Can we talk about drones?

Nov 16, 2016
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I'm favoring the DJI Mavic Air 2 fly more combo at $988 .

Meanwhile, I've been using my home made system.
Features and specs:
Follow me mode: yes.
Obstacle avoidance: occasionally
Top elevation: 10.5 feet
Auto Stabilizing: no

Rick Stick drone.jpg
 
Nov 16, 2016
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Edit:
I was not able to see my post #21. It appeared to have been either deleted or it didn't post.
Sorry for the duplicate!
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I'm leaning towards the DJI Mavic Air 2 fly more combo. I think that it will meet my needs, of which aren't all that complicated.


Meanwhile, I'll continue using my home made version.

Features and specs:

Follow me: yes
Collision avoidance: occasionally
Max elevation: 10.5 '
Auto-Stabilization: No
Mast whip control: No
 

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Dec 11, 2019
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I picked up an Autel something-or-other 2 recently. The drone guys I spoke with told me it was the best way to go. They don't have the software limitations of the DJI's and have a slightly longer run time supposedly (advertised at 40 min, realistically you only get about 30). I bought the pro version and cannot believe how good it is. I haven't used it in the follow-me mode but I regularly fly it long distances. It will fly up to 2600' elevation above take-off location and I've heard that it will fly out to about 17,000' distance if in line-of-sight before losing signal (I would never do such a thing). Some are limited to 400' above where it takes off from which is really limiting in mountain terrain. I've accidently had it out in 20+ mph wind with it staying remarkably steady. I'm really excited to take it out in the mountains sledding but haven't yet. I have accidently landed it in snow a couple of times with no ill effect (they land themselves once you run out of battery, oops).

Ironically, the Autel is made in the USA by a Chinese company. I was told that the gov't "Buy American" act required it and so the Chinese built a facility here to make them. I think they are worth a look.
 
Dec 11, 2019
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Evo II Pro. By my understanding the first edition isn't great.

This photo was taken from about 300' elevation of a local elk herd (upper right) with two wolves stalking them (left). I had to resize the photo to be uploaded so the quality isn't great. I have a "mission" that I send the drone on when bored. It flies over this ridge that holds elk and takes photos/videos as programed. It loses signal while it flies the route for about 20 min then gets back and lands where it took off from. This thing is amazing.

MAX_0008 wolf and elk resized.jpg
 

Coldfinger

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Nov 26, 2007
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I just saw a few drone review videos but had never looked into it before.

My understanding is:

DJI is the company that sets the bar against which all others are measured
DJI mini does not have the follow you feature but can be set to fly a circle around you. The Mavic has the follow feature.
DJI mini does not have obstacle avoidance like the Mavic.
DJI mini doesnt handle as much wind as Mavic.
DJI mini doesnt fly as fast as Mavic.
DJI mini is small enough to fit in a pocket so you don’t have to put it in your pack after each use, and subsequently dig it out of the pack each time you want to use.
DJI mini can be recharged via USB connection to battery and Mavic needs a/c or be charged in your truck.
They both require same skills to learn to fly so a more expensive unit doesnt mean it is more difficult to fly.
DJI mini is approx $500
DJI Mavic is approx $900
 

farmboy84

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Nov 26, 2007
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Coldfinger, I want to clarify a few things.
The $900 version is the Mavic Air 2, A Mavic Pro 2 is $1,600.
The Air 2 has forward, backward and downward obstacle avoidance, the Pro 2 has all those but side, and upwards also.
The mini is small enough to fit in a pocket but I wouldn't advise that unless you can keep it warm. Once the batteries get cold they have to go through a warmup cycle before you can fly and then your flight time is reduced. When I had my Phantom 3 I put handwarmers in the case to keep it warm on the trail ride in. I then tried to use it first thing in the morning before it got cold.

I just ordered a Mavic Air 2 and should be here this week. I plan to get a compact case to fit in my BCA Float 22 bag. I'm planning on heading to WY on the 14th, if all works out I'll give everyone an update.
 

farmboy84

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Nov 26, 2007
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I received my Air 2 a few days ago and have flown it around home a bit before we head to WY later this week. I had a Phantom 3 standard in the past and there are a few things right away I like more than the old one.
I got the fly more kit which is 3 batteries and a bag with the drone and controller. Everything fits in the bag and the bag itself is 8"x8"x4" and will easily fit in my BCA float 22 bag. My old drone and case was a like 2' square.
When starting up and taking off it finds satellites immediately where my old one sometimes took a few minutes.
The handling is very precise and when it hovers, it doesn't drift at all.
It has a ton of flight modes for taking various shots. I've only explored a few. I tried the active track with my daughter riding her sled. It worked well in the open but once a tree got between her and the drone it lost her. I am going to play with this more but I don't think it will be able to follow a sled through heavy trees. This is where a Skydio with a gps beacon would shine.

 
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