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  1. Squeamish

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    After the kids went to bed last night I finally had some free time to play with the P4 I've had since release day. Got my Beta copy of Litchi all set up and a few test journeys plotted in.

    First was a waypoint orbit to a building down the highway about half a mile. Orbited at 130 feet, shot some video, and flew home. Everything went great, I didn't even really bother orienting the antennas and still never went below about 50% on the signal.

    Second was a lap around my subdivision with a few sweeps at the corners. I started to lose signal when it was in the far corner from me, but I wasn't too worried since I was flying lower (80 feet) and there are a row of two-story townhouses blocking line-of-sight. Signal dropped. Still not worried, the whole flightplan was maybe five minutes long, and I was more than halfway done, so I should hear it coming in no more than a minute or so.

    When that doesn't happen after about four or five minutes I start to wonder if somehow the failsafe wasn't working and it decided to either hover or land if it lost signal. I head over on foot to look for it near where I last saw it on the map, but it's nowhere to be found. If it tried to land it would have possible been in somebody's yard or a tree, and it's after midnight at this point so I don't want to get shot creeping around somebody's yard so I decide to call it a night and look in the morning. On the way home I realize that even if it hung in a tree or landed somewhere out of sight, I still should have been able to get a signal on the remote (It had plenty of battery when it left and had only flown for maybe 3.5 minutes). The fact that I wasn't able to reconnect seems...not good.

    Woke up this morning and headed over there again to see what I can find. Sure enough, first driveway past where I saw it on the map...

    Well lookie there: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    You may have to blow that up to full-size to tell but on the left edge of the driveway is my P4 (upside down) and in the bottom-right corner are the pieces of my battery. The white pieces between them are just random trash, not anything related to my drone.

    Battery closeup: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    The bird closeup: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    Back in my car right-side up: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    What used to be a set of props: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    The only visible damage other than a little scuff: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    Motors all turn fine and new props will lock in place (even on the broken mount) but those things spin so fast I don't want to run it with that chunk missing.

    Bad news not evident from the photos: Gimbal is trashed. When I turn it on the gimbal goes to one side and I get "Gimbal motor overload" error. Camera still works, though.

    Guess I have an appointment with DJI repair in my future, would appreciate any tips or recommendations on that.

    My questions:

    1. Why did I crash? I was flying at 70-something feet, the trees there are maybe 50' tops. The video doesn't show anything, it was too dark to see if any branches were close and it just all of a sudden ends while the drone is in the air. If I had hit a tree wouldn't there have been a few seconds of tumbling/falling?

    2. How the hell did that battery get so far away? I bet it was 20 feet from the drone, and all of the pieces were together (although I did move them a little closer together for the closeup photo). That seems like the battery ejected mid-air rather than on the ground. An impact hard enough to throw the battery that far would have done more damage to the drone than what it was.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Air Ontario

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    Any way you can post flight logs so we could get some clues?

    Obviously with the two separate locations either the battery inflight ejected or more likely it hit something inflight at speed and battery went one way and drone another.

    Is there a wide tree there with multiple branches that could cause a collision and then a separation of the parts as they fell?
     
  3. sar104

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    Can we see the video?
     
  4. frands1

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    I know you said you cleared up the trees, but at nighttime the object avoidance sensor don't work. I noticed that the other day. Flight log would show that. Feel free to shae flight log and video so we can help investigate the cause of failure/crash.
    I know battery ejects pretty easy, but after some sort of crash. I doubt it will eject by itself, but hey, it could happen.
    Another important think about the video, if it works as in gopro, in order to save the file, it will cut the last fraction of second, or full second. It happened to me one time I crash my vortex with a fence. It recorded everthing but ince approacjing the fence, it stops. No video of the crash itself.

    Let us know. We are curious now
     
  5. Air Ontario

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    Also real altitude AGL seems to drop as battery heats inside of drone and thus sensors. You may have been at marginal clearance at start and a battery heated drone lost clearance altitude.
     
    NormanNormal likes this.
  6. With The Birds

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    Dont know about the P4 but 20ft error (AC below where it thinks it is) has hapoened to me more than once.
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Ouch!
    1. Go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/ and follow the instructions to upload your flight record.
    Come back and post a link here and the brains trust will be able to have an attempt at an accident investigation with the data.
    2. It's quite common for a battery to be dislodged when the case deforms slightly in a collision.
    If the collision was up high that might help explain the distance.
     
  8. Squeamish

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    I'm going to trim the video and upload it later, but it doesn't show much. You can kind of see some branches down below, but the drone was flying almost dead sideways at the time, with the gimbal down only a few degrees, so there wasn't much visibility in the direction of travel. The fact that it was going sideways seems like it would be hard to impact in a way that would throw the battery, and it would have been pointing the other way.

    I was watching the flight in Litchi, not DJI GO, and it wouldn't allow me to "stop" the mission while it was disconnected so there is no flight log that I can find, although I haven't really dug very deep.

    This is my first DJI, and my experience has been that ejecting the battery has been anything but easy. That's what was so surprising about the distance between them.

    There's nothing nearby that the drone could have "hit" in a way that would blow the battery out (like a pole or tree trunk or anything solid). The only thing it could have run into would have been branches, but if that happened I would have expected it to have recorded at least some of that to be on the video.
     
  9. Air Ontario

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    Did you hook/join up to Healthy Drone website with Litchi app?

    Sorry I have Litchi's beta app and am testing it and mine auto loads to Healthy Drones. I'm not sure how the purchased app works re:HDrones
     
  10. Air Ontario

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    It is possible to not get the battery in and locked I hear.
    Wouldn;t take much impact.

    flight logs would better help us all determine cause.
     
  11. Squeamish

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    I do, but it said "nothing new to upload" when I told it to.

    Also, I gad pretty shaky connectivity leading up to the drop, don't know how much telemetry would have been passed.

    Does the P4 record logs to internal memory that I can access?
     
  12. Justgregg

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    ur lucky u didt crash into somebodys Mercedes.
     
  13. Air Ontario

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    yes but I'm not sure how. They may be for DJI use mainly.
    Meta4, Bud Walker, msinger and a few other members are up on that type stuff. Maybe get in touch with them.
     
  14. Kman

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    Hit a telephone line or power line?
     
  15. Squeamish

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    Looks like it did upload the log to healthydrones.com, I'll see what I can do when I'm on a computer instead of my phone.
     
  16. Squeamish

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    Nope, too high (I could see I was too high, not basing that on the altitude setting/reading)
     
  17. Air Ontario

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    I cant find meta4.

    Ok. good luck
     
  18. Squeamish

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    Maybe, but like I said earlier: My experience with both my batteries has been that they were very snug/difficult to get loose.
     
  19. Air Ontario

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    Likely impact related then. Looking at the props it appears they went sideways into branches but the cement could have done that to although hard to see how as they weren't likely spinning with the battery far away.
     
    Jussaguy likes this.
  20. Fallguy

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    Right above you.
    I'm thinking the tree played "Plinko" with your bird. Your battery was ejected, hit a branch on the way down and went one way , while the phantom went the other way . I'll buy the parts off you if "The Price is Right" . JK
     
    Sim597, Jussaguy and MedinaTaylor like this.