Lessons learned today: Take heed and enjoy

I was on a survey job for the Sacramento Kings new arena and I discovered a few good tips.

• Set your RTL at %30 of battery drain.
• Carry good electrical tape

• Buy a backup Iris+

• Get a lens guard for your GoPro.

I decided to allow my unit drain to 20% and RTL. I was 60m up and only around 100m away. The Droid lady said "Low battery, returning to launch" Sounds good to me. As it's decending I notice I'm well off the mark and headed into oncoming traffic. It's a tight quarters job and you gotta be ready. I begin to nudge it over the K rail and I hear the motors begin to decelerate. I hit hard left and, well watch the quick video.

The gimbal plate cracked in half but I was able to use electrical tape to finish the job. I had a Mobius on there for shits and giggles and the GoPro was the survey unit. You'll see it fly. Gotta hand it to GoPro. That's one tough unit. I did have a CPL filter on there, but if you can use a cheap 3D printed hood, do it. That filter saved my lens.

So if you're ever unsure out there. Trust your gut and RTL.


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  • Side note if anyone bumps their tiny box camera lense and scratches or chips it, Toothpaste+dremel... 

    • I have tried LensRx, Toothpaste, Rubbing Compound... Nothing ever worked. Then again I gouge (sp) my lenses

    • I hate gopro. If I did not have a zillion other things to do that would me my mission to knock them out of the market. That little box...

    • I love mine. Swapping out lenses, etc... I just printed these to go over the front. Clips right into the back of the Tarot 2D gimbal. No more screws.


    • Got the .stl for that?  Nice design

    • It's a bit tough to get on at the moment. I'm going to thin it down a bit and make sure the edge can't be seen by the fisheye. Then I will make another version that is level with the build so you can put filter caps on it. Gimme a bit...

    • I too would love the .stl for the final version- those screws are annoying.

  • I haven't read the whole thread, but my question is: was the reason for it hitting the ground that it took too long to RTL?

    • I was 100m high and 60m away. The unit RTL'd at 20% battery and didn't have enough juice. 

  • Great advice. I am a 30% er too. 

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