Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Need some help wording a polite response...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SkyeNT, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. SkyeNT

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    We've got two neighborhoods - different HOA - that share an alley. I fly my quadcopter around the neighborhood on occasion, and last night I had it up about 100 ft (to keep noise level down) to kill the battery. I just pretty much kept it straight above the house, zoomed around once to show my wife the lights, and when I went inside I had this email waiting for me, via a "contact us" link on my webpage:

    I sent this back:

    And then got this:

    I'm new to this - I can't believe people are this paranoid. My wife is actually creeped out the guy was able to find a way to contact me without even knowing my name. Does this merit another response? Has anyone else come up against this? We're in Texas, and I'm following the FAA "regulations" and Texas law, so far as I know. Just some thoughts on how to handle this now or in future would be helpful. Thanks.
     
  2. Drone996

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tonight I was running down the battery to recharge for an event tomorrow,[/quote]

    What advantage do you think there is to running down the battery prior to charging?
     
  3. robininni

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just became aware yesterday from news surrounding the guy who crashed his Phantom 2 Vision+ into the Cowboy Stadium, that in Texas, you better be careful with what you capture on video or still images since in September 2013 a law passed that makes taking aerial photos/video of someone else's private property without their consent a crime. Sure intent is a factor and incidental inclusion of neighbors is going to happen if say filming your own property, but overall you need to be mindful and careful of other's privacy concerns. If you are not flying only on your property or in a public place, you could be asking for trouble. I would especially take caution as you are already being 'well warned' with these messages from people who are clearly portraying that they feel 'violated.' Even though your intentions may well be benign, I think since you are directly being confronted about your flying, and you live in Texas, you are headed for trouble if you continue.
     
  4. TexasHighDef

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    They came out with that law just for show. Two weeks later they made major changes to it. As long as you not using it to spy with. It is ok to be flying. They filled it full of loop holes that are good for me anyways. I live in Austin Texas and have been keeping up to date on it all.

    It was really just a bunch of redneck BS. But to them it is all about the spying crap. You hear things like I will shot one down if I see one flying over my property. They are not smart enough to know it for one has a very wide angel lens and if you wanted to spy on someone anyways you could just fly up from next to their property and look down. You don't need to be over it.

    I have not had any issues at all from flying in Texas.The way the law is now is not to bad at all if your not spying. But I am sure it will not be long before someone does something real stupid to change things again.
     
  5. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,257
    Likes Received:
    1,619
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    Quit while you're ahead. Literally.

    To respond further, at this point, only serves to suggest you're defending your actions rather than stating them as you have done very well at this point.
     
  6. robininni

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, and furthermore I would strongly consider not flying over that area. It's not that they are right. It's just that in today's litigation happy society, you can be 'in the right' and still have to waste your time, money, and happiness defending yourself from legal assaults and all in the end just to prove you were right??? It's not worth it. It's not worth the stress, the time, the money. It's just not--unless you've got nothing better to do and you like a good fight and want to take one for the team.

    Find an RC flying field or move to the countryside where you have space if the Phantom flying is that important to you (I would say move out of the city and to the country for tons of other reasons as well :) ).

    But still, playing devil's advocate, I would say they have legitimate concern. It's a tough issue--privacy. Flying Phantoms is awesome. Filming views that could only be had from an airplane or helicopter not that long ago are yours to take whenever! Flying from a first person perspective lets us go to heights and places we just couldn't without it. It also lets us see things we would never have seen before. However, we all expect privacy in our homes and on our property. And even if someone is not meaning to film your backyard (or even look into it), what if your wife likes to sunbathe naked out there and, except for aerial viewing, would be totally hidden? Our rights to do whatever end when we affect someone else's rights (privacy, in this instance). That being said, you almost couldn't fly something like a Phantom if no view of anyone else's private property such as backyard was permissible. So maybe we just, as a society, have to adapt to the times and realize you aren't 'safe' from intrusion any more in your own backyard from incidental surveillance (accidental hobby variety). Now it's different if someone is parking their Phantom above your home for a period of time and on more than one occasion and clearly watching you.

    Of course, then there is the other type of surveillance going on from so high a distance that no one even knows it is happening but that's okay because big brother is at the controls...
     
  7. Gator113

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington state, USA
    THAT is about the only advise that I think you need at this point.

    SkyeNT, you were a gentleman, you were reasonable, you have been lawful, you have educated the ignorant, and you have been been clear.

    A few years ago I was offered a 3 acre piece that adjoins my 5 acre property. It was an extremely generous offer, but the seller wanted to require me to join his home owners association. No thanks.... I didn't want the headache. Some folks like those conditions... it's never been something I would be interested in living under. Good luck....
     
  8. Doono

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.
    The contact from your neighbour is perfectly reasonable. You are new, and you will learn with time. He could have called the police, came over with intentions of violence, started throwing things over your fence....The law doesn't matter, common sense does. If you feel the need to respond one last time, might I suggest you say you are new to the hobby, didn't realise people may be concerned, thank him for alerting you, and state you will not fly around, above the neighbourhood again.
     
  9. PhantomRock

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    1
    What advantage do you think there is to running down the battery prior to charging?[/quote]

    The manual suggests discharge once every 20 flights, likely to prevent memory effect.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-04-memory-eff ... eries.html

    Perhaps the OP thinks that this is needed more often, but it definitely is not.
    The manual makes a good point that draining the battery this way is just extra wear on the motors,
    and suggests just leaving the phantom on for a slow drain.

    (You do have to turn on the battery if topping off a charge when it is above 75%)

    I mark my batteries 1-4 and keep a record of usage, to give them even usage, and to know when to discharge.
    What is interesting is that it seems that after about 300 uses the smart battery will refuse to charge, reaching its end of life. Perhaps the lipo can be removed at that point and used to power a flashlight....

    I am just posting this here for others.