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Ground Station allows you to program a flight path?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by richparry, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. richparry

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    I'm a newbie to UAV so don't assume too much about my knowledge.

    I want to make sure I understand the Ground Station system. Can I assume that if I have a P2 that all I need is the Ground Station hardware and software and it will allow me to specify waypoints that the P2 will visit?

    In other words, I get the impression that I can program 10 ways points into the Ground Station software and then launch the P2 and watch it visit the waypoints I programmed while I sit back and watch. Hands off the transmitter. Is that correct?

    http://www.dji.com/product/ipad-ground-station/

    In case it matters, I don't have an iPad, I was planning on using the PC version of the software to program waypoints.
     
  2. iResq

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    Currently there is no PC version and the Apple version has yet to be activated (via firmware).
     
  3. Ksc

    Ksc

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    viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5847

    The PC version is for a different flight controller (brain). The brain in the Phantom is the Naza. The wookong-M is the brain that uses the PC version. Unless you are flying super huge expensive ($6000+) setups, you'll never use a wookong.

    For the P2 ground station, everything is done on the iPad. If you wanted to use google maps on your PC to plan waypoints ahead of time, you can but you'll have to redo them on the iPad. I do that all the time. I use google maps to determine where I want to fly and then take a screen shot of it and print it out. When I get to where I want to fly, I look at my picture and do the best I can to match up the waypoints.

    You can hit 16 waypoints. At each waypoint you can control the altitude the waypoint is at. You can also control the speed and nose direction between each waypoint. You can also do default waypoints such as a circle or arch if you want to film around the object. Flying via the ground station is a lot of fun but unless you are doing aerial video as well, it gets old fast.

    PLEASE NOTE: the iPad app uses google maps. Now it says it saves a cache of the maps for offline use but I don't know if this is the case since my iPad has a cell signal so it always has internet access. One thing you will want to keep in mind is that depending on where you are, google maps is not up to date and it also doesn't give heights. For example, a park I used to fly at has a huge grassy area that people play soccer on. They recently put up giant poles to light the area at night. These poles are not on google maps and are directly in the flight path of where I would have flown. Make sure you physically look over the area you are going to fly before you fly. You might find that a small tree has become a big tree or that a house that looks like a one story house is really a 3 story house and instead of flying over it, you flew into it. The ground station is nothing more than an extension of you. If you fly your phantom using the normal TX and your eyes are closed, you'll hit something. Fly with the ground station without checking the area, you might as well be flying with your eyes closed.
     
  4. richparry

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    Ksc, thanks for reply.

    It is precisely because my main interest in UAV is to shoot aerial video that the Ground Station appealed to me. I shoot solo, so I thought I could concentrate on controlling the camera while the GS flies the path I programmed.

    So if I am willing to purchase an iPad, I can do what I want with some limitations and concerns that you have mentioned, right?
     
  5. Ksc

    Ksc

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    Yes you can. You might want to invest in a few extra P2 batteries. The reason being is that you might fly the route multiple times before getting it just right. For example, I was filming a real estate video in the Bahamas recently and wanted to have the nice clean smooth lines the ground station offers. I also wanted to get my nose (camera) direction just right. It took me a few times to get the correct angle that the nose should be at. I had it at 95 degrees but wasn't getting enough of what I needed so went to 115 degrees and in turn lost some of what I needed and so finally got it right at 105 degrees. Then of course I had to tilt the zenmuse (which the ground station does not do for you). So a few times I went down too much and other times I was too high and saw the props. Don't think that you can just plot some waypoints and send it up and come down and you'll be winning an Academy Award. You will spend a long time getting things just right and learning nose direction and altitude and everything else like that. Once you figure it out though, you will love it. I find that it drains my iPad mini battery pretty quickly. Just a heads up. You might want to bring a charger.
     
  6. richparry

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    Ksc, thanks again for your reply.

    Your Bahama real estate video scenario closely describes what I want to do, although my video work is strictly amateur and non-commercial.

    thanks,
     
  7. d.art.documentaries

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    Is it possible to create flight path with the iphone?

    Thnx and regards from Zagreb
    DArt
     
  8. Ksc

    Ksc

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    No. only with the iPad. there is just too much stuff on the screen. You need a larger screen. A full size iPad is more ideal than a mini but the mini will work.
     
  9. xpower180

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    As a person who seems to be 'in the know' regarding the iPad ground station, can you help me understand how you work out the heading you need?
    Is 0 deg north or the starting heading of the front of the aircraft, or something else entirely?

    Thanks.


    via iPad air
     
  10. Ksc

    Ksc

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    I believe 0 degrees was straight ahead and 180 was it going backwards. I am out of town until Friday but can fire up the 450 when I get home and see if I can shoot a little video of it for you.
     
  11. Wormwood

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    Ksc,
    There's one feature I'm unsure of & that's whether or not the groundlink or TX has to be in constant reception or not. In other words, with a flight around 20 mins. You could easily out fly your range of control & the datalink... So what would happen if you set a waypoint beyond your reception?

    Wormwood
     
  12. xpower180

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    That'd be very useful. Thanks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Ksc

    Ksc

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    Wormwood, I believe it will return to home. I've never achieve out of range because you are limited to waypoints and you'll find that if you're doing it for aerial filming, you use them up very fast. Starting at your front door then flying two feet above your mail box is 1 waypoint. Then having it fly directly up for 60 feet is another waypoint. Granted I like my shots to be perfect so I use them up quickly.

    If you wanted to fly out over the country and fly for some distance, I know you can fly beyond your line of sight but I've never pushed the distance to know how far. The naza itself doesn't save the waypoint data. Meaning you can't upload the data to the naza in some sort of file then press go and it will do its thing. That would be neat though. The iPad saves and controls the waypoints. Essentially the iPad is really just you're controller. It does the math and says "ok you're at waypoint 2 and now we are going to waypoint 3 which is on a bearing of due east and it's 65 meters away" so it flies the craft 65 meters directly east. Once it hits the waypoint it then does the same thing for the next waypoint.

    I would love to see a programmable waypoint system for the phantom that would allow you to setup waypoints from your computer, upload them to the naza via the USB cable. Drive to your flight area. Turn the phantom on. Hit go. It does it's thing. Returns. You drive home. But I think you technically fall into some gray area there as far as uav and it being out of your control. Should you mess up a waypoint and bring it down on little Bobby's head while he is eating dirt in the backyard, you're probably going to find yourself calling Saul (lawyer).
     
  14. BrettFL

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    I though I had read dji has announced an upcoming firmware upgrade that would do away with the use or need of the datalink?
     
  15. Ksc

    Ksc

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    I think that would be for the vision. You'll still need someway to connect iPad to phantom.
     
  16. Wormwood

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    Ksc,
    Yeah that's exactly what I'd like to do. Checking the fence line of our property... Doing this usually involves taking the tractor or ranger & check one side of our property, then back to the house & jump in the truck to drive on the roads to the back side of our property which is easier than going muddin & getting the ranger muddy. This is a pain in the *** but something (kids, deer, cattle, or any dumb animal will get tangled up in the fencing & rip 2-3 posts up trying to get out. When I need to check it is usually before bad weather & this really sucks when it's about to storm & your out there with a metal fence post sledge trying fix it real quick. If I could work out a routine for the phantom to cruise the property line,land , remove the video take it inside & watch it, that would be worth A BUNCH of money to me!

    Steve

    Wormwood
     
  17. Ksc

    Ksc

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    I guess it depends on how much land you have. Sounds like a lot. Want to swap? I'm sick of living on top of people. Granted Southern Florida heat is great in the winter. Either way, I guess the question is if the phantom itself could make that trek. You have two issues. 1 would be battery length. If its 15 minutes one way, you'll never make it home. 2 would be have for the phantom can fly before it returns to home. What is the longest distance away from you would it have to travel? I've heard of guys flying a flew miles in RC planes so perhaps if a TX/RX was able to handle that, the ground station could feed to a booster and then get you the distance. Or you could go into the center of your land and fly from there....?