Drone Parts and Components

Drones are becoming more and more autonomous and easier for drone owners to control. There are some fundamental components all drone owners should be familiar with, which keep the drone in the air. Some people opt to construct their drones themselves instead of purchase a readymade drone, which often reduces the costs. This article will cover the basic parts of a fully functional drone and their functionality.

Quadcopter frame

This is a structure (frame) in which all the other parts fit in. It acts as a skeleton in which different components are placed in such a manner that they uniformly distribute the drone’s center of gravity. Different drone’s designs have different quadcopter frames structure with a minimum of 3 propeller fitting gaps. They are available in various shapes and sizes and their price ranges from a mere $10 to $500 depending on their quality.

Motors

Motors are essential for the propeller’s rotation. This enhances a thrust force for propelling the drone. Still, the number of motors should be the same as the number of propellers. The motors are also fitted in a way such that they are easily rotated by the controller. Their rotation enhances the drone control in terms of direction. Choosing the right motor is really essential for the efficiency of the drone. You have to check carefully about various parameters such as voltage and current, thrust and thrust to weight ratio, power, efficiency and speed etc.

Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)

This is an electronic control board that varies the motors speed. It also acts as a dynamic brake. The component still helps the ground pilot to approximate the height at which the drone is running in. This is attained by gauging the amount of power used by all the motors. Altitude is associated with power drain from the power reservoirs.

Flight Control/Board

The flight board makes a log of the takeoff place just in case a need arises for the drone to go back to its takeoff location without being guided. This is known as ‘return to home’ feature. It also determines and calculates the drone’s altitude in respect to the amount of power it consumes.

Propellers

Propellers are clove like blades structured to create a difference in air pressure. When in motion, they cut through the air creating difference in pressure between the top of the rotors and the bottom. The top side is characterized by low pressure as compared to the bottom causing the drone to lift into the air. The price starts from as low as $1 and follows an upward trend depending on their make and model. For example, carbon fiber propellers cost around $50. They are light weight and are break proof, which are qualities not present in propellers costing around $10.

Radio Transmitter

It is a channeled transmitter and a communicator to the drone. Each channel has specific frequency capable of steering the drone in a certain motion. Drones require at least 4 channels for effective operation.

Battery, Electronics and Power Distribution Cables

The battery acts as the power source to the drone. It supplies energy in all the electronics in the framework through the power distribution cables. Nickel Metal Hybrid or Nickel Cadmium based batteries were first used, however, their use has diminished while the use of lithium batteries has increased. They can store a greater amount of energy than the Nickle Cadmium and Nickle Metal Hybrid. The rating of a typical battery is 3000mAh and 4V. It costs about 10$. The electrical and electronic part is a crucial part pertaining to the control and operation of the drone. However, in respect to the purpose of the drone, other components can be either included or omitted. The drone may be functional without these parts, though for multitasking purposes it’s advised to include them.

Camera

For video shooting, cameras are attached to the drones. Cameras with the capability of shoot and store or shoot and send are available and used in relation to the operator’s taste or budget. Some use their own cameras while the quality conscious use GoPro cameras.

Landing gear

This is a structure meant for safe landing of the drone. However, it can be exempted since an experienced user is capable of balancing the motors speed for safe landing in emergencies. There are two major types of landing gear. One is fixed landing gear and the other is retractable landing gear.

First Person Video

Though it is expensive in comparison to the normal control device interface (transmitter) screen, it gives the user an interactive 3D view experience. The first person view (FPV) gives the user an ultimate feeling of as if the user is flying in the skies. There are two major components of an FPV system. The first one is the ground component. The ground component is also called the ground station. It consists of a video receiver and a display system on the ground. The second major component is the video receiver. The video receiver receives the data by matching the frequency of the receiver with the transmitter present of the drone. The most common frequencies used for transmission of video are 433 MHz, 869 MHz, 900MHz, 1.2 GHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. Advanced versions of ground components have sophisticated antennas which result in greater image resolution. The airborne component has a camera and a video transmitter on the drone. These are the basic components of a basic FPV system. However, advanced FPV systems have advanced components and functions. For example, the FPV system can be added with a GPS navigation system. It can also have flight data systems. Further advanced FPV systems have “return home” systems which allow the drones to come back to the position from where they initially took off.

In conclusion, these are the major components of a drone. Choosing the right component according to your requirements is a must. You are the one who is going to fly the drone so you know better. The components are available in abundance from various online stores and can be bought easily. Buy them, assemble and combine them and have the time of your life flying your drone.

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Advantages of Renting a Drone Versus Buying One

We’re living in a technological boom where every day we’re learning about a new development. Sometimes you encounter a new technology which is more sophisticated and helps you get your work done faster and/or more efficiently. Technology is becoming more so as it is shown in the tech savvy fiction films where the machines have their own brains. Drones are a modern marvel that have impressed not only the military, but have also captured the imagination of the common people too.

There are many people who would like to buy a drone for themselves but these aerial vehicles come at a premium price. This is why you have to weigh various pros and cons before you get to the stage of buying a drone. You may like to have a reception party and capture those precious moments at angles and heights that look amazing. If you have money to spend then you could buy a drone for your personal usage. However, like most people, if your spending budget is low then it is better to rent a drone instead.

There are various companies in the market that offer drone rentals. When it comes to deciding upon buying or renting the drone, you must consider the pros and cons of both.

Usage

Drones are anticipated to have a wide variety of uses in the future but for now the use of drones is mostly used for photography, while few are using them for surveillance, inspections and survey and mapping purposes. So, if you are not a professional photographer who needs to use a drone frequently, you probably don’t need to buy it. Simply renting the drone would be an ideal fit for you as it would allow you to use the drone when you have a need for it and then return it back when it has served its purpose.

Flying the Drone

Flying the drone is a major issue when deciding whether to buy or rent the drone. If you decide to buy the drone then you will have to learn about how to fly it too or it will not serve its purpose. However, renting the drone would spare you from having to learn anything about drone flying. The companies who rent these aerial vehicles will provide a pilot for you that will take over the flying duties. You would just have to tell the pilot what to do and he would deal with the rest.

Licensing Issues

Drones are aerial vehicles and thus require proper licensing before they can be used or flown in the air. Obtaining a license for a drone can be a very time consuming process. The companies renting the drone however have the required licenses and necessary paperwork for their equipment. So, you don’t have to worry about the licensing one bit. You just pay the rent of the drone and can then use it freely.

Cost

The cost of the drone is a major factor to consider when buying it. If you do not want to indulge in drone racing or other drone sports then there is no point in buying this equipment as it will just sit in one corner of the house. Drone rentals on the other hand are a great option for all purposes. If you want to learn about flying a drone or just want to have a little fun with it then a rented drone could accomplish this without requiring you to spend big bucks. Thereafter if you feel that it is worth the purchase then you can buy the drone of your choice.

Purposes for Renting Drones

Drones can be rented for various purposes such as:

· If you are hiking and you want your photos and videos to be made from far then drones can be of help. Also if you want to take pictures of the high mountains and rugged terrains or just have a look at what is on the other end of a high peak, then drones are the only option you have.

· If you are planning on selling your house or property you will need to send good photos of your property to the contractor. With the help of a drone you can take endless pictures of the roof, the chimney, or the windows from any angle without the need for a ladder.

· Drones can even be used to keep an eye on your farm by giving you the bird’s eye view of your land

· Drones can be rented to go for vacation where you can make aerial view videos of your own or you could just use the drone for the purpose of sightseeing.

· Drones can be used for sports photography as well.

Taking Care of Rented Drones

When you rent a drone, you must take care of the following things:

· The date you have fixed for your event or vacation is not a feasible one for the renting company so you must keep your dates and time flexible as this will ensure that you have photographs done the way you want them to be. Also, it is better to get the photography done in the mornings and evenings as this is the time when the sun is best for photography.

· You must know what kinds of shots you want. You should have a look at the similar projects online and make sure that you tell the photographer about the same.

· While taking photographs with a drone you must not forget to first make sure that the place is safe for flying with drone. You must not have trees and buildings as obstacles and neither should you fly them over people. Use common sense to make sure everybody on the ground is safe.

· You must be aware that the drones are of different qualities and that is going to affect the quality of your videos and photos. The DJI Phantoms are the cheapest, most available and most used drones, but for high end picture quality you will need the professional model or a high quality camera and that is going to cost you more.

· Also, it is important that you get the enhancements and corrections done in the photographs, because raw pictures and videos usually need editing.

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How to Find the Right Drone

Drones are the hottest topic in the tech world at the moment. People all over the world have fallen in love with this new technology and want to get their hands on it. From kids to adults to business owners, everyone wants to own a drone. While drones are not that difficult to buy, one has to keep in mind that these aerial vehicles do not come cheap. You will have to make a good deal of investment if you want to purchase a high quality drone. Therefore, it is important that you don’t make a hasty decision when choosing a drone and that you take the time to find the right one.

Challenges Faced in Finding the Right Drone

Drone technology is advancing at a rapid rate. A new type of drone is introduced in the market almost every other day. With so many types and brands of drones available, it can become a challenge for a person to find a drone that is best suited to his or her needs. However, finding the right drone isn’t a difficult task if you know what you are looking for. So, the first thing you will have to do is to identify the purpose for which you want to buy the drone. How you use the drone is going to determine which type is most suitable for you.

· Recreational Purposes

If you want to buy a drone only for recreational purposes then you can find the right drone quite easily. There are plenty of recreational drones available in the market that can be utilized for personal use. Such drones don’t cost much and are fairly easy to operate. You simply have to control the flight of the drone using a joystick type of controller whose functions are similar to any other type of remote controlled vehicle. So, you will get the hang of it quickly should you decide to start flying. The best thing about recreational drones is that you won’t have to break the bank for purchasing them.

· Commercial Purposes

If you want to purchase a drone for commercial purposes then you will have to do some extensive research to find the drone that is best for you. Since the drone is going to be used for a particular job, you will have to find one that has the capabilities for carrying out that task. For instance, if you want to use it for the purpose of aerial photography then you will have to get a drone that has an HD camera attached to it. Such drones can be found online with great ease. However, do remember that these types of drones are quite expensive and will cost you a good deal of money.

Factors to Consider When Buying Drones

In addition to the challenges faced in finding a suitable drone, there are a number of factors that you need to consider when buying these machines too.

· Design

The design of a drone is an important consideration. You would have to decide whether a quadcopter design would be suitable or whether you require a drone having more than four rotors. While a quadcopter is best for balancing and finer control, it would not be safe to use in rough weather and won’t be able to lift heavier payloads. On the other hand a hexacopter or an octocopter consumes more power, but can fly in much more severe weather.

· Speed and Elevation

Speed and elevation are also factors that you need to keep in mind when it comes to buying drones. Most small drones can’t fly as high are larger drones. So, if you want to take good quality aerial photographs then you will have to get an advanced drone that is capable of reaching heights of 300 feet or more. Moreover, a smaller drone won’t be able to go as fast and would be unsuitable for drone racing. For that you would require a speedy drone for racing which can clock in high speeds.

· Battery Life

Battery life matters also when making the decision of purchasing a drone. The battery life is going to determine the amount of time the drone can remain in the air. In addition to battery life, you will have to take into account the charging time required by the drone to recharge its batteries. Ideally, you should go for a drone that is capable of giving you at least 20 minutes of flight time and can be fully charged within half an hour.

· Controllable Range

The controllable range is the farthest distance up to which you can remotely pilot your drone. Most drones have very limited controllable ranges, meaning that you cannot take them out for long range flights. The advanced drones however have considerable controllable range and can be flown for long distances. Controllable range is an important consideration when buying drones for aerial photography as you would have to remain within this range when taking photos.

· Camera

Most people use drones for the purpose of taking photos. The drone itself doesn’t take photos but it has a built-in camera mounted on it that is responsible for taking the images. The more advanced the camera is, the more quality photos it should be able to take. However, do remember that HD cameras can be very heavy, so you will have to buy a heavier and more advanced drone if you intend to use it for the purpose of aerial photography or videography.

· Replacement Parts

Drones are aircraft and can easily be involved in accidents. All it takes is a wrong turn or a slight error of judgment to cause the drone to tumble to the ground. Most lightweight drones fall a lot and thus require replacement parts like rotor blades, extra batteries, propellers and gears to get back into the air. Thus, availability of spare parts is another important consideration that you have to keep in mind when buying small drones.

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8 Tips for Buying Your Drone

drone-520x245Businesses and consumers alike are finding new ways to use drone every day. From real estate to event photography to sports, drones are being used for a number of purposes. On top of that, people are finding drones to be a great past time activity too. This is the reason why there has been a spike in the demand of the drones and people all over the world are looking to buy one. However, buying a drone isn’t a piece of cake. There are a number of aspects that you need to keep in mind before you go into the market to buy one. The following are some tips that are going to help you in buying a drone that is fit for your needs. The following areas should be examined prior to purchasing a drone.

Purpose of Use

The first tip for buying a drone is to identify the purpose for which you want this vehicle. For instance, if you are looking to get this device for purely recreational purposes then even a small and cheap quadcopter would be enough. However, if you want to buy the drone for professional aerial photography and videography then you will have to go for a more advanced model that is capable of capturing photos at different angles. For cargo carrying requirements, you will require a drone that is capable of lifting heavy loads and carrying them over long distance. If you plan on buying the drone for inspection purposes then it would be best for you to opt for a drone that can function in unfavorable conditions. Drones used for wildlife photography are usually quite expensive and should only be bought if you are a wildlife photographer who wants to capture the wild animals in their natural habitat without risking yourself.

Machinery

Another of the aspect that needs to be considered when it comes to buying drones is that of its machinery. There are various types of drones available in the market but they have their own respective mechanisms. You have to understand that not all drones have the machinery available to perform the functions that you want them to do. For instance, if you want to get the drone simply for the fun then a quadcopter with simple machinery would be just fine. However, if you plan on using the drone for a commercial purpose then the quadcopter would not be enough. You will then have to go for a drone whose machinery is capable enough to complete the task be it photography or package delivery.

Design

Another tip that might come in handy when you are buying a drone is to have a close look at its design. Generally all the UAVs have the same basic idea; they fly without the need of an on-board human pilot. However, they differ on the basis of their design. For instance, the quadcopter has four motors to propel it and look almost like a helicopter while the military grade drones are jet fueled and look more or less the same as usual airplanes. So, unless you are in the military and are in need of a stealth drone, it would be best for you to go for a drone that has a simple design.

Camera and Gimbal Supports

Drones are mostly being used for the purpose of photography and videography. If you want to use yours for the same purpose then you will have to find one that has a camera installed on it. However, an ordinary camera won’t do the job. You would have to make sure that the camera mounted on the drone you are buying is a good one that can take high quality pictures with ease. Another tip to keep in mind is to buy drone that has a gimbal support. The gimbal support is going to keep the camera stable during the drone’s flight, allowing it to take better photos and videos.

Battery Time

Battery timing is of great importance too when it comes to buying UAVs. Generally, a quadcopter or drone will fly for around 5 to 15 minutes at a stretch. With a bigger battery, the drone can stay airborne for more than an hour. So, it is best that you go for a drone that has a powerful battery especially if you want to use it for aerial photography or inspection purposes. Make sure that the battery of the drone is rechargeable and can be quickly powered up.

Range

The range of most of the drones is not more than 50 meters. This is generally a suitable distance for taking aerial shots. However, there are advanced drones available too that have a much higher range. If you want the drone for wildlife photography, then it is best that you go for one that can provide you with a range close to 100 meters or more.

Spare Parts

Always ask the dealer to provide you with spare parts for your drone. Most of the drones available in the market come with spare rotors as these parts of the drone are fragile and can breakdown if consistently used.

Cost

The price of the drones is dependent on their type. If you want to buy the most basic model then you won’t have to spend a great deal of money on them. Still, it would be a considerable investment as these aerial vehicles don’t come cheap. You can get the drone for a lower price if you look for them on the internet. There are many websites that provide discounts on the sale of quadcopters.

In closing, there are a number of aspects that you need to keep in mind before you go into the market to buy drone. If you take these considerations in mind you will get the most out of your investment.

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