For those interested…sorry might be kinda long. Drone version 2.0 came last week from Brookstone, $269 + shipping. Do not buy the original version of this, it is cheaper but lacks ability to take photos or record video. First thing out of the box is that the coloration on it was too ‘toylike’ for me, so I went to Lowe’s and bought a can of Valspar plastic spraypaint primer and then to Advance Auto to get a can of black flexible bumper spraypaint (there are foam parts on this meant to give if bumping into things), and painted it matte black. I put an orange sticker that comes with it on the back of the drone so I could tell which end was rear when flying it. I also added some zip ties under the props to give it some suspension for landing and it also gives it a little more ground clearance when landing.
It has 2 hulls for it, 1 is for indoor flying and is a foam shell that encompasses the entire drone rotors and another is an outdoor hull that keeps the rotors exposed. This things does NOT take very long to learn to fly if you are used to playing video games (even old school Nintendo) or have any experience with a joystick and runs on Android or Apple. I used the indoor foam shell outside for awhile till I got the hang of it, but found the outdoor hull allows it to fly MUCH more stable and I found using my 10 inch Acer tablet a little easier to use than my Evo phone just due to the screen size.
My main use for this is to get a shot or 2 of roofs that under ordinary circumstances you might not be able to see. Down here, especially along the coastal areas the houses are close together and you cannot get a good shot idea of a 3rd story roof from the ground, in some cases you’ll be lucky to see anything other than 1 side. Taking a queue from Bill Chandler on my previous post on this (thanks Bill) I went online and bought a fishing reel style kite string holder for $6 and some 30 lb fishing line vs the string that the kite string holder came with. I drilled through the handle and attached a zip tie with a carabiner to hook onto my belt loop and another smaller caribiner to attach to a zip tie I secured around the drone underneath in the middle. This would be if the drone were to crash on a roof or somehow get caught in a horrible updraft (it’s light). I did read some posts on message boards on this that updrafts took their drones right up out of sight and they never saw this thing again, so this idea solves that dilemna.
I basically start the drone alongside the house, let it takeoff and hover to let the computer calibrate itself to the conditions, then just hit the video record button and go straight up to the roofline and do a flyby from left to right. Then I stop recording and do another flyby taking a few photographs using the camera. Then do the same thing from the other side. Watching the video inside (glare on these screens makes it not as clear outdoors), you can see alot of the roof and the quality is good. I attached some pics of a roof here so you can see the quality of the photos it takes.
Thats about it. I had it up today in about 10mph winds and it did a serviceable job trying to control it, it basically has a computer that will try to autostabilize itself in the wind, just hafta stay with it if it moves around a little on you. Anything more than 10mph though and it might be a little difficult. Probably more of a luxury than a necessity per say, but overall this tool will have a use with me and was just sharing my experience with it.