More than a few birthdays ago, my wife bought me a drone. It wasn’t one of those fancy-schmancy deals you see on websites, it was more of a teenager’s style, built for rough and tumble, and accidents aplenty. It had a basic 2 MP camera/video capability and came with extra rotor blades in case the originals were damaged or destroyed during use.
I remember messing around with it, and a couple of times almost getting it caught on the roof of the house, as well as into trees, the neighbor’s yard, and so on, reminding me that I probably needed to find a big open field somewhere for flying, but never really did. After about a week of playing with it, I got tired of not being very good at flying and put it back into its box and set it aside.
Fast forward to about five years. For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about dragging the drone out and seeing about messing around with it again. I remember purchasing a few extra batteries soon after getting it, along with a multiple battery charger so that I wouldn’t have to wait an hour between flights. The drone originally came with 2 batteries, so I bought 3 more to increase the flying time from 18 minutes to 45. Since each battery takes approximately 40-45 minutes to charge, it would help me to continually swap them in and out almost indefinitely, or at least until I got tired of crashing the drone into things. Or until I got better at flying.
Over the past week, I’ve been taking it out for an hour or so at a time. Since it’s a very lightweight drone, I’ve had to gauge the wind, since even a 5-7 mph breeze can have a marked effect on the flight abilities of the thing. Too, I don’t have a lot of places I can fly it, and there are obstacles I have to maneuver around. Like trees. And the roofs of this house and the neighbor houses. With limited battery time, if I happened to get it stuck, it’s going to be there awhile. I’m not about to rent a cherry picker to get it off a 2-story roof due to pilot error. Or stupidity.
Needless to say, there’s room for improvement. Like other things I’ve gotten interested in, there have been thoughts of upgrades. But for now, I think with winter coming on, it might be best just to consider maybe increasing the flight time little by little, before going for major upgrades, like a newer, more expensive drone. Considering finding a different place to fly it around here has proved problematic.