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Inexpensive Drones

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Can anyone recommend an inexpensive drone for ages 10-14.  I'm seeing lots of them for around $50.00.  I know they are not on par with the fancy big ones, but the limit is $50.  There will be no....  If you just pend a little bit more.

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Don't bother. I've tried quite a few over the years either as gifts or for myself. If you don;t spend real money you are gonna get real garbage. A $50 drone is a toy nothing more. It's not enjoyable to try and fly, no stabilizers, no collision avoidance, no hover feature. DJI just came out with the MINI 2. The old MINI can be had for not that much. It weights 249gms, just under the legal limit for not having to register or get any kind of license. Look into it.

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On 12/18/2021 at 8:42 AM, Danno said:

DJI just came out with the MINI 2

Thanks @Danno! I was bored yesterday so I started watching some videos on the DJI Mini 2. Naturally I ran right out to Best Buy and spent $600.00 on the full "fly more kit".  My wife is pissed at me now....I asked her if she would feel better if I returned it and spent twice that amount on another gun! No response!

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8 hours ago, JohnnyB said:

Thanks @Danno! I was bored yesterday so I started watching some videos on the DJI Mini 2. Naturally I ran right out to Best Buy and spent $600.00 on the full "fly more kit".  My wife is pissed at me now....I asked her if she would feel better if I returned it and spent twice that amount on another gun! No response!

Your Welcome. I love helping other people spend their money!

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I'm pretty into drones and have had many of them in all sizes.  For non FPV, the best cheap drone is Hubsan X4 at $30.   Can be flown inside and outside as long as its not too windy. It can take a beating as long as you use the prop guards. I dropped one from several hundred feet up and was able to till fly it.  

For beginner FPV quadcopters, you need to spend about $150-$200 in order to get drone, controller, and goggles.  

The Emax  Tinyhawk is pretty highly rated for a beginner drone.   

Newbeedrone also has some good stuff  

BetaFPV as well 

 

If you want one with GPS that return to home and safety features, you want DJI.  

The DJI Mini SE is $299

 

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Hi. When we are talking about inexpensive drones - you kinda get what you pay for so don't expect anything amazing. However technology has come a long way too so it also probably won't just fly into the closest wall.

I forked out a lot of money for a DJI and although the drone is amazing, i rarely find a place to fly it where I'm not either in an airspace, a national key point or sanparks or or... so currently it just sits in my cupboard until i go to Europe once a year and fly it there on holiday.

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2 hours ago, BillEdwards1 said:

Hi. When we are talking about inexpensive drones - you kinda get what you pay for so don't expect anything amazing. However technology has come a long way too so it also probably won't just fly into the closest wall.

I forked out a lot of money for a DJI and although the drone is amazing, i rarely find a place to fly it where I'm not either in an airspace, a national key point or sanparks or or... so currently it just sits in my cupboard until i go to Europe once a year and fly it there on holiday.

I bought my Mavic Pro in 2017.  Every month it seemed they were coming out with new firmware.  Eventually, they added in the geofencing and such and prevented loading earlier firmware.

I'm one of those guys that believes if something works, you stop @#$%ing with it.  I left my firmware on .4 I think because it it turns out that the MIDDLE of my backyard was 30 miles from Trump's club in NJ.  I could fly off my front porch but fly into the back yard...it sounded like I was breaking into a bank.   I quickly undid that particular firmware and left it there.

The really worst think about it, is that where I lived was on the side of a mountain in North NJ.  Even at 250 feet above ground level, if I flew level from there and went west, it'd fly right into the mountain.   No airspace was ever in danger from my drone yet, I couldn't fly in my own backyard.  That's just bad software.

 

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2 minutes ago, 1LtCAP said:

sooo....with these firmware upgrades, i'm guessing it's fairly safe to say any of the new ones will already be shipped with these flight restrictions built into them......

Yeah, that shipped has sailed.   Any new, modern drone will have geofencing.   It is EXTREMELY annoying to not even be able to take off and fly at tree level in your own backyard.   

Aircraft shouldn't even be under 500 feet for any reason.  The only exception are search and rescue, helicopters and emergency type situations.  Glide path into an airport is also a little different.

I used a tool on mine that eliminated all of the limits.  I could fly mine into Class A.  Of course, it'd be a one way trip as I doubt it'd have enough battery left to descend from 18,000.

Out in Wyoming, in the middle of nowhere, I pushed it up and somewhere around 5000 I lost my nerve.  You really can't see much from up there, anyway.  All the interesting stuff is under 400 feet, which is where drones can be flown as long as it's uncontrolled airspace.

 

 

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As others have stated, $50 won't get you much more than a cheap drone that doesn't really fly all too well.  You didn't mention if you wanted something for LOS (line of sight) or FPV (First Person View) flying.  FPV would most definitely be more expensive.  If your kid is serious about getting into FPV drones, you may want to start out with a simulator first.  Something like DRL(DroneRacingLeague) or VelociDrone.  Once they can comfortably fly in the simulator, then look into purchasing a starter whoop kit like some of the ones ESB mentioned above. 

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I think everyone here is mistaking your question. 

My kid was given a $30 basic wave razor drone. It is stabilized and able to be piloted by people with minimal skill unlike a lot of the toy drones. It is not sold under that brand, but harbor freight seems to sell the same drone with camera for $50. 

It's not a good drone, but it is plenty controllable enough with cheap enough batteries to buy extra and be able to screw around with it for a while. It's good for determining if this is a thing that interests you and you would like to spend more money on as the whole package is cheaper then even a spare battery for anything good. 

https://www.harborfreight.com/high-performance-drone-with-480p-cameravideo-56814.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=12169617963&campaignid=12169617963&utm_content=116466547349&adsetid=116466547349&product=56814&store=381&gclid=Cj0KCQjwntCVBhDdARIsAMEwACmIkgBBVLnZp_-V7Z4tmDGiy8unQ9WQ7QdqLfFEL_BcYxFjJUvuYSUaAuElEALw_wcB

 

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