Given the recent explosive interest in drones, we thought we would share some advice on what to look for when purchasing your first drone.
It was only recently that the FAA got involved and produced their regulations and requirements about the use of drones for both a hobbyist and commercial use. Some rules and needs are the same for both hobbyist and commercial, while others are different depending on what you plan to do with your drone. Today’s topic will just go over hobbyist key points. Items on the commercial side we will go over in a future blog post.
So, where do we start? I guess that depends on what type of drone you have an interest in purchasing. Two different types of drones will talk about this blog post. There is your standard quadcopter or a racing drone. While each share similar characteristics, each is very different from the other.
Your typical quadcopter is the most popular and readily available drone that you can buy today. You can purchase these easily at a local Best Buy or Walmart. Most of these local purchases will cost you on average between $400-$1000 depending on the quality of the camera and safety features. Most of them are going to come with a 4K/12 megapixel camera. Some of the upper-end models will also come with security features to ensure you do not wreck your drone into various obstacles. One of the most widely sold is that of the manufacturer DJI. They are an excellent option for someone looking to start out. Another good manufacture is 3DR. Both of these manufacturers you can find at a local store for a quick purchase and your back out the door. You would be hard-pressed not to find a drone in the $400-$1000 range that also does not come equipped with GPS. GPS helps stabilize the drone while you’re flying it, but they also come equipped with the option to turn off when your skills have increased.
The other option would be an FPV, first person view, racing drone. While they look similar to the typical quadcopter, they are a lot faster. Some small racing drones can get up to 70+ mph. Talk about a rush! With the use of the FPV, you attach goggles to your remote. FPV goggles give you a view as if you were inside the drone flying. Almost like a cockpit view. Racing drones have become a fast sport that lets you fly some of the most adrenaline pumping arenas around the world.
Once you have decided which type of drone you like and have made the purchase, you head over to the FAA’s website to register it. Their website is registermyuas.faa.gov. The cost is $5, and they assign you a unique number that will identify you if there is an issue with the drone while flying. Once you have been appointed and attached the number to your drone you are ready to fly.
There is a few website that can help you become a better remote pilot. Some of those are Cine Chopper University and Drone U.
By all means, please share any questions in the comments below. Safe flights to you all!