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Accidental S1 Incident

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by grochester, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. grochester

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    Ever accidentally move S1 from GPS to ATTI or worse to MANUAL while flying and not realize it? I've had it happen a couple of times when flying in winter when wearing a heavy coat. The cuff catches on the S1, clicks it to ATTI and you don't notice it, except that your P2V is suddenly doing strange things.

    This can turn very bad, as happened to me the other day. My business does lighting retrofits (conversions from Halide to LED for example). A few nights ago we set up some test lights at the new car lot for a customer which is a new car dealership. I thought it would be good to record the brightness and light distribution for each set of test lights using my P2V as we turned them on individually to observe how well they lit the cars. Just before dark as we prepared the lights and mounted them up the light poles it turned cold and we had a thunderstorm, so I put on a coat. First flight went fine. Sometime early into the second flight things began to fall off the rails. P2V seemed to have a mind of its own. So, it is now semi-out of control above several hundred new cars. Then it decides it wants to land. No chance to check settings and switches and such, just sheer desperation on the sticks to keep it from landing on, or crashing into one or more new cars. After a few minutes of low level struggles (it was flying between rows of cars at one point) I managed to get it up and over a row and do a light crash landing (scratched up a couple of props). I put the P2V back in the box and continued the lighting test without it.

    On the way home I was trying to figure out what went wrong. It was my first time fling in an airport restricted zone, so I thought perhaps that was the problem. BTW, you get new and previously unseen light patterns on the P2Vs LEDs when flying in a restricted zone. And the "You have reached maximum altitude" notification appears on your screen and as I recall it won't go away even as you lower altitude. Anyway, when I checked the P2V next morning the S1 was at Manual. It must have caught the cuff of my coat. Now I know why it is not recommended to fly manual. Especially at night over top of a few million dollars worth of new cars.

    To resolve this problem I have ordered a couple of flip up switch covers, see below.
    [​IMG]
    I don't quite know how I'll affix them to the Tx, but they were only a few dollars so I'll experiment. Hopefully it will eliminate the problem of accidental flipping of the S1 and S2 toggle switches.
     
  2. rrmccabe

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    I was going to do the same but the switches are recessed so far the covers you have wont work in the manner they were designed.

    I was thinking about a short piece of angle next to the switches might help. So far I have not had an issue.
     
  3. ProfessorStein

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    I've never accidently switched a switch in flight... but I'm apparently constantly accidentally switching them pre-flight. I'll sit there scratching my head wondering why I'm not getting green LEDs on the pad for GPS lock before I take off, only to discover S1 isn't in GPS mode. But when flying, I guess my cuffs just don't come anywhere close to the switches.

    Accidentally switching to ATTI wouldn't be a huge deal, and is easily recoverable. And I have full down set to invoke RTH (which is clearly indicated by yellow LEDs so I'd know quickly what was going on if I accidentally switched) rather than manual... so I feel pretty safe... and covers would just get in the way.
     
  4. Happyflyer

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    An interesting idea for checking out the light exchange. Also another reason not to have manual set in your switches unless you are a daytime stunt flyer. Good to read you did not hit a car or two.
     
  5. harbourside

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    grochester, to save messing about with switch covers and the like, why not just set the switch to Atti / RTH and cut out the possibility of ever selecting manual by mistake.
     
  6. grochester

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    Good idea but there are a lot of trees where I fly, and the un-resetable RTH altitude is too low. I also once had an RTH initiate due to low battery (at least that's why I think it tried to fly home) while I was flying below some trees. It shot up like a rocket into the branches. Broke a couple props and came down in deep, soft snow fortunately. So, I'm not a proponent of RTH unless I initiate it. If the switch covers work I won't need to worry about accidental switching at all. Thanks for the thought though.
     
  7. N017RW

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    I've seem similar covers in auto parts stores, if so they're BIG!

    How about relocating them under the handle or similar?
     
  8. ProfessorStein

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    Yep... certainly one circumstance where RTH would not be your friend. :-/

    Two things, though.

    1) you can reset the RTH altitude by resetting your homepoint once you're up. You do have to remember to do it every time you take off, which, admittedly, could be a pain... but it's certainly less of a pain than crashing your Phantom into trees, I would say. (though... wouldn't solve the problem of the RTF altitude being too high, as with your experience, since the min height of RTF is always 60')

    and 2) whether RTH is on S1 or not does not impact whether RTH is automatically activated when the TX loses communication (or low battery). In fact... I don't think there is any way to disable that feature (short of maybe having a really really old version of firmware).

    So the fact that you're "not a proponent of RTH unless I initiate it" seems to point to maybe wanting RTH on S1 (since that would manually initiate RTH, and - arguably - still maintain TX so you have a better chance of regaining control should you need it). With the added bonus of replacing manual flight mode so you don't have to worry about accidentally switching to it.
     
  9. grochester

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    While I guess toggle switches have a certain cool factor to them, it's too bad they don't use a rotary knob instead on the Tx. They would be much less vulnerable to inadvertent position changes. I suppose toggle switches' propensity for unintentional changes are exactly why toggle switch covers are prevalent on race cars and other places where nasty things will happen if the switches are moved accidentally or in error.
     
  10. ProfessorStein

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    It's also much easier to tell, at a glance (or even at a feel), what position a toggle switch is in... which is the main reason they're used over knobs.

    Perhaps a flush-mounted toggle would've been the best compromise. Where it wouldn't be prone to catching on anything, but, yet, easy to determine it's current position and use.
     
  11. rrmccabe

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    I think Rotary would work for me too.

    But clipping about 1/4" off the toggle would help greatly.