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Don't try this at home...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rcountfl, May 1, 2014.

  1. rcountfl

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    I had planned on flying and doing some aerial shots last weekend and it just never worked out. We had some guests at our little weekend retreat and I really didn’t do much of anything but relax. So far this has been a long week and I am ready for the weekend without a schedule and having to entertain anyone. Today being Thursday and Friday eve for us working folks I started getting a game plan on what I wanted to do this weekend – texting buddies back and forth etc. Eventually we came up with a plan on doing some shots with the Phantom on a local river and some well-planned action shots in the early morning hours so as to avoid the crowd.

    With my batteries still at full tilt from last weekend I wanted to check on things and do some calibration and such, I had also seen on here that there is new firmware so who knows what adventures this evening could bring… I watched a dvr’d episode of CSI with the wife and once it was over I grabbed a cold beer and headed to screen porch to relax and tinker.
    Anyone that does any filming for fun or even for profit knows that there is a lot of prep that goes into things – charging batteries – making sure you have everything needed and the like. Anyway I unlocked my case and placed the Phantom on the table and began playing with the ground station on the PC – which isn’t much fun at all so I grabbed the wife’s iPad and cracked open my cold beer.

    I tinkered around with things for a bit and had recalled reading on several posts that folks had questioned what the hole was below X1 on the controller – some had said it was access to a potentiometer to calibrate the controller for use in areas that didn’t allow so much power etc. Turn it all the way to the right for use in the USA. I can’t recall the exact words. (Lesson 1 - research and dont speed read) As I was looking thru items on the iPad referring to this my Phantom sat quietly at an idle on the glass table.

    The beer was cold and I started thinking well “My controller doesn't beep twice when turning it on” – Hmmm maybe I haven’t been getting maximum range and my controller wasn't set up for use in the US. I took a sip of the beer and grabbed a small screwdriver and poked it in the hole – attempting to turn a something..

    Faster than you I have ever seen my bird take off it flew straight upwards at full throttle and slammed into the drywall ceiling. I can’t describe how loud this was but the bang itself was enough to wake my wife. The whining of the motors sounded like a kitchen blender on steroids as small flakes of paint started to come off the knockdown on the ceiling. I yelled a few expletive’s very loudly and jumped up in my underwear like a mad man. The controller did nothing… Within a few seconds I realized even if it did, I would not be able to land safely now with all the objects around and full of adrenalin. So I reached up and grabbed the landing gear while holding the controller in the other hand.

    My wife slowly raised the blinds on the French doors to watch the show. The sound was changing pitch as I was trying to hold onto the bird and it was trying to stay level, all I could think of, is not only am I going to damage my toy, but I might just lose an eye or a finger. I tried pressing and screwing whatever was in that hole on the controller in my left hand to no avail. Normal motor shutdown with the sticks also did nothing. Well, I thought for a few seconds... I could just let the battery die.. Not… My wife cracked the door and reminded me that it’s late and that we have neighbors.

    Within about a 45 seconds (Seemed like an hour) I finally realized that if I hold the bird with two hands my index finger could reach the battery button and power it down. With the motors shut down I inspected everything thinking that with that hard of a hit on the ceiling I had to have cracked something.

    I then spent the next 20 minutes back on here and nosing around other places trying to figure out what happened. After re-binding the transmitter to the Phantom I took the props off and gave her the startup command. In the re-bind process nothing was mentioned about the mysterious hole but something went way wrong that’s all I know.

    All seems ok, except the assistant software indicates advanced calibration is needed. No damage, except my pride and spilled beer. Moral of this lesson is don’t stick anything in strange holes I guess..
     
  2. Buk

    Buk

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    ...or always remove the props when indoors...

    Sounds like you triggered "return to home". Is one of your switch positions set for return to home? What was the position of the switch?
     
  3. nwillitts

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    thanks.hilarious.
     
  4. rcountfl

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    Not sure if it was return to home or not but - here is an image of the hole...
     

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  5. Wind_Shear

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    If you turn it all the way clockwise it boosts the power above what the FCC wants us to use and you get improved range.

    It's only a half or quarter turn, btw.


    P.S. No idea what possessed your plane, but sorry about your beer!
     
  6. J.James

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    ya definitely sounds like it was trying to to a return to home and wanted to fly up to 20 meters first. Sometimes if it goes in to return to home and your S1 switch is on gps mode to regain control from the controller you need to flip the switch in to ATTI mode and regain control or you can flip it back in to gps after switching in to atti.

    But I made that same mistake inside the house when I tried flying it inside with the prop guards on and didn't change the fail safe mode to just do a landing instead of trying to go up to 20 meters first. That puppy stuck to the ceiling. Luckily she went straight up and was so level just the tops of the prop nuts were hitting the ceiling and it didn't leave any marks and my ol lady was out and don't need to know that. :)



    Actually I did some testing on the potentiometer after realizing that turning it all the way to the right don't really do any thing but fine tune the power out put for what ever mode the controller is set at already. If your controller is set in CE mode all the way to the left will give you just under 300m range and all the way to the right will give you just over 300m range.

    and if in fcc mode all way to the left will give you less then 500 meters and all the way to the right will give you over 500m

    and it also just canges how many beeps the controller makes Tho thats all it does not actually really change the mode.
    To change mine out of CE mode and in to FCC power mode I had to actually hook up the usb cable to the board inside the controller and then use the rc assistant soft ware to check the FCC mode option. Then power off the controller and back on THEN i was able to get some real decent range out of my fC40 it went from only being able to get 320 meters to now I get exactly 700 meters away in the city. Tho I bet if in a nice wide open area with no buildings and trees I could squeezes some more out of it. But at 700 its about 300-400 meters farther then I can even see it. and have to flip the switch to tell her to come home and cross my fingers and wait and wait till I see her making a bee line home.
     
  7. darwin-t

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    On my FC40, there are two holes with pots in them. The BOTTOM one changes it to FCC mode. I did mine today.

    You're lucky. I read about a guy that set down his controller and a loose batter connection shut off his controller. His Phantom took off, trying to "Return To Home". He almost lost the tip of a finger.
     
  8. AIR BOSS

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    Moral of this lesson is don’t stick anything in strange holes I guess..



    That's where kids come from!
     
  9. QYV

    QYV

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    Which version Phantom there, OP? I've read in several threads around here from guys who seems to know what they're talking about and I've picked up that on a regular P2 that screw doesn't do anything, others say you need to fiddle with it if you mess up a firmware update and do the Phantom before the RC. this happened to me, after updating my P2 firmware before the RC I couldn't use that X1 lever, had to recalibrate using RC assistant and I fiddled with the screw a little... don't know if that did anything or not but after calibrating the level via both RC assist and P2 assist it started working fine

    The whole "FCC mode" to increase range by turning up the power on the RC is only for the P2V... not sure about the V+

    regardless, the advise about strange holes is definitely good!
     
  10. J.James

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    I don't know about any other models but on the FC40 which has a 5.8ghz tx. If its set in CE range mine was only getting almost 300 meters and with the potentiometer all the way to the right I was able to push it out to exactly 320 meters and before she would lose signal. tho when I tried a windsurfer antenna reflector I got 420-425m or so.

    after changing to fcc mode threw the soft ware and then went out and did the same flight path with the pot all the way to the left got just about 500 meters with it to the right it went 700 meters on the dot.

    so more then doubling the range between CE and FCC mode made a very noticeable impact.

    Before i figure out that it had to be changed threw the rc assistant soft ware I was thinking some thing was very wrong being the fc40s range was said to be 500m in fcc and the bottom screw was only giving me just over 320m I thought I got a bunk phantom.