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Want to buy a drone.

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BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
I've been shopping around to find a drone for me and my son to play with. His school has a drone racing club I would like to get him involved with and away from his games and they look pretty fun for me too. I was hoping some people have some insight into them because I have no clue what to look for and what to avoid. At this point I am leaning towards a refurb DJI Mavic Air 2. Newegg has the refurb "fly more combo" for $749. According to their website the same warranty applies and all parts are included in refurbs like new. I originally was going to get the Mini 2 but decided I want the obstacle avoidance software the Air 2 has. I don't need this thing getting stuck in a tree the day I bring it home. Anyone know these drones or any other similar styles? Any input would be great, thanks.
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
I started with the DJI Phantom 3 SE and now have the Mavic Pro. You will not be racing with the unit that you listed but you will have fun with it. There are lots of rules when flying. I would study the Part 107 from the FAA. It will touch on all of the basic rules.

DJI makes good drones. They will crash if you work at it though. Don't try to run obstical courses with the Mavic. Just fly it and enjoy it. You'll find that if you do NOT take the time to set it up before each flight, the "return home" feature might just put it in a tree. I refuse to say how I know.

The Mavic Air 2 could be just fine for you. To expidite flying, I'd watch as many videos on proper setup and flight controls before you recieve it. Then, when you do get it delivered, charge all batteries, inventory your gear and practice the setup prior to taking it out to fly. Take it to a park with lots of room and run through the setup process. Your first flights should be small and easy. Don't try to fly fast, high or far especially while starting out. Take your time as repairs cost a lot.
 
OP
BugFreak

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Thanks for that. The school club is actually sponsored and supplied by Harris Corp so they provide the racing drones. I am just looking for something reliable and fun for us to play with. I've bought cheapies before and don't want to go that route again. From reading around DJI seems well known and parts can be found. They also seem to hold resale value assuming I care for it.
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Parrott is also a big name and has done well for thier customers. I had a friend fly a winged drone that disappeared into Lake Michigan. After he filed a complaint, they asked permission to view his flight logs which they host. He granted permission and they found that thier smart battery failed. They sent him a new drone even though he was slightly out of warrenty. I started with DJI and have stuck with them for better or worse.

Cheapy drones are generally just glorified quad copters. Not the same thing. With a drone, letting go of all controls can put it in a stand still while quad copters will plumit if you don't control them. Take your time learning to fly it is the best advice I know to give.
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I have a Mavic Pro too. One thing to remember about the obstacle avoidance is it is only looking forward & down. You can still back it into a tree. lol
While it is fun to just fly it around, the Mavic series primary role is a camera mount. It takes great hi-rez photos and videos.

I used to work with someone into racing drones & it seems that the fast ones are custom built by their owners. Seemed like a fun, but rather expensive, hobby. Of course, the same can be said for the current state of building gaming computers. :)

DJI_0032.JPG
 
OP
BugFreak

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
That's been my challenge actually. I don't really need the super duper camera but it seems like any good drone has to come with a high camera further adding to cost. I'm sure I'll find a use for 4k pics though lol.
 
OP
BugFreak

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Well I picked up the refurb Air2 combo after reading about others and comparing. I like that parts while expensive are readily available. I liked the U.S. manufactured drone from Skydio but couldn't bring myself to spend over $1k for a first time drone. Worst case I can sell this thing for pretty much what I paid on ebay.
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
You guys should have a great time with it. I see the battery time is rated at 34 minutes, which is about a 10 minute step up from the Mavic Pro battery. Nice! :thup:
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Have fun. Do NOT test the obstical avoidance feature. Look it up on youtube instead. You may get a laugh or two from it.
 
OP
BugFreak

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Got it up and running yesterday. Lots of fun so far even while keeping it simple as I learn. So far I've almost flew into myself, got stuck on a small branch and didn't change my RTH when I moved from the back yard to front yard so when the low battery RTH kicked in it almost flew into the house. I was able to cancel the RTH in time but still spooked me good. Also freaked out the neighbors dog when he walked by as I was dropping in altitude. That one was partly for fun because he is kind of a nut. All that was only in the first battery too lol.