New Quadcopter

Hey. This page is more than 4 years old! The content here is probably outdated, so bear that in mind. If this post is part of a series, there may be a more recent post that supersedes this one.

I have dropped my case for renaming to Tessacopter. Quadcopter will do.


Zoe got me a DIY race quad, aka THE UNTETHERED a couple of years ago. It’s great but even limited down to 20% power it is a liability. Every flight involves an ‘incident’:

  • I reckon on 100% it’ll do 120+ kph, and turn on a six-pence.
  • It has no real ‘driver-aids’. I have it set in a non-acrobatic mode so it is at least kept semi-upright (turned off you can have the thing sideways or upside-down).
  • It has no automatic hover/pause. If you take your fingers off the controls it will just continue doing what it was doing.


A lapse in concentration and you find yourself in the flight path of a 747, over the horizon or embedded in the nearest pylon, tree, person or pet (all true stories).

The get-out is the kill switch which sending it plummeting like a Raid-ed fly. You spend the next two hours hunting for it in the New Zealand bush (it has no GPS).

New Addition: Mavic 2 Pro

Maria at work got a DJI Mavic Air and showed me it in action. I had a nervous breakdown when she (1) sent it ‘out of view’ (it was over the sea so rules don’t apply???) and (2) landed it on a public beach about 2m away from where people were picnicking.

But I was impressed.

In the parallel world of my attempting this with my race-drone, if it was not in the water (or buried in the fuselage of an AirNZ 737) would have made a chopped salad of the picnic… and the picnickers. A lot of blood.

Auckland CBD from ‘a few metres up’ in Churchill Park

So I bought a Mavic 2 Pro.

The 4K video below of it automagically tracking me using the DJI app’s Spotlight tracking function…