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In the market for a new UAV; what should I buy?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FrankB, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. FrankB

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    I'm a serious, practical user of UAV's- mainly to take aerial still pictures of project elements in my consulting engineering practice. I currently have a DJI Phantom with a GoPro Hero 3 Black camera, but want to purchase a new UAV and am considering the following:

    1. the new DJI Phantom Vision- if the camera takes similar quality shots compared to my GoPro Hero 3 Black camera.

    2. the Turbo Ace X830-D (http://www.turboace.com/turbo-ace-x830- ... opter.aspx)

    3. the 3D Robotics 3DR RTF Y6 or the 3DR Iris (https://store.3drobotics.com/t/ready-to-fly/arducopter)

    Features I consider important in a UAV purchase:

    1. ease of use- so I can concentrate on positioning the UAV and camera, and not on flying the drone. The Phantom has been really good in this regard.

    2. ability to take good quality still pictures, similar to the GoPro Hero3 Black or better.

    3. reliability- a really good Failsafe and Return to Home system. I often fly my UAV in rugged, mountainous and wooded terrain and need to increase the odds of getting it back if it wanders away.

    4. a tracking system that allows me to find the UAV if it gets lost- this must be something that works without cell coverage. Ideally, something that monitors the position of the UAV in real time and displays and records the location on the controller would be great. I have also ordered the Tile (http://www.thetileapp.com), which is a small chip that allows you to home in on your device from up to 50 m away using Bluetooth- but that won't be out until late 2013 or early 2014.

    5. a FPV system that allows me to see what I am shooting with the camera (I usually shoot a picture every 10 seconds using the GoPro's intervalometer).

    6. redundancy- a system that keeps flying, even if one motor fails.

    7. good customer relations and collaboration. I am keen to share my flying experiences with other members of the community so that we can all learn. DJI and their dealers have not exactly been very good at answering questions and responding to concerns (like flyaway's).

    I am leaning towards buying the 3D Robotics 3DR RTF Y6, but any suggestions would be most welcome (either posted or via a PM).
     
  2. gazchap

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    From what I understand, quadcopters aren't capable of sustaining flight if one of the motors fails, and even hexacopters struggle with it unless they're in a particular configuration - and then it's down to the pilot.

    Octocopters are the best bet for stability after hardware failure, as far as I've been able to work out.

    I'd also personally stay away from the Phantom Vision - the camera is integrated into it, whereas your existing set up can be relatively easily transferred to another multirotor in the future - you (probably) won't be able to do that with the Phantom Vision's camera.
     
  3. FrankB

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    After much research, I've pretty well decided to buy the 3D Robotics 3DR RTF Y6.

    [​IMG]

    1. more reliable in terms of fly aways

    2. better customer response to my inquiries.

    3. flight planning software

    4. the arms fold in, so it's easier to transport

    Anybody know of any reason why I shouldn't buy this unit?
     
  4. marcus_canada

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    Looks good, I've always liked Lego LOL
     
  5. edunwody

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    Location:
    South East, USA
    I wouldn't disregard a DJI 550.

    Your camera and gimbal can move straight to it.

    E


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. DeweyAXD

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    Looks like a good quad but from your wish list I think you need to be very sure of its weight capacity before you buy it (I can't find any specs for it). You can probably spec it a little higher if you need to when you purchase (bigger prop and beefy motors as an option on the site it seems).

    Personally if you are really serious about this then the f550 looks to be a safer option with the right Flight Control. It will give you pretty much everything on your wish has and have the capacity to expand. You would be much better of with a Garmin GTU10 than a Tile (you could have both of course). It has a strong GPS (mine can even be found indoors but that is partly due to cell phone coverage when GPS isn't available).

    If you go for the Wookong flight control you will get redundancy if a motor fails, RTH (all the Phantom features) and you also get to use waypoints for shoots... this with a few mods and a good gimbal would allow you to concentrate fully on the FPV while it flys itself on the course you set. It is a bloody expensive FC but a F550 frame will save you a lot on a octo frame.

    As for customer service... that in my opion is more about where you buy it from than the manufacturer (and how much you are likely to spend with them long term!). I hear amazing things about DSLR pro in the U.S. and if you are buying the Wookong you are not in the league of Phantom glitches so it is more likely plug and fly. If you did have issues a solid retailer with good buying power at DJI will always be able to help out.

    Really all comes down to budget (doesn't everything in this world!?)
     
  7. FrankB

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    Yeh, strange that Companies in general don't seem to like to be too upfront about the payload of their UAV's. They should exhaustively list all the technical specifications- let the customer decide what is important or not.

    I have looked at the GTU10- trouble is, it adds a lot of weight and cost. I always assume that every system will eventually be lost, and so the less investment you have, the more palatable is a lose it if occurs.

    Yeh- this is a great system- but much more money than I want to pay.

    Good customer relations and quick help is essential. The Company I have been dealing with up to now has been disappointing in this regard, so I am ready to go elsewhere.

    Thanks for your comments.
     
  8. DeweyAXD

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    I watched the Flitetest video last night with a hex version and Apm 2.6 with waypoints - it looked really good. Much better than i thought. http://youtube.com/watch?v=4IJ2V8xVJO4

    If the wookong is out of budget then i'd say give it a go! Worse case scenario you can always buy a F550 frame kit and transfer the Apm over to it for better weight lifting and redundancy options. My only concern with Apm is its opensource nature. It can be really good due to the amount of other users but the support tends to get very technical. Make sure u keep us all posted in here with your choice.... I think we all like seeing upgrade options! :mrgreen:
     
  9. jakesteam1953

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    Are you happy with your choice? I am also about ready to make a purchase. My budge is max $1300 I almost bought the 3Drobotics Y6 or X8 last week as they had a great special including the Hero3 Black edition. But then it was suggested I wait for the Iris I am just not sure what I should do. I want something that handles well, stable in the air, return to home option and able to do Autonomous flights. I was hoping to install some type of FPV and was told 1.3ghz is the best? but I don't know that so I am open to help. Will it cause any problems with the GPS? At first I was waiting for the phantom Vision, but for the price I thought maybe I should get something that can be modified and have different options? Also I noticed Flame Wheel-550 V2 DX7 Ready To Fly Combo from Atlanta hobby. Any suggestions would be appreciated
     
  10. simonthk

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    Try and look for a setup including a futaba transmitter. Simply because there are some packages like that, and why you need the stock?
     
  11. andyfowley

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    Hi,
    I was on here looking for feedback regarding the 3DR Iris tonight because earlier today my Phantom 2 Vision decided to fly off on its own and pursue a career as a submarine somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.
    It went from perfectly normal level controlled flight at 50% power to veering off over the water and up at 100% in a few seconds with no control from me. The emergency 'Go Home' feature apparently didn't work when it needed to, despite working on an earlier occasion when I first got it and was testing out the unit's capabilities.
    Suffice to say that I am rather soured to DJI & their Phantoms at the moment. If you look around at the various RC websites there are dozens if not hundreds of other accounts of P2Vs doing the same thing. A poll at www.RCgroups.com had upwards of 15% of P2Vs experiencing 'fly aways'.
    .....Just letting you know my personal story.