Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

I just about had a heart attack

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by cahutch, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. cahutch

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    I decided to do a range test this evening and try to fly her out to 1500 feet. I had some goals in mind within a 1500 foot radius according to google earth.

    I was 75 meters up when I set off. I got out pretty far. Farther than I had planned, and I was exploring in FPV since I couldn't see the Phantom anymore, though it was still in LOS.
    I was hovering for a minute to look at how far I had gone and when I tried to turn it around I wasn't getting any response from the sticks.
    I took a quick screenshot on my iPhone and again tried to get some response from the controls. Still nothing, and then I lost the WiFi. "Connection to Phantom lost"
    Hmmm...

    OK, Don't panic. Hit fail-safe and wait for it to come back. You still have plenty of battery life left.
    So I flip S1 all the way down and wait. I can't see it. I can't hear it. It shouldn't have been that far away. I should be able to see it by now.
    Waiting.... Nothing. Now I'm starting to worry. What if it doesn't come back? How long do I wait?

    That was the longest 120 seconds in recent memory. Scanning the sky I begin to hear her but still can't see her until it get's about 250 meters away. Relief.

    Reviewing the video, I see I never lost control, I just lost screen update. The app didn't show "connection to phantom lost" as it usually does if I lose wifi. The screen must have been frozen and I couldn't tell.
    On the video I can see my control inputs as I was testing trying to get some response. Then when I switched it to failsafe it started to return but little did I know what a close call it would have on the way back.

    The screenshot I took when I lost picture shows it 698 meters out and 47 meters up. I could swear I was 75 meters up when I left and I never deliberately descended. Some of the trees around here are 50 meters high.
    On the video I can see, right about the time I hit failsafe, it descended another 10 or 20 meters. I can't be sure of the timing. Maybe I accidentally caused it to descend with stick inputs before I hit failsafe. At the end of that descent it pauses for about 7 seconds before it turns and heads off deliberately for home. At what must now be no higher than 30 meters.
    And on the way home, it skims directly over the top of a tall tree, missing it by what looks like about 10 feet but I was in wide-angle view so it's hard to judge the distance.

    Lessons Learned:
    Be careful with the left stick so that you don't accidentally cause elevation gain or loss while you are yawing.
    Keep an eye on your elevation while flying. Don't assume you're still at the same altitude you were.
    Always give extra elevation before you hit failsafe. Even if you can't tell it's working.
    Don't panic.
    Oh, and I shouldn't be flying BVR

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. rrmccabe

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    Ankeny, Iowa
    Thanks for sharing. Hoping stuff like this makes me a better pilot.
     
  3. Soulnet

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would love if they updated the software to allow you to pick the return to home default height. Trees around me are about 100 - 150ft! They must have low trees where they make the phantoms!
     
  4. Brettly

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney,Australia
    Yes. Hope to learn from your story as well.

    I may have to rehearse the "what if this was to happen" and go through the steps to get her home. Naturally first thing most people do is panic. But knowing exactly what to do in certain situations is drone-saving :)
     
  5. Tails_Up

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    I learn something with every flight, I think.

    To me, nothing's a scary as losing control signal. You care counting on RTH to kick in AND that you prepped the GPS right. One thing I find very useful is Home Lock.

    If you fly out to the point where FPV starts to fail, you can 'back up' towards home, no matter what direction you're facing. If you lose FPV in a turn, you're just guessing on the heading trying to fly it back in range. Hit Home Lock and down right stick, and it comes directly back under control.
     
  6. trickstar911

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    ya had same thing .... i hit power up . gain some height , then home lock .right stick down, this way better to clear trees etc if ya cant remember what height you are at before ya lose connection ... was sweet to hear the buzz mind ... my set up https://www.facebook.com/79846482017153 ... =1&theater
     
  7. z10m

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells, England
    solution to that.? install wifi range boosting app and next time you will lose controller connection before losing FPV.
     
  8. Cocoa Beach Kiter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exactly the reason and benefit of NAZA mode. I have had this happen several times and having Home Lock is the only thing that would have worked other than activating RTH. However RTH speed is really slow and if you are low on battery it may be an issue, where HL returns much faster.
     
  9. BlackTracer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Winter Park, FL USA
    Yes. Yes. Yes. I always use HL to bring her back within FPV range when I lose FPV. I don't use failsafe. The OP could have used HL in his case. He only lost wifi, not control signal. HL would have worked fine I would say. Remember to always test HL before flying away to a great distance. That way u have confidence that it will come home in RTH and HL.
     
  10. slothead

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Frederick, MD, USA
    Is there another term for "home lock?" It doesn't show up in a search of the user's manual.
     
  11. cahutch

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Home lock is only available in Naza mode. It's part of IOC on switch 2.
     
  12. BlackTracer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Winter Park, FL USA
    If you are looking in the P2V+ manual you won't find it. NAZA mode is not described in that manual. Look for the NAZA-V2 manual on DJIs website for everything you ever wanted to know about NAZA.
     
  13. cahutch

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Strange thing is, home lock wasn't working for me on the way back.
    When I got back into visual range I flipped back up to GPS mode and switched to Home lock to bring it back in manually.
    But when I pulled back on the stick, she went backwards away from me. I flipped S2 back up and down again thinking it needed to be reset and tried again but still she moved further away.
    I couldn't tell her orientation at that distance, So I just hit failsafe again and let her come home on her own.

    I need to read up on HL to find out when it doesn't work. Like when you get within 30 meters.
    Maybe something about failsafe makes it work differently.
     
  14. Sasquatch

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Tense story, Cahutch! I truly felt your anguish as you were telling your story. Glad it wasn't your day to die and because you remained calm and cool. Good advice as well that you shared after this event.
     
  15. nptor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I lost my Vision using home lock because i was flying in Atti. I learned later that home lock changes to coarse lock if your s2 switch is in Atti. you have to be in GPS mode for HM lock to work. Just a heads up (viewtopic.php?f=7&t=12564)
     
  16. D_Tshudy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2014
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philly
    This is good information. Thanks.