Tag Archives: Drones

A Beginner’s Guide To Getting Into Drones

They are fascinating, impressive, and downright cool, which is enough for some gadget fanatics to want to devote plenty of manhours to getting to grips with them. However, given their expense and the fact that a novice handling could quite easily end up in disaster, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that some beginners are a little apprehensive about diving headfirst into the world of drones.

Here, we’re going to look at what you, as a beginner, need to know about drones, how to choose the best one for your needs, and how to make sure that you can actually fly the thing without a catastrophe following in your wake.

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Know what you want to use it for

Before you dedicate your life over the next few months to knowing anything and everything drone-related, it’s a good idea to get to know why you want to buy and fly one in the first place. There are plenty of people who want one just for the experience of flying a drone, which is perfectly fine in and of itself, but those who might want a drone for the sake of photography might have different needs (such as good camera stabilization features.) There are more practical uses for drones as well to consider, some of which might even have commercial benefits.

Choose the drone that best suits your needs

Now that you hopefully have a better idea of what, precisely, you are going to be using your drone for, it’s now time to choose the drone that suits those needs. Websites like DrDrone.ca offer thorough guides on which drones are best suited for different kinds of usage. Some are better suited to beginners who are just learning to fly, while others have specific applications. Even for those specific applications, such as buying a drone that is focused on photography, there is a wide variety so take your time in perusing the market.

Know whether you’re going to have to assemble your drone

This is a big stumbling block for a lot of people who buy a drone and expect that they are going to be able to fly it as soon as they take it out of the box. This type of drone does exist, they are called RTF drones (or Ready to Fly drones). The other type is called “DIY” typically, which means that you’re going to have to assemble it when you open it. If you feel confident you can put it together just fine, that’s a-okay, just make sure you know which you are getting.

Do you need a license?

The answer to this question will depend largely on where you live. In some countries, the recreational use of drones might not require any kind of license or ID. However, in the vast majority of English speaking countries, if you have any intentions to use your drones for commercial purposes, you’re going to need some form of license  However, it is crucial to do your research and learn your local drone license needs and laws, rather than relying on this tip for a definitive answer. Drone-traveller.com offers an in-depth look at national drone laws in a variety of countries.

Get some training

Rather than trying to master the art of flying a drone all by yourself, it might be worth taking the time to look into those that can show the ropes. When it comes to earning a license in the countries and states that require it, it may be essential that you have some formal training, and there are plenty of teams like Uavcoach.com that can help give you all kinds of drone flying courses, for more general use as well as specific practical applications, depending on your needs.

Know what accessories you might need

Plenty of drones come out of the box with a range of helpful accessories, but you will often find that you need a little extra just to make sure that you’re covered in any eventuality. Some spare drone parts such as additional rotors or props are always a good idea to have on hand. Keeping a backup flight battery is usually a good idea as well, as well as having a portable charger so you can stay flying for longer.

With the tips above, hopefully, you should feel confident that getting into drone flying need not be all that much of a fuss. With the right choice of machine, a little practice, and a few solid tips in mind, you should be flying with the best of them.

What Practical Applications Does a Drone Have?

Drones are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to capture footage with spectacular views. However, most people don’t really have a practical use for a drone outside of just being a hobby that allows them to take cool footage and potentially spy on their neighbours. So to help you understand drones a bit better, we’ve put together a list of practical uses for drones in the modern-day.

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/H5IXIH254AU (CC0)
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/H5IXIH254AU (CC0)

Drones can be used to monitor large plots of land

Drones are starting to be used for surveillance purposes. For instance, farmers can use a drone with a camera attachment to inspect livestock that is spread over many acres of land instead of driving around to check on them. Similarly, private companies can use drones to monitor large and complex buildings, especially if they have connections such as pipelines that need to be monitored. Lastly, firefighters can also use drones to track wildfires so they know where to position themselves to help cull the flames.

Drones can be used to survey sites

If you’ve ever been involved in a building project then you’ll understand the important role that drone services can play. Professional services can help you survey buildings, structures and roofs for a variety of different purposes. In most situations, the drone footage can be used to perform inspections, but it can also be used to plan out a building or the placement of structures. Since drones can go fairly high and capture a wide-angle view of a specific area, it gives construction specialists an amazing view of the area that they can work with.

Drones are often used to record footage for different industries

High-quality cameras can easily be attached to drones these days, making them very capable machines that can capture footage from many different heights. This can be used for film purposes, such as capturing overhead footage of a filming location. It can also be used to showcase the area around a property that is being sold on the real estate market. This type of stock footage can also be sold and bought depending on the purpose it’s intended for. Some imagery from drones is highly sought after, such as sweeping overheard recordings of specific cities and night footage of iconic skylines. Drones can help us capture some amazing footage and it’s changed the video service industry in many positive ways.

Drones can just be used for fun

Like many new technologies, you don’t have to just focus on practical or professional uses. You could just own a drone and use it for fun! This can include racing drones with your friends, building an obstacle course or even just flying them around because you like the views that it can capture. There’s nothing wrong with using a drone for recreational purposes and there’s no limit to the things you can do with it–the limit is your imagination! Check out this article for cool things you can do with a drone to get some inspiration.

Drone footage offers new views of Shotley pier as group receives £100,000 Co-operatives UK funding – News – East Anglian Daily Times

Many people will know that I am a particular fan of flying a drone as a hobby and also a fan of historical Suffolk.

Recently I took some lovely footage of Shotley Pier and Ganges Pier at Shotley Gate. I was delighted to find that the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star have featured them as part of their article on the Bristol Pier refurbishment.

You can view the videos below

 

Community efforts to save one of Suffolk’s historic piers have received a five-figure funding boost.

Source: Drone footage offers new views of Shotley pier as group receives £100,000 Co-operatives UK funding – News – East Anglian Daily Times

The Gadget Man – Episode 87 – Drones. Should they be licensed?

I was back on air this morning with Mark Murphy and James Hazell to talk about drones and the immense rise in their popularity.

With popularity comes a degree of public worry and a much larger degree of press coverage. Should drones be licensed? Should people need to take a proficiency test to use them? All of this was covered on BBC Radio Suffolk this morning along with interviews with The Civil Aviation Authority and local pilots.

Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes and can range in price from £10 to literally thousands. Many of the more expensive semi professional drones have ‘Geo Fencing’ which stops the drones from flying in banned areas or ‘No Fly Zones’.

Of course it is possible to build your own drone. Kits are widely available and many people have built their own drones from scratch using light weight computers such as the Raspberry Pi. In this case, no licensing is going to stop the production of these kinds of drones and increasingly advanced techniques such as GPS ‘way point’ route planning means that the pilot does not need to be in radio contact during the flight and therefore distances of 7km possible before battery charging is necessary.

Currently in the UK, I can’t see how any ‘proficiency’ testing can be brought in being, it would be far too costly and reliant of the purchaser of the drone. Tracking the drones is equally difficult without elaborate (and expensive) tracking transmitter/receivers being added to the drone.

Consequently, it lays with the manufacturers of these devices to ensure that their equipment is safe, easy to use, legal and abides by any global no fly zones.

I will be reviewing the Parrot Bebop 2 camera drone very soon, so stay ‘tuned’.