screen > FLY > ... > RTK Settings > Advanced Settings > GNSS Coordinate Input. Secondly, the P4RTK does not add any significant degree of accuracy over using an appropriate number of GCPs. Many people with a P4RTK use both, they use the GCPs to check the accuracy of the P4RTK photogrammetry output. This is completely unecessary as you can just use the GCPs alone in the processing and still get the same accuracy with a drone that doesn't have RTK. https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2019/01/31/dji-phantom-4-rtk-accuracy-confirmed "With the Phantom 4 RTK, 1.20cm relative horizontal accuracy was achieved. With the Phantom 4 Pro and GCPs, 0.90cm relative horizontal accuracy was achieved." So GCP only was actually MORE accurate than RTK in this case. So the P4RTK offers no real benefit in my opinion if you are already laying down an adequate number of ground control points. If you don't have GCPs, and no known point to place the base station on, in theory, the RTK could provide better *RELATIVE* position accuracy between the geocoordinates that are embedded in the image files resulting in a more accurate photogrammetry output, BUT, it would still have a large error regarding absolute coordinates. However, it would probably be rare that someone wants cm level "survey grade" accuracy when the absolute accuracy of the coordinates is off buy as much as 150 cm (horizontal) and much more shift vertical. Really in my opinion, the only benefit for the P4RTK is to improve accuracy in cases where GCPs are not being used for whatever reason. However for that to work you need at least one known point or you need to do PPK using a remote base station. If you want to see someone pull their hair out, watch them try to do PPK for the first time with remote base station data. Then you also have the issue of losing the FIXED connection status during a flight when using RTK - it is quite common to happen for a number of reasons. You just have to hope a high enough percentages of the images were taken while the RTK had a FIX with the base station as opposed to FLOAT. But that's a whole other issue for discussion. I believe the P4RTK, for most applications, is completely unecessary. A lot of the buzz comes from potential users that lack a full understanding of the limitations.. well I heard RTK is "really good", and it costs a lot of money, it MUST be better! (The case with a lot of products out there being marketed to people.) The only real benefit is to not have to lay down GCPs and just trust it is more accurate. Otherwise, you'll get just as good of accuracy laying down the adequate GCPs and using a regular Phantom 4 Pro and incorporating the GCPs into your processing.
  3. I am now wondering how many pilots out there are using a P4RTK and setting the base station up without known coordinates or ground control points and not realizing they are only getting increased accuracy RELATIVE to the base station position and the ABSOLUTE world coordinates are still shifted by typically 1-3 meters (X/Y plane) and much higher shift for the Z (elevation) plane?
  4. I've seen tests where only using GCPs versus only using RTK (with base on known point) the GCP method was actually a little more accurate (when doing ground check with additional GCPs not used during processing.) If someone is being sent out to establish GCPs having them mark a few more than you would if you were using the P4RTK is not that time consuming. Doesn't seem like a very wise allocation of financial resources to pay 6 times more for the P4RTK, just going to take more jobs to pay it off while gaining a modestly more efficient workflow, unless you were doing quite a few jobs a month. The latest manuals for the P4RTK actually don't include instructions for setting static coordinates for the base station, nor connecting to an NTRIP caster. It seems a lot of pilot with very limited knowledge just latch on to the term 'RTK' and what they've read thinking it's got to be 'better' especially if it costs that much more.
  5. So I watched 4 videos and read a couple how to's and looked at the User Manuals regarding the Phantom 4 RTK and the associated base station. I'm sort of having a hard time believing what I'm seeing/reading.... Nothing I've seen or read shows the ability to place the base station on a control point with known coordinates and enter those coordinates into the base station (or remote controller). This means, while the P4 RTK will have phenomenal position accuracy relative to the base station, there will still be a high degree of error for the absolute world position coordinates. Everything I've seen and read proposes two solutions: 1. Use ground control points, which is laughable as to me the purpose of investing in an RTK drone is to eliminate the need to do that except to do an accuracy check without including the control points in the processing. 2. Connect the remove to a "Custom RTK Network" (term used in the Ground Station interface) which means you don't even use the base station! 3. Use PPK in which case you don't use the base station and you turn the RTK function OFF! Of the three above solutions, #2 is the "cleanest" as #1 you don't need an RTK drone for and #3, from what I've read the PPK workflow is pretty involved. Does anyone know regarding #2 what the process is to find appropriate server credentials to input in (flying in the United States?)
  6. I was talking to a pilot the other day who had a crash where he was flying in Arizona, it was 96 out (stated ambient operating temp of the Phantom 4 Pro is 104). And the Lipo expanded and ejected. He thinks it must have been due to the temps. Seems like not all LiPo batteries, even from the same manufacturer are identical so maybe it was a faulty battery? Has anyone else run into this. I'm scared now to fly my drone in anything like above 90 degrees F. I know you aren't supposed to store lipos in the fridge as you can get condensation inside but I'm wondering if anyone else that flies in hot climates briefly chills there batteries in a cooler or something while on site or has other practices specific to the hot climate such as allowing a cool down period for the drone between battery changes?
  7. Anyone attended BOTH Interdrone and ExpoUAV Americas in Las Vegas before? If so, can you comment on how they differ? More attendees from certain industries in one over the other? Different level of focus (on average) in the break out sessions? Different approach/organization/flavor yada yada.
  8. We all ocassionally see these news stories about Drone Delivery to people's homes. It all started how many years ago with Amazon? Then I saw one about Dominos deliverying pizza in India. Now this one: https://uavcoach.com/uber-drone-delivery I have some strong opinions on this. I'm curious when people think we will start seeing Drone Package or Fast Food Delivery begin actually happening with delivery to real homes in a city in the United States?
  9. Testing a Parrot Sequoia and the RGB photos are terrible. It's not a drone speed issue as I tried even on the lowest speed setting in Pix4D Capture. When you have motion blur issues it's consistent throughout the image. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen in that it has what looks like bands of blurriness as some bands of areas like more detailed than others. Trying to determine if I have a bad RGB camera sensor. The other camera the images are consistent detail throughout the frame. This is 4 inch/pixel GSD (135 feet AGL) https://i.imgur.com/dP7bDIM.jpg I know 4 in/pixel is not very high resolution but the images look very abnormal. Again, this is flying at slowest speed setting. There was absolutely no difference in the image between the fastest and slowest setting.
  10. With maybe the exception I would imagine of the military (bases), do any other Federal Agencies (DHS for example) have authority to regulate (impose rules/laws) on where UAVs can and cannot be flown? Or do all Federal Agencies need to exert their "will" so to speak through the FAA? Note I am talking FEDERAL only. NOT state, county, or local cities.
  11. So I was curious about Dronebase and a search here brings up this thread so I'll rekindle it a bit. I noticed on their site they state back in October they stopped doing Gerry images missions. Was anyone or does anyone know anyone that was getting a significant number of Getty images missions from Dronebase prior? Did the end of the relationship cause a big decrease in possible jobs? They also state on their website they pay $70 for "Insurance Jobs" I take that to be roof inspections. It seems from the couple of really big Hurricanes in the South/Southeast over the last year or two, there was a flood of requests for drone services for roof inspections. I'm guessing Dronebase and a few other companies possibly capitalized on this. But the demand is highly variable based on storms (not that there's no demand at all when there hasn't been a storm.) But talking to a few pilots I got the sense that a bunch of pilots experienced the surge but it just exaggerated pilot expectations for future work of this type. Has Dronebase's Insurance Jobs been growing quick, steady, stagnated, or been all over the map because they are mostly tied to storm activity? Not having used the app, what's this about the payout score in the context of someone saying "likelihood of payout" Dronebase isn't actually asking pilots to run a mission that you might not get paid for (other than training missions) are they? I do know one thing Droners in general is much much more visible on the Internet than Dronebase. We all know how few and far between Droners jobs are since they've essentially created a "race to the bottom" market over there at Droners with a high Supply to Demand ratio. If Dronebase is much less visible than Droners on the Internet, they probably have a fraction of the jobs, especially after the merger with Precisionhawk and Airvid and if they have quite a few pilots, then any reports in the forums from pilots that have gotten a significant number of jobs from them may just be the exception to reality with Dronebase in my educated guess. The only exception would be if they've done "offline networking" to forge a lot of relationships with big national companies (like Getty - now a defunct relationship, and a few insurance companies probably.) The problem with that is as time goes by, the large Fortune 1000 national companies are going to be the companies most likely to take their drone operations in house eventually, if they already haven't. Also the fact that Dronebase wasn't bought out by Precisionhawk is most likely a bad sign. I doubt they turned away a sales offer thinking they could come out on top and beat the combination of Precisionhawk/Droners/Airvid. So I would assume they never got an offer because their job volume was too low and/or inconsistent. Anyone have any insight on the current status of Dronebase?
  12. Looks like enough of the FlyGuys pilots are getting tired of paying them a monthly fee for little to no jobs. I wonder how many paid a year's worth of fees to help pay for FlyGuys' online advertising and DroneDeploy/Pix4D business subscription, and didn't make their money back? Is their a no-job refund policy? This just in from the FlyGuys Pilot Newsletter... 2018 Pilot Beta Programs Based on pilot feedback, drone business support tools are still of high interest, yet paid programs are not useful before a certain mission traction is reached. So the early 2018 FlyGuys pilot programs, Standard and Plus, will be closing on December 31, 2018
  13. Well, now I want to edit my original question.... Anyone get authorization in a LAANC 0 altitude grid in CLASS B or CLASS C airspace? No luck here for 75ft about a mile from runway but not in the flight path.
  14. I want to take some Commercial Real Estate Photos at 75ft in a 0 altitude facility map section. It's about 1.2 miles from an airport runway (class C airspace) but it's not in the approach or takeoff path. Now we all know, common sense tells us, if an airplane is flying below 100 feet where there are 8 story buildings, especially if it's not in the landing or takeoff path, then you have much bigger problems than a drone. Is it impossible to get auth? Does anyone really know?
  15. Is anyone aware of tools/workflow to help classify surface features (trees, shrubs, bare ground) using RGB or Multispectral imagery (as opposed to LIDAR) as an alternative to importing an orthomosaic into a GIS program and manually identifying and mapping the surface features?