Wire antenna raising via drone: My failure

AGreyMan

I'm gravely disappointed.
Brass Subscriber
#1
Hey all.

I have had my 160m dipole down over the winter. It sustained damage where one leg of the wire antenna was ripped off. SWR wasn't so good after that!

That leg of the antenna got fixed, and it was time to put it up again. I bought a cheapie drone from Amazon on sale before Christmas. In flying it around, it was...OK. It had GPS, so it was supposed to hover wherever it was when you took your hands off the controls. It was supposed to send back video to a cellphone/iPad/Android tablet via WiFi, and it did, sort of: If you were in line-of-sight, it was great. Out of line-of-site, range was pretty limited.

There was a bearing I really wanted the antenna leg to go. That way!

drone4.jpg



I flew that route with the drone over and over. It was glitchy, but I thought I had become accustomed to the idiosyncrasies, so I began to prepare.

I began with taping a weight to the center of the drone to see if it would haul the payload of a lead sinker. It performed OK. A little sluggish, but it did what it was supposed to do.

Next I built the weight carrier with the "release mechanism." Really, I just got to where I wanted the weight to fall, spun the drone 180*, went in reverse and the 15# test fishing line attached to the sinker would pull it off the piece of wire that the sinker eye was over.

drone1.jpg

drone2.jpg

drone3.jpg
I tested this several times, too. Worked great. Didn't interfere with the camera, nothing.

Yesterday was the day. Winds were calm. Light was good. Drone and controller were charged.

Attempt 1, drone didn't quite go where I wanted. I aborted by spinning the drone 180*, dropping the weight, and returning the drone to it's takeoff point.

Attempt 2, the fishing line became entangled in my 2 meter yagi antenna on the tower. Again, spun 180* dropped the weight and RTB.

I should have quit then for the day.

Third attempt was going well. Then the video feed from the drone cut out. I couldn't see where the drone was due to the forest canopy. I moved closer to try to require the signal (never did) the drone started "wandering", like it lost the GPS lock. I couldn't see it from the ground to do the 180, and I couldn't see the video feed from the drone. I finally got to where I could sort of see it flying, and tried to send it back to a clear area, but without being able to see where it was pointing, every slight control movement took it out of my sight, and I essentially lost control. It crashed into some pine trees. I eventually required video feed (when my phone lost the drone, it unhelpfully connected to my home wifi network, and I didn't realize it until much later) and saw a lovely close-up of pine needles and bark.

I kinda felt like SpaceX: everything was going well, then...

Feel worse about not getting the antenna up than I do about losing the drone.
 
Last edited:

HandLoad

Mourning for America
Brass Subscriber
#6
I just got "taken", buying a noise phaser from a Ham on QRZ swapsheet. $185.00...
Sent with fuse removed and jumpered, tech service request form torn out of Manual, and filtered powersupply NOT sent with the unit. Tech service will be $80.00, plus shipping both ways, if it can be repaired...

Should have bought New, for $269.00 plus tax and shipping.
 

HandLoad

Mourning for America
Brass Subscriber
#9
Hey all.

I have had my 160m dipole down over the winter. It sustained damage where one leg of the wire antenna was ripped off. SWR wasn't so good after that!

That leg of the antenna got fixed, and it was time to put it up again. I bought a cheapie drone from Amazon on sale before Christmas. In flying it around, it was...OK. It had GPS, so it was supposed to hover wherever it was when you took your hands off the controls. It was supposed to send back video to a cellphone/iPad/Android tablet via WiFi, and it did, sort of: If you were in line-of-sight, it was great. Out of line-of-site, range was pretty limited.

There was a bearing I really wanted the antenna leg to go. That way!

View attachment 33003



I flew that route with the drone over and over. It was glitchy, but I thought I had become accustomed to the idiosyncrasies, so I began to prepare.

I began with taping a weight to the center of the drone to see if it would haul the payload of a lead sinker. It performed OK. A little sluggish, but it did what it was supposed to do.

Next I built the weight carrier with the "release mechanism." Really, I just got to where I wanted the weight to fall, spun the drone 180*, went in reverse and the 15# test fishing line attached to the sinker would pull it off the piece of wire that the sinker eye was over.

View attachment 33004

View attachment 33005

View attachment 33006
I tested this several times, too. Worked great. Didn't interfere with the camera, nothing.

Yesterday was the day. Winds were calm. Light was good. Drone and controller were charged.

Attempt 1, drone didn't quite go where I wanted. I aborted by spinning the drone 180*, dropping the weight, and returning the drone to it's takeoff point.

Attempt 2, the fishing line became entangled in my 2 meter yagi antenna on the tower. Again, spun 180* dropped the weight and RTB.

I should have quit then for the day.

Third attempt was going well. Then the video feed from the drone cut out. I couldn't see where the drone was due to the forest canopy. I moved closer to try to require the signal (never did) the drone started "wandering", like it lost the GPS lock. I couldn't see it from the ground to do the 180, and I couldn't see the video feed from the drone. I finally got to where I could sort of see it flying, and tried to send it back to a clear area, but without being able to see where it was pointing, every slight control movement took it out of my sight, and I essentially lost control. It crashed into some pine trees. I eventually required video feed (when my phone lost the drone, it unhelpfully connected to my home wifi network, and I didn't realize it until much later) and saw a lovely close-up of pine needles and bark.

I kinda felt like SpaceX: everything was going well, then...

Feel worse about not getting the antenna up than I do about losing the drone.

Think You Might Recover the drone after some Time and Winds, or is it Bungadine?
 

HandLoad

Mourning for America
Brass Subscriber
#11
Here's the note I sent:

So, I called MFJ this Morning - The Fellow there that works on the MFJ-1026 Says tha:t "To {his} Knowledge, They have NEVER Shipped even ONE of those without the lamp"​
When I was In The Military Academy, We Lived By: "A Midshipman Will Not Lie, Cheat or Steal, nor tolerate those Who do: I still live by that..​
It is Obvious that You do Not. The Manual You shipped with the Unit had a Form for submittal to Tech Support - You filled it out, and tore it off.​
The Unit ships with a 12 Volt DC power supply that is well-Filtered, according to every review that I have read. You chopped the leads and kept it for Yourself.​
Clearly, Either You are, as You said, The Original Owner, in which case You blew out the Lamp/Fuse, and By-passed it, OR You are Not the Original Owner. Either way, You are a LIAR.​
You say the unit works as it should, but It has No Fuse!!! You operate Your Radios with No Fuse? I'll bet Not. LIAR.​
You shipped the Unit with No Fuse and No Power Supply. CHEAT!​
Whether it "Works as designed" or not, You took the Money for a Bum Piece of ..... THIEF!​
Better sell those Amps and Radio Gear Right Quick, cause I am Going to post a Warning about the "Sharp Dealing" I received at Your Hands. You will lose much More than You Won from Me. You are Your Own Accuser and Your Own Punishment, according to the garbage You posted up this thread.​
Sincerely,​
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jayclimber

Modern Minuteman
Moderator
Brass Subscriber
#15
Hey all.

I have had my 160m dipole down over the winter. It sustained damage where one leg of the wire antenna was ripped off. SWR wasn't so good after that!

That leg of the antenna got fixed, and it was time to put it up again. I bought a cheapie drone from Amazon on sale before Christmas. In flying it around, it was...OK. It had GPS, so it was supposed to hover wherever it was when you took your hands off the controls. It was supposed to send back video to a cellphone/iPad/Android tablet via WiFi, and it did, sort of: If you were in line-of-sight, it was great. Out of line-of-site, range was pretty limited.

There was a bearing I really wanted the antenna leg to go. That way!

View attachment 33003



I flew that route with the drone over and over. It was glitchy, but I thought I had become accustomed to the idiosyncrasies, so I began to prepare.

I began with taping a weight to the center of the drone to see if it would haul the payload of a lead sinker. It performed OK. A little sluggish, but it did what it was supposed to do.

Next I built the weight carrier with the "release mechanism." Really, I just got to where I wanted the weight to fall, spun the drone 180*, went in reverse and the 15# test fishing line attached to the sinker would pull it off the piece of wire that the sinker eye was over.

View attachment 33004

View attachment 33005

View attachment 33006
I tested this several times, too. Worked great. Didn't interfere with the camera, nothing.

Yesterday was the day. Winds were calm. Light was good. Drone and controller were charged.

Attempt 1, drone didn't quite go where I wanted. I aborted by spinning the drone 180*, dropping the weight, and returning the drone to it's takeoff point.

Attempt 2, the fishing line became entangled in my 2 meter yagi antenna on the tower. Again, spun 180* dropped the weight and RTB.

I should have quit then for the day.

Third attempt was going well. Then the video feed from the drone cut out. I couldn't see where the drone was due to the forest canopy. I moved closer to try to require the signal (never did) the drone started "wandering", like it lost the GPS lock. I couldn't see it from the ground to do the 180, and I couldn't see the video feed from the drone. I finally got to where I could sort of see it flying, and tried to send it back to a clear area, but without being able to see where it was pointing, every slight control movement took it out of my sight, and I essentially lost control. It crashed into some pine trees. I eventually required video feed (when my phone lost the drone, it unhelpfully connected to my home wifi network, and I didn't realize it until much later) and saw a lovely close-up of pine needles and bark.

I kinda felt like SpaceX: everything was going well, then...

Feel worse about not getting the antenna up than I do about losing the drone.
My son had temporarily lost a drone a few years ago in the woods. Was flying up above the tree tops and a gust of wind came and carried it out of eye sight. The controller had a sensor in it that when switched to a certain mode would beep like a homing beacon for the drone and the closer you got to the drone the faster it beeped (as long as the drone battery had juice) so we wondered through the woods in the general direction we last saw it and finally found it stuck way up in a tree.