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Drone to capture pictures at 4km distance

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Salvatore Sanfilippo, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    Hello! I'm new here, thanks for running this great forum.

    I'm not very competent about drones, only used a few toys in the past. In order to check the state of an almond field, which is located at 4 km from my home, I need a drone that can fly autonomously from my home to the site at a given altitude, when arriving lower the altitude, take shots at different places, return at high altitude, and fly back home. I'm in Europe so that would be within CE rules, so hopefully the drone should be able to complete the mission even if the remote is out of range for some time. Please could advice me about a possible solution?

    Note: I'm willing to spend more for a solution which is capable of automatically avoid collisions by using advanced sensors.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Johnny Mnemonic

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    What you are asking for is quiet complex, do you have any previous experience in this matter? The drone would need to travel more than 8km and do a bunch of autonomous functions things get really expensive at this point. You might want to hire some consultant on this matter.
     
  3. Flipsonic

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    Any P3 or P4 can do the job using Litchi or Autopilot app. As long as you have the antenna mod (there are several options) that will give you the range you need as well as enough battery power (mods available) to last you the entire mission. If you have LOS to the almond field, even better so you will not have signal loss and be able to use FPV all the way. If you do get signal loss, Litchi will continue the mission and you can review the footage that was recorded. This is all possible providing it is planned out thoroughly. This forum is your best friend to find all the information you need to make this possible. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
     
    #3 Flipsonic, Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
    Phantomix likes this.
  4. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    Thanks for the replies, indeed there is LOS from home to the field. So basically I understand I need both the antenna and battery mod. I wonder if for this goal the Phantom 3 or 4 are to be preferred. Thanks.
     
  5. Flipsonic

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    Yes indeed - P3, P4, or even the higher end models can do this. P3 is good enough. Antenna mod, yes most likely you will need it. Maybe this is enough Antenna Range Booster Amplifier Signal Windsurfer for DJI Phantom 3 4 Inspire 1 | eBay It's a cheap mod and people have been able to stretch out the range with it. Battery mod, it all depends on many things such as weather. If there is high winds and you have to fly against it, your mission may take longer needing enough juice to get back.
     
  6. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    Thanks, weather is normally excellent (South of Italy, Sicily). Now I've enough info to proceed to buy the drone, check what I can do with the range mod in terms of distance (I can just arrive to the almond field and park there, and go grab the drone), and finally understand how many battery I need in order to do the trip in the field and the return back home in order to adjust with a battery mod. Thanks again.
     
  7. Flipsonic

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    You're welcome...in bocca al lupo.
     
    Salvatore Sanfilippo likes this.
  8. SimonH78

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    P3A totally stock did 4.3km and back in the UK... :)
     
  9. anap40

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    You don't need an antenna mod, litchi will let the phantom fly autonomously even if it is out of radio range. You won't be able to set video live but can view it off the SD card after it lands. You probably won't need a battery mod either depending on how windy it is and how long you set it to hover taking pictures before returning
     
    Salvatore Sanfilippo likes this.
  10. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    That's great news that greatly simplifies the task. I think I'm ok with "hidden" flight mode, I'll just do tests before in order to be sure the planning is ok, so that I can just wait for the drone to come back. About the battery mod, maybe it's worth it just for peace of mind depending given the travel distance is a bit on the edges for these drones. Thanks.
     
  11. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    Just a last question: given that all this looks possible, and it was suggested that a Phantom 3 could do the job, I wonder if even a "3 standard" is capable of doing it. It's a lot cheaper... so I could be able to finish my missions on a budget Phantom model. Thanks.
     
  12. anap40

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    As far as I understand the standard should be fine for your purposes, but I only have an advanced
     
  13. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    Thanks, the advanced is not much more expansive compared to the standard, so probably worth it... Cheers.
     
  14. Flipsonic

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    P3S does not have Lightbridge like P3A and P3P. Therefore stock range will not be able to satisfy your 4km run. You can however buy P3S and do the antenna mod. There are P3S owners here that did just that. You can search the threads. You'll have to calculate if doing the mod on a P3S is cheaper than buying a P3A. As I said before, battery is another subject you need to look in to. Stock battery may be enough (or not). You will have to test that.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
  15. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    Thanks, fortunately the P3A is not as expansive as the P3P, so I'm evaluating to get directly a P3A hoping to get a good deal now that the focus of many users is the P4. However at this point I'm trying to understand if it's worth to get the P4 in order to also use it for recreational activities with more success. Thank you for your very useful hints.
     
  16. Flipsonic

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    Ha Ha...P3S to P3A to P4. I know your dilemma. You started with the basic drone and now you're considering the top of the line Phantom. Bottom line, you will be happy with any purchase. Good luck.

     
    #16 Flipsonic, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
    Salvatore Sanfilippo likes this.
  17. Salvatore Sanfilippo

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    Haha exactly ;-) It's too cool to resit...
     
  18. Jake1

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    I'm ordering a P3A from amazon since it is half(!) the price of the P4, for a drone that offers most of the same functions, including lightbridge with theoretically the same range and flight time with a camera that is not as good, but still good enough for a hobbyist.
     
  19. Meta4

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    If you think the P3 camera isn't as good as the P4's read this post to hear what P4 owners think: 6 Months after Release.. What's the consensus around P4 VS P3?
    Quite a few can't tell the difference.
    It is the same camera with only a very minor change in the lens.