Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Backpack - too small/bad idea?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Australis5, Jun 27, 2015.

?
  1. Yes. Pony up and buy something that was made specifically for the P3

    85.7%
  2. I'd use it. It looks like it provides good protection, and doesn't seem like it would damage the P3

    14.3%
  1. Australis5

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    FL
    I've had this Delsey photo gear bag for a while collecting dust. I was looking online at backpack options, and I remembered the one I already have...so I would have to insert it as you see in the pics - rotors down, gimbal/camera up. The backpack is obviously a bit shallow, but it does close without force. I'm not worried about the legs, so much as stress on the gimbal & shocks - I'll have the guard on it. Is this a bad idea? Should I pony up for something with custom inserts where the P3 doesn't have to sit upside down? (then again, its a backpack, so it will never be sitting right side up until I lay it down)...thoughts??
     

    Attached Files:

  2. lynsomeon

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree, this is a bad idea. Consider buying a generic hard case on eBay and cut the foam inserts out yourself
     
  3. The Risk

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    7
    I modified a p2 case
     
  4. badawgie71

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    17
    Same here i used a hot knife and trimmed my old GoProfessional backpack and it works just fine.
     
  5. rickeyfitts

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Solano County, California
    I tend to be one of those over-thinkers who measures twice and cuts once (read: if I were an alcoholic I'd be on Step 14 of the 12-Step progam ;o)

    So I did quite a bit of agonizing and research on how to best house/transport my new P3A, (much of it on this forum), before finally making a purchase decision.

    For the first couple of weeks as a new P3A pilot, I was sans-case while in over-thinkin' mode, and I just secured the P3A in the back of my Chevy Volt hatchback by placing a 5lb. scuba weight-belt bag, (5" square soft-cloth bags filled with lead shot), over each of the landing gears, which worked great short-term.

    At this point, I don't foresee needing to take my P3A on commercial airlines -- I'll be schlepping it around on-foot/in-car quite a lot, so I focused on backpack solutions - hiking around with a hard-shell case in-tow sounds pretty miserable.

    First I dismissed from consideration all of the < $50 "waterproof" 100% nylon (and non-ripstop) P3 backpacks on Amazon that are shipped from China -- despite the tempting offers of a free keychain or wristwatch, whose quality can only otherwise be found in gumball machines or crackerjack boxes ;o) Once that 100% nylon starts to fray, it's all over - 'better to spend a bit more and buy it once (if you can afford it).

    That said, I was in a position to spend more than $50 to better-protect my 'bird, but also not eager to spend much over $200 if I could help it.

    I also decided to stick with P3-specific cut-foam rather than a a generic photo case with padded dividers as in the poster's photo -- I just does not seem like it would hold the fragile P3 unit in place very well, especially in a backpack/soft-side form-factor. And I didn't want to mess with adapting a P2 case to P3.

    Third, I absolutely did not want to have to remove the props every time I transport the 'bird, which narrowed the field for backpacks considerably.

    My Choice:
    I decided on the camel-colored Fuerte Cases Microraptor backpack which I purchased direct (free shipping, arrived in 5 days last week). It is a brilliant piece of work -- very high-quality materials and workmanship, and an excellent P3-specific design. It has a lifetime guarantee, and it looks like it could outlast me.

    'Funny, but I almost dismissed it from consideration based on the product photos.

    Fuentes made an odd marketing decision by casting a munchkin-sized model wearing and carrying the backpack in the product photos -- it makes the backpack look HUGE -- like, 'big enough to carry a dead body folded in-half (or maybe one munchkin-sized model, un-folded. But I digress...).

    Some helpful posts on this forum, as well as a great Youtube video pointed out the optical illusion. In reality it is about the size of a large Nike gym-bag, typical carry-on size, not as unusually large as it appears in the photos. It houses my P3A and all my gear, including tablet and prop-guards, (quick-released from the 'bird), very comfortably -- without having to remove the props. That works well even with the soft-side case, because each propeller is protected by a pair of clear acrylic posts that are vertically mounted in pre-drilled holes in the foam. When the backpack is closed, the posts keep the soft-side case from resting on the props... 'Pretty smart, Fuerte-folks! The foam is cut impeccably for the P3 and accessories. My only 'mod was to trim a half-inch or-so of the foam that surrounds the bottom of the motors with a razor blade, to accommodate my PhantomGuard prop-guard mounts.

    At only 5lbs. when empty (featherweight), it is quite 'schleppable, and can be carried in a number of ways:
    - as a backpack, with two comfortable and hide-able shoulder straps;
    - lengthwise like a gym-bag using a handle on the side or included shoulder-strap;
    - upright, using a handle on the top

    And at $179, it was within my budget, and functionall, as good or better for me than much higher-priced P3-specific backpacks I considered (although if I were richer and not an overthinker, I'd probably have snapped up a DJI backpack for $379 and not looked back... but that's not me).

    Now some more over-thinkin'...
    If I ever DO need to travel with my P3A on a commercial airline, I'll have to also buy a hard-shell case rather than trying to carry-on the Microraptor backpack -- not that the P3A would not be fine and cozy in the Microraptor backpack as a carry-on, and Fuentes Cases sez the backpack is carry-on compliant.

    But more than once over the years, when boarding very crowded flights, I've been 'asked' to relinquish a similar-sized 'carry-on' to be stowed with cargo after boarding, even though it met the airline's requirements for carry-ons -- there was just not enough room left in the cabin, and I was near the end of the boarding queue -- and let me tell you, there is no arguing with a flight attendant who tells you your carry-on has to be checked in (at least that's what I learned from Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents ;o)

    So, I won't take the chance that the backpack might end up in the cargo-hold under 250lbs of luggage and tossed around by that Samsonite gorillas -- that's what hard-shell cases are for.

    In-general, I found more good options to choose from in hard-shell P3 cases than P3 backpacks. Again, I started by dismissing the < $50 hard-shell offerings and a few more in the $70-$100 range, sold on Amazon and shipped from China, from consideration, mainly on quality concerns.
    If funds were tight and I had time for the crafts-project, I'd probably get a cut-'ur-own-foam hard-shell case, like the 22inch Black Tactical Weatherproof Equipment Case by MCM Electronics, for around $50 (and use my Microraptor backpack as the template for cutting/picking the foam). 'No wheels, but it could be strapped to a luggage dolly to make it rollable 'on-the-cheap.The case itself appears to be as solid as a Pelican, or any of the other high-quality weatherproof/waterproof cases available.

    Or if my budget allowed, (and after all, I can apparently afford airline tickets in this scenario, right?), I would choose the yellow Microraptor hard-shell case ($199), which has the same excellent P3 foam design as my backpack, but in a high-quality waterproof hard-shell case, and with wheels. (Hmmm...I wonder if Fuentes would sell just the hard-shell case without the foam, and I could I use my backpack foam interchangably with the hard-shell case? think-thunk, think-thunk).

    Oh yeah, I should also mention that, on first-glance, the 'official' DJI P3 hard-case looked very interesting - a high-quality hard-shell case in a backpack form-factor, and not too steep at $149 -- but in the photos, it looks like you gotta remove the props to close the case, which knocks it out of the race for me (besides, it doesn't come in Awesome Yellow ;o)

    Anyway, I didn't think I'd go on this long -- if you are a fellow over-thinker who made different choices than me, 'dats cool, don't be hatin' -- and thanks for reading this far. 'Hope you were informed, or at least a bit amused.

    Cheers!
     
    Australis5 and SitkaGrover like this.
  6. Weathabee

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    13
    I ordered a case just before reading this, and it arrived by the time I got to the end o_O

    I appreciate all the details, very well written summary of your thoughts. I too agonize about the boarding process and being squeezed out of overhead space with a backpack in tow. But even checking a hard case makes me cringe as well. I have seen what those maniacs do with checked luggage, and I'm still trying to figure out my bag / case situation. Anyway, thanks for the info.
     
    #6 Weathabee, Jun 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  7. ctp

    ctp

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    if it helps your backpack calculus, I can report I had zero issues this weekend on United Airbus 320 fitting the DJI Hardsdhell under the seat in Economy negative. Multiple flights on the 320 with the new ultra thin seats (If your A320 flight has WiFi, it will have these seats).

    I'll let you know tomorrow if I have any challenges in United First. I have had problems with underseat space in first class before, so this is a serious concern.
     
    Australis5 likes this.
  8. eMaX

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    17
    "Schlepping", really? ROFL, what a word Hey would be awesome to know how it hovers under water...
     
  9. eMaX

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    17
    I thought it would suffice to just take the RC on board and have the copter follow your aircraft
     
  10. Australis5

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    FL
    That does help, thanks... I would have never thought that would fit - from the pics, it seems very large
     
  11. Australis5

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    FL
    Wow! LOL...that was complete! Thanks for the write up - very helpful. I am going to take a look at the Microraptor for sure!
     
  12. Australis5

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    FL
    To your point about checking it on a flight - I wonder if any of the hard shall cases have the right dimensions to just have the foam removed, and put your backpack case inside. Because your backpack provides good protection - you just need it to be crush-proof for air travel, right? That way too, when you get to your destination, you've still got your backpack if you need it. Hmmm... that might be the best of both worlds. I have to look at dimensions on these. Thanks again for all of the great input!
     
  13. Opcon

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    22
    Personally, I don't like the idea of transporting my phantom with the props on. I'd rather have them tucked away safely in a side pocket. Even with those clear dowels I think they could be susceptible to bending & even the slightest unevenness in the props will lead to unstable flight and footage. The 20 seconds it takes to put the props on and the 20 to take them off doesn't effect me.. first world problems guys. With all that said, the Microraptor looks like a good backpack but I opted for the GoProfessional since they custom outfit a .511 rush 72 pack.
     
  14. Fplvert

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    708
    Location:
    Southern Idaho USA
    Many airlines use regional air turbo prop jobs for short commutes to larger airports. MD-24s are the worst for onboard storage. Any larger than 21"x 14"x 9" will not fit overhead or under the seat. They do have a small locker up front if you tell them you have lipos. (Lipos are NOT allowed in cargo).
    Mine is GPC for the Vision, but slightly modded, fits the P3. image.jpg
     
  15. rickeyfitts

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Solano County, California
    Time is not the issue for me, it's concern about wearing out the plastic threads. I have only removed my props twice, and both times I noticed small slivers of white plastic shavings on the prop shafts from the prop threads, and I m concerned that the threads will eventually strip/wearout by constantly mounting/unmounting. (I don't use the prop wrench to tighten, but did need it to gently unscrew them).

    On the other hand, I guess I'd know right away if treads are stripped when screwing them on, and could just replace the $3 prop. pre-flight.

    But, if a prop gets slightly misshapen by leaving them on in the backack, I might only discover that in-flight.

    Whaddya think? Is the thread-stripping concern just over-thinking on my part? I have not actually seen any reports of stripped prop threads (but haven't searched for that yet).
     
  16. AHill

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    23
    Microraptor uses the Seahorse hard case (under the foam it has the seahorse label inside the case). Seahorse sells the cases without foam, pic-N-pluck foam, or precut for the Phantom in various colors from about $100 to about $200. From the pictures the foam for the hard case appears to be the same as for the backpack. I have the hard case Microraptor, picked it after doing as much research as you and I'm very happy with it.
     
  17. ctp

    ctp

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    More DJI Hardshell fittings:
    - A320 United first class it only fits under the seat in the center section, so you will have to negotiate with the your neighbor or put it overhead. I don't think it fit in the window side under seat, but might if you push harder.
    - 737-800 United First Class fits under the seat in the window and center cubby, but not the aisle side with is much smaller. The center may technically belong to the aisle seat.
     
    Australis5 likes this.