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First Day Out - Scary

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Volantis, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. Volantis

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    I'll say up front that I am new to RC and the Phantom 3 Professional. I followed every step in the book and watched several videos and was careful to observe safety rules.

    After several short test jumps to become familiar with the controls, we took the P3P to a large field and made three successful long flights. I changed the battery in the P3P and took it up again. It was up for just under 200 feet and out about 400 feet or so when the controller showed a green light and no white lights, and my android closed the DJI Pilot app. I was stuck there with no way to control the P3P.

    I tried numerous times to press the home button on the controller, and though I heard a beep, the phantom did not return. I tried to restart the app, but it would not start (android).

    Thanks to the excellent technology, when the battery got low on the P3P it came safely back.

    What would cause the DJI Pilot App to close and the controller to be unresponsive? How long does the controller battery normally run? Is there any way to bring a backup battery for the controller while out in the field? It is rather disturbing that I have four batteries for the P3P, but the controller may not be able to stay alive long enough to use the potential flight time.
     
  2. Apparition

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    The controller should run many flights. I recharged mine the first time around my 12th flight but it was only at about 50%. I've now recharged twice and I'm on my 25th but I'm going on a trip so I wanted it full before I left.
     
    Tim D and AbsPapa like this.
  3. 4wd

    4wd

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    The RTH button on the controller takes a few seconds to kick in.
    It can seem like nothing is happening.
    If you press it again the RTH is cancelled.
    Try this in controlled situation next flight.
    It's not unknown for the app to close down especially if the device is struggling to run the Pilot app - which is very CPU intensive.
    It's not essential to have the app running to control the P3, you can fly without a monitor at all but it gets tricky when you can barely see which way it's facing.

    Another way to initiate RTH is simply turn controller off at least until it is well within sight.
     
  4. dalebb

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    Full charge on the controller lasts for many hours. My guess is that you only hit the RTH button, you need to hold it for a second or two.
     
  5. GadgetGuy

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    Whatever you do, don't try the CSC to re-establish transmitter connection!
    I learned the hard way! It will immediately turn off the motors in flight, leading to a crash!

    Other things to try before panicking are unplugging and replugging the Lightning cable on iOS. It re-established my Pilot link to the P3P when it failed again after the latest FW update. Might work on Android, too. I have since switched back to an original Apple cable, as an 8" aftermarket Apple Certified data cable might not be as reliable, and may be causing some issues. Also, as reported by others, turn off Video Caching in the Pilot app, as well. Improves data transmission and connection.

    As stated by 4wd above, when the Pilot app says Disconnected, that doesn't necessarily mean that the transmitter itself is also disconnected. It only means the video link is disconnected.

    There are two antennas for two purposes. One is for the transmitter and one for the video Pilot feed. They should operate independently of each other.

    Lastly, even though the transmitter may have appeared to have lost all control, you can still crash it with the CSC! Something about the CSC survives the failure of all other transmitter functionality! Beware!

    Don't ever use CSC when in flight, unless you want to shut off the motors. It is irrecoverable, and you cannot re-initialize connection with another CSC and full throttle during the fall, no matter how high! As one other user has reported, even 1,600 feet didn't work! 400 feet is never going to work! I tried that as well! Crash ripped off camera, which was never recovered, and ejected and destroyed battery. I was able to recover the blackbox .DAT file, and DJI ultimately agreed to replacement, as the transmitter and video disconnection and Pilot app reboot which precipitated the CSC attempt to re-establish connection was likely due to a firmware/software bug, which is hopefully now fixed!
     
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  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    It is very important to properly understand how RTH works and to test it so that when you need it, it will all make sense to you.
    Read up that section of the manual, fly out 100 feet or so and test it.
    Also learn how you can also cancel and resume control when the Phantom is coming back.
     
    Accuracy One and snowghost like this.
  7. bobmyers

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    Gadget Guy

    Take much smaller learning steps and shorter flights at first -- especially if you are new to RC and quadcopters, IOW-- don't get brave, keep the quad close so you can see what it is doing with every stick and app input. This app is very complex for anyone who is new to the hobby/flying quads. Learn the app and its total operation thoroughly and how it relates to your flights. Know how to react quickly and what to do is important..
    Fortunately, the Phantom can sometime save itself from destruction sometimes if there is enough battery.

    Just some advice from an old guy-- Crash-- been there and done that:( unfortunately, most of these disasters is pilot error-- even those that come to light on this forum.

    The Phantom is so easy to fly, that you can get in a ton of trouble very quickly.

    Welcome to the Forum and the New World of Phantom flying. Keep asking the questions, the lads here are great and you can learn many valuable Phantom Phacts as you learn..:):)
     
    tvckz likes this.
  8. Dmacken1

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    What Android device are you using?
    You mention 2 things happening at once that probably are not possible. You say the controller had a green light no white lights AND the app closed at the same time? Not sure why the app would close as it is powered by the phone. If I turn off my controller the app stays running but shows "disconnected".

    I just got a new Galaxy S6 and found that the DJI controller USB cable that came with the unit would not plug into my S6 fully. I tried the USB that came with the S6 and it does plug into fully and much differently than the DJI cable. Try another cable or be certain the cable you are using plugs fully into the Android device. None of this fixes the issue that your controller went to no white lights meaning no battery power.
    It has been mentioned to push and hold the RTH button ONCE. Push a second time and you are asking to turn off RTH possibly before it has had time to react.
    Your not flying under high tension power lines are you....

    Interested to know what happens next time you fly after charging everything.
     
  9. AbsPapa

    AbsPapa Guest

    You may already know this, but you have to push the RTH button twice to activate. Once quickly then again and hold for two seconds then let go. On my set-up I get a verbal audible warning that my craft is retuning home.
     
  10. Dmacken1

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    Stick with "Beginner Mode" for a bunch of flights.
    Stay in that open field to fly not in a small space (front yard).
    Practice maneuvers don't test yourself or the Phantom learn to fly before you start trying to hot dog around.
    I am also personally not going to try any hand catching ever probably. Looks like those props can really butch or guy.
     
  11. AbsPapa

    AbsPapa Guest

    You know, its interesting. DJI sells us these drones without a printed manual. Now I know that in China it would not cost DJI a whole bunch of money to print and supply its buyers with a drone Bible. Yes I know you can get one online but.......even the one they provide you with doesn't tell you a whole lot of things that can and have gone wrong. Only the users are discovering how good (or bad) the P3 actually works. Just saying.
     
  12. Volantis

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    Thanks for all your inputs.

    I am sure the cables were tight and don't think that was a problem. The suggestion that my Android ran out of resources makes sense. It is a Moto X latest version, but I have a lot of apps on it. Instead of stripping the function of my phone, I just purchased an iPad Air 2 with 128GB (2014). It has a 64 bit, A8X chip and is supposed to be fast Wi-Fi. I have heard a lot about Apple phones and tablets, but this is my first Apple product since the Apple IIe I bought in 1984. Maybe with a larger screen I will be able to see better in the field, too. It was nearly impossible to read the Android screen in daylight even with the display at is brightest.

    I will practice using the RTH button at close distance next time. I don't think I pressed it right when I tried to get the P3P to return. The video did say to press twice to arm it, and to press it again to disarm it. In my panic, I just pressed the button once every second or two. As was suggested, I probably did not give it a chance to respond correctly.

    As for the green light with no white lights, it was simultaneous with the app crash. Something in the app may have disabled something in the controller. I don't know. Hopefully, this problem will be avoided with the iPad Air 2.

    Thanks for all your suggestions. You have been a great help.
     
  13. AbsPapa

    AbsPapa Guest

    Just curious does the air 2 fit in the device holder that comes with the radio? Keep us posted on how the Air 2 works for you.
     
  14. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Not too close. It only comes back if it is more than 60 feet away.
    Within 60 feet and it just lands.
     
  15. envisionabove

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    My first flight was launch hover about six foot around and land and take in.
     
  16. Volantis

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    The Air 2 should fit with the holder fully extended. I expect it will need to be squeezed into place.
     
  17. caffeinated

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    It's actually not that that bothers me. I downloaded the manual BEFORE I got the quad and it isn't static so an online version makes sense. What bothers me is that the folder the quick start guide comes in has a title of ''phantom 3 manual' or 'user manual' or similar. That might confuse some new flyers.
     
  18. snerd

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    No squeezing needed, I get 2 clicks when tightening it down.
     
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  19. Kman

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    You charged the controller before your first flight right? Takes a couple hours.