Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Caught up in the paranoia...

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by gunslinger, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Least Coast...
    I went out for a fly today. The weather's been a bucket of suck for over a week, but today was over sixty degrees F with what seemed like a light breeze.

    I had just updated the firmware and re-calibrated my sticks, so I was already a bit on edge. Factor in that I haven't flown in a little bit.

    I went through my usual pre-flight routine, launched, and got her up to about seven feet. She sounded a bit choppy and was leaning to the left just a bit... I noticed the wind was a bit stiffer than I thought, now that I'm out in an open field, and there are some fairly hefty gusts.

    I put her in ATT mode and she seemed to even out a bit and drifted right along with the direction of the wind. (This is the opposite direction of the previously mentioned list to the left.) I was hesitant to do the compass dance, but did it anyhow... Making sure I was out in the open with no Nexus 7, no cell phone, etc...

    Took her up again, with the same results. Back in the case she went and I flew one of my Hubsan X4s through two batteries. I noticed that even with the stick full forward, flying into the wind with the Hubsan... I was losing ground.

    Moral of the story... If this were three weeks ago, I would've taken it up to 400 feet flew it around and had a blast. There was obviously nothing wrong with the bird. There was just as obviously something wrong with me. I seem to have lost a bit of faith in my Phantom's ability to stay in the air. Not a good feeling... at all..

    -Slinger
     
  2. James Cole

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    1
    So let me get this right... in GPS mode it was drifting against the wind? and in Atti mode it was hovering as expected?

    So you didn't like how it was behaving in GPS mode and decided to just stop.

    I can see whats going on... BUT you have to remember this: People that had a problem sound much louder than the ones that got a good product... the good product ones you don't even hear about... So where you are sitting it seems phantoms are dropping from the sky everywhere...

    IMHO... you have two choices...

    1. Get your phantom put in a box and check forums regularly and wait for more firmware updates... maybe all the problems will be ironed out in a few months... you still have to consider that there will be people that are going to blame the crash or whatever on a faulty phantom but in reality it was their mistake but won't see it that way... I think most people here who said they had a problem crashed their phantom because they were not prepared for flying yet or got too "spirited" and want to blame it on a flyaway so that they can get a replacement with no cost out of pocket.

    2. Just fly if it happens it happens... you will be out of 1,200 usd with nothing to show for it... But you should had that in mind before you bought the phantom in the first place, this hobby is as REWARDING as its RISKY you can lose your phantom a hundred ways three, power lines, building and some stupid kid or hillbilly shooting it down because they feel watched ect... if you cannot stomach the loss then maybe this hobby is not for you.

    Also why do people keep insisting on calibrating the compass all the freaking time? I thought you should only do it if you change time zones... I have calibrated my compass once I have 17 flights no problems. But I see all the time some dude claiming a flyaway that is 100% sure he did all the preflight checks AND CALIBRATED THE COMPASS AS HE DOES EVERY FLIGHT... That is not necessary goddammit... and I believe that compass calibration is easy to get wrong because of nearby magnetic interference... So do it once do it right and worry about it in another time zone I say... Don't get me wrong I still get a bit nervous flying this thing, sometimes I get sweaty hand and **** because either the wind, a maneuver too aggressive or because I can't see the **** thing because its too far away and feel that it will drop any second because of that... crazy I know.



    Well this is just a thought... sorry if I got carried away and sorry as well for my english its not my primary language...

    Merry Christmas,
    JC
     
  3. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Least Coast...

    You appear to be a bit cranky this evening... and also having a little difficulty in reading with comprehension. It was "drifting with the wind" in ATT mode as I should have anticipated. It was holding a decent hover in GPS mode,but it was struggling/leaning into the wind.

    Read my post again and make an attempt to respond to it appropriately. I, unexpectedly, fell victim to all of the "the sky is falling" paranoia currently going on here. There was obviously nothing wrong with my Phantom.

    I didn't need nor expect the diatribe. I don't know who you think you are or why you think I need to be schooled. And you certainly don't know who I am... Merry Christmas to you as well...

    -Slinger
     
  4. James Cole

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes Gunslinger... I get it now.. so there was nothing at all wrong with your craft but you just didn't like the wind... I don't know why I understood that your craft was not being steady in GPS mode.

    Sorry If I offended you in some way, I am certainly not cranky it just they way I write sometimes... I was trying to be helpful and present you with the whole picture as I see it and maybe get you off the edge a bit...

    Remember most people fly hundreds of times with no problems... Probabilities dictate that you will be on the safe side... and theres only one way to find out... just fly.

    JC
     
  5. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Least Coast...
    No offense taken... And seriously... Have a great Christmas... :D

    -Slinger
     
  6. PhantomFan

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    New York, USA
    I was out in similar circumstances today as well. Just couldn't ignore the dramatic warm up. I took my DJI Flamewheel F450 and three fully charged 5000mAh batteries (nearly 45 minutes of flying time) to the local school yard. My first time flying on public ground (and in public) with a quad, ever - although no one was watching...just an occasional car would pass by.

    With the wind not blocked by the trees as in my back yard, trimming was a near impossibility. Forget GPS mode...the F450 could NOT hold position. I switched to ATTI and had a better flight, just as you did. Pretty surprising how poor the vertical hold was...I may have to make some changed to the gain.

    I've been spending 65% of my time in GPS mode, 25% in ATTI, and ~10% flying (gingerly!) in manual mode. I just ordered Realflight 7 simulator to help train my brain and thumbs for pure manual, acrobatic flying. We'll see how that goes. I hear some pretty promising things about profound improvements in flying skills using that software. I witnessed a guy flying some super-huge and expensive high performance heli today. He said he's been flying less than a year. His 3d flying skills were exceptional. He said he learned to do every trick and maneuver from Realflight 6.5.

    For $110, how can you go wrong? So I bought it. One crash would set you back more than that in time and repair costs. As I become a better pilot, I hope to be able to fly with confidence in more challenging wind conditions.

    PF
     
  7. Shrimpfarmer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Sussex UK
    Our minds are very good at playing tricks with us. No matter how many posts we see where people have clearly had no problems, its the crash reports that burn themselves into the memory banks. We all have worries that there may be something wrong with the phantom that is just beyond our control.

    I particularly don't like the fact that if the motors stop it becomes a brick and there is nothing you can do. At least with a helicopter you can auto-rotate and try to land.

    Why is it that we are happy to fly circuits and figure eights over land yet we feel real fear flying over a cliff or water? If those motors stop its a brick and the outcome is not going to be good.

    So we need to embrace the fear. Satisfy ourselves that we have prepped the ship to the best of our ability and only fly within our own envelope of control and weather conditions.

    I concur with the simulator training. I have only 2 real world flights under my belt with the phantom due to poor weather, but I have about 12 hours simulator time with the phantom in all sorts of weather conditions. The simulator is worth its weight in gold.

    Embrace the fear and enjoy your future flights. :)
     
  8. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Least Coast...
    Thanks PF. I'm looking into RealFlight 7. I've made a lot of progress flying the Hubsan, but I'm still having issues with "head in" flying. I'm probably going to hang back and lurk in the weeds to see what you think of this software over time, before I jump in. But... it's getting pretty **** good reviews...

    -slinger
     
  9. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Least Coast...
    Well said... and exactly what I concluded from my fright flight today... :shock: Set it up the best you can, make the best decisions you can based on pre-flight feedback... and let her rip.

    -slinger
     
  10. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    If you have even one small doubt, it's one too many. Gunslinger, you're thinking like a full scale pilot, and that's excellent! I'm a lapsed private pilot license holder and something I always tried to tell myself was if there's a doubt, it's there for a reason - don't ignore it. It's not just equipment that can fail, but us humans too. If you don't feel right, then you're not in the right mood to fly anything. If you had carried on, your cycle of uncertainty could have built to the point where you overreacted to something trivial and caused some damage. If you did encounter a minor "real" problem you might have blown it out of all proportion with expensive consequences.

    After a weather lay-off I used to always be itching to get airborne but you had to take a really critical look at the conditions and sometimes pass on what others might consider a really flyable day. My instructor had a great saying: "Better to be down here, wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were safely back down here...".

    I know to a lot of people these quads are just expensive toys, but I say if you get into a mindset of going through the same decision-making processes that you would go through if you had to actually climb into it and fly it for real it will make you a better, safer and not quite so close to bankrupt RC pilot!
     
  11. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Least Coast...
    Pull Up...

    Thanks for the insight, kind words, and your usual good advice... I've been kicking around this planet for well over half a century and I've learned to listen very closely to those quirky insights that are often inexplicable... but on target... Saved my *** more than once in many different scenarios...

    -Slinger
     
  12. AHill

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    23
    I've been using Real Flight 7 and previous versions for several years; I think it is the best way to build up your flying skills, much better than flying a small Quad in the house. It simulates sun in your eyes, getting disoriented when it is hard to see at a great distance, etc. I am not afraid to try new tricks knowing I can just press the reset button and try again until I get it right. There are 2 Quads in the fleet and both are a bit harder to fly than the Phantom, if you learn with them you will be bored flying the Phantom which is what I want so I can concentrate on getting good pictures and video.
     
  13. EyeUpHigh

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can understand where you're at - reading a lot of bad reports will make you more worried about experiencing something bad yourself. I suspect that after six months of regular flying with no (major) crashes or flyaways you'll be quite a bit more relaxed about pushing the limits. Right now you've got a brand new shiny $1200 toy and you'd hate to break it after only a few weeks.

    I've had my Vision for about a month now and have been very methodical and cautious. Not having flown an R/C craft before (though thousands of hours in airplane flight simulators) I'm taking things one step at a time learning the capabilities and limits of both the quad and the pilot. So far I'm still on my original set of props so that's a good sign!

    This past week I was out at Bodega Head (California Coast, dramatic rocky bluffs and surf) and the wind was much calmer than usual. After setting up on a flat spot I took off into a hover at 6 feet to make sure everything's behaving normally. Even with the light wind I could see the Phantom 'leaning into' the breeze to maintain position. The conditions weren't ideal but I took it out on a short leash - I probably never went much more than a hundred feet out over the cliff's edge but still got some nice footage. By the time I came back in the wind had picked up a bit and I decided to call it a day.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9L1RjHu-G4[/youtube]

    If it were a few months from now I'd probably have headed out a few hundred yards and dropped down closer to the surf for some dramatic footage but for right now I'm happy to still own a quadcopter...
     
  14. Ital86

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    As an experienced RC pilot, I had a true "flyaway". Skeptics analyze as you must, but every precaution was taken to prevent this, Luckily, my PV wasn't ruined and after a trip back to Dronefly to run some analysis, I have logged about 5 more flights on it, each without a problem. My philosophy is the same in flying this craft as it is in the casinos: bring only as much as you expect and are comfortable with losing. Anything more should be considered a win.

    Every time now that my vision returns to my hand after a flight, I consider myself a winner. I have already gotten my money's worth out of this thing. Sure, I would love to use this thing in a professional setting, but I am not that comfortable that it's not going to start doing it's own thing again some day, possibly doing some serious damage this time, and I cant have that. It really is unfortunate, at this point, because the practical applications of the PV could literally save lives. If DJI approached its product as such, rather than just a consumer end "toy", it's deficiencies would have been addressed and fixed by now. Until then, I will continue to treat it as a toy and not put it to use how it really should be used. Luckily, I got my Vision back after a flyaway, but to those that didn't, I vow to not take advantage of this fact and continue to have fun with this thing until it does decide to fly back to China.
     
  15. fly-catchers

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Kent England
    Although (touchwood!) I have had no issues flying my Phantom and done about 30 plus flights over the 3 months of owning. Bad weather and other hobbies have got in the way of more flying. But I still have an immense feeling of relief once the craft is back on the ground. And even more relief when I am going home with the same amount of gear and in the same condition as when I arrived! Apart from any mysterious unknown reasons for a "flyaway", you could have a motor/battery failure, loose prop etc. But for that it is great fun and addictive while flying, with the added enjoyment of watching the footage back home. But for now I am sticking to local fields and the miles of open countryside near my home- before venturing anywhere more challenging!
    That Real Flight 7 software sounds useful- must look into that...

    bill