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Flying at night

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Prylar Bek, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Prylar Bek

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    Any suggestions? Fun? Worth it? Hard to see the drone or easier?
     
  2. CarlJ

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    Disorientating, a sea of black with blinking lights, and it's hard to tell where exactly those lights are. Then you land all excited to see your footage and you see that the blinking lights are actually in the video, and that it's ruined! Then you consider taping over the lights so they can't be seen, but you remember you're as old as dirt and couldn't see the **** Phantom very well WITH the **** lights.... :(
     
  3. Prylar Bek

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    HA! True Thanks
     
  4. SteveMann

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  5. MadMitch88

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    Night flying won't be a viable option until FLIR cameras come down to around the $300 price range. :p
     
  6. SteveMann

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    And a small nitrogen tank to chill the sensor for long-range IR sensing, otherwise they are only good to about 10 meters. For a few thousand dollars you can buy one today.
     
  7. CityZen

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    I think the reason to fly at night is to put on a light show, not to film anything. For this reason, some people add lots of extra LEDs to their Phantoms.

    Of course, you need to be in a wide open space, since you certainly don't want to be trying to avoid obstacles in the dark.
     
  8. Prylar Bek

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    Maybe dusk will be better with a headlight
     
  9. HailStorm

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    Isn't one of the proposed FAA restrictions a ban on night flying?
    Or am I mistaken?

    I have a large white LED on the front of my old P1. It helps immensely with orientation night or day, but yeah, pics at night are a no go.
     
  10. Prylar Bek

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    Can you see where you are going with the headlight on and the smartphone connected?
     
  11. mij119

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    Exactly what I was thinking. I put on a couple cheap LEDs and it looks pretty cool flying around the neighborhood at nite.
     
  12. HailStorm

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    No. It is bright enough to be very visible in the sky, but not enough to illuminate the ground below.
    I think the best option for orientation/visibility might be the strips of led lights with a different color on each quarter of the quad.
     
  13. Bladebendr

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    Fly, have fun! I often velcro a zoomable cree torch onto a 550 & go crazy, I'm usually in very remote areas with no one else to worry. I think any phantom's standard lights are more than enough if you have a dark open area and an understanding of flight orientation
     

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  14. macheung

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    I actually find flying a night easier and quite fun, as long as you have some lights (e.g. street lights) in the area.
    It is really easy to see the Phantom's red/green/yellow lights at night against the dark sky, and I can maintain visual contact with the craft nearly 1km out and still tell whether it is facing towards/away from me by looking at the colors. My eye sight is only OK so I will loose visual contact at 200-300 meter out during a day (especially if it is a cloudy one) and would have lost orientation before that. I haven't flown anywhere special, usually just in my suburbia neighborhood so am pretty much just following street lights. Altitude is around 300ft to be high enough so it is not too noisy on the ground. I guess we'll need a better night camera than the go-pro (FLIR or something) if you want to go where there is no street light as the go-pro is pretty bad when it gets dark.
     
  15. Prylar Bek

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    All valid points. i'm putting a couple of real bright LEDs on the front and flying at dusk tomorrow at my local fly field to see if I can SEE the drone. Stand by for ftg
     
  16. PhantomFanatic

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    I agree that the appeal to night flying is about decking your drone out with lights. I have run across some great, lightweight, self-powered options that just might cause 911 calls about a UFO sighting!

    Actually, I don't want to tie up 911 with such calls. But, I am going for the UFO look. I like the intellectual challenge of creating a light show, plus navigation lights. I doubt I will go beyond VFR, especially since I don't have FPV. I do think I will have lights bright enough to illuminate the flight area. But, I'm not that confident yet!
     
  17. Bladebendr

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    That photo I posted above is just the stock Phantoms green & red lights, even though it's a long exposure you can see how much light is reflected from them in the foreground. A white or headlight is good value if flying non-fpv in daylight for orientation & extra coolness of a night. Standard lights are more than enough, but whack as many as you like on & enjoy
     
  18. Prylar Bek

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    where is it?
     
  19. Narrator

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    If they follow the Australian lead, you'll only be allowed to fly at night (or daytime beyond line of sight) if you have an instrument rating.
     
  20. Great Pumpkin

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    This P2V has the blue LED lights strung around the four arms. They look white in this image. Their light reflects off the bottom of the props, while the Phantom's two red LED lights light up the bottom of the Phantom. The LED lights also come in red and green and are sold by several dealers for about $15-20 per set. They attach to the Phantom by means of a sticky backing. They use a 9 volt battery that attaches to the bottom of the Phantom's battery compartment with velcro.
    It is really fun to fly at night with the Phantom all lit up like this. So far no one has mistaken mine for a UFO.
     

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