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Questions From Potential Owner

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by coolguy982, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. coolguy982

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    I am researching drones for use in my family farm operation. I'm looking at the Phantom 2 Vision+ and the 3DR Iris+. I have a few questions that I am trying to have answered to help make the decision.

    1. When using the Ground Control app to set waypoints for autonomous flights, how far away can you set waypoints? If they cause the V2+ to go out of range, will it turn around and come back, or is there a way to override this? I would like to preprogram flights to survey fields or pastures that could be a mile away and review the video footage afterward.

    2. I believe the V2+ can automatically take off when using Ground Control, but cannot land itself (though the Iris can). Has there been any hint that being able to land itself will be a feature in an upcoming release?

    3. If the V2+'s battery somehow dies while it is out of range, is there a way to find it? I would have a general idea of where it is. Will it continue to emit some sort of signal to help pinpoint its location?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. flyNfrank

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    1. There is a app by ilovecoffee on here that removes any and all limits.
    2. I seriously don't know on this one. I wasn't aware the quad wouldn't land in GS feature.
    3. The quad has a Find My Phantom that will show it's last transmitted gps reading.
    4. No. You will have to add a aftermarket device for that feature. However, I was ask question from dji today that they want to add a lot of attention in this area as well as a few others.

    I would have to say the Phantom Vision + is the better option. Good luck.
     
  3. erikgraham

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    Others will give you better answers, but as an owner of both the Vision Plus and the Iris Plus, I can tell you the Iris+ is my preferred drone. The customer support is much better too. I suggest you send them an email (check their support page for contact info). If you describe what you need (you might even want to include a gps location and screen shot of your farm), they can and will recommend the right solution for you... which might actually be one of their planes instead of a copter.

    Quick answers:
    1. You can set your own distance limits in software. Both iris+ and vision+ can cover a mile (but as others will chime in, the FAA doesn't want you flying beyond visual range).
    The Iris+ ground station software is far far more robust than the Vision's crappy little iPhone app. For one, you can save missions and load them up later to run again. On the Vision+ you have to create the mission in the field just prior to launch and frankly that's a pain. With the Iris you could create multiple missions with different names (pasture1, pasture2, etc) from the comfort of your home. Tweak them to be just right, then load your selected mission on any given day throughout the growing season over and over again. With the Iris+ you can also designate points of interest along the way, and much much more.

    2. The Vision+ can land it self, but not as part of a planned mission. I never let the Vision+ take off on its own. I always do that first, then start the mission. The Iris+ does take off and landing very well. In fact I prefer to use the android app to have it take off, even when I'm going to fly manually. It's just quicker and easier. Once it's up in the air, I take over. Same goes for landing (while it's landing itself I can still tweak it's positioning without fully taking it out of auto).

    3. The Vision app will tell you it's last known location (same for Iris+) but a lot of people install GPS trackers to be safe. I'm sure someone here will recommend a good tracker. I've heard of people loosing drones in corn fields and not being able to find them for hours, so a tracker might be a good call for you.

    I think the Iris+ or another 3DR drone is probably the right way to go for agriculture. The Vision+ is more of a consumer aerial photography platform. It's easier to use, much easier to get started with, it's smaller and the battery lasts 5 to 7 minutes longer, but it's definitely not aimed at the agro market.

    As I write this, I guess it sounds like I'm slamming the Vision+, but that not my intention. I just don't think it's as well suited for your needs.

    (One other feature I like about the Iris+ is that it get a satellite lock within seconds! where the Vision seems to take a minute or more. This allows you to launch it much more quickly - but I don't suppose that matters for your needs)
     
  4. erikgraham

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    Oh, and you might want to call or email the guy I got my Iris+ from. Adam Andrews at http://shop.aeroworksproductions.com

    He is super helpful and will help you choose the right drone for your needs (he sells both DJI and 3DR products, so he is unbiased). He may even build, preconfigure, and test a drone for you. I got the spec ops package, but that would not be the right fit for you. Ask him if he has got something geared more for agriculture.
     
  5. turbodronepilot

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    Check out 3dr's X8+.. pretty cool..3dr is based out of Berkley ca and products made in Mexico. .I think that's what I read today..
     
  6. Nathan Carter

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    What about iris plus flight time vs phantom 2v+? I got the impression that it is less then 15 mins and with phantom you could have 20 mins.
     
  7. erikgraham

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    Yes indeed. It's actually kind of a shock whenever I get used to the Iris+ flight times and then I switch back to the Vision plus. I said above that it's 5 or 7 minutes more flight time, but sometimes it feels like its 15 extra minutes. But I've checked and depending on how I fly it's always between 5 and 7 minutes more. I equate it the Vision to a Toyota with great gas mileage vs the Iris+ as a BMW. (I suspect the real "BMWs" are the even higher end drones like the x8 or a custom built Octo copter... But I've never flown one of those)
     
  8. coolguy982

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    Many thanks for all the comments! When I first started my research, I was leaning towards the Iris+, but read an article stating that the V2+ is the better choice for new drone owners. I have a degree in computer engineering, so know a lot about hardware and programming, but I'm also trying to find something that can be used by my 60-yr old father that's not very tech-savvy! In addition to this, I noticed that the Iris+ does not have FPV out of the box. I saw that 3DR offers a kit for this. Is this the best method to add FPV to the Iris+, or are there other third-party or DIY ways to do this better?

    I looked at the app by ilovecoffee--it looks very promising!

    Not having the ability to save multiple flight paths would be a big deal--especially if I want my Dad to be able to use it on his own. Do you know if the ilovecoffee app allows for this or if it would even be possible for it to be programmed in?
     
  9. erikgraham

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    You might want to go check out the forums at diydrones.com to see what other FPV set ups Iris+ owners are using, but I think 3DRs kit is pretty solid. The only change from 3DR's offering that I have is a couple upgraded antennas. Personally, I was not in the mood to install the FPV kit myself, so I ordered one with it pre-installed. Having said that, its pretty easy to install - no soldering. (as I mentioned in my second post above, I ordered my fully built and flight tested from a dealer who I trust - see the link in that post, you really should consider talking to Adam about the best drone for you - he won't try to up sell you or steer you in the wrong direction like some of the fan boys out there).

    I'd just like to add that for the type of use you described in the original post, FPV is unnecessary. It might even get in the way. FPV is great for videographers trying to frame a shot, but the image from any FPV system is never going to be good enough to inspect crops, especially if the drone is whizzing by while it runs a mission. Its much better to review video after the drone returns from a mission. The image quality and color will be much much better direct from a GoPro than from any FPV set up (and you'll be able to pause and rewind to take a closer look at areas of interest). On the other hand, if you raise a lot of livestock, you might want to fly manually so you can hover overhead to count livestock. In that case FPV is a must. (by the way, it is ALOT easier to count livestock from a drone than from the ground). But for most cases, I'd recommend not installing it - every gram of payload you can shave off increases flight time and mission range.
     
  10. coolguy982

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    The primary use would be for running missions and viewing recorded footage later, but I could also see it being used to fly manually to inspect closer or count livestock, as you mentioned.

    I sent an email into the site you mentioned in hopes of seeing what they would recommend for our application.

    You have both a FPV and GoPro on your Iris+, right? How much flight time do you typically achieve?
     
  11. erikgraham

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    Yes. FPV+GoProHero4 on Iris+. About 9 or 10 minutes. But I've only flown it in extremely cold conditions in northern Vermont. The batteries have never been flown in weather above 20 degrees fahrenheit. Most of my flights have been in the low teens. A few in minus 5 or lower. I'm hoping I'll see longer flight times when I take it to warmer climates. My non-scientific gut feeling is that it actually flys a little longer than advertised... but the Vision+ has much better flight times. If I can last 10 minutes with the Iris+, I can last 15 to 17 with the Vision+ (flown same day, same place, same outside freezing temperatures).
     
  12. coolguy982

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    One more newbie question--With the Iris+, how is the camera controlled? Is there an interface into it that tells it when to record video or take photos? Or must you start/stop the video or automatic photos manually from on the ground? Is there any difference with this between GoPros and Canon P&S cameras? I see there are some hack kits for Canon cameras to control them from the Iris+, but I'm more curious about how the Iris+ works out-of-the-box with a GoPro or Canon camera?
     
  13. Nathan Carter

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    Maybe you are not aware of this also: http://dev.dji.com
     
  14. erikgraham

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    Out of the box there is no camera control like on the Vision+

    I usually just leave my GoPro recording the whole time. For people who want to take photos, they just set the GoPro to snap a picture every X seconds. Haven't tried that myself, but I hear you can shoot video and still capture photos at set intervals.

    I'm going to test the GoPro smart remote. NOT the WiFi remote, which causes interference.

    The guys over at Droneexperts.nl posted a video using the smart remote with a Vision+ with a GoPro attached via their quick release product. Since i've got the quick release/GoPro setup running on my Vision+, i'll see if I can get that working first. Then I will try it on my Iris+.

    At the end of the day, I don't mind leaving the GoPro on and recording all the time, but it would be nice to have some control. All signs point to the smart remote being the simplest solution with decent range. Just don't make the same mistake I did and purchase the WiFi remote, not realizing there is the smart Remote option.