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Old 12-16-2017, 01:46 AM   #13
Rich Z
I took the drone out for a flight again today...

Unfortunately I lost the last third of the video because I forgot to stop the recording before shutting down the battery on the drone. I knew I had screwed up just as soon as the battery beeped. Oh well. And it was such a perfect landing too. That "Return To Home" function works really well. What happens is that when you shut off the power before closing down the video, the file becomes corrupted because something isn't written to the file by the camera that needs to be in an orderly shutdown of the video. I've done this before with the little drones I played with, but seems that there is a lot going on to occupy my mind doing this stuff, and the old gray matter just ain't what it used to be.

I only used one battery as I just wanted to test a few things out this trip. I imagine that flying around above my property like this is going to get old soon enough, so no sense pushing it.

At first I took it up to 125 feet, but for some reason the tree tops just looked awfully close to me. So I wound up bumping it up to 250 feet which put a lot more air between the drone and the treetops. I really need to check to see what I have the Return to Home altitude set to. I really don't want that to be below the tallest trees it might encounter if it decides to head on back because of a connection failure. I've watched several YouTube videos of crashes that it seemed obvious that this is what happened to them.

I took a look at the roof of the house and can see quite a bit of rust on that sheet metal roof. So much for the contractor telling us that it would be good for 75 years. I think they used some of the pieces that were "seconds", as that seems to be a common practice around here with contractors and subcontractors. I notice the several better looking pieces were ones that they had replaced soon after putting on the roof. I had commented to them that it looked odd having them so different looking from the rest of the roof, but the contractor told me that it would all look the same after a year or two. Well here we are 26 years later..... Liar. Might have to see if we can find someone who can paint the roof with a "paint over rust" paint and sealer someday, I guess. That's not a job I want to do myself. That roof is pretty steep, and I'm sure falling off of it would really ruin my day

Did a little cruise over our property, heading mostly north towards the stream, but didn't go to the edges. It seems the GPS signal indicating the location of the drone on my smart phone wasn't showing up once it got further away from me, so I'm guessing the trees are blocking some of the signals. The view I could see from the camera was holding up OK, though, so it's not like I was flying blind. It was difficult to keep an eye on the drone through the trees sometimes. The drone SHOULD kick into the "Return to home" function automatically if it loses signal completely.

I tried recording this at 2560x1440 60fps, and the raw video looks pretty good. But when I went to process it with my video editing programs, NONE of them wanted to work with that resolution. So I wound up upscaling it to 4K 60fps and that seemed to work OK. I'll have to play around with various combinations of resolution and frame rate, and rendering options, to see what seems to work best.

I actually landed the drone while still having 50 percent charge on the battery. But looking up into the sky for long stretches is really hard on my neck.

Later on today I played around with the various exposure settings on the camera while having it sitting on a table pointed to an old camera color test strip card I have laying around in a bunch of old camera equipment. From looking at the results, I think I can improve on the video quite a bit with some tweaks I will implement next time I take it out.

It was kind of windy above the tree tops today, but the drone didn't seem to mind too much. I could hear the motors changing pitch as it fought against the wind, but I couldn't see any sign of that in the videos. That 3 axis gimbal seems to do a pretty good job keeping the camera steady, I guess.