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I can't imagine going 3 miles with this thing!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DesignFlaw06, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. DesignFlaw06

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    Took my P3 up to the golf course over the weekend (I'm a member). It's winter and snow isn't conducive to golfing so the course was empty. I wasn't real adventerous on my first flight. I didn't have a lot of confidence and I was pressed for time. This being my 2nd time out, I decided to push it a little further. Let's see what 400 ft up looks like. Woah! OK, let's fly around the course. Wow, this thing handles great even with the little breeze up there. But I brought it back closer to where I could see. Played a little with the POI mode (forgot to record that!). Checked my battery and it's about 37%. I think I've got enough time to fly down one of the holes. Get to the the boundary of the course straight in front of me. Checked my battery and I'm at 35%. Better start heading back. I was about 1500 ft away at this point. Ilooked back up. CRAP! Where did it go? I can't see it anymore. Checked the screen and I'm still in the air. Bearings are a little hard since the course is covered in snow.

    And then.... "Low battery warning". AHHH! I'm thinking I must have read the display wrong and I'm down to 20% battery left without an aircraft in sight. Panic started to set in as all I could see was the red banner flashing. This is not good! OK, calm down. I pointed the camera straight out and panned until I saw the clubhouse. There it is! Hightail it back. Still couldn't see it in the grey, gloomy clouds and the white snow covered landscape.

    I finally got to where I could hear it, but couldn't see it. I trusted my display on the phone until it finally appeared. I never once looked at the battery level after hearing the warning. When I finally landed, I checked and I was at 20%. OK, maybe not as close as I thought but it was enough to get my attention. Turns out my low battery alarm is set at 35%.

    Then I started thinking that I lost sight of this thing at 1500 ft. How in the world could anyone go 3 miles? Do you just trust your FPV display? In theory, I could have been 10x as far as I was. Could you even do that on a battery? I know the math isn't equivalent, but I went through 15% to go 0.3 miles. Granted it was cold and I'm not the most experienced pilot. But a 6 mile round trip doesn't seem feasible, especially when you can't see it.
     
  2. TidewaterGibson

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    Good job at fighting the anxiety! I'm fairly new at this so I can't answer the distance question. Just wanted to comment on the use of FPV and trusting the telemetry on your DJI GO app. It's kind of like flying on instruments in a real plane... One thing I do religiously before take-off is to review the RTH fail-safe settings. Especially the altitude. Make sure it's higher than anything in your flight path. It's easy to lose sight of the bird so if you have to rely on RTH you know it can fly straight home from wherever it is without hitting something...
     
  3. Air Ontario

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    Glad you kept your wits and found a spot to set down.

    To successfully fly distance, one would have to know the area flown over, a few landmarks and trust the GPS map and Radar display if sight is momentarily lost.

    I use google earth to look for recognizable landmarks and I stay over the frozen lake or just off the lake and above the trees in case an unresolvable issue appears and the bird was to drop.

    I have gotten 12000 ft or 2 1/4+ miles away @ 150' and made it back with about 25% battery left.and in the red.
     
  4. Matt Noel

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    There is normally a small map in the lower left corner on the Go ap with an icon for the copter. There is a line there which points to you (well either you or the launch point).

    Getting home is not much more than pointing the icon along that line and flying it that way.

    I had the same experience as you earlier on, until I got used to using that icon and line as a guide home. And yes it can get very hard to spot that copter even when it is visible.
     
  5. GreggC

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    Ya done good buddy,
    Sounds like you handled yourself very well.
    This happened to me on my 4th flight.
    Because I was aware of my surrounding and had
    correctly set the RTH altitude I simply pressed the
    RTH button and she came back.
    As for distance, yes look at your app and fly, all the
    info you need is there.
     
  6. Apilot101

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    I've been 2.8 miles out so far. I had plenty of battery left after the return. I cruised at about 25-30 mph. I don't think I would push 5 miles unless I had a battery mod.
    Think of this....Mathematically you could could do 25 mph for 20 minutes and cover 8.3 miles. (15 min would be 6.25 miles)

    At 30mph for 20 min, you could go 10 miles.
     
  7. Mark The Droner

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    #7 Mark The Droner, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  8. DesignFlaw06

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    It's all confidence in the equipment I guess. I've only flown in cold weather, so that's my reference for battery life. Not ideal, I know. I looked back over the logs and maybe it wasn't as dramatic as I really thought. In actuality, it was about 5% to get back to where I was. Then another 5% to land. And it wasn't a straight back shot.

    The real thing I struggle with is having that much money fly away to the point I can't see it. I don't think anyone can at that kind of distance. But I did push my envelope again last night. I made it out 2500 ft. Not only that, I flew it over Lake Michigan. I played with the POI mode and was pretty happy with the result. Still need some practice getting more cinematic shots. Sure would help if there was warmer weather and my hands weren't freezing. This time, I trusted the Return To Home and I was pretty impressed.

    [​IMG]

    This is the video of the left lighthouse of that picture. No editing, just raw with a random YouTube song.
     
    Jussaguy likes this.
  9. Wolfiesden

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    Location:
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    I did a 10k trip out with >22,000ft round trip (4.2mi). And I still had battery left so I did a fly around the building I was standing behind and still landed with about 35% battery life. Temps in the 30's.
     
  10. Jussaguy

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    Well done settling on the panic. Panic is when people make dumb mistakes.

    When you lose your bearings (assuming you set a good home position which is why it's always so important to do so there are several outs) and hitting the upper right cross-bar (hide map) on the map, will turn it into a mode that doesn't matter if you are N/S/E/W but it will give you a orientation on the map towards your "home". Just get the arrow to the home button.

    I find this to be much more comfortable than "return to home" just because I can see where I am sending it vs. returning to home. But if all else fails just RTH and watch the video and make sure it's doing it. Look at the video, make sure distance is getting closer, and height is getting to what you sent it to.

    One time I was teaching someone how to fly and they got in a similar situation and they thought they lost the bird (it was a blade I think) and he handed it back to me because he was frightened because he was panicking. He still had like 50% battery but was sure he lost it forever and was begging me to take the control back and I said, stop and take a look and calm down and don't worry, its safe. He had no idea that it wasn't making it's way back towards us (because I told him to look for visual cues when RTHing and he didnt realize that it was right above us and slowly descending).

    Sounds like you handled it right. You seem to be doing the right things in order to not get caught with your pants down but know your drones in and out.

    Good job.
     
    #10 Jussaguy, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2016
  11. 0DRK3RT

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    You should download the "Litchi" app and try the waypoint missions. That takes "the scaries" out of long distance flying, as the P3 flies the entire mission on its own.
     
  12. Matt Noel

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    I don't think I'd feel more comfortable leaving some program in charge instead of myself.
     
  13. Mark The Droner

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    Of course you wouldn't. So you start off small. Run some very close missions first until you're comfortable and you realize how reliable your mission-controlled aircraft is.
     
  14. Martin Smith

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    I had a nice long flight this summer, I really never fly out farther than 7-8 minutes...

    I flew in Atti mode to get better sped and on the return flight I shot back across the lake for the shortest route back.
     
    #14 Martin Smith, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016