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Old 12-16-2017, 09:10 PM   #15
Rich Z
I was able to fly the drone quite a bit today, and spent some time playing around with the settings for the camera. Honestly, my first test didn't turn out so hot with the video results, as I believe I had the contrast and saturation way too high. I didn't have them at max, but apparently it was still too much. Also set the white balance for the "Sunny" setting, and not sure if the combination was the issue or not, but I could actually see the colors changing on the treetops. It was NOT a good looking effect. And the shadows were just too dark, and the light areas just too bright. So back to the drawing board.

For the next launch I cut both the saturation and the contrast settings in half, and reverted the white balance setting back to the default option. Color seemed MUCH better this time, and I didn't have that odd color shifting. So I think perhaps the white balance setting might be important for a stable image, but perhaps more testing will enlighten me.

I got up to around 340 ft, and was about 800 feet away this time, I flew out to the north and south edges of my property. I'll tell you, at that height and distance, if you take your eyes off of the drone for even an instant, it is VERY VERY difficult to find it again, visually. I was actually surprised at how disorienting it is looking at my property like this from an elevated platform. I thought that if the drone ever lost power and just dropped to the ground, I would be able to locate it fairly easily just by noting where it dropped. But man, I dunno. All the trees look alike when seen from above. Might be a good idea to paint the thing fluorescent orange or bright blue to help in finding the thing if need be.

I did lose the video feed once, but it came back a little later on. I still had the GPS locator signal, so at least I knew where it was supposed to be and what direction it was pointing. I flicked it into Return to Home mode and it headed right on back to me, so at least I still had control over it. But definitely a tense moment. I'm looking for an antenna signal booster right now, as evidently the trees are blocking the signals somewhat. I really can't see me ever wanting to fly any drone that doesn't have a "Return To Home" feature. Having that working for you will make ALL the difference between getting your drone back and it just flying off, never to be seen again.

And I got another corrupted video file too. Again, the last file in the series when I was coming in for a landing during the first time out today. I KNOW I turned off the video that time, so not sure what is going on. The second time out, just as a precaution, I stopped the video right after touchdown, and then started it back up again, just in case the LAST video in a series was getting corrupted somehow. But in this case, ALL of the videos were clean when I took a look at them, and none were corrupted. So, beats me.

I'm not sure which is more boring, looking at someone flying a drone over an open field, or looking at a video of just tree tops. So I doubt you all are going to want to watch basically the same old thing every time I take the drone up for a flight. I may render some of them here and there, but unless there is something noteworthy to look out, I don't see much reason to post all of them up on YouTube.

Oh yeah, I actually used the drone for something I originally thought one might be a good tool for. I used it to inspect the rain spouts on the garage to see if the down spouts are clogged up with pine needles and leaves. Maybe I will render that one later tonight, just to show you all how that worked out. But the short answer is, YES, I need to clean them out. Hopefully tomorrow, as the forecast is calling for rain most of next week. If we get a REAL heavy rain, somehow the installers put those rain spout gutters up in such a way that if they do not drain fast enough, the water will back up in them till water actually starts leaking into the INSIDE wall of the garage. I may have to drill some drain holes at that "leak" level in the gutter sides. I guess that kind of defeats the purpose of those rain gutters being there, but oh well. Much better than having water leaking into the garage. Maybe I need to look into a product that keep the gutters from filling up with crap in the first place. If the pine needles and leaves were dry enough, I think the downdraft of the drone's propellers would probably just blow the junk out of the gutters anyway. That thing does move some air!