I’ve been reading many stories about what are termed as “fly aways.” In a fly away situation, the remote control quadcopter becomes uncontrollable and flies away. Considering that the unit could probably fly 40 miles per hour, a fly away with a full battery (12-15 minutes of flight time), could mean that the unit could be 10 miles away before it crashes due to the battery dying.
The DJI Phantom is supposed to fly back to where it took off if something goes wrong, but some theorize that the fly aways are the unit trying to fly to its original home, China.
Because I now have so much invested in this setup with the copter, cameras and camera mounts, I decided to implement a little insurance policy. No not real insurance, though that’s a good idea…
I ordered a small, lightweight GPS Tracker, similar to the ones one would put on their car, bike, child, pet etc. I’ll mount this GPS to the quadcopter and should I ever lose control or experience a dreaded fly away, I’ll be able to locate the unit with my smartphone.
I took the Phantom for a flight today, just 8 minutes of time above one of my least favorite (okay, my least favorite) courses in town. The place is called Old Mill and it is 18 holes squeezed into an area suited for nine.
The lighting was very gray and cloudy, so the images pretty much suck. But even with that bad lighting, I could tell that switching out my GoPro 3+ Black for the 3 Black was a wise choice. The imagery is much better focused.
Can’t wait to get some shots in decent lighting conditions. Unfortunately, it is very cold here and we won’t be seeing any “green” grass here until April or May of next year.
I’ve been reading quite about about the GoPro 3+ focus field issues. It seems when moving up to the 3+ model, GoPro changed the focus field so that closer items were more in focus. The byproduct of that tweak is that longer distance items are not as in focus. I’ve thought that some of my images were fuzzy, but attributed that to the poor quality JPG compression the GoPro seems to have. The JPG artifacting in the GoPro is very disappointing. But keep in mind I’m used to shooting a Nikon DSLR with a big piece of glass and processing my images in raw format.
Since today was the last day I could take my H3+ Black back to Best Buy, I shot a couple of images with it and compared the focus on the same shots with my old Hero 1. The hero 1 was more in focus beyond about 6 feet.
I went back to Best Buy and they happened to have some of the old 3 Blacks in stock. So I exchanged my 3+ Black for a 3 Black. The kicker? I got $75 back. I hope downgrading to the 3 Black from the 3+ Black turns out to be the best move.
More to follow.