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Drone Newbie - Tips for first flight

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Utopian, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Utopian

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    Hi All,

    First of all I want to tell you that I'm impressed by the support and activity that I noticed among the members here. Thanks for all the info and discussions.

    I am getting my DJI 3 Pro this weekend and I was wondering if you can share some tips on what to look at for:

    1. What things to check for to identify a defective product?
    2. How to get the first flight correct?
    3. What modes should I leave the drone on or make sure it stays on
    4. How empty/free should the calibration area be?
    5. I got extra two batteries. I understood that switching them is best for life expectancy. But if I am not planning to use it for a month or so, what % should I leave them on?
    6. Up to what wind speed is it suggested to flit the drone at?
    7. Any daily or weekly maintenance advices?

    Thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Read and understand the manual.
    Do your early flying in a large, open area well away from trees buildings and other obstacles.
    When you've got a feel for flying, read the 3 pages on RTH in the manual again and experiment with RTH so you know how it works and how to cancel it and resume control.
     
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  3. Solar Deity

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    1. What things to check for to identify a defective product?

    Broken stuff, rattling around in the P3 or the RC. They usually are delivered in fine fashion. My gimbal protector came loose during shipping without any ill effects. Remove the foam piece behind the gimbal before powering up.

    2. How to get the first flight correct?
    Have a game plan. Consider a short planned flight with easy objectives. (take off, gain altitude, head out, turn back, head home, land). Cloudy, calm day would be best. Start in a large open area, free from obstructions. SET your Failsafe RTH to a minimum height higher than the surroundings. Use the Auto Takeoff. Be deliberate and plan your moves. Gain some altitude. Use small control movements until you are familiar with how she handles.

    3. What modes should I leave the drone on or make sure it stays on
    I'd use beginner mode if you have no experience. This will keep her close at first. P-GPS mode always (at first).

    4. How empty/free should the calibration area be?
    As empty and free as possible. No metal in surroundings or on your person if possible.

    5. I got extra two batteries. I understood that switching them is best for life expectancy. But if I am not planning to use it for a month or so, what % should I leave them on?
    Only using the battery down to 50% for the first few flights is recommended. Your nerves will be shot way before that in the beginning. Rotating your batteries only extends their life because you're not using it while flying the others. Lipos should give you 300 cycles if cared for properly. 3.85V/Cell is a great storage level. The batteries self discharge on their own after 1-10 days, depending on the setting.

    6. Up to what wind speed is it suggested to flit the drone at?
    As calm as possible. Definitely less than 10 MPH if you're a beginner.

    7. Any daily or weekly maintenance advices?
    Keep it clean. Learn how the gimbal guard goes on and off. Take off from hard, flat, clean surface to protect gimbal. Snug props, but don't over-tighten. Keep batteries maintained when not in use.

    SD
     
    #3 Solar Deity, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
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  4. Utopian

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    Thanks
    Thanks, I will keep an eye on these.
     
  5. happydays

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    Make sure that you are in a area that is WELL AWAY from trees. Phantoms - somehow - are strangely sucked into their branches.
     
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  6. zitrojj

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    1. Read the manual a few times and all the info you can. You want to ingrain as much info. Once you are up in the air you want to react as fast as possible which will not leave you anytime to really think. With that said, I know I was was nervous on my first few flights two months ago so just try and stay as calm as possible and enjoy. The only way to stay calm is in an open area with no distractions.
    2. As stated previously read about RTH and test it out. Also, once you learn RTH don't use it to bring it home all the time. That takes away from your learning and flying. Only use it in emergencies.
    3. Learn the telemetry and all of your instrument readings.
    4. Its a lot of information to take in. So take it slow. I am still a new-b myself. Just started taking longer flights so imagine it took me 2 months but I did it at my pace and all while feeling comfortable and enjoying it.
    5.If you take someone with you make sure they are not annoying you and egging you on to take risks. Like take it higher or further. They didn't pay for the **** thing (unless it was your wife.lol) In that case take it too the moon for her. lol

    Have fun with it. Once you get hooked, you will want to go out and fly all the time.

    BTW this is my 2 cent's don't know if anyone agrees but its from my experience.
     
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  7. Rodger

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    In regard to question 1, I learned, from a thread on this forum: Try your first flight on your desk. In other words, LEAVE THE PROPELLERS OFF, sit back, relax and turn on everything in order i.e. RC, Aircraft, App. You can get comfortable powering the props up and shutting them down. Familiarize yourself with the telemetry info, ensuring that it's in a format (Imperial or Metric) with which you're comfortable. Know how to switch from FPV (Camera View) and Map view. And learn the menus: how to access and use them. Read, read, read! And have fun!
     
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  8. Utopian

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    Thanks a lot. Do you know any good source to refer to when learning all the different telemetries and instrument readings?
     
  9. Utopian

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    Does RTH do a straight light return or does it actually detect and avoid obstacles on the way back?
     
  10. zitrojj

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    The DJI app comes with a tutorial. Here is a link to it a good tutorial. Professional - DJI Go App Tutorial?
     
  11. NimpoCub

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    Does NOT detect anything in the flight path. This is why folks keep saying to set your RTH altitude higher than ANY obstacle you may run into. When it gets home, it will descend, but by then you will/should resume manual control.
    Important question you asked! :)
     
  12. Wolfiesden

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    1. Be wary of concrete areas when doing compass cals. Concrete has rebar in it and it can affect the compass cal. Also, cars/trucks/etc. Big metal objects don't play well with the compass cal.

    2. There is only one throttle setting for liftoff. Thats full up. Don't try to take off gently. Not at first anyway. Own it. Get it the hell off the ground and away from anything it could hit. Push the throttle full up until you get a few feet (above head height) and then let go. It will stabilize and hover there. If you try to gently ease the throttle up, it could ground buffer making it slightly unstable for a second or two and could tip driving the props into the ground. Better to power up and away from the ground quickly.

    3. Your first takeoff should consist of a takeoff, and then immediately bring it down for a landing (since its in the same spot as it was). Repeat that a few times.

    4. Liftoff and get it above head height. Then gently move each stick in one direction only (ie up or down or left or right) and observe how the craft moves and reacts. Gentile movements. Don't pulse the sticks (push far briefly and let go). Practice that a few times until you get familiar with how the craft reacts to the sticks. Then try the various combinations and observe how it reacts.

    5. Once you have done those things, get it well above tree/powerlines height (100' or so). Then take it for a gentile trip around the area you launched from. I suggest working it upwind first. That way coming home will be downwind and less draining on the battery.

    6. Keep your battery inside your jacket (not in outer pocket) until time to put it in the Phantom. Assuming its cold where you are. You want a warm battery to start out with. Keep your spare (if you have one) inside your jacket too.

    7. Don't push the battery level too low at first. Come home before 40%. Your first few landings will take longer than later ones will. The last thing you want is to force it to land due to critical battery.

    8. Don't forget to make sure your Android or iWhatever is fully charged too.

    9. Make **** sure you set the RTH altitude in the app to clear ANYTHING around you. If you have 100' power poles, get the RTH up to 125 at least.

    10. Remember, if you get into trouble, RTH is your friend (if you correctly set the altitude that is).

    Lastly, you might want to pop a couple Tylenol before heading out to help with the pain. Your cheeks are going to hurt from grinning ear to ear during the flights :)
     
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  13. zitrojj

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    My favorites 2 quotes of the day. Thanks for the laugh. I wished I would have taken some Tylenol on my first flight. However Xanax is a better alternative from the anxiety you get when you run out of batteries and want to take your bird back up.

    Android user here btw.
     
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  14. Wolfiesden

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    I figured somebody would pop a grin on those :)

    No apple in my house begins with an i either. Fuji, Delicious, Granny Smith, etc.
     
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  15. cneedforspeed

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    Here is a check list i made for beginners to use before flight
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. Utopian

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    These are some good tips. Thanks.