Just for Fun

JD walks his new drone

JD takes his new Autel EVO II Pro 6K drone out for a walk. The idea was to try out the autonomous Parallel Tracking mode and test out the drone's obstacle avoidance and navigation skills. The drone lost JD twice behind some tree branches at the start and the end of the walk.

Unlike his Yuneec Typhoon H drone's tracking which follows the GPS location of the radio controller even if it's obscured, the EVO II tracks an object designated as the target in the video. It must see the target to track it. Other than those two target losses, the drone managed to parallel JD's walk just fine. And surprisingly, it chose to duck under some tree branches rather than rise above them on the way back. It dropped to an altitude of about four feet to miss the branches.

The EVO has a total of 12 obstacle avoidance sensors spread across each face of the drone. The old Typhoon H avoided obstacles with just two optical sensors by always facing them into the direction of travel. It's retractable landing gear allowed the 4K camera to lock onto the tracking target independent of the drone's travel direction.

4K video edited in Pinnacle Studio 23, which also provided the Scorefitter soundtrack.

You'd think it would be easy. Just start the EVO II video recorder, then start a waypoint mission. But setting the correct camera action at each waypoint is crucial to keeping the Autel Robotics drone from stopping the recording, often right after Waypoint #2. I had success by setting the Waypoint Mission default Camera Action to "--" rather than "Start Recording." I also set each waypoint's Camera Action to "--." I started the video recording manually with the remote's left camera pushbutton right before starting the mission. No waypoint Camera Actions were set to "Start Recording" or "Stop Recording." The drone will automatically stop recording after landing, as usual. The "--" camera setting is hidden in the dropdown selection box unless you scroll the box down to find it. This mission was flown with Autel Exploer App V1.11.37, Flight Control firmware V0.0.4.58, Camera firmware V0.2.32.77. and Remote Control firmware V4.0.0.11 on 9/24/2021 with a Version 2 EVO II 6K Pro. The drone still pauses at each waypoint to yaw to the next route heading. Coming from experience with the Yuneec Typhoon H's Curved Cable Cam feature, I'm not a fan of the waypoint pauses. But I'm glad I got the EVO II to leave the camera running through the mission! 4K video, edited with Pinnacle Studio 23. It would be nice if the Autel manual explained all this.

JD's new Autel Robotics EVO II 6K Pro drone suffered a brief disconnect from its controller on its maiden voyage to the pasture the other day. But there were no problems at all on this trip, neither with the controller nor the FPV video transmission. At 3,300 feet out or so, that's about the limit of JD's line-of-sight-vision, so he'll probably never use the rest of the manufacturer's claimed 18,000-foot range unless there's an FAA rule change. There was a horse drinking in the pasture, and no apparent damage to the buildings from Hurricane Ida which blew through a couple of weeks ago. The subdivision itself has plenty of curbside hurricane damage debris awaiting pickup. The controller accurately nailed the autonomous landing in the same sidewalk block of takeoff. Shenandoah subdivision in Baton Rouge, LA. 4K video edited with Pinnacle Studio 23, and music from its Scorefitter.

JD bought a new drone, an Autel Robotics EVO II 6K Pro. This was his second flight with it after a very short test flight the day before. The mission was a familiar one: out to Lake Shadow in his Shenandoah subdivision of Baton Rouge, then up to St. Michaels High School, and then over to the pasture in the north end, all at an altitude of about 200 feet. The FPV video was solid for the entire trip, although the drone and controller disconnected briefly at the pasture. JD was likely shadowed by his own house as he moved to keep the drone in physical sight. Failsafe kicked in as it should and the drone returned home on its own. JD took over for landing, even though the drone seemed to have it nailed. All 3 locations are about 2,300 feet away. His old Yuneec Typhoon H drones often lost FPV video at each. But not the new EVO II.

Ida's wind snapped off the top 20 feet or so of JD's oak tree. That part fell toward the street and ended up inverted near the sidewalk. So the rest of the tree had to go. This 4K video show's the uneventful cut-down, and uneventful is exactly how JD wanted it! No drones involved in this video; just an expert with a chainsaw, a truck with a rope, and a 4K camcorder at ground level.

Hurricane Ida blew past JDs house in Baton Rouge the night of August 29, 2021. She didn't damage the house, but she did manage to crack the top 20-feet or so of an oak tree alongside of it. Thankfully, it fell toward the street and ended up inverted near the sidewalk. JD put his drone up to have a 4K look.

JD got out his drone to catch part of the tour of the Union Pacific's “Big Boy” steam locomotive at Bunkie, Louisiana. But he couldn't get it up fast enough. By the time it was airborne, all that remained were a few cars of the train. Chasing it down the tracks to get in front of the locomotive might have been futile, and might have ended in the powerlines crossing the right-of-way.4K video from Yuneec Tyhoon H CGO3+ drone camera. Edited with Cyberlink PowerDirector, which also provided the music.

Tug and barge traffic this morning (8/22/2021) on the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, LA. 4K video from Yuneec Tyhoon H CGO3+ drone camera. Edited with Cyberlink PowerDirector. Music from Pinnacle Studio 23 Scorefitter.

JD flies his Yuneec Typhoon H drone out to Lake Shadow in his Shenandoah, LA subdivision, then over to St. Michael's High School, and back home. FPV video was solid all the way, despite a zillion homes pouring their WiFI into the air. This is the onboard 4K video from the CGO3+ camera. Edited with Pinnacle Studio 23, which also provided the music.

JD had a drone battery charged up for some droning a week previous, but got rained out. It was time to use up the battery down to storage voltage level (50% or so). So a little jaunt around his Shenandoah neighborhood in Baton Rouge was called for. Altitude was about 130 feet. 4K video from a Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter, CGO3+ camera, Edited with Pinnacle Studio 23, which also provided background music via Scorefitter.

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