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Flyaway and recovery

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DeltaWhiskey, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. DeltaWhiskey

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    Hi all. This is my first post, but I've been absorbing knowledge from experienced pilots for a few weeks.

    I've had my phantom since late August. I updated to 3.16 firmware soon after getting it and I've made about 20 flights. Everything was gong well but I was always concerned about fly aways after reading the forums.

    My "insurance policy" is to affix a Pocket Finder GPS locator to the Phantom for every flight and last night I had to use it. I had my GoPro set to photo mode and was trying to get some evening shots of a golf course green close to my house. I took off after a good home location and all green lights. About 2 minutes into the flight the Phantom was probably about 100 Meters away and I was climbing when it seemed to keep climbing and drifting away. I tried to get it back but it was quickly drifting out of sight. In desperation, I turned turned off the controller at activate fail safe, but nothing.

    I took out my phone and used the pocket finder app to locate the crash site. It was in a wooded area about 1000 meters (0.6 miles) from the take off site. I recovered everything right before nightfall. I will say it was possibly pilot error. I am new to RC aircraft. The only external factors I see causing problems would be some power lines nearby, but they aren't super high voltage.

    Sorry for the long post I hope this helps if someone is investigating GPS tracking options. I think Garmin has a similar solution.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
     
  2. UTR

    UTR

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Nice job with the tracking I really need to get one which one are you using?

    Thanks

    Brian
     
  3. Kregh

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Which flight mode we're you in? GPS? Did you have confirmed home position lock? Just curious.... not trying to find pilot error.
    I am on the fence about getting a phantom due to posts like this.... I wonder how much mute reliable systems with wookong or the new a2 flight controller are compared to naza
     
  4. martcerv

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    That gps locating device looks like it worked very well for you. Have you got video of your flight as it would be interesting to see what happened and if it can be seen why it didnt come back to you. Initialy it could have been simply an orientation mistake but for rth to not work is strange and the video may give a hint as to why.
     
  5. sublevel

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Looks like you can get the Pocket Finder GPS unit from Amazon. According to the manufacturer, it weights 1.4oz (39g), so it doesn't add too much weight. Glad you were able to recover it!

    Here is the link to Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/PocketFinder-000P ... finder+gps
     
  6. DeltaWhiskey

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    I had the GoPro set to take a pic every 5 seconds so I have a sort of time lapse of the Phantom flying away from me. It is possible it was an orientation problem, but I switched the controller off when I started getting worried about losing sight of the aircraft. You can see me circled in red in the first picture. This is about the point I attempted to enable failsafe. The Phantom flew about another 900 meters and crashed. The only thing I can think of is flying close to power lines may have screwed up the compass.

    [​IMG]

    Half way to crash site:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. DeltaWhiskey

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    I always take off with a confirmed home lock and all green lights. I was flying in GPS mode. I'm new to the hobby and have spent most of my time in GPS, some time in ATT and about 10 seconds in Manual :shock:.

    I wouldn't let flyaway stories dissuade me from getting a Phantom. It seems to be a great system and has been a lot of fun for me so far. As they say, you only hear the bad stories. Most people don't post "I had a great routine flight today" stories
     
  8. The Editor

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Stock TX or aftermarket?

    I REALLY don't like the look of those power lines between you and the Phantom :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  9. rilot

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Yeah, powerlines = bad.
     
  10. DeltaWhiskey

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Yes, as sublevel pointed out, I was using the PocketFinder http://www.pocketfinder.com The device is about $99 and requires a $12.95 monthly service fee. Garmin has a similar device that I've seen some people on the forum using. http://www8.garmin.com/followme/
     
  11. DeltaWhiskey

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    All stock with several successful flights with 3.16 firmware. I think rilot has summed up my lesson learned with two words: powerlines = bad
     
  12. GearLoose

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    It is good that you published this recovery report. I know that many Phantom users are installing GPS trackers (I've ordered a FiLiFi myself) but I've seen very few reports of their actual use, especially in a genuine flyaway or pilot error situation. Hopefully this is just an indication of how few people are actually in those situations!
     
  13. LJ35

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    I'm convinced that the Phantom's compass can be thrown off by a single unicorn tear. Those transmission lines must have really driven your compass crazy!
     
  14. Colombus

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Something that could give a clue. Did you have to re-calibrate the compass once you have your Phantom back?

    Did you have to use a magnet to do the hard fix?
     
  15. Audaciter

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    I think the switching power supply in the GoPro makes WAY too much noise for the Phantom to handle, especially with
    the stock PPM type tx/rx setup.

    This is the same activity as Curtis Smith, aka csfly, and others have had fly aways. "I was just taking still shots, directly
    above me, and it flew away."

    I think you had two things going against you. first, the GoPro. Second, the electrical lines. And to a lesser degree,
    flying above yourself, especially directly above is really bad.
     
  16. PTCX

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    These devices look like they do a great job but they all seem to work on the mobile phone 4G network.That is no good for me as there is no 4G signal within 150klm from where I live and fly.And sometimes,like next week,I will be in an area that has no mobile service at all and the nearest 4G is 450klm away.

    Does anyone know of a tracking device or beacon of some kind that will work on it's own anywhere with no reliance on mobile phone networks?
     
  17. GearLoose

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Check out the FMkit radio beacon. I have one and I'm just learning how to use it to locate a downed aircraft. The price is good, $50, and the size is amazing -- truly tiny and weighs only a few grams with battery.

    There is a long thread devoted to the FMkit here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthre ... on&page=58

    A video on how to set it up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... sv3lyGONjs

    And the developer's page to order one (from Israel): http://fmtv.us/rf_beacon.html

     
  18. The Don

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    I just bought one of these: http://amzn.com/B0012GMDC4. Out in the open it should work for a few hundred yards. I haven't had to use it yet, luckily. I figure if I'm out of range I can just start walking in the direction that the phantom went until I get a signal.
     
  19. yalag

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Does anyone know what GPS tracker is the smallest and the most light weight? I don't mind paying a bit extra to save my phantom.
     
  20. PTCX

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    Re: Flyaway and recovery

    Thanks GearLoose & The Don,I like the look of both suggestions.
    5klm range on the FMkit beacon is awesome for such a tiny unit.