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I searched and practically nothing came up.  I've always loved the little indoor RC helicopters, then as the kids got older we'd get the "toy drones" that were like $50.  We'd have a few fun afternoons then they'd break.  

Somehow this new DJI FPV drone caught my attention and I bought it immediately.   The wife freaked out when she saw the cost, but its worth it.  This thing is absolutely awesome.  You put the VR googles on and its a pretty surreal experience.  It legit feels like flying.  

I didn't realize how high tech these things have gotten.  Its certainly not crash resistant, but its not easy to crash.   It instantly locks on to 25-28 GPS satellites.  Very stable in windy conditions.  All you do is hit the return to home button and it will cruise back to its exact position it took off.  

So far I've just messed around in some open space around our neighborhood.  We live near a big reservoir and I've sent it out over the water a few times.  With a full charge you can sent it out over 6 miles and up to 400 ft in altitude.  Haven't done either yet.  I get nervous when I lose sight!   It knows where restricted airspace is too, so you don't have to worry about that.  

Anyone else into this stuff?  I think I'll end up on the liking the video and photography side of this hobby too.  

Edited by jb1020
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That thing looks awesome.  And it looks like it has all the features I'd want if I were to buy one for fishing/adventuring. Thanks for sharing.

Edited by Ron Swanson
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50 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

That thing looks awesome.  And it looks like it has all the features I'd want if I were to buy one for fishing/adventuring. Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, its so much fun. The water we live near has a pretty shallow water and a lot of gators come out in the summer.  I'll be sneaking up on them in a few weeks.  

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2 minutes ago, Nigel said:

Curious what the learning curve is like to be decent at flying one of those...best to buy/practice on crappier ones before getting a good one?

I'm very much an amateur, but its pretty simple.  I thought about going the cheaper route, but a friend talked me out of it and I'm glad he did.  The nicer ones have obstacle avoidance sensors on them.  I feel comfortable flying it in open spots. The toy drones I've had in the past wont stay in the air for more than 2 minutes before being blown around.  

It also has 3 modes you can engage.  N mode (beginner) has all the sensors turned on and will automatically brake for you if you are about to hit something.  Then theres a free style mode where you're in control.  You can do the flips and what not.  Then theres a hybrid mode that combines the two.  

In an open space, in beginner mode, its pretty much crash proof.  I got a little nervous my first flight.  I went up 40 ft and out probably 100 yards and hit the Return To Home button.  Drone went straight up, I thought I had lost control of it.  I learned that it does that to avoid obstacles on the way back.  I'm not sure if it goes to max height, but it goes really high to its take off point then comes straight down.  Thats where all the GPS links come into play.  

If you want to become a good pilot this model also comes with a free Virtual Flight app.  Its pretty cool.  Grab your googles, remote and phone...and you go thru training and a bunch of other courses to get better.  

Plus I bought the DJI insurance for $200.  

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14 minutes ago, Nigel said:

Curious what the learning curve is like to be decent at flying one of those...best to buy/practice on crappier ones before getting a good one?

They are easy to fly right out of the box, however, it takes lots of practice to be really good and comfortable flying it. I find it all pretty stressful, tbh. Of course, I wrecked mine (DJI Spark) the 2nd time I took it out, so maybe thats why? Flew it waaaaaaaay out of view and was just watching through the phone and ended up backing it into a tree. Bought another and have been more careful since. I've taken it lots of cool places (fishing, beach, boating, etc) and got lots of cool video. Not hard to fly, just a bit stressful for me when its out of sight.

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2 minutes ago, jb1020 said:

Plus I bought the DJI insurance for $200.  

Yeah, this is a good idea. Unless your concern is losing it over water (or just losing it in general - which I almost did when I wrecked mine), because I think you need to have the broken carcass in order to get a new one.

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I had the dji phantom 3 and enjoyed it, but got tired of the size and amount of time it took to put it together to fly and tear it back down to pack up. 

So, just bought the dji mavic mini 2.. Absolutely love it..

Much smaller, flys further away, and has 4k video.. I can't wait until they reopen the Us/Canada border to fly it with no boundaries  :excited:

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2 hours ago, Nigel said:

Curious what the learning curve is like to be decent at flying one of those...best to buy/practice on crappier ones before getting a good one?

The phantom 3 took some learning.. Especially landing.. Never could get it to land the way I wanted. 

The Mavic mini 2 is soooooooooooo much easier to fly and land.. :thumbup:

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On 4/20/2021 at 5:54 PM, snogger said:

The phantom 3 took some learning.. Especially landing.. Never could get it to land the way I wanted. 

The Mavic mini 2 is soooooooooooo much easier to fly and land.. :thumbup:

My 11 yo has a pretty good handle on flying the FPV.  I might get him the mini2 for christmas.  He always wants to go flying with me which is great, but I want to fly the damn thing! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Picked up a new ship for the fleet the other day.  It was a bit of an impulse buy.  Got the DJI Mavic Mini 2 from Costco.  My 11 yo is busting a gut for his own.  I let him fly the FPV a little, but he makes me nervous as hell.  We watch the youtube video's where people can do flips and dives....though he just uses the beginner mode he still tries to do that ####!  Hard headed kid.  

Anyways, I impulsively bought it for a trip to Costa Rica.  I only got 2 good flights in.  There was an airport near and I didn't have cell service so I couldn't override the notices.  Had to walk a ways.  And having never flown on a beach before dealing with the wind was difficult.  One flight my drone went too far and it said it didn't have enough battery to make it back so it tried to land where it was...100's of yards out in the ocean.  I was able to get it to land thankfully.  I think it had a tailwind on the way out, headwind on the return trip.  Here are a few more very amateur shots.  

https://imgur.com/gallery/zOWPMy3

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That's awesome.   If I still lived in SoCal I'd buy a drone for fishing to find kelp paddies and schools of fish.

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3 hours ago, FairWarning said:

I would love to try drone photography.  How windy is too windy with drones?

Average drones can handle around 25-30 mph winds.

I wouldn't expect good results above 10-15 in video mode.

Edited by scottybo
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On 4/20/2021 at 3:52 PM, snogger said:

I had the dji phantom 3 and enjoyed it, but got tired of the size and amount of time it took to put it together to fly and tear it back down to pack up. 

So, just bought the dji mavic mini 2.. Absolutely love it..

Much smaller, flys further away, and has 4k video.. I can't wait until they reopen the Us/Canada border to fly it with no boundaries  :excited:

This isn't the same as the Mavic Mini 2, correct?

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6 hours ago, beer 30 said:
On 4/20/2021 at 5:52 PM, snogger said:

I had the dji phantom 3 and enjoyed it, but got tired of the size and amount of time it took to put it together to fly and tear it back down to pack up. 

So, just bought the dji mavic mini 2.. Absolutely love it..

Much smaller, flys further away, and has 4k video.. I can't wait until they reopen the Us/Canada border to fly it with no boundaries  :excited:

This isn't the same as the Mavic Mini 2, correct?

I have the Mini 2 which is about $300 cheaper with all the add-ons. The videos(4k) and Picture quality(Raw and JPG) are top notch. :thumbup: 

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17 hours ago, jb1020 said:

Picked up a new ship for the fleet the other day.  It was a bit of an impulse buy.  Got the DJI Mavic Mini 2 from Costco.  My 11 yo is busting a gut for his own.  I let him fly the FPV a little, but he makes me nervous as hell.  We watch the youtube video's where people can do flips and dives....though he just uses the beginner mode he still tries to do that ####!  Hard headed kid.  

Anyways, I impulsively bought it for a trip to Costa Rica.  I only got 2 good flights in.  There was an airport near and I didn't have cell service so I couldn't override the notices.  Had to walk a ways.  And having never flown on a beach before dealing with the wind was difficult.  One flight my drone went too far and it said it didn't have enough battery to make it back so it tried to land where it was...100's of yards out in the ocean.  I was able to get it to land thankfully.  I think it had a tailwind on the way out, headwind on the return trip.  Here are a few more very amateur shots.  

https://imgur.com/gallery/zOWPMy3

Nice shots! :thumbup:

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17 hours ago, FairWarning said:

I would love to try drone photography.  How windy is too windy with drones?

These I have are rated for class 5 wind resistance.  I think its about 25 mph.  Its handled things pretty good.  Battery runs out faster the more wind.  

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11 hours ago, beer 30 said:

This isn't the same as the Mavic Mini 2, correct?

Thats different.  They just came out with a new version of that one.  The Air2 S.   Its pretty cool looking.  It has the features where you can set it to track you, or anything really.  I guess for the guys that mt bike or ride dirt bikes.  

The camera on the Mini 2 is great.  The Air and Air 2s are better, but my guess is only to the trained eye.  All the photos I posted are untouched...just right from the drone.  There are a ton of features on the mini 2 I haven't even started to explore.  

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15 minutes ago, jb1020 said:

These I have are rated for class 5 wind resistance.  I think its about 25 mph.  Its handled things pretty good.  Battery runs out faster the more wind.  

Thanks.  I would be using it a lot around Lake Michigan 

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24 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Thanks.  I would be using it a lot around Lake Michigan 

I bet thats fine.  The only problem I ran into at the beach in Costa Rica was self inflicted.  I had the "return to home" set too high.  I think it was 150 meters.  So as soon as I hit that button to get the drone back it tried to go from 25 meters to 150.  Way too windy that high.  

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So what is the difference between FPV and Mavic? Seems the FPV is more expensive so assuming better/best of the bunch. Average flight time on fully charged battery? 

What are the recommend add ons?  

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