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Flying the P3P below 0 degrees Celsius

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by ActionDrone, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. ActionDrone

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    Hi all,

    this next winter I will use my Phantom 3 Pro to film on high mountains, where the temperatures could reach below zero values.

    Did you ever experience this kind of flights? I suppose the problem is with batteries and ESCs, but what if we partially close with tape the air intakes of the ESCs and keep the batteries in a warm environment until before flight?
     
  2. Chuck Young

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    I live in the high country of Colorado and will soon be finding out. It has been getting close to 0C at night here. There are times it will hit -35C and the unit will require a very warm fur coat.
     
  3. TacAir42

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    Keep your batteries warm prior to flight, otherwise you are possibly looking at single digit flight times, less than 10 minutes...
     
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  4. JohnK

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    Would a cold temp IMU calibration be advisable, as well?
     
  5. ActionDrone

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    Good question... we need an electronic expert :)
     
  6. ActionDrone

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    I will, at least I hope that the cemetery will always show the correct percentage of battery drain.
    I already flown last week on Plateau Rosa glacier (on the border between Cervinia and Zermatt) with a Phantom 2 without any problem.
     
  7. JohnK

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    I've read a lot of conflicting info on this, but I know the system has to "warm up" before safe flight status. Warm up to ambient temp or to some prior recorded temp? As I said, I've read conflicting info, and I will be heading across the plains in the fall, so I think I will do it on some clear cool evening, just to be safe.
     
  8. bbfpv

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    If you've already done a cold IMU cal, there's no reason to have to ever do another unless your bird tells you otherwise (or is acting strange).
     
  9. JohnK

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    That's an "if then" statement. Implicit in the statement seems to be "yes, you should recalibrate for colder temps."
     
  10. bbfpv

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    Nah. The IMU is there for the sole purpose of measuring velocity and orientation, which as you know are not (drastically) affected by air temperature. The temperature during calibration is a hack to make startup times shorter. What the IMU measures and the ambient temperature are completely unrelated.
     
  11. JohnK

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    Then why did you write the bit about the "cold IMU calibration"? Wouldn't warm up times be reduced by calibrating in a cold location?

    If that's the case, is it ever possible that a location could be so cold that a "Warm up" is impossible due to a previous calibration done at, say, sunny Florida?
     
  12. ActionDrone

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    Ok please keep me updated after the first flights. Thanks.
     
  13. bbfpv

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  14. JohnK

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    I'm traveling from NY to North Dakota to start my road trip across Big Sky, so I will do the calibrations.
     
  15. bbfpv

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    Because of the potential for the bird to get bounced around more than the cold, I would imagine. That I would agree with (though the bird will still tell you if it's out of whack). Enjoy the trip, post some good pics.
     
  16. JohnK

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    Count on it! And thanks for the info. I am skeptical, but not stubborn. :)
     
  17. Pete Leare

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    With all the talk about P3 stress cracks around the motor mounts recently, would flying in the cold promote them even more being that the motor will get hot and the plastic around it very cold?
     
  18. nickyb

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    I guess you would get reduced 'air time' at that temp, pre heat the batteries. I know for the Inspire 1 there are sticky pads that can be affixed to the battery to help maintain heat.

    Be careful of the gimbal, motors, in case any moisture freezes and slows down rotation of the motor(s), unlike a plane there is no 'heaters' to switch on!
     
  19. ActionDrone

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    Let's keep any experience on this post, so we can help each other.
     
  20. tcope

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    I was in the mountains a few weeks ago and flew in the morning. It was 35F. I had done a cold IMU calibration a few months ago and normally the Phantom starts right up. This time I got an undefined error but then it went away after 30 seconds or so. The Phantom had me wait about 30 seconds to warm up. It then flew just fine. I suspect that the undefined error might have been due to the altitude (around 9000 feet) and the cold.

    Also, you NEED to be wearing gloves! My hands got so cold I had a hard time keeping them on the controller.
     
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