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Old 28-07-2019, 02:24   #1
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Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Hi,

the Spry by Swellpro hit the market early this year and I was close to getting one at the time.
What I like is, apart from that it's waterproof & floating, that the camera and gimbal are inside the housing. That solves some issues which some of the other waterproof drones had.

I did not purchase at the time due to concerns regarding the flight stability and image quality.
I got a Mavic Air instead, but that's not waterproof.

Now that I am looking at the Spry again, I am wondering if anyone here has one and uses it.
How happy are you with the results?

Apart from marketing videos I find very little actual footage by users on the net. Looking forward to hear about your experiences.

Franziska
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Old 28-07-2019, 02:27   #2
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Wondering what you use your drone for that's related to sailing/cruising, please...?

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Old 28-07-2019, 02:35   #3
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Wondering what you use your drone for that's related to sailing/cruising, please...?

LittleWing77
Have you seen YouTube lately? Quite a few cruiser channels...some of which are even vaguely related to cruising.

I crewed on a boat receny with a Mavik aboard. The drone owner got some cool shots of the boat, but he was new to drone flying and retrieval on a boat is tricky so use was limited.
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Old 28-07-2019, 02:42   #4
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

As Belize sailor says, take aerial photos and video.
So far primarily shore based for my job, but looking into expanding this for use onboard.

I'm not using it in YouTube right now, but that's surely one of the usages for the footage to consider.
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Old 28-07-2019, 02:52   #5
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Guess I'm more of a purist...? I rarely take any sorts of pictures when I'm sailing. When I'm sailing, I just sail. Heehee

Thanks for the response, though!
Warmly,
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Old 28-07-2019, 03:24   #6
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Might well be :-)

I'm writing my blog for the friends and family at home and as a diary for myself later.
Beeing a very visual minded person though, pictures usually serve me better to bring old memories than just writing.

Sometimes I go back on a date and look up what I've done exactly 1, 5 or more years back :-)
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Old 28-07-2019, 09:06   #7
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

The Spry looks interesting. Only has a flight time of 15 minutes, so you would need to do quick runs with it, and it doesn't go up too high (200m) but that Return to Me feature is cool, if it works.
It seems a little at odds with sailing though, since sailing needs strong wind, and drones do not react well with strong wind. Would be great when anchored though, or in a light wind, if there was enough to move the sails, but not strong enough to affect the drone too much, some magic point in between.
The waterproof option is fantastic. That alone would make me buy it. I owned a Mavic Pro before, bought pontoons for it, but was still scared to fly it over water. I have read too many stories of them falling in water and being destroyed. Sold my Mavic, it was not reliable enough to use comfortably, and DJI support was mostly non existent.
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Old 28-07-2019, 09:22   #8
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Wondering what you use your drone for that's related to sailing/cruising, please...?

LittleWing77
We use it to shoot the area that we're anchored in, while the boat is underway, nice view of the surrounding area and then share with family and friends.
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Old 28-07-2019, 11:50   #9
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

I've seen it used for reef navigation....out in front of your yacht.

Have wondered if it could be used to investigate pangas before they're alongside...
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Old 28-07-2019, 12:05   #10
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Thanks.

How do you like the image quality?
Are there distortions in the image?
How about the image stabilization?

Do you have some sample footage?
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We use it to shoot the area that we're anchored in, while the boat is underway, nice view of the surrounding area and then share with family and friends.
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Old 28-07-2019, 12:21   #11
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

I have a spry, bought it in the first run from Kickstarter. Have had it since earlier in the year. At this stage I would strongly recommend against it unless you just want a bit of fun and waterproof is the key criteria. It definitely is both of these.

Why Not
1. Customer Service - absolutely hopeless. I have found an issue where the controller cannot be plugged into the majority of computers in order to update the firmware because it pulls far too much power. The response from swellpro was to remove the controller update so no one else tried. This effectively means any issues with the controller can't be updated. I did ask the trouble shooting for them because they couldn't be bothered. Still no response.

2. Vertical control - there is no downward facing sensor, only GPS. So vertical control is poor. This impacts everything from landing to hovering, which in turn seriously impacts the stability of video.

3. Run time - 15 in is theoretical. Really lucky to get 12 in good conditions.

4. Instruction manual / screen - is massively apparent that this is made and supported in English second language. Really poor quality.

Next time I would go non waterproof with much better vertical stability. If practice lots over land before flying over water.
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Old 28-07-2019, 12:44   #12
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Hey TravellingKiwis,

thanks, good info.

13m is truly a short flight, especially if one needs to achieve a difficult landing at the end.

What you say about the manual seems less of an issue to me. Still the controller issue with the PC and bad service sucks. Sorry to hear that.

Regarding sensors, everyone flying a DJI drone over water switches the proximity sensors off too, as they are getting confused by glare and reflections.

So not sure if that would be better.

On a boat waterproofing is important to me. In all honesty, don't ask how I know :-)

How do you like the image quality and image stability apart from the height sensor? Any issues with distortions via the front glass? Could you share a sample?

Thanks and sorry to hear about that you are not really happy with it. I almost joined the kickstarter campaign too...

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Old 28-07-2019, 12:53   #13
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingKiwis View Post
I have a spry, bought it in the first run from Kickstarter. Have had it since earlier in the year. At this stage I would strongly recommend against it unless you just want a bit of fun and waterproof is the key criteria. It definitely is both of these.

Why Not
1. Customer Service - absolutely hopeless. I have found an issue where the controller cannot be plugged into the majority of computers in order to update the firmware because it pulls far too much power. The response from swellpro was to remove the controller update so no one else tried. This effectively means any issues with the controller can't be updated. I did ask the trouble shooting for them because they couldn't be bothered. Still no response.

2. Vertical control - there is no downward facing sensor, only GPS. So vertical control is poor. This impacts everything from landing to hovering, which in turn seriously impacts the stability of video.

3. Run time - 15 in is theoretical. Really lucky to get 12 in good conditions.

4. Instruction manual / screen - is massively apparent that this is made and supported in English second language. Really poor quality.

Next time I would go non waterproof with much better vertical stability. If practice lots over land before flying over water.
Ive got one, Vertical control is extremely poor. This because the barometer is inside the waterproof hull. It has a sticky plaster thing on the battery cover that is supposed to let air in and out but not water. It is certainly waterproof, you can land it in the sea.
However I managed to crash it in the sea heavily and broke the camera windscreen, the electronics got sea water on them. This was begining of Feb. just got a replacement drone body which I paid for.....
Customer service is bad. Only got them to send me a new drone body after threatening them with social media and it still took 6 months.
It kinda works as a camera drone, but it is no Mavic.
Footage is pretty clear but there is no gimbal.

You need to be able to fly in Acro to own this drone or you are liable to crash it a lot.

I don't think this will be a good drone until they fix the vertical stability, which I don't think they can do until they get the barometer on the outside of the waterproof hull.

So my intention is to learn Acro before I kill the new drone body, my thoughts are to convert the old drone body using a pixracer FC and qgroundcontrol.

It is waterproof but is more a waterproof FPV than camera drone. Vertical hold gets affected by inside electronics temp, so as the electronics warm up the inside hull pressure changes and affects the barometer.

Not very happy with it.

Hope that helps.
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Old 28-07-2019, 13:01   #14
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

Very interesting indeed.

I wonder if there would be the possibility to route the baro cable to the outside and than seal the sensor in a Gore Tex membrane.

Still guess, understandably no-one tries this before the warranty period is expired.
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Old 28-07-2019, 21:51   #15
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Re: Anyone using the Spry waterproof drone?

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Very interesting indeed.

I wonder if there would be the possibility to route the baro cable to the outside and than seal the sensor in a Gore Tex membrane.

Still guess, understandably no-one tries this before the warranty period is expired.
Well I'm definatley going to try something like this with the one that I killed, as I have a complete unit with a dead flight contoller and camera, have been thinking of connecting a thin hose to the hull to use as a sort of snorkel, maybe...

Meantime I'm going to learn to fly acro, flight simulator to try and avoid killing the new unit.

So far I'm into $1400, 1 hr of flight time, a lot of headaches but not a lot of video.

The intention was to share the video with my Parents.

Drones seem to be a lot more interesting than I first thought.
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