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Traveling to San Francisco

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dronebow, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Dronebow

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    I'll be staying downtown and don't really know what laws may apply about drone operation. I would love to get some video of the Oakland bridge but across the bay I see what looks like an airport on google earth view.

    Also what about Alcatraz? Is it possible to fly a drone around that?

    Another thread stated it's illegal to fly a drone around the Golden Gate. Is that true?

    What options do I have to get some good areal videos and pics?
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    I can't help much .. I didn't have a drone when I visited SF.
    But what looks like an airport just SE of the Bay Bridge and next door to the port of Oakland is the old Alameda Naval Air Station.
    It closed in 1997 and if you've ever watched Mythbusters, you've probably seen it. They do a lot of outdoor filming there.
     
  3. Clipper707

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    I flew there Saturday morning.

     
  4. Clipper707

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    Dronebow, I suggest Treasure Island. You can launch beside Clipper Cove and range out to the new (eastern) tower span of the Bay Bridge. Excellent views of the city, too.

    In San Francisco, along the Embarcadero, there's a huge, square, parking lot (see photo) beside Red's Java House. It juts out into the bay directly south of Red's. Walk out to the easternmost point and you'll have a great place to launch to get to the western towers of the Bay Bridge. Have a burger at Red's afterwards.

    Do NOT fly Ocean Beach.

    Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 4.45.09 PM.png
     
    unclejas likes this.
  5. Dronebow

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    Cool. Thanks for the info. Now, what's up with Ocean Beach? Not that I want to fly it but since there's a stern warning I'm naturally curious. ;-)
     
  6. Clipper707

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    Ocean Beach is National Park and they were citing last year. There is a dedicated RC field at Fort Funston, which is also part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. You can get great ocean views there and distant city views.
    SF Drones Startup Meetup

    Also, there is no where within Phantom range of the Golden Gate Bridge where you can launch legally. I was walking up with my Phantom last year and a Golden Gate Bridge Policeman warned me. He said he didn't care, but the Park Police would confiscate if they saw it. These are the same police who patrol GG Park and Ocean Beach.

    When are you in town?
     
  7. Dronebow

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    I'm there the 20th - 23rd for business. Downtown area.

    Thanks for the link. Seems like SF is pretty harsh. Makes me wonder if I even want to take the drone or not...

    So, GG is a NO
    Ocean Beach is a NO
    What about the bay and around Oakland Bridge?

    I really just want to get some video and pics of the area. Not really interested in an RC field. May even be willing to get some night shots if possible.
     
  8. Dronebow

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    OH.. You are calling the Oakland bridge the Bay Bridge right? Ok, I see the parking lot there by the bridge you were referring to. That's close to my hotel. I'm at the Westin so it's within walking distance I believe.

    P3's don't really like being launched off a parking lot but I can put it in ATTI mode. I would want to calibrate the compass though as well.
     
  9. Dronebow

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    Ah, I found a little park by the Bay Bridge that has a cupid's arrow there. Might be somewhat populated but my plan is to go Sunday evening and run through a couple of batteries. Thoughts on that?

    Again, thanks for the info.
     
  10. Clipper707

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    Yeah, the big ugly bow and arrow. That's just north of the Bay Bridge. I've seen other videos that launched from there. You should get some pretty views flying near there. Nearby is a long jetty that I always thought would be cool to launch from.

    I work in the city, not far from your hotel. Let me know if you plan on doing any week night flights and want some company. Maybe I'll bring one of my Phantoms and join you.
     
  11. Dronebow

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    PM sent. Thanks again!
     
  12. SFDTM

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    Hey guys, found this thread through Google and wanted to pop in and share an experience with Pier 30 (Reds Parking lot). The two times I've been there the past week to shoot the cityscape my drone has thrown a compass error... After re-calibrating a few times it eventually says safe to fly, and the second it leaves the ground it goes insane. The first time it took me almost 10 minutes to land it safely, today it took off on its' own and flew into my car. I fly my P3A almost every single day and this is the only location this happens at. Any clues as to what might be happening?
     
  13. Meta4

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    When your Phantom brings up a compass error it's trying to tell you that there's some magnetic influence very close to where you are trying to launch.
    Probably lots of steel. Is the area reinforced concrete?
    Or is there some buried steel there?
    Whatever the cause, you should not be trying to calibrate there or taking off so close to the magnetic disturbance.
    You don't need to calibrate the compass every day and if you do calibrate in an area of magnetic interference, you risk getting a bad compass calibration.
    What happened to you was that you've calibrated your compass for the area with a distorted magnetic field and when it rises into the earth's normal field, the compass can't tell where North is because of the screwy calibration you've given it.
    Re-calibrate your compass somewhere well away and if you want to fly from Pier 30, look for somewhere that isn't above buried steel - maybe launch from a box or something to get your compass further away from the steel.

    When you get a compass error, don't just recalibrate there.
    Go somewhere you don't get a compass error.