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Old Mar 01, 2013, 11:39 PM
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Advice on heli for structural inspections

Hey guys,
I work at a firm that does inspections on a lot of things that are up in the air, bridges, commercial/industrial roofs etc, etc. I have been following the RC route for a while and have decided to finally break into this. Binoculars, ladders, cherry pickers can all be a big pain in the rear. So is there a set up that is stable enough for us to see what we need to see? I have been looking at things like the phantom the f450. What else is out there, there are just so many options it seems. My concern is there will be to much vibration to determine details like 1/4" or less size cracks. Any suggestions, budget is about 1k currently, we have decent cameras, Olympus toughs, they don't stream so I guess I have to get a go pro?


Anyways, thanks in advance (and sorry for the grammar typed this on a damned tablet)

Edit: is the ar drone worth looking at?
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Old Mar 01, 2013, 11:54 PM
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Germantown, WI.
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The Phantom is a good choice. Check out some of the videos here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1774685 (you might have to scroll down a number of pages).
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Old Mar 01, 2013, 11:55 PM
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Please publish a list of all buildings and bridges inspected by use of RC vehicles so I can know to stay off them.

Something about the words "structural inspections" makes me think this would be done in a more professional manner.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 1320fastback View Post
Please publish a list of all buildings and bridges inspected by use of RC vehicles so I can know to stay off them.

Something about the words "structural inspections" makes me think this would be done in a more professional manner.
Is that internet speak for it won't work? That was my concern.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 01:45 AM
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I would ask in the topic I gave you the link to.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by griff017 View Post
Is that internet speak for it won't work? That was my concern.
I think he wants you to go up in a ladder with a hammer and bang at them to see if they have termites, rusted over or something.

When you do inspections, do you go purely with visual? Or do you use additional tools to physically inspect them?

For visual inspections, a drone could carry a high definition camera and do multiple passes that you can later go over in your office.

One thing you may want to note is that FPV is not good for real time inspections. You need a wide angle lens to make up for the fact that you can't turn your head, so you have a 120 degree (please check) viewing angle shown in 90 degree screen. That's a lot of detail lost. Seeing the quality of videos on youtube, i don't know if they'll even notice a powerline until they get clotheslined.

That's why you have people carrying a second camera in a gimbal, the FPV camera is for piloting, and underneath the main camera, you have a high definition camera in a stabilized gimbal for high resolution video. And then download the video from the camera after you land.

AutoQuad 6.5 & Flyduino gimbal 1st test (2 min 50 sec)
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 05:51 PM
just gotta mess with it!
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Custom boom truck

It surprises me that there isn't a specially adapted cherry picker (boom truck) that can reach underneath the road level - then you could easily carry out proper inspections without needing to reach up high from below or use rope access methods.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Doggs View Post
It surprises me that there isn't a specially adapted cherry picker (boom truck) that can reach underneath the road level - then you could easily carry out proper inspections without needing to reach up high from below or use rope access methods.
I agree.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 07:44 PM
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As far as I know JLG makes the highest reach boom lift out there. Can get up to 150', if you need higher it is time to repel.

By "structural inspections" I would think we're talking about Ultra Sound or some other hands on type of inspection.

I have seen some welds that's looked alright from the exterior but without a inspection would fail in use.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 09:20 PM
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Hey guys,
Thanks for the help! I just bought the phantom, so worst case scenario I will have a fun new toy to play with!

Mods, fill free to close this thread....
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 09:53 PM
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Curiously, what RC's have you flown?
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hajile View Post
Curiously, what RC's have you flown?
Zero.

I have no idea how long it will take to learn to fly or if I will ever be able to use it while working but it looks like a lot of fun.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 10:32 PM
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Get a v929. Seriously. Get a v929 or any micro quad right now and learn how to fly in third person with that.
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Not a bad idea.

Apparently the phantom is backordered. I might get the aq 600 frame and try and build one myself if I can get them to switch my order. It looks cheaper and would give me a far greater understanding.

Or maybe build a micro?
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Old Mar 02, 2013, 11:29 PM
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Up to you, but a newbie literally doesn't know left from right and i wouldn't recommend learning orientation on something that can chop off your fingers, or explain to the misus why there's a rip in her sofa.
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