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Does manual mode help if your Phantom goes haywire

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Miika, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Miika

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    I've seen people talking about using manual mode (and learning how to fly in manual) as they can turn the Phantom into manual mode if something goes wrong. Lets think about an situation where your Phantom starts to fly like crazy (an actual fly-away) where your Phantom is gaining altitude/leaning to specific direction and becomes unresponsive. Is there a chance that manual mode would actually be able to gain back the controls?

    If Phantom goes haywire because of compass, gps or barometer I guess manual mode will help.

    I'm planning to learn how to fly in manual mode, atleast I could try to turn my Phantom into manual mode if it goes crazy?

    Are there any good tutorials or tips for flying in manual mode. I dont want to break my Phantom just to learn how to fly in manual.
     
  2. Pull_Up

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    Based purely on my experiences I would say buy a cheap indoor micro quad like a Hubsan X4 (or variant thereof) or similar. It will teach you the basics of having to constantly fly the aircraft without help from stability systems. It will drift around in every axis and you will learn to dance those fingers on the sticks! The Phantom aircraft itself will feel a lot different of course, and the sprung centre throttle might actually be a hindrance rather than a help (as in manual 50% throttle doesn't = hover, it just equals 50% throttle...) compared to the (usually) bottom-sprung micros. But once you're confident on the indoor quad if you take the Phantom up to a height where you can still see it clearly but you're at least "one mistake high" you can then try flipping it into manual mode and see how it reacts compared to your experience with the mini quad, knowing you can flip it back into atti or GPS if it starts to go too wrong. On top of all that if it's raining or blowing a gale outside you can still get a flying fix shooting the micro quad around the house!

    Other people have downloaded simulator software to give them a handle on the sort of control inputs you need, but I've not used one at all so have no experience to offer on that.
     
  3. 750r

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    Manual has saved me a few times i never used RTH rather the loss or crash be on my shoulders than a software issue .
    One thing I notice is 80% of phantom flyers can not fly in manual mode the 20% that can have flown helicopters . It is a whole different ball game when you have 100% control of the bird . Having GPS to do the work is like having training wheels .
    Like stated above get a smaller bird to practice or strip the phantom and put on prop guards & practice practice practice .
    GL!
     
  4. DanCH

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    Have to second this and Pull_ups post.

    I've frequently read others say on this forum that they'd never try manual mode, as if merely switching their Phantom to manual would cause it to explode or burst in flames. I also saw someone say recently that buying a mini quad to practice with is worthless.

    Flying in manual mode is really not difficult at all. I have a Hubsan X4 and I've crashed it into the walls and floor many times, but it's a tough little guy and takes it all. I've even done flips with it. If I ever manage to break it, I've lost very little cash and gained a lot of flight experience (and fun on rainy days). When I first started flying manual mode with the Phantom, I had it nicely hovering on the first battery, and I was FPVing around the park on the second battery.

    If my Phantom ever threatens to fly away, I have at least a chance to regain control with manual mode (although it really is debatable as no one yet knows the exact cause of true fly aways). But truth be told my future flying (FPVing) will mostly be in manual as I find it much more enjoyable than pushing a stabilised quad around.

    Hopefully in the future more of the 80% will get over their fear and start enjoying their quads more in manual mode. And maybe we'll see less posting about fly aways as a bonus.

    edit: You'll notice in my sig that I mention I have a GPS tracker equipped. If I really thought manual mode was the answer to all fly aways, I wouldn't still equip the tracker ;)
     
  5. Miika

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    I just enabled manual mode from the assistant software. I had the third option set to failsafe, but that you can "turn on" by switching the remote off.

    I will probably try to fly in manual mode with my Phantom instead of buying a small quad. In a low altitude and doing nothing too risky with it.

    In a fly-away "situation" if that would occur you can rule out the possibility of faulty GPS, GYRO, COMPASS, BAROMETER readings. I've heard about atleast one case where fly-away occured when the Naza unit itself had detached from the body of the quad. As the Naza detaches from the body of the quad, Naza gets faulty information from the GYRO, so Naza wants to level the quad and by doing so it makes the quad fly-away.
     
  6. Dalite

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    Having come from the days where motorized Gyros were the new technology, and then through the piezo stage of development, I can say that the manual mode on the Phantom is far better behaved than RC helis were 20 years ago.

    I never was very good at helis; no one around check my setup before putting it in the air. Hours on the simulator, and minutes in the air, followed by weeks of rebuilding. I tried on and off for a number of years, and finally gave up. The Phantom has given me the chance to fly like I wanted to before.

    My first manual flight on the Phantom was not pretty. I kept at it, flipping to ATTI or GPS before panic set in, and gradually got a light enough touch on the sticks to keep it in a good hover. from there it was just like flying a heli should have been; only more stable.

    For the beginner, Everything has to begin and end in a hover. For every directional control given, a little of the opposite is needed to overcome inertia. Eventually, you can move from one controlled motion to another; shifting the inertia in the desired direction. But, at some point, you have to dump the inertia and go back to a hover. Everything must be done lightly at first; no full travel stick movements. Keep it out of the corner; it will gladly flip over once you bypass the NAZA's ability to keep it from going past 35 degree angle.

    Try to do a little tail-in hovering in manual, each time you fly. Don't be afraid to flip into GPS mode if you feel it getting away from you. The more you practice, the less you will have to depend on the GPS and ATTI....

    Like others have mentioned, I would rather have the opportunity to do a controlled crash close by than chance a flight controller that has assumed control giving control back to me in time to save the craft..
     
  7. Miika

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    I've seen videos where Phantom in GPS mode recovered from a crash to a tree. It flipped couple of times, but before it hit the land the Naza did its work and leveled out the Phantom and made it hover.

    What happens if your high in the air flying in manual mode and Phantom turns more than 35degrees and you turn the Phantom in ATTI or GPS mode? Will it recover or crash (if the Phantom has turned too much?).
     
  8. Pull_Up

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    I would start by seeing how it reacts to manual at a higher altitude, and flipping back into atti/gps - there's a bit more room for getting the hang of the throttle, which is the most difficult thing to get your head around if you've been used to the "let go and it stays there" goodness that is non-manual flight. Get it into a climb in GPS mode before you flip - it won't hover on 50% throttle in manual. The other option is to go all the way down and start off on the ground.

    "Two mistakes high or on the deck" are both good places to learn something new!
     
  9. Dalite

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    It will attempt to recover. if you are high enough, and flip to GPS, then give full throttle, it will try to right itself. But, just like auto rotation, you have to have enough altitude, and some forward motion is a help.

    The NAZA, when it is in control will limit the angle. Another interesting thing is pulling the throttle down and tilting the craft more than 70 degrees. The motors stop immediately, which is what could occur if the throttle was chopped down while in a greater than70 degree tilt. I hand land in GPS or ATTI, bring the throttle down and tilt the phantom over to kill the motors quickly.

    Slow, light touches... I wish the stock TX had dual rates; just for flying manual.
     
  10. Monte55

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    I've really been debating on manual or failsafe. I'm on failsafe now but may switch. As I understand when you switch down to failsafe the quad should start doing the come home thing but if you see it and feel you can regain control , just go back to atti or gps. When some decide to turn tx off as their failsafe, they can't regain control again even if turning tx back on. I did see one guy saying you can by flipping the homelock up and down several times but I 'm not sure about that. I wish I could have manual and failsafe both at the switch but I cant.
     
  11. Pull_Up

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    Not quite. See here for how to regain control from failsafe depending on how it's triggered: http://wiki.dji.com/en/index.php/Naza-M-V2_FailSafe
     
  12. Monte55

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    Thanks for that. So, is it better to have the right switch bottom position set to failsafe or manual?
     
  13. Pull_Up

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    Well you can initiate failsafe by turning off or by setting S1, but the only way into manual is via S1. So if you want manual mode you've got no choice really.
     
  14. Monte55

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    Well, that's what I'm trying to decide. I haven't flown in manual yet. Only had it for a couple of weeks. I'm guessing manual might give me a better chance to save the quad than rely on failsafe. Your thoughts?. When flying in manual it it any worse to control than a quad without gps etc. Do you get any gyro help at all? I have 2 v262 cyclones, v959, Mjx 645 heli and fly them ok.
     
  15. jodaddy23

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    just reread the post in this thread , manual is a whole new ball game with the stock controller.
     
  16. Monte55

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    I do understand tha but it doesn't answer my question
     
  17. Pull_Up

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    I've had a Phantom Vision since release and haven't had anything remotely close to an uncommanded flyaway. I have had two issues back in the early days, both pilot error not firmware error, caused by calibrating the compass in a silly place, and by flying on after a minor but firm bump when I should have gone home and recalibrated the IMU.

    If you do get an uncommanded flyaway and are not a proficient manual flyer and manual mode arrests the flyaway (unproven) you will still likely crash it. It's just that the crash will be a bit closer to where you were than it otherwise might have been. That's assuming manual mode will snap it out of it. If you are competent you could bring it back to a gentle touchdown, assuming manual worked to arrest it. But then would you want to fly it again if you thought it was an actual flyaway that had happened?

    I think given the aerial and electronic nature of this hobby (and RC flying in general) if anyone has not made peace with the fact that one day they might witness their "investment" plough in and shatter into a million pieces then it might not be the hobby for them. It's impossible to remove all risk of failure as there are so many things that can go wrong in flight - prop failure, motor failure, electrical connection failure, random component failure, so on and so forth - even though rare they can and do happen. Why not have a go with manual mode from a safe altitude and see how it goes. Or not.

    Of course the other option is to forget about manual mode and invest in a GPS tracker in case it heads off into the sunset if that's a concern.
     
  18. Monte55

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    After rereading this thread again I feel manual may be a good idea. I think if something goes wacky manual may give me a better chance to save or at least minimize crash damage. It's better to have a damaged Phantom in front of you than one that has flown to who knows where. Kinna a bird in the hand thing. I guess part of my flying time should be put to a little manual practice. If all else fails, turn off tx and hope for the best. I would say scream and hollar **** but I won't.
     
  19. DanCH

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    My choice is to fly manual and have a GPS tracker equipped. If I still lose my Phantom I'm going to cry foul play ;)

    @Monte flying a Phantom in manual mode is a little easier than flying a mini quad. Although it's only using it's gyro it feels a lot more stable than a mini quad. It's all about maintaining the right throttle level (I'd guess around 60% for hover) and watching it's momentum and correcting. In the beginning it's like vertically balancing a stick on your finger.

    For the first flight I would take off in GPS mode, get it atleast 5 meters in the air. As you switch to manual mode give it a bit more throttle as it will gently lose some altitude. Once you've got the throttle right to hover it may start moving gently in one direction. You need to very gently counter that and bringing it back to a stationary hover. The moment you feel like your fighting to control or you are not comfortable, switch it back to GPS. After about 10 minutes you'll will hopefully feel comfortable enough to move it around in some small squares. I used the word "gentle" a lot as that is the key in manual mode. Do everything gently. If you start swinging it around with sharp movements you'll quickly be in trouble.

    Don't take off in manual mode until you are really confident, if at all. The Phantom is really unstable when it lifts off due to having a high centre of gravity with it's "long" legs.

    Flying in manual mode gives you a real feeling of control, it's quite a buzz! :D
     
  20. Monte55

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    Actually your reply is a good one. I have cheap quads to keep my skills up. The only issue I see about going mo manual is my throttle self centers. I must keep that in my head when going to manual. I can't let go of throttle because it will center and as I understand in manual it will not maintain a hover when centered. So, I guess I must keep up pressure on throttle