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You NEED a DRONE, Dude > $50 with HD cam? Unpossible!

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From the guy who brought you the "Ultimate last minute $30 Gift" thread with the Syma 107 Microcopter that has provided many FBGs endless hours of indoor fun...

Check out the "new" Syma x5c Quadcopter with HD Camera for $51 shipped w/ Amazon Prime

Just got it yesterday (testing a quadcopter with cam for a low-budget video production I've got coming up) and have been tinkering with it a bit. Flying control/experience is similar to the mini copters, but it's much more powerful. Standard two stick / 4 channel controls apply... left stick up/down is your throttle/altitude. left/right is your rudder/spin. Right stick up/down is your pitch (nose up/down) and left/right is your roll (tilt left/right). Very responsive for the money, IMO.

Outside performance is great, even in light to moderate winds. Range is considerable given it's a 2.4Ghz controller... you can expect 50-100 meters depending on outside interference. I've gotten mine far enough that it wasn't easy to determine orientation and it was still in my control.

The on-board HD video camera is pretty slick. Sample video here. You're not going to be shooting any hollywood productions, but for the price it's quite remarkable. This is NOT a FPV (first person video) enabled quad, meaning you can't view live video as it flies, though that feature is available on other slightly more expensive models if you would like it.

Controlling the camera to shoot video/photos is simple and done remotely via the controller on the fly... meaning you don't have to start recording on the ground, but you can grab short snippets of your flight as you see fit. File format is AVI and pretty universally/easily read by any computer. The camera shoots on a removable Micro SDcard. It comes with a 2GB card which will only hold a couple mins of footage. If you're looking to upgrade, get a class 4 (not above) micro-SD card of up to 32GB in size. Outside that and you're risking it not working.

Unlike the Syma 107 copter, the x5c uses removable batteries. :thumbup: This means you're not quite as bound to the 7-10min flight times. Land the quad/drone when the underside LED lights flash to alert to low power, pop open the belly of the case, swap batteries, and take off again. Higher-capacity batteries can be found on amazon for $15-20 for a 4 pack with a charger that will charge all 4 at once. Only concern is the brushless motors need time to cool... so running more than 2-3 batteries consecutively without allowing them to cool may lead to burn out. Replacement motors are $2-4 each though.

Overall performance is great, though. A blast to fly during the day, or at night (via bright underside LED lights of two different colors to aid in orientation). Note: Video performance at night is non-existent in unlit areas. There is even a "flip" botton on top right corner of the controller that when pressed, will cause the quad to perform a flip in whichever direction the right stick is next pressed. When done at reasonable altitude, the gyro-enabled unit easily/automatically recovers from the flip. Last night on my 3rd flight with the copter I was easily heading in one direction, then using the flip to help change direction, then coming out of the flip heading in the other direction... a 3D U-turn of sorts.

DURABILITY: you're going to crash it a lot at first....and that's okay. :thumbup: This thing is feather light, and is designed to take a beating. I've bounced it off asphalt 10-15 times already without any damage. If you're concerned, your first few flights may want to be over grass to minimize damage. This thing is TOUGH though.

Learning to Fly a Quad/Drone : Quadcopter 101

Edited by [icon]

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If you're concerned, your first few flights may want to be over grass to minimize damage.

Sounds great. As soon as I get mine I'm off to practice on the White House lawn. :thumbup:

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Can I use this to spy on my hot neighbor undressing through the window?

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Can I use this to spy on my hot neighbor undressing through the window?

It'll work on ugly neighbors too.

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Can I use this to spy on my hot neighbor undressing through the window?

It'll work on ugly neighbors too.

:goodposting: :christo:

It's pretty loud with the 4 motors humming... you're not going to sneak up on anyone with it. Unless she's using her vibrator... then she might not notice.

Edited by [icon]

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Can I use this to spy on my hot neighbor undressing through the window?

It'll work on ugly neighbors too.

:goodposting: :christo:

It's pretty loud with the 4 motors humming... you're not going to sneak up on anyone with it. Unless she's using her vibrator... then she might not notice.

I wonder which will create a higher pitched hum.

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So if this thing went out of range and fell to the ground it'd be toast, right?

I'm assuming so and that probably would happen for me pretty quickly, but it still would be a pretty cool toy for that price. Maybe I can bubble wrap it :D

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So if this thing went out of range and fell to the ground it'd be toast, right?

I'm assuming so and that probably would happen for me pretty quickly, but it still would be a pretty cool toy for that price. Maybe I can bubble wrap it :D

Nope. Could fall from 50-100m to grass and would likely suffer zero damage. I've had it come down hard onto asphalt from pretty good heights as well.

Very little potential energy due to light weight and relatively large body.... plus the key elements (rotors/blades/camera) are all shielded well. This thing was built to take a beating. That coupled with it's easy-to-fly nature makes it widely considered to be the ideal first quad/drone.

The real danger of getting too far/high when first learning is getting it caught in a tree/roof. In a fly-away scenario it's more of a factor of not finding it due to being stuck in a tree, rather than it getting broken by landing hard.

Edited by [icon]

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I've seen some tech guys flying drones with really high range and first-person goggles linked to the camera for flying. Looks fun, but also a bit creepy.

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I've seen some tech guys flying drones with really high range and first-person goggles linked to the camera for flying. Looks fun, but also a bit creepy.

Yes... next level features (that are RAPIDLY falling in price) are:

FPV: first person video - live video feed sent from the drone/quad to the pilot. This is done via 5.6Ghz signal to a screen on the controller or goggles (:dork:) on better units. On cheaper versions, Wifi is used to send a signal to a smart/phone or tablet. Wifi is known to be laggy with limited range/reliability and should probably be avoided.

GPS: Many drones now feature GPS functionality which allows for it to hover in an exact spot... program routes... or, most useful, a "return to home" function which will make the unit fly back and land at your feet if you push a button (or if the drone loses signal).

Headless mode : A mode that uses an internal compass-type sensor that inverts controls when the drone is facing you... making left always mean left.... vs the pilot having to remember to invert controller input when flying toward themselves. Viewed as a crutch that's not really necessary.

You are now seeing units in the $150 range with decent FPV systems, and VERY nice FPV/GPS drones with 1080p cameras (or ability to lift a GOPRO that can be had for $300-400. Market is blowing open right now and prices are in freefall.

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UPGRADED CAMERAS:

Depending on the power/size of the quad/drone, these are the upgraded cameras that are most popular. All are FPV compatible if set up to do so.

The 808 #16 - $38 for a damn nice 720p keyfob sized camera? sure... why not. Wide range of lenses and batteries available. Works with most any quad.

The Mobius Cam - $85 for a 1080p HD Cam with upgraded battery and lens. Wont work with x5c...needs slightly more powerful/larger quad to fly wtih.

Go Pro - Many bigger / better drones will tote a Go-Pro no problem if you have one.

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Handy don't fly drones here map:

https://www.mapbox.com/drone/no-fly/?embed=true#5/38.651/-96.504

Suckit, UES.

huh, I am in a no-drone zone :(

Me too

IMO These smaller units are not a problem in those areas.. with tiny body size and max height of 100 meters or so, I'd not hesitate to fly anywhere outside of immediately adjacent to an airport.

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I don't look forward to everyone and their mother flying these things everywhere.

I forsee many being shot down and fights ensuing.

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You no-fly zone guys near airports or military installations? Seems to be the only restrictions in the five boroughs.

Although NYPD will just arrest people for random #### and figure it out later. Some guy got hauled out of the US Open last year for flying a drone. I don't think I'd be flying it in Central Park or walking the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Handy don't fly drones here map:

https://www.mapbox.com/drone/no-fly/?embed=true#5/38.651/-96.504

Suckit, UES.

huh, I am in a no-drone zone :(

Me too

IMO These smaller units are not a problem in those areas.. with tiny body size and max height of 100 meters or so, I'd not hesitate to fly anywhere outside of immediately adjacent to an airport.

DC area is probably not a good idea.

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My property literally borders a no-drone zone. That could make this fun!

I've always wanted to tinker with these things.

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Handy don't fly drones here map:

https://www.mapbox.com/drone/no-fly/?embed=true#5/38.651/-96.504

Suckit, UES.

huh, I am in a no-drone zone :(

Me too

IMO These smaller units are not a problem in those areas.. with tiny body size and max height of 100 meters or so, I'd not hesitate to fly anywhere outside of immediately adjacent to an airport.

DC area is probably not a good idea.

NOTAM 0/8236

http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_8326.html

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I've seen some tech guys flying drones with really high range and first-person goggles linked to the camera for flying. Looks fun, but also a bit creepy.

Yes... next level features (that are RAPIDLY falling in price) are:

FPV: first person video - live video feed sent from the drone/quad to the pilot. This is done via 5.6Ghz signal to a screen on the controller or goggles (:dork:) on better units. On cheaper versions, Wifi is used to send a signal to a smart/phone or tablet. Wifi is known to be laggy with limited range/reliability and should probably be avoided.

GPS: Many drones now feature GPS functionality which allows for it to hover in an exact spot... program routes... or, most useful, a "return to home" function which will make the unit fly back and land at your feet if you push a button (or if the drone loses signal).

Headless mode : A mode that uses an internal compass-type sensor that inverts controls when the drone is facing you... making left always mean left.... vs the pilot having to remember to invert controller input when flying toward themselves. Viewed as a crutch that's not really necessary.

You are now seeing units in the $150 range with decent FPV systems, and VERY nice FPV/GPS drones with 1080p cameras (or ability to lift a GOPRO that can be had for $300-400. Market is blowing open right now and prices are in freefall.

You seem to be the expert here. Do any of these quad copters have the ability to fly "unmaned" and face a moving target? Say mountain bikers - can one of these be set to "follow" me through a course and film from above?

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I've seen some tech guys flying drones with really high range and first-person goggles linked to the camera for flying. Looks fun, but also a bit creepy.

Yes... next level features (that are RAPIDLY falling in price) are:

FPV: first person video - live video feed sent from the drone/quad to the pilot. This is done via 5.6Ghz signal to a screen on the controller or goggles (:dork:) on better units. On cheaper versions, Wifi is used to send a signal to a smart/phone or tablet. Wifi is known to be laggy with limited range/reliability and should probably be avoided.

GPS: Many drones now feature GPS functionality which allows for it to hover in an exact spot... program routes... or, most useful, a "return to home" function which will make the unit fly back and land at your feet if you push a button (or if the drone loses signal).

Headless mode : A mode that uses an internal compass-type sensor that inverts controls when the drone is facing you... making left always mean left.... vs the pilot having to remember to invert controller input when flying toward themselves. Viewed as a crutch that's not really necessary.

You are now seeing units in the $150 range with decent FPV systems, and VERY nice FPV/GPS drones with 1080p cameras (or ability to lift a GOPRO that can be had for $300-400. Market is blowing open right now and prices are in freefall.

You seem to be the expert here. Do any of these quad copters have the ability to fly "unmaned" and face a moving target? Say mountain bikers - can one of these be set to "follow" me through a course and film from above?

That would be badass. Like if you had some kind of a IFF device so that it would track you wherever you went while you were rafting or whatever.

:oldunsure:

OR A CHEATING GF AMIRIGHT?

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That would be badass. Like if you had some kind of a IFF device so that it would track you wherever you went while you were rafting or whatever.

:oldunsure:

OR A CHEATING GF AMIRIGHT?

:lmao:next time on Cheaters...

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I've seen some tech guys flying drones with really high range and first-person goggles linked to the camera for flying. Looks fun, but also a bit creepy.

Yes... next level features (that are RAPIDLY falling in price) are:

FPV: first person video - live video feed sent from the drone/quad to the pilot. This is done via 5.6Ghz signal to a screen on the controller or goggles (:dork:) on better units. On cheaper versions, Wifi is used to send a signal to a smart/phone or tablet. Wifi is known to be laggy with limited range/reliability and should probably be avoided.

GPS: Many drones now feature GPS functionality which allows for it to hover in an exact spot... program routes... or, most useful, a "return to home" function which will make the unit fly back and land at your feet if you push a button (or if the drone loses signal).

Headless mode : A mode that uses an internal compass-type sensor that inverts controls when the drone is facing you... making left always mean left.... vs the pilot having to remember to invert controller input when flying toward themselves. Viewed as a crutch that's not really necessary.

You are now seeing units in the $150 range with decent FPV systems, and VERY nice FPV/GPS drones with 1080p cameras (or ability to lift a GOPRO that can be had for $300-400. Market is blowing open right now and prices are in freefall.

You seem to be the expert here. Do any of these quad copters have the ability to fly "unmaned" and face a moving target? Say mountain bikers - can one of these be set to "follow" me through a course and film from above?

That would be badass. Like if you had some kind of a IFF device so that it would track you wherever you went while you were rafting or whatever.

:oldunsure:

OR A CHEATING GF AMIRIGHT?

Or my dog.

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What's the speed of these things? Both up/down as well as in a straight line ~20 feet off the ground?

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The possibilities are endless.

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I've wondered if I could use these to patrol an area when hunting hogs. Hogs can't really hear for #### so noise isn't a major concern.

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You seem to be the expert here. Do any of these quad copters have the ability to fly "unmaned" and face a moving target? Say mountain bikers - can one of these be set to "follow" me through a course and film from above?

Hardly an expert, but have a couple days of reading in me and I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night...

On the consumer end of the spectrum I don't think such tech exists just yet. that said, given the GPS enabled functionality already existing, the ability to program routes, and two way communication...

I find it very hard to believe that a cheap GPS "beacon" that transmits to the drone, feeding it coordinates on the fly, causing the drone to maintain a preset distance and keep oriented toward the signal. Program a hard deck altitude and go. Pretty simple stuff, really.

That said... that's subject to relative speed of the subject (racing drones cap out at 50-60mph), battery life (typically these top out at 10-15 mins of flight time), and foreign objects (trees, power lines, etc)....

But something like sticking a beacon on a Motorcycle guy on a track for a 5 minute race and have the drone follow him around shooting footage? give it a few months before that's in $250 drones with a $50 GPS beacon.

Hell it may already be available and I just haven't come across it yet.

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I've wondered if I could use these to patrol an area when hunting hogs. Hogs can't really hear for #### so noise isn't a major concern.

Assuming it's not too densely wooded, I don't see why not. keep in mind your range limitation of 100-200m, but with a mobius type camera and FPV live video feed i'd assume you'd have very clear line of sight of whatever you wanted to look at within that range.

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Does it know the difference between a terrorist stronghold and a Pakistani elementary school?

Just kidding. Who cares?

Why are there no Wal-Mart's in Afghanistan?

Too many Targets.

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What's the speed of these things? Both up/down as well as in a straight line ~20 feet off the ground?

I'd say this syma likely can go 10-15mph at peak. Not really sure though. With the camera it could likely climb out of range within 5-6 seconds if you tried. less with the camera removed (which is easily done). The x5c is designed to be very easy to fly though. More nimble/powerful quads are much faster / quicker.

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I've wondered if I could use these to patrol an area when hunting hogs. Hogs can't really hear for #### so noise isn't a major concern.

Assuming it's not too densely wooded, I don't see why not. keep in mind your range limitation of 100-200m, but with a mobius type camera and FPV live video feed i'd assume you'd have very clear line of sight of whatever you wanted to look at within that range.

I just checked, this is illegal for hunting deer in Texas. However, there are no rules for hogs.

Considering this. Strongly.

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Awesome, thanks. With winter over perfect time to upgrade from the $15 cheerson cx-10 and move outside.

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Can I use this to spy on my hot neighbor undressing through the window?

It'll work on ugly neighbors too.

Supposedly there is an upgrade to filter the ugly ones out.

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For those wondering what the next step is... higher end drones with mobius camera produce stuff like this

Or this :excited:

Wow. Yeah that's a pricy setup flown by someone who knows what the hell they're doing :lol:

Nice find.

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This kind of thing is right in my wheelhouse, but I've gotten better about not buying things that I won't use after the novelty wears off.

Still tempting and I may cave. :thumbup:

A group of hikers had a drone in the Grand Canyon last year. They were getting some cool group shots with the drone ascending from the canyon below. A couple of guides I talked to were not happy.

Why?

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