If you’ve just purchased your very first UAV, short for unmanned aerial vehicle, congratulations! You’ve bought yourself a marvelous piece of equipment that will keep you busy for many months. The possibilities of using a drone are endless, regardless of the model you’re flying (a DJI Phantom 4, a Hubsan H107D or a Yuneec Q500 4K, for example).
You, as the pilot, are free to make the decisions and fly the UAV wherever you like. Just make sure there aren't laws or regulations preventing you from operating in certain areas; airports, military bases, and government buildings immediately come to mind.
However, to take full advantage of your new drone, you need some essential accessories. While the vehicle is capable of flying as soon as you get it out of the box and assemble it (and learn a bit about flying it, of course), there are a few things you must purchase and mount if you want to experience your drone's full potential. Let’s see some of the uses people found for their UAVs so that you can understand why it’s important to get these vital accessories.
Here are some of the uses people found for their UAVs so that you understand why it’s important to get these essential accessories.
The Best Uses for Your New Drone
Before you attempt to do any of the following, it is important to learn how to fly the device properly. Don’t forget that you can hurt somebody if your drone falls out of the sky suddenly. Moreover, inexperienced drone operators manage to cause property damage in many instances; and they were held accountable for the damages caused by their drones.
Before you start, practice your flying skills in a space where you don’t risk injuring anybody or damaging people’s property. Operating in a clear space helps you avoid damaging your drone; think about electric and telephone wires, poles and even other drones.
There are dozens of things you can do with your new drone. Hell, Amazon has even started to deliver goods to people's doorstep with drones. Here are the five most interesting uses for a UAV:
- Capture and record interesting things from above, anywhere, as long as no regulations are forbidding the use of drones. You can record your favorite band playing at a festival or capture people's emotions when their favorite band starts playing. You can even record your girlfriend learning how to surf; a recording you can watch together at a later time.
- Create a breathtaking time-lapse video. You can hover over the city and capture an amazing sunset, or capture the increased traffic in the morning on the highway near you and create an amazing time-lapse. You can even create a time-lapse of a timeless African sunrise, with herds of animals grazing peacefully as long as the eye can see, which brings us to the next point on our list.
- Capture wildlife in its environment. You can use your drone for both wildlife photography and video capture. You now have the chance to catch lions, giraffes, whales, dolphins, buffalos, grizzly bears, etc. on camera while they go about their daily lives in the wild. Just make sure you stay far away from the lions and bears while you’re flying the drone; wouldn’t want to capture a close-up scene of a hungry predator stalking you, would we?
- Drone racing. You’ve heard it right: drone racing. You and your friends can test your piloting skills in a friendly drone race. But be careful not to damage your devices in the process.
- Do a selfie, with a twist! Called a “dronie” because the picture is captured with a drone, you can capture a video of yourself and, as the drone moves farther away from you, capture the beauty of the place and scenery. Imagine the possibilities of this kind of selfie!
However, to do any of the above things and enjoy your new UAV, you need some vital accessories. Don’t ruin your day because you aren’t prepared with everything you need. Here is what you definitely must have with you if you plan on using the drone for more than 10 minutes.
The 5 Accessories Drone Operators Need
In a nutshell, there are five things to consider before flying the drone. Don’t worry, the solutions to all of these problems are listed in the next few paragraphs.
- Can I or someone else get hurt and what can I do to prevent that from happening?
- Do I have what I need to fly the drone for one or two hours with only a brief (read: under 2 minutes) pauses?
- What do I do if I accidentally break a propeller?
- How will I get the drone and all complementary equipment to the site?
- Can I capture everything I want for two or more hours?
This is, obviously, the solution to question #1. Drone propeller guards protect your fingers from getting hit by the high-tech fan blades on your UAV. They also protect your propellers from getting caught in trees and other objects. If you fly close to other people, guards are really good at preventing injuries.
Drones can fly anywhere from 15 minutes to around one hour. This is enough for some of their uses, but if you want to capture long or time-lapse videos, it’s nowhere near enough. Enter: extra batteries. Running out of power? No problem; land the drone, change the battery and go back to filming! If you have access to a power outlet or a generator, a battery charger is also of great help, especially if you plan on using the drone the next day as well.
Accidents happen, and a propeller may be damaged, but that doesn’t mean your droning day is over! Inspect the drone for damage, replace the broken propeller, and resume your fun activities. Two or three extra propellers are very handy on trips that last for more than one day. Don’t forget that if just one propeller malfunctions, your UAV will be unable to float and stay stable. Can a bird fly with a broken wing? The obvious answer would be a sound “NO.” Similarly, your gadget may fall out of the sky if you attempt to fly it in this condition.
This is a no-brainer, but many people tend to overlook it. The drone and extra equipment can quickly amount to quite a heavy and voluminous load. A carrying case can fit everything nicely, and you can easily carry everything in one go. Avoid making a few trips to the truck and back in the scorching sun! The carrying case also keeps everything neatly organized, so you don’t have to search for stuff in three backpacks while the subject you want to capture eludes you.
Extra High Capacity SD Cards
If you plan on filming in 4K or taking long videos, you need more space than 8 or 16 GB. Get a few high capacity cards, think about 64 or 128 GB pieces, and replace them as soon as they fill up. For trips that take a few days, where you expect hours of footage, also take a laptop with you. You can download the video and free up valuable space on the cards before you get to bed.