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Calibrating on a boat.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Doinkle, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Doinkle

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm going to be on a boat in the Bahamas next week and am bringing my P3p. Most of the time we will be out on open water or on small islands. My question is, is it a bad idea to calibrate on the boat? Would I be wiser to only fly when we get to land so I can calibrate on a non moving surface? I was hoping to do some fly over shots of the boat and get some shots of me and my family doing activities such as paddle boarding and jet skiing in which case I would have to take off on the fly from the boat. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers.
     
  2. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Recommendation is as follows: 1. Search. 2. Don't calibrate on a boat.
     
  3. Signals

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    No calibrating on a boat. Calibrate for a nice open place on the land. Make sure you read the manual because if you are asking this question it leads me to believe you did not. Calibration should not even be done if you have keys in your pocket. If there is metal anywhere near it it will mess it up.
     
  4. SBGfilms

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    Calibrate in a big open field first then just fly straight from the boat.
    I'd also recommend a hand launch and catch from a friend.
     
  5. Doinkle

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    I guess I worded my question wrong. First off, I did read the manual in which it says always calibrate when you are taking off from a new location. However, it also say large metal structures can cause interference with calibration. I guess what I'm trying to ask is do I need to calibrate when taking off from the boat. There will be times when I don't have the option of taking off from land. Also, being that I'm going to be in remote areas, if I have weak gps signal am I better of flying in A mode over risking a mid air loss of signal?
     
  6. N017RW

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    Think about where you calibrate vs. where you fly.
    Many here boast about distance(s) flown. One has to assume that is the distance from their calibration point so aside from known sources of interference the exact location of the cal is not what is important
    So it stands to reason it is best to calibrate on-shore in a clear location then fly from your watercraft. Your calibration will be valid for the area you're at.

    As far as 'remote areas' and GPS signal.. no place is remote hence the term Global-PS.
    Terrestrial objects are the issues... tall buildings, forest canopies, deep canyons or valleys, roofing structures, etc.
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The G in GPS stands for Global.
    You will have a strong GPS signal wherever you are going.
     
  8. Doinkle

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    Very helpful. Thank you. I'm new to this still and am just trying to be cautious because I'm going to be over a large body of water. If anything goes wrong out there it's going to be on me so I'm just trying to avoid any possible technical issues.
     
  9. JB-I

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    Also I would set your RTH to Hover (so it doesn't automatically land in the water. Of course I would take over control before it got to that point and hand catch). You can also reset your home point periodically if your boat is moving so that if something goes wrong the P3P will go to a point closer to you so you can hopefully get to it and hand catch. Just a thought because I haven't tried this yet on my boat!
     
    #9 JB-I, Oct 16, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  10. ody

    ody

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    Doinkle:
    I'm also new to this "sport". Purchased my P3A back in June.
    Spent the whole month of July with it in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
    Averaged a couple flights/day. and 90% of those were over open water, some from boats.
    Tons of video that I just love!

    As others have said, calibrate on a beach somewhere in the area, and the rest should be fine when out on the water. And definitely do the catch and release. Don't try to take-off or land.

    Anyway, my reason for adding to the tread was to suggest you consider a ND filter.
    I was in T&C for the month of July, with no filters.
    Returned for another 2 weeks in Sept with a set of 6 filters. Using mainly the ND32.
    I liked the diff in the video. Of course its all subjective, but as other threads on this forum have suggested, try to get your shutter speed down to around 100 if at all possible.

    Even buying a ND16 and/or ND32 will give you something to experiment with. And not all that expensive.

    I'd also consider a sun shield of some flavor. Pain in the butt to deal with all the time, but having that iPad out in the sun was terrible in July. (I also had issues with the iPad shutting down due to heat from the sun) So the shield helped with that on my 2nd trip. And they are cheap to buy.

    Enjoy.
     
  11. N017RW

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    FYI: Despite living in S. Florida, 3 miles from the coast, I have no experience with beach flying (don't want to expose my a/c to the salt-air).
    Others have reported calibration issues at the beach.
     
    #11 N017RW, Oct 16, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  12. Doinkle

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    Thank you for the input. Very helpful. I'm a freelance videographer/photographer so I hear you on the NDs. Leaving tomorrow morning so I'm gonna try to pick some up after work today. If not I'll have to make due without them.
     
  13. Jay Poole

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    I can confirm what everyone else is saying, I unknowingly tried to calibrate mine on the back of the boat and while flying a couple of times had some compass errors, Most likely from the iron engine block in the back of the boat. Pretty scary stuff when your drone is over the water, moving around without you controlling it. Luckily no lost drones but the footage is worth it!
     
  14. gfredrone

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    Calibrate before you get on the boat. When you go to take off you will have the compass error alert. Don't worry it will clear once you launch and are away from the boat. Launch fast and up to about 20-30 ft and it will be good to go.
     
  15. ParsnipHysorter

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    There are other threads on this subject already which I have replied too with more detail regarding flying from a boat.

    However I agree with the other posters: Do not calibrate on the boat. I also experienced serious compass issues the one time I tried it. Calibrate on land normally before you get on the boat. Don't worry if you then travel many miles from the calibration site -- don't know the absolute distance but last summer I was doing a lot of flights from a boat where I was over 150 miles from the calibration site and it was fine.

    A good but relatively far away calibration is much better then a close but screwed up calibration.