So many choices...

So I've been looking into getting a quadcopter (or any of the alternatives) to do some flying video/photography stuff. I am totally new to serious RC stuff, so the technologies and systems behind them are a complete mystery to me.Now, there are WAY too many choices in the market. I was leaning hard towards the GAUI 330 but the reviews I've seen kind of show its a bit shoddy qualityI'm beginning to lean towards the xAircraft 650 in Carbon Fiber with a 2 axis camera mount. Does anyone have any experience with these and how well they work and last? I can't imagine myself using something bigger than a GoPro HD on it, so not too heavy.I know you guys are all about DIY, but I don't have the time, tools or skills to begin building my own frame, etc. Maybe when I stop touring around the world I will, but that's a ways down the road it seems! If there any other recommendations you wish to give me, they will all be welcome.I will eventually get onto the bigger boys if this works well!Thanks!!

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  • I'm in a similar position to Iggy, and possibly even more of a newbie.

     

    Let me tell you my situation, and perhaps someone will have some advice.

     

    I am a former electronic service technician whose soldering skills were merely adequate.  I am now retired and a caretaker for 20+ acres of fairly rugged rural property.  I don't mind tramping about in cooler weather, but now that the weather's hotter, the snakes are more active and I'm less active.

     

    One of my duties is to report trespassers to the authorities, but without directly confronting them.  Between the trees along the creek and the rugged territory, there are a lot of places that don't have a direct line of sight from the house or the cameras.  Also, some of our trespassers have come at night, which makes it even harder to verify their presence safely before calling the authorities.  (I used to go out myself, but I'm now under direct orders from the Tribal Rangers to avoid contact.)

     

    I figure a UAV, preferably one that can hold station for awhile, programmed with several waypoints, could patrol the property.  Armed with an appropriate video camera and an on-screen display, I could record any intrusions for documentation and the elimination of false alarms.  (I don't know if it is worthwhile to have a microphone as well.)   I could send it out on regular patrols or when I heard a suspicious noise.

     

    I don't know if FAA regulations would permit flight at night.  I have never flown any R/C aircraft before.  I will possibly have to pay for this out of my own pocket, and I'm on a fixed income.  I don't know how long it will fly on a single charge.  I'd like to set up a charge station with beacons (possibly infra-red) that would let it automatically land and re-charge.

     

    I have no idea at all what equipment would be recommended, or even if this application is practical, as I know nothing of transmitters, ranges, ground control stations/mission planners, and so forth.

     

    I used to be pretty handy at repairing electronic instrumentation (I was in the Radar Systems Group of Hughes Aircraft for many years), but my skills are likely to be rusty.

     

    Any comments and advice, positive or negative, would be most appreciated.

     

    Thanks,

     

    John

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