Phantom 2 Ultimate FPV Monitor Combo
I think I'm going to pick this up for work...The up side is wouldn't this be awesome for recording wheeling events!
Phantom2 is a nice package. Only down side is that it is un customizable. I have had a local company come in for a demo of DJI's Phantom, and the SV800 hexacopter. They emphasized that you really need both a camera operator and a pilot to really get the best out of it, but the phantom is about as big as you'd want to go as a solo operator. Obviously you can go as big as you can afford and there are platforms that will lift a Red camera. Virtually all the aerials on the Disco channel gold shows are done with the SV800.
If you really get into it and want to build your own, there are a couple open source freeware sites that let you operate single, tri, quad, hex and octo copters as well as winged and vehicular UAVs. They usually have a way to stream video to your iPad. (my favorite: http://copter.ardupilot.com/)
The FPV thing isn't as glorious as they make it seem. The video can be steppy, banded, or drop out altogether depending on interference and occlusion. They brought a huge antenna along and even inside the room where we were, the FPV h.264 stream was no bueno. It finally settled down. Latency is about twenty-odd frames. That's why you need the homing function if you lose sight of it.
The nice thing about the Phantom2 is it's user-friendliness, if you can say that about a quadcopter. You will crash it, you might lose it, and you can hurt someone else with it. Tread lightly.
It is illegal to sell drone services at present, so buying for work you can't write it off as equipment purchase just yet. They are hobby use only and restricted to 400' ceiling and unpopulated areas.
Yup, sucks for us entrepreneurs.
If you do buy one, don't go putting your stuff on YouTube if you fly over a city at 1000 feet, as the FAA will fine you. Sorta like asking the LR forum how to import your Puma. Tips off the Feds.
I recently found out about the selling of drone services being illegal part. Supposedly by 2015 they are issuing rules federal for commercial applications. The states will of course will muck things up as I've heard that Co. and Va. have pending legislation on the issue (I have not confirmed this).I am viewing this as a "getting our feet wet" purchase (that I can later buy on the cheap for personal use). But yes I am very excited for the commercial applications of this.
Some colleges are now offering degree work in "Drone" engineering...exciting stuff to say the least.
I wonder how the video companies get away with selling their services commercially?
All we know for now is that the UAV commercial market is poised to explode if the Feds can get their heads out of their you know what. This is what one person has called a "Kitty Hawk moment" in aviation and I tend to agree that it will be to aviation what the internet was to computers. Shooting video is a rather pedestrian use.
I'd like to build heavy lift hexacopters that will work as ambulances, delivery trucks and construction equipment. Maybe when my retirement rolls around things will be looking up for that.
The next step is to use them as personal transportation. You tell it where to go and it just takes you there.
However if the skies become blackened with UAVs whizzing around, things get awfully complicated. I guess some smartypants will have to come up with avoidance soft/hardware to keep them from crashing into things and each other.
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