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Old 10-04-2018, 04:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Any of you fly / race radio control drones? (or airplanes, cars, etc)

Do any of you guys fly or race radio control drones? I'm thinking about doing an inexpensive build to get into it. I've always been in to radio control stuff since I was in middle school. I had gotten away from it in for quite a few years, but recently revived an old speed boat I've had for years. We took it on a family vacation and had lots of fun with it. This lead to some youtubing and seeing lots of cool things that guys are doing with 3d printing and radio control. I now find myself reading up on all the drone stuff as I've never done that before and FPV (first person view) sounds really fun.

Do any of you guys do this stuff?


Here is my boat. Its an old (15+ years I think) Tower Hobbies rig. It used to have a mechanical speed controller and a large resistor. I updated it a bit to an old ESC I had in a truck, and threw in a 5200 mah lipo vs the old 2000 mah nicads it used to have. The run times are now gigantic compared to what it used to have haha.


The boat:





The old guts:





New guts!





Even modeled up and 3d printed a new prop. Still working on tweaking the design. OE is still fastest.





I also 3d printed a radial fan for the motor to cool it since it got a little warm with the larger battery.


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Old 10-04-2018, 04:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My intention was to build my own quad or tricopter, but don't have time these days. Instead I bought a Xiaomi Mi Drone 4k for like $275 on sale. It's considered to be somewhere between the capabilities of a a Phantom 3 and Phantom 4.

I've taken it out 4 miles so far, and didn't quite make it back, but the autoland saved it. Almost lost it a couple days ago when I was using visual navigation to pilot the drone back, but realized very late that the white object headed my way was an airplane, and not my drone, and that my drone was trying to autoland due to low battery in the middle of a road. Always trust your instrumentation.

I was also given a Phantom 1 with FPV gear, which is fun, but I'm not comfortable flying it FPV since the older gear tends to cut out fairly easily. You need line of sight for a good video feed.

I wish this drone tech would trickle down to helicopters. There's no reason a helicopter can't have position hold, GPS navigation, and all the other goodies of modern drones. A heli should in theory have longer runtimes than quads due to the larger, more efficient rotor.
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm slightly interested in a flying drone army armed with air soft guns.
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They don't make drones out of pallets, powered by coal. You'd have to invent that.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They would most certainly be powered by coal, just like my nissan leaf is.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a small toy quad to practice with. There is also a couple nice simulators to learn with.
Be sure to learn the laws regarding drone operation. CFR 107. Maintain line of sight and stay at least 5 miles from airports, no night flying, etc.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I plan on getting a simulator as soon as my new Flysky FS-i6S radio controller comes.

Any suggestions on simulators? I know there are a bunch of them out there.

Thanks for the reference to CFR 107. I'll have to check that out. I've flown planes for years, but I know drones are changing laws.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Enjoy them while you can. Drones will be illegal someday, since there is no 2nd amendment concerning them.

Any sufficiently cool drone you buy will already have no fly zones built into it. Pretty annoying when I want to fly at the beach but the rinky dink airport excludes the drone in a 10 mile diameter.

Don't bother with the laws. Just don't be stupid.
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Old 10-06-2018, 07:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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"Fly-it" through steam is pretty good. and fairly inexpensive. Mostly a racing sim but it has a good selection of models and maps.
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Don't bother with the laws. Just don't be stupid.
It's that kind of advice that put those auto-restrictions in them. You can get permission to fly anywhere. You just have to call ATC like a manned aircraft. Also there is a waiver program to every rule in the book, you just need to file the request. "Just do it" WILL get them all banned.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Stupid will get them banned, and that is unavoidable because we still have teenagers and 20-somethings.

I'm not asking permission to do anything, and I'm not going to do something stupid.

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