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A Few Beginners Questions

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Discussion' started by GavinMerwin, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. GavinMerwin

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    Hey everyone. I just purchased a DJI Phantom from a friend who was wanting to upgrade and I've got most of the basics down but I need some help. My Phantom has a beholder gimble that holds my GoPro Hero3+ Silver and I have a Kumba Cam Advanced FPV system. I have a few basic questions and then some more complicated (at least to me) questions.

    1. What is the maximum (SAFE) flying altitude? If you go out of range vertically will the GPS system bring the drone back down and land using GPS mode like it would if you were horizontally to far out of range?

    2. I'm wanting to increase flight time. Help? I have been researching using two batteries instead of one and using Phantom 2 propellers. Do these extend flight time? Are there other ways to increase my flight time? http://www.helipal.com/external-battery-mount-for-dji-phantom.html This was one way I found for two batteries?

    3. My FPV system gets fuzzy around .3 miles away if theres any metal or anything around. Is it possible to change frequencies to improve this or am I just limited?

    You can obviously tell I'm just starting out and I don't understand the battery calculations or how the frequencies work. I would LOVE some help to get my system as efficient as possible.


    Thank you so much!
    Gavin
     
  2. The Editor

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    Hi Gavin,

    Welcome to the forum......

    OK taking your questions in order:

    1. Ideally you want to try and stay under 400ft (122m) altitude. Believe me when you start out and fly up that high your Phantom gets very small, very quickly and at 400ft is really just a tiny dot up there. In daylight you will not be able to see the orientation lights at that height anyway so best to stay way below that ceiling until you are very comfortable with control. You can set a height (and distance) limit in the Phantom software for peace of mind and as you progress you can increase these limits to suit yourself. Once you hit any of these pre-determined limits the Phantom will still be fully controllable it just wont go any further or higher than the limit you have set. effectively it looks like it has hit an invisible barrier and wont go any further but you can still bring it back to you. If you were to go out of transmitter range (either height or distance) and you were flying in GPS mode the return to home function would kick in and bring the Phantom back to you and land it automatically from where it took off.

    2. The Holy Grail of flying is trying to increase flight time - Basically though, you do not get something for nothing so although you might think that two batteries will give you double the flight time, they never will since the added weight will lower the flying time from what you would expect. Also, two or larger batteries can alter flying characteristics and make the Phantom fly like a pig. There are many aftermarket add ons and different props and batteries out there all promising 28 hours flight time and no loss of performance etc etc.... At the end of the day you cannot beat the laws of physics. when you start out though 15 mins of flying on one battery is a loooong time especially when you are concentrating hard :D

    3. Absolutely the two best things you can do to improve your FPV range (leaving aside the fact that 5.8ghz is an awful frequency but most people are stuck with it) is to upgrade your transmitting and receiving antennas as well as swap to a diversity receiver system - Although I think the Kumba Cam is diversity anyway. If you try an antenna like this http://www.circular-wireless.com/en/products-page/helical-modo-axial/heliaxial58/ as one of your two antennas you will run out of range on your Phantom control transmitter before your FPV signal even begins to break up !!!

    Hope that helps
     
    Royr1957 likes this.
  3. GavinMerwin

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    Thanks for the response! It helped a lot. I guess my return question the your answer to question 1 would be I don't need to see the drone with my naked eye when using the FPV system right? So I can technically take it up higher. I took it up today whenever I couldn't see it but whenever my FPV got shaky I brought her back down.

    For number 2, does this mean no one can confirm any of these products actually extend time? I guess I'm thinking every minute counts and if using Phantom 2 propellers helps a little I'm down to buy them. What do people use to increase flight time? Does the two battery increase time or does the weight cause more of an issue? Are there any other ideas I haven't come across. I'm getting about 5 minutes a flight right now and its just not long enough to go very far.

    3. The website was in another language but I can translate I suppose. For my system there is one antenna on the phantom and two on the monitor - would I just replace the one on the phantom or one on the monitor or am I going to have to upgrade all three? I'm not sure how far I can even go range wise with the Phantom because my FPV always goes out too soon.

    Thanks!
     
  4. CJS

    CJS

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    With my phantom 1 I got about 12 minutes out of the box but since then I've added a gimbal and a gopro. Upgraded my props from the 8" plastic to 9" CF and 2500 mah batteries now I get about 8 mins. Of flight time. I figure the more powerful battery and larger CF props gained about 2 minutes of flight time compared OEM props and battery.
     
  5. CityZen

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    The issue with most external batteries is that they decrease the craft's flight efficiency (by getting in the way of the props' air stream). People seem to have better results with larger internal batteries. There are various ways to go about this:
    1) Altering the battery door for batteries that can stick out more
    2) Changing out the body panel that holds the battery door and making other interior alterations to hold a battery larger in all dimensions
    3) Swapping the guts to a Phantom 2 body, which immediately allows using the larger Phantom 2 batteries.
    4) Swapping the guts to other body kits designed to hold Phantom parts.
     
  6. OI Photography

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    ...or larger regular 3S Lipo's as well, such as the 5200mAh from Multistar.

    Even using larger-than-stock batts in the 2700-2800mAh range can help improve flight times a good bit, especially when paired with the P2 stock props.
     
  7. syotr

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    Maddog or Dinogy 2800 Mah batteries and P2 props will get a few more minutes flight time with no modifications to the Phantom. You can also change the warning and landing voltages in the NAZA Assistant software. Check your voltage when you land and if it is above 11.1v after resting, then you can drop the settings a few tenths and get more flight time without hurting the battery.
     
  8. Phantom12014

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    I been trying a bunch of different ways to get more time. What works for me on my phantom 1. First i took my gimbal off just used standard go pro holder that was huge weight reduction, I do use a dual battery shop around I hot mine on ebay it keeps battery close to shell .which I use 2 maddog 2700. And for the most important part, get the E300 tuned propulsion kit comes with 9in props more efficient motors, With thwm mounted on motor mount extentions helps keep air flow more efficient with dual batteries, not to mention it's way more stable in high winds. I also use a basic fatshark teleporter fpv kit. So with all that said I'm at a average flight time of 13min
     
  9. lake_flyer

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    Bare in mind though, if you're looking at flying at very high altitudes (which is possible, theoretically the max height is the max range of the transmitter, straight over your head), you always have to come down again and you have to deduct the time to descent from your flying time. Taking it down from 500 meters already takes a long time with 8" props and more than twice as long with stock 9" P2 props. You can't descent (you can but you won't, because of VRS, believe me) faster than 2m/s.

    I, for that reason, chose to stick with the 8" props on my FC40 (which has the same basics as the P1 except for the 5.8GHz Rx). Gives me a lot more control when hurling down from great height when I hear my Lipo alarm. Since my other quad, a P2, has a much longer flight time it doesn't matter that much (I don't take that one that high) and I keep using the stock 9". But with 8" it flies better. (with some vertical gain modification).

    The latest 9" props seem to give more thrust and lift, however, DJI still advises (and even limits the P2) not to descent any faster than 2m/s. Getting down from 500 meter will take 250-300 seconds with 9" props. With 8" you can take it down with 4m/s or even faster and still keep it fully under control. For distance, the 9" are great, for height not, IMHO. The 2 minutes you gain in flight time don't weigh up to the slow descent times.

    Flying that high is not allowed although it is tempting, I admit, and with FPV and IOSD, you just can keep ascending until you run out of range, which could be very well over 1000 meters high. However, as soon as I hear (private)air traffic in the area I take it down to <100m immediately (from any height). With the Phantom 2 (stock 9") and it's limitation of 2m/s, it takes far too long to change altitude and is therefor not safe.....again, IMHO.
     
    Steven2610 likes this.
  10. PhantomFanatic

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    Why do you feel that 5.8Ghz is a terrible frequency? A lot of P2 FPV use 5.8Ghz. I feel that 2.4Ghz is worse that 5.8Ghz as it is more in use for SO many things. But, with spread spectrum technology, I feel it cancels out a lot of interference problems.
     
  11. Scottintexas

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    Slightly off topic but... In the US, according to FAA regulation 91.119, private aircraft are restricted to altitudes ABOVE 1000' (305m) over a city, town or settlement. In "other than congested areas" the planes may fly at or above 500' (152m), except over open water or "sparsely populated areas." In those cases private aircraft may be flying NOE (nap of the Earth). It is rare except for a crazy few pilots harboring a death wish.

    The point is, as long as you keep your altitude below 500' you should be fine. Just make sure you are not in a specified airspace where the rules change.
     
  12. matt10

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    Hi Guys

    My name is Matt and i am really new to the phantoms.

    I've recently purchased the Phantom 1 and am having a few problems. I have done the NAZA software and calibration as instructed and followed all steps. When i power up the Phantom the lights blink as they should, to show warming up, then the LED starts blinking yellow continuously, in 1 second intervals in between. (not rapid yellow blinking as i have read in previous cases).

    Ive done some reading and it says its trying to find signal? But Ive left it on for over 5 minutes and it still just carries on flashing yellow, with 1 second intervals.?

    My second question is my mate helped me to wire a tarot gimbal onto my Phantom, unfortunately the terminals on the circuit board of the gimbal were to close together and it shorted the gimbal out when connecting to the main power supply of the Phantom. I'm in the fort lauderdale/Miami area, are there any good places you could recommend to take the gimbal in and maybe get a repair done? and maybe help me with starting up my Phantom and wiring up the Gimbal?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated as am itching to get her flying.

    Many thanx guys!
     
  13. syotr

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    Slow blinking yellow indicates that you are in ATTI mode. Flip your s1 (right hand switch) to the top position if you want to use GPS mode.
    You have probably fried the board in the gimbal. Contact the dealer you bought it from and purchase a replacement board. It should be easy to swap out.
     
  14. matt10

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    When in ATTI mode it blinks yellow rapidly, and when put into GPS mode it blinks yellow slowly and continuosly. Will contact the Gimbal dealer, thanx for the response.
     
  15. IflyinWY

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    Hello and Welcome to the forum GavinMerwin,

    I didn't see where you told us where you are. Sounds like folks assume you are in the US so you're hearing about our rules.
    I also don't see any information on your elevation. Most people on the planet live within 1,000 feet of sea level.
    I try not to assume too much.

    Item 1.
    If you want to fly high and descend rapidly, don't do it vertically. Keep moving in any direction to avoid your prop wash and you can come down almost as fast as a rock. I would ease into that one.

    Item 2.
    I like the MultiStar 4000 battery and 9450 props.

    Item 3.
    Good antennas. I think The Editor suggested a good one.

    Good luck, have fun :!: :D
     
  16. JKDSensei

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    Gavin,
    What FPV are you using? 1600ft sounds pretty good but if you have a circular polarized antenna that could and should double.
     
  17. Eric flat

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    Going up to two metres tomorrow. No crashes as yet
     
  18. JKDSensei

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    Don't forget to post a video of the flight. Should be awesome at that altitude :)
     
    Eric flat likes this.
  19. gianni_BT

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    Hi IflyinWY,

    I saw this post right now and I have a question.
    What modifications have you done to your P1 to fit the Multistar 4000mah battery?
    At the moment I use the BlackMagic3000mah and the only mod I made is to make 2 small holes side the stock battery cover, in order to have the balance connector outside to connect to the buzzer low voltage alarm and the power cable outside together with the Phantom power cable, in order to connect the power externally. In this way I can fit the battery with connectors on the front(I do not need to use the "connector first" technique).
    I wonder about the 112mm lenght of the Multistar, against the 102mm of the stock battery and the BlackMagic: I am not sure to be able to close the Phantom stock cover