How to Build Floating Landing Gear For A DJI Phantom

I guess the only thing worse than crashing a quadcopter is getting it drowned. I mean there must be some stuff you can salvage from a crash, but total immersion? Not as much.

This is where Floating landing gears come into the play. We have seen a few designs, what they all have in commons is that they are dirt cheap, and really easy to make.

Now I am not sure that if a DJI Phantom hits water falling from 30 meters, this is what’s going to save the day, but I do think that it can help if you want to shoot lots of video over water and are concerned with battery or just want an extra layer of security.

The other big plus is that floating landing gear will get your drone to float, as even if you have waterproofed a DJI (which can be done) once it goes below water level, it loses orientation and just runs around in circles.

The first video, by Buddhanz shown at the top is the quick and dirty way. 4 Styrofoam bars hot-glued together and held with a rubber band, but you can get a bit more sophisticated. (Which we do after the jump)

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DJI’s Newest UAV Adresses Function Over Form, and Manages to Keep its Form As Well

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As UAV photography continues to become more prevalent in today’s technology, DJI is undoubtedly the leader in the field. With how many times its products have popped up in news stories and controversies in the past few months alone, it’s clear that photographers have spoken on who they choose to shoot their aerial footage. So when DJI makes announcements for a new model, you can bet on a lack of gimmicks. This isn’t a trend, and DJI knows it; they’re ready to bring improvements to UAV photography, and they’re ready to become its household name.

This isn’t the DJI Phantom that many of you may have come to know. With the Phantom lineup categorized for “Everyone” on the company’s website, this one is placed under the “Experts” tab, and rightfully so. Meet the new Spreading Wings S900 Hexacopter.

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VAL: Out! Drone Lighting: In! Drones Used As Lighting Stands

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A team of researchers from MIT and Cornell are expected to present a protype of a drone they have been developing specifically designed to ease the task of ‘holding lights’ this August. To be clear, drones have already been used by numerous photographers and filmmakers as a way to light scenes, but this particular drone has a couple interesting abilities that help set it apart from the crowd. The most incredible being it’s ability to detect motion of the camera and subject before automatically correcting it’s own position to provide consistent lighting.
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See How To Stabilize Your DJI Phantom Footage With A $10 Rig

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Shooting aerial footage with a DJI Phantom and a GoPro can be an awesome thing, but while the system takes care of getting the camera in the air and actually capturing some video, it has an inherent flaw which creates a Jello Effect if the rotor vibrates too much.

And indeed both the net (and the stores) are filled with tips and advice on reducing this Jello Effect. If you want a deeper understanding on where this effects comes in the first place, take a look at our rolling shutter intro. Anyways, it’s there.

The secret for reducing the jello effect is to disconnect the vibration coming from the DJI rotors from the camera. And this is exactly what the team at Human Resources did.

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Woman Who Assaulted Boy With a Quadcopter Gets Probation

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Last month, a video was uploaded online by 17 year-old Austin Haughwout, showing the assault carried out on him by 23 year-old Andrea Mears after she saw him using a quadcopter at a beach. After assaulting him, she lies to the police that arrive on the scene by claiming that he attacked her. Police chose not to arrest Austin only when he showed them that he has video evidence.

Andrea faced up to one year in jail with the charges brought against her. Last Wednesday, she was instead granted Accelerated Rehabilitation, and put two years of probation.

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Humor: Using A Drone For Better BBQ

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While here on DIYP we’ve been obsessed with the moral implications of using drones (or UAVs, or quadcopters) some people have found a uses for those machines which are much less controversial.

Hamburg based photographer Neunzehn72.de shared a video freely translated as Lighting the Barbecue Like a Boss, where he sets up a grill. Unconventionally, getting his gill up to heat involved using the wind generated by a DJI Phantom carrying a Gopro camera. Hit the jump to see the wonders of BBQ and Drones.

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Recording Shows, NYC Drone Incident Was Not Risky To The Helicopter

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Yesterday we shared a story about a couple of drones flying at an NYPD helicopter and putting it at severe risk. Well guess what, A recording from LaGuardia airport Air Traffic Control tells a different story all together.

Yesterday’s story was about two individuals, Remy Castro and Wilkins Mendoza, who were flying their quadcopters  over George Washington Bridge in New York while a police helicopter was patrolling the area. Yesterday, the story was about how the helicopter had to take evasive action to avoid a hit. Remy and Wilkins were arrested.

Today, Motherboard shares that a recording of the air traffic control from LaGuardia airport was posted by the website liveatc.net. Hear below. [Read more...]

Two Drones Nearly Hit a Helicopter, and the Men Responsible React in the Most Immature Manner Possible

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At about 12:15 midnight, Remy Castro and Wilkins Mendoza were flying their two quadcopters over George Washington Bridge in New York; at the same time, an New York Police Department chopper was present and patrolling the area – the two remote controlled quadcopters were headed straight for it. Luckily, the NYPD officers present noticed the two of them, and had to divert the chopper’s direction to avoid hitting the two of them.

Had one of the quadcopters hit the propeller of the chopper, things could have gotten ugly. There were a number of ways things could have gone wrong in this situation, and it shouldn’t be happening in the first place if we expect to be able to keep our right to freely use quadcopters in the US. If you follow this website at all, you know our stance on photography and how it relates to the law; but as supportive as we are of the right to use these devices, we can’t be surprised when regulations get put up because of things like this.

The two men that manned the quadcopters were immediately arrested after the NYPD traced the flying devices back to them. And even after they were taken in, they spewed out dialogue that was nothing short of immature and inexcusable. One of them told the Criminal Court that it was “just a toy” and that they “were just playing with it“. [Read more...]

Videographer Flies Drone Straight Into Fireworks, Looks Better Than Blasting The Death Star

If you are not tired from watching fireworks footage, here is something I don’t think was seen before. Videographer Jos Stiglingh took his DJI Phantom 2 along with a GoPro Hero 3 silver and flew them right into a fireworks show. Some of the footage is shot above the action, but some of the footage is shot with sparkles and debris flying around the camera (see the first photo after the jump).

I don’t actually think there is another way of obtaining such footage. And while I can’t vouch for the safety of such practice (either of the drone or of the spectators) Jos reports that the drone was unharmed. 
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