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How did I get here?? Another newbie calling in from Greece

c64-dev

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Greetings to all from Greece!

Long time lurker here and very much a newbie to flying drones with a brand spanking new Mini 2 and a bit of an interesting story on how I got to this point.

For quite a few years I've been rather indifferent to drones, viewing them as mere annoyances (or posh gimmicks at best). However, while living in Finland with my family I came across an ad for an "amazing, revolutionary drone blablabla" which looked suspiciously much like a miniature DJI Mavic Pro and was being sold for ..."only 100 euro". I looked into the matter and quickly realized that while the ad was a scam, the drone was real but it was a toy drone called Eachine E58.

Since it's real price was ridiculously low (about 20-30 euro from jChina -hence the scam of reselling it for 100+) I decided to buy it direct from the source. To my surprise it turned out to be a rather good little toy drone and to my even bigger surprise I enjoyed flying it quite a bit. However, it quickly became painfully obvious that in order to create any of the majestic cinematic footage I'd been seeing on Youtube, I'd have to spend a fair bit more money, which I had no intention of doing. Adding to that the fact that flying the wee drone was quite challenging as it was fully manual AND getting blown away on even the slightest of breezes, eventually drone flying stayed a mere curiosity at best.

Fast forward about a year later, when I was looking for a new project for my other hobby which is electronics repairs/upgrades. Someone was basically giving away a DJI Phantom 3 SE as it was losing it's signal within 10 meters, so I figured "ok, it's not working but hey, I might as well pick it up and tinker with it".

After reading up in the forums I saw that quite a few people had the same issue and eventually it was dicovered to be a due to a burnt out microchip, responsible for the switching between the two antennas inside the aircraft. The solution was to take the Phantom apart, unsolder the chip and run a small wire from the mainboard SMDs to the antennas, effectively hardwiring the connections and bypassing the switching circuit.

Sounded like a far fetched gamble, but what did I have to lose? I did the relevant mods and to my surprise it worked beautifully. The funny thing was that the previous owner, in his attempts to get some range, had retrofitted his remote with a 3 antennas booster kit, so with that and my little hack job the Phantom ended up going a little over 1 km away before losing signal (safely in VLOS though using a mate along the flight path as a spotter).
Needless to say that I was well pleased with the difference in range.

That Phantom was what brought me into the magical world of drone flying. The ability to fly and properly enjoy the scenery from above in crisp 2.7K video (more than enough for me!) was an eye-opener. I loved it all; the stability in the sky, the reliability, the assurance of the GPS and knowing that if/when it lost the signal it would come back to me... The only thing I was hating was having to carry a huge (Mod Removed Language)suitcase on my back to go flying and even more so when riding on my motorcycle, where packing light is essential.

So I decided to put up both the Eachine and the Phantom for sale and they actually both went for a very decent price, so after a bit more penny pinching I ended up with this adorable gray little thing blinking to me happily from across the table. Now all I need is to muster the courage to fly it when out and about!

PS. Apologies for the inane rambling post; if you got through the whole thing congratulations!
By the way, if anyone from around Athens wants to meet up and give a newbie some tips/fly together it would be awesome.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Hello from the Crossroads of America Ilmarinen.

Nice to meet you Nick. ?

Good story on your flight history.

I too dreamed of owning a Phantom series aircraft but it wasn't in my budget at the time.

I purchased a super cheap helicopter for five dollars (USD) to satisfy my need and my first flight was up into the ceiling fan in the living room.

The "return to home" worked great as it got flung to the other side of the room and landed within a meter of me. :D

As time moved on, I purchased a DJI Spark along with the MA2 and absolutely love this bit of technology in these things.


Welcome to the Forum. :cool:
 
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