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I finally decided to try a camera quad.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Zathrus, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Zathrus

    Zathrus Vindicator Member

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    Hello all,

    I have many times been sitting on my back porch watching the desert wishing I had a drone I could fly out to photograph what is out there.
    To get something that would be worthwhile for any kind of photography (1080p minimum) it appeared I was going to have to spend $700 to $1000 if I wanted something that could fly 20 minutes or longer.

    The DJI Phantom is of course the market leader in camera quads. You can spend anywhere from $800 to $2000 on a DJI phantom depending on what optics, features, etc. you want.

    I just could not justify in my mind spending that kind of money for something that may or may not work out the way I want it to. I would like to photograph animals, but quads can be noisy so... it may not work well for that.

    Then suddenly a new company called "Winglsand" entered the picture. They were producing a model they call the "Wingsland Minivet" that essentially has the same performance and camera as the DJI phantom standard... but they only wanted $500 as they are trying to break into the market. This began to interest me.
    [​IMG]
    They not only have a gimble mounted 12mp camera (also records at 1080p/30fps) it also has a 5 inch live view screen mounted to the controller. The DJI requires you to use a smart phone or tablet to get live view during flight and that is not included in their $800 package. Further research showed that these Wingsland quads are built in the same factory as the DJI quads. It is not a classic Chinese clone, as they have made it look different, and actually provide many features on this model that DJI only provides on their professional models which run $1200 to $2000 in cost. I began to think I might look into getting one of these.

    Then this week, they got very aggressive and through Dronenerds on Newegg, they put up the entire kit below for only $299!! (this sale ended yesterday 3/18/2017 but I anticipate there will be more)
    [​IMG]
    I just could not pass up that massive cut in price. This is a very aggressive grab at market share. I cannot build one of these from parts with my own design for $299! So I purchased one.

    This unit should arrive in about a week. I am hopeful I can get some cool animal vids, or just interesting vids of the desert with it.

    But first... I must learn how to fly it, which is another reason I was happy to get this thing for such a low price. As my first quad... I am quite certain I will crash it... the less cash I destroy the less bad I will feel when I do that :p

    Then I need to tell the wife... I am sure she is going to be thrilled! :rolleyes: But once she sees what we can do with it I am fairly certain she will like it.

    I also anticipate it will be fairly loud. As soon as practical, I will begin experimenting with with some hybrid prop designs that reduce noise. I would also like to see if I can increase loiter time. This unit can stay in the air for 25 minutes from the factory which is not too bad. But if I could reduce prop noise, increase loiter time at the cost of top speed and agility, I would probably go for that. I want this for photography so it does not have to be an agile fighter.

    My son-in-law has a 3d printer, I may have to have him print some hybrid props for me.

    When I get this thing... If I can fly it long enough to get some decent video without crashing it, I will post them. :cool:
     
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  2. Sylak

    Sylak Vindicator Member

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    Wow, their pricing is aggressive indeed ( better for you)! Nice kit. I hope it's quiet enough so you don,t scare the animals, that would make interesting shots!
     
  3. RuggedMalone

    RuggedMalone Vindicator Member
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    Also check out Sculpteo in France if you want to get something 3D printed in other materials, like metal (I believe they can even do titanium alloys now). I've used their service before and would highly recommend them.
     
  4. Zathrus

    Zathrus Vindicator Member

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    Thanks I will bookmark them.

    I actually have some ideas for some paper thin props that are extremely efficient and produce less noise made from polycarbonate.
    In the 1980's I did some extensive defense industry testing of polycarbonate blowers... it was astonishing how much lighter they could make them in polycarbonate, due to it having weight similar to aluminum, but tensile & torsional strength closer to steel.

    These blowers were in 60,000 BTU/hr. combustion heaters that were about 8 inches in diameter and about 21 inches long. They weighed about 30 pounds... and two of them could heat a fairly large home.
    The blowers in these could move an enormous amount of air...

    When they brought in the polycarbonate blowers, they were MUCH thinner in the hub and in the blades than the standard high strength plastic blowers they were using. If my memory is correct, the first prototype blower had blower fans that weighed about half has much as what they were using, was more efficient and blew more air... it was a win win win.

    Of course there is always a penalty for such things... a paper thin polycarbonate blower will explode like glass if it ingests something like a small rock or strikes a hard object of any kind.

    So my initial experiments will likely be with a polycarbonate.
     
    #4 Zathrus, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  5. Zathrus

    Zathrus Vindicator Member

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    ho ho! it arrived a few minutes ago... time to explore this thing!

    Also I have been trying to figure out where this company suddenly appeared from. Apparently Wingsland has been a very successful military & commercial drone builder.
    They have only recently decided to step into the consumer market. Their primary introduction model is this that just arrived.

    Later this year, they are going to release a 4k camera model called the "K3". It is significantly more expensive ofc....
    Likely going to be in the $700 range complete with quad, 4k camera, controller and live view screen on controller. That would still be a bargain since most quads in this category start at about $1000
     
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  6. Sylak

    Sylak Vindicator Member

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    Don't crash it right away :)
     
  7. Zathrus

    Zathrus Vindicator Member

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    naw... I am going to take this slowly.
    I am studying everything in great detail.

    I also have a firmware update for the controller, and a firmware update for the gimble.

    To add insult to injury, we are having winds of 10 to 20mph with gusts to 30+mph yesterday through Friday..... not the type of air to make a maiden flight in :D

    So it will probably be next week before it flies. I will say this.... this quad is MUCH more sophisticated than I anticipated. It has many features associated with the GPS system, plus the Gimble can be controlled totally independent of the quad.

    It even has a feature where If I lock the camera on an object and hit a button, it will slowly orbit that object keeping the camera fixed on that point I locked.
     
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  8. Sylak

    Sylak Vindicator Member

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    Wow this is a really cool feature I would have guess was only offered on high end model. it Seems like a real bang-for-your-buck this thing. Now you need 2 of them and film a Quadcopter drone dogfight video lol :)
     
  9. Zathrus

    Zathrus Vindicator Member

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    well it appears to be a lot bang-for-the-buck, we shall see.... it all has to actually function properly....
    Because of the sophistication in the firmware within this model, I am going to check it out completely without props mounted.
    Then I will update the firmware for the controller and gimble.
    Then another complete check out without props.
    Then... on a day without wind... I am ready to try flying it.
     
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  10. alteregoz

    alteregoz New Member

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    I can't wait to see some video of it and from it. For the price, if the camera is above decent, it will totally worth it for me to look into.
     
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  11. Zathrus

    Zathrus Vindicator Member

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    I will post some as soon as I have them, but I think we are 5 to 7 days away from that.
     
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