TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I just got one of these for (my lame justification) photographing old railway bridges:




I have to say these things are almost the greatest fun you can have outside of sex!

Sponsored advertisement

  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Tell us the truth - it's for dropping mobile phones and drugs into prison isn't it.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Don't fly over soccer fields...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4emOInWh2ec
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Tell us the truth - it's for dropping mobile phones and drugs into prison isn't it.
don_dunstan
Could be, could be. (said in Eric Idle accent).


The interesting thing is that anyone you mention it to almost immediately says: 'Oh, you're going to perve on people are you?". Due to the way the media has portrayed them, everyone thinks that is their prime purpose. But considering the camera has a fixed wide angle lens, they are not in the least suited to it. If you tried to look in someone's window, all you get is either a reflection of the aircraft or a very wide shot of the window.


My admittedly shamefaced invented rationale for getting it is to allow me to get better coverage of old railway bridges for my web page, as a lot of them are better seen from the air than the ground. I will be starting by doing the Bolinda Creek trestle at Clarkefield, then on to Nimmons Bridge, and on the same trip, out to Hamilton and Casterton.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
They are a 'must have' for country real-estate agents now-days because they produce spectacular shots of the prospective property and show the full extent of the land holding.

Nimon's Bridge has been extensively modified for the Rail-Trail but is still well worth a look; the benefit of being on a Rail-Trail is that it is at least looked after and maintained. I'm interested to see the state of some of the trestles on the former Balmoral/Casterton/Coleraine lines. In my younger days when I first got my license I explored these areas thoroughly and the bridges were in poor condition back then - I'd imagine there may not be much left?

Please feel free to post the link when you have done your trip.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The remaining bridges are in various conditions. Onre of the great benefits of this country is that our native timbers are fantastic for building things like bridges, they last almost forever. The only problem is, some people think it is a good idea to remove these bridges in case someone (idiot) hurt themselves. I have identified 6 bridges on the trip, which will take at least two days, from Ballarat to Hamilton, on to Casterton, back to Hamilton and up to Horsham. Sadly, the most impressive bridge in the town of Casterton is now gone, but the one just out of town is still there.


The material will be up on my Blog: http://abandonedbutnotforgotten1.blogspot.com.au/
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I just got one of these for (my lame justification) photographing old railway bridges:

I have to say these things are almost the greatest fun you can have outside of sex!
TheBlacksmith

Well this is an interesting purchase.  I wonder if you could provide some more details on the make and model and features.  I think RP might need one.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I just got one of these for (my lame justification) photographing old railway bridges:

I have to say these things are almost the greatest fun you can have outside of sex!

Well this is an interesting purchase.  I wonder if you could provide some more details on the make and model and features.  I think RP might need one.
bevans
Sure, with a touch of creative justification you could easily make a case for it. Just the thing for doing Railcam surveys.

Just been out flying mine during a break in the weather. If you would like to see a couple of my very amateur efforts so far:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUStF_wB4w4




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J39Myxuff38


It is a Phantom 3 Pro, from a Chinese company called DJI. It is the world's leading seller and also probably the best drone on the market at present. It has lots of very impressive features, shoots 4K video and high quality stills, even in RAW if you want, from a tiny camera mounted on a gimbal stabilised platform under the aircraft. If you look at some of my footage, when it stops, it simply hangs in the sky with not a trace of movement. It might just as well be sitting on a pole.

And that's just one of the amazing features, if you lose the plot you simply take your hands of the controls and it comes to a halt in the sky and just sits there without moving, even in stiff breezes. If flies for just under 20 minutes on a single battery charge, but most owners buy two or more batteries. They simply plug in.

If you are not watching the battery level, and it gets to a critical point, the aircraft will automatically head for home and land where it took off from.

It can be controlled for up to 3 kilometres away and sends back the camera image via a separate radio link. The control box accommodates a phone or tablet in a holder on the top so you can see the pictures. It is controlled via RC sticks and also via an app running on the phone or tablet.

I bought my Phantom through a local dealer I found using Shopbot, it cost $1700 for the complete package. However you will probably want extra batteries, a carrying case, filters for the lens etcetera. I also bought an iPad Air 2 for it to get the biggest, brightest view, and they are a bit expensive. I did manage to find an iPad being sold through Cash Converters in Bendigo for a good price. All up it is not hard to spend another $1k on extra bits.

I warn you though, once you start to research one, it is not easy to bail out, and if you get to fly one, you WILL be hooked.




http://www.dji.com/
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... interesting thing is that anyone you mention it to almost immediately says: 'Oh, you're going to perve on people are you?". Due to the way the media has portrayed them, everyone thinks that is their prime purpose. ...

Yeah right. :roll: and I only buy Playboy "for the articles". ;)  

Seriously though, I got my love of wooden bridges growing up around Castlemaine, there were some great trestles around there and the sound of the rattling bolts holding down wooden planks of "Xylophone bridges" like the one over the Loddon River at Guildford remain branded in my memory.

So it's not surprising that one of my most prized books is this wonderful 2006 publication. I think it's still in print, if not I've seen it in second hand bookshops. If anyone has remotest interest in this sort of thing, buy it, the photos and text are terrific, so you won't be disappointed.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Seriously though, I got my love of wooden bridges growing up around Castlemaine, there were some great trestles around there and the sound of the rattling bolts holding down wooden planks of "Xylophone bridges" like the one over the Loddon River at Guildford remain branded in my memory.
Bogong
Agreed, we have some lovely ones still in existence, but for how long? Once the line is mothballed or abandoned, it is very unlikely they will be maintained by anyone, this is why I want to photograph them as soon as I can before it is too late. I have that book, as you would expect.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The bridge on the cover of the book - is that the one at Noojee that burnt down on Black Saturday?
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The bridge on the cover of the book - is that the one at Noojee that burnt down on Black Saturday?
don_dunstan
The book does not say, at least nowhere I can find it. But I think it is just an early colour photo of the preserved bridge at Noojee.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The bridge on the cover of the book - is that the one at Noojee that burnt down on Black Saturday?
The book does not say, at least nowhere I can find it. But I think it is just an early colour photo of the preserved bridge at Noojee.
TheBlacksmith
I'm almost certain it is, I tried searching the image but no luck - it was completely rebuilt though with a State Govt grant as I recall. Wonderful bridge anyway.

Thanks also for reposting the link to your blog - I'll save it this time.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Congratulations. I too am looking to justify buying one under what ever lame excuse I can muster up. I currently have a very cheap XC-5 and while its the 1st, No.2 went off into the blue yonder when it went out of range. As it flew over some very expensive realestate with equally expensive cars I decided to just let it go. The cheap ones takes alot of skill to fly.

I believe DJI also make the Inspire which is probably the leading platform of the two and about 20-25% more costly. Its slightly more stable as the camera section drops down once airborn and pumps out about 3-5min longer flight time. I believe all the electronics and controls are basically the same, however I've seen a few video's on Youtube comparing both and its hard for most to justify the extra cost as the Phantom is such a high quality platform. Amazing as it sounds this technology from what I can work out is a Chinese initiative.

I have seen video footage from an Inspire flying over my community in Dubai (5km long) and even over some of the 400m high building in Dubai and around the Burj Khalifa from what we can work out about 500-600m up and looking down at the Dubai Mall Fountain display doing its thing. All was at night and the footage is amazing (note it was all done before this was made illegal).

I agree its a must for rural realstate agents and I'm sure footage of railway bridges will be of equal very new way of taking photos. Wonder how long before we see photos in the likes of Railway Digest from airborn cameras? Another meaning to the 3/4 shot.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Rtt,

Digest has already printed what's believe was it's first drone shot.

See the October 2014 edition, page 54. The subject was lvr's 5917 crossing the Menangle viaduct.

I'm sure there will be many more drone pics to come, they give a unique perspective to even the most used photographic hack shots.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The BBC now has a dedicated drone unit and there are a number of private production companies in the UK who are now making programs around the British Isles that rely entirely on drone footage for their aerial shots. The real loser in this will be the helicopter companies who previously had a mortgage on aerial footage. You can get exactly the same footage (I would argue perhaps better) from a rig that cost 1/1000 of the expense of a helicopter and camera mount system.


Yesterday I took my Phantom up to the maximum altitude of 500 Metres above my property for a quick look. I have to be careful because there is a popular light aircraft track that runs dead over the top of me, so I only stayed there for a minute, but the view was amazing. And you could have sworn the camera was mounted on a pole, not the tiniest bit of drift of movement, even though the aircraft reported wind gust of 35 Kmh at that altitude.



https://youtu.be/75z3d0uHw1w


These drones are really just a flying camera, and they do that job extremely well.


DJI do make the Inspire, but it is a significantly more expensive aircraft. I researched the Phantom and Inspire, and after a lengthy period I came to the conclusion that the Inspire would offer a slightly better quality camera, one that takes micro 4/3 lenses, and the option (at a fair cost) of having dual controls, one for the pilot and one for the camera operator.

But it did not fly any better than the Phantom, was no more stable, nor had a longer range. Kitted out ready to go with the bits you would need, the Inspire ended up being 2 times the price of the Phantom (not sure where you got your 30% Shane), and I could not see the value in that. I should point out the 'bits you would need' would include the more advanced M5 camera, a decent lens for it and dual remotes.

An interesting point, DJI will most likely sell around 500,000 drones this coming Christmas, making them easily the largest supplier in the game. They also have a significant advantage over all the other makers, as their firmware is more stable and fully featured.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Don't fly over soccer fields...
justapassenger
Actually it is Lunch time at a High School in Auckland New Zealand.
The drone was taking a promotional video for the School.
The lad (15yo Harry Amor) thought it would be funny if he could kick the ball near it!
He later got called to the principals office for a please explain!

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/73560117/harry-amor-the-teen-behind-the-perfect-punt-that-downed-a-drone

Drones are becoming very popular with some Gunzels in the USA. There are quite a few drone video of trains on the Tehachhapi Loop in California on youtube


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfqJ1KbF4_E
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi Blacksmith,
It was a ball park figure a while back I got from a looking through Ebay and watching this young dude on Youtube comparing the two. I cannot remember exactly what the numbers are. You flick through ebay and there are numbers all over the place and you need to get into the detail to know and I haven't been that focused yet to do so.

ebay Inspire  Phatom 3

Dual remote, single remote, with or without camera, 2nd battery, carry case, spare blades ...............................each listing is different and you need to be very careful if going down this track.

So anyway Blacksmith no problem I'll take your word for it on price and i'm with you on the Phantom will be the aircraft of choice when I finally convince someone else of the value of having this in our lives. The Phantom will more than be enough for me and my intentions.

I think they both use the same flight control software for your mobile device? I've only see the Inspire in replay, not live and never a phantom. What I saw and was that you had a Google maps satellite imagine in the back ground, the helicopter as a dot with flight path flown to date and a line across the top. On this line it was green on one side and red on the other orange in the middle. The line is basically the battery. There was a black dot representing the helicopters battery position.

The further it flys away the smaller the green section and longer the orange as it takes longer to get back. If you go into orange while moving away you are at risk of it not coming back before the battery fails. If it gets into Red, it will land of its own accord to prevent it falling out of the sky on flat batteries. The higher the helicopter the more red zone as it takes longer to land. (or something like this, don't quote me)

I watched a phantom video a Polo game last year. It was a very windy day and it just seems to sit there in the sky about 20m up with a very slight angle. It appeared to be very still.

I don't think too many would be shedding a tear over the helicopter industry taking a 2nd place in the aerial video-photography war, apart from pilots and I doubt there is a huge market anyway. The cost comparison so as you say another world and of course the environment will be better off.  In Dubai the govt ran a competition on how the govt could use this technology. The most common response was to deal with the Dubai's biggest road issue, people cutting in on long queues and blocking lanes in the process.


As for the soccer boy, needs a high 5 for actually getting it!
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE



Yesterday I took my Phantom up to the maximum altitude of 500 Metres above my property for a quick look. I have to be careful because there is a popular light aircraft track that runs dead over the top of me, so I only stayed there for a minute, but the view was amazing. And you could have sworn the camera was mounted on a pole, not the tiniest bit of drift of movement, even though the aircraft reported wind gust of 35 Kmh at that altitude.



https://youtu.be/75z3d0uHw1w


These drones are really just a flying camera, and they do that job extremely well.


TheBlacksmith


Very nice thanks for sharing. Yes you are correct its like its on a pole. Love your property too.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I don't use the map feature, as everything I do is very close to me, and for the purpose I am going to use the aircraft, that will remain so. I watch the aircraft using the Eye Ball Mk.I and monitor the camera output on the screen. Yes, the control software is the same for both, although you can split aspects away if using dual controllers on the Inspire.

Tomorrow I am going out to shoot the first bridge on my list, providing the weather holds up. I have been practising flying orbits and routes determined by waypoints in preparation. It is now time to put all this stuff into practise.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I can't believe how green Gippsland looks at this time of year!
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I can't believe how green Gippsland looks at this time of year!
don_dunstan
That's normal for Gippsland at this time of the year, spring growth.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I've been browsing your South Gippsland photos - interesting to see where there have been efforts at preservation and public access. It's a shame they couldn't preserve bridges in many places where a trail has been put in; or that the nanny brigade has decided there's a risk to the public by trying to restore the original bridge. I noticed a few years ago when I was exploring the Lake Eildon area that the bridges have mostly been replaced along the length of the line which is a shame.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Amazingly, they did restore / rebuild a couple of trestle bridges on the wonderful Rubicon Aqueducts Tramway. I think the longish but relatively low Syphon 15,000 was restored before the 2009 wild fires while the shorter but high Beech Creek trestle was rebuilt after the fires. One other high trestle bridge hasn't been restored and is slowly decaying. While the tram hasn't run for about 15 years, most of the track is still in place, it's a great place to visit.

Syphon 15,000 Bridge.


Royston Power Station Bridge


Beech Creek Trestle Bridge
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Yes, there has been quite a bit of work by volunteers in repairing and rebuilding the bridges on the former SEC line. It is covered in my blog, with the bonus that you can see a young 17 year old dork that used to be me: http://abandonedbutnotforgotten1.blogspot.com.au/1970/02/royston-power-station.html

I went out today and photographed the Bolinda Creek trestle at Clarkefield and used the Phantom on its first mission. I am grading and editing the material at present and will post a link later.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: bevans, KRviator, Pressman, RTT_Rules

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.