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Looking at purchasing a phantom, have a few questions.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Marc85, May 22, 2016.

  1. Marc85

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    I have a very specific interest in the Phatom series, Cell tower inspections in the U.S.

    I noticed that the specs said that it has a default altitude ceiling of 120m, can this be increased? We work on towers with heights up to 2000' but at the minimum it we require it to at least reach 800'-1000'.

    Any recommendations on which model would be best is appreciated.
     
  2. Prairie Pyro

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    Unless the tower is unpowered the stray juice around it will probably scramble its sensors. IMO. Have read several posts of the bird going off its path when getting close to radio and cell towers.
     
  3. WWK888

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    The max altitude is 500 meters or 1640 feet. You will need to change the default settings in the Go app.
     
  4. Apilot101

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    Before you get flooded with forum regulars telling you that you have no business going further than DJI or FAA "recommends" Or you having to explain your qualifications with a "mother may I" to a forum or to plead your case. (And as I predicted, it has started, see below. It was only a matter of time)

    I'm going to take it that you understand the regulations, suggestions and permissions and are responsible.

    With that being said,


    Other than contacting DJI directly about removing this restriction, and is highly doubtful, my suggestion is to look into a quad that doesn't have any geo-fencing. Like a custom built quad. This is what I and a few others are looking into now.
     
    #4 Apilot101, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
    Suntana and Prairie Pyro like this.
  5. robinb

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    The 500m altitude is from take off point so if you can get to a location other than the base of tower which is higher that would help a lot.
     
  6. Marc85

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    I don't doubt that, especially if you know nothing about the radio waves / antenna types / power output. Like audio RF output diminishes greatly the further away you get depending on the the initial output and focus of the beam. Steer clear of microwave dish paths, large broadcast towers, and AM towers (as the whole thing is the transmitter)
     
  7. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    The DJI max altitude is 500m (the default is 120m that can be changed to 500m), which is over 1,600ft, so this is over his minimum requirement of 800-1,000ft.

    Chris
     
  8. Apilot101

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    ^ Not necessarily true. Not if hes within distance of certain airports, blah, blah, blah. etc. He wont even take off in certain areas. Weve seen this debate play out all over the forum.

    Yes I know what your saying , that 1600 ft is more than 1000ft. But there are many more vabiables before making this statement.
    I was trying to save him and us from getting another 50+ page debate on why this gentleman needs or wants to go that close or high. If hes truely going commercial he can deduct the expense of a higher end quad without Geo and be done with it.

    OP, If your considering a DJI product, Make sure you understand their imposed Geo on their products and make sure it works for your situation for work.
     
  9. RocketBrew

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    The OP was specific about cell towers. I have not had any issues with cell towers to date.


    My favorite tower inspection video:
     
    Reed L likes this.
  10. Reed L

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    The Phantom 2 Vision+ series has no height restrictions and is relatively cheap - Amazon.com : DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ V3.0 Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal (White) : Camera & Photo
     
  11. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    (Scoff) Yes, the DJI product does keep you from doing something stupid like fly above 120' near an airport, or fly at all in a bona fide No Fly Zone.

    But that's not what he asked about.
     
  12. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The P3 Advanced will probably be the best for your purposes.
    The newer P4 doesn't offer anything extra that would really be useful for the work you are proposing.
    The P3 Advanced offers the most bang per buck.
     
  13. Marc85

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    That tower climber in your video is dumber than a box of rocks, he's double hooking to the weakest points on the tower...

     
  14. Marc85

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    Why not the P3 4k instead of the advanced? I noticed the P3 A operates on a 2.4 Ghz band and the P3 S and 4k operate on 5.8Ghz
     
  15. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The Advanced uses Lightbridge for control rather than wifi.
    This means your have much better control and vision at much greater distances
    Also the P3 4K has crummy 480p vision rather than 720p
     
  16. losman26

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    P3 4K, is essentially a p3 standard with a better camera. I'd go for the advanced any day over this.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  17. Apilot101

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    Is it stupid to fly above 120' near an airport with permission from the tower and in possession of all required FAA regs like a 333, etc? Now your example is not so "Bona fide".

    And Im sorry but yes it may have a lot to do with what the Op asked about. Would you explain to him all he has to do to "try" to fly at a tower that happens to be within this DJI imposed "No Fly Zone"?

    I would hate to have the Op purchase a Phantom and not be able to use it for what he intended to use it for in certain situations.

    SO, Op, back to your question, Please do plenty of research and know BOTH sides. For example, we have flown multiple times in the Washington DC NFZ for commercial uses "legally not stupidly" , but it had to be done with a higher end UAV without Geo. My Phantom will NOT even lift off and it wasnt worth the hassle to get DJI to unlock it.
     
  18. Marc85

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    Good to know, I was actually looking at the FAA info on UAS today, it should be fairly painless to have restrictions listed. As far as use near an airport is concerned well we wouldn't need to go much higher than the tower anyway so that shouldn't be an issue... if the plane is that low to begin with it has a massive amount of steel in its way that is way more of a concern than a little drone!
     
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  19. Marc85

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    Why not the Phantom 4 though? Collision avoidance would be super nice at height.
     
  20. Apilot101

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    As Meta stated earlier and I agree very much with him....