Drone World DJI Phantom 4 Executive Kit (Long range) Multimedia Review

The kit contents are well thought out and put together by folks that obviously have some experience flying drones.  For instance, the kit comes with a total of 3 batteries, which is a must if you are doing any serious not for profit work. But what  sets the kit apart from just being a grouping of useful accessories is the proprietary booster antenna. Drone World claims this booster antenna has a range of 4 to 5+ miles* (in ideal conditions). However, did not fly beyond VLOS (Visual Line Of Sight) or into airspace that I could not de-conflict with the Mk. 1 eyeball.  You know the rules, and if you don’t know the rules you should take the time to learn the rules!

 

 

 

 

 

Part one, unboxing video –

 

The Case –

Nanuk 950

Waterproof* to 1M for 30 minutes

Impact resistant

Automatic pressure release valve

Wheels and a handle

Inside the case, Kit contents –

DJI Phantom 4 (P4)

Two extra (Three total) DJI P4 Intelligent flight batteries

Drone World WiFi booster antenna.

Micro SD card and USB 3.0 card reader –

Transcend, class 10 (needed for UHD 4K) 64 GB (16 GB installed onboard the PH4)

Hoodman brand hood for iPhone S6, but also appears to work fine on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and 5

Ancillary goodies –

A micro drone that flies better then the Proto X et al non-registered varieties right out of the case. Lanyard, Nanuk case carrying strap, short IOS and Android cords, portable battery charger and a lens filter kit.

Personally, I was more interested in the booster for improved performance in environments that are overloaded with devices competing for bandwidth and other sources of interference. That is where the booster antenna fits that bill.

Part two, field test –

Booster antenna reality check, while the Drone World proprietary antenna works well it is not magical! If you are operating inside a Faraday cage or out of radio Line Of Sight (LOS) e.g. buildings and or geographical obstacles come between you and the drone, you will experience C2 (Command and Control for the rubes) and video signal loss. Trees, shrubs, and WiFi saturation will cut down on range but reception is still much more robust than the stock configuration.  Until just recently the booster antenna was only sold as part of the Executive Kit, but is now available for aftermarket purchase if you have already have your PH4.

The kit and case are well appointed, the case custom cut outs and compartments are like a shadow board for all of the included drone accouterments, it is nice not to have to second-guess yourself all the way to the flying field. The days of did I get this, forget that, and dropping bits and bobs on the way out the door are over.  The case concept besides being well organized also helps to protect against hanger rash and lost items. Storage for multiple cases on the other hand is an issues and still needs to be worked out, as @Mrsdronedealer likes to remind me. Don’t get me wrong, I like the whole cases concept a lot, but if I get a few more case I’ll need to ditch the Prius and get a van. Maybe a white van, man?? And no, I don’t think I look like Mike. ;-)

 

Great service and good drone deals going on at www.drone-world.com

Phantom 4 specs, or where the rubber meets the road –

Can turn off the front LED’s

A lot of flexibility with the software

4K compression and FPS UHD: 4096×2160 (4K) 24 / 25p No love on the 30fps for U.S.A. TV. :-(

3840×2160 (4K) 24 / 25 / 30p (yeah USA)

FHD: 1920×1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 120p (if you are in need of a little slowmo action)

Compression –

MP4 / MOV (MPEG – 4 AVC / H.264)

Further reading about video compression –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_compression#Video

Camera and lens –

FOV 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8, focus at ∞

 

Side by side comparison of the specs suggest that the PH3P and PH4 have essentially the camera and use the same compression. Lets hope that the 5P minds that gap and makes the jump up to HEVC or H.265 video compression.

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Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).