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Can I fly FC40 as far as I can ... will auto return when out of range & can't see?

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by micah, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. micah

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    Hi,
    Thanks to all for everyone's previous posts!
    My FC40 has been upgraded to fly the gopro 4 black with an anti jelly gimbal and the fc40 velcro mounted on battery compartment. Been great flying thus far and great aerial shots over Kauai. But I"m a bit nervous flying it far still as it get's basically out of sight and over water.

    I think that it has a fail safe that as soon as it gets to a distance too far, it automatically returns home? I know there are settings on the software, but will it just keep flying out until the battery dies? Does it automatically run out of range and return at some point? I have been trying to shoot surfing way out in the ocean...far out of FPV range so there is no orientation. Is there any danger of being over open ocean or out of sight? Can I push it as far as I can as long as there is battery power...and then fail safe return to home maybe after 6 minutes of long distance flying?

    I'm guessing that as long as all is functioning mechanically well, the drone will always return to home as long as there is battery power?

    The surf is way out there and I'd like to go straight out for about 4/5 minutes as far as I can, and then fail safe it back home for smooth return on the video (battery should last 10-15 mins.)
     
  2. micah

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    I think my Nazim settings are set to 2000 meters, so I think that should be far enough...but when happens when it hits 2000 meters? Auto return or just stays there and will not go further?
     
  3. IflyinWY

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    Yes, yes, yes and yes; and yes you can make it go and stay way out there and then you can watch it sink into the ocean as the battery gets too low to keep it flying, while you are crying.

    Yes, it should return home, provided you have battery power.

    Should... sounds real good. Return home is done at "less than full speed". You may want to experiment OVER LAND with the RTH feature and learn how to take control back.

    Lotsa videos out there.
    Here's a good link to search within our forum:
    https://cse.google.com/cse/publicurl?cx=014775389315664725445:ejku2ysgyhi
     
  4. 2nd2non

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    The key is to test and include a margin of error for headwinds. Those winds really kick up in Hawaii so plan accordingly.
    btw - I'll going to Kauai in sept, is it possible to fly over the Waimea canyon? Its a national park, so technically I guess you can't o_O
     
  5. Marlin009

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    It will just stay there.
     
  6. IflyinWY

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    Hey micah,
    Be happy you don't have a P2 with the smart battery. Those guys are dropping like flies because of numerous unknown causes. I don't think their batteries are as smart as they think they are.
     
  7. Woody

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    It won't even get that far before RTH kicks in. But if you set if for 500 meters it will hit a geo-fence and won't go any farther from the homepoint, provided you're still in range. The range of the transmitter and the max distance set in the software are two different things, FC40 transmitters have a range of 500 meters, some people claim to get more and some complain of less. Now if you were following in a boat you could take it out 2000 meters if you kept the transmitter close by, but if RTH gets activated it will go back to the beach or where ever you set homepoint, not back to the transmitters location. That's why you need to learn how to take back control as IflyinWY suggested.

    I tried to fly mine across a lake and back once when I first got my FC40. We followed it on a jetski and I figured as long as I stayed close to the Phantom that it would always have 2000 meters range from the jetski. It stopped before we reached the other side or the lake and just wouldn't go any further, ignoring the forward pitch command. So I just backed it up alittle and turned around, not knowing what just happened. Then I realized that the max distance is from the homepoint, not the transmitter.

    I'd love to see some surfing videos, please post a link.
     
    #7 Woody, Apr 15, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
    IflyinWY likes this.
  8. IflyinWY

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    Thanks for helping clarify what I think I was trying to say Woody. ;)
     
  9. J.James

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    Well it will not go in to return to home if you happen to have the geo fence settings set lower then what ever the max distance your radios signal can reach. WHEN FLYING IN GPS. lets say you have your geo fence max range in the naza set to be say 1000m and you are flying in gps mode and hit the 1000m mark from the home point. It will just act like its hit a wall and it will just not let it go any farther past the invisable wall But it will not go in to fail safe and try to come home on its own.. also if you happen to be in atti mode it will still go past the set distance intill it loses signal and then would try to return to home if signal is lost for more then a few seconds. BUT if you are past the geo fence and its still getting signal from the radio and you then switch to gps mode it will juts move back to the geo fence and not go in to fail safe on its own and will just move back to the 1000m mark and then just sit there if you are still laying on the forward stick. So its best to set the geo fence to some number that you know is a lot more then the radio can possible reach out to. so if it ever does go to far it will run out of radio and come back and not waist battery trying to push threw the invisible wall and just hand there bouncing off the invisible rubber wall waiting for you to bring it back or to switch it in to fail safe and let if fly its self back to the home point and running out of juice before it makes it back. also if your going to be flying the fc40 far an over water make sure to turn that stupid low battery auto land off cause that will more then likely cause you to lose your bird if it trys to auto land in water when there is still enough power to be able to of made it back. and if it does ever happen to still go so low that it just drops out of the sky Its not going to be any more lost or any more gone if it drops in the water then it would be if it makes a nice soft touch down to its death in the water never to be seen again. More phantoms have been lost to that stupid low battery autoland then have ever been saved by it.
     
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  10. IflyinWY

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    **** nice post J.James.

    Great point about the stupid low battery auto-land when flying over water. I would much rather ruin a battery making it back to land than watching a nice gentle touchdown in the lake.

    I do like using the feature when flying over the plains though.
     
  11. Beario

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    Makes me rethink the auto landing feature altogether but I realize I am never flying over water to begin with so it is not a concern touching down permanently in it:eek:
     
  12. J.James

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    Ive lost my fc40 a few times on land even due to the battery landing thing. Its also very hard to fly when you are trying to fly it back to you and also having to struggle with also trying to keep on the throttle to maintain altitude. My real preference now is to use one of them $4 battery alarms that attach to the battery balance plug. and I set that sort of high so it gives me plenty of warning and if i have the auto land thing turned on at all I keep it set so that it will not kick in unless the battery is really actually getting low. I'd also rather lose a 20 some dollar battery then lose the entire bird. cause if it ever lands some place even if it touches down safely but you dont ever find it again. its still the same as losing it in a fly away. I also have never had a battery get so low that it did any damage being that even if it gets to low it will shut off the motors any way with or without the auto land turned on and also when its not drawing power the voltage goes back up any way and as long as its not sitting around some place after auto landing with the leds still flashing they dont tend to go so low that that they completely drain the battery to much and can still take a change and I just make sure to get a change on them asap so they are not sitting around while undercharged to long Which can mess them up. But the one good thing about the fc40s batteys is not only are they relatively cheap compared to any of my p2 not so smart batteys they also are a heck of a lot more durable. I have had 2 of the smart battterys that have never been abused in any way and taken perfect care of them and had them crap out after just a few uses. one never even had one cycle on it before it crapped the bed and I have another one that has only had 12 cycles on it then last week started acting up and only gives me 14 mins when I was getting 20 out of on before and would still swap them out when at a safe level and it still crapped out on me. Which I have yet to have just have happen to any of my fc40 battery's unless they got abused some way shape or form.
     
  13. dtitus6297

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    I had my bird autoland from the low battery cause I under estimated the wind coming back. Couldn't find it for like 30 min and the stock fc40 battery was at 7 volts. I put a slow charge on it right away and it still performs like it never happened. I did that to one of my lectron pro 2700s and it got all puffed up and doesn't hold a charge now, only get like 4 min flights when I was getting 12 to 14 before. Dji 2200 battery's are tough. Was thinking about trying out the dual battery setup but I heard it us just too much weight for good results

    dji phantom fc40
    ardrone2 mod 4 telemetry+fpv
    tplinkwr703+sunhans 2.5w and alpha 7dbi panel antenna for wifi boost
    based in new jersey US
     
  14. IflyinWY

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    The dual battery cord I purchased weighs 21.5 grams.
    You may want to crunch the numbers before you decide whether or not to do it. I've had pretty good results.
     
  15. lake_flyer

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    With 2 2200 batteries I have 13 minutes and 2 minutes extra for safety.
    Until low bat. auto land about 16 minutes. My FC40 weighs around 1400 grams with gimbal, gopro, FPV and 2 batteries, Which is about the same as my P2.

    But I never cared much for the few extra minutes. I normally don't exceed 10-15 minutes per flight with the P2 although 18-20 minutes is possible.

    Most important for me is the extra redundancy when using 2 batteries.
    I had a (single) battery failing on me once, causing very weird 'fly away' kind of behaviour I don't want to experience again, living that close to water.

    With 2 batteries, the FC40 beats the P2 (V+whatever) hands down in safety over water.
     
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  16. IflyinWY

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    I totally agree with the security of 2 batteries. It seems to double the low battery flight time. I know it doesn't, but it seems to.
     
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  17. lake_flyer

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    Funny that you mention that. I experience that too, I realise now.
    You get about 60% more flying time with 2 batteries. I guess the low battery phase is also prolonged with 60%.

    In theory this means you could safely set the min voltage levels lower (than with one battery) in Naza, giving you extra minutes.
    I might turn off auto land all together with dual battery.