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Easy to reach and cool places to fly around Beijing

danroc

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Hello!

Shout out to any Beijingers in the forum.... any tips on nice places easy to reach around Beijing, out of our ridiculous no-fly zone, that you can recommend?

Thanks!!
Daniel
 

ohhdannyboy

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Hello!

Shout out to any Beijingers in the forum.... any tips on nice places easy to reach around Beijing, out of our ridiculous no-fly zone, that you can recommend?

Thanks!!
Daniel

Hey man, would also be interested to know where beijingers fly. And also if there was any association/group/club/gang of pilots who go on trips to capture the wealth of cultural treasures outside of Beijing...
 

danroc

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Hey!
My first two flights were short trips outside of Beijing, where I was mostly looking for convenience and ease of reach... so I went from the no-fly zone circle and checked the subway stations right outside it. The first day I went to Shunyi, a 40min subway right from my place (Dongzhimen). There I walked to the river and did my maiden flight. Some nice views over there!

In the second day, I went to Ming Tombs Reservoir (2h by subway). I went a bit too late, so I just had time to fly a little bit (and also got my first -not serious- crash!).

Both places were easy to reach and had some interesting things to see and photograph... Shuny has the nature, the river, and the city, the reservoir has this abandoned fun park that could be quite fun to photograph (light was not good when I went, so no good photos)...

Another easy trip is to go to some easy-to-reach wall parts, my favorite being just after Badaling, with no tourists in sight... haven't done that yet, though. Also, Huairou and Gubei could be cool destinations as well...

My friend is getting a drone soon, and we'll prob plan some little trips when the weather gets better....

How about you?
Been flight long, or also just started?
 

ohhdannyboy

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I've just got my mavic (it's not even out of the box yet!) but i flew with a phantom 3 a few times. At least you can get to places with the subway to fly - such a shame about this huge restriction...

Let me know if you plan to fly anywhere, maybe there is a group already in BJ, you can find me on wechat @ ohhdannyboy
 

timesnaps

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HI all BJ Mavics...! currently in HK, where I just got my Mavic. Now not so sure it was a the right decision to buy it, after I am seeing a big red blob all over Beijing. Seriously, is there no way to fly this thing in Beijing? I seemed to have heard previously that no flying within the 2nd Ring, but this looks different now?

So, can someone give some advice on how big this no fly zone really is? I remember seeing people fly DJI phantoms in and around Dongzhimen and Olympic Park, as well as Ritan Park. Has something changed recently? Is there no way to get it airborne anymore?

On a slightly different note, I am wondering whether to get the Refresh for CHina or for Hong Kong. I havent activated the Mavic it yet, but I will only be in Hong Kong for a month, before returning to BJ.

Any thoughts much appreciated.
 

danroc

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Hey! Welcome!

Yeah Beijing's ridiculous no-fly zone is still there. From Tiananmen Square, it is a 30km-radius circle where your drone will not take off. The ones you saw flying were either older models or they flyer got some sort of special authorisation (not sure how it works). But your regular store-bought Mavic won't fly.

You should have seen it during the Party Meeting two weeks ago: they increased the radius to 200km! Meaning someone in Tianjin could not fly your Mavic because of a meeting happening next to the Forbidden city. It's painfully exaggerated.

I just don't get it... and it is indeed annoying. But hey, your Mavic is portable enough so you can travel around with it quite easily! I've been taking mine everywhere... So do not regret buying it, it is a fantastic little machine that will be loads of fun on your trips outside of the city.
 

TakMavic

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I guess Tiantan (temple of heaven) is a no go.
That would be a really cool place to fly and capture so,e nice videos.
 

danroc

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I guess Tiantan (temple of heaven) is a no go.
That would be a really cool place to fly and capture so,e nice videos.
Not a chance...
Even farther places such as Xiangshan are out of limits...

Around Beijing, the Ming Tombs are doable, as well as Great Wall sections.... Huairou.... Shunyi...
 

timesnaps

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Thanks Danroc! appreciate the quick reply.... they are so friggin insecure those guys in Zhongnanhai! Guess I will need to be looking at older drones... any recommendations? Are we talking about Phantom 2 or is it moe a thing of which firmware they have on them.

BTW, any way to take off from outside the no fly-zone and then fly into it? anyone has expeirence with that sort of thing? or shielding the GPS and flying in manual mode? (is that even possible, 'manual mode' - like flying without GPS?)

of course will keep the Mavic, might still be nice for those trips to Nei Mengguo or Changbai ;-)
 
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danroc

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Hey!

I am not sure about which DJIs can or cannot fly in no-fly-zones... I would guess it depends on firmware...
Or you can try other brands, like Parrot or another more generic Chinese brand which do not have the GPS lock that DJI does.

I was once flying close to the edge of that circle, and I got warnings on my phone saying that I was approaching a no-fly zone and that once I reach it, my drone would stop and hover in place, (or come back home, I don't remember exactly). So no way to fly into it. Also, no way to deactivate GPS (unless you try to maybe hack it?? You'll have to ask google about it, I'm not sure).

let me know when you start taking some pics! I heard HK is quite good for drones!!
 

timesnaps

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...
Or you can try other brands, like Parrot or another more generic Chinese brand which do not have the GPS lock that DJI does.

Good thinking. I should have thought of that. I work as a photographer hoewever, so picture quality is everything. Need to do more research I guess. Maiden flight of the HK Beagle is upon me... wish me luck!
 

timesnaps

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First flight was a success (sort of). I didnt crash it! ha

Essentially was up at the Wind Power station on Lamma island this morning, and it was quite blustery (maybe 30-40km/h wind gusts). So I went with beginner mode and kept the gimbal dome on (making for nasty pics actually).

I had done a IMU (What does it stand for?!) and a compass calibration, but it also kept prompting me for a firmware update and Forward Sensor Calibration. I decided not to do the firmware (it said Ready to Go on the controller), and tried the Forward Sensor calibration, but couldnt get it to calibrate.

Did three manual landings and take offs and all was good. Pretty stable in the wind, with only minimal drift, but battery went down quite quick (maybe in 20min or so)
 

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