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Flew in a large steam generator today (B/W Boiler)

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by Scott Prince, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Scott Prince

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    Crazy day, disappointing yet exciting. I work in a power plant. Today I tested a drone flight in a huge oil fired boiler as a test. The scaffolding to inspect burner fronts cost $60,000. My manager asked me if I could do a drone inspection. Always up for the challenge I agreed. (man I love this stuff )

    So I take the P3P outside and get a good compass cal (lots of steel right?) Walk back in the plant and get compass error message...crap. Engines won't start. Disappointing part.

    Pull out my Blade 350QX3 which I happened to bring along and flew like a champ in there. Got some really great footage, unfortunately its 1080 and the blade camera not so great. Exciting part.

    So what I want to do now is have a custom drone built that doesn't have GPS, compass, RTH etc because I'm in a boiler, flying manual. (Years of CP heli flying finally paid off) Hoping to get a business going flying inside/out. 28 years in the power plant business and this would make a nice retirement gig right?

    Got my 333 but not needed indoors :)
     
    BigAl07, Squirrel! and jttt777 like this.
  2. Roe

    Roe

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    That is so awesome! I'm sure the pay for the day was comparable to them having to spend the $60k for the scaffolding. haha. :tonguewink: Jk. You got paid for having fun day at work. Very exciting! People using drones for commercial purposes like this is creating so many new opportunities.
     
  3. tlhintoq

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    Just an FYI: My P3P won't launch off the tailgate of my pickup due to 'compass error'. If an open-top pickup is too much metal, then that environment surely is not going to be Phantom friendly.
     
    Scott Prince likes this.
  4. Squirrel!

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    VERY cool!
     
  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Awesome story.

    I was going to sell my QX3 but I may keep it now as a backup lol.
     
    Scott Prince likes this.
  6. ddh1313

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    I'm just thinking out text here... ATTI does not use the compass from what I understand, just the barometer. What if you did a (faulty) compass calibration inside the boiler and tried to start up in ATTI from that point?


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  7. Air Ontario

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    What are they looking to determine? Klinkers, broken hangers, refractory repairs stuff like that?
     
  8. N017RW

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    No, Atti does not use GPS.

    Attitude requires all sensors to maintain, well.... attitude.
     
  9. Scott Prince

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    burner inspection
     
  10. Scott Prince

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    image.jpeg

    Got metal?
     
    #10 Scott Prince, Apr 7, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  11. Scott Prince

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    Unfortunately the motors wint start with a bad compass cal
     
    #11 Scott Prince, Apr 7, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  12. Scott Prince

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    i may try this

    • Chroma™ Camera Drone with ST10 and 3-axis Gimbal for GoPro Hero(BLH8660)

    • Gopro

    • Gopro Led Light

    i think this would work

    I was hoping to use P3P with FPV but that aint happening
     
  13. OrlyP

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    The reason why the Phantom is susceptible to compass errors is the fact that the compass sensor itself is at the bottom of the landing gear. If you put your Phantom on a metal surface or if the ground itself has magnetic properties (rebars, a lot of iron in the soil), you'll get a compass error. Sometimes, moving the aircraft's takeoff position a few feet would fix the problem.

    Worst case scenario for if you really, really need the bird in the air, is to do a handheld takeoff.
     
  14. Scott Prince

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    Well we did go outside and get a good compass cal...when we came back in and set the phantom on the ground I got a new compass error message and was unable to start the engines.

    I do have one of those handles that some guys use to shoot video with that holds the Phantom, I have thought about trying a hand off. Problem is everytime I have to change the battery I'll have to start all over. I think the Blade will work quite well.
     
  15. Scott Prince

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    BTW do a Google search for Magnabot Drone. Very cool. Flies in the boiler, sticks to the wall, the motors shut down, they take the photo, restart the motors and fly to a new location. Their fee is $10,000
     
  16. Air Ontario

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    Scott Prince likes this.
  17. OrlyP

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    Exactly my point. You can do the compass calibration all day and perfect it, but if the takeoff point has enough metal on it to mess up the sensor, it will produce a compass error.

    By handheld, I didn't mean you hold the bird like a camera. The intention is to let the bird takeoff from your hand. The purpose being, is to get the bird far away from the ground to prevent compass errors so you'd be able to start the motors.

    I have had issues at a particular site where the soil, I believe, has a lot of iron in them, messing up the compass. What I did was to hold the aircraft at arm's length by its landing gear, started the motor, and took off.
     
    Scott Prince likes this.
  18. Scott Prince

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    Oh ok gotcha. Gonna give that a shot. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
     
  19. Squirrel!

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    How about starting the motors in atti mode, then switch to P or F mode???
     
  20. Scott Prince

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    the motors wont start with a compass error