We bring to you some of the most effective and handy tools that will transform your drone flying into a rewarding flying experience. Here are the best drone accessories that will make your flying all the more fun. When buying a new drone, a drone enthusiast has to take a myriad factors into consideration including size, features, camera quality and much more. Accessories, however, tend to be another factor that either enhance your experience or spoil it; thereby turning your purchase into a disaster. Even the minutest of things can render your drone flying experience wasted. For instance, if you do not have the required cable to connect to your smartphone, you could go through a quite excruciating experience
There are tons of add-ons that we thought not to include in our list. We believe that stuff such as additional propellers and batteries should be a regular part of your flight baggage. In this article, we will discuss of the extra drone accessories that do not come as part of the original packaging and certainly did not come with our drones.
Best Drone Accessories
This is an extremely simple contraption. Most of the radio controllers come with an eye-hook or anchor point for neck strap. If you don’t get it, you might think of doing it yourself and prepare this accessory for yourself without much effort required. If you have been flying drones for some time, you must be familiar with the fact that you often come across certain situations when you are unable to find a safe place to put down your controller. With the help of a lanyard, you can let the controller hanging down from your neck safely while ensuring that your hands are free for carrying out other tasks.
There are a number of lanyards out there on the market, but we believe that we are in love with the Autel Robotics simple neck strap for $10 on Amazon. Or you can also get the official/unofficial DJI shoulder rig from Amazon for just $14.
Here is an important question that almost every drone enthusiast needs an answer to: where should I take my drone off from and where should I land it safe? Sometimes you are on the move but when you have a fixed home station, a specially designated platform for takeoff can be a great idea. As far as I am concerned, I particularly prefer this idea merely because I do not want my device to land in snow, mud or some other dirty surface. Having said that, to have a dedicated platform to launch your device is always fun, isn’t it?
Helipad is a nice solution to ensuring that your drone takes off and lands safely without getting dirty or scratched. But it does come with the challenge of landing your device at a small target area. Ideally, it is preferable to use a solid flat surface of wood or plastic. If you are thinking of a metallic surface, keep in mind that it tends to interfere with the GPS calibration of your drone. I once tried to have some fun without taking into consideration the practical aspects. You must have seen in the images that I use a BB-8 area rug as my helipad. It is not a solid surface which tends to limit its usage but I get to enjoy flying clean and unscratched drones.
You can try out the collapsing portable landing pad for $33 on Amazon or check out few variations below.
Here is a question for you all dronies: where do you put your accessories and all other stuff while flying your drone? Some of you would put it on the ground, some would try to insert as much stuff as possible into their pockets while others would try to cram it into the backpacks. Here is an idea for you. Why don’t you get a table dedicated to putting your drone related stuff on while flying a drone. A picnic table or similar thing would work but a small folding card table could be a great choice for placing your drone accessories during some flying adventures.
You can get a table of your own choice based on your personal preferences and travelling requirements but a folding camping table for $25 on Amazon appears to be a cool option if you have none.
It is needless to discuss how important cables can be for devices that run on batteries and even for those that do not. It is quite a good situation since our drones, batteries, controllers and our smartphones boast only three or four kinds of connectors. Micro USB is the most common connection that can be found in devices around the world and it is closely followed by Apples’ Lightning port. USB Type-C is another kind of connection that can be found on some devices and in quite rare situations, the Mini USB connector is still there on some electronic devices.
You must remember from our DJI Mavic Pro unboxing that DJI includes three types of cables for connecting your smart devices. If you have not got the right kind of cable or are looking to shuffle things around a bit, you need to get your hands on this simple tool that will help you connect your desired device.
I would suggest you to take a look at the right-angled cables. It is true that my mobile devices tend to suffer a lot because of the cables getting in their way while connecting the DJI Mavic Pro radio controller. The original cables are right angled and so are the substitute ones.
You can get the StartTech Micro USB cable from Amazon.
Umbrella or sunshade
There is always a need to protect yourself and your drone from all the atmospheric effects whether they are in the form of rain, precipitation or sunshine. The fact of the matter is that rain is detrimental to the health of your drone while sunshine on the other hand makes it difficult for pilots to view the FPV display screen. There are a myriad solutions to protecting your display screen of the controller from direct sunshine. You can also cut and fold into shape the Amazon box as well that came with your shipping package.
If you are not interested in doing some hard work, then you can always resort to typical or machine specific sunshades. Quite recently, DJI Mavic Pro specific sunshades were announced by the manufacturers. We will definitely let you what we think about the new product as soon as it hits the shelves. As a matter of fact, there are news that the sunshades have been released. I am not that much fascinated by the way the DJI sunshades get attached to the antennae but other than that they look to be great, easy to fold down and good enough to protect your controller screen from bright sunshine.
I would suggest you to avoid purchasing an umbrella or anything similar to it since it will prevent you from remaining in line of sight with your drone. I do not have any specific product here that I would like to suggest to you but below are some variations you can look at.
Bag or backpack or case for your drone
Where do you want your camera drone to spend most of its time? As far as I am concerned, I mostly prefer to head over to mountainous terrains, carryout some hiking or visit idyllic locations to capture the stunning scenes of nature. Having said that, it is very difficult for me to carry all my gear with my bare hands and shoulders. For that purpose, I have a number of bags and backpacks to hold my stuff so that it remains safe.
It is never easy to choose a carrying case, backpack or a bag to transport your drone paraphernalia with you as you move from one place to another. To be honest, I use all the three types of containers depending on my preferences, needs and requirements. During travelling, it is always prudent to opt for a drone case that is solid and will give your device massive amount of protection. A basic sort of bag for my drone actually lets me get out of my house and move to my backyard for a flight adventure. However, when I intend to visit some hilly terrain for a hike, then a backpack is the way to go.
You must be knowing that there are generic bags, backpacks and carrying cases as well as the custom built ones tailored specifically to suit your individual needs and requirements. If you travel mostly through rugged terrains, then you should opt for a carrying solution that provides as much safety and security to your device as possible. You should never gamble the safety of your drone for saving a few bucks or dollars on the carrying case.
The backpack that I use has not been designed specially for drones but fortunately enough for me, it aptly fits my DJI Mavic Pro in so I am quite satisfied with it. You can also go for the SSE drone backpack for just $70 on Amazon.
Extra battery power
The most simple thing that you can do to get maximum flight duration is to use multiple batteries as a backup. Portable power is another decent substitute to additional battery power when it is not the most suitable of solutions available. This is true that the most top quality drones require a specially designated charger to recharge them. However, those devices that are not limited by this feature, can also be flown in the air with the batteries that are used in your smartphones.
More often than not, toy drones use AA batteries in their controllers, so you should always have those in store. There are also drones that depend on USB ports for charging. So, you can get your toy drone recharged in your car, at a public charging station or virtually anywhere with the help of your external battery powerpack.
It is a good idea to spend some money on purchasing a dedicated charger for your car. You can also get an AC converter for your car. Even if you buy a $20 device, it will be sufficient for your drone to get charged during travelling. You can go for this Bestek 300W inverter for $25 on Amazon that comes with a couple of plugs and USB ports for your car.
LiPo battery bag
Majority of the top quality quadcopters out there have to comply with stringent safety standards; hence there is almost minimal likelihood of explosions or batteries catching fire. Well, we do remember what happened to the credibility of Samsung after what happened with their flagship smartphone Note 7. This is not to imply that I have anything against Samsung. I simply want to emphasize the fact that it does not matter who makes a battery or under what safety standards it has been built. There is always a possibility of an explosion with batteries. A reaction between Lithium and Oxygen could prove disastrous under any circumstances.
So, in order to cut down on the risk of battery fires and explosions, a LiPo battery is the best possible choice for drone enthusiasts and is one of the most important drone accessories that should be a part of your repertoire. Just for $12 you can put your batteries in a fire-resistant container and is precisely the place where you should put all your toy drone batteries since they are not built in compliance with the safest of quality standards around.
You can get your hands on the $12 Apex LiPo battery bag on Amazon.
Global Positioning System Tracker
You will come across many a drone aficionados who claim, rather arrogantly, that they will never lose their drone. Majority of the drones integrated with GPS technology are loaded with accurate mapping to jot down their position on the map. This works efficiently until the battery runs out of juice. However, if your device is unable to report its position with precision, or is not at all equipped with a location tracking technology, a small sized GPS tracker could do the job for you.
To be more precise, I am talking about a compact sized tracker that can be removed at will but not necessarily equipped with GPS. A Bluetooth tracker can very well report the position of a drone that is lost. You just have to attach a small disk and then you may crash anywhere without the fear of losing your precious drone.
You can go for the Tile Tracker so check out the XY Find It for $20 on Amazon.
Bonus: Micro SD Card for Storage
You all must be having a memory card loaded into your drone. But are you confident that it is good enough to serve the desired purpose. Obviously once you have bought a drone, you would not want to spend more money on trying to improve its flying prowess. But storage is a component that cannot be compromised at all when it comes to photographers and video grabbers. A typical Class 4 or Class 6 card might be able to handle photographs but I seriously recommend you to opt for the UHS-1 U1 cards for video footages at 4K resolution.
Bonus 2: Co-pilot or signage
Drones are becoming evermore popular among the common public as they are starting to know them better and are not as much apprehended by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as they used to be. Now, people tend to ask a lot of questions and view drones with bewilderment. You may want to bring a person with you or just a signage but you need to understand that your concentration is required by your drone while flying it. You should be gentle and polite about it. Rather than erecting signposts saying that Yes, it’s a drone and you are not allowed to fly it; you should opt for signs that tell the onlookers that yours is a FAA regulated drone and that you are registered with the authority and need to abide by its rules and regulations. So, your utmost attention is required.
During one of my recent flight adventures, there was a hawk in the area. I could not keep track of it since my flight was more of technical nature and I was absorbed in it. My wife happened to be my co-pilot so she kept an eye at the hawk and asked me to bring down my DJI Mavic Pro once the bird started moving closer. The hawk then flied above our heads as if it were looking for the small sized bird it had spotted in the area not so long ago.
The DJI Mavic Pro is certainly a formidable device but I never would have had the guts to wrestle with the hawk. So, I am grateful to my co-pilot that she helped me bring down my device without any untoward incident
To be honest, drone flying is accompanied by a number of intricacies and complexities. Each machine has its own requirements in terms of drone accessories. It could be a screwdriver, a cable, a laptop for adjusting the firmware settings or some special kind of paint to make your device lot more visible in the sky. Most of these things are there to enhance your flight adventure but some of them are mandatory for a safe and healthy flight experience. To maximize your experience, you should be well aware of the additional gear you need for your device.
What do you think is the most need accessory for your drone? Let us know in the comments section below!