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Indoor flight

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by zryall3, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. zryall3

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    I have a new PH3 and want to fly it indoors around a warehouse full of metal machinery and overhead fluorescent lights. It's a packaging facility and I am asked to shoot some video of the operation in action. I did some test flights with my Phantom2+ today and with almost no wind indoors and certainly no GPS, I was having trouble holding the Phantom still and flying straight lines. I realize the GPS is not working and since I'm more than 9 feet off the ground, when I switch to my PH3, I suspect the vision positioning system will not do much. Is the compass being thrown off by all the metal indoors, or what can i do to ensure the most stable flight? the copter is acting just like a marble would on a glass table top. It wants to go somewhere, anywhere but holding still and the slightest movement in any direction is only exacerbated until it starts drifting quicker. Is there a way to disable the compass or is it not coming into play at all with either model Phantom? How should I set up the Ph 2 or 3 for getting the smoothest flight path indoors (ceilings 20 feet high or better) around machinery where the floor is not a good place to calibrate the VPS sonar system?
     
  2. PhantomFilters

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    I've flown my Phantom 3 Pro inside a factory (huge meat packing / abattoir) with lots of metal machinery and metal conveyors in the ceiling and metal reinforcements in the concrete flooring. I'll tell you about my experiences and challenges:

    1. Initially my P3Pro complained that the compass was out of whack. So prepare for this to be an issue. You might have to calibrate away from the metal/machinery/metal reinforcements in the concrete floor. I managed to move it around on the floor and found a place where it would stop complaining and allow me to take off.

    2. My P3 also complained about "electromagnetic interference" (a "red" warning so I assumed it would not take off). Yet again my solution was to move the Phantom a bit (inside the same room) in order to find a spot where it didn't complain. Thinking back, it would likely have been helpful to be able to raise it up from the floor - maybe just be the hight of a flight case or a small table.

    3. I had VPS (Visual Positioning System) turned on when flying indoors. (I have it turned off for normal flights outside). It did give me the confidence that it would not initially drift when taking off - and it worked. But it only works to a certain altitude as you pointed out yourself.

    I found that my P3Pro was very stable inside. The barometer still works (to control the altitude) and I did not have a problem flying above the VPS-altitude. But obviously it is flying in Attitude (ATTI) mode - and if you are used to flying only in GPS-mode where the P3 or P2 stops itself when letting go of the sticks, you should be aware that it will be more difficult to control. It will easily feel like it flies too fast indoors.

    Flying indoors takes a lot of concentration and tiny stick-inputs. I'd suggest also changing GAINS/EXPO and increasing the length of the sticks (I write about these things on my website on the Tips & Tricks-page).

    It might be useful to use Prop Guards for a little added safety. Touching something with the props will easily result in a crash - that will easily destroy the camera/gimbal.

    I suggest you don't try flying very far away from yourself indoors because distance is very difficult to judge at distance. Just walk with the Phantom and take it nice and slow.

    Good luck :) It is doable - but it takes some care and time. Don't have a bunch of people standing breathing down your neck :) I think you need to be a proficient Phantom pilot to try something like this. Personally I've flown the P2 hundreds of hours and the P3Pro 110 flights so far.

    You might consider "hand-catching"/"hand-landing" where you grab the Phantom out of the sky rather than landing on the ground. This is not particularly for indoor-flying - I do this always, in order to not risk tilting or risking anything protruding form the ground hitting the camera when landing. Obviously great care should be taken as the propellers are dangerous.

    Good luck!
     
    richardseguro and tvckz like this.
  3. tvckz

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    Well done! explained well. There is one more thing you can do indoor. Take a thin fishing line or any white string, attach it to your quad and use it as a very smart kite.
    I have the same experience flying indoor filming manufacture and I do not recommend to fly without string attached. I was scared. In ATTI mode it wants to kiss all walls around
     
    richardseguro likes this.
  4. zryall3

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    Great advice and thanks. Yes, I've noticed that you need to think of the tiniest stick inputs for indoor flight compared to outside. I haven't tried the P3 yet, but I'll take both to work to see the differences. Ironically, I bought the P3 partly for the narrower, non-distorted lens and now that I'm doing this one job indoors, I need the wide angle of the P2+. Good idea about calibrating off the floor (filled with rebar) and away from some of the equipment. The P2+ becomes a slippery little creature when indoors in atti, and while I consider myself very proficient outdoors, I've only practiced indoors a few times. I did use some trusted spotters in addition to staying very close to the P2+ when flying, to help me know if I was getting too close to some chains, metal bars, conveyor belts, etc. The key, as you said, is to stay calm, make very small inputs and never take your eyes off the Phantom. I didn't even pay attention to the FPV most of the time and even had someone else roll the gimbal tilt for me on the controller while I was flying. I'm kind of enjoying getting better at it, but for now it is nervewracking as heck. I think what you're saying is stay in atti mode, might as well turn on the VPS while indoors even if I'm 15-20 feet up, and then keep my darn eye on the copter. Thanks again.
     
  5. zryall3

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    Sine you clearly have some expertise here, please let me impose on you once more. When you recommend changing the gains/expo, exactly what do you do on the P3 and in which Menu in order to essentially require much more stick throw to make a smaller change indoors? Can that be saved as a setting so I can just switch from indoor to regular flying?
     
  6. richardseguro

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    So...meaning that it is sort of an altitude and lateral last resource emergency "brake". Brilliant!!...good recomendation!
     
  7. richardseguro

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    Hi..just adding my grain of sand here...I would say check MC Settings》》》gain and expo》》 expos have to do with stick input reaction...gains with bird's reaction. The higher the settings the more radical and sudden it will react...the lower the settings...softer. Be careful with these settings and try them out first in a safe setting and gradually. Also consider the gimbal speed under camera settings...you may raise or lower the speed it rotates. For inside, I would also suggest gimbal rotation to 120 degrees so that you may raise camera angle while maintaining static the bird's altitude. Disclaimer: anyone please correct me if I'm wrong!!...

    You may want to do a search on YouTube..."phantom 3 gains & expo"...I've seen a couple that actually have helped me. One thing for certain...don't take any given setting for granted...try them out first.

    Calm winds and good flyin'...!!
     
  8. PhantomFilters

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    Exactly, when doing indoor flight it is even more important than ever to use VERY tiny input and handle the sticks with the utmost care.

    I've written an ebook that I include for free with the ND-filters (and POL-filters) I sell. It has a bunch of Tips & Tricks. You can download it here:

    http://phantomfilters.com/ebook/phantomfilters_eBook.pdf

    While not (yet) addressing indoor flying specifically much of the advice also applies when flying indoors. Not least lowering the EXPO (or the least sensitive 0.30) and doing something like making the sticks longer which makes it easier to do the tiny movements to the sticks needed when flying indoors.

    Did you get to do (more) indoor flying yet?
     
  9. fhk

    fhk

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    I tried indoor flight 1 time after I finally was able to get the firmware to update, 1:30am. My wife and dogs were not happy with the decision. Fly indoors at your own risk!