As spring approaches many growers find themselves preparing equipment for a fast-paced planting season. One piece of equipment that is often overlooked is their drone. Nothing is more frustrating than to need data, drive to the field, open the case and find a drone that will not function. Below are some tips for successful drone operation. That can mostly be done in your office or shop on a cold or rainy day.
- Charge and check batteries
- Charge transmitter
- Check your case to make sure no one has “borrowed” needed tablet or phone cabling.
- Make sure the operating system on your tablet or phone is current as well as the app.
- Make sure your micro SD card is in the bird and has space to start the season. If full, you may need to do some deleting or perhaps purchase another card. I recommend carrying at least two. We have seen cards fail without warning and stop progress.
- Remove props and start drone while on WIFI or cellular allowing for updates if needed. These are becoming less frequent so don’t be surprised if you are still up to date.
- Step outside and make a short flight to ensure your done is complete and ready.
- If you are a 107-license holder check your anniversary date printed on the front. Certification is good for two years at that point you will need to schedule for a retest at an FAA testing center. Many people who received licenses early in the process will be on their 2nd retest.
- Lastly, before you head out to a field expect your stored batteries to be at ¾ charge or less. They are designed to discharge after 5-6 days to make them last longer. Lithium Ion batteries last longer if store at a partial charge. For that reason, they auto discharge. You will need to top them up before use.
If you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to contact us at 317-565-4120 or support@FARMserver.com.
By Jim Love | UAV & Light Robotics Mgr/Herbicide Specialist