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Bob

Any New Drone Laws To Be Aware Of?

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I haven't had a drone for some time, so I haven't kept up with the latest federal laws. Wondering if there are any new laws to be aware of? @Jack Freer is usually up to date with the laws. Any thoughts on the new mavic pro 2?

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Bob, Here is a site with a list collection of state and local laws...

https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws/?utm_source=hs_automation&utm_medium=email&utm_content=24274275&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9N0HopHSXs4G_OXN839u33opCmQyE8aALffiC8gRYgjuay7R2dphwShvysxteHS_ZO85noMuMF0bh3tQftRd2POGJCUg&_hsmi=24274275

I operate under Part 107 and usually just check AirMap and the FAA sectionals.

I am not happy with any of the new DJI products.  Their newer flight controllers have become restrictive and they added an extra layer of hoops to jump through if you are flying in an area that requires approval.  I can get instant approval through AirMap but on a newer DJI flight controller then DJI has to be contacted.

My DJI Phantom 2 has an unrestricted flight controller and it operates just fine.  I also prefer the GoPro cameras over the DJI standard cameras. The Tarot 650 I built uses an unrestricted Pixhawk flight controller.  So I just follow FAA regs and I don't have to involve DJI.

 

 

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  Ha ha, great, i just got a dji spark.  I havent flown it too much and will usually fail to the conservative side if in doubt anyways but that is definately good to know. 

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You will probably be fine El and not have any problems.  I operate in and around restricted airspace often and many times without much advanced notice.  Using AirMap for authorization is so easy and fast it's annoying that DJI added that extra authorization layer..

DJI is marketing their drones like iPhones.  They will discontinue a perfectly good system and want everyone to buy the latest model.  But the batteries for the previous model won't fit the new model so you need new batteries, chargers, travel case, spare props, etc.  Buying 10 to 12 new batteries and chargers adds up quickly.

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     Mine came with two batteries and i bought another but it didnt work! I have to buy another. It seems crap becomes obsolete anymore before you can enjoy them. I got a new camera body a few mos ago and it wouldnt download the raw files to my computer. I updated this and updated that, loaded a new program and it now downloads but my timelapse program doesnt work anymore, the files are too big, to buy a new program I have to get a new computer, mine is too old and outdated. 🤬🤬

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16 hours ago, Jack Freer said:

Bob, Here is a site with a list collection of state and local laws...

https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws/?utm_source=hs_automation&utm_medium=email&utm_content=24274275&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9N0HopHSXs4G_OXN839u33opCmQyE8aALffiC8gRYgjuay7R2dphwShvysxteHS_ZO85noMuMF0bh3tQftRd2POGJCUg&_hsmi=24274275

I operate under Part 107 and usually just check AirMap and the FAA sectionals.

I am not happy with any of the new DJI products.  Their newer flight controllers have become restrictive and they added an extra layer of hoops to jump through if you are flying in an area that requires approval.  I can get instant approval through AirMap but on a newer DJI flight controller then DJI has to be contacted.

My DJI Phantom 2 has an unrestricted flight controller and it operates just fine.  I also prefer the GoPro cameras over the DJI standard cameras. The Tarot 650 I built uses an unrestricted Pixhawk flight controller.  So I just follow FAA regs and I don't have to involve DJI.

 

 

Thanks Jack, do you have any other suggestions for high quality drones? I started having a lot of problems with my DJI Phantom 3 advanced. Seemed I spent more time trying to get it in the air as I did flying it. The follow me function no longer worked, and it was just problem after problem. It got to the point to where I dreaded even trying to fly it. Not sure if there is something out there comparable to the Mavic pro 2 in regards to video quality? 

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I've been happy with my Mavic Pro, so far.  But it's also a previous generation.  The DJI software is pissing me the hell off, though.  All sorts of registration hoops to deal with. Luckily on the first day, I had 2 bars of service, so I set my phone up as a hotspot, joined the tablet to the WiFi, and got that taken care of.  A few miles further out and I'd have been stuck using the phone for the controller. 

Really surprised there are no 3rd-party controllers for the DJI's. 

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48 minutes ago, Bob said:

Thanks Jack, do you have any other suggestions for high quality drones? I started having a lot of problems with my DJI Phantom 3 advanced. Seemed I spent more time trying to get it in the air as I did flying it. The follow me function no longer worked, and it was just problem after problem. It got to the point to where I dreaded even trying to fly it. Not sure if there is something out there comparable to the Mavic pro 2 in regards to video quality? 

Bob, I don't know of any DJI competitors.  There are supposedly some new US companies coming on board but it's too early to tell if they will stay and their early versions are too expensive. I am not even following them.  I mostly shoot stills so I haven't been following the specs for the video side of the cameras.

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41 minutes ago, desertdog said:

I've been happy with my Mavic Pro, so far.  But it's also a previous generation.  The DJI software is pissing me the hell off, though.  All sorts of registration hoops to deal with. Luckily on the first day, I had 2 bars of service, so I set my phone up as a hotspot, joined the tablet to the WiFi, and got that taken care of.  A few miles further out and I'd have been stuck using the phone for the controller. 

Really surprised there are no 3rd-party controllers for the DJI's. 

I stopped doing Phantom 2 firmware updates when I saw DJI start to slide in the restrictions.  I also don't like the idea of using an iPhone or iPad with the radio controller.  Just introducing another point of failure.

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22 minutes ago, Jack Freer said:

Bob, I don't know of any DJI competitors.  There are supposedly some new US companies coming on board but it's too early to tell if they will stay and their early versions are too expensive. I am not even following them.  I mostly shoot stills so I haven't been following the specs for the video side of the cameras.

How are the current restrictions when you are deep in the middle of the BLM land without much around? Sounds like I would be better or just waiting. Not sure why I ever upgraded my Phantom 3 when it was working perfectly. 

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The majority of the time on BLM land it's open. But then I am not using a newer DJI product so I wouldn't know if it's locked down.  I know people that were not able to lift off around Tonopah because of DJI restrictions.  Th  ere could be problems around the Nevada Test Site too.  And small little used airports in the desert get locked down too.  You would have to check the DJI info page for that to know for sure.

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What if you were to fly it with something like Litchi instead of the native app? Still have the same lock downs? 

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Just now, Bob said:

What if you were to fly it with something like Litchi instead of the native app? Still have the same lock downs? 

Now that I don't know.  But check the DJI website to be sure.

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Going to show this thread to a friend of mine with a Phantom pro model. He’s been having issues since summer, when it took nearly two weeks to get the latest update downloaded to his tablet (dedicated to the drone). He’s not been able to get it airborne since.

During fire season, Winnemucca airport is used to base wildfire aerial support crews and aircraft. In the past he got locked out and couldn’t fly.

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The updates ruined my drone, I ended up selling it because I was tired of the problems. I was hoping the new version was better, but as we already know, it's worse. Glad Jack let me know before I spent more money on one. 

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4 minutes ago, David A. Wright said:

Going to show this thread to a friend of mine with a Phantom pro model. He’s been having issues since summer, when it took nearly two weeks to get the latest update downloaded to his tablet (dedicated to the drone). He’s not been able to get it airborne since.

During fire season, Winnemucca airport is used to base wildfire aerial support crews and aircraft. In the past he got locked out and couldn’t fly.

Dave, have him check this site.  Select Nevada in the state option and it will show any NOTAM closures for WMC.  I believe that DJI may be feeding NOTAM closures into their system...

http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

Since my flight controllers are rouge I don't take the time to keep up with what DJI is doing to hamper their customers.

This site will show NOTAM closures also...

https://skyvector.com/

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Bob said:

The updates ruined my drone, I ended up selling it because I was tired of the problems. I was hoping the new version was better, but as we already know, it's worse. Glad Jack let me know before I spent more money on one. 

I would always check to see what the new firmware update included.  If it was for things I didn't use or want I wouldn't do it.  And then I stopped doing any of them.

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Thanks, Jack. I think my buddy is generally loosing interest in the drone anyway. About all he was using it for was to chase range cows and wild horses off his property if the got in while his gates were open ...

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1 minute ago, David A. Wright said:

Thanks, Jack. I think my buddy is generally loosing interest in the drone anyway. About all he was using it for was to chase range cows and wild horses off his property if the got in while his gates were open ...

He can always go with an off brand model or find a used Phantom 2.  Stick with models that use a dedicated radio controller and stay away from ones that want an iPhone or iPad.  It's very easy to built a ground station with a nice large monitor for much less than  an iPhone or iPad.

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50 minutes ago, Jack Freer said:

Dave, have him check this site.  Select Nevada in the state option and it will show any NOTAM closures for WMC.  I believe that DJI may be feeding NOTAM closures into their system...

http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

Since my flight controllers are rouge I don't take the time to keep up with what DJI is doing to hamper their customers.

This site will show NOTAM closures also...

https://skyvector.com/

 

 

  Thanks Jack! These two sites will help me out a lot!! 

 

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So DJI controls where you can or cannot use their drones though the GPS in them? I think I was watching a vid about somebody who uses a lot of drones and he was saying how much he hates DJI and this is one of the reasons that they constantly update and or screw up their restrictions an the has tons of projects ruined. Guess a normal FPV drone would be superior in this regard. 

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1 hour ago, SteveHazard said:

So DJI controls where you can or cannot use their drones though the GPS in them? I think I was watching a vid about somebody who uses a lot of drones and he was saying how much he hates DJI and this is one of the reasons that they constantly update and or screw up their restrictions an the has tons of projects ruined. Guess a normal FPV drone would be superior in this regard. 

I agree on just keeping the UAS system simple and stand alone.  Fewer things to go wrong.  Here is more info on the DJI restrictions...

https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map

 

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