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Make: Volume 44 by Jason Babler

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LITTLE PROPS BUZZ AT DIFFERENT PITCHES, LIFTING DRONES INTO THE CHILLY AIR OVER CÉSAR CHÁVEZ PARK ON A GRAY, BREEZY DAY IN BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA. A dozen pilots prep equipment on the open grassy space that juts into the San Francisco Bay, replacing prop blades or setting up their first-person-video (FPV) rigs.

“Who just turned on?” calls out Elliott Kember, who’s getting video interference. “Someone’s on my channel.”

Nearby, a series of PVC poles wrapped in foam pool noodles demarcate a makeshift racecourse a couple hundred feet in length. There are several hairpin switchbacks, two 90-degree turns, and a low arch, all marked in bright orange so ...

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