Thank you to CRPAA Founding Member and Ambassador David Tolsky for offering his review of these Rugo light mounts by FoxFury. Look for more reviews and articles from David! – Eric Pensenstadler, Founder CRPAA
All photos and text by David Tolsky
For DJI Phantom 4
Part 107 pilots who have received their 107.29 night waivers from the FAA should take great interest in these new Phantom 4 Rugo light mounts. They come in a set of two and of course are only compatible with Fox Fury’s cool Rugo’s, the “Rugged-Go-Anywhere” lights with detachable, swappable charging packs. If you’re not familiar with the Rugos, you should be! Fox Fury has certainly been making the rounds at the major trade shows showing off these portable lights that are perfect for night time work to ID your aircraft against darkness. They have a cool sliding flood and spot feature not found on any other airborne light source to my knowledge. For more background on the Rugos, see my review in RotorDrone magazine here: www.aerialdomain.com and click Published Articles. They are discussed in detail in a cover story about night time light sources.
The Rugos are equipped with GoPro style connection pins, so in the past you might have had to rig self adhesive GoPro mounts to your aircraft just to fly them. Not anymore! These new mounts are built to latch on to the Phantom landing gear in three directions, assuring that they cannot be jarred loose or react to any type of vibration while in flight.
The Phantom 4 mounts are designed to seat the Rugos vertically at each side of the camera as opposed to horizontally. You are then able to click the Rugos tilting up or down and feel/hear the units click into position. You will have to remove the GoPro mounts from both the top and bottom of the Rugos because you will have to insert the included thumbscrews in the exposed holes. These thumbscrews will attach the light to the mount. Attach the Rugos to the mount before you attach the mount to the aircraft.
If you’re familiar with the Rugos then you know that you can vary the intensity of the light output by clicking the yellow button until you are happy with the choice. You’ll have to turn them on before you take off.
It took me a little bit of playing around to figure out a good, fast way of installing the Rugo mounts but I did come up with a system that works well. When you look at the mounts you will notice that the attachments are upper and lower clamps that face in opposite directions. Start from the top of the mount but the bottom of the Phantom’s landing gear. Press the upper clamp to the landing leg. Understand that even though the mount’s frame is rigid plastic it can still be bent, just enough to attach the lower clamp to the same leg. Now repeat those steps for the other side of the gimbal. Now you can slide the mount up and repeat the same steps for the lower clamps. Slide just enough for the middle (3rd) clamp to have room to attach to the horizontal bar of Phantom’s landing gear.
The Rugo Mounts for Phantom 4 drones sell as a set for only $19.99. If you don’t own the Rugo lights yet, check out the Fox Fury website at www.foxfury.com as they offer the lights with the mounts in a bundle package.
What I like: The mounts are as rugged and sturdy as the light units themselves! Once they’re clamped on, they’re not going anywhere. The price, very affordable at only $19.99 a pair.
What I’d like to see in the next version: A quick-release mechanism for attaching the Rugos to the mounts. If there’s only one thing that needs improvement it’s the fact that once the Rugos are mounted to the P4 (Pro) it will no longer fit in your hard case if your case has specific cutouts for your drone. You’re going to need to remove the thumbscrews to remove the Rugos if you want to transport your Phantom in its case.
David Tolsky is a CRPAA Founding Member and Ambassador. He is a member of ICG Local 600 as a camera operator and a regular writer for camera and drone magazines.