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Baltimore Area P3/P4 Pilots - Phantom Squadron Run

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by Dirty Bird, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Dirty Bird

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    Sorry for duplicating this post but I know many only read specific boards:

    I am wondering if any P3/P4 pilots in the Baltimore area would be interested in meeting up for a coordinated Litchi flight? You would need a P3 (any model) or P4, a good battery, & the Litchi app. You could probably do this with a P2 as well as long as you have a good battery. The planned mission is to load all participants with the same Litchi flight then all the birds would fly the mission in unison within 5-10 seconds of each other. Altitudes & launch points would be slightly staggered to avoid conflict. There would also be a few seconds between each aircraft engaging to space the birds out. This should provide for some incredible footage as more birds join the chain.

    The planned flight is similar to the flight below. Launch from Port Covington, around Fort McHenry, up the harbor past Fell's Point & Harbor East, into the Inner Harbor, over Federal Hill, then a dramatic follow-the-leader circling of the Ritz-Carlton tower before passing Domino Sugars factor, McHenry Row, before returning to Port Covington. The vast majority of the mission is over water & never exceeds 400'. Still tweaking things but right now the mission is roughly 39,000' & runs 19 minutes @ 30 mph (hence the need for a reliable battery). My P3 Standard makes it back with ~ 22%.

    Some craft will be set to track POIs while others will just face the next waypoint so there will be some great footage of other Phantoms in flight along the mission, particularly as they spiral around the Ritz.

    If you don't want to fly the mission we could still use a few spotters at strategic locations like Harbor East, HarborPlace, Federal Hill, & near the Ritz. A video cam & tripod would be a great asset for spotters to catch foortage of the Phantoms passing by. If you might be interested in participating let me know.

    Baltimore P3/P4 Squadron Run -

     
    AngryBird and dirkclod like this.
  2. Slick Wilderness

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    I am close to Bmore and would be interested in trying this. My battery may not be up for it though and I've never run such a long mission. Still more in the testing phases of Litchi missions. (Love a challenge though!) Could you export the mission so that I could preview it?
     
  3. Dirty Bird

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    Thanks for your interest. I'll post the mission export when I get home this evening. Which Phantom do you have?

     
  4. Slick Wilderness

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    P3S
     
  5. Dirty Bird

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    I've been doing my preliminary tests with one of my P3 Standards. That is a great bird for Litchi missions because it gets ~2 minutes extra flight time over a P3 Pro/Advanced due to its reduced weight. The current mission plan is attached. It is a CSV so you can load it into Litchi Mission Planner. I am still tweaking on the mission so it isn't a final version.

    Harbor Follow - Shortened.csv

    This version has all the POI twists & turns for some great views of the skyline as seen in the video earlier in this thread. For the joint mission I'd like to get a bird or two back in the pack flying with their perspective locked to the next waypoint to capture shots of the Phantoms out in front of them. The ones with POI lock will subsequently catch shots of the ones behind them as they rotate.

    For the actual flight I will duplicate the mission of however many are participating. Modifying the launch point slightly to line up with the parking lot lines for spacing with altitudes +10-20' for each subsequent aircraft. This is the vertical (z-axis) separation between aircraft should they wind up in the same x-y point.

    Since the mission runs @ 30 mph that's ~44 fps so I am anticipating launch timing 3-5 seconds between Phantoms. This provides 132-220' horizontal separation between Phantoms.

    The Ritz circling begins high & descends as it goes around the building. This further aids in maintaining separation between Phantoms during the mission.

    I plan on stationing one of my Phantoms high above the Ritz, initially on the SW corner looking out into the harbor to catch the birds entering the harbor, then orbiting to the SE corner to catch then passing Harbor Place, traversing Federal Hill, & ultimately circling the Ritz. This should be a really cool shot if we could get 6-8 participants. :cool:

    All video will be pooled & shared among participating pilots.

     
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  6. jcoop

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    That is a really cool idea!! Sadly, I don't live anywhere near there, otherwise I'd be all in


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  7. Dirty Bird

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    I had a chance to run a test flight of the mission I posted earlier. There were 9 mph winds directly out of the west so all the way from Fort McHenry to Harbor Place was directly into the wind. Mission completed & the P3S "Miss Ruby" made it back with 26% battery remaining! ;)
     
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  8. Dirty Bird

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    A cool tip for P3 Standard & Litchi users - If you set the video to 1080x60 fps the Standard records the 60 fps framerate just fine.
     
  9. Slick Wilderness

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    This is awesome! Thank you. I'll take a look at the flight plan tonight. Good to hear that mission completed with about 25% battery left. I'm curious about RC connection since I've heard that POI loses gimbal control if aircraft connection is lost. Is this a problem?

    When are you looking to get this done? Must admit that I'm an amateur at this point but am extremely interested in giving this a try with a seasoned flyer.
     
  10. Slick Wilderness

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    I've recently had an issue with "wavy" video from shutter speed(?) while running Litchi. Have you experienced this and is there a way to solve it?

    I've also noticed that if I set 1080p 60fps in Litchi and then run DJI Go it will stay at that setting...just an FYI for someone who might prefer DJI Go but still want the extra fps.
     
  11. Dirty Bird

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    Sounds like jello. Sometimes I get it if I'm pulling a hard climb or turn, especially if it's windy. If the quad gets leaning badly the dampers are to the limit & vibrations reach the camera.

     
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  12. Slick Wilderness

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    It was moderately windy but I was on a leisurely flyby focused on fixed POI slightly below horizon. I guess I'll test more to see if it turns into a constant issue and if it's directly related to Litchi or simply the flying conditions.
     
  13. Dirty Bird

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    I'd love to get 4-8 pilots onboard for this, plus a couple of spotters down around the harbor. Obviously weather-dependent.

    you won't have gimbal control once beyond RC range. I have experimented with setting the gimbal angle on the first couple of waypoints then leaving it but it seems unreliable. I set it to -15 for one flight & it wound up more like -45. Safest bet is to leave it disabled & set it manually before launch. You can tweak it before you go out of RC range.

     
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  14. Dirty Bird

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    Here is the video from yesterday's test flight (no sound). Still tweaking things.

     
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  15. Hickeroar

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    While I'm not in the area and I won't be able to take part, I would think you'd benefit from trimming the flight-plan a bit and making it ~15 minutes instead of 19. Those extra 4 minutes could be a deal breaker for a lot of people, or could be a complete deal breaker if the event day happens to be unusually breezy.

    Even though I have some brand new batteries I could use, I still personally wouldn't send my drone out on a mission that long and out of range of an emergency battery RTH. If someone's battery hits a critical point mid-mission and it tries to RTH and doesn't have enough juice, that could end badly.

    EDIT: just saw your latest post and it does look like you shaved a couple minutes off. :)
     
  16. Dirty Bird

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    Latest test run had her back in 15:15 with 26% battery remaining. The Litchi flight time estimate always seems to be on the high side.

     
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  17. Slick Wilderness

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    Good to hear you got her back in a little over 15 minutes. I looked at the mission in FlyLitchi and it said 32 min!

    Have you gotten any other takers on this project? I am still interested but my "jello" is pretty severe at the moment and I'm trying to troubleshoot the problem. In doing some research it doesn't seem to be the normal camera vibration that seems to be the common issue. I'll see if I can upload some video...
     
  18. Dirty Bird

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    Check the mission speed setting in your Mission Planner. Mine is set to 30.0 mph.

    On the jello check your dampers are seated & inspect for tears. Check anti-drops have play. If you installed zip ties through dampers make sure they are loose.

    No firm commitments yet. Thought we had a bolder bunch here...lol.

     
  19. Dirty Bird

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    Ran a few more test flights of the mission (tweaked). Almost set just some minor tweaks needed. Something interesting. Ran one mission in POI mode & another in "Point to Next Waypoint" mode. Timing was virtually identical...<1 second difference in route time regardless of mode. This is of course with the same aircraft but it is pretty amazing to come up within <1 second difference on a 7+ mile route with lots of twists, turns, and numerous changes of altitude. The Ring-Around-the Ritz looks really cool in this latest iteration. Major altitude change from start to finish. Video is uploading to YouTube & won't be available until morning.
     
  20. Pam

    Pam

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    I live in Harford county and work in harbor east (have a window office on a high floor overlooking harbor from exelon bldg, domino, key bridge, under armor, and the south Baltimore lighthouse style tower whatever it's called)

    Too much a newbie with my P4 to participate and don't use Litchi but would help if available. I could learn a bunch I bet!

    Question, do you get any complaints flying downtown? I can't even fly unobtrusively in harford county without somebody trying to tell me that drones are illegal.....