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How daring is litchi mission out of signal range?

Discussion in 'Control (Go, Litchi, etc..)' started by Hoovy, Aug 23, 2016.

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  1. Hoovy

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    I have been using the litchi app quite a bit. It's absolutely fantastic especially being able to map out your mission on the computer or iPad.

    Question- how daring ?reckless is launching a mission knowing in advance that you will be out of signal range and also the time you are out of signal range is a place that is not easily accessible. For example I want to do a flyover of a golf course hole somewhat low but it is not in my direct line of sight. I can't seem to get the courage to fly the litchi mission even though it's only 2 minutes and relatively close.
     
  2. mikesmiley

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    Litchi will fly your mission EXACTLY to your instructions. It will do what you tell it to do, long after contact with the remote is lost.

    The only thing you need to worry about is making sure you've told it to do the right thing.

    I use it almost specifically for flying out of range.
     
  3. mikesmiley

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    In other words, set your elevation a little higher than you think you need to the first time sending it out on a long mission.
     
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  4. Hoovy

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    So "in litchi we trust?"
    Would you feel comfortable taking off from your driveway have the drone fly autonomously several blocks away shoot some video and fly back without any line of sight and guaranteed signal loss
     
  5. mikesmiley

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    Yes. I do it all the time.
     
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  6. Hoovy

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    How many "out of signal" missions have you flown and have you had any quirky experiences.
     
  7. mikesmiley

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    Pretty much every Litchi mission I've ever flown has been out of range. At least 40-50 so far. It's why I bought it.

    The only problem I've ever had was completely my fault. I crashed dead on into a stadium light pole, because I failed to check my elevation for each waypoint before starting the mission. I made a fool of myself.. Bird/bat strike
     
  8. With The Birds

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    Two considerations.

    If your AC never comes back good luck finding it, it could be anywhere from the point you lost connection along the planned route (assuming GPS wasnt lost). A third party tracking advice is a worthwhile investment.

    If your prepared to run LCMC missions where an unplanned descent might cause damage or injury to property or person please consider the potential consequences carefully.
     
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  9. Lifted Chevy

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    I've wanted to ask this same question as the OP. What about in a huge city with tons of interference?
     
  10. nemoeac

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    You should be okay but there are variables the other posters haven't mentioned that you should definitely be aware of. Most importantly - elevation. As you know, Litchi, DJI Go, etc all use elevation with regards to starting point. If you create a mission while on the golf course with the low altitude you want and it runs perfectly - that's great. But if you drive home and try to run the same mission launched from your driveway - you'd better be sure that your driveway is the same elevation (ASL) as the spot on the golf course you have been testify from - or higher - otherwise your may end up crashing right into the ground. Consider the possibility that your low flight is 10' above ground. When you power on at the golf course, it works perfectly. But suppose there is a gentle change in elevation and your driveway is actually 11' lower than the golf course spot. That's almost an imperceptible change while driving home from the golf course in a car - but it can have drastic - possibly devastating repercussions to your saved missions.

    Another thing to be sure of is that your initial altitude is high enough to clear all obstacles in between your driveway and the golf course - keeping in mind the same thing about differences in your power-on altitudes.

    What is the "low" altitude you plan to fly at? If it's less than 10 feet, I would risk flying it without being there if there is even the smallest possibility that there might be golfers or staff on the hole at the time of your flight.

    Another thing to remember - your GPS location is not 100% accurate and you might have slightly different routes depending on the day and how many satellites you've locked on to. A lot of the time, it will seem very accurate - but that's not guaranteed - so I would be sure to leave yourself enough clearance to accommodate for a sub-par GPS data. Personally, I'd want at least 15' of clearance in all directions. You probably don't need quite that much. But I like the peace of mind it provides.

    One last tip - I've filmed several golf course flyover videos myself - and the first few holes I tried, I was way more concerned with flight path and altitude than it turns out that I needed to be. If you film from too low a vantage point, it no longer looks like an aerial video. (You can get the same footage from a GoPro on a stick attached to a golf cart!). After that, I wanted to start off on the tee-block, ascend to about 90', then descend to 30' while simultaneous tilting the camera up to look down the fairway. When approaching the green, I wanted to climb again and do at least a semi-circle around it. I used Auto-Pilot instead of Litchi because it gave me so many more options for the waypoint flights - but only if you remain connected. If a connection is lost, then you lose all those advanced options and operate with the exact same reduced functionality hat Litchi has. In any case...I eventually found that all of that was completely unnecessary. Now - I set the altitude to 100' and start above the tee box - looking almost straight down for 5 seconds. Then I begin moving forward while tilting the camera up to look down the fairway a bit and I travel down the Center of the fairway to the green. Just before the green, I do a semi circle while keeping the focus on the flag...but I do ALL of this at the same altitude - 100' (or *just* enough to clear all nearby trees and other obstacles). I don't adjust the altitude at all. Afterward, using iMovie, I incorporate a Ken Burns effect on the video which makes it look like I am changing altitude and doing some fancy flying! This requires filming in 4k. With a 4K source image, you can zoom in 4x and still have a true 1080p HD quality image. Zooming in close than 4x is less than full HD - but still usable in most cases.

    Much of this, you probably already knew - or you might have a completely different project in mind - but I hope something I wrote here helps you out.

    Be sure to come back and post your final video here for us to enjoy and critique! :)


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
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  11. Hoovy

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    Wow thanks for the great post.
    I was definitely going to stick to 150 ft for the first flight to be very conservative. Also I wonder if it's possible to do a grand fly through of all of the holes. It seems like it should be.

     
  12. Pharm

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    I'm comfortable with it. I recently flew a 2.1 mile one way mission starting from my driveway. It arrived when and where it was supposed to.

    Note: An actual one way mission can have problems if not set up correctly. First, it's actually a round trip mission. The trick is to get to the turnaround point before your bird does, then flip to P mode, take control and land it. If your mission is particularly long, turn off Failsafe RTH. If you don't, when it senses you don't have enough battery for the round trip, it'll beeline straight home. If your RTH altitude isn't set properly, it may end up in a tree or embedded in the side of a mountain or building.
     
  13. With The Birds

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    I'm failing to understand why a one way mission is actually, or you believe, needs to be designed as, a "round trip mission"? To the extent you have set return to home as final action or a final waypoint close to home why would you do that? Would it not be a better, In the interests of a best worse case potential outcome, to set hover as final action (at destination point)?

    If you get stuck in traffic reaching the destination point or are unable to reestablish a connection once there the AC will simply do an autoland at critical battery rather than attempting to fly home when you aren't there to end the mission and land.
     
  14. Dirty Bird

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    The important thing is to perform research and/or recon on your mission for necessary altitude to clear obstacles, then carefully setting up the mission. If you are uncertain error on the high side with an initial test flight then adjust on subsequent flights until you get the final to your liking.

     
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  15. Dirty Bird

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    I have flown over 200 long-range out-of-contact Litchi missions. Once flying an early multi-bird test mission I had a couple of Phantoms bump mid-air (no crash) due to missing a waypoint altitude adjustment on the chase bird. Other than that all missions have been successful.

    Oops...



     
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  16. With The Birds

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    The master has spoken. I mean that in the most genuine sense possible. I havent seen a better litchi waypoint execution than follow the leader. A lot of the youtube vids will be me and those I have pointed at the vid DB, its awesome.
     
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  17. Dirty Bird

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    Litchi missions work fine over a city.



     
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  18. Dirty Bird

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    Thanks! To date that is my personal favorite Litchi mission. :cool:

     
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  19. Mark The Droner

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    ...And for good reason. It's simply the best waypoints mission video on the planet.
     
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  20. Pharm

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    That was my thinking exactly, when I planned the mission. However, when I tried to load it as a one way mission, with hover as the final action it wouldn't load. It said that two adjacent waypoints were greater than 2000 m apart. I finally realized it meant my first and last waypoint. I changed it to a round trip and added a few waypoints on the round trip and it loaded. I sent it off and then drove to the turnaround point and ended it there. I had added a loop at the turnaround point so it would circle and give me a few extra minutes in case I was late arriving. I got my info from watching a youtube video about a 5 mi one way flight and the creator of the video explained in his description how to do this. Litchi support also confirmed it. This was their response:

    "Unfortunately it's a requirement from the DJI firmware to have also less than 2000m between the last and first waypoint..."


    Your thinking is exactly the same as mine except it wouldn't work. I think a one way mission would work fine if the total distance was less than 2000 m. Mine was 3370 m (2.1 miles).
     
    #20 Pharm, Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016