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10 Drone Safety Tips

Owning a drone today comes with many benefits because they have numerous applications. Among their many purposes are photography, videography, and spraying. Although modern drones utilize advanced technologies to minimize accidents, you must always adhere to safety precautions when flying. This article discusses different safety tips that you could adopt to ensure that your drone is always safe, you do not endanger your life, and you do not put other people or their properties in danger.

What are the 10 Drone Safety Tips you should adopt?

Here are the top 10 safety tips that will ensure you fly your drone safely without endangering life or crashing. They include:

1. Check Regulations

As you prepare to fly your drone, the first drone safety precaution is ensuring you adhere to the local regulations governing the use of drones in your area. Many states and municipalities have enacted rules and policies that govern the use of drones. Some of the standard regulations include:

  • There is a requirement that drones should fly at 400 feet or below.
  • Adherence to airspace requirements and restrictions that govern the use of drones in airspaces used by aircraft
  • Drones are restricted to flying over national parks, stadiums, emergence response efforts, sporting events, military barracks, and other restricted areas.
  • Adherence to other regulations as outlined by the FAA

2. Determine the right environment

Another safety tip that drone owners should take into account is choosing the right environment to fly. Areas that have few or no obstacles are best because they minimize signal interference and reduce the chances of your drone crashing. To avoid collisions with objects like buildings and vegetation, fly your drone in an environment that is free of objects. The situation where you fly your drone will determine the possibility of your drone crashing.

3. Take an insurance cover your drone

Even when you are extra careful with your drone, an accident could occur, resulting in a crash that leads to losses. To ensure that you are safe from potential damages, insure your drone as a safety precaution. Some comprehensive homeowners’ insurance policies can offer cover for drones that do not carry people or cargo. However, such a cover does not cover liability for damages caused by a drone crash, hence the need to consider becoming a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. To join, you will be required to pay an annual membership fee of $58. This membership offers you liability protection for up to $2.5 million in case the UAS injures someone or destroys property.

4. Practice, practice, and practice

Just like in any new hobby or activity, you will need to take time to learn how to fly the drone to ensure that you can do it safely without the risk of a crash that might endanger lives. You should dedicate a significant amount of your time navigating through the drone’s controls to ensure that you are more conversant with its use to enhance drone safety. When practicing, go to an open space where there are no obstacles, such as buildings, trees, power lines, and other things that could obstruct your drone. Practicing is the key to ensuring that you can fly, hover, track, and control your drone. It will also ensure you get the experience you need to fly it safely, which makes it a major safety tip.

5. Ensure your battery is fully charged before flying it

When using a drone, its battery needs to be fully charged to minimize the possibility of crashing. If the drone drains the battery when airborne, it will crash hence the need to charge it fully. If you have not used your drone for a long time, there is a possibility that its battery will degrade. If this is the case, consider replacing the battery to avoid crashing.

6. Inspect your drone before flying

Another safety measure that drone owners should be aware of is inspecting their devices before flying them. The inspection is intended to ensure that your drone is mechanically fit to operate and unlikely to cause avoidable accidents. During the examination, you should check whether the propellers are in good condition and confirm that the battery has a full charge. Propellers are vital because they help create the thrust necessary for your drone to fly. When your drone’s propellers have cracks, dints, and dirt, you should fix them before you fly it.

7. Calibrate the compass

When it comes to your drone, its compass dictates the flight orientation hence a drone safety consideration. Drones do not use compasses with a magnetized needle or those used in aircraft that detect fluctuations automatically. They have crystalline structures that can only detect minor variations hence the need to calibrate the compass manually. Before any flight, you must calibrate your compass to avoid issues such as ‘toilet bowling,’ which makes your drone swirl in circles when you try to hover or ‘dog-running,’ which is flying sideways.

8. Ensure your drone achieves a GPS lock before flying

A significant cause of drone crashes is flying it before it achieves a GPS lock. After you have your battery in place and you have turned the drone on, give it a few minutes so that it can pick and lock the GPS signals. If you switch the drone on and start flying it immediately, you risk crashing it once it achieves a GPS lock. If you choose to fly under the ATT mode, however, you do not need to allow your drone to obtain a GPS lock.

Conclusion

Are you a drone enthusiast? If yes, I hope that you enjoyed reading this article because it highlights the simple safety tips that you could be overlooking. The above-highlighted tips help you enjoy your flight while ensuring that your drone does not crash or pose a danger to other people or their property. Put them into practice, and you will enjoy the outcome of your flights. Do you have any tips that you want other readers to adopt? If yes, feel free to point them out in our comment section. If you enjoyed reading this article, comment, like, and share with friends and family. Thank you.

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How to Calibrate a drone?

Before piloting your drone outside for the first time, you must calibrate the drone’s compass. Calibration is also needed if your drone has been flying inconsistently or not flying like it usually does. Many experts believe that a drone needs calibrating each time that it operates, especially if it will be flying in a new location.

However, some specialists believe that calibrating your drone to often may cause damage. How to calibrate a drone is indeed crucial information for accurate and normal flying.

When to Calibrate Your Drone

Knowing when to calibrate your drone will make a massive difference in performance. Here are a few tips that can help you determine if your drone needs calibrating.

  • It is the drone’s first flight.
  • It has been more than a month since you have flown your drone.
  • The compass displays interference warnings after changing the location
  • Your flying location is more than six miles from the last flight location
  • There are irregularities, the drone is not flying straight, or after any crash

Things That You Will Need to Calibrate Your Drone

Calibrating your drone is quite simple. However, there are certain things you will need for a successful calibration.

  • A wide-open area for a good line of sight
  • A fully charged battery
  • Batteries for your remote control
  • A cold climate is preferred to prevent overheating.
  • A device such as your tablet or phone for programming
  • The drone should never be hot when calibrating. The aircraft needs to be shut off for at least ten minutes after it has been running.
  • Make sure you have a level surface.
  • Prep the drone by removing the propellers, removing the gimble guard, and turning on nomadic two and the remote, depending on the brand.

Simple Step by Step Instructions on How to Calibrate a Drone

There are two types of calibration, IMU calibration, and Compass Calibration.

IMU Calibration

An IMU is a circuit that keeps the drone level and flat. IMU control the pitch and roll. Calibrating the IMU is can be done indoors on a flat surface like a table. Here are the steps to calibrate your drone

  • Before you click the Start button, the drone should be as flat as possible, powered up, that you remove the gimble guard, and the legs stretched out. Also, the position for the drone should be facing to the left.
  • Open up the iFly application.
  • Find the safety file.
  • Next, tap or click on the IMU calibrate button, typically located on the lower left of the screen.
  • Next, you need to place the drone on its side and have it facing to the right. The top of the drone should be facing you. Hold the drone for a few seconds while it calibrates.
  • Next, place the drone on its side. The top of the drone essentially needs to be facing you and facing to the left. Again, wait for a few seconds while it calibrates.
  • In the next position, the drone should be facing straight up. Keep the drone as still as possible. Wait for a few seconds for it to finish calibrating.
  • Lastly, the drone needs to face the right and positioned upside down. Wait for it to finish calibrating. After finishing calibration, it will state calibration complete.

    Compass Calibration

Compass calibration is needed to find true north. It is necessary to calibrate if the drone will be flying in a new location (more than 6 miles away) or if there are error messages.

Make sure you are away from any metal structures or concrete parking lot, which can interfere with calibration. Also, stay clear of cellphone towers.
Basics for Most Drones

Compass calibration for drones is pretty much the same for most devices. Here are the basics for calibrating –

  • Turn on the drone’s transmitter.
  • Make sure that the drone is powered up and fully charged.
  • Use your controller for a compass calibration. The lights on the drone and your remote should be a solid color. Most lights are yellow, depending on the drone brand.
  • While holding the drone level with the ground, spin it horizontally until a light turns green.
  • Next, rotate the drone vertically (to the ground). Slowly spin until the second light turns green.
  • If you have made an error during calibration, there will be a red flashing light. If this happens, start the calibration over.

Drone Calibration Applications

Some drones have an application for a compass calibration. Instructions for Drone Applications are as follows-

  • Select iFly application
  • Select the Safety button
  • Select Compass Calibrate button
  • Select the Start button
  • Next, instructions will have you rotate the drone 360° horizontally. It means rotating your drone counterclockwise two or three times. Stay in the same stance, do not move or pivot around, move the drone 360°. Stop when the application says it has calibrated.
  • Now rotate the drone 360° vertically. The drone should face to the right. Rotate the drone downward toward the ground, without moving your body around. Rotate the drone two or three times until calibrated.

Overall Solutions

Calibrating your drone will make a huge difference in performance. It will also prevent crashes and accidents. In truth, drones are an investment that needs to be protected and safeguarded by proper care.

Please, comment on your suggestions or insights about the post. Your input and feedback are well appreciated. Also, don’t hesitate to share this article if you found it helpful.

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How to Fly a Drone

Drones are popular for recreation, videography, and photography. But they’re not always easy to use. I went through a huge learning curve when I got my first drone. That’s why I’ve put together these instructions. By the time you’ve put these steps into practice, you should be able to control your drone and use it to take great photos and videos.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

You don’t need much more than your drone and remote control to follow this tutorial. However, you’ll also need an open, outdoor space for practice. Stay away from trees, wires, walls, and houses. Also, you might want to practice where there are few or no people to collide.

Recreational drone operators don’t need a license. You should register your drone before you fly it, though. 

 Some other requirements for recreational drone operators include:

  • Don’t fly more than 400 feet above the ground
  •  Fly at speeds below 100 miles per hour
  • Keep your drone in sight
  • Don’t fly at night
  • Don’t fly your drone for payment
  • Flying in specific zones is prohibited
  • Don’t fly over humans or moving vehicles
  • Yield the right of way to unmanned aircraft
  • Notify airports before flying within 5 miles of them

Step by Step Instructions for How to Fly a Drone

 There are several things that you need to know about how to fly a drone. These instructions will familiarize you with your equipment, teach you how to get it off the ground, and demonstrate how to control it.

1. Register Your Drone

Register Your Drone

Before you begin flying, register your drone with the FAA. Recreational users must register any small unmanned aircraft system that weighs between 0.55 and 55 pounds. You must also indicate the registration number on the zone. The registration helps users stay accountable for any damage that their drones cause.

This video gives you complete instructions on how to register your drone.

2. Learn Where You’re Allowed to Fly

 Every state contains no-fly areas for drones. Download an app to track no-fly zones and weather conditions. Some of the most popular apps for drone flying include:

  •  B4UFLY – indicates no-fly zones and flying conditions
  • Hover – no-fly zone maps and real-time weather information
  •  UAV Forecast – Tells you the weather conditions for flying

3. Learn the Lingo

 You’ll need to know a few flight terms to operate your drone.

  • Yaw – Controls the rotation
  • Throttle – Controls the altitude
  • Roll – Side-to-side tilt
  • Pitch – Front-to-back tilt

4. Familiarize Yourself With the Basic Controls

 Most drones have somewhat standardized controllers. Advanced models may have more features, but most of the controllers work similarly.

 Read the instruction manual before you start flying. Your controls may differ from the ones that we describe below. In general, however, drone controllers work with two joysticks.

Left Joystick

 The left joystick generally controls the yaw and throttle. 

To rotate the drone while keeping it level, maneuver the left joystick from side to side. This allows you to point the drone in different directions while keeping it in the same place. 

To make the drone go up and down, push the left joystick forward and backward. This will change its altitude. You can do it while you’re performing other maneuvers, such as rotating or tilting.

Right Joystick

 Push the right joystick to the left and right to make the drone roll. This allows you to dodge obstacles without changing the altitude or pitch.

 Move the right joystick up and down along the y-axis to shift the drone forward and backward. This comes naturally for most people when they’re flying the drone away from the controller while working the throttle. You may need to get accustomed to these controls when flying the drone toward you, though. 

 The image below shows how the different controls affect the drone’s elevation and movement.

5. Charge the Battery

 The instructions should indicate whether you should charge the battery fully before you use the drone for the first time. It’s a good idea to start with a full charge every time you fly. Otherwise, you may cut your flying time down and end up frustrated.

6. Find a Decent Takeoff Spot

 The instruction manual should explain how to position the drone for take-off. In general, you should place it on a flat, level surface. It’s easier to operate if it’s in front of you, facing the same direction that you are. Eventually, you’ll be able to take off from other positions. However, this is the easiest way to get the basics down.

7. Turn Everything On

 Again, read the instruction manual to determine the sequence for turning on the drone and the transmitter. In many cases, you have to push the throttle down before takeoff. Then, turn the transmitter on and connect the battery. After you land, disconnect the battery before turning the transmitter off.

8. Take Off

 Once you have connected the battery and transmitter, you can practice taking off. Push the left joystick forward to raise the drone. Control the roll and pitch with the right joystick to keep the drone steady. Don’t try to fly forward or backward yet.

9. Land

 Land the drone by pulling the left joystick toward you. Keep the drone level as it slowly descends to the takeoff spot.

10. Practice the Hover

 One of the hardest parts about flying a zone is keeping it steady while you hover. Practice this technique by lifting off until the drone is about 5 feet from the ground. 

 If you master the drone’s balance now, you’ll improve your performance as you learn trickier maneuvers. You’ll also protect it from damage because you’ll have excellent control.

11. Rotate the Drone

The next step after you’ve mastered the hover is to practice rotating the drone. Keep track of which side of the drone is the front and which is the back so that you can orient it with your controls. 

 Liftoff, and let the drone hover. Then, push the left joystick left or right to rotate the drone.

 If you find yourself becoming disoriented as you try to maintain control after the drone has rotated, imagine that you’re sitting inside of it. You’re flying the drone as a pilot would. Maintain this feeling, and don’t overthink the controls. 

 It will become easier to create this mental image as you get more comfortable with the controls. Once you don’t have to look at your hands while you operate the drone, you’ll run it more smoothly.

12. Practice More Movements

 After having hovered and rotated the drone, you might wonder, “But how do I make it move forward?” The drone moves forward when the throttle is hit and the nose pitches downward. Once you understand how to do this, you can start to play with new movements.

13. Get These Techniques Under Your Belt

 Systematically practice the following techniques to gain more control over the drone:

  • Move forward and backward in straight paths
  • Taking off, moving forward and landing
  • Taking off, rotating the drone and returning it to you
  • Drawing a circle or square
  • Draw a figure eight

Conclusion

 Did you enjoy learning more about how to fly a drone? Understanding these concepts cognitively before you put them into practice with your drone can help you get started without confusion and hassle. 

 Read the article a few times before you try the steps with a drone. But practice will improve your performance and make you a more consistent flier. Let us know how this tutorial works for you when you get out and try it.

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Top 5 Drones for Photography

Drone technology is now inevitable in the world of photography. There’re many varieties of drones on the market, and if you’re planning to acquire a new drone and venture into aerial photography, you’ll have countless choices. Here, you’ll learn about the best camera drone on the market currently. Before getting into the in-depth review, the best drone for photography presently is DJI Mavic 2 Zoom.

The Best Drones for Photography

1. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom (Best Overall)

  • Rating – 4.8
  • Camera – 12MP, 4K Ultra HD
  • Battery Life – 31 Minutes
  • Ideal for filmmaking and photography

This drone offers incredible zooming capabilities. As a filmmaker or photographer, you’ll have more flexibility when framing your shots thanks to the 24mm to 48mm zoom lens, which provides 2X digital zoom and 2X optical zoom.

Mavic 2 zoom provides upgraded QuickShot mode and advanced tracking abilities. The incorporated Hybrid Autofocus enhances the drone’s speed by up to 40% with much better accuracy.

With 8GB internal storage, an SD card that supports up to 128 GB, 44mph maximum speed, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, and 905G take-off weight, the drone guarantees a flight time of 31 minutes. The manufacturer designs it to optimize propulsion, lower noise, and reduce the consumption of power.

Pros

  • Optical zoom
  • Very portable
  • Incredible features
  • Easy, intuitive control

Cons

  • Quite expensive

2. DJI Mavic 2 Pro (Best Value)

  •  Rating – 4.6
  • 20MP camera
  • Powerful and safe
  • Incredible accessories

The drone’s intelligent features and compact size makes it one of the most popular drones in the industry. With a one-inch CMOS sensor and 20MP Hasselblad camera from the Swedish manufacturer, the drone guarantees photography with higher color sensitivity and HDR.

Its small size makes it a perfect size for content creators, videographers, and photographers. Since its portable, the Mavic 2 Pro is also ideal for documentary compilers, travel bloggers as well as the professional drone pilots in many industries.

It incorporates high-capacity LiPo cells that guarantee a maximum flight time of thirty-one minutes. The drone’s charger is multipurpose as it charges the remote controller and batteries concurrently. Even when on direct sunlight, the 5.5-inch 1080p display guarantees crystal-clear visibility.

Pros

  • Innovative yet straightforward to fly
  • Exceptional foldable design
  • Low-noise design
  • Intelligent flight modes

Cons

  • No portrait shooting mode
  • Noise is a nuisance above 100 ISO

3. DJI Mavic Mini (easiest to carry)

  •  Rating – 4.7
  • Portable and Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Amazing Accessories

 Mavic Mini weighs under 250 grams, which makes it as light as a standard smartphone. This weight makes the drone incredibly portable and ranks it high in the safest and lowest weight drone’s category. Its take-off weight comprises of propellers, microSD card, and battery.

 The drone assures an incredible and straightforward user experience thanks to the new DJO Fly application. With this, you can easily capture cinematic shots with a tap of the buttons. Besides, it comes with a flight tutorial, which helps you get started with the device safely and quickly.

 You will have the option of choosing from the four incorporated flight maneuvers such as Circle, Rocket, Helix, and Dronie. The downward visual positioning sensors and the GPS receivers make it easy to operate the device. Also, it has an intelligent flight battery, an intuitive DJI smart controller, and a Mavic 2 battery charger. 

Pros

  • Collapsible and smart design
  • Amazing stable video capture
  • Smallest and lightest
  • Easy to fly

Cons

  • No 4K video
  • No object tracking

4. PoweVision PowerEgg X Wizard (most resistant)

  • Rating – 4.3
  • The audio sync recording feature
  • Waterproof and water landing mode
  • Camcorder functionality

PowerVision is inevitably an innovative company that, aside from designing underwater drones, also designs flying drones. The drone comes with a tripod-mounted or handheld camcorder making use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) for subject tracking and the gimbal for stability. The most important thing about this drone is that it can fly in the rain or land on water.

 As a professional videographer or photographer, you may worry as the drone’s 4K camera doesn’t guarantee a big sensor, but it may attain 60fps in good lighting scenes. Regarding its features, you can fold the props and detach the arms completely.

 The waterproof functionality means attaching a landing and housing gear, which is quite effortless. The AI camera is incredibly impressive, but it lacks a record button.

Pros

  • Wind resistance of up to 10m/s
  • Standalone AI camera
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Small image sensor
  • Camcorder mode lacks a record button 

5. DJI Phantom 4 Pro (Best extra features)

  •  Rating – 4.4
  • 1-Inch 20MP Camera Sensor
  • Elevated imagination and visionary intelligence
  • 5-directions of obstacle sensing

The camera incorporates a one-inch 20MP sensor that quickly shoots 4K/60fps video. The magnesium and alloy construction reduces the weight and enhances the airframe rigidity, making it to have a lightweight.

 The drone has an innovative Lightbridge HD video transmission feature that adds 5.8GHz transmission to the device. The capability to select between the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz eliminates lag due to wind and enables you to cut through interference.

 The fantastic features that Phantom 4 Pro comes to allow it to recognize an object automatically. It also follows and captures objects as they move, which makes it much easier to capture incredible and complicated shots.

Pros

  • Active track feature
  • Remote controller with an inbuilt screen
  • It has gesture mode
  • Easy to fly and use
  • Intelligent batteries

Cons

  • Constant system updates
  • Limited battery life

Ryze Tech Tello (Best Budget option)

 Rating – 4.6

  • Captures impressive videos and pictures
  • It has a smartphone app
  • Fantastic accessories

 With a fantastic image processor, this drone has the capability of shooting excellent videos and photos. Even if you have got a few flying skills, you can record synchronized short videos with 360, Up & Away, Circle, and share them through your smartphone to social media.

 Ryze Tello comes with a mobile programming application that easily supports scratch. You can command the drone to make movements by moving coding blocks from your smartphone. Discover programming fun with this drone!

 Attaching and detaching the propellers is an effortless task, while the Tello flight battery recharges fast and evenly distributes power. The manufacturer offers propeller guards to guarantee a safe flight.

Pros

  • Brilliant indoors
  • Low price for the features
  • An incredible way to begin learning to code

Cons

  • Impossible to tilt the camera
  • Relies on a smartphone to capture interference

How to Choose the Best Camera Drone

 Perhaps you’re a photography or videography fanatic and in the course of making it a passion. Else, you’re a professional videographer or photographer looking forward to improving your tools. If you are in any of these groups, you may need to acquire a new drone. Here are the factors you need to consider when searching for the best drone for photography.

Select a drone according to your skills

 When purchasing a drone, the first thing you need to consider is your skill level. Drones can either be hard or easy to fly. The drone’s design and features determine how easy to operate they are. In the market, there’re many drones designated for both novices and experts. The drone you opt to buy depends on how comfortably you can handle it.

Consider your requirements

 There’re a couple of things that you can accomplish with a drone. While some drones are easy to fly indoors, some can fly indoors and outdoors. Some perform tricks and flips, while others enable you to take videos and photos. Thus, define your needs and then narrow down the options according to the things it can accomplish.

The features

 In addition to selecting a drone that fits your demands and skills, choose a drone that has the exact features that you want. While most drones come with a camera, define the exact megapixels that you need in the camera. Other features to consider include battery life, GPS-enabled, integrated sensors, how easy it is to attach and detach the props, flight speed, among other features.

Affordability and Quality

 Price is always an aspect when making any purchase. When it comes to buying a drone, the drones’ price varies significantly, and this can make it overwhelming. With this in mind, the cost can vary between a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars. However, your budget should quickly narrow down the options.

 After defining the cash that you need to spend, you can start thinking about affordability and quality. For instance, you may come across a cheap drone that comes with a poor make material. On the other hand, it’s possible to find an expensive drone that performs poorer than the mid-range drones.

Final Words

 It doesn’t need to be a daunting task when choosing the best camera drone for your photography. If you search for a drone that matches your purpose and skills, then it should be effortless to find a drone. In this review, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is the outright winner followed closely by DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic Mini.

 DJI Mavic 2 Zoom combines incredible features and design and a lightweight shell, which makes it easily portable. When you purchase this drone, you get goodies such as intuitive control, inbuilt GPS, and stabilized 4K video footage.