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Discussion Starter #1
I would be interested in anybody's experience in using a drone for the inspection of rigging aloft. Lower cost solutions would be preferred.
 

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Drones can't touch it or run their fingers along it.
Drones won't be flying inside diamonds.
If something is noticed via drone, the drone can't correct it.
Regardless, some human is going up the mast...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
All true, but inbetween yearly physical inspections, I would think it could be a useful tool to possibly spot issues. I could imagine that staying out of the way of the rigging could be tricky.

Has anybody tried this?
 

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RC stuff is one of my hobbies, a decent quad copter and camera that is hobby grade (meeaning it can be repaired instead of thrown out) isn't that cheap. I certainly wouldn't risk my stuff around the rigging. One good puff of wind and down she goes. Would have to get very close to get a good detailed view AND fly through and around the rigging to get a 360 view. The gyro/stabilizer in my stuff probably wouldn't have time to react in that close proximity.
As well unless you a flying FPV you have no idea if you are getting the views you need. Then there are the rules and regs regarding flying a drone.
In short easier and quicker to go up the mast to do a visual and physical exam.
 

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I'm not an RC guy and never will be, but I did get a drone to use as a tool. My thoughts/justifications:

Aerial view of potential anchorages in thin water, identifying reef breaks, scouting of small islands...and maybe some cool pics.
 

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I'm not an RC guy and never will be, but I did get a drone to use as a tool. My thoughts/justifications:

Aerial view of potential anchorages in thin water, identifying reef breaks, scouting of small islands...and maybe some cool pics.
Ideal use for them! Never say never, I started with a car when I was a kid. Now have a couple cars, 2 planes, 1 heli, a drone and 13 boats including a couple sailboats.....
 

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How about using a drone down in the Bahamas to make your way through the reefs. I believe you can see the coral and the deeper water when looking directly down. I am not sure how you would use it.... but maybe????
 

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How about using a drone down in the Bahamas to make your way through the reefs. I believe you can see the coral and the deeper water when looking directly down. I am not sure how you would use it.... but maybe????
If your looking to get a drone for that reason it would be cheaper to hook up a wireless camera and pull power from the masthead lighting, then you always have an overhead view in front and the night vision could prove useful, now that i typed this im gonna have to test it for this summer lmao. but i do know a decent drone will run a grand and it always manages to hit something in the initial learning curve, the cheapys just wont handle the salt and water issues.
 

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I actually got a dji spark this summer,useful for pictures,looking for cows ,inspecting roofs and once I get good at handling it for security as it has a memory function,this is for the farm and out in the field where my wrecking yard is,and this is only about 600.00 dollars the camera is very high resolution and with the zoom should work just fine to inspect rigging visually,but not when it's windy!! I think I would just practice lots befor getting close to rigging as the anti bump function may not read the skinny wire, oh and sparks are not waterproof, Sure gets nice pictures....Ralph. Ps.it has a automatic return to wherever it took off from function so if you take off from the dock it will land again ,itself
 

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Whats the flight time of a battery operated drone? The ones I have seen need to have batteries swapped every 10-15 minutes. Futzing around with it seems like a bigger issue than just looking in front of you for coral heads.

Now a PTZ camera at the top of the mast is an intriguing idea. Just get one with a couple hundred foot night vision range and it could be a huge help. The only problem is they weigh in at a couple of pounds.
 

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I just flew a drone for the first time a month or so back. It was a DJI Mavic Pro. I have no idea where that sits in the spectrum of quality. It did fold up into a small package, so that would be an advantage to have aboard.

It was very easy to fly. Hands off and it just stopped mid air. I flew it down a canyon and took a vid of a waterfall. Returned and landed with ease.

However, as easy as it was, I would measure flight accuracy in a couple of feet, not inches. Way too much variability to get very close to rigging. One might be able to see a major malfunction better, like a missing bolt, cotter or clevis ring aloft, but it would never get close enough to inspect for cracks or meat hooks.

I admit, after flying it, I was challenging myself over a couple of beers to make up a reason to need one. Personally, I HATE seeing them flying around anchorages or marinas. They make an annoying sound and give off the social grace of a peeping tom. If there was a malfunction, they could damage others property. No thanks. I would love to get a vid of our boat underway, but getting good enough to depart and return to a moving vessel is one thing. Then I would never feel the need to do it again.

The battery in this model was good for 20 mins max. Not very useful for navigating, but very useful to explore secluded nearby places.
 

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I am an RC guy too (with airplanes, helis, quads, FPV, etc) and this is a pretty hot topic. I'm with the previous poster that these quads everywhere can be annoying. I understand them being used as a tool and I love the aerial video too.

Being in the hobby, we understand that using these things is often more than just firing them up and buzzing around taking video of everything. The irresponsible, ignorant and invasive use of these "drones" is what's catching the attention of the regulators like Transport Canada and the FAA to start slapping really restrictive laws on them. Even now, airspace regulators and fullsize pilots have drones in their sights, report everything they can't identify as a drone and have been filing report after report of unsubstantiated drone sightings with the bent that they pose a safety risk to the public...We all know where that path goes...

My advice is education. Learn how to fly them without the automatic gadgets, learn the safety, the risks, the operational limits and the laws. Trust me, you'd be doing us all a favour.

I also thought of doing rigging inspections, but like others have said it's pretty hard to beat a closeup view and a sense of touch.
 

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.....Learn how to fly them without the automatic gadgets......
The automatic return to home has been known to fly the drones directly into objects between the loss of signal and home base. Is that what you mean? The automatic gadget that freezes it's position in space, if you let go of the controls is a good safety feature, IMO.
 

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The automatic return to home has been known to fly the drones directly into objects between the loss of signal and home base. Is that what you mean? The automatic gadget that freezes it's position in space, if you let go of the controls is a good safety feature, IMO.
Yes, I meant that if return to home stopped working for whatever reason (flying into something in the direct path is a good example), then it's good to be able to manually take over. I know that if the compass gets confused by a magnetic anomaly, it'll conflict with the GPS signal and can start "toilet bowling".

The other thing to consider is that if your launch position is different than your current position (lets say you launched from a moving boat), the drone could try to go back to it's 1st position. You'd have to manually take over if not equipped with "follow me". There was a good example of this happening in Erik Aanderaa's You tube video and he nearly lost his quad because of it..

I agree....position and altitude hold are great features.
 

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One day I was sitting in the park along side the harbor and the dinghy dock was 50' away. All of the sudden I see a drone hovering above the dinghy dock. Ha? Turns out the owner was proposing marriage to his sweetheart on the town dock another 50' out. That was pretty cool. Haven't seen any flying around Northport aside from this one.
 

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You could easily shroud the props on a drone. Some come with prop "guards" that would keep the rigging out of them. But a drone camera is typically a wide angle long focus camera, and for up-close inspection you'd want a fixed or manual focus of maybe 2-3' from the drone, making it very "nearsighted". (Autofocus will always be wrong for this.) You'd have to cobble up something, that's beyond the range of a macro lens, too close for a normal lens. And vibration might make things too jumpy (fuzzy) up that close.

Only one way to find out, right?
 

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Obviously, the advantage of going up the stick yourself, is that you can bring a little jewelers loupe, and take a very close look at things. How about an autonomous robot-monkey that can climb the mast and take a close look? I'm only half kidding. That might actually be useful in adverse conditions.
 

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Obviously, the advantage of going up the stick yourself, is that you can bring a little jewelers loupe, and take a very close look at things. How about an autonomous robot-monkey that can climb the mast and take a close look? I'm only half kidding. That might actually be useful in adverse conditions.
I like the monkey idea how bout a R.C. Monkey with a digital glass eye ..and a pet parrot to relay messages below?


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