In 2014, Gary McDonogh the owner of Hobby Centre located in South Africa began getting enquiries from local fisherman on how a drone could be used to deliver a bait over a long distance. Initially Gary did not think much of it but having researched this further, he found the Aero Kontiki from New Zealand popped up as the only drone in the world that was being used for bait delivery. At this time the only consumer drone available was the early Phantom from DJI, but it was expensive compared to the local bait boats which were predominantly used for freshwater angling.
Having been an avid RC model aviator for over 30 years, Gary decided to expand his shops direction into building drones and utilising local materials. The first quadcopter Gary produced was named the AFRICAN Quadcopter, as the frame parts could be found anywhere in AFRICA. Gary began building these drones in-house. These early drones had a simple box mounted underneath that could be filled with fish feed like corn.
It didn’t take long for stories to get back to Gary about how freshwater anglers were starting to drop baits further than casting distance in rock and surf conditions. In 2015 Gary developed the REVO MKI which was the very first Cuta-Copter model and was distributed and sold through angling stores. Shortly after the rock and surf market exploded in SA for drone use, and other bait release products also entered the market that could be used with off the shelf drones like DJI. At this time consumers started to place more emphasis on waterproof fishing drones. In response to this demand the new look Cuta-Copter REVO 4 and Matrix were developed which featured advanced di-electric resin sealed electronics – these new models were sold very successfully in 2019.
With competition from new players in the waterproof fishing drone market increasing, Gary continued his research and development, always striving for perfection. Built on Gary’s years of experience, the all new Cuta-Copter EX-1 was developed utilising the tried and tested robust Cuta-Copter platform. EX-1 now features the ultimate protection of double water-proofing and double floatation. In addition, a new weather resistant 10 channel radio, Pixhawk 4 mini flight controller and digital camera have also been used. The updated flight electronics package now enables flight modes such follow me, auto land, auto take off and boat landing mode. Additional safety features include low battery to launch function, App display and verbal warnings such as low battery, geofence breach or magnetic interference detected to name only a few.
- Performance Flight Controller and GPS – The EX-1 features the Pixhawk 4 mini, one of the most advanced flight controllers on the market. The Pixhawk 4 mini features a 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M7, 216 MHz Processor with 2mb flash memory and 512kb RAM. Breaking that down into layman’s terms – It Rocks. The shear speed data is processed results in supreme flight stability, and this is especially noticeable when carrying baits in high winds. In addition to the onboard magnetometer and barometer, it has not one, but two gyroscopes and two accelerometers – Feel assured of ultra-reliability as redundancy is built in.
- SkyDroid T10 10ch Radio – This high-quality radio is fitted with sand covers over the gimbals to improve the overall weather resistance. Flush mounted buttons and low-profile toggle switches have been used to prevent damage. The 2 x 18650 lithium batteries provide greater than 20 hours radio time on full charge. The T10 has a maximum transmission distance of 1500m – the ‘Geofence’ distance set at factory is 500metres.
- App control – The Android APP allows special flight conditions like phone control of landing and take-off, Waypoint missions and follow-me modes. The APP enables drone parameters to be changed wirelessly – (For advanced users)
- Double Water Proofing– In total there are 3 air chambers. Main electronics chamber, Battery bay and camera pod. Each chamber has a water-tight seal. For additional protection, the Electronic Speed Controllers are sealed in Di-Electric resin.
- Double flotation– The 3 air chambers provide level 1 flotation. The EX-1 is also filled with laser cut foam buoyancy providing level 2 of flotation. The landing feet also provide additional floats.
- Quick Switch – The installed quick switch limits the need to open the battery bay between bait drops, the craft is quickly switched on and off using the supplied switch.
- Backpack – Cuta Copter comes with a backpack carry case making it easy to carry hands free.
- Real Time Video stream – The EX-1 is equipped with a HD 720p digital reef spotting camera which has a real time video transmission up to 1000 metres. Camera settings like brightness, contrast and saturation can all be adjusted via the APP and recordings of bait drops can also be made and saved to your mobile or tablet.
- Robust Design – Cuta Copter has always prided itself on being and building the toughest drones on the market, and the new EX-1 takes it a step further with even greater survivability.
- Waterproof Electronic Bait Release – The bait release mechanism is fully waterproof.
- GPS – The New advanced PIXHAWK 4 GPS enables concurrent reception of up to 3 Global Navigation Satellite Systems ‘GNSS’ not just two such as GPS and GLONASS it deals with GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDouh – in layman’s terms – It Rocks! The GPS has as also been located to the highest point of the craft for the best satellite reception and maximum separation from other electronic parts in the craft to improve reliability and precise landings.
- SkyDroid APP – Video feed, Height, Distance, parameters, Map, calibration, and parameters
EX-1 6S Propulsion System
- High capacity 6S LiPo Battery
- 40A Electronic Speed Controllers ‘ESC’
- 420KV high thrust motors
- 13” High quality carbon fibre propellers
Advanced Flight Modes
- ALT/Hold mode
- POS/Hold mode
- Loiter Mode
- Follow me mode
- Return to Land mode
- Boat landing mode
- GPS Waypoint mission planning
- GPS positions saved
Multiple Safety Features
- APP display and voice.Visual and voice messages are broadcast to keep the pilot informed about all aspects of the flight. The system will warn you by voice and display that the battery is low, geofence is breached or when Magnetic interference is detected
- Self-protect Low Battery– The bait release is automatically deployed on Low battery
- Self-protect Loss of signal – The bait release is automatically deployed on Loss of signal
- Loss of Signal – Return to Land ‘RTL’ function is activated for loss of signal
- Low Battery – Return to Land ‘RTL’ function is activated on low battery
- Voltage Monitoring feature – The battery voltage is displayed on the App for easy battery level checking. In addition, the craft will not arm\start motors if it detects the battery is not at a safe level for flight.
- Anti-pendulum feature (POS.HOLD) mode has a more controlled de-acceleration to assist in limiting the degree to which a pendulum motion can occur with the bait. This allows for shorter leaders to be used with safety.
- RTL speed– Return to Land ‘RTL’ speed has been increased to get the drone off the water as soon as possible
- Landing detect– The new landing detect feature will shut motors off as soon as the drone detects a landing during auto land from RTL.
- Distance and Altitude Geofence –The parameters are set at factory to 500 metres and a height of 120metres to stay within CASA regulations. (Adjustable for advanced users) RTL can be set for Alt and Distance breach if required via the APP.
Check it out now at Ultimate drone Fishing – www.ultimatedronefishing.com