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https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/05/court-ruling-would-nullify-us-requirement-that-hobbyists-register-drones/

Federal appeals court struck down regulation requiring drone registration.  Appeals court found they did not have the authority to regulate model aircraft.  The decision is on hold for 7 days pending further appeals.

When they first decided to do this, I saw it as a simple power grab.  They justify it with all sort of FUD as is typical, and the media raises the alarm about all the havoc supposedly caused by drones flying in restricted space, etc..  Fact is that nothing in this registration does anything useful, people can still buy drones and fly unregistered... and the likelihood of getting in trouble for it is negligible.  IMO it's just another example of penalizing honest people so they can pretend to do something about a perceived problem that may have been overblown... and of course increase bureaucratic budget and power.

 

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I sure hope this is decision is upheld, it's a joke to have to register with the FAA to fly a quadcopter! I couldn't agree more with what you have stated above, I am sick of our government and it's overreaching laws! This just made my day. :8signbravo::beer::popcorn2::dancenana:

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15 hours ago, braindead0 said:

  IMO it's just another example of penalizing honest people so they can pretend to do something about a perceived problem that may have been overblown... and of course increase bureaucratic budget and power.

 

Gee, sounds almost like the typical response, by rational people, to gun control.  Funny how that is. 

For posterity:

"Ahead of Friday's ruling, the FAA told the appeals court that "it would threaten the safety of the national airspace system" if the court nullified the registration requirement."

Translation:

"This takes away an excuse to be an even larger, more-bloated Federal bureaucracy!! Waahh!"

However, this ruling does not change one thing I think is true - the Courts, at all levels, are corrupt and lack integrity.  As a "Branch" of government, they are as tainted as the rest.

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Would love to get a drone.

I know nothing about them. What are the ranges they fly?

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I have a basic drone until I learn how to control it without crashing on the roof, LOL! The house we are applying for in Idaho has over an acre, so plenty of room to safely practice.

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10 hours ago, wimc said:

Would love to get a drone.

I know nothing about them. What are the ranges they fly?

Depends on what you get and your surroundings. I watched a DJI Mavic Pro do a range test and it made it 3.25 miles out before it turned around. Others might only make it 500 feet and lose contact. I really want to get a Mavic Pro for the size of it and it's simply just a great drone, price of a Phantom 3 is tempting though.

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On 5/21/2017 at 1:09 AM, MB64 said:

Depends on what you get and your surroundings. I watched a DJI Mavic Pro do a range test and it made it 3.25 miles out before it turned around. Others might only make it 500 feet and lose contact. I really want to get a Mavic Pro for the size of it and it's simply just a great drone, price of a Phantom 3 is tempting though.

There is a new smaller DJI coming out, it's called a spark and is about the size of an Iphone 6. I think the Mavic Pro would be perfect for me, the current Phantom 3 with a case takes up a huge chunk of space in the back of my Armada. 

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Problem with the Spark at the moment is no transmitter, but there is one coming out. It uses your phone's WiFi right now, really limited range. Spark seems more like a fancy selfie camera but it is pretty cool you can control it with gestures.

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Most of the WIFI drones I've seen are very insecure and can be taken over easily, not a problem if only using in the boonies however something to be aware of.. the tools to take over drones are readily available...

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A friend of mine recently bought a DJI Phantom4 Pro. He piddled with it for about a week wit hout success to get it airborne. I was unaware of his purchase until he brought it to my house to see if I could get it airborne. Through some intuition and just plain dumb luck, I had it in the air in about ten minutes.

Since then, he's been enjoying playing with it at his property. He's brought it over to my place and I've done a lot of photos of my home and property. We even took it into the hills above his home to an abandoned quarry that we target practice at and had the drone hover and video us taking turns tossing clay pigeons and shooting them with our shotguns.

It has an amazing camera, very high resolution. Putting the videos on his notebook computer, plugging it into his big screen TV with an HDMI cable, reveals sharp video. Though fairly far out, we were able to clearly see the clay pigeons fly out and vaporize in a cloud of dust when hit (of course we kept the drone at distance ... I certainly didn't want to be the one blowing his $1,500 drone to smithereens!).

Below are some video stills and images taken while target practicing, and views from above my property.

IMG_0658.thumb.JPG.0530c6d0a3e9739169d366a861ee5a04.JPG

My friend just hit a clay, as annotated in the photo. I had just launched a clay pigeon by hand, using a plastic sling.

 

IMG_0659.thumb.JPG.afd744029768049b51e0484fb4eb99d5.JPG

I'm at the controls, bringing in the drone for a landing. We are standing next to my truck.

 

IMG_0660.thumb.JPG.eb70d5d37924116e85f355f5dc0c5ea7.JPG

Above my place, looking east at the Sonoma Range.

 

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Looking northerly. Winnemucca Mountain dominates the scene. The two silos in the distance at extreme right belong to the potato processing plant, town is beyond and off the image to the right. The mainline of the Union Pacific Railroad approaches and curves across the scene.

 

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View southwesterly across Grass Valley to the northern end of the East Range.

IMG_0663.thumb.JPG.8a644c51733288093d602b592728dcf7.JPG

View southerly along Grass Valley with the Sonoma Range at left, East Range at right.

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Really cool how far the tech has come.. .. I never thought I'd see electric powered flight on this scale.. used to be internal combustion was the only way to get decent run times...

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They keep making things complicated, it won't even be worth the time and money to own the stinking things!  http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/sep/28/faa-bans-drone-flights-near-major-us-landmarks-gra/

And of course you'll have your police forces that will take this measurement into their OWN interpretation...and that's the part that scares me.  As a former transportation official, I pretty much have a heads on what can be done, and what might be questionable...but now as a basic photographer, I have recently made it a habit of carrying the "bill of rights" as a photographer because now the pendulum has swung so drastic on what's allowable, and how everybody views those freedoms.  So now I can see having to pack an encyclopedia the same size to do photography with a drone?

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So....we have a right to protect our property...does that include the birds that take out our drones??? LOL...  https://www.wsj.com/articles/bold-eagles-angry-birds-are-ripping-80-000-drones-out-of-the-sky-1506701429

 

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Wonder about the right to wound them pesky 10'+ trees too.  Plus, if we don't disable or kill said pest organisms, can we do such as trim said trees if they are protected w/o approval of such action such as a DIY control burn for LL pines.  

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3 hours ago, MB64 said:

Sooo, I finally got a Mavic Pro :)  Will be going around to different places later in the month to have some fun.

Large, empty, open space is usually a good starting point.  It's hard to get 'smooth' with the drone - the controls are more sensitive than I had anticipated, so a gentle hand goes a long way. 

Also there is a bug in the firmware (at least the version I have).  You can take off and get the drone between 2 near-ground objects, with the ground sufficiently close enough that it will lock up and refuse to accept any input.  The forward and downward 'vision' systems see danger and concluded there is no safe action to take other than hover.  Mind you, there is at least one 'exit' route, but the drone doesn't know this.  The default is to go into hover and wait, forever. 

This is despite the fact that the drone has a GPS lock, just took off, and has a better default 'exit' - descend and land from where you just took off - the downward vision system should register this, but it will not.  Disabling the vision system in-flight makes no difference, hitting RTH is useless, and nothing else I tried will cause the drone to accept pilot input. 

My solution was to *carefully* reach up (it was only about 6' off the ground), grab the drone, and pull it out of the area.  While doing that, the drone knew it was moving, flipped out, and ramped the motors up to full speed, trying to maintain its position.  That in turn led to all sorts of motor overspeed and battery overheat warnings on the remote.  Once it was clear, I pulled the battery and killed the power.  How I did this all without catching the business end of a propeller, I don't know. 

It's a case where the engineers didn't consider alternatives beyond "just hover".  Plenty of other solutions exist, but none were considered.  Also I've had problems directly connecting the drone to USB for imagery download.  The easiest solution was a microSD reader, pull the card, and get data off that way. 

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Yikes, thanks for the heads-up. I'm running the latest firmware and so far so good. Only connected to the computer once, no prob getting videos off it. As far as big open spaces, is a living room considered that? Hahaha already flew t indoors using tripod mode. Much easier to fly than the micro drone I have too. About to use it for a roof inspection, found some shingles on the ground after heavy winds.

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I just wish they wouldn't tie the Mavic to your phone..   I think that's they only way you can get live camera view?  I read the users guide and wasn't impressed with that aspect, and the app isn't available for the phone I have... (oh gosh, it's 2 years old.. no support for that version of Android).   I like the form factor/size.. seems really spiffy.. but I'll wait for a fully stand alone system...

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How else would you want live video feeds?  An integrated remote?  That just adds cost and inefficiency, I think.

 

 

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It already has a remote, adding a small LCD screen and the support hardware wouldn't add much to the cost.   I'm not going to upgrade my phone AND run an insecure/overprivileged app on it for functionality that IMO should not assume everyone carries around a supported phone.  I'll pass.

If this list of permissions doesn't make you nervous...  I've added a * after all of these permissions that are commonly used as attack and malware propogation vectors and # on the ones that the app has no legitimate reason to access, and can be a privacy/security risk

 

Version 4.1.18 can access:
Device & app history
  • retrieve running apps*
  • read sensitive log data#
Identity
  • find accounts on the device# *
  • add or remove accounts# *
Contacts
  • find accounts on the device#
Location
  • approximate location (network-based)
  • precise location (GPS and network-based)
Phone
  • directly call phone numbers# *
  • read phone status and identity# *
Photos/Media/Files
  • access USB storage filesystem
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Storage
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Camera
  • take pictures and videos
Microphone
  • record audio ??
Wi-Fi connection information
  • view Wi-Fi connections
Device ID & call information
  • read phone status and identity#

 

Other
  • Access download manager.#
  • download files without notification#
  • full license to interact across users#
  • manage document storage#
  • control media playback and metadata access#
  • close other apps#
  • view network connections
  • read battery statistics
  • pair with Bluetooth devices# *
  • access Bluetooth settings# *
  • send sticky broadcast# *
  • change system display settings*
  • change network connectivity# *
  • connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi# *
  • control flashlight
  • full network access *
  • close other apps *
  • run at startup *
  • draw over other apps *
  • use accounts on the device * #
  • control vibration
  • prevent device from sleeping
  • modify system settings * #
  • add words to user-defined dictionary * #
  • Google Play license check*
  • read Google service configuration*

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Now that I have a good metal detector a drone is on my list. :)

When it comes to the registration, I too think it is overreach, but we have to find a way to deal with the idiots. Last summer, when NorCal was on fire, and one of the fires in the Sierras was within about 4 yards of my home. The news reported that over in the Bay Area some moron decided to fly his drone into the closed airspace where aircraft were actively fighting the fire. They had to ground the planes for a couple of hours or so I am told,  for fear of a collision.

After things settled down I talked to an old friend of mine in the fire service who is now a Battalion Chief with a local agency. I asked him about this. He said it was true, and they were worried about it in the future.

So am I. I am worried that I might lose my cool if some clown decides that getting cool  footage with his drone is more important than Air Attack getting aircraft into my area to save my house.

Registration is not necessary but we gotta find some way to identify who the clowns are who are doing this and deal with them in a very public way to discourage others. Stopping them is far more desirable than prosecuting them for violating a law after they have contributed to impeding firefighting efforts. I don't know how to do this, perhaps a squawk deal like aircraft use, something needs to done or we will get stuck with registration, or worse....

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