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Posted by Waljojo | Apr 01, 2019 @ 11:04 PM | 682 Views
Feel free to skip the next four or so paragraphs. The waterproofing details are down the post a bit. Note: this is a work in progress. I'll post pics as I get them.

The reason I got into this hobby (read: excuse I tell my wife) was to have an inexpensive quad that I could use as a fishfinder for my kayak. I wanted a compact drone that would go up 20m, fly something like a 100m radius, and look down at my immediate vicinity. Obviously, like everything else on my kayak, it had to be able to be fully immersed. This blog is a journal of me chasing that goal.

Being far too cheap to buy a purpose-built drone, I decided I could modify a cheap drone to my liking... 19 inexpensive drones later (including one unfinished scratch built folder) I think I may have found it. Yeah, I know I've spent enuf for two Swellpros. But where's the fun in just buying it!?! Besides, it wasn't available when I started down this merry path.
BTW: If you want to skip the DIY and actually achieve my goal, the SwellPro Spry looks like its THE lick!

The 501 does far more than I originally asked and the latest prices on Ebay have brought it down into my range. Miflydrone2017 sent me a brand new bnf H501S, 901a tx, and the watch for a total of $95. Add another $33 for 4 batteries and a second watch and I'm all in at $128 bucks (all shipped free within a week!) Its a little over my original limit for THE drone (actually just shy of 3x), but so were my expanded objectives (FPV, Brushless,...Continue Reading
Posted by Waljojo | Mar 05, 2018 @ 04:51 PM | 1,927 Views
Hey Y'all!

I've been flying R/C for a good while (40+ years) but just started playing with quads a couple of Januaries ago. What I lack in drone flying experience, I've more than made up for getting them down from trees. I live in north Florida and I'm surrounded by 100'+ (>30m) pines and massive Water Oaks. All of which have Spanish moss hanging from every branch that's more than happy to catch and hold any passing copter well out of my reach.
I've outlined three methods to get them back (although I've only really used two). The second method, hauling a light rope up to the drone, has been the most effective and requires the least amount of gear*.

In addition to practicing drone retrieval, I also fish (ostensibly the reason I started in with drones). My trusty spinning rod was the first thing I reached for when my first quad on it's second flight was dangling 60' (20m) up in the canopy of an Oak. One or two (or 10 or 15) casts later, I had my new bird back. This scene was repeated several times over the next few days or whenever I had a spare minute. Moral of the story? Don't start off flying with high winds and surrounded by tall moss covered trees.
All that practice casting sent me to the internet to see how everybody else gets their quads back. I was surprised at how few use a rod and reel and even more importantly braided fishing line.

What most people think of as fishing line is mono filament. Its more or less clear, stretches like a rubber band and is...Continue Reading