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Is a drone worth getting?


wiiawiwb

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wiiawiwb
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I'm considering getting a drone, which I know nothing about, but wonder whether it's just a toy or is something that can really help to achieve results in the field. Where I go the woods are thick and there is not a lot of open space to fly one, That said,  there are two area that have lots of ponds. I can see where a drone could possibly be used to move to and from ponds particularly when doing so by foot can be slow going.

 

A month or so ago,  a friend and I were out at one of the ponds for an overnight. Across the pond, we heard a tree fall. My friend already had his unpacked and was able to get it airborne quickly. It buzzed over to where the tree fell and he used the camera to surveil the area. If something was there, it would not be seen if it were beneath the tree cover.

 

Is a drone better used in open areas, such as Colorado, or is there a benefit using it in densely forested areas?

 

 

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Huntster

I want one just to carry my baited hook out past the surf when surf fishing. The exploration benefits could have come in very handy just a couple of days ago, too.

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I think it would be pretty cool to have this.

 

https://www.dronenerds.com/products/drones/enterprise-drones/parrot-business/parrot-anafi-thermal-series/parrot-anafi-thermal.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=&sci

 

 

4.8 star rating5 Reviews
 
 
 

Parrot ANAFI Thermal Drone

IN STOCK

As low as $124/mo or 0% APR with Affirm. Prequalify now
 
$1,900.00
  • Dual thermal (FLIR 160x120, -10°C to +400°C) and visible (21MP, 4K HDR) imagery
  • 3-axis stabilization, +/-90° camera tilt, digital zoom
  • Ultra-compact, lightweight (315g) yet robust drone
  • Easy to use, user-friendly interface (FreeFlight 6 mobile app)
  • Direct in-app analysis of thermal data
  • All-in-one solution designed for professionals

Even in the day time a thermal can spot something you can over look on just a camera . I've used my thermal in the daylight hours many times .

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wiiawiwb
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How sweet would that be! 

 

You could go out on a night expedition and have two or three people with thermals stationed in a line in one area and use the thermal drone to drive a sasquatch toward them like herding deer.  I think you can enter certain flight paths, such as a semi-circle, so anything in its interior would naturally move to the base of the semi-circle where others await with handhelds.

 

 

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wiiawiwb
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Two months ago, a friend of mine lost his drone while buzzing it around a pond we were at a spot where we go sasquatching. Four of us returned a few days later to try and find it. No luck. The experience provided three valuable lessons for us related to drones:

 

1) Make sure the drone has obstacle avoidance technology. His didn't.

 

2) Make sure it has GPS tracking in the event it gets hung up in a tree, or hits the water, you know its exact GPS location. It makes retrieval possible/easier.

 

3) Make sure you buy insurance to replace a drone in case it goes down. In my friend's case, the Company would replace the drone once but he needed to send them "the carcass". We couldn't find the drone so the Company wouldn't replace it.

Edited by wiiawiwb
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VAfooter
Admin

While an interesting idea in theory, I think practical application will leave something to be desired. As mentioned, they work best in open areas. Also, they still make noise that can be heard and if BF's hearing is as good as believed, they will have ample time to hide or run away. The camera FOV is not 360 degrees, so you only get a small area in view at any given time (maybe 90-120 degrees?). Battery life is still relatively short, and flying/transmission range is lacking.

 

We may get there at some point, but I do not think we are there yet. Now if it had thermal sensors that provided 360 degree coverage and software that automatically pointed the camera at "targets", then you could be on to something. Regardless, in the end it will still probably come down to luck for a sighting to occur.

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13 hours ago, wiiawiwb said:

I'm considering getting a drone, which I know nothing about, but wonder whether it's just a toy or is something that can really help to achieve results in the field.

 

A toy at best.   IMHO useless for serious research.    Too noisy.   Just like bad wood knocks and bad vocalization attempts, the noise of a drone will give away your interest and cause them to leave.    An area you might have camped in for a couple days and maybe drawn some attention instead becomes one-drone-pass-and-done.    In other words, drones are counter-productive.    One possible exception .. I can see some use for after-the-fact search for tracklines in open snowy fields.   What that provides other than a chance for yet more track casts, I don't know.    I don't think you'll find the track maker with a drone.

 

MIB

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BlackRockBigfoot
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For actual research, I don't see a use for it.  Even the entry level thermal drones that have just started to come out don't seem like they are useful.  

 

The thermal would only be able to get clear images at a relatively low altitude,so noise would be an issue.  Also, drone work best in open areas...not heavily wooded ones.

 

I bought a drone mostly for YouTube video purposes.  I wanted to give the viewer a birdseye view of the area that we were in.  I bought one capable of a decent flight time and decent video capabilities.  I have used it exactly zero times for that... simply because I am already rucking a ton of stuff in.  I would rather carry other items than a limited use one like a drone.  

 

One of those mini blimp models might be useful like they were discussing with the Falcon Project.

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norseman
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14 hours ago, 7.62 said:

I think it would be pretty cool to have this.

 

https://www.dronenerds.com/products/drones/enterprise-drones/parrot-business/parrot-anafi-thermal-series/parrot-anafi-thermal.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=&sci

 

 

4.8 star rating5 Reviews
 
 
 

Parrot ANAFI Thermal Drone

IN STOCK

As low as $124/mo or 0% APR with Affirm. Prequalify now
 
$1,900.00
  • Dual thermal (FLIR 160x120, -10°C to +400°C) and visible (21MP, 4K HDR) imagery
  • 3-axis stabilization, +/-90° camera tilt, digital zoom
  • Ultra-compact, lightweight (315g) yet robust drone
  • Easy to use, user-friendly interface (FreeFlight 6 mobile app)
  • Direct in-app analysis of thermal data
  • All-in-one solution designed for professionals

Even in the day time a thermal can spot something you can over look on just a camera . I've used my thermal in the daylight hours many times .


Great tool for targeting a creature. With FLIR on a rifle as well? Little chance of escape so long as the drone was working with the ground team.

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NorthWind

I agree. They are noisy.

 

That said, there was one time I really wish I had one. I suspected caves down in a canyon that was really difficult to get down into. There was poison oak to contend with, steep slopes, not to mention the blackberries and trailing blackberries and loose rockslides. I just wanted to know if there was a cave or caves down there. A drone would have made that quest almost effortless. Google Earth's images just were not clear / close enough to be sure. So I spent an afternoon and bushwhacked in there. The spot in question was a waterfall, which was beautiful, but since we approached it from the upriver side, there was no way to see if there are any caves behind it. And, there is another suspected cave area downriver just a few hundred yards beyond that I have yet to explore. Approaching from the downriver side is next to impossible because the only place to get a vehicle in is a few miles away. Then it's bushwhack time, uphill, through more of the same, and likely devil's club, too. And I hate devil's club. A lot. 

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SWWASAS
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I spent a buch of hours using my airplane to see if I could see something from the air in remote areas.      In the Western Cascade mountains, the tree cover is so dense that you can rarely see the ground.    You are unlikely to see a BF through the tree canopy in dense forest situations.   I can see in the Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon areas, where the tree density is much less, possibly seeing something on the ground moving around.   In probably 15 hours of flying,  I only saw one thing that might have been a BF.     It was brown, bipedal, and moved around on the back side of some trees when I went by at a very low altitude.    I circled around but could not see what did that.  It could have just been a poacher wearing camo out hunting hiding from me.    I gave up on the process just because the low flying was just too dangerous.       While a drone eliminates the human risk,  you certainly risk loosing the drone flying low through trees and mountain areas.   The tendency of BF to hide from human activity makes me think that a noisy drone would cause a BF to hide.    Certainly finding caves and lava tubes might be a good use for the drone.    They are not going to hide from the drone noise.  

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46 minutes ago, SWWASAS said:

I spent a buch of hours using my airplane to see if I could see something from the air in remote areas.      In the Western Cascade mountains, the tree cover is so dense that you can rarely see the ground.    You are unlikely to see a BF through the tree canopy in dense forest situations.   I can see in the Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon areas, where the tree density is much less, possibly seeing something on the ground moving around.   In probably 15 hours of flying,  I only saw one thing that might have been a BF.     It was brown, bipedal, and moved around on the back side of some trees when I went by at a very low altitude.    I circled around but could not see what did that.  It could have just been a poacher wearing camo out hunting hiding from me.    I gave up on the process just because the low flying was just too dangerous.       While a drone eliminates the human risk,  you certainly risk loosing the drone flying low through trees and mountain areas.   The tendency of BF to hide from human activity makes me think that a noisy drone would cause a BF to hide.    Certainly finding caves and lava tubes might be a good use for the drone.    They are not going to hide from the drone noise.  

 

I do believe a FLIR mounted drone would be one of the best ways to quickly scan a search grid to see if it was worthwhile investigating further on foot. 

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norseman
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1 hour ago, SWWASAS said:

I spent a buch of hours using my airplane to see if I could see something from the air in remote areas.      In the Western Cascade mountains, the tree cover is so dense that you can rarely see the ground.    You are unlikely to see a BF through the tree canopy in dense forest situations.   I can see in the Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon areas, where the tree density is much less, possibly seeing something on the ground moving around.   In probably 15 hours of flying,  I only saw one thing that might have been a BF.     It was brown, bipedal, and moved around on the back side of some trees when I went by at a very low altitude.    I circled around but could not see what did that.  It could have just been a poacher wearing camo out hunting hiding from me.    I gave up on the process just because the low flying was just too dangerous.       While a drone eliminates the human risk,  you certainly risk loosing the drone flying low through trees and mountain areas.   The tendency of BF to hide from human activity makes me think that a noisy drone would cause a BF to hide.    Certainly finding caves and lava tubes might be a good use for the drone.    They are not going to hide from the drone noise.  


You could easily use a modern drone under the canopy in a old growth forest. The have obstacle avoidance. And a tracking feature. It would fly under the canopy and around the trunks of the trees.

 

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Even so, it would fly slowly and its vision would be hindered by all of the trees. Not sure much utility would come from using a drone in the forest. And you still have the noise issue.

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