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Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwater

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by cubdriver, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. cubdriver

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    I'm posting this because this flyaway seemed a little different than all the ones I have seen/read about in the last 24 hours. I'm hoping you more experienced folks can help shed light on the error of my ways, or avoiding the situation in the future as I will be getting back on the horse soon enough.

    So, to start, I have had a Phantom 1 for over a year. Never in hundreds of flights had anything like a flyaway.

    I live in a 300 acre private lake community, and had been asked to shoot some footage of the regattas we have nearly every weekend. I shot it first with the Phantom 1, but without a gimbal - and sailing is a lot more fun in the wind - and the poor battery life, I looked to a Phantom 2 - not the vision as I still wanted to use a GoPro for the best picture quality.

    The first flight last Thursday with the P2 was great. It really is a huge stability improvement over the P1, and I like the centered throttle, etc. No problems at all.

    Of course, I calibrated the compass, and I always wait until I get all green lights before take off (learned this the hard way with the P1, don't need to learn again).

    I was on my second battery in the P2, flying over one of the markers waiting for the boats to round it. Operating from a pontoon boat (I have done this many times), the quad was about 50' away from me hovering as I played with the camera angle via gopro wifi. This P2 has (or I should say "had") the interference board installed. I put down the ipad which had lost wifi connectivity anyway and watched the P2 for another minute or two waiting for the boats to arrive and then it took off like a bat out of hell towards the dam. It would say it was about 40' in the air. I tried all the controls and switches and got nothing, then when it was rapidly going out of sight almost to the dam I shut off the controller hoping for the "return to home" mode to save the day. Instead, as soon as I did the P2 dropped like a rock into the lake and sank. Almost like it had been shot out of the air (and there was some joking about that). Of course, it went into the deepest part of the lake (around 80'). Some scuba folks were on the boat and suggested a salvage mission, but in the murky depths of this freshwater lake, due to silt, etc, you would be lucky to find it.

    Other environmental factors: none really. no high tension wires nearby, no radio towers or cell towers nearby. I have flown the P1 in the same place many times.

    So, I want to learn from my mistakes. The P2 is a really simple platform and suits my needs nicely. I'm ready to buy another if I can be somehow assured this won't happen again.

    Any thoughts appreciated!

    sj
     
  2. IrishSights

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    It was the GoPro wifi interfering with the phantom control signal. It is in some manual or other...never have GoPro wifi on when flying...big no no. Sorry for your loss.

    Sent from Samsung S4 via Tapatalk
     
  3. MattBW

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    Ive only used gopro wifi once and the quad decided to fly into my house despite good GPS lock and compass calibration. I won't use the wifi again after that experience. :( Lessson learnt the hard way, I was lucky I guess all I got was a bent gimbal.
     
  4. Damon

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    Wi-Fi should be "off" on the GoPro. It causes interference with the communications of Radio Controller to the Phantom. This has been mentioned in numerous threads.

    Sorry for your loss.
     
  5. OI Photography

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    +1 This sounds like a textbook case of the gopro wifi obliterating your control signal (I've had it happen too). Keep that off and you should be fine.

    Any time you're flying over water like that I'd strongly recommend using one of these just in case your next one goes for a dive: http://www.getterback.com/
     
  6. cubdriver

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    Ok, I thought that might be the case, however, I have seen numerous videos regarding flyaway of folks that use the gopro wifi on the P2 all the time without a problem. (I watched these after the fact of course). What is the purpose of the interference board if not for wifi?

    So I understand that wifi interference could have caused the flyaway, but why did it not initiate return to home when it lost the controller? That is the part of this deal that seems different than many of the others to me.

    Thanks for your comments!

    sj
     
  7. cubdriver

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    P.S. I already ordered a couple of those getterbacks.... a day late I realize... :)
     
  8. IrishSights

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    The board is supposed to reduce interference on the video signal I believe

    Sent from Samsung S4 via Tapatalk
     
  9. Damon

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    Most likely the Phantom believed the interference from GoPro Wi-Fi was legitimate command from radio controller. When controller turned off it still sees that interference as being connected to controller and no go home is initiated.

    My understanding of the interference board is for clear video signal back to FPV monitor. But as I'm new I could be wrong.
     
  10. cubdriver

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    That makes sense. Basically, I'm an idiot, however, I am a smarter (albeit somewhat poorer) idiot!

    Thanks folks. Heading back to by phantom 2 number 2....

    sj
     
  11. pilsburypie

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    Oh man! Sorry to hear about the loss - hopefully my Phantom arrives tomorrow. Fingers crossed I have no issues.

    On the subject of Getterbacks (not wanting to hi-jack the thread), What is the point? After the naked gopro and phantom have taken a dip, is there any point in retrieving? Won't the water have done the damage?
     
  12. cubdriver

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    It will do some damage, but there are many accounts of getting things dried out - usually not a gopro, but the rest of it - at least in freshwater. I would just have been happy to have the camera chip as a souvenir...

    sj
     
  13. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    It sounds like your P2 was set to auto-land instead of RTH.

    Some important things to note:
    • The anti-interference board has nothing to do with wireless signals.
    • Using the GoPro Wifi is like a trying to tell someone something important when they are 100ft but they have headphones on -- the headphones being your GoPro's Wifi.
    • The lake itself, depending on conditions, e.g. glassy or choppy will have an impact on your RC effective range.
    • If you took off from a boat, you could risk the IMU initialization going wonky. This happens when the P2 is not stable for the first 15-30 seconds.
    • Compass calibration should not be done on a boat or on the shoreline. It should be in a field away from machines, metal and anything metallic (e.g. some sands).
     
  14. q8f1

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    "Some important things to note:

    The anti-interference board has nothing to do with wireless signals.
    Using the GoPro Wifi is like a trying to tell someone something important when they are 100ft but they have headphones on -- the headphones being your GoPro's Wifi.
    The lake itself, depending on conditions, e.g. glassy or choppy will have an impact on your RC effective range.
    If you took off from a boat, you could risk the IMU initialization going wonky. This happens when the P2 is not stable for the first 15-30 seconds.
    Compass calibration should not be done on a boat or on the shoreline. It should be in a field away from machines, metal and anything metallic (e.g. some sands). "

    Thx, great info, learning all the time.
     
  15. cubdriver

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    Calibration was done on the ground, not on the boat. I would "hope" the IMU would flash yellow if it was not stabilized. This is from a boat sitting still, some aluminum around, but very little metal.

    I would think the lake would extend the range rather than shorten it, something I will further research. It certainly does that with wifi signals, which is the same freq (as I now know :oops: )

    Thanks again, everybody. I ordered up another P2 zenmuse last night and chalked the last one up to "training expense"... :roll:

    sj
     
  16. Buk

    Buk

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    Ian,
    I'm usually holding it 3-4 feet above the ground when performing compass calibration. Would sand still be a factor?
     
  17. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    The risk with boats, sand and metal is when there is not enough for the Naza to know something is wrong but there is enough be an issue.

    On a boat especially with metal around, you need to get the Phantom away from the metal and reasonably stabilized for the first 20 seconds or so. I don't know the exact amount of time.

    As for the sand, it all depends on the metal content. You can download a compass app for your phone to help detect localized magnetic fields.

    Many times you can get away without these steps but it only takes the one time.
     
  18. evonbart2

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    I am with the majority. Never use gopro wifi with a flying P2. I was on a pier off the Atlantic ocean and thank my lucky stars my P2 decided to kick into go home mode and just land where it started. However people walking about had no idea I wasn't in complete control. This was a brand new P2 and now I know much better how to handle some of these mishaps. GoPro wifi will cause your P2 to act erratically that's 100% from first hand experience, plus lots of other sources.

    BTW, That P2 I mentioned on the pier is now sitting at the bottom of a murky lagoon sleeping with the fishes. Unrelated incident and not a wifi problem, but I took a few weeks before I decided to lay out the $$$ for a full P2 / GP hero 3+ and all the FPV kit to go with it. A good $1500 for each rig, so I feel your pain about not wanting to go through that all again.

    I will say, the P2 has a reliable strong connection always to its RC and all my flights... 300+ and counting THAT was the only time I saw any of the 4 Phantoms I have owned (Still have 2) completely lose RC connection.

    GoPro wifi = ALWAYS OFF when flying.
    Land, turn OFF P2, turn on GP wifi to adjust camera... turn OFF GP wifi and proceed with flying your Phantom.

    GoPro would be smart to change their comm to the Gopro using BlueTooth. Considering how many of their cams are going onto UAVs they would be smart to make a version that works with BT so we can bring it close...make changes while it hovers, then off again. Having to land each time you want to mod the config on your cam is a waste of battery and time.

    Keep us posted on how you get back into the race with a fresh P2.
     
  19. cubdriver

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    Epilogue: Amazing Neighbors

    So I just have to tell you guys this. I mentioned in my first post that they had asked me to video the regatta here at the lake. They really loved the results of the first time I did it with the P1 and NO gimbal (Hero 2).

    So this afternoon, one of my neighbors on the lake with the sailing club sent me an email and asked me if I would be home at 4pm, they had something they wanted to show me. Well, a couple guys showed up with $700 to defray the cost of the new P2 and get me back in the air (I had already ordered one). I made some jokes about indentured servitude, etc, but it was a really nice gesture. Frankly I hope these guys learn to fly it too - although they specifically said there are no strings attached - I had offered "before" the great crash of July 20.

    Anyway, so NOW I am thinking, well what kind of POV / FPV should I put on this thing?

    Ideas?

    Thanks!

    sj
     
  20. cubdriver

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    Re: Brand New Phantom 2 with Zenmuse Flyaway now 80' underwa

    P.S. I have read a lot of great reviews of Kumbacam....