Drones For Scouting

Discussion in 'General Q&A' started by randyt, Dec 15, 2019.

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  1. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    at a recent trappers convention there was talk about using a drone for scouting. Sounds like a great idea, boots on the ground are still required but it may shorten some time. Eyeballing up some rough country before entering.

    I'm thinking about getting one to look for the lost dutchman mine.
     
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  2. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard ! Staff Member
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    Are e talking before SHTF or after it has turned the walls brown?
     
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  3. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    I'm talking before but if the power is available after may be handy too.
     
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  4. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard ! Staff Member
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    Pre-SHTF I think drones are an excellent idea. Picture worth a 1,000 words and video preventing some rough walking is a great idea. Post SHTF, I think drones are going to be a bad idea. Too loud and can be followed back to base station.
     
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  5. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    For scouting a trapline it should be pretty good. I'm not sure it will work any better for topography than a satellite map, but if you trap water (especially beaver and muskrat) than I can see a great advantage to a drone.

    I wouldn't recommend using one post TEOTWAWKI as they can be tracked by knowledgeable individuals and could give away your location.

    Dale
     
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  6. Sourdough

    Sourdough "eleutheromaniac"
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    For seven decades we have used the PA-18-150 you simply shut off the engine and silently utilize the incredible glide ratio for scouting.
     
    1. Dalewick
      LOL! For most of us that might be difficult, taking off from our back yard.
       
      Dalewick, Dec 15, 2019
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  7. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Post-SHTF the last thing that you will see from a drone is someone with a gun about to blow it out of the sky. Pre-SHTF the possibilities for its use are nearly endless.
     
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  8. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    Just remember on the operational limit of your drone and the noise it create. Even with after market silent rotor they are too noisy for scouting task.
     
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  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Until a drone gets shot down, it could provide real-time intel on the status of your perimeter. Fly your drone too far or too low and it is certain to catch a load of shot out of a shotgun. People now recognize buzzing sound of a drone.

    Maybe one could fly the drone straight up, take video, then immediately bring it back. Review the video after the drone is back safe.
     
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  10. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning all,

    In my view, a drone is really just a better binoculars.

    Drone environments are about the same as those environments using binoculars.

    During natural events, eg a walking/hiking evacuation, drones allow for much more of a picture of the area than binoculars. During hostilities, a similar comparison is present. A drone can be shot down. Plus, a glance of light (even during hours of darkness) on a binocular lens, allows for targeting. Artillery recon folks had (have?) periscope type binoculars to prevent (in theory) getting shot. The periscope binoculars, even without the stand or tripod, are heavy.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      I would actually prefer using binos or even a spotting scope to any of the short range drones currently available in a hostile environment. It's easy to eliminate all reflection of glass with either ARD's (Anti Reflection Device) or a scrim (Sniper camo net) with only minimal loss of light gathering and clarity.
       

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      Dalewick, Dec 16, 2019
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  11. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    Drone give you "overhead" which is something that bino or telescoping bino couldn't give, not to mention the range of commercial drone has become quite good these days.

    Although drone is vulnerable to birdshot it can be flown at night where it is to small of a target not to mention near invisible, albeit still noisy nonetheless.
     
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  12. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Varuna,

    If a drone can be shot down over Syria at night, why cannot a drone be shot down over Virginia or Suriname or Christmas Island at night ?

    Shotguns would be recognized by Napoleon's Field Marshalls. Newer tools available and all over here.
     
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  13. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    in the meantime I can be looking for the lost dutchman mine from y easy chair.
     
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  14. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    Post SHTF sure the drone will tell someone you are in the area, but that person taking a shot at it will also give up their location.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      Have you ever had to locate someone from one gunshot. There is a reason snipers are trained to not shoot twice from the same location in the open or without a suppressor.
       
      Dalewick, Dec 16, 2019
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  15. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    Context... context... context... If you ever fought a party that could see & shoot a dark flying drone at night then you would also need ground recon unit because most likely your dealing against organized bunch rather than some run-of-the-mill guys with guns.

    Anyway flying the drone higher flying dark at night (at least 1000' AGL) will mostly do the trick (unless the OPFOR bring in EW support)
     
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  16. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    my context is for pre-scouting for trapping territory and maybe the Dutchman mine but I am a good distance from the Superstition mountains . Maybe Swifts silver in the Unakas, that can be some rough hiking, sometimes it feels like it's straight up.

    This got me to wondering in a shtf situation instead of flying the drone around and about, how about landing it on a high point and using it for observation. A good and decent distance from home. I don't know a bunch about drones. Such as how long it lass on and charge and whatnot.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      In a hostile environment you may be better served by a human OP/LP element that can report things a drone can't detect. Especially if that recon element has a NOD (night vision device) with thermal capabilities and maybe a listening device. A good OP/LP can sometimes detect an enemy by sound, brush movement, sometimes even by smell. A OP/LP in a good location can observe for movement for miles around. Another thing to remember is a OP/LP doesn't have to be restricted to a ground location. You may not have all of the options of a military unit but there are always kayaks, rafts, cell towers, power poles, roofs, etc. The best thing about a human as your OP/LP is an immediate decision can be made on intelligence and direct action taken if desired.
       
      Dalewick, Dec 16, 2019
  17. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    I can't agree more but manpower considerations will most likely be a consideration. It may be difficult to spare someone five miles out or so. I have no idea how far they can transmit especially the cheaper models.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      I know there is a federal limit (I think 1 mile) but I have no idea what it actually is. Just a thought, Having any 1 or even 2 person unit more than the distance that can be covered in 10 minutes away from the reinforcement unit, is asking to get someone killed.
       
      Dalewick, Dec 16, 2019
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  18. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    One reason I wondered about a parked drone, not perfect but could put some distance from home. Whereas parking a man that far out may not be feasible. How far can average prepper joe travel in 10 minutes? I'm not 25 year old anymore, the days of running 10 mile and not being winded are over.
     
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  19. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    When I say 10 minutes, that's not only just by foot. ATV, Side by side, ORV, Boat or whatever. I have a Can-Am Commander that will be used for reconnaissance and as a FAV (Fast Attack Vehicle). We have run drills (the wife called it playing, LOL!) with the Commander and I have been impressed with the ability to move quickly while laying down suppressive fire from the vehicle.

    Sorry for getting side tracked. What I was getting at is just adapt what you have available to benefit your scenario.

    Dale
     
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  20. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    typical consumer grade drone have flight range around 3.5 nm (nautical mile). Flight time however will be vary depending on weather condition, but expect 10 - 15 minutes of flight time for scouting task.

    Parking your drone will drain the battery. If you need longer range / more flight range a consumer grade fixed wing drone can do the job as well (longer flight time)
     
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  21. Caribou

    Caribou Master Survivalist
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    There is a place for everything. The military carry small drones into battle. That doesn't mean that LP/OP's are abandoned. Be flexible and don't tie yourself into one technology or plan. Be aware of the limits and benefits of each tool.
     
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  22. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Varuna,

    You clearly addressed the matter: "EW support".

    EW, plus the cousins, such as the several counter-measures, are what works.

    This area of the nation is loaded with people knowledgeable and capable of building these electronic tools.

    Although much is now illegal for private citizen use, lasers could get involved in this.

    Now add those private citizens who purchase large searchlights sized for ocean-going vessels.

    In the above non-ballistic environment, what can a small drone accomplish ?


    Prep,prep,prep
    and
    factor in safety
     
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  23. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    depends on the type of drone I suppose.
    the military are only just starting to use drones over here.
    if you mean a civilian type drone that people buy in shops then I think they have a limited range.
     
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  24. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Randy,

    You've addressed a major point in "prepping"; the size of the Prepper unit, eg an individual, a family of 2, a family of 5, a small group of neighbors,...

    Much involves "trade-offs". In my environment and pending emergency situations, I'd rather have a neighbor EMT and boat navigator than a larger secured perimeter. Others, of course, have different environments and pending circumstances to consider.

    I would guess a "high point" in pre-designated strategic areas would already be occupied by COG Responders of some type.
     
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  25. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I think we are getting side tracked from the subject matter again.
    the size of the group may be relevant in avoiding the drone, easier to hide a smaller group that a large one.
    the drones I have experienced, not many I'd admit, they do make a lot of noise and avoiding action can be taken in advance of the drones arrival.
     
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  26. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    a civilian drone recently shut down a major British airport for a day or more.
     
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  27. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    for sure, I have ATVs as well. A Yamaha rhino and a Yamaha Kodiak but after a shtf I don't intend to use them. I'm going to save the fuel for other things. However a team member in crisis would be one of those times. In my area once off the roads and trails a ATV is not going to get far, it's called puckerbrush for a reason.
     
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  28. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    can we stick to the thread subject please?
     
  29. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Lonewolf,

    Just read above.

    Understand.

    Yes, will refocus to subject.
     
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  30. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    Here is few example :



     
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  31. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard ! Staff Member
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    Drone used in video is very expensive commercial drone, not your everyday hobby drone. Outstanding quality and could provide excellent info pre-shtf. It would have to fly too low and would make too much noise for clandestine recon post-shtf. Spotting a thermal image and being able to identify the thermal image, requires very expensive equipment and lower altitude. Even people who harbor no ill will, might shoot down a drone after civilization has collapsed and it has hit the fan.
     
  32. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    The drone is DJI Matrice 200 (industrial drone)



    And the optical package is Zenmuse XT2



    To avoid being shot down by anyone, the best approach is either to fly high enough or keep flying low, fast & dark at night without ever hovering at any spot (waypoint following)

    I don't have familiarization with the this Matrice 200 model, however we have been renting DJI F550 (older DJI industrial drone) for our need more than an occasion, and it work well even in dense mountainous jungle environment as long the operator knew the operational limit.
     
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