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First flight thoughts and observations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dunginhawk, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. dunginhawk

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    So i just took the P2V+ out for its maiden voyage.

    Observation #1 - My phantom either sucks at getting satellites or something is wrong. I took it out about 50 feet behind my house and loaded it up. Calibrated it, etc... took almost 5 minutes to get 6 satellites, and that was iffy. It was bouncing between 4 and 6. If i took it any bit closer to my house, i was dropping to 3-4. Ive seen people fly these things WAY closer to structures before... Do i really just need to get THAT far away from my house? I live in the psuedo county, with no power lines etc around me.

    Observation #2 - Video quality was amazing. Watching it FPV was really hard while i was trying not to crash this thing :) Plus the sun was glaring too.

    Observation #3 - This thing can get away from you REALLLLLY fast. So because i lost satellites as it got close to the house I lost control and crashed in to my deck stairs. Only a busted prop.

    Observation #4 - I can see after I get proficient at flying that this thing would be WICKED FUN. Quite frankly my first 5 minutes in the air i was PARANOID. For those of you without much flight experience, how long did it take you to really start feeling comfortable with it. I have to imagine ill fly below 100 feet and closer in than 200 feet for a while.

    Observation #5 - THe Wifi extender is really flaky. I noticed a couple times where i pointed away from my drone the signal cut out, and i was only 50 feet from my phantom. Is that normal? I have already ordered a new antenna wire and a new antenna to try out when I get more proficient.

    Observation #6 - Why did I find this forum 6 months ago :) when i could have enjoyed this all summer.
     
  2. MadMitch88

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    Do you have tall trees or tall building around your backyard? There is definitely a problem if you can only get 6 satellites after 5 minutes of waiting. You can try the foil shielding trick which I did myself but some people are doubtful it even works. I usually get around 10 or 11 satellites after I foiled my Phantom although I noticed it can vary down to 7 or 8 depending where I fly. If you feel gutsy, take it up to around 200 feet and hover and see if you lock onto more satellites. Sometimes that's all you need to do to clear trees, cell towers, etc. If you do all that and it still only picks up 6 satellites, you might have a faulty GPS receiver (or mainboard).

    If you are pointing the WiFi extender 180 degrees away from the Phantom then yeah the FPV will probably cut out. If you were inside a room, then you'd prolly still get a signal because of the RF bouncing off the walls. Even worse, those WiFi extenders are NOT all the same when they come out the factory. I found this out after talking to Tony at FPVLR.com and he is very knowledgable about these things. I think I got one of the weaker ones because even with his Stage 1 FPV antenna kit I can only get reliable FPV out to 3000 feet when other people are getting 10,000 feet or more with the same setup as me.

    Feeling paranoid is normal when you first fly a $1,200 quadcopter. You'd have to be Bill Gates not to feel nervous you might demolish your bird or watch it fly away. Be patient and learn as much as you can about the Phantom, just like everything else in life, and it will pay dividends.
     
  3. dunginhawk

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    I figured the range extender had to be pointed at the quad.. That makes sense.. just crazy how it wont get anything 180 degrees away :)

    As far as the satellites... Its strange for sure.. I live in Des Moines IA< so not far enough north that they shouldnt be oriented much like everyones.
    I will try after the kids go down to see if i can get more satellites further away from the house.
    So even when i had 6 satellites hitting the S2 switch did not return home... My guess is maybe it never got home position????

    EDIT. no trees at all.. closest trees were 75 yards up the hill... Just my house, and the neighbors. Its empty field behind me, north is neighbors yard, south is a bean field.

    Also - what props would you guys recommend buying as spares? I can see the need for a few sets :) a link would be helpful too...
    thanks
     
  4. ProfessorStein

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    Not normal for a typical open field, no. But not having seen your area, it's hard to say. Download an app for your phone to check how many satellites are visible in your sky (for Android, I use one called, appropriately, GPS Test). I find that the number it gives me is a couple satellites fewer than what my Phantom tells me... but it'll give you a rough idea. If the app is saying there are plenty of strong satellites, then something is wrong with your Phantoms GPS puck. If the app says it's low on satellites, you should move to a more open area (or learn to fly ATTI with no GPS).

    The extender (and the TX antenna, for that matter) are both directional. You'll always need to point them roughly at 90 degrees to your Phantom or, yeah, you'll lose contact. That's pretty typical for RC nowadays, though. Different add on antennae might help, depending on what kind you bought.


    Stick with the DJI OEM props. There's nothing better. And there are some that are a LOT worse. There are actually two models of DJI props available, with different pitches. The 9450 are the newer model, stronger pitch to help alleviate some risk of VRS. Beware of cheap copies.
     
  5. MadMitch88

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    You need to read the User Manual tonight -- FRONT TO BACK, BACK TO FRONT. Hitting the S2 switch does not trigger RTH. Flipping it up and down 5 times will RESET the home point (ie, different than the takeoff point). Flipping the S1 switch to either Position 2 or 3 during a Return to Home function will allow you to regain manual control of the bird.

    I would suggest taking your Phantom to a different location tomorrow (ie, wide open field) and use the GPS app like Professor suggested. See how many satellites you should have available at that location and see how it compares to what the Vision app is showing you. If it's off by a large margin, you got PROBLEMS with your GPS system in your Phantom and then you need to investigate what's causing it. Until you get that resolved, you're flying will be limited to ATTI mode.
     
  6. ProfessorStein

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    AND consider labeling your switches. It helps when you're new and in a panic. No matter how many times you read the manual, sometimes you can't remember which switch does what when you're sweating. ;)
     
  7. MadMitch88

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    Good idea --- there is no worry for embarrasment about being a noob to Phantom flying. We've all been there. :)
     
  8. MadMitch88

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    Have you actually tried the 9450's, Prof?

    I seem to get VRS a lot (despite slow descents) and I'd like to find ways to mitigate it. Not sure if my stock 9443 props are the cause of it.
     
  9. ProfessorStein

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    I haven't yet, no. I'm still milking my original 9443's. But the next set I buy will be 50's (can you even buy 43's still?). I actually haven't ever really fought with VRS much. I tend to zig zag down when I'm descending. Old habit. Probably helps.
     
  10. MadMitch88

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    You can still buy 9443's as a separate item on Amazon. I got them with my Vision+ (I see the tiny numbers on the top of the props).

    Looks like I'll have to spend $40 and get the 9450's soon for testing. They claim an extra 2 minutes of flight time so that alone would be worth the expense, regardless if they help mitigate VRS or not.
     
  11. dunginhawk

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    i have read the manual 2.5 times... I just got confused with re-establishing a new RTH point. . ill go out front and check gps and back again to see how many i get on the phone.
     
  12. ProfessorStein

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    The scuttlebutt is that the 50's give 2 minutes more flight time, when compared to the REALLY old props... but not the 43's. There was a thread about them, with some early testing results from early adopters, about a month ago, I think.
     
  13. Happyflyer

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    dunginhawk,
    Read here on the different threads of those that lost their quad for whatever reason it flew away. Don't let that happen to you. Get a tracker and at least have a chance you will find it.
     
  14. MadMitch88

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    Ahh, so I'm getting excited about nothing. :(

    When I grow a big sack, I might even try these little beauties:

    http://www.amazon.com/CRW-Self-lock...1001653&sr=8-76&keywords=phantom+vision+props
     
  15. MadMitch88

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    Excellent advice. I have the Flytrex Live and it works well .... WHEN it works. I've noticed the flight data for many of my missions doesnt get displayed on my Profile page until 10-12 hrs. later. Apparently, Flytrex is using clunky Windows servers from 1995 or something. However, the "Last Seen" GPS location feature shows up immediately which at least would help me find my lost bird.

    I've been tempted to scrap the Flytrex Live and go with a non-GPS based system like the Marco Polo Pet Tracker. We'll see how that turns out.
     
  16. dunginhawk

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    So i have a GPS tracker on order... SO when that gets here i may get a little more ballsy.

    So i just ran a FULL pack through it... 18% when i landed and it was 17 minutes. so good fly time.

    I had one accident. luckily it wasnt high, but rolled on its top and skidded... just nicked the top nuts of the props. no biggie.

    I did notice that there are only 2 clear holder pieces on my gimbal.. is that normal? or should their be 4? the pieces that run through my rubber shock absorbers.

    I am STILL only getting 5-6 satellites out in front of my house. so essentially i am flying ATTI.

    I can get between 8-9 with my phone... so something is wrong here.. any ideas on what I may do to fix my satellite issues?
    thanks

    And its awful hard to find the DJI branded props anywhere but their website... well on amazon anyway.. they are PRICEY :)
     
  17. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Only two anti-drop pins is correct.
    Re sats - well known issue.
    There is a problem with internal interference in the P2+.
    Easily fixed - you need to do the tinfoil mod.
    viewtopic.php?f=27&t=19099
     
  18. dunginhawk

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    Ok... little update... first off, im uploading my first real flight video now... should be up in an hour or so... ill post the link here.

    Also, moving out away from our houses in to a bean field, culde sac area, i was getting 9-10 satellites pretty constant.

    However, out in front of my house, with my cell phone i was getting 9, only 6 ish with the phantom.

    So would a good way to test it out be to take the camera off? and see how it reacts... I can definatly tell, because it bounces between green and yellow when its out front here. I wont be able to see the visual display without the camera (or would I?) just no fpv?

    So i have to say this is INCREDIBLY fun.. i cant wait to get good enough (and to feel comfortable enough with my satellites) to start really having fun with it :)
    I was zooming around in circles full speed tonight, but over a bean field :).

    Im considering taking off the gimbal and the camera for a brief time until i get better. I took it down in the weeds again this last time out lol. id hate to wreck something
     
  19. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    If you remove the camera you will have no wifi, no FPV and no telemetry so you can't see how many satellites you have, how far away or what direction the Phantom is.
    You won't know what direction the bird is pointing, how fast it's travelling, how high it is or how much battery is left.
    The gimbal and camera do a lot more than just take photos.
     
  20. dunginhawk

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    thanks for peeing in my wheaties Meta :)

    Sounds good... i guess ill be foil taping the roof of my quad...

    come on though, figure it out DJI... seriously? i have to alien proof my quad just to record... BS :)