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Camera Drones & Motorcycles

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by RideFreak, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. BDO

    BDO Been here awhile

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    Yes, I carry my Spark in my Wolfman tank bag on my 501. It barely fits in the factory foam case and I also have room for the controller.

    I know DJI makes great stuff but I've had numerous issues trying to get it properly display video on the controller when out for a couple rides. It may be operator error (firmware updates?) but on a group ride recently with 5 others I got a message on the controller regarding 'bluetooth interference' and asking me to shut off all other bluetooth devices nearby. This wasn't feasible as we are all linked with our Sena systems. I should mention this was out in the middle of the Mojave desert so doubtful there were other things causing the interference.

    I'll need to figure out the issues as it's almost impossible to fly without having the display screen (I've tried) to see where the camera is pointed.

    As for carrying the systems - it's very easy and the new Air is even smaller. When it works teh videos looks great. Maybe it's operator ignorance but so far it's been frustrating.
    #21
  2. Sleepyc

    Sleepyc ClevelandMoto Podcast, Tune in!

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    The spark uses bluetooth for control and video, the larger drones use an actual 2.4 radio system and a 5.8G video. It would make sense that having bluetooth comms would upset the spark.
    #22
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  3. Ray916MN

    Ray916MN Dim Mak

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    OTG cable.
    #23
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  4. BDO

    BDO Been here awhile

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    I'll try an OTG cable and also shut off my watch and Sena and see what happens. Hopefully we all won't need to shut down our Senas as it helps getting better shots when we can communicate.

    Thanks
    #24
  5. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    Exactly why I really didn't want to rely on viewing a phone screen to control the drone when I was out riding. It gives you allot more control but phone screens suck in direct sunlight.
    #25
  6. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Phone screens are also too damn small! I've got a Phantom Pro 3 and I use a 9.7" iPad with it now because the screen on my iPhone 6S + was too damn small. :lol2 I'd hate to have to use those cheaper drones with the tiny built in screen on the controllers. Direct sunlight is still an issue with a pad though.
    #26
  7. doyouwantonions

    doyouwantonions Adventurer

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    Givi 51 ltr trekker case takes a Phantom 4pro mo problem
    #27
  8. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    That's great if you stick to the street, my bike came with a 45L Jesse top box, since I ride dirt allot it was first thing that got sold.
    #28
  9. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

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    You may have to try several different OTG cable brands before one works. They are finicky for some reason. Might want to consider an angle end cable also. Otherwise the cable sticks out and gets in the way.
    #29
  10. bicyclenut

    bicyclenut Been here awhile

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    Last year I carried my DJI Spark on 2 of our group moto trips. I didn't end up using it as much as I thought but after seeing some of the footage after the trip, I think the guys in the group are more interested in using it more on the trip this year. I even thing one of the other riders plans to get his own Spark as well. It was small enough to fit in my topbox or could have fit in a side pannier as well. I have not tried to get it to film the entire group or myself solo, I guess I just haven't put much time into figuring out a method and our one opportunity on a trip around Lake Michigan had a great open location, but the wind was just too strong and I opted to just film other riders from a static location via controller.

    Prior to the Spark, I have used a Phantom 3 and now also have a Phantom 4. I don't think you can go wrong with DJI, as they seem to be the leaders and innovators in the consumer drone market. The problem with the Phantom series, although great drones, they are big and hard to travel with, even on a plane I have a carry on size Pelican case that I usually leave at home unless driving. And on a motorcycle, that's just too much luggage real estate to take up even in a different case. Then along came the Mavic Pro that was small enough to carry but a big investment when you already have a Phantom but then, aha - the Spark arrived, small, relatively inexpensive and that was just what I needed for motorcycle travel. It was small but not as small as you would think, it worked and had most of the features of the bigger drones, but I always wondered why they didn't give it the ability to fold up like the Mavic Pro.

    DJI must have listened to all those like me who wished the Spark would have folded up as along comes the Mavic Air which is close to the perfect drone for travel, motorcycle or other. Thing could fit in many tank bags or multiple other luggage locations on my bike and can be carried along in a bag taking up about as much room as a spare DSLR. It is perfect for travel and the feature set is up there with the top DJI drones. I have only done some testing around the house in the few weeks I have had it considering the ending of winter recently here in Chicago, but it is very promising and I see it as ideal for travel on a motorcycle to get those drone shots without sacrificing space on the bike or features for a drone. There may be some lack of features depending on exactly what you are looking for (following/tracking, overhead or static shots, etc.) versus the Mavic Pro, etc, but for the size and price, I think the Mavic Air is the best fit out there right now.

    There is a decent video of how it works for tracking, on a bicycle in this review, as well as other videos by this guy, DC Rainmaker:


    #30
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  11. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    bicyclenut, thanks for posting that video, it pretty much outlines the issues I discovered when researching DJI's follow tech and the main reason I didn't go that route. I get the impression that follow-me isn't real important to them. For me it was the primary mode I wanted out of a drone. All they would have to do is offer a GPS/wifi enabled tether and they'd probably own that market also. For that function I think the Staaker is a better option but most users want all the bells a whistles and the follow function isn't high on their priority list. You really can't beat the Mavic and the Spark's size for motorcycle use. The staaker folded up is about 2x the size of the spark and about 50% larger then the Mavic. That small size is a big plus. Have you charged the batteries off the bike? 2 batteries @ 28min each isn't allot of flying when you may be without AC power for days at a time. I'm looking into that now and have found a few DC powered chargers for LiIon batteries that have the similar output specs to the AC charger.
    #31
  12. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    #32
  13. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

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    RideFreak...
    I think your first video using a drone was great.
    I never realized they had advanced so much that a first timer could take one out of the box and do all that!
    Well you could anyway, me probably not.
    I am somewhat envious that you can ride from your home on areas like that. Where I am is so bushed in and full of lakes, beaver damns, and swamps that you are very limited to where you can go without an old logging road.
    "However" I find it extremely fricking sad to see how much GARBAGE certain scummy people have dumped out there in the desert.
    They should be dragged naked through that exact terrain behing an old Dnerp for a mile if caught.
    #33
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  14. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    Thank's for that link Albie, it appears the best option I've come across. The rest I've looked at mostly seem to be cheap lighter types with some "LiIon" smarts built in, I don't really trust them. My Tiger puts out 600W at highway speeds so it'd be pretty easy to recharge the drone batteries during the highway legs of the ride. Riding slowly it might use more then the alternator is putting out.
    #34
  15. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    I totally agree Bob, unfortunately we have many random dirt roads and close to the city where it's really bad. Instead of going to the dump, the dirtbags just drive out into the desert at night and dump anything from a couch to bodies. I'm embarrassed it's so trashed. Had I gone another 6 or 7 miles out you wouldn't see that because they're too lazy to drive out that far but that was a quick test flight.
    #35
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  16. CO303

    CO303 Been here awhile

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    @RideFreak What height can you fly the Staaker at and have it follow you without worrying about it?
    #36
  17. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    It's limited to 165' away from the wristband. I've not had allot of time to test, tried to yesterday but wind was gusting to 25mph. The drone didn't like it and struggled to try and stabilize in the gusts. I'm still learning about it. It doesn't seem to have trouble keeping up but high speeds eat up the battery noticeably faster, so far 45mph is the highest I've tried and it dropped back a little then maintained it's distance. I see this for filming some 25-40 mph desert riding on dirtbikes and and some cruising through a scenic area on the big bikes.
    #37
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  18. Bearcat263

    Bearcat263 Been here awhile

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    Ride Freak
    went to web sight and corect me if I'm wrong but you buy the drone and then have to get a go pro to go with it?
    thanks Mike
    #38
  19. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    Yes, the GoPro is required.
    #39
  20. Sleepyc

    Sleepyc ClevelandMoto Podcast, Tune in!

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    HAHA Yea I think I bought it! It's on my S10 currently.

    Honestly, I think the DJI Mavric Air may be your ticket.
    We will be getting one at work for flying indoors in controlled environments, but it's small enough to fit into a tank bag, or a small pack for the back seat, and it has ALL the DJI features.. Image is great for it's size.
    #40