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How far is safe to fly a P3 from a U.S. Air Force base given video signal probs?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sgreenwalt, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. sgreenwalt

    Dec 24, 2015
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    (there may be no authoritative answer to this possibly sensitive question, but I am asking anyway because I would like to protect my P3 for future flights)

    Flying 1.5 miles outside of the 5 mile no-fly-zone of a stateside U.S. air force base, and
    Across 30 separate flights on about 15 different days across 2 months, and
    Flying at no more than 200 feet vertical from start point:

    I have never experienced video signal loss (or any other loss) until it happened twice in the past three days.

    The only potential variable (relative to many earlier P3 flights), which could be totally unrelated (don't jump to conclusions please), is that during the time of video recent video signal loss . . . there were fighter jets practicing at various (but much higher) altitudes . . . and they seemed to be a fair distance away (certainly greater than 3 miles from my location).

    My main question is:

    Does anyone know, with some degree of authority, if active flights (i.e. training or whatever) at a US Air Force base would incur a higher chance of video signal (or especially control signal) loss in a P3?

    My guess is that, well . . . probably yes for reasons I can only suspect, but given that possibility then:

    Really, how far away should I go in order to be in an environment that is safe to fly a P3? 10 miles? 20? 30?

    Those guys might be training in a radius that is much greater than the 5 mile no-fly-zone. Please note: I am just fine with anything they have to do including signal blocking. I simply want to know a range. Again, to protect my P3. Also, it just happens that I live 1.5 miles outside the no-fly-zone which is why I was flying in that area in the first place.

    If only video could be affected, and never control of the P3, well that might be nice to know as well.

    I leave open the possibility that *no* such interference intended or otherwise exists, and that simply nobody knows the answer to this. Thanks!
  2. LuvMyTJ

    Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2014
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    Live! From New York!
    It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Phantom Pilots forum. I hope that you will take advantage of the benefits that come with membership and that you will be able to use the forum for the exchange of innovative ideas and as a resource for current developments in Phantom quadcopter’s.

    I am going to say it was coincidence but hey, ya never know. The jets should be well above your altitude. Maybe try a different location if it persist to compare with.
  3. JickMagger

    Feb 8, 2016
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    In my experience the video signal drops before the control signal does. You can tell if your RC is still linked to the P3 by the green LED on the controller. As long as you have the green light you can still control the P3 and initiate RTH by holding the RTH button a couple seconds.

    Flying near fighter jets I would expect they could have ECM pods equipped: http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/equip/an-alq-167.htm They can cover a wide range of frequencies including 2.4 GHz.
  4. Pointyhead

    Feb 11, 2016
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    Warner Robins, Georgia
    The ECM pods would NEVER be active unless they were over a range. They do fly in the standby mode, but never actively radiating. There might be maintenance going on at the base and you might get an occasional spurious pulse.

    Also, it depends on the base. Eglin, Wright-Pat, Edwards, among others is always developing and testing stuff. I could tell you stories....
  5. kandelin16

    Dec 27, 2015
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    Well, some here will probably tell you the Air Force is testing out alien technology;), UFO or RC craft?
    But its probably just a coincidence.
    And you can still fly without video, so it should still be safe to fly a p3.