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Couple questions!

tstr14

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I am a really old guy looking at a new hobby. I received my 4 Pro about a week ago and have become enamored with it and the concept of drone flight. Thanks to this site for providing much info on things I didn't know, including things I didn't know I didn't know! My questions are of the typical newbie category. The first is use of launch pads. Are they necessary? I can see benefit in tall grass or dusty conditions, but outside of those, am I missing something? If you use one, is it a hard surface or soft? Is there an advantage one over the other than perhaps storage ability when not in use? My other question pertains to my registration number. The FAA requires it be located on the drone, however the drone's surface is of an 'orange peel' texture, not conducive to writing or stickers. I made a tape and stuck it in place, but it instantly showed signs of peeling off. Any recommendation in this respect? NOTE: I am aware that in it's stock form, the drone is under the weight requirement for registration.

Thanks in advance for any responses!
 
imo landing pads are a gimmick.

I either have a clean spot to land on, or hand catch.

For the sticker: get a better sticker. I was peeling my sticker off after 2 years and had trouble doing so, it was sticking so well.
 
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I am a really old guy looking at a new hobby. I received my 4 Pro about a week ago and have become enamored with it and the concept of drone flight. Thanks to this site for providing much info on things I didn't know, including things I didn't know I didn't know! My questions are of the typical newbie category. The first is use of launch pads. Are they necessary? I can see benefit in tall grass or dusty conditions, but outside of those, am I missing something? If you use one, is it a hard surface or soft? Is there an advantage one over the other than perhaps storage ability when not in use? My other question pertains to my registration number. The FAA requires it be located on the drone, however the drone's surface is of an 'orange peel' texture, not conducive to writing or stickers. I made a tape and stuck it in place, but it instantly showed signs of peeling off. Any recommendation in this respect? NOTE: I am aware that in it's stock form, the drone is under the weight requirement for registration.

Thanks in advance for any responses!
I use a pad, I find it useful for a few reasons - to show where I'm operating from, and to make sure no dirt or grit gets in the motors when I take off/land. AS far as stickers go, try silver duct tape. Keep a backup in your bag!
 
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Everyone needs a landing pad. Not because they are required but because they come in handy when you need it the most. Your drone can land pretty much anywhere but sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you don't want to land in the current spot and you wish you had something to land upon. Perhaps you are on the beach and not because it is sandy but because the surface is not even close to being flat and the propellers will dig into the sand before they stop which means the sand will be stopping your propellers, not on their own.

Unless you can safely routinely hand land your drone, the landing pad is cheap/inexpensive and easy to transport for those times where you find the ideal spot to fly from isn't the ideal spot to land on. Maybe you moved to get out of the hot sun or stand in the shade to see your controller better and conditions have changed since you launched. Get a small foldable land pad and use it once or twice or three times in your life and it's all good.

Also, it is really popular for Mini drone owners to wrap their drone in their favorite colors so we buy inexpensive, high-quality, custom fit skins from places like DecalGirl | Custom Skins, Wraps, Cases, and Sleeves for Your Gadgets! and Wrapgrade. Or just check on Amazon. You will be able to stick on or write on those skins and change up as often as you wish.
 
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imo landing pads are a gimmick.

I either have a clean spot to land on, or hand catch.

For the sticker: get a better sticker. I was peeling my sticker off after 2 years and had trouble doing so, it was sticking so well.
I disagree. Landing pads are definitely not a gimmick and for the price of most landing pads they are worth it. You don’t always have to use one but they are handy in sandy locations, on wet ground or uneven ground. I also often hand catch but I find it much easier to take off from a pad rather than trying to balance the controller in one hand and hold the drone in the other.

Chris
 
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I disagree. Landing pads are definitely not a gimmick and for the price of most landing pads they are worth it. You don’t always have to use one but they are handy in sandy locations, on wet ground or uneven ground. I also often hand catch but I find it much easier to take off from a pad rather than trying to balance the controller in one hand and hold the drone in the other.

Chris

I will put my .02 here as well. Initially I thought landing pads were a gimmick, but I've come to learn the usefulness of them in certain circumstances. Yes, you can hand catch (and I do that a lot when I'm hiking), but landing pads are useful - especially since they are so cheap.

For the stickers, I would take pilot institute up on their offer of free stickers. They really are free, no strings attached and they are very high quality. If you don't need to register your drone you can still just use them for identification if it ever gets lost.

 
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Hello from the Crossroads of America tstr14.



The first is use of launch pads. Are they necessary?

I use mine for a clean space when preparing for a flight as I normally hand launch / land most of the times.


My other question pertains to my registration number. The FAA requires it be located on the drone, however the drone's surface is of an 'orange peel' texture, not conducive to writing or stickers.

Useful tips...Put your registration number and contact information on the SD card as a simple word document file just in case the stickers wear out if lost outside for a time.

If a sticker won't stick, use a Sharpie permanent marker to write the number. They write on most surfaces and come in a variety of colors that should stand out on the skin. Sharpie also makes paint pens if you want something more permanent.

Another option maybe a drone tat.

This an approved vendor here on the Forum that makes QR coded plates that can be attached to a drone.

Tell them your a member here for a possible deal on the products.


Good luck, have fun, and welcome to the Forum. :cool:
 
Oh, the idea of a file on the SD card is a winner! Since I interchange between the controller and drone, I'll put it on both. 🙂
 
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Oh, the idea of a file on the SD card is a winner! Since I interchange between the controller and drone, I'll put it on both. 🙂

Just remember not to format the card in the drone. It will be erased.

I've only formated my card a few times on a PC over the years and never had a problem.

.
 
I am a really old guy looking at a new hobby. I received my 4 Pro about a week ago and have become enamored with it and the concept of drone flight. Thanks to this site for providing much info on things I didn't know, including things I didn't know I didn't know! My questions are of the typical newbie category. The first is use of launch pads. Are they necessary? I can see benefit in tall grass or dusty conditions, but outside of those, am I missing something? If you use one, is it a hard surface or soft? Is there an advantage one over the other than perhaps storage ability when not in use? My other question pertains to my registration number. The FAA requires it be located on the drone, however the drone's surface is of an 'orange peel' texture, not conducive to writing or stickers. I made a tape and stuck it in place, but it instantly showed signs of peeling off. Any recommendation in this respect? NOTE: I am aware that in it's stock form, the drone is under the weight requirement for registration.

Thanks in advance for any responses!
DYMO label printer using clear plastic tape. Put the sticker in position and thumb it down by rubbing the back of your thumbnail over it for a minute or so. This is what carries the OP alpha-string I.D. on both my Mav. 2's and my mini 3 pro (same plastic). Stickers went on four years ago on the mavics and they're still where they were put.
 
The first is use of launch pads. Are they necessary? I can see benefit in tall grass or dusty conditions, but outside of those, am I missing something?
I find them most useful in cases like you mentioned. However, I normally don't have trouble finding a flat, dry location to take off from. It really depends on where you're planning on flying.
 
the drone's surface is of an 'orange peel' texture,
Interesting. I’ve never seen any Phantom 4 series aircraft that was other than smooth as glass. The Obsidian version and or the Chinese New Year version may be the exception to that. Would you please provide a few pictures of this odd surface?
 
Interesting. I’ve never seen any Phantom 4 series aircraft that was other than smooth as glass. The Obsidian version and or the Chinese New Year version may be the exception to that. Would you please provide a few pictures of this odd surface?
I'm assuming the OP means a Mini 4 Pro since this is in the Mini 4 Pro category.
 
Landing Pads WILL save your gimbal from expensive repair!!! enough so that I use one almost always. I would recommend you to do the same.
Use a 3M based vinyl tape it won't come off.
 
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Is The Pilot Institute still offering free registration number stickers? I have them on two of the older drones. Translucent adhesive tape has also worked fine for me.

If you find yourself in a pinch for a landing pad and you've driven to your launch/recovery point, pull a floor mat out of the car.
 
Is The Pilot Institute still offering free registration number stickers? I have them on two of the older drones. Translucent adhesive tape has also worked fine for me.

If you find yourself in a pinch for a landing pad and you've driven to your launch/recovery point, pull a floor mat out of the car.
Not sure about PI. I went there yesterday and filled in all the info, but it asked for proof I was human - and there was nothing there to check/ID, etc. I sent them a email with a screen shot showing there was nothing there but have not heard back yet.

I've pretty much decided to make my own pad out of 1/4" plywood, 30" round and hinged in half. Color scheme and pattern TBD.
 
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I've pretty much decided to make my own pad out of 1/4" plywood, 30" round and hinged in half. Color scheme and pattern TBD.

Be sure to use non ferrous hardware (brass, aluminum, etc.) for the hinge so as not to interfere with the aircraft compass when idling while gathering GPS information before launch.


Ferrous metals may affect the compass.

.
 
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I am a really old guy looking at a new hobby. I received my 4 Pro about a week ago and have become enamored with it and the concept of drone flight. Thanks to this site for providing much info on things I didn't know, including things I didn't know I didn't know! My questions are of the typical newbie category. The first is use of launch pads. Are they necessary? I can see benefit in tall grass or dusty conditions, but outside of those, am I missing something? If you use one, is it a hard surface or soft? Is there an advantage one over the other than perhaps storage ability when not in use? My other question pertains to my registration number. The FAA requires it be located on the drone, however the drone's surface is of an 'orange peel' texture, not conducive to writing or stickers. I made a tape and stuck it in place, but it instantly showed signs of peeling off. Any recommendation in this respect? NOTE: I am aware that in it's stock form, the drone is under the weight requirement for registration.

Thanks in advance for any responses!
I really depend on my folding launch pad. I have hand caught the Air 1 and Mini 2 and many times, my M3, until one day I failed to catch the M3 correctly and badly cut up my fingers. Now I will not hand catch unless I have no other choice, and I use the folding blue/orange type which gives my M3 the 20 seconds it needs after home point to lock into the "X: of the home point.

Dale
Miami
 
I've used a launch pad ever since my first P3P. There are just some cases where the only other choice is hand launching and catching and not everyone is comfortable with that. I also believe the launchpad assists with identifying the home point when used correctly on take off.
 
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