In need of a holiday gift for the person who already has a drone?
DJI has been setting the standard in the exploding consumer drone market since consumer drones first burst on to the scene about 3 years ago. There is no doubt that DJI is the 800 lb gorilla on this playing field, they have done it better, faster, and cheaper than anyone else out there.The amount of technology packed into their current flagship, the Phantom 3 series, is nothing short of astounding when you consider the price point. That being said however, it’s still not cheap. Getting into the AP/AV game with a Phantom 3 will still cost you upwards of $1000, which while a great value considering all the technology packed into this little drone is still a good chunk of change for the average consumer. And that is exactly who DJI is trying to address with the latest addition to it’s lineup, the Phantom 3 standard.
The standard version comes in at a very reasonable $699, which while still not quite at the level of “impulse buy” should be much more palatable for potential customers who balk at the $1000+ price of the Advanced and Pro versions. There is no free lunch however, and you are giving up some of the cooler advanced technology found in the Advanced and Pro.
So is it worth it? Did DJI Hit the mark, or is it too much for too little? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
This is a review and commentary on the HiSky HMX280 Quadcopter introduced in 2015 and available at Banggood using this link.
What is it? – the HM280 is an RTF (Ready to Fly) mid-sized quadcopter with powerful brushless motors. It comes complete with the Remote (TX), the quadcopter, a battery and a battery charger. It sells for approx. $175 which makes it a very good value in this category.
Continuing from my last post “Under The Hood – 3DR SOLO – Part I, I will begin taking you through the steps I took to disassemble my SOLO. To begin remove the battery pack from the SOLO. Underneath there a four phillips-head screws. Using a basic screw driver these four screws can be easily removed. When disassembling there is no right or wrong way. Everything is learned by trial and error. The most important thing is you don’t break it! Proceeding cautiously will go along way to ensuring you’ll be able to fly again. [Read more…]
The Blade Nano QX has always been one of the suggested “toy grade” quadcopters for those who want to fly in smaller spaces and get in some training on the sticks. Earlier in the year we did our own first look and review on the original model Blade nano qx.
A number of clones have hit the market in recent months – promising many of the same features at 25% of the price of the brand name model. This review will look at the Eachine CG023 Nana QX clone. The same machine appears to be sold under various brand names including BAYANGTOYS X9, which appears similar but comes with a different (more compact) Transmitter.
Here is the banggood USA store (quick shipping!) for the model we tested.
Make certain you order “mode 2” which means the TX is setup correctly with the left throttle.
Hi and welcome to my very first post as a contributing member of Drone Coalition. I’m excited to be here and have some great topics lined up for the Fall. As an Engineer I’m more interested in the engineering behind these machines and the new technologies in development for their advancement. We are already into the third generation of drones in this rather young industry. Within this generation the Apps (Android and iOS) are dominating the scene with their advancements in flight operations. Now more than ever the operator has everything at their fingertips. Give it time and the term “Pilot” will be replaced with “Operator” or “Programmer”. The user will program the drone’s mission and it will autonomously complete it.
With that said let’s get right into my first multi-part series on the engineering behind the drones. Although there are many types all drones, basically all operate under the same principles and mechanics. What better way to teach this than to actually tear down the most technologically advanced drone currently on the market, the 3DR Solo. But first my disclaimer.
Disclaimer: Although not necessary to fly the drone, tearing it apart is to be done at your own risk and will void all manufacturer’s warranties. There is a chance doing so will permanently damage the drone and it will become an expensive static model only to be displayed in your office. While offering an amazing learning opportunity, it is not for the faint of heart and the user needs to be aware of the risks.
Good. With that scary statement out of the way let’s begin our operation. Recently I was lucky enough to find a Solo by 3D Robotics in my local Best Buy. With two independent 1Ghz computers in the system, this drone by far has more processing power than what we have seen become available to the consumer. Although the firmware is still pretty green, anticipation is high for what the future holds for this machine. 3D Robotics is a US drone company founded by Technologist and former Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, Chris Anderson. What distinguishes 3D Robotics from other manufacturers is the open source policy that is similar to companies like: The Linux Foundation, Red Hat, and Mozilla. 3D Robotics is also a strong supporter of the DIY (Do It Yourself) Maker movement spreading across the country. Their drones are meant to be tinkered with, taken apart, and dissected. Currently there is a whole community of developers writing the code base for this machine.
Unlink most, when I first got my Solo I didn’t fly it. I decided to see what was under that injection molded shell. I got out my IFixIt tool kit, took a deep breath, and began my 3DR Solo tear down.
Note – the images in this post got a little messed up with a server move. Most of them should be below:
(hit link above and see all files with Solo in their name.
Gallery of additional shots below:
3DRobotics Solo is a NoGo – 3DR Solo First Look
(Updated December, 2015)
Here is our newest take – on the virtual end of 3DR as a functioning consumer drone company (something which even they have admitted is true).
At Droneflyers.com we follow the world of consumer UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) very closely. In fact, we spend many hours each day flying, reading, emailing and otherwise soaking up and disseminating knowledge on this fast growing pursuit.
When 3DRobotics announced their new Solo quadcopter in April 2015, it set the drone world abuzz. The company claimed this model was FAR superior to any other camera/gimbal drone on the market.
The claims include these:
1. The world’s first smart drone
2. Can do anything any other drone does and more
3. Every other drone will be looked at as a toy by the end of the year.
4. Solo does 175 things better than other drones (presumably DJI, the market leader).
5. 3DR (maker of solo) will control the market instead of the current leader (DJI).
6. Cinema quality camera moves made easy – out of the box anyone can do it.
With claims like these – and many more, expectations were high for a truly groundbreaking product. The drone world awaited the launch of Solo – which was scheduled to be in stores in time for delivery to Dad by Father’s Day, 2015.
Then it happened… [Read more…]
A new low! Or, we could say, a new low price…
DJI has announced a new entry model of the Phantom 3 – at the price of $799 complete with camera, gimbal and battery. This is an unheard-of price for a complete RTF camera unit and should allow many more consumers to buy into this fascinating hobby.
What does it have – and what doesn’t it have?
Things are moving so quickly in this hobby that it’s tough to keep up! With the introduction of the P3 Standard, DJI now have 3 models in the Phantom 3 line. The differences are basically as listed below:
P3 Pro – $1259 – 4K Video, Dual GPS, Lightbridge digital video feed to your device, VPS.
P3 Advanced – $999 – HD video, Dual GPS, Lightbridge digital video feed to your device, VPS.
P3 Standard – $799 – HD video, Single band GPS, wifi video feed to your device.
See full story —- [Read more…]
Horizon Hobby recently added the Blade Chroma – a modern quadcopter designed for Aerial Photography and Video. The Chroma is perhaps the closest thing to a friendly “plug-and-play” camera machine you’re likely to find in the current market. Here’s our initial Blade Chroma Review:
In terms of size comparison, it’s bigger than both the Phantom 3 and its “smaller brother” the older Blade 350 QX series. It’s almost “400 (mm) size” and lies between the Blade 350 and the Yuneec Q500. The model pictured (there are four in all) is with the CG02 camera, which supports 1080p at 50 fps. There is also a version with a 4K camera (currently available only for pre-order), a model with a “fixed” GoPro and a gimbal-mounted GoPro version. The model we tested with the 3-axis gimbal mounted 1080p camera is currently retailing for $1,100 USD.
Chroma is sold in various configurations including some which allow use of the Horizon Spektrum line of Remotes. This one was purchased Ready to Fly (RTF) from a retailer and comes with the following remote controller:
Now the the excitement of the initial introduction has passed, it’s time to take a look at the new DJI Phantom 3 (P3) “camera drones” from DJI and see what the actual improvements are over the former Phantom 2 Vision+. Without further ado, here are the major improvements of the P3:
Note – differences are given in the order of importance – in our humble opinion! This article should be accurate as of May, 2015.
Improvement #1 – Price/Performance/Value