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Generay fly-away question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FatKevinSmith, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. FatKevinSmith

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    Hi everyone, I am completely new to RC flying in general and from my research, the Phantom seemed to be the way to go for newbies because of all the user-friendly features like GPS stability, etc. But now I'm reading all this stuff about peoples' Phantoms just flying away on them for no reason and its scaring the pants off me. My FC40 should arrive any day now, and I simply don't know all the facts about these fly-aways and am hoping I can get some solid info on the matter. I know the FC40 uses 5.8Ghz for command and control. Is this completely unique to the FC40 and/or all 1.1.1 Phantoms? If so, is there a consensus as to whether this makes them less susceptible to fly-aways? I expect to perform all the pre-flight calibrations and checks to minimize fly-aways, but are there any percentages as to the liklihood of one flying away regardless?

    Also, I know it sounds stupid, but has anyone thought about tying some kite string to their Phantom so that if all else fails, you can reel it back in?

    Thanks!
     
  2. gbshovel

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    [quote="
    Also, I know it sounds stupid, but has anyone thought about tying some kite string to their Phantom so that if all else fails, you can reel it back in?

    Thanks![/quote]

    Then we would just buy a kite!

    Speaking for myself only, the couple times I have crashed have been pilot error. I thought I had lost control once and video shows it was my error. Pushing the bird to its limits is where you run into problems I think. I have been flying mine for a little over a month and 1oo flights, I am still not experienced it takes time.There have been a very few reports here that have no explanation. Most of the others we could surmise that in fact it was pilot error or something got jacked during and upgrade like broken solder welds or what not. JMO
     
  3. jthorstad

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    I think it's a bit of a gamble, but you'll probably be fine.

    I never ever ever in my wildest dreams imagined I'd ever have a fly-off. I took great care to do things right, and my Phantom flew like a dream every time.

    Never crashed...well cared for..

    Then that Saturday at the end of December came. After 2-3 minutes of beautiful flying, it took off away from me, UP and AWAY as fast as it could. Gone forever.

    There are definitely some that are "bad", for whatever reason. I was nowhere near any possible sources of interference. No Wifi on the GoPro. It just wigged out and left.

    Don't believe that every one is user error; some of these items are bad.

    The good news is that I think the probability of this happening is low. It's just that if it DOES happen to you, you feel very, very sad.

    Do everything right, every time. Have fun and enjoy it. If it's gonna take off due to a malfunction, there's nothing you can do about it anyway, so just enjoy the thing!
     
  4. PhantomPerk

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    For a little more than $100 you can get some sense of calm by adding one of these It comes with a year tracking service included in the price. They are refurbished by the factory. I had to call Garmin directly to get mine activated since it had been previously activated but that was super easy and the Garmin guy was real nice. I had seen another thread saying these will not work after 2014 but I asked the Garmin rep and he said they will work through the end of 2015. So for $119 this year and $49 next year you can have some sense of security from a fly away and track your phantom down if by chance it does happen!!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/181255808776?ss ... 1438.l2649
     
  5. EMCSQUAR

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  6. DanCH

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    v1.1.1 is 2.4Ghz, atleast mine is. I think it's FC40 and Vision that are 5.8Ghz.

    I have my tracking device in the post. 20 pounds plus a pre-paid sim is quite cheap for piece of mind :)

    I got this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mini-Global-Tra ... ps+tracker
     
  7. TechJunkieRC

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    If what I have read is true there have been flyaways reported with the Phantom 2 Vision which is 5.8ghz. If this is the case then the issue is not just related to the 2.4ghz transmitter or receiver. My Phantom v1.1.1 which is 2.4ghz has never behaved unusual or not responded to my control input though maybe I am just lucky!

    My approach on every flight is to perform a systematic pre-flight inspection and checklist on whatever craft I am flying. With my pre-flight routine I may experience a flyaway but it will not be due to not observing the proper start up procedure. In the meantime I am going to fly my phantom and enjoy it!
     
  8. Big Ben

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    Unfortunately every upside has its downside. ;) The 5.8 GHz should be less susceptible to WiFi interference but it has shorter range which could result in loss of control resulting from objects obstructing the signal. I have seen a video of a P2V circling around a tower and losing contact resulting in failsafe and RTH where it juuuust cleared the top of the tower. Can't find it again. Anyone?

    This made me wonder what you could do to prevent this if you wanted to make such a video shot. I've come up with a few 'countermeasures'.

    First you can place the Phantom on one side of such a tower at the distance you want to fly from it and stand on the other side where you want to control it from and have a second person check whether you still have control. That person could hold it while you start the motors and move the sticks around. You can communicate through mobile phone. Then you know beforehand whether it works or not. Yes it takes extra preparation but that's simply what this hobby requires. These Phantoms are not toys. They're serious flying machines.

    Secondly you can set the Home Point on one side of the tower, walk around the tower with the Phantom and take off from that other side where you will be controlling it from. It's much more likely the Phantom will lose contact and perform a RTH while on the other side out of direct sight than it is while still having a line of sight. If it does lose contact while out of sight then it will not attempt to fly through the tower but it will land on the other side of the tower. Simple but effective. Just think before you do and make the proper preparations. Plan your flight and analyse any problems that might occur before you make the flight. Flight planning is normal and essential practice in 'real' aviation. We should learn from that and turn it into good practices of our own.
     
  9. FlyingFanta

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    Have there been any (many) reports of fly aways with the 1.1.1 with it's dual antennas and upgraded transmitter/receivers?
     
  10. FatKevinSmith

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    Why not just get the Bluetooth unit and program a predefined flight-path to do these kinds of shots? In fact, it would seem like using autonomous waypoints would really be the preferred way of doing any kind of shot that you plan. I mean it negates the fun of direct control, but it would allow you to set up relatively precise and complex maneuvers (and should eliminate fly-aways, yes?)

    I do like the idea of spending $100 or so on a GPS tracker for peace of mind... of course it doesn't do you much good if it flies over the water, but nothing is ever really 100% guaranteed.

    This is one of the reasons why I got the FC40 in the first place. If it gets lost or destroyed, I'm 'only' out $500. If this were a vision or a gopro/gimble setup, there's a high likelihood I would never replace it, at least not for a long, long time of crying myself to sleep!
     
  11. DanCH

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    My 1.1.1 is currently in intensive care after crashing. I put it in GPS mode after flying it in Atti for a few minutes, and it decided to veer to the right about 10 meters then power cut and it dropped like a rock.

    But, I don't know if this was really a flyaway, as after opening it up (it was dead) I found the red battery wire had come away from the board (probably caused the power loss) and one antenna connection had come lose from the board. If these 2 events happened before the crash due to vibration and bad workmanship then it may not have been a flyaway. If the crash caused them to come free then it was a flyaway, as all the trouble started when I put it into GPS mode.
     
  12. BigSky

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  13. FlyingFanta

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    If it was a fly away, do you remember if the home position was recorded correctly right after take off? Did you take off in GPS mode?
     
  14. DanCH

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    Yeah, 8 green lights. Had no red lights, so no problems seeing the satellites. But... after taking off in GPS mode it didn't hold position as well as other flights. It had a slight drift (in virtually no wind), off maybe 2 meters to the left. I corrected it by bringing it back to where I wanted it, so I could check the lights again, put my goggles on and flew it away in Atti mode.

    Next time if I see it drift at all after take off, I'm going to land it again and redo the whole procedure.