Len, pay no attention to Mitch - he's an asshole. (By the way, I'm in San Diego and I've seen you at SDFM meetings.)
Mitch, would it be rude of me to say you're an asshole? Eh, fuck it, I don't care. You're an asshole. (Try encouraging people rather than slamming them in a weak attempt to build yourself up.)
I have an Autel, and on my first flight I couldn't get the compass to calibrate. I thought "screw it" and launched anyway. It didn't get far without crashing. Thankfully it wasn't bad, just a scratched up propellor hub. I pretty quickly figured out what happened - I was standing on a concrete pad when I tried to calibrate it, and I think there was rebar in the concrete which interfered with the compass. I moved onto the dirt and calibrated with no problem. Perfect first-and-a-half flight. (The first one that crashed doesn't count!)
Be sure to strap it down with ratchet straps so it doesn't go flying off if the cups release their grip. The straps are cheap, don't take up much room, and are good insurance. (For safety reasons too.)
There are some insanely-bright "COB" LED components on the market (no idea about CRI), so the cost of lights like these may come down. And if these LEDs can achieve a reasonable CRI, someone with a little basic electronics knowledge (like me, and I ain't no genius) could build their own.
There are a few things about this that would keep me from using these specific kinds of carts:
- They don't fold.*
- The metal edges can be sharp.
- The screws can start to come loose over time.
- The metal is thin and can get bent pretty easily.
- Risk of conducting electricity if you're not careful.
I haven't bitten the bullet to buy a folding Backstage cart yet, but someday. My current alternative is a heavy plastic - PVC maybe - cart. *It doesn't fold of course, but it's a hardship I'll have to deal with. Rubbermaid makes carts like what I use, but that brand is super expensive. There are much cheaper brands, not much more than the metal cart mentioned in the article. The nice things about plastic carts:
- No rust, other than maybe the casters.
- No sharp edges.
- Very impact resistant.
- Few if any screws to come loose, and any that are screwed into the plastic are likely to remain.
- Won't conduct electricity.
- It's easy to drill, cut, file, sand or otherwise make alterations to the cart to fit your needs. Screw in brackets, bolt on power strips, you name it.
And of course the Rock-n-Roller style folding metal carts are good for getting things from Point A to Point B. You can even buy shelves for them to make them poor-man's Backstage carts, but I think it would be better to just go with the advice Benjamin Braddock received in "The Graduate." One word: plastics.