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Old Topic Revisited.. New Technology; Drones could be the answer...
Topic Started: Jun 27 2012, 06:05 PM (471 Views)
What'a Ham.
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Back on the old BFF the topic of using some sort of video surveillance. Hot air and various balloons were discussed as well as remote controlled airplanes. The biggest downfall with the RC Planes was noise and range limitation of the radio transmitter and receiver. A lot of the RC Planes operate with gas motors, noisy.

The idea of using drones, especially drones you could program to fly a certain route rather than controlling by radio would be an excellent device, and if powered by a quite electric motor even better. The biggest downfall I could think of was if they are only available to the government or military.

I came across one today that sounds like anyone can buy. Will fly a pre-programmed flight, not remotely controlled, powered by electric motor, with optional video camera sends live video up to 30 miles away and a relatively reasonable price of under $10,000. You could send it up and away it goes, fling the route you wanting, taking live video or pictures at specific time intervals. Live video you can watch while in-flight or record and watch later in the day. A few hours later it lands and you recharge and send out for another flight and more pictures/video.

From the Website...

"Personal UAV Aerial Photography

When equipped with our 12 Megapixal high resolution digital camera the Zephyr UAV becomes the ultimate Aerial photography solution.

1. Digital camera triggered at predefined waypoints.

2. Digital camera triggered based on predefined distance intervals. Example, you could program your Zephyr UAV to take pictures every 50 meters, or any distance interval you prefer.

3. Digital camera triggered based on predefined time intervals. Example, you could program your Zephyr UAV to take pictures every 5 seconds, or any time interval you prefer.

4. Trigger the camera remotely by hitting the trigger button on the included ground control software.

Images can be stitched together to create photomosaics and orthorectified imagery."

Zephyr Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System

With included stock power supply has a 1 hour flight time. $9,500
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Dreams of turnips and potatoes
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Ah heck I'll bite.

$10,000 or £10,000 will give a return of about 3-4% per annum depending on where or how you have it invested. So to stump up this kind of moola you have to be the kind of person who will never miss it in a million years. I'm not one of those lucky few alas.

So coming from a person like me, would I? hell no...if I did have the moola would I? hell no, I'd make more of a return leaving it in the bank.

Do I think it would help? mmmh! maybe if used correctly and as an aid in tandem with boots on the ground, but I'd go for a Draganflyer X8 fitted with a thermal (look about you can buy mod off the shelf units that would work)

Bottom line Moregan, most people are still dreaming of Flirs which you can grab for $1-$2,000 and still that isn't happening. So a $10k unit like this? it's another pipedream.

just my 2 cents.
Edited by keilder, Jun 28 2012, 03:57 PM.
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Kick-ass Artist in Residence
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I'll add my two cents, on top of w.hat keilder had to say, which I agree with, BTW.

These guys tend to stick mostly to the cover of trees to avoid being seen. So something that flies overhead and looks down would have difficulty seeing through the foliage and filming anything, IMO. It's unlikely that it would have any success. That's a whole lot of money (that most of us do not have) to put out for a very iffy result.

Edited by Pat, Jul 5 2012, 02:03 PM.
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Dreams of turnips and potatoes
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I totally agree with the fly over and not seeing anything Pat. Why I went for the helicopter approach.

However, I was looking about today quickly and thought if I had a budget of $150 could I do something similar. Mmh!!

$20 small radio controlled helicopter


Now it gets a bit icky as you need to understand frequency and gain. Most radio controlled OR wireless CCTV will operate at 2.4 Ghz which is fine, but you have line of sight issues (walls, building etc) and depending on line of sight about a max range of 20-80 metres, in the open though around 250 metres.

5.8 Ghz operated items have the benefit that they do not clog up the 2.4 Ghz airwaves and also offer greater distance, But I couldn’t find any portable CCTV so have went for a higher gain antenna to compensate.



Basically, the higher the gain the further the range. I’m not sure of our or your legal limit, but 30 db springs to mind for us.

So, use the antenna with the below receiver and strap the camera to the Helicopter (don't forget the extra weight for the 9v pp3 battery) and you have your own air surveillance system with a range of maybe 500 metres-1 Km all for $135 - $150



Take the receiver and plug it into a small portable handheld TV or DVD player (don’t forget the record option…if you don’t have one of these then an extra cost)

Throw in $20 bucks each and have a play, at the end of the day you’ll have some fun still and who knows…If you get it all working together it could help. I’d look into different toy helicopters as well as I just quickly ran searches to find these as I kind of knew this may work…But the correct combination would need to be found.

Beats $10,000 any day.
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Dreams of turnips and potatoes
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For any cat lovers, I'm, well not really, but a bit sorry for this.

Add a small camera and a squatch wouldn't know what the hell to think. I'm still laughing, this is some crazy sh*t. I wish I'd thought of it. ;)

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God that struck me funny. I'd love to buzz an unsuspecting neighbor's yard with that thing....lol
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