Drones

What phone should I buy for controlling a drone?

Episode 1437

John from Long Island, NY
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Joe is frustrated with replacement iPhones because they keep failing with the dreaded touch screen disease. So he bought a brand new one for navigating his DJI drone. How does it restore the old apps? Leo says it doesn't. It always goes out and gets the newer version. If he prefers the older version, he may be out of luck. But he doesn't want a SIM card for it. Leo says to use his own SIM card to activate the phone. Then pop it back out and it should stay activated.

Are DJI Drones Spying on the Army?

Episode 1411

This week, the US Army issued a directive ordering soldiers to not use DJI drones and other UAVs due to cyber vulnerabilities and the potential for spying by the devices on the battlefield. DJI is shocked by the move without consultation. What would be the threat? Leo says that drones have radios and GPS, and often have internet connectivity. So it's possible that drones could be taken over by a third party and used for spying, especially for mapping terrain. But Leo says it's also likely there's could be a certain amount of paranoia at work here.

What drone should I use for taking pictures of property?

Episode 1384

John from Anaheim, CA
DJI Phantom

John is a commercial real estate agent and he's looking to buy a drone for taking pictures of properties. Leo says if he's never flown a drone, he should learn to fly with a cheap drone first, or he may find his expensive drone will vanish on him. Amazon has plenty of cheap drones that he can learn to fly with and crash with. He should practice a lot. Then, the most popular is the DJI Phantom. The Parrot Bebop is a nice one as well.

How can I edit 4K drone footage so I can zoom into 3D space during playback?

Eric from Richland, WA

Episode 1334

Eric is doing some video editing and wants to know what the best software is for 4K footage. He also wants to know about the best drone to get. Leo says for drone advice, he should check out KnowHow with Father Robert Ballecer (PadreSJ). He does a lot of features on drones and has some tips and tricks on how to buy, build and fly them.

FAA Requires Drone Registration Starting This Week

Episode 1247

Starting Monday, anyone who operates a drone from 0.5-55 pounds will be required to register that drone with the FAA. Leo says that the problem is that everyone's personal information will be publicly available, which is not a good thing. And the Academy of Model Aeronautics is encouraging drone operators not to register until the privacy issues are addressed. That kind of civil disobedience will get attention, but the fines of up to $25,000 and 3 years in jail for failing to do so is a steep one.

How can we make drone operators fly responsibly?

Episode 1203

Louis from Hollywood, CA
Drone

Louis says that drones delayed firefighting helicopters from getting to a brush fire, causing dozes of cars to be burned on a freeway in Southern California. Leo says that's not only terrible, but likely illegal. The FAA has been trying to work out rules to prevent these things.

Leo says that firmware updates to prevent flying in restricted airspace (an electronic leash) can only do so much. The chatroom says that there should be mandatory transponders on drones to be able to identify those who fly in restricted airspace. That could go a long way to solving the issue.